American Jewish Congress Survey Reveals Only Minor Gains in Field of Race Relations

Although state legislatures this past year were presented with numerous bills to correct abuses in the field of race relations and to assure equality for all people without discrimination, very few laws were enacted, a survey conducted by the Commission on Law and Social Action of the American Jewish congress reveals. “Throughout the nation less than ten laws in this field have been enacted to date,” it was reported today by Will Maslow, commission director.

In employment, the survey discloses some forward steps were taken. Connecticut enacted a Fair Employment Practices Commission law. Illinois enacted a law to establish a Governor’s Interracial Commission to investigate opportunities in employment and to cooperate with organizations in the promotion of tolerance and good will. In Indiana, a law was passed making it unlawful to “conspire, organize or associate for the purpose of spreading malicious hatred by reason of race, color on religion.” In the field of housing and accommodation, the survey points out that Minnesota enacted a new law which contained prohibitions against discrimination in the selection of tenants.

Efforts of the Congress to obtain enactment of a fair educational practices bill in New York State received a tremendous impetus following recent publication of the report of the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, the survey said. It cited the formation of the New York State Committee for Equality in Education, organized under the chairmanship of Dr. Alvin Johnson, president emeritus of the New School for Social Research, to fight for a Fair Educational Practices Act.

The Human Relations Commission of the Protestant Council of New York City today put itself on record in favor of a state fair education practices law, as recommended by the Committee on Civil Rights. The Council suggested the establishment of a special division within the State Department of Education responsible for “initiating and conducting investigations of discrimination.”

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