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NAACP Chairman Julian Bond: Racism persists .....Check out our local advertisers.....

Julian Bond is seeking to mobilize defenders of civil rights. Local advertising by PaperG

By Tonia Moxley
381-1675

Keywords:
RADFORD -- In a speech Wednesday, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond called on defenders of civil rights
to support the country's first black president as he faces what is expected to be tough second year in City & State and/or Zip:
office.
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Bond's remarks at Radford University's fourth annual celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Within: Distance:
came a day after the Democratic Party lost the late Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat to
Republican Scott Brown, and with it, the party's filibuster-proof majority. findabiz.roanoke.com Search

The election puts Obama's health care overhaul in jeopardy and has caused speculation that public HOMES CARS JOBS
opinion may be turning against the president.

While "black faces in high places" give reason for hope, Bond, the 70-year-old founder of the storied Find a job in Southwest
Job title, skills or company
Virginia on the #1 local
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, argued that "racism is alive and well for every nonwhite jobs site
American, including the president."
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Obama's historic election has ironically caused complacency among some civil rights supporters, who
see it is a sign that racism in America is dead.

But that same election has energized "the Taliban wing" of the Republican Party, Bond said, from anti-
government groups such as the "birthers," who challenge Obama's citizenship, to "tea party" members
who call for the dismantling of much of the federal government.

Bond cited a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center that found "the number of hate groups More Jobs
operating in the United States continued to rise in 2008 and has grown by 54 percent since 2000 -- an
increase fueled last year by immigration fears, a failing economy and the successful campaign of Barack
Obama."

While the recession has hurt all Americans, blacks still suffer more than their white counterparts. Today
the unemployment rate for blacks stands at 15.7 percent, compared with 9.5 percent among whites,
Bond said.

Infant mortality and murder rates are up in black communities across the country, Bond said. Black
homeownership is declining rapidly, and with it, the wealth of the black middle class.

"This didn't happen by accident," Bond said.

He accused mortgage lenders of targeting black neighborhoods with high-interest subprime loans and
pointed to discrimination suits recently filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People against some of the country's largest banking firms. Bond has led the NAACP for 11 years.

Obama "is paying a high price today for not solving in one year the problems it took eight years to
create," Bond said. "He needs time and support."

Bond drew parallels between the civil rights movement and Obama's battles for reform. He called for a
return to the values of the struggle against segregation: "Litigate. Organize. Mobilize. Coalition," Bond
said.

"King did not march alone."

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