NEW YORK (Dec. 19)
Black response to the controversy raging around the planned Forest Hills low income housing project raised implications and allegations of Jewish racism in articles that appeared in two newspapers in New York during the past four days. One, by William H. Banks Jr., in the New York Amsterdam News, the largest black newspaper in America, compared the protests of Forest Hills residents who are predominently Jewish, to “the twisted snarling faces of white Southerners we saw in the early 1960s who were protesting the integration of Southern schools.”
The other appeared in Voice of Seek, a Queens College newspaper issued for minority group students receiving special academic help. Written by George Hopkinson, a student, it stated, “Once again the white bigots are predominently Jews” and that “Jews and other white imps from the Mayflower cannot decide where Black people are to live.”
The article in Voice of Seek (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) was the subject of a complaint Friday lodged by students with Dean E.R. Covert. SEEK was established by City University New York several years ago to help entering minority students–mostly Black–reach the scholastic levels of other students and is funded from student fees.
Michael Green, president of the Queens College Interclub Council and one of the students who filed the complaint, said a poem published in SEEK had the lines, “Sick-white Jew-boy” and “liberal Jew style.” He said the publication of the material violated a Board of Higher Education by-law that “no group or organization with a program against the religion of a particular group or against a particular race shall be permitted to organize or to continue at any college or school” of CUNY.
IGNORES JEWS SUPPORTING PROJECT
Green also contended that the disputed material ignored a regulation of the Rules and Regulations for the Maintenance of Public Order of City University” which requires “members of the academic community and other persons on the college grounds” not to “use language or take action likely to provoke or encourage physical violence.” Hopkinson said he would not comment on the charges before consulting with his lawyer, Dean Covert promised to meet tomorrow with Green to discuss the charges. He said a statement on publications from the Manual of General Policy for the City University reaffirms “the traditional policy of opposition to and abhorrance of any manifestation of racial or religious prejudices in the college.”
David Agronin, president of the college Council of Jewish Organizations, asserted that the implication of Hopkinson’s article was that all opponents of the Forest Hills project were Jews and that only Jews oppose it. He pointed out that no mention was made “of the fact that many prominent Jewish leaders and organizations have come out in support of the project.”
The article by Banks in the Amsterdam News contained no overt references to Jews. The writer, in fact, strongly opposed the concept of scattersits housing on grounds that it weakened Black political power in the inner cities by the dispersal of Black families. Urging Blacks to oppose that concept. Banks wrote. “This course of action will not represent capitulation to the racism displayed in Forest Hills. The frustrated mobs in Forest Hills and elsewhere will continue to pay for the failures of this city as long as their only solution is to flee mindlessly to its high priced fringes.”