New York University has accepted a recommendation of a special committee that it retain as director of its Martin Luther King Jr. Afro-American Student Center John F. Hatchett who has been accused of anti-Semitic views. The committee named to investigate the controversy over Mr. Hatchett’s appointment was comprised of former United States Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg and District Judge Constance Baker Motley, a Negro Jurist who is a member of the NYU board of trustees.
Dr. James H. Hester, NYU president, who set up the committee and who announced the decision to retain the former Harlem teacher, made public a letter from Mr. Goldberg stating that “As a result of my frank and candid talk with Mr. Hatchett, I believe he now understands the injustice and dangers inherent in the kind of criticism he voiced” in an article last November in the Afro-American Teachers Forum. Mr. Hatchett asserted in that article that Negro pupils were being “mentally poisoned” by Jews “who dominate and control the educational bureaucracy of the New York public school system and their power-starved imitators, the black Anglo-Saxons.” Mr. Goldberg also said in his letter to Dr. Hester that Mr. Hatchett “strongly denies that he is anti-Semitic, although the expressions in the article can be so regarded.”
Mr. Hatchett said he did not agree with Mr. Goldberg’s evaluation of the article but added that he regarded the university’s decision to retain him as a “sign of developing maturity.” That decision was promptly denounced by Will Maslow, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, and James H. Sheldon, chairman of the department of Christian Social Relations of the Protestant Council of the City of New York. The two agencies joined with the Catholic Interracial Council in condemning the Hatchett article as “black Nazism’ when it was published. It was also criticized by the American Jewish Committee of which Mr. Goldberg reportedly is scheduled to become president soon.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.