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Lott supported Bob Jones University,
school that banned interracial dating
WASHINGTON (AP) - While a young Republican congres
sional leader two decades ago, Trent Lott declared that "racial dis
crimination does not always violate public policy" as he tried to
save the tax exemption of a Christian university that banned inter
In his 1981 friend-of-the-court filing
with the Supreme Couil, Lott cited court
rulings upholding affirmative action pro
grams at colleges and compared them the
dating ban between black and white stu
dents at Bob Jones University.
"If racial discrimination in the interest
of diversity does not violate public policy,
then surely discrimination in the practices
of religion is no violation," he argued, in
asking the justices to block the Internal
Revenue Service from stripping the
school's tax exemption. At the time, he was
the Republicans' new whip, the second highest position in the
House Republican hierarchy.
Now the Senate's top Republican, Lott is battling to quell crit
icisms, fueled by Democrats, over remarks he made at a birthday
party recently for 100-year-old Sen. Strom Thurmond of South
Carolina. Lott had suggested the country would have been fcetter
off if Thurmond, running for president on a pro-segregationist
ticket in 1948, had won. ?
Bob Jones University is a fundamentalist Christian school in
Greenville, S.C., and its ban on interracial dating among students
has long stirred controversy. It has dogged judicial nominees who
were involved in the school's various legal fights, and presidential
candidates, including Bush, who have been criticized for visiting
the campus. The school recently lifted the ban.
Morris Brown College loses accreditation
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Debt-ridden Morris Brown College
in Atlanta has been stripped of its accreditation, an action that will
cost the historically black school the federal financial aid most stu
dents depend on to help pay their tuition.
Another historically black institution, Grambling State Univer
sity in Louisiana, will remain on probation for a second year
because of problems with its financial records, according to the
decision released last week by the Southern Association of Col
leges and Schools. The suburban Atlanta-based association is hold
ing its national meeting here.
Morris Brown was placed on probation last year for shoddy
bookkeeping and for not having enough professors with advanced
degrees. The staffing problem was solved; the school's financial
<_naries laylor, Moms Brown's president, has put the 117
year-old school's debt at $23 million, and federal investigators are
looking into whether the previous administration illegally received
millions in student aid money and used it to pay bills.
Taylor said he was surprised by the association's decision.
"Every single concern that was mentioned we had already
begun to initiate a series of solutions to deal with those issues,"
Taylor said. "I think it's absolutely ludicrous that somebody would
expect a team of professional educators ... would not be given the
time to put in place the plan we have laid out."
The U.S. Department of Education has ordered Morris Brown
to repay $5.6 million in federal loan money the school received for
people who did not qualify for aid, dropped out or never enrolled.
Eighty percent of the school's 2,500 students receive financial
aid from the federal government, which gives Morris Brown $8
, million a year.
State may decide SCLC dispute
PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) - The State Corporation Commis
sion may settle a name dispute between Virginia's first white
Southern Christian Leadership Conference president and a rival
faction of the civil rights group founded by Martin Luther King Jr.
Both sides withdrew their lawsuits last week after the Peters
butg Circuit Court judge hearing
the case said she would not grant
either an injunction over the other.
As a result, there are now two
SCLC organizations active in Vir
ginia and the SCC will likely be
asked to settle the matter, said
James Sheffield, an attorney for the
rival faction backed by national
SCLC officials and the state chap
The dispute began in January
when Jack Mills of Bedford Coun
ty won the recommendation of the
state chapter to become its next
president. Mills, 71, would have
been the first white chapter leader
for the historically black organiza
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Martin Luther King Jr.
Mills said the recommendation
was tantamount to an official election. Board members, who were
startled by a scornful letter that Mills wrote to former president
Curtis Harris, insisted that the official election would not come
until the chapter's state convention in the summer. They later
retracted their recommendation.
Mills and his supporters accused the board of racism and
applied to reinstate the SCLC's corporate charter, which the board
had recently dissolved. They now own the legal rights to all forms
of the SCLC name in Virginia.
"Ours is the only one that's nonprofit and federally tax
deductible," said Mills' lawyer, Neil Kuchinsky.
Rev. William Avon Keen of Danville, who was later recom
mended to take Mills' place, said he doesn't understand why Mills
wants to drag out the fight.
"There was nothing there really in the first place. The terrible
part of it is, the civil rights community really doesn't have time to
be caught up in this type of struggle."
- Compiled from staff and wire reports
Dancing in boxers gets actor noticed
BY SARAH FREEMAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DETROIT - Pulling away
from the airport rental car compa
ny, a baseball cap on his head and
cellular headset in his ear, Vaughn
Lowery didn't expect to be recog
But he was.
The man who took Lowery's
car information asked the 28-year
old model and actor if people
often recognize him from his
"I was shocked," said Lowery,
who dons only a pair of formfit
ting briefs to perform the "Boxer
Boogie" for Kmart Corp.'s much
talked-about Joe Boxer ad cam
"I wouldn't think anyone
would recognize me unless 1 was
undressed," he added with a char
acteristically boisterous laugh dur
ing a recent interview in his native
Detroit. "Especially this 40-some
year-old African-American blue
collar guy. He even said he liked
"Who would have thought
he'd be a fan?"
After stripping to his skivvies
to shoot the Joe Boxer spots. Low
cry is learning that fans come in
Since the first round of com
mercials began airing July 28 -
the day Lowery says he "was
bom" - the handsome man with
the nearly bald head, toothy smile
and infectious dance moves has
received thousands of pieces of
He likely can expect many
more as the ads' holiday versions,
featuring the festive "Antler Boo
gie," continue to hit the airwaves.
Lowery said one father wrote
that he dances with his children
every time the commercials come
on. A wheelchair-bound woman
said one look at Lowery's mug
lifts her spirits. And numerous let
ters have simply thanked Lowery
for making them smile.
"It's just good, clean, happy
fun," he said.
But even Lowery admits that
one of his new holiday spots -
"Unwrapped" - is "a.little saucy."
At the start of the-commercial,
Lowery dances with just his hip?
wrapped in a Christmas present.
By the end of the 30-second spot,
he has boogied his way out of box
and bow to reveal a pair of red
Santa boxers, complete with a
belt-like black waistband and
white fur trim.
Lowery's sister, Dawn Low
ery of Detroit, said the family was
only slightly surprised to see
Vaughn parading about in his
"1 mean, we saw him do it so
much as child, it's kind of cute,"
she said with a laugh. "He's
always been a comedian, always
performing when the family
would get together. A lot of kick
play, but not all are enteitainers,"
Vaughn Lowery said he's
always projected positivity, even
while growing up in what he calls
"humble beginnings" - a federal
ly subsidized housing community
on Detroit's west side and later an
east-side community near the now
famous 8 Mile Road.
"I always made my own little
paradise," Lowety said. "But I
also looked at the situation around
me and said, 'I don't think this is
So after high school, Lowery
went to Ithaca, N.Y., for his No. 1
priority - an education at Cornell
"I knew I would pursue act
ing. but I always wanted to fulfill
the goal of going to college; it was
the most important thing," said
the self-admitted class clown.
Childhood neighbor and long
time friend Charles Pugh
described Lowery as "zany,
wacky and unpredictable" but
always driven to succeed.
Pugh remembers Lowery as
an always good-looking, but
slightly pudgy child.
"TTien he started modeling
and just decided to change his
body. He was determined," Pugh
Lowery said he works hard in
the gym and does his best to stick
to a low-carbohydrate diet in order
See Lowery on AS
Actor Vaughn Lower/ is featured in Joe Boxer ads.
Black farmers: Feds reneged on meeting
BY CAIN BURDEAU
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS v
A group of black fanners claims the U.S.
Department of Agriculture failed to keep its
promise to meet with them, deepening their
suspicions that the government continues to
discriminate against black fanners.
Thomas Burrell, president of the Black
Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, said
his group had made an agreement with the
USDA to meet last week in Livingston, Ala.
However, it became
apparent as the meet
ing date drew near that
the meeting was not
going to happen.
'To our dismay,
USDA has effectively
reneged on its promise
to meet on the 14th,"
Burrell said Friday.
"That's a policy of
theirs almost - not
deliver," Burrell said.
Burrell said board members and state directors
of BFAA, a coalition of black farmers from 17
states, would meet as planned this weekend
without the federal officials.
Black fanners claim local officials are
racially biased in handing out fed- .
era] loans and that Washington offi
cials have failed to change the way
local boards oversee farm loans. w l Hew
Lou Gallegos, a USDA assis
tant secretary, denied "backing
out" of the meeting. One reason
USDA officials were reluctant to
meet with the group was because
there had been challenges to Bur
rell's claim that he was the group's
However, Gallegos said BFAA
state directors have now sent affi
davits confirming that Burrell is the
president. Gallegos said he would
like to meet with the BFAA some
time in January.
"We have an absolute commit
ment to respect and fairness to all
farmers," Gallegos said. "We will
live up to that, absolutely live up to
Burrell said USDA needs to set
up a task force to handle minorities'
His group is also asking that the
Bush administration nominate an
assistant secretary of civil rights in
the Agriculture Department.
Gallegos said the department is
doing more to improve relations
with black farmers.
Local officials have been
instructed to show more respect,
and a hot line to field complaints
and questions has been set up. Gal
Also, $100 million in direct
loans have been made available for
Black farmers protest at the Department of Agriculture in Washington in 2000.
small farmers, Gallegos said.
Bunell said black farmers have been run
out of business because of the government's
The Agriculture Department is paying
more than $600 million to settle a discrimina
tion lawsuit by black farmers.
Agriculture officials also face lawshits
claiming discrimination against women. Mis
panics and American Indians.
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every Thursday by Winston-Salem Chronicle Publishing Co.
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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
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tamfyou put fcfie/
Dixie Classic Fair
If you've ever wanted to have a say in )c w
the Dixie Classic Fair, here's your chance, ?v/l^^b
The Winston-Salem Public Assembly C i?Jl
Facilities Commission is seeking individuals
throughout Northwest North Carolina interested in
serving on the commission's Fair Planning Committee.
The committee assists Fair Director David Sparks in planning the annual
Dixie Classic Fair.
Interested? Need more information?
Call David at (336) 727-2236, write him at
P.O. Box 7525, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27109
or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for applying is Jan. 10, 2003.