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The racial divisions caused by the O.J. Simpson verdict prove that the NAACP's mission is not yet fulfilled, the chairwoman of the civil rights group said.

"America reeks of racism," Myrlie Evers-Williams told more than 200 people at the annual convention of the New York State chapter of the NAACP.

The fact that most whites thought Simpson was guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald L. Goldman and that most blacks saw him as innocent shows that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has plenty of work ahead of it, Ms. Evers-Williams said.

She told members to take an active role in the organization's voter registration drive while at the same time holding elected officials accountable for promises made to black constituents.

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