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2002-07-11

As Bush Infuriates African Americans By Refusing to Talk with NAACP Leaders, We’ll Hear About Bush’s Civil Rights Record From NAACP Chairman Julian Bond

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The 93rd annual NAACP convention opened in Houston Texas on Sunday. Its theme is "Freedom Under Fire," and much of the discussion has focused on the President, who speakers charge with dismantling civil rights and pandering to ultra conservatives. NAACP President Kwesi Mfume said, "You can’t be president of all the people when you only want to be president for some of the people."

Bush had been invited to speak at the convention as he did when he was running for President in 2000. But he declined the invitation as he has on every occasion since moving into the White House.

When asked why he was not addressing this year’s convention, Bush gave a dismissive answer. Here is the complete exchange between the President and the reporter who questioned him:

Reporter: "Mr. President . . .
Bush: "Let’s see. There I was sitting around the table with foreign leaders looking at Colin Powell and Condi Rice . . . "

Well, on this last day of the NAACP convention, we are going to turn to an excerpt of a speech by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond. The speech is a powerful reminder that when wars are fought for democracy, democracy is often the first thing to go.

Bond is a former Georgia legislator and civil rights activist who was elected NAACP chairman in 1998. He opened the convention with this speech on Sunday.

Tape:

  • Julian Bond, chair of the NAACP.

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