Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

need to examine its own life and to renew those efforts necessary to insure its inclusiveness fully. Diocesan and church-related agencies, schools, and other institutions also have a considerable distance to go in bringing their practices up to the standard of the clear position of the church on race. I call attention to the firm action of the recent Convention of the Diocese of Washington which directed all diocesan-related institutions to eliminate any discriminatory practices within 6 months. It further requested the bishop and executive council to take step necessary to disassociate such diocesan and parish-related institutions from moral or financial support if these practices are not eliminated in the specified time. I believe we must make known where we stand unmistakably.

So I write with a deep sense of the urgency of the racial crisis in our country and the necessity for the church to act. Present events reveal the possible imminence of catastrophe. The entire Christian community must pray and act.

ARTHUR LICHTENBERGER,

Presiding Bishop. Whitsuntide, 1963.

NATIONAL RETAIL MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION,

Washington, D.C., August 14, 1963. Hon. WARREN G. MAGNUSON, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SENATOR MAGNUSON : As the Congress considers the President's proposals in the field of civil rights, we wish to report to you the results of a recent survey by the association.

The National Retail Merchants Association is a voluntary association of department, specialty, and chain stores located in every State in the Union and in most communities. At the request of the Attorney General we asked our members to advise us what progress had been made with regard to problems relating to racial matters. The results of this survey indicated quite clearly that an overwhelming majority of our members had made substantial strides in integrating their operations.

Several of our Southern stores reported that for the past 3 years they have been hiring nonwhites in selling and nonselling capacities. One of the largest stores in a nearby Southern State reported that out of 3,000 employees, 400 are Negroes and that some 60 are employed in selling and nonselling functions, with several classified as junior and senior executives. These jobs were formerly held by whites.

On the basis of our study it would seem that a Federal statute such as the one being considered dealing with public accommodations is neither needed nor advisable. Sincerely,

JOHN C. HAZEN,
Vice President, Government.

PITTMAN & CROWE,

Cartersville, Ga., August 27, 1963. To the Chairman of the Commerce Committee of the U.S. Senate, Washington,

D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: A few weeks ago my brother, R. C. Pittman, of Dalton, Ga., expressed views before your committee adverse to the civil rights program. My brother and I have different views on this question. On August 27, 1963, I was honored to make a speech before the Lions Club of Cartersville, Ga., on the question of civil rights. I send you herein an original copy of that speech. To my surprise, the speech was received favorably by the members of that club. It is the largest civic club in this section of Georgia. I send copy of the speech to the chairman of the committe for the reason that neither of our Georgia Senators are on the committee and they entertain a different view to what I entertain. If you think it worthwhile, I would appreciate your bringing this speech to the attention of members of the committee. Respectfully,

C. C. PITTMAN.

SPEECH OF C. C. PITTMAN BEFORE THE LIONS CLUB OF THE CITY OF CARTERSVILLE,

GA., ON AUGUST 27, 1963 Mr. President, I do appreciate this opportunity of talking to this group of fellow citizens. I was one of the organizers of this club and its first president. Many of my friends do not agree with all my views on public matters. At one time a most eloquent bisbop of the Southern Methodist Church was preaching a sermon to a large congregation on the horrors of hell, one of his listeners rose up in the audience and said, “Bishop Pierce, do you believe that a just God would condemn a human soul to the hell you have described when that soul has never had an opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ preached to him?" The bishop hesitated for reply and said, “My brother, the question is not what God will do for the heathen who never hears the gospel preached, but what will he do with you and me if we fail to send the gospel to the heathen?” So, I sincerely believe, if I proclaim a true gospel, I will be saved whether my friends believe and heed it or not.

A President of the United States has many problems to solve and all good citizen's should be patient with him in his efforts to solve them for us in this complex age.

The first shipload of 20 Negro slaves docked at Jamestown, Va., in the year 1619, and from that day for 200 years the slave trade was carried on in the colonies by the owners of foreign ships, and in 1808 the people of the United States outlawed the slave trade as a sin against humanity. After slavery was outlawed in the Federal Constitution, following the Civil War, many of our States ignored the Constitution, just as they ignore it now and many of our politicians hold their offices by encouraging violations of the Constitution and constitutional rights of our citizens. The first platform plank of a successful Georgia politician is “I am against civil rights for Negroes.”

In the years immediately prior to our Civil War, two questions disturbed our Nation, one was the high tariff on agricultural products and the other was slavery, and these questions brought on the Civil War with its tragic results. The Southern States' leaders maintained that they had a right to control all internal questions in their respective States, including slavery, but the North, Northeastern, and Western States contended that the Constitution and laws of the United States were supreme. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and Henry Clay of Kentucky, and President Jackson of Tennessee maintained that the Con. stitution was the supreme law. Hayne and Calhoun of South Carolina claimed that the State constitutions were the supreme laws, and could nullify Federal acts. In the great debate between Hayne and Webster, Hayne upheld States rights and Webster upheld “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable."

A meeting was held to celebrate the birthday of the great Thomas Jefferson. Both sides of the question hoped that President Jackson, of Tennessee, would take their side of this question. At an appropriate time, the President rose, fixed his eyes upon Calhoun and proposed a toast, “Our Federal Union—it must be preserved.” And these words indicated to the guests that States rights must yield to the Federal Constitution and laws, and from then on down to this day, the North, East, and West have been arrayed against the Southern view of State rights.

When the Supreme Court decision on integration was rendered in 1954 by a unanimous court, our Southern Senators and Congressmen encouraged our people to ignore that decision, saying it was not "the supreme law of the land.” A minority of our lawyers dared to stand up and say that it was the law and would finally have to be obeyed. After 9 years of strife, it now more clearly appears to all of our thinking people that it is the law, the supreme law, and that all prior decisions contrary thereto are null and void.

Many men and women live today who were required by their parents to go into the field and labor with members of the colored race, and with the exercise of a little reason we can see that laboring with Negroes in the fields is the same as laboring with Negroes in our public schools and universities and Armed Forces. Many men and women still live in the South who were fed from the breasts of Negro women and suffered no ill effects from that nourishment, and many of our white citizens are cousins to mulatto citizens, begotten by the immoral acts of their forebears. Since these things are true, it would seem to be wise that we should be more tolerant toward our brothers in black, and exercise the Golden Rule toward him.

In 1920, a resolution was proposed by the Federal Congress to all the States to permit women to vote, as the 19th amendment to the Constitution. This resolution was submitted to the senate of Georgia, composed of 52 members, 43 years ago. Forty-seven members of that senate voted to deny the vote to women, and some of them argued that "Nobody is for women voting, except long-haired men and short-haired women; that women did not have the education or the intelligence to fit them for the ballot." Only five Georgia senators voted to allow women to vote, and those five were all liberal in their political views, and of these 47 opposing woman suffrage, a great majority were conservative in their views. I was one of these five senators. The white women of the United States in quest for the ballot conducted peaceful marches in many States of the Nation, in securing their rights to vote. When our Negro citizens do the same thing in many southern cities, they are arrested, hauled off to jail, tried and many are sent to almost private county chain gangs for their “crimes."

Our able Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, recently said, "Whatever the reasons, it is wrong that Americans who fight alongside other Americans in war should not be able to work alongside the same Americans, wash up alongside them, eat alongside, or send their children to sit in school alongside children of other Americans.” About the same time, President Eisenhower declared that he believed in civil rights demonstrations by Negroes to emphasize their rightful discontent. So, we have a President of the United States and a Vice President saying that Negroes have a legal right to peaceful demonstrations, but here in the South we have guardians of the law sending Negroes to their private chain gangs for doing that which other guardians of the law in the North, East, and West approve as constitutional rights. In the West we even have a Goldwater of Arizona saying, "I am utterly opposed to discrimination in any form,” and our Georgia politicians say he may carry Georgia over Kennedy on that account. “Lord forgive them; they know not what they say.” I don't agree with them.

When the question of secession was being agitated in Georgia, the counties of Georgia had elections to determine whether we would secede from the Union or not. A majority of the voters in most north Georgia counties elected delegates pledged to oppose the Civil War, but the counties of middle and south Georgia voted for secession and war. Bartow County voted 2 to 1 against the war, yet we had many slaves. Bartow County does not restrict Negroes in their rights to vote, while many other counties think about Negroes just as they did about white women 40 years ago—that they don't have sense enough to vote.

Our U.S. Senator Russell said that Kennedy sent the civil rights bill to Congress against his better judgment and that this is not the time to consider it. One hundred years ago, at the time the 14th amendment to the Constitution was adopted, they also said it was not the time to give Negroes equal rights with other people. If not so, why was it adopted then? The Senator also said, “I don't believe the difficulties of 20 million Negroes are any greater than that of 20 million whites, who are living at the bottom of the economic heap in this country." Those words speak a fearful truth. It is not the 20 million Negroes that present the greatest danger to our Nation, but it is the 20 million underprivileged poor white people that present our greatest danger. So, admittedly, we have at least 40 million underprivileged human beings in this rich United States that are a constant threat to our “liberty and our unity.” It is the duty of Congress, Federal courts, and of the President of the United States to relieve these people of this slavery before relief is too late. The States are not relieving them, and we know will not relieve them.

In 1948, President Truman was running for a full term as President of the United States on a "Fair Deal” program and some of our Georgia politicians found it convenient to travel in all parts of the world to avoid the campaign, a new party was formed, “Dixiecrat,” and it was freely predicted that Dixiecrat Thurmond, would carry Georgia and the South. Large campaign funds came into his headquarters in Georgia, the November election was held. I was honored by the Democratic Party to be one of its electors. The Dixiecrats got 85,000 votes, the Republicans 75,000, and Truman 256,000 Democratic votes in Georgia. Now, some of our Georgia statesmen are saying that a conservative Goldwater, a Republican, may beat Kennedy in Georgia. They forget that Goldwater, the conservative Republican, is also for civil rights, but condemn Kennedy for trying to carry out the “law of the land" which a Republican Chief Justice wrote, and which the oath of a President requires him to carry out.

Concluding, we find that the Declaration of American Independence proclaimed all men to be free and equal, the War Between the States confirmed, with much blood, that the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law, as it is last construed by our Supreme Court, the proclamation of Lincoln freed the slaves from physical slavery and the administration of Jack Kennedy has done more to free the Negro and wh slaves from unjust economic conditions

than any President since Lincoln, except Franklin Roosevelt. It is our humble opinion that those who claim that a conservative in any party will supplant Kennedy as President of the United States will have an awakening in the November election of 1964.

Two thousand years ago, the good neighbor was he who had compassion. In 1963, a good President is he who shows compassion for the underprivileged and poor of every race under Go

YALE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL,

New Haven, Conn., September 6, 1963. Hon. WARREN G. MAGNUSON, Chairman, Committee on Commerce, V.8. Senate, Washington, D.C.

MY DEAR SENATOR MAGNUSON: On June 29 and July 15, you kindly invited my views on the constitutional basis for S. 1732, the bill to eliminate discrimination in public accommodations affecting interstate commerce. Much has happened since we corre nded earlier in the summer, and your committee's hearings constitute a record of fundamental value and importance on this and related issues.

Apart from my earlier note to you, registering my strong support for the bill, I have joined some other law teachers in a brief statement to Senator Eastland' discussing the constitutional foundations for the proposal. And you have received a great deal of persuasive testimony on the constitutionality of the bill under the commerce clause and the 14th amendment. In this letter, therefore, I shall indicate only certain constitutional grounds not mentioned in our joint statement to Senator Eastland-grounds which in my view amply justify vigorous congressional action to help our people make good the constitutional promises we have made, but not kept to our fellow-citizens of Negro blood.

I regard the bill before you as part of a process of national education, national awakening, and national action. It should not be viewed as a “solution" for the problem of inequality, but as one step among many toward such a solution.

I start with the premise that we can no longer tolerate the revolutionary resistance to law of many officials who have taken oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution. With appropriate patience and forbearance, the United States has waited for the slow educative effects of litigation and social change to change men's minds. Meanwhile, we have become accustomed to a pattern of civil disobedience which now approaches open rebellion. We have gradually come to accept the lawlessness of public officials as a normal feature of our life. These men organize, encourage or ignore campaigns of terror against those who would uphold the law-campaigns involving beatings, intimidations, threats, reprisals, bombings, burnings, and even murders for which no one is ever convicted, and almost no one even indicted. They make a mockery of the law in arrangements for voting and choosing jurors, for schools, parks, and other facilities. Thus far, we have temporized with this attitude, and lived with the illusion that we had no choice but to acquiesce in it. It has become our Algeria, as dangerous to public order as the secret war of some officers was to France.

Now we are reaping the whirlwind. We see that lawlessness breeds lawlessness. Sustained and bitter white resistance to law has led to dangerous counter

Massive parades in the streets, however disciplined, carry the risk of mob violence. Yet if men who love freedom are denied the vote, and kept off juries; if men who respect themselves are degraded in the labor market and in public accommodations; if, after a century of waiting, we brush aside the Constitution once again, we shall deserve the tragedy of large scale and cumulative civil strife.

I hope and believe that this castrophe will no occur—that the good sense and good will of the American people, stirred by the social progress of the Negro, and by the leadership of the Supreme Court, have been mobilized into far-reaching programs of public and private effort which should make 1963 as momentous a year in our moral history as 1863 was. In this perspective, S. 1732 should be viewed as one phase of a far more comprehensive movement, which should include at a minimum prompt and universal protection of the right to vote, by procedures more rapid than those of litigation; the assurance that juries, our ultimate safeguard against tyranny and injustice, truly represent the people; and the opening of public schools to all who would attend them.

It is right that Congress take active responsibility for progress. We should no longer rely primarily on the courts for advances in civil rights. The courts

measures.

have spoken nobly for the law, and for the national conscience. They have started the process of change, and started it superbly. But they do not have and cannot assume executive powers or powers of administration. In any event, we know that the law in action is far behind that announced by the Supreme Court, and that fact is a reproach to all of us who share responsibility for the state of the law.

An explosion of feeling has now transformed the race problem in American life, and given it new dimensions, and new urgency. That change in opinion now requires political, administrative, and executive action on a very large scale to transform the situation by vindicating the law. Many areas of the struggle for law in our public arrangements are crucial, including those dealt with by S. 1732.

In approaching its work on this front, I recommend that the Congress seriously consider a neglected source of authority as one of many available foundations for its action. I refer to what has well been called “the sleeping giant of the Constitution," the clause in article IV, section 4, which provides, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.” Whatever powers the guarantee clause may give the courts—and of course that question is controversial—there can be no controversy about the momentous obligation it imposes on the President and on the Congress. No one now knows the outer limits of the clause. I submit, however, that a State whose government disenfranchises half its citizens of voting age, keeps Negroes off juries, and otherwise remains in a posture of complete defiance of law does not possess a republican form of government, in any possible meaning of the term.

Facing these facts, and the responsibility of Congress and the President under the guarantee clause, let us remember the spirit of Cromwell before the Long Parliament, and of the Unionists who sustained President Lincoln. I do not doubt the power to prevail of those deep, almost mystical national instincts which preserved the Union a century ago. But the time has come to invoke them, and to allow the memory of those great events to order men's thoughts and actions. Yours sincerely,

EUGENE V. Rostow.

UNITED CHURCH,
BOARD FOR HOMELAND MINISTRIES,
DIVISION OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION,

Philadelphia, Pa., August 15, 1963.
Hon. WARREN G. MAGNUSON,
Chairman, Senate Commerce Committee,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR SENATOR: I am writing to you in regard to the current civil rights legislation which is now in the process of hearings before your committee. I want to encourage you to do whatever you can to speed up and to see to the passage of this legislation.

The United Church of Christ is a denomination of 2 million members spread throughout the country. There is a significant Negro constituency in this denomination. As a matter of fact the Congregational Churches which are part of the United Church of Christ have for a century been engaged in Negro education and in a variety of projects on behalf of the civil rights of Negroes. The particular responsibility I carry is for the education in churches of children, youth, and adults; and it is our intense concern that every possible vestige of segregation and of injustice and disenfranchisement of our Negro fellows be stripped away by the action of all good citizens. It is our belief that essential to that end is the Federal civil rights legislation which will unmask and deny legal support to the structures and systems of segregation which are so thoroughly involved.

At the most recent meeting of our national body, the general synod, major steps were taken to try and put our own house in order in regard to our practice and efforts on behalf of civil rights. We have made major pronouncements and serious efforts in this regard in the past, but this summer marks a new departure in our efforts to speed up the achievement of serious justice for all of our Negro brethren.

I shall appreicate hearing from you as to your belief about the potential passage of this legislation and will be interested to know your position in regard to ļt, Sincerely yours,

EDWARD A. POWERS, O

« AnteriorContinuar »