NAACP Chairman Ridicules Public Silence Regarding Congressional Members' Involvement in Hate Group

January 22, 1999

Baltimore, MD - NAACP Chairman Julian Bond issued the following statement:

"For the first time – to my knowledge – prominent white Americans have spoken out against the racist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) and the involvement in it of Representative Bob Barr (R. –Ga.) and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R. –Ms.).

"The Chairs of the Republican and Democratic Parties – to their credit – issued separate statements condemning the CCC and membership in it.  Tragically, they stand alone.

"Instead, speaking out against bigotry has been left exclusively to African Americans – the NAACP, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr., and a few columnists.

"Why the great silence?  Where is the outrage?   Where are all the calls of condemnation?

"Routinely, whenever some black figure, however obscure, utters a bigoted statement, black leaders are deluged with demands that they speak out, a payment required for their continued admission to civil society.

"They always do so, upholding a centuries-old tradition of allegiance to the virtues of tolerance we hope all Americans embrace.

"Reciprocity and fairness demand an equally vigorous response from our fellow citizens to this latest grotesque affront.  To date, the silence is deafening – and frightening."