NEW YORK (Dec. 15)
The gap between American democratic ideals and practices is closing steadily, with the nation’s courts and lawmakers “continuing the forward march toward equal justice and opportunity for all,” the American Jewish Committee declared today, Bill of Rights Day, in a statement issued by its president, Irving M. Engel.
Highlighting the advances since 1947 when the President’s Committee on Civil Rights issued its report, the AJC pointed out that today 12 states and 32 cities have fair. employment laws, three states have fair education laws and five states have public accommodation laws with administrative enforcement, Major credit for these advances belong to the American people, Mr. Engel said.
The AJC president emphasized that until recently, the “most far-reaching advance of all – the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision on May 17, 1954, banning segregation in the nation’s public schools – was only a far-off dream.” Underscoring the magnitude of progress in American civil rights, he declared: “Five years ago, the National Committee on Segregation in the Nation’s Capital scored widespread discrimination in Washington. Today, segregation in public facilities in the Capital is the exception, rather than the rule.”