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NAACP Leader to Apologize for Snub

BALTIMORE -- The head of the NAACP said Sunday he planned to personally apologize to U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige, whose invitation to speak at an Ohio NAACP dinner was withdrawn.

Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he was ''appalled'' when he found out about the snub Friday.

''I will reach out to Paige on Monday morning to personally and publicly apologize for this matter,'' Mfume said in a statement.

Ohio NAACP President Cybil Edwards-McNabb said last week that Paige -- who was invited about three weeks ago to speak on education reform -- was cut from a dinner program at the request of the national office.

But Mfume on Sunday denied that claim, saying the Ohio NAACP chapter made the decision on its own and that the decision ''was wrong and there is no other way to say it.''

Messages left Sunday for Edwards-McNabb at her office were not immediately returned, and she does not have a listed home phone number.

Paige spokeswoman Susan Aspey said the secretary was disappointed after learning that the invitation was withdrawn Tuesday.

''They said 'Thanks, but no thanks,''' Aspey said.

Chicago Sun-Times


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