Washington (CNSNews.com) - In remarks to hundreds of cheering liberal activists Wednesday, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond singled out Republicans as enemies of black Americans and compared conservatives to the terrorist Taliban who once ruled Afghanistan.
"Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side," Bond told a cheering audience. "They've written a new constitution for Iraq and ignore the Constitution here at home. They draw their most rabid supporters from the Taliban wing of American politics. Now they want to write bigotry back into the Constitution."
Bond's remarks came at an opening of the liberal Take Back America conference, a three-day event that has drawn more than 2,000 liberals from across the country to the nation's capital. Bond spoke moments after MoveOn.org founders Joan Blades and Wes Boyd received a rousing ovation from the partisan crowd.
Bond called the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 two of America's greatest achievement. He then went on to attack Republicans.
"The passage of these two laws in 1964 and 1965 marked the beginning of the dependence of the Republican Party on the politics of racial division to win elections and gain power," Bond said. "By playing the race card in election after election, they've appealed to that dark underside of American culture, to that minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality. They preach racial neutrality and they practice racial division."
Even though Bond said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People remains a non-partisan organization, he reserved some of his harshest criticism for President Bush. Bond, who has been chairman of the NAACP since 1998, accused Bush of trying to starve the government of money through tax cuts. He said social programs aimed at minorities have suffered as a result.
"We have a president who talks like a populist and governs for the privileged," Bond said. "We were promised compassionate conservatism; instead, we got crummy capitalism."
Blades and Boyd delivered tempered speeches compared to Bond's blistering address. Both of the MoveOn founders used a computer slide show to accompany their speeches. Blades declared "right-wing extremism" a dead end for America, while Boyd told the audience that he believes MoveOn members speak for a majority of Americans.
At an awards gala Wednesday evening, the 15-member staff of MoveOn and its political action committee accepted an award for leadership. MoveOn claims to have more than 2 million members, many who have helped raise money for television and print ads attacking Bush.
One of MoveOn's biggest supporters, philanthropist and financier George Soros, is scheduled to speak at the conference on Thursday. A last-minute announcement Wednesday revealed that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) will introduce Soros.
The liberal billionaire has given $2.5 million to MoveOn, a fraction of the nearly $15 million he's contributed to defeat Bush.
See Related Story:
Education Secretary Brands NEA 'Terrorist Organization' (Feb. 23, 2004)
E-mail a news tip to Robert B. Bluey.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.