Civil rights groups on Thursday put city and business leaders here on a 30-day notice that unless they meet a list of demands -- including a ban on the display of the Confederate flag at taxpayer-funded events -- they will be subjected to protests and boycotts.It's a wonder the NAACP has any shred of credibility left.
More than 100 people converged on the steps of Homestead City Hall for a press conference organized by clerical, civil rights and community groups who submitted the list of demands.
"We are ready to talk with the city of Homestead and the Homestead Chamber of Commerce concerning our action items. And our issues are with them, and not with the Sons of the Confederacy," said Bishop Victor T. Curry, president of the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP. "If the Sons of the Confederacy want to have their own parade, we are not trying to stifle freedom of speech or freedom of expression. We just don't want to see racism walking down the streets of Homestead, being funded by the taxpayers."
Curry warned business leaders that if their demands are not met by the 30-day deadline, the controversy would escalate to another level.
"We want the mayor and the council, and the chamber, to do the right thing. We hope that we could start this with a positive dialogue. But we're also ready to move from dialogue to demonstration," Curry said.
"We are also prepared to say to the businesses that support the chamber, that if you want to offend the people of this great county and community, then we will seek other places to spend our dollars," Curry said. "We will not pay you to offend us."