Negro Leader Lauds Jewish Groups for Support in Civil Rights Fight
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Negro Leader Lauds Jewish Groups for Support in Civil Rights Fight

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Jewish organizations were lauded here by a Negro leader for the “support” they have been giving to the Negro community in its civil rights struggle. The praise was voiced by Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, addressing today’s session of the four day conference of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, the coordinating body of six national Jewish organizations and 64 Jewish Community Councils.

“The entire Negro Community in America,” Mr. Wilkins said, “has been living under conditions that prevent the Negro from demonstrating his innate ability or any other ability. The Negro rejects the idea that you have to win citizenship. You do not win citizenship; you win freedom.”

“I hope the Negro is going to act wisely. I hope he is going to use some statesmanship in this trouble. I hope he is going to assume his obligation as a citizen and to emulate the performance of the Jewish group. I hope in the long road ahead, he like the Jewish group, will make contributions to the arts, to science, to the professions, and to social movements. I hope the Negro will assume his rightful position of productive citizenship.”


Leo Pfeffer, general counsel of the American Jewish Congress, told the delegates that any compromise on Federal aid to parochial schools would not buy peace, “Any assumption that acceding to some but not all of the demands of the Catholic church will mark the end of the struggle is unrealistic,” he warned.

He said that even the acceptance of proposals by Sen. Abraham Ribicoff in his six-point package on such aid would not bring to a conclusion the campaign for full and equal federal aid to these institutions. “We should not oppose a legitimate demand solely because the Catholic Church favors it, or because a by-product of its enactment may be some aid to parochial schools,” he urged.

“Once we accept, as apparently most Americans do, the proposition that contributions to churches may constitutionally be deducted in determining one’s income tax liability, it seems to me that a strong case can be made for including as a contribution to a church sums paid for tuition in a parochial school,” he argued.

Referring to certain compromise plans now being considered, such as shared time, he said that most Jewish bodies “reject the claim that federal funds may be given to parochial schools to finance the non religious subjects taught there because we assert that all instruction in the parochial school is religiously oriented.”


The question of whether “avowed” Communists, fascists and hate mongers should be barred from speaking on college campuses was debated today at the plenary session by Morton L. London, Jewish War Veterans national commander, who favored such a ban, and Sidney Lorder, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota, who opposed it.

Mr. Lorder, an attorney, expressed the view that “a university student group has a right to invite controversial speakers within limitations set up by the university to ensure that the whole truth is presented and not just a distorted segment.” He said such speakers should not be banned by pickets, placards or censorship nor by pushing or violence, but rather “by exposing those same students to the truth so graphically and so forcefully that the students will be revolted by the Rockwells and their cohorts.”

“This does not imply a polite debate” he stressed. “This suggests the right to answer at the same time and as soon as the other speaker concludes, by telling and showing graphically to the same audience what the Nazis and the Communists have done and are doing.”

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