By Jon Gambrell
HAMILTON - While praising the civil rights movement, the national chairman of the NAACP believes racial equality still does not exist in America.
In his speech, "Civil Rights: Now and Then," activist and college professor Julian Bond addressed a crowd of more than 300 people Wednesday in Miami University Hamilton's Parrish Auditorium.
With the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision that struck down segregation in schools and the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, he said the nation has "a chance to examine our present and our past."
"Laws now require the doors on the schoolhouse to swing open for everyone, no longer are they arbitrarily closed to those whose skins are black," Bond said. "But despite dramatic increases in the number of black people holding public office ... non-white Americans face problems more difficult to attack now than in all the years that went before."
Saying that the Bush administration uses Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as "human shields" to block criticism of President Bush's challenges to civil rights, Bond called for protection of affirmative action in both the workplace and in education.
He promised that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would continue fighting racism through litigation and protecting voter rights.
"It has only been a short 39 years that all black Americans have been allowed to exercise all their rights as citizens," Bond said. "Now, some are telling us those 39 years have been enough. To believe that is the victory of hope over experience. To believe that is the victory of self-delusion over common sense."
49 priests accused in archdiocese
Accusations and results
A third of Ohio districts seeking money
A look at school issues and cost to property owners
Multiple N.Ky. casinos envisioned
Judicial races crowd primary
Open state Senate seat tempts Republicans
Loveland zoning leads Hamilton County issues
Party slates to be final on Tuesday
Primary could be the final say
Boone Co. list for judge now down to 2
IN THE TRISTATE
Injured student's benefit Saturday
Bond laments lack of equality
Cleveland cops close to offers
Commutes signal population shift
Time short for arts school
Another Elmwood Place police officer layoff looms
Cocaine seized, man arrested in his auto
HIV assault conviction leads to sex predator designation
Archdiocese lays off 20 to balance budget
Delhi students design personalized luggage
'Passion' affirms beliefs during Lent
Allen bridge to be closed
Bronson: Tour Guide never afraid to tell truth
Crowley: For these boys of summer, noble tributes are in order
Airport Marriott named chain's hotel of the year
Elder sophomore dies after seizure
Don Berning, helped many walk again
N. Kentucky News briefs
Residents resist subdivision
Lexington diocese has had 32 abuse reports since '88
Connect with history at NKU
Real life: Teens get hard course in $$$ woe