NEW YORK (May. 18)
The failure of Federal, state and municipal governments to take forthright action during 1951 to eliminate discrimination and segregation and to curb lawless assaults against minority groups was sharply denounced as “hardly less inimical to our national security than actual subversion,” in the joint annual report issued today by the American Jewish Congress and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The report censures the Congress of the United States for giving less consideration in 1951 than in any of the preceding five years to civil rights and related legislation. State legislatures likewise produced no anti-discrimination statutes despite vigorous campaigns by private groups, the report says, pointing out that fair employment bills were defeated in the legislatures of 17 out of 18 states in which they were introduced during 1951.
The fight against discrimination and bias in housing still remained the most difficult of all the anti-bias struggles and one of the most explosive, the report declares. “It is in this area that the most violence has broken out, resulting in bombing, arson and vandalism,” it emphasizes. Another alarming development was the unprecedented series of bombings and attempted bombings of Jewish houses of worship in Miami, the report points out.
The survey sharply condemns Federal, state and municipal authorities for failure to prevent such occurrences, and worse, for failure to persecute. “In only very few instances were the guilty parties punished. Particularly conspicuous was the failure of the FBI, state and local forces to solve any of the lawless acts in Florida.”
Among the factors that led to the decline in the fortunes of proposed civil rights legislation in the United States in 1951 was the defeat of many supporters of anti-discrimination legislation in the 1950 elections for the Senate and House of Representatives, state governorships and legislatures, and the changes in the personnel of the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years, according to the report.