NAACP Leaders Speak Out Against Racist Comments Aimed at Rutgers University Team

April 9, 2007

The NAACP recognizes that when it comes to forming ideas and establishing norms, nothing is more influential than the images and concepts delivered into our lives on a daily basis by radio, television, film and the Internet.

Those that are given access to the public through mainstream media must be put on notice that they have everything to lose by spewing racist ideas and rants.

In reference to recent comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team by radio personality Don Imus, NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Julian Bond said: "As long as an audience is attracted to his bigotry and politicians and pundits tolerate his racism and chauvinism to promote themselves, Don Imus will continue to be a serial apologist for prejudice. It is past time his employers took him off the air."

The NAACP believes that racism is taught. Media, particularly television, has proven to be a powerful teacher. When required, the Association directly confronts racism, the use of defamatory language and racist actions.

"It's sad that still America has not overcome those racist beliefs that grew out of the myth of white supremacy and black inferiority," said NAACP Interim President & CEO Dennis C. Hayes. "Expressions of those beliefs are hurtful to the targeted victims, do violence to members of the defamed group and disserves all members of society, no matter who the speaker."

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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