NEW YORK (Aug. 30)
The American Jewish Committee charged today that some hotel and resort owners are violating New York State’s Civil Rights Law by falsely labeling their establishments “private clubs,” despite a ruling by the State Commission Against Discrimination that such subterfuge is illegal. The AJC said it was investigating the practices of several alleged violators in an effort to halt this discrimination.
Ben Herzberg, a vice-president of AJC, said that his organization will use as a precedent the recent order of SCAD, following an AJC complaint, which required one such resort to “cease and desist” these activities. He revealed the SCAD action had been taken against the Westkill Tavern Club in Greene County, N.Y. which, he added, had used the device of accepting reservations from prospective guests through an application form for “club membership.” The AJC official declared that the “membership application” had requested information as to the applicant’s race, religion and citizenship.
“The overwhelming majority of hotel and resort owners in New York State are complying with both the letter and spirit of the state’s anti-discrimination laws,” Mr. Herzberg declared. “A small minority, however, blinded by their own prejudice, cannot see that, with the eyes of the whole world focused on the United States, discrimination is a vice we can no longer afford. These few morally blind individuals must be patiently but firmly led along the right path.”