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Countywide : NAACP Chapter Opposes Thomas

The Ventura County chapter of the NAACP is standing behind the decision of the organization’s national leaders to oppose the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, the county’s chapter president said this week.

John R. Hatcher III said the county’s branch, which has about 200 members, agrees with leaders of the national civil rights organization, who voted 49 to 1 against the nomination of Thomas, President Bush’s nominee to replace retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall.

In Los Angeles County, the board of the Compton chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People has endorsed the politically conservative nominee, becoming the only NAACP branch in the country to defy the national leadership.

But Hatcher said leaders of the Ventura County branch “agree with the position of (executive director) Dr. Benjamin Hooks” and other NAACP leaders.

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Hatcher said Thomas’ views on affirmative action are racist, and said the Ventura County branch backs the official statement issued by the national board. The statement criticized Thomas for what it called his “reactionary approach to a number of critical issues, not the least of which is affirmative action.” Thomas has said he is opposed to affirmative action because it taints the hiring of minorities and works against them achieving to their fullest.

Thomas’ confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee are scheduled to begin Sept. 10.


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