AJCONGRESS WELCOMES MFUME'SCONDEMNATION OF
ANTI-SEMITIC REMARKS OF NAACP DALLASPRESIDENT
FOLLOWING DESIGNATION OF LIEBERMAN
AS VICE PRESIDENTIAL CHOICE
(August 9, 2000) The American Jewish Congress today congratulated NAACP NationalPresident Kweisi Mfume for his "spontaneous and vigorous response" to the"blatantly anti-Semitic remarks" of Lee Alcorn, the organization's Dallas chapterpresident, regarding the Vice Presidential designation of Senator Joseph Lieberman.
In their statement, AJCongressPresident Jack Rosen and Executive Director Phil Baum declared that "it will takemore than one bigot like Alcorn to shake the sense of fellowship of American Jewswith the NAACP and black America. . . Our common concerns are too urgent, ourhistory too long, our connection too sturdy, to let anything like this disturb ourrelationship. "
Rosen and Baum noted that hadGeneral Colin Powell accepted the overtures made to him, "this could have been theyear that an African American and Jewish American held the Vice Presidentialnominations of their respective parties. America has changed and both of ourcommunities and the whole country are the beneficiaries," they said. "KweisiMfume's remarks, rather than those of Lee Alcorn, recognize that the new Americaresults in great part from the continuing partnership of blacks and Jews."
The full text of the statement is asfollows:
The American JewishCongress commends Kweisi Mfume, National President of the NAACP, for thespontaneous and vigorous response he offered immediately following theblatantly anti-Semitic remarks made by Lee Alcorn, President of theorganization's Dallas chapter, regarding Senator Joseph Lieberman'scandidacy for Vice President.
Mr. Alcorn's contemptiblecomments speak for themselves. We know that Mr. Mfume' comments expressthe essential character of the NAACP and the overwhelming sentiment ofAfrican Americans in this country. Mr. Mfume said it better than we can:Alcorn's remarks are "repulsive, anti-Semitic, anti-NAACP and anti-American."
This is not mere rhetoric on Mr.Mfume's part. He plainly was so horrified by the attack that he has alreadyannounced that he is considering suspending Alcorn from his position andmembership in the organization.
It will take more than one bigot likeAlcorn to shake the sense of fellowship of American Jews and especially theAmerican Jewish Congress with the NAACP and black America. Our commonconcerns are too urgent, our history too long, our connection too sturdy, to letanything like this disturb our relationship.
Had General Colin Powell notrejected the overtures that were made to him, this could have been the yearthat an African American and Jewish American held the Vice Presidentialnominations of their respective parties. America has changed and both of ourcommunities and the whole country are the beneficiaries. Kweisi Mfume'sremarks, rather than those of Lee Alcorn, recognize that the new Americaresults in great part from the continuing partnership of blacks and Jews.
The AmericanJewish Congress, founded in 1918 by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Justice Louis D. Brandeis andother distinguished Jews, specializes in combatting all forms of bigotry through law andlegislation. Considered the legal voice of the American Jewish Community, it works to safeguardJewish interests, protect basic freedoms enshrined in the American Bill of Rights and to advancethe security of Israel.
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