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WHEREAS, on Friday, July 2,1999 in the City of Chicago, Illinois in the community of Rogers Park, six people of the Jewish faith were wounded by gun fire as they left their place of worship; on the same day in the Village of Skokie, Illinois, while jogging in his neighborhood with his two young children, Ricky Allen Byrdsong, an African‑American, was fatally wounded by gun fire from the same person and, later on that Friday evening in the Town of Northfield, Illinois, four Asian‑Americans were assaulted and injured by gun fire; and
WHEREAS, on Saturday, July 3,1999 five men of Asian descent were fired upon; one wounded in Urbana, Illinois near the campus of the University of Illinois; in Decatur, Illinois a minister of African descent was struck by a bullet and then, in Springfield, Illinois a thirty‑one year black man was injured; two others were shot at but escaped injury; and
WHEREAS, at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 4,1999, Won‑Joon Yoon, a doctoral candidate of Korean descent, was murdered as he walked to his place of worship in Columbus, Indiana; and
WHEREAS, the law enforcement authorities have identified the perpetrator of the crimes as the late Benjamin Nathan Smith, a member of the World Church of the Creator, who lived in Wilmette, Illinois, a predominantly white and upscale Chicago suburb and who graduated from New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois, one of the higher rated schools in the United States; and
WHEREAS, two members of the World Church of the Creator led by Matthew Hale have been charged with burning synagogues and murdering two homosexual men in Sacramento, California; and
WHEREAS, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded upon the principles of achieving equal treatment for all people regardless of color, religion or gender by peaceful and non‑violent means.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at its 90th Annual Convention in New York, New York commit to the following actions:
1. Send a private message of condolence to the families of Ricky Allen Byrdsong and Won‑Joon Yoon expressing appreciation for the exemplary life of religious dedication, strong work ethics and family values that they represented;
2. Send a message to Governor George Ryan and the General Assembly of Illinois indicating our support of any legal action taken or to be taken by the State of Illinois or any of its municipalities to restrict the sale, distribution and ownership of firearms;
3. Contact the Board of Education governing New Trier Township High School and request that they examine their curriculum and school policies in order to determine whether something could be included in their program and/or training of teachers to prevent the possible development of another Benjamin Nathan Smith;
4. Send a communication to the Illinois State Bar Association supporting their denial of a law license to Matthew Hale, an individual who is not of good moral character; and
5. Demand that the United States Department of Justice launch an investigation into whether the role and practice of the World Church of the Creator is a hate group and, if concluded that it is such, a recommendation be made to the Internal Revenue Service as to the validity of its status as a tax-exempt entity.