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Black Buying Power:
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NNPA pulls convention from South Carolina to protest Rep. Wilson's outburst
Decision renews 1999 boycott over Confederate flag

(September 12, 2009) The National Newspaper Publishers Association, 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 Representative 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 on Wednesday 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. "Rep. 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 Sr., elected NNPA chairman in June, is executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper, the largest and most read Black newspaper west of the Mississippi and owner of WBOK radio station in New Orleans, Louisiana.


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