Brochure Shows Girl Wearing Confederate Hat
Jun 2, 2006

(CBS) NAPERVILLE, Ill. The NAACP is accusing Naperville of showing "unconscionable insensitivity" when it published an event guide.

CBS 2 West Suburban Bureau Chief Mike Puccinelli reports the issue is the image of a little girl wearing a controversial hat.

It’s a brochure meant to celebrate Naperville’s 175 year history. Unity is one of the themes, but that’s not what Sherid Smith sees on the cover.

"I see hatred," Smith said.

That’s because of picture shows a little girl with the stars and bars of the Confederate flag on her hat.

Gary Karafiat was on the committee that chose the picture.

"Nothing said unity more than that picture because it was a little four-year-old girl who was out at the Naper Settlement Civil War Days re-enactment, and that event in itself is depicting the unity that occurred after the Civil War with the North and the South," Community Relations Director Gary Karafiat said.

But Smith says the picture showcases a symbol that represents degradation and enslavement.

"I see disrespect for African Americans," Smith said.

And she’s not alone. The president of the DuPage County Chapter of the NAACP said, "I’m disturbed and extremely disappointed that elected officials and members of the leadership in Naperville would not seem to have respect for their neighbors and taxpayers of color. Someone should have said no."

Instead, the marketing team said "go" to a mass mailing to every household in Naperville.

Karafiat says he’s sorry that some are offended.

"We’re concerned that any group thinks we’re demeaning their cause," Karafiat said.

Smith wants the cover destroyed and replaced with a new one that would be sent to all 65,000 households.

Karafiat said the money’s not in the budget.

Smith said tough, now’s the time to go into the red.

The president of the DuPage County Chapter of the NAACP is out of town. She says she wants to have a meeting with the people responsible for the brochure when she gets back.

© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting, Inc

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