Thursday, April 12, 2001

NAACP's Mfume, city leaders meet today

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will meet with Cincinnati leaders all day today and hold a town hall meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at the New Friendship Baptist Church in Avondale.

        Nelson B. Rivers III, the NAACP's Baltimore-based director of field operations, said at an Evanston news conference that Mr. Mfume is coming to Cincinnati because he was concerned after seeing reports of the riots on national media.

        “They (Cincinnati's black residents) seem to have got a lot more attention about what affects them by their behavior the last couple of days than they have for the last couple of years,” Mr. Rivers said Wednesday.

        “That sends the wrong message. If they would get some kind of attention on what affects them without the violence, we would be in a stronger position to tell them to stop the violence.”

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        The NAACP is calling for calm, he said.

        “The NAACP can never condone violence — no matter how frustrated, outraged you are,” he said.

        “No one could have been more outraged and frustrated than us. Violence is a lose-lose proposition. It only escalates to more violence and becomes an endless cycle of despair.”

        The NAACP has called on Attorney General John Ashcroft to order an investigation of the Cincinnati Police Department.


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