HONORING AND PRAISING THE NAACP ON THE OCCASION OF ITS 98TH ANNIVERSARY

February 12, 2007
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia:  Mr. Speaker, I am honored to rise to congratulate the NAACP on its 98th Anniversary. As the Nation's oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP has for 98 years fought to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of all persons, so that all may share and participate in this country's great Democracy.

   The NAACP was founded by a multiracial group of activists who answered ``The Call'' for a national conference to discuss the civil and political rights of African Americans. This conference was in response to the race riots that took place in Springfield, Illinois in the summer of 1908. Since that time, the NAACP has sought to ensure equal rights for all citizens and to eliminate race prejudice in the United States by working to improve the democratic process and by seeking the enactment and enforcement of laws that secure civil rights. The NAACP also acts as a watchdog and informs the public of the adverse effects of discrimination. The NAACP also educates the public about their constitutional rights, and when necessary, undertakes court cases to enforce and secure those rights.

   The NAACP has a long and impressive history of activism and has contributed greatly to shaping America as we know it today. One of its first legislative initiatives was an anti-lynching campaign in the early 1900s. In the 1940s, the NAACP was influential in President Roosevelt's decision to issue an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination in contracts with the Department of Defense and in President Truman's decision to issue an Executive Order ending discrimination in the military. In the 1950s, the NAACP worked to bring an end to segregation in public schools; that work culminated in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. In the 1960s, the NAACP worked to raise support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act. In the 1970s, it helped expand voter participation through voter registration efforts. And the list goes on.

   Today, the NAACP continues to eliminate race prejudice whenever it rears its ugly head. It continues to act as a watchdog to protect the civil rights of all people. And it educates the public about civil rights so that future generations will know tolerance and equality as the norm, rather than the exception.

   I am proud to be a Diamond Life Member of the NAACP and to have served as a Branch President of the Newport News Chapter.

   Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the NAACP on 98 years of service to our great country and its people, and I wish them another successful 98 years.