Mfume Not Recommending Boycott
Jul. 05, 2001
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ NAACP president Kweisi Mfume said Thursday he won't recommend an economic boycott of Mississippi over voters' decision to keep a Confederate symbol on the state flag.
Mfume said he doesn't want to dictate what Mississippians should do.
But after meeting with Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and top lawmakers, Mfume said he would like legislators to change the flag to eliminate a symbol that some say is a reminder of slavery and segregation.
``Do what is right here and not what is popular at the moment,'' he said.
Mfume said members of the nation's largest civil rights group plan to discuss the issue at their national convention that starts Saturday in New Orleans.
In April, 64 percent of voters in a statewide referendum decided to keep the current flag. They rejected a design that would have replaced the Confederate X with 20 white stars on a blue field, symbolizing Mississippi's admission as the 20th state.
Musgrove was among those who said a new flag would improve the state's image and help economic development.
The vote prompted the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters and the predominantly black Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to cancel plans for conventions in Jackson in 2002.
The decision also prompted concern over what the NAACP would do.
The NAACP boycotted South Carolina for flying a Confederate flag atop its Statehouse. The state moved the flag last year, but the NAACP vowed to continue its boycott until the flag is removed altogether.