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Educator Says Jews Living in Inner City Bound to Feel Negro Anti-semitism

February 29, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Jews who live in the inner city “are bound to suffer from Negro anti-Semitism,” Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke, president of the District of Columbia Teachers College, told the biennial conference of the National Council of Jewish Women today. Dr. Cooke said that as “the visible symbol” of money and power in the ghetto, “the corner merchant is the first one likely to be struck in times of disorder.”

He stressed that “the Jewish stereotype has grown out of the experiences of poor Negroes with merchants who have high-pressured them, who have sold them shoddy goods, and whose interest rates are high.” The educator reported that anti-Semitism is alive in the black ghetto.

A questioner asked Dr. Cooke: “What should the Jewish merchant do, then – sell out and quit?” Dr. Cooke replied: “I can tell you what one merchant did in Washington. He moved into an inner city area where there is a high crime rate. He put up a good store with fair prices. He hired Negroes. People there respect him and they spend their money in his store.”

Council members visited Congressmen to urge enactment of the Administration’s civil rights bills including open housing legislation.

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