In Light of Defense of Ward from Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris:

AJCongress Maintains Opposition to Ward Serving as Spokesman for

Florida Program, But Looks Forward to Time When He Can Be Admired as Both an

Athlete and Person



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Jewish Congress

    NEW YORK, April 25 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- American
 Jewish Congress Executive Director Phil Baum issued the following statement
 today, after both Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine
 Harris defended the choice of Charlie Ward to be spokesman for the State's
 "Born to Read" program:
 
     Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris have
 misread and confused the issue of Charlie Ward's appointment as spokesman for
 the State's "Born to Read" literacy campaign.  Ward has the Constitutional
 right to say whatever he pleases, but along with people across the country, we
 are concerned with the baleful affects of hate speech.
 
     It is inconceivable that anyone who has not repudiated the concept that
 "Jews persecute Christians every day" should be described by Secretary of
 State Harris as "an extraordinary role model for children."  It is regrettable
 that Governor Bush defends Ward, by shrugging off his comments with the
 response that perhaps they were not "politically correct."  But bigoted speech
 is never correct, in any fashion, politically or otherwise.
 
     No one is interested in a protracted quarrel with Charlie Ward. He has
 offered a kind of apology reiterating his desire not to offend -- but he has
 not disavowed his hurtful comments; they remain in place.  The statements in
 his defense tend to give these comments credibility and an official status.
 We are pleased that Ward is looking to learn about Judaism from a rabbi who is
 experienced in bringing about Christian-Jewish understanding.  Ward is on the
 right path.  We look forward to a time when we can all join in admiration for
 Charlie Ward, not only as an athlete but as a person as well.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14656257
 
 

SOURCE American Jewish Congress
    NEW YORK, April 25 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- American
 Jewish Congress Executive Director Phil Baum issued the following statement
 today, after both Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine
 Harris defended the choice of Charlie Ward to be spokesman for the State's
 "Born to Read" program:
 
     Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris have
 misread and confused the issue of Charlie Ward's appointment as spokesman for
 the State's "Born to Read" literacy campaign.  Ward has the Constitutional
 right to say whatever he pleases, but along with people across the country, we
 are concerned with the baleful affects of hate speech.
 
     It is inconceivable that anyone who has not repudiated the concept that
 "Jews persecute Christians every day" should be described by Secretary of
 State Harris as "an extraordinary role model for children."  It is regrettable
 that Governor Bush defends Ward, by shrugging off his comments with the
 response that perhaps they were not "politically correct."  But bigoted speech
 is never correct, in any fashion, politically or otherwise.
 
     No one is interested in a protracted quarrel with Charlie Ward. He has
 offered a kind of apology reiterating his desire not to offend -- but he has
 not disavowed his hurtful comments; they remain in place.  The statements in
 his defense tend to give these comments credibility and an official status.
 We are pleased that Ward is looking to learn about Judaism from a rabbi who is
 experienced in bringing about Christian-Jewish understanding.  Ward is on the
 right path.  We look forward to a time when we can all join in admiration for
 Charlie Ward, not only as an athlete but as a person as well.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X14656257
 
 SOURCE  American Jewish Congress