Thursday, March 25, 2010

Take A Stand for Civility

Hey World Family,
Please take a moment, no matter where you are, to sign this petition, and send a strong, clear message. Thank you.
Thanks to our Brother Benjamin Todd Jealous, and our sister Anita for bringing this to our attention.

Falcon and Dove

You may have heard by now that over the weekend some opponents of health care reform used shocking racist and personal epithets against members of Congress who disagreed with their position and supported the bill.

Last Saturday, while Representatives filed through a House office building on their way to watch President Obama deliver a health care speech, some extremist protesters turned vicious. Civil rights legend and Georgia Congressman John Lewis was repeatedly called "ni**er" by the crowd, while fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Emanuel Cleaver was spat on. Longtime NAACP champion and openly gay Representative Barney Frank was called a "fa**ot." This is not only outrageous behavior -- it is un-American.

Stand with Representatives Cleaver, Lewis and Frank. Sign our Petition today and let it be known these outrageous personal attacks have no place in our nation's political discourse. Saturday's incident is just the latest evidence that a lack of civility is undermining our democratic process. Last August protesters painted a swastika on the district office of Georgia Representative David Scott. Later that fall Congressman Joe Wilson shouted, "You lie," as President Obama delivered a speech before the joint Houses of Congress. These sorts of outbursts serve only to bully our elected officials and undermine our democracy.

Like many of the hot-button political issues of our day, health care reform has inspired passion in supporters and opponents alike. Indeed, it is this passion that kept us determined to keep fighting for reform, even on the days when it looked like we might not win. While the NAACP respects the passions that inspire political movements of all kinds, we know that when civility breaks down, communities of color are often the first to be hurt.

Please, join me in signing the civility petition today. Stand alongside Representatives Cleaver, Lewis and Frank, and take a stand for civility in our political discourse.

Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO

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