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Prairie View State College. Although the college program is affiliated with the City-County Hospital in Houston, courses, with a few exceptions, are segregated, as are all social functions.
No local training facilities are provided for Negro dental technicians, but Negroes do attend the state dental college. Negro dental students are admitted to internships and residencies in Houston, although Negro dentists are excluded from membership in local dental associations and, automatically, state and national affiliates.
There are four Negro Certified Public Accountants in Houston. Three who applied for membership in the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants were rejected under a by-law requiring the recommendation of three society members; the Negro applicants are unable to acquire the mandatory three signatures. One of the group, however, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Accountancy Association.
Of the 75 people on an administrative level in the Houston public school system, only three are Negroes. These are supervisors assigned exclusively to Negro schools.
A Negro college professor expresses the view of many Negro professional men: There is no professional group in Houston which is “really integrated." True, the membership rolls and business meetings of some are bi-racial, but professional and social interaction stops at this formal level. At dinner meetings of many such groups, for example, Negroes are requested to arrive after the meal has been served. Furthermore, communication between Negro and white educators, at the high school or college level, is slight.
THE LAST TO BE HIRED; THE FIRST TO BE FIRED
Discrimination against Negroes in regard to layoffs and job termination is a subject which Houston employers interviewed do not wish to discuss. However, interviews with Negro laborers indicate that they are the first to be laid off and the last to be rehired. However, what skilled Negro workers there are are not laid off, as a rule, because of business slumps, but tend to be laid off only upon termination of a specific job. The attitudes of Houston industry are revealed in many instances. An oil development company states categorically that it practices a policy of equal job security for Negroes and whites in similar einployment and that "tenure provisions are equally protective of Negroes and whites.” This is no great problem for the company, however, as few Negroes and whites work at the same jobs.
Another firm, a major steel company, cites its union contract which guarantees job security without regard to race or color.
The representative of one large oil company avoided a specific answer to an interviewer's questions. Another such firm, however, readily admitted that since it employs no Negroes in competition with whites, the question of discrimination in job tenure and layoffs is not an issue. The official interviewed at this company is convinced that his firm's hiring and termination policies are "just" in regard to both races, and that industry must move cautiously in upgrading Negroes into previously established white jobs. (This man frequently felt it necessary to make known his agreement with his church's "liberal” stand on racial matters, but at the same time felt he had to defend the industry that he represents, even though the two positions were not always consistent.) He thinks that it will take several generations of greatly improved education for Negro youth before any long strides can be made; as the "home atmosphere" of Negro children is not conducive to intellectual attainment and advanced education, at least one generation of educated parents is needed to lay the proper groundwork. He recoils from the suggestion that his firm, which stresses its leadership responsibilities to the community, assume an active role in improving conditions for Negroes; he feels that it should conform to local custom, changing only after other segments of the community have undergone change.
The conclusions of this survey raise again the question: How long can a major city of the United States continue to undertrain a sizable segment of its young people, limit their opportunities for entry into the labor market, hamper and restrict their employment advance, underutilize their professional skills, deprive them of job security, without serious consequences to the city's own economic and social advance?
Mr. DENT. The Chair wants, in the absence of Mr. Roosevelt to thank all of the witnesses who have been here this morning.
(Whereupon, at 12:50 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, to recovene at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 16, 1961.)
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 1962
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 9:35 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 429, Old House Office Building, Hon. Adam C. Powell, Jr. (chairman of the full committee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Poweil, Dent, Ayres, Hiestand, and Goodell.
Present also: Representative Frelinghuysen. Staff members present: Don Lowe, subcommittee director; Adrienne Fields, subcommittee clerk; Livingston L. Wingate, associate general counsel for labor-management, Committee on Education and Labor; Tamara Wall, assistant general counsel for labor-management, Committee on Education and Labor; Marvin R. Fullmer, chief investigator, investigative task force, Committee on Education and Labor; and Leon Abramson, associate counsel, investigative task force, Committee on Education and Labor.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
STATEMENT OF CLARENCE A. LAWS, SOUTHWEST REGIONAL SECRETARY, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE
Mr. Laws. Sir, I am Clarence Laws.
Mr. Laws. Congressman Powell, gentlemen, I am Clarence Laws. I am Southwest regional secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
On behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, I am exceedingly happy and honored for this opportunity to submit testimony before this honorable committee, in support of proposed Federal legislation to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, age or sex. I say this because there are no local or State statutes in the Southwest region designed to free minority groups from longstanding economic disadvantages due to training and job limitations. And, to the best of my knowledge, no such statutes are contemplated.
I think I should say at the outset that (1) the region wherein I work is composed of the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico,
Oklahoma and Texas; and (2) the economic problems due to race which I shall discuss are not peculiar to this region but are found throughout the South and, to a lesser degree, the entire Nation.
Twenty-one years ago, January 6, 1941, President Roosevelt enunciated his four essential human rights freedoms as the principal war aims of this country. Included in these freedoms was "freedom from want."
Although the United States is recognized and praised for having the highest standard of living in the world, freedom from want is still a long ways from attainment for many Americans in the Southwest. And one of the chief causes for this is racial bias in employment. This type of bias has built in hazards which frustrate if not destroy completely the American dream, for it takes away the most vital sources of strength for achieving that dream.
There are four main forces in the United States which mitigate against minority groups enjoying equal and fair opportunity at employment at their highest skills. These forces are (1) lack of equal vocational and apprenticeship training; (2) discrimination by employment agencies; (3) discrimination by labor unions; and (4) discrimination by management.
Vocation and apprenticeship training: The greatest resources of any nation or segment of a nation are the skill and know-how of its people. And yet in the Southwest, as in the rest of the South, minority groups are denied the opportunities to develop their skills and talents by local and State tax-supported vocational and technical schools as well as the basic industries of those States.
Throughout the Southwest, there are trade schools available to white youths. In these schools whites are taught trades and skills that are in increasing demand. Yet Negroes are systematically excluded from such schools. Trade schools for Negroes continue to offer those traditional“for Negroes” courses which relegate Negro trainees to perpetual economic mediocrity and frustration.
Tax-supported trade schools in my home State of Louisiana are typical of what Negroes are faced with throughout that region and the South. In Louisiana there are 27 State-supported trade and technical schools-23 for whites--4 for Negroes (app. D and E). Subjects taught at the schools for whites range from airplane mechanics to X-ray technicians and equipment repairmen. For more than 5 years, Negroes have been attempting to avail themselves of the training in such schools but to little avail. During this period these schools at one time or other have been far below their authorized enrollment capacity, yet qualified Negroes continue to be rejected.
The four State-supported trade schoods in Louisiana for Negroes were established only recently. The number of Negroes registered in those schools is low and far our of proportion to the percentage of Negroes in the total population. The State superintendent of education for Louisiana shows in his 1960 annual report that for the 1959-60 school session there were, in addition to State-sponsored trade schools, 10 vocational schools under parish and special school programs. The number of trainees enrolled in these vocational programs totaled 3,632. Of this number, Negro trainees constituted 550 or only 15.5 percent of the total (app. C).