Head Attacks Republican Leaders In Congress
Reuters, Saturday, February 20, 1999, 4:53 PM ET
© Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited
(Reuters) - Declaring racism is alive and well in America, NAACP
Chairman Julian Bond Saturday accused the Republican leaders of
Congress of being hostile to civil rights.
advances since segregation, racism is everywhere and especially
in politics, the veteran activist said at the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People's 90th annual meeting.
we meet, the leadership of the House and Senate is more hostile
to civil rights than at any time in the recent past," Bond
told the biggest and oldest U.S. civil rights organization.
have become the running dogs of the wacky radical right,"
he added. The NAACP is holding its annual meeting in Washington
for the first time. Bond said new House Speaker Dennis Hastert,
an Illinois Republican, supported a measure in the last Congress
that would have eliminated federal equal opportunity programs.
disappointment in senators' response to news last year that Senate
Majority Leader Trent Lott had spoken to the Council of Conservative
Citizens, a white extremist group in his home state of Mississippi,
as recently as 1995 and hosted its leaders at his Capitol offices
date, no member of the Senate, not one Democrat and not one Republican,
has spoken out against this outrage," Bond said.
who rose to national prominence during the civil rights campaigns
of the 1960s and was among the founders of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee, said that racism in America today "less
often wears a hood and burns a cross."
it sometimes wears a three-piece suit, but behind that disguise
there lurks an evil that our forefathers and mothers fought,"
that the net assets of black families in which one member has
a postgraduate degree are less than the assets of white families
with only elementary school education.
reform, in which states encourage recipients to seek work, is
pushing millions of unskilled workers into fierce competition
for low-paying jobs, driving down wages. "And for those workers
whose skins are black or brown, the gap is greater and their prospects
the clock ticks down to the end of the 20th century, it sometimes
seems to be running backward, threatening to take us back to a
dangerous past," he said.