WASHINGTON (Aug. 13)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith urged a Congressional committee today not to allow "political arguments" about the constitutional basis for outlawing segregation in public accommodation to interfere with ending "this stubborn residue of slavery" in the United States.
Playwright Dore Schary, ADL chairman, made the plea in a statement filed with the Senate Commerce Committee, which is holding hearings on the Administration’s proposed civil rights legislation. His reference was to a debate over whether such legislation should use the 14th Amendment or the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution as the basis for outlawing such segregation. Mr. Schary said that "the wisest and most fruitful" course would be for Congress to use both clauses.
He added that the "real choice" before Congress was between an "orderly statutory remedy" for the "legitimate grievances" of American Negroes, "or new crises and disorders for years to come. "
He denounced those who "seek to defeat the purpose" of the public accommodation section of the proposed law by exempting "a crucial part" of the motel and restaurant industry. He said "the only basis for exclusion is that the establishment is not open to the public. "