Kansas members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People decried the recent presidential veto of a civil rights bill and criticized U.S. Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum, both R-Kan., who failed to vote to override the veto.
"Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum voted against overriding either one of them could've saved that vote," said Kenneth C. Groves, chairman of the Kansas NAACP political action committee.
"And there are very few minorities who will forget this executive action," he said. "You must let your voices be heard on this through your vote."
Groves spoke Friday during a political action workshop at the NAACP's 47th annual state convention, which is being held through today at the Quality Inn hotel in Lawrence.
ABOUT 30 people attended the workshop, including Barbara Ballard and Sandy Preager, opposing candidates for the 44th District seat the Kansas House of Representatives; Sean Williams, Republican candidate for the 46th District seat in Kansas House; and Fred Phelps, former Democratic candidate for governor.
The workshop, which focused mainly on the recent civil rights bill, became lively at times.
"We're damanding our freedom, we're demanding our fair share." said Kenneth Hill, a Topeka minister and member of that city's NAACP chapter.
Hill and other NAACP members said it was up to individuals to get together and fight to regain civil rights that had been eroded by Ronald Reagan's appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court.
PRESIDENT Bush earlier this week vetoed a civil rights bill, which supporters say would have restored some minority and women's employment rights that had been eroded by the Supreme Court. Bush said he vetoed the bill because it would have forced employers to hire based on a racial and gender quota system.
In Wednesday's override attempt, the Senate fell one vote short of the necessary two-thirds majority needed.
Participants Friday said they were disgusted by the appearance of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in the Senate chamber during the override attempt.
"David Duke was on one side of the Senate chamber and Jessie Jackson was on the other," Phelps said.
"And in the middle was Bob Dole trying to do a very careful walk. Bob Dole it was he who was leading the fight to sustain the veto, and you all should never forget that," Phelps said.
Participants also said education and housing should be top priorities for the next Kansas governor and members of the state Legislature.
A convention's closing banquet will be at 7 p.m. today at the Quality Inn hotel, 2222 W. Sixth.
The Rev. W.T. Liggins of Zion Ministry Baptist Church and member of the NAACP executive commitee in Denver, will be the featured speaker at the banquet.
The conference is sponsored by the Lawrence chapter of the NAACP.