NNPA chair pulls Black Press convention from South Carolina

LOS ANGELES (NNPA)—The NNPA, the Black Press of America, has announced that it will not hold its mid-winter conference in South Carolina scheduled for January 2010.
The organization of more than 200 Black-owned newspapers is joining the NAACP economic boycott of the state that has been in effect since July 1999 when the South Carolina NAACP called for it as a protest of the Confederate flag—a symbol of racial hatred—atop the State House and inside the House and Senate chambers. The boycott, still in effect, calls on groups and individuals to avoid traveling to the state for business or pleasure and discourages residents from visiting South Carolina beaches or patronizing restaurants and motels.



This announcement comes on the heels of South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst of “You lie!” that broke decorum during President Barack Obama’s address to the Joint Houses of Congress on health care reform Sept. 9.

Wilson’s outburst was viewed as ghastly by both Democrats and Republicans who refused to defend him.

“As African-American newspaper publishers, we stand in solidarity with the NAACP and fully support the economic boycott of South Carolina,” states NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. “Representative Wilson’s remarks were racist, disrespectful and a disingenuous violation—not only of President Obama—but to the institution of the presidency and only solidified our position and the importance in not spending Black dollars where Black people are not respected. The continued public and blatant disrespect of President Barack Obama by members of Congress will not be rewarded with our dollars nor will a state that continues to uphold America’s shameful past by flying the Confederate flag.”

The NNPA is currently considering North Carolina in lieu of its decision to boycott South Carolina. The group joins a host of other organizations and businesses that refuse to hold conventions or meetings in South Carolina.

Bakewell, elected NNPA chairman in June, is executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, the largest and most read Black newspaper west of the Mississippi and owner of WBOK radio station in New Orleans, La.

Bakewell knows well the power of economic boycott. He is CEO of The Bakewell Company, one of the largest African-American-owned development companies in the United States. The company is responsible for the development of more than one million square feet of retail space in predominantly African-American communities, including Compton and South Central Los Angeles.

Rep. Wilson: No second apology

WASHINGTON (AP)—One apology is enough, a digging-in-his heels Rep. Joe Wilson said Sept. 13, challenging Democratic leaders who want him to say on the House floor that he’s sorry for yelling “You lie!” during President Barack Obama’s health care speech to Congress.

The leadership plans to propose a resolution of disapproval this week if the South Carolina Republican doesn’t publicly apologize to Congress. Such a measure would put lawmakers on the record as condemning those two words, uttered during last Wednesday’s prime-time speech, that have become a fund-raising boon for the defiant Wilson and his Democratic challenger.

Wilson said a resolution would show that Democrats simply wanted to play politics and divert attention from a health care overhaul that is lagging in Congress.

“I am not going to apologize again. I apologized to the president on Wednesday night. I was advised then that, ‘Thank you, now let’s get on to a civil discussion of the issues,’” Wilson said. “I’ve apologized one time. The apology was accepted by the president, by the vice president, who I know. I am not apologizing again.”


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