NAACP President & CEO Kweisi Mfume denounced critics of Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice who have resorted to the use of racial stereotypes to describe her.
Mfume on Friday responded to Madison, Wis. radio show host John “Sly” Sylvester who recently called Rice “Aunt Jemima,” apparently suggesting that the first black woman to serve as a U.S. President’s National Security counsel is a subservient player in the administration.
“Her counsel is respected and valued in her field and in the upper echelons of her political party,” Mfume said in a statement obtained by BlackAmericaWeb.com. “Moreover, “Rice, a PhD and former Stanford University provost, is an example of how far hard work, education and determination can take one to new heights.”
Mfume also said that “attacks on Rice by the radio host and political cartoonists who use stereotypes and racial caricatures are just as bad as those who hide under sheets and burn crosses. This is something the NAACP has fought against for more than 95 years and something we will continue to oppose.”
Sylvester meanwhile, appeared unrepentant despite widespread criticism.
The Capital Times of Madison, Wis. reported Sunday that Sylvester said he was not apologizing for using racial insults against Rice.
“I know some people may not like the term Aunt Jemima, but really some of my black callers had used it long before I did, referring to her,” the newspaper reported Sylvester said.
As for apologies, Sylvester told the Associated Press, “I'll apologize to Aunt Jemima.”
The Capital Times also reported that the Urban League of Greater Madison said in a statement that it was “deeply disturbed” by Sylvester's remarks, and called on him to apologize “for using the basest form of racial derision to highlight a political viewpoint.”
On Saturday Rice, 50, returned home after a one-night hospital stay where she was treated for non-cancerous growths in her uterus.
"She's out of the hospital and doing well," said White House spokesman Fred Jones.
Rice had uterine fibroid embolization surgery at Georgetown University Hospital on Friday.
Uterine fibroid embolization blocks blood flow to fibroids, which are benign tumors in the uterus. For some women it is an alternative to hysterectomy.
Rice could return to work as early as Monday, Jones said.
President Bush announced on Tuesday that Rice will succeed Secretary of State Colin Powell. Her nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.