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Full text of "Community 1958-03: Vol 17 Iss 7"

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Why is Housing Segregation Unjust? 

RIGHT: Neigh- 
bors lend a hand 
with the new 
slipcovers. These 
neighbors live in a 
public housing 
project where 
segregation is 

(Chicago Housing 
Authority Photo) 

LEFT: Seven children died when fire de- 
stroyed this Chicago building January 23. 
Six were in one family, a family that was 
renting two rooms for $91.00 a month. 
Originally the building had eight apart- 
ments. At the time of the fire it had been 
cut up into 27 apartments with an esti- 
mated 150 residents . . . all Negro. 

“Residential fire deaths for non-whites are 
more than double the rate for whites,” Den- 
nis Clark points out in article which begins 


Injustice Is Five-Fold 


meet in my work in racially chang- 
ing neighborhoods who do not believe 
that there is any injustice involved in 
racial discrimination in the leasing and 
sale of houses. As a result, the segre- 
gation produced by such discrimina- 
tion is easily accepted by them. It is 
argued at times that non-whites want 
to live together and voluntarily choose 
to do so, and that it is because of the 
economic level of most non-whites that 
they usually live together in the oldest 
and least desirable housing in our cities. 
Such arguments seem to fit together 

(Continued on back page) 

Ten Cents March, 1958 



(Commodore in CHICAGO DEFENDER) 

I Like COMMUNITY Because... 

Dear Editor: Last summer my dad and | 
went to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guado- 
lupe also, so we really enjoyed the ‘Tale of 
Two Vacations” in January COMMUNITY. | 
just couldn’t feel very happy in Texas either 
—with all their colored restaurants, etc. 

Perham, Minnesota 

Deor Editor: Be assured of my interest and 
love for your magnificent apostolate. I'll al- 
ways be on the lookout for new subscribers 
to COMMUNITY because | consider it so 
very necessary—and urgent. 


Jersey City, New Jersey 

Deor Editor: Just a word of appreciation for 
the COMMUNITY. It seems to get better 
every month. | especially thought the Janu- 
ary issue was terrific. Page seven told more 
thon words (“An Invitation to a Workshop 

MARCH, 1958 * Vol. 17, No. 7 


(Formerly “The Catholic Interracialist’’) 
ished by friendship House, 

tholi and women 
on orggization of Eathol tte hae on the 

elimination 7 racial sranidies and discrimination. 
p> 1 

Editor: Mary Dolan 

Circulation Manager: Delores Price 

Address all communications to: 

4233 South Indiana Avenue 
Chicago 15, Illinois 
Phone: OAkland 4-9564 

Subscription rate: $1 a year er 
eign $1.25 a cece Single copy: 10 
cents. 10-99 copies: 7 cent per 
copy. 100 or more copies: 5 cents 
per copy. 

Advertising rates on request. 
Address chenge: allow one month. 
Please send both old and new ad- 

ottes of publication: Ticsani thesis 
Sereet, Aap eters tem ccrherined oF 

Forms =e should be forwarded to 
4233 South Indiana Avenue, Chicago 15, Illinois. 


in Building Friendships’’). 

| am planning to move to New York 
where | hope to make friendships at your 
New York City address. 

St. Louis, Missouri 

Dear Editor: John J. O’Connor’s article in 
the January, 1958 issue is very provocative, 
one of the best that | have seen on the sub- 
ject. The whole issue was excellent. 

St. Louis, Missouri 

Dear Editor: The best way of telling you 
how much your paper means to me is by 
renewing my subscrition, so enclosed is my 
dollar—you can be sure that you and all 
those working for interracial justice are daily 

in my prayers. 
New York, New York 




Dear Editor: When recently the luxury liner 
“Ryndam” docked in New York, among its 
many passengers stepping ashore was also 
yours truly, coming back from Poland—from 
behind the Iron Curtain. During my stay in 
Poland, the subject of American Negroes 
was brought up many times. 

During the war, when | was a teen-ager 
here in Springfield, we organized a ‘’Stu- 
dents Interracial Youth Council.’’ The mem- 
bers were whites, Jews, Negroes. | don’t 
know how much good we did, but we tried 
our best, and in fact, we had our own week- 
ly program, ‘Young America Speaks.’’ 

While in Poland, | was able to answer 
many questions. There were times when peo- 

Visits Poland, Queried on Negroes 

ple were told by the Communistic press 
stories out of this world. Among others— 
that the American average man’s pastime 
was to take his family for a little ride to 
witness mass Negro lynchings. | was in Po- 
land at the time of Little Rock. | was able 
to point out the bad things and the good 
ones, like the work of COMMUNITY. 

We Americans can’t go abroad and shout 
about democracy and other things, as long 
as we deprive some of our own citizens of 
the rights that belong to them. 

You are doing a wonderful job—keep 
at it. 

Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts 

Commends “Bitter Experience” Writer 

Dear Editor: The letter in your January issue 
entitled “‘A Bitter Experience’’ was very 
good. | wish more people had her courage 
and foresight. She is certainly to be com- 
mended on her stand. Her work with Friend- 
ship House is more valuable than a marriage 
which would only result in bitter arguments. 

| did not think of these things when | got 
married. When | speak to my children they 
seem to have more understanding than their 

years. But when there are foolish outbursts 
on your husband’s part, you begin to won- 
der if you have lost what you gained. Only 
time will tell. 

|, too, would enjoy doing more work in 
this field but find myself limited to just 
writing about it. But as the circulation man- 
ager of your paper has stated, COMMU- 
NITY does give food for thought. 


We Must Face This Problem 

Dear Editor: The remarks by your white 
reader (‘On Being a Minority,’’ February 
COMMNITY) interested me. | was remind- 
ed of the biblical passage that says the sins 
of the fathers are visited to the third and 
fourth generation. 

What we are actually faced with is the 
fact that now we want to right a wrong. 
These children who are coarse and crude 
are the result of the sins of former genera- 
tions. We must face this problem. | would 
not choose to have my children go to school 
with children, whatever their race, who are 
vulgar and coarse. But such children must 
be helped. When they come into our schools, 
it requires a lot of patience and we have to 
bring all the goodness we can possibly mus- 
ter to try to point out the right way. 

The only other alternative, it seems to 
me, is flight—which is no answer. | often 
think of people who, when they have prob- 
lems to face, drink heavily, When they get 

sober, they still have the problems. And the 
problem of the school is still there, whether 
this person moves or not. 

And if a family does move away, what 
does the parent say to a child? Does he 
justify why they moved? When a person be- 
gins to justify flight, then he becomes an 
instrument of intolerance. 

White people who have been taught at 
every turn that Negroes are not due respect 
find it almost impossible to respect Negroes. 
Talking to many whites, you realize that 
they know absolutely nothing about Negroes. 
They haven’t been in homes of Negroes; few 
care to associate socially. As a result they 
tend to think of Negroes as all being similar 
—and different from whites. 

One prefers to be thought of as a human 
being with the same desires as all other 
human beings. 

Chicago, Illinois 

Asks Less Harping on Racial, Race 

Deer Editor: Just a line about some ideas 
that I’ve been kicking around for some time. 

What do we see in our nation and the 
world today? Two major divided camps, Ne- 
gro and white, and many minor camps of 


“Why Is Housing Segregation Unjust?” by Dennis Clark Page l 


“Merit Employment Laws in 13 States Prove re 

by Mary Clinch 


“Where Will You Sleep Tonight?” 


New York House Offers Afternoon of Recollection, Chi- 

cago House Day of Recollection on Laetare Sunday 

(March 16) 



Page 6 

“Blue arene. fourth of 
series by Dorothy Abernethy . 

VIEWS: Round-up of brief news items by Clif Thomas .. 

Page 3 
Page 7 

BOOK REVIEWS: “Are Women chee Like That?” "= 

Sally Leighton .. 

Page 7 

Irish, French, Italians, Swedes, etc. And yet 
God created one human race in the begin- 

Through faith, charity, justice and under- 
standing, we should work toward a greater 
understanding and realization of the similar- 
ity among people than to keep harping on 
racial distinctions, racial cultures, racial 
this or that. 

Some of us should also avoid the tend- 
ency, again unconsciously, to place those 
whom society has named Negroes up on a 
side show platform and treat them as if 
they are some strange creatures from outer 
space. Unfortunately, many of us, even those 
in the apostolate, have yet to wake up to 
the full realization that: there is NO sub- 
stantial difference between members of the 
human race, whether they are called white 
or colored. Human nature is the same every- 
where. | think that there are still some of 
us who are so engrossed with the erroneous 
idea of a “Negro apostolate” or “apostolate 
to the Negro,’ that we become blind to the 
true apostolate mentioned above. 

| myself despise words like Negro, colored, 
white, or what have you. In a Christian 
society there are no places for such names. 
For a Christian society is a race-less society. 

“And while I’m at it, let’s do away with that 


race-conscious word “‘interracial’’ and let’s 
begin to talk about a race-less society, na- 
tion, world, etc. 

Let’s not be so race conscious, and in- 
stead let’s start building a Christian society 
that is a race-less society. 

New York, New York 


one ae 

rete i 


Lines from the South 

Mrs. Abernethy 

experiences in the South. 

“Whenever Monday moved in damp and dripping, | went to 
town to shop.” One Blue Monday shopping trip brought 

an encounter with a sad-faced man . . . and some reflections 
on climates — mostly spiritual ones. 

Subiaco, Arkansas 


glimmer of sun in the whole sky 
that Monday morning. I had looked 
outdoors carefully from horizon to hori- 
zon to make sure. The eye of the 
heavens was shut tight with a thick 
eyelid of damp gray clouds. The eye- 
lashes—a somber rim of winter trees 
at the edge of the horizon—were al- 
ready damp and misty. “Glory!” I 
thought. “It’s going to rain!” 

My yard in Pope County, Arkansas, 
was half a mile long and three-eighths 
of a mile wide. Its bermuda grass, 
pines, and cedars lay in a natural draw 
where the first spark from a cigarette 
stub carelessly tossed aside by a pass- 
ing motorist could start a fire raging 
all through my land and miles beyond, 
a blind and hasty fire that would not 
have sense enough to veer to one side 
when it came to the houses, barns, out- 
buildings, farm equipment, timber, and 
wildlife in its path, nor would it wait 
for anyone to plow up fire lanes or draw 
up water from the wells. In this region 
each land owner was responsible, not 
only for his own land, but also for pre- 
venting any fire on it from crossing his 
boundaries to damage a_ neighbor’s 

When the grass was dry, I stayed 
strictly at home with my nose alert for 
the least puff of smoke. 

A Day for Shopping 

Stores for general shopping were in 
Russellville, ten miles away. Monday 
was the best day for shopping as I could 
compare prices and judge values in 
peace and quiet. Whenever Monday 
moved in damp and dripping with the 
promise of much rain, especially after 
a long dry spell, far be it from me to 
agonize over a messy wash day or 
grieve for the absent sun. I thoroughly 
loved “Blue Mondays.” 

And so I went to town with my hus- 

He taught at Arkansas Polytechnic 
College there, and I could shop all day 
until classes and teachers’ meeting were 
over. I needed the time because the 
“bargains” always had to be looked at 
four times—to see whether they were 
the kinds of things that would be use- 
ful to my family, whether they were 
really bargains instead of the usual 
things just labeled bargains, whether 
the flaws that made them bargains mat- 
tered for our uses, and whether they 
would meet our needs. Whatever spec- 
ials, for instance, there might be on 
ham, I already had enough ham in the 
smoke house and more on the hoof. But 
sea food was another matter. 

Also I had to watch such things as 
the tags on the bags of cow feed very 
closely. However beautiful the cloth 
sack was and however much they 
featured a 16 or 18 per cent protein 
content, a 20 per cent fiber content was 
still one-fifth junk. 

Then to Sample Store 

On this particular Monday, after buy- 
ing everything I would need for sev- 
eral weeks, I went as usual to Russell’s 

MARCH, 1958 

Sample Store to “hunt” until Dr. Aber- 
nethy came to meet me. This fascinat- 
ing place was always piled with odds 
and ends of merchandise gathered from 
many places, some of it at least 50 years 
old. It was somewhat like going 
through a museum. Besides, I had 
found some Buster Brown stockings in 
there one day dating from the time 
when good-sized boys wore knee pants. 
They were tough and thick and enabled 
me to walk through the briary portions 
of my yard without leaving the stock- 
ings and a good part of the skin of my 
legs in the briars! 

As there was never any telling what 
I might find inside, I opened the door 
with a thrill of anticipation and made 
my way to the stove to get warm. 

Greets Sad-Faced Man 

“Good afternoon,” I said to the lone 
elderly man moping by the stove, the 
soft brown of his face almost buried 
under the deep indigo of his expression. 

He raised his eyes and gave a little 
start. “Good afternoon,” I said again 
thinking he had not understood my 

His eyes opened wider. He stood for 
a moment stock still in amazement. 
Then his chin slowly drooped, opening 
his mouth. After a while a few words 
came out falteringly. 

“You—you—you—-SPOKE to me—” 
he gulped. 

“Of course,” I answered stretching 
out my hands to the warmth of the 

“But — but you’re — YOU’RE — 
YOU’RE a lady—a LADY—” 

“I’m one of the human beings God 

“And YOU—a LADY—SPOKE to me 
—spoke to ME—” 

“Why not?” 

“Lady, I never had anything like that 
ever happen to me before in all my 

That hurt me to the quick, but I 
I had to go on! 

“That’s funny. People always speak 
where I was born and raised.” 

“Even—even—white ladies to the col- 
ored folks?” 

“Of course. My mother taught me 
always to speak to every colored per- 
son around as they might feel bad if 
I didn’t.” 

“Where—where was that place?” 

How to Explain? 

“North Carolina,” I answered won- 
dering how I was ever going to ex- 
plain things to this colored man. 

“Do you live near any white peo- 
ple?” I asked. 

“No, Ma’am, I don’t.” 

“Maybe if you had lived near white 
people there would have been more 
chance for them to speak to you.” 

“But I always thought they never 
bothered ’bout speaking to colored peo- 
ple at all.” 

“I wonder how you ever got that 
idea,” I answered looking out at the 
people passing each other on the street. 
Suddenly it dawned on me. 

“Look out there on the street,” I 

fourth of a series | 

Mrs. Abernethy is a Southerner who has fi (ify Jw 

eae and lived in various parts of Amer- 

a. “Lines from the South” is a series de- 
caitlin her encounters with racial preju- 
dice. Last month she told of finding Jim 
Crow in the North and West. Previous ar- 
ticles described her childhood and school 

said. “See those two white women 
walking nearer and nearer each other?” 

“Yes, Ma’am, I do.” 

“Let’s see if they speak to each other 
when they pass.” 

He looked intently for awhile. “They 
—they didn’t even notice each other,” 
he said in astonishment. 

“Now let’s watch these next ones.” 

“They — didn’t — speak — either,” he 
said slowly as if he couldn’t believe 
what he saw. 

“Here’s some more coming,” I com- 

We watched while several white peo- 
ple passed apparently unaware of each 
other. The colored man turned back to 
the stove and sighed. 

Maybe They Don’t Know How 

“Now,” I said, “maybe you won’t feel 
quite as bad the next time some white 
person passes you without speaking. 
Maybe a lot of white people just don’t 
know how to speak to people readily. 
Maybe God didn’t give my people as 
much of the ability to notice and re- 
spond to the folks around them as He 
did to your people.” 

“TI—I never thought about it that 
way,” he said as the indigo began to 
evaporate from the expression on his 
face leaving a glow in its place. 

“God doesn’t forget anybody,” I an- 
swered. “He gives good things to all 
His people but He doesn’t always give 
them all the same things.” 

“No, Ma’am. Maybe He don’t.” 

“And you really can’t blame my peo- 
ple for not having something God 
might not have given them in the first 
place, can you?” 

“No, Ma’am—I—I reckon you can’t,” 
he said sympathetically. 

“You’ve got a lot to be thankful for 
for what God has given to your peo- 
ple, haven’t you?” 

“Yes, Ma’am, you’re right there,” he 
said as the glow of contentment and 
thanksgiving to God transformed his 
bearing as well as his facial expres- 

His wife came from the rear of the 
store then, through with her shopping, 
beaming over her bundles and maybe 
over the conversation, too, as it could 
easily have been heard in that part of 
the store. At any rate, as she left, she 
sent me a smile Ill always treasure. 
Not one of those impersonal grimances 
held on to the face frantically like a 
plaster cast to make it look as though 
the wearer is smiling, but a smile 
tossed gracefully all the way over to 

+ a a 

There are many sections of the Unit- 
ed States today that have always been 
in a natural draw, so to speak, where 
a carelessly tossed remark might set 
off a riot most of the time. The main 
concern of the people living there, for 
some time now, has been to stay strict- 
ly at home, never venturing beyond 



the boundaries of the status quo, their 
ears on the alert for the slightest re- 
mark that might be smoky. 

Different Spiritual Climate 

But times sometimes change, like the 
weather, not so much as a result of 
our own plans, programs, and legisla- 
tion, but because God grants a differ- 
ent spiritual climate—a cloudy time 
fringed with tears of remorse for er- 
rors past, in which we can safely leave 
the status quo for awhile to do some 
shopping for things that will improve 
our situation. 

Here, we will be beset by the “bar- 
gains” offered by this, that, or the 
other pressure group. We must look 
at these “bargains” carefully, not in 
the limitations of our confused human 
judgments, but in the light of the val- 
ues that God, the Merciful Father of 
every human of every hue, has gen- 
erously given to us through His Son 
Jesus Christ. With prayer, courage, and 
imagination we may find a number of 
practices that will improve our situa- 
tion, things we can make use of in a 
slightly different way from what was 
originally intended by the pressure 

Our first concern, of course, is the 
fundamental needs and rights of our 
human family. Frills can come later— 
if there is time. 

What if there are Little Rock storm 
clouds all over the sky these days from 
horizon to horizon! What if the rim of 
a wintry press has been damp with 
criticism for months! Glory! God is giv- 
ing us a time of Grace, a BLUE MON- 

Why should we agonize over the 
messy wash day of making clean justifi- 
cations out of past dirty events, or 
grieve for the sun of the “good old 
days”? At last we can safely leave our 
status quo for some intelligent shop- 
ping. And God help us if we don’t use 
this BLUE MONDAY to good advan- 

—Dorothy Abernethy 



(TODAY Magazine) 


FEPC laws create a state Fair Employment Practices Commission whose 
duty is to eliminate discrimination in employment by means of 
conferences, conciliation, persuasion. These peaceful methods 
are a far cry from the gestapo-approach many fear. 

TATE SENATOR Hayes Robertson 
of Illinois, whose factory has for 
years employed many Negroes, made 
some strong comments about proposed 
Fair Employment Practices Commis- 
sion (FEPC) legislation during the 1957 
session of the General Assembly. 

“Employers would be faced by a 
gestapo type of official in every town. 
One liberty we must guard is freedom 
of choice. Integration problems will be 
solved as they are being solved, if we 
don’t incite discord with such laws as 
we are considering here.” 

Many state legislatures and the Con- 
gress have heard objections to FEPC 
legislation similar to Mr. Robertson’s, 
although not often from men with such 
excellent records for fairness in their 
own employment practices. 

Fortunately it is not necessary to be 
guided by what opponents—or advo- 
cates—of FEPC laws think will hap- 
pen, should such legislation be passed. 
Fifteen states currently have FEPC, 
some of the laws having been in force 
over a decade. 

Thirteen of the 15 states with FEPC 
laws have the kind of law which per- 
mits bringing justified complaints to a 
public hearing after all other means 
of reaching a settlement have failed. 
These are Colorado, Connecticut, Mas- 
sachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New 
Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ore- 
gon, Pennsylvania, Rhode _ Island, 
Washington, and Wisconsin. The other 
two with FEPC, Indiana and Kansas, 
rely on conciliation procedures alone. 

So, let’s “look at the record.” What 
has been their actual experience? 

FEPC Cases Show: 

¢* Primary methods 
are conferences, 

These laws create in each state a 
Fair Employment Practices Commis- 
sion. The Commission’s primary duty is 
to eliminate discrimination in employ- 
ment by means of conferences, con- 
ciliation and persuasion. 

These peaceful methods, carried out 
by well trained staff people, are a far 
cry from the gestapo approach feared 
by Mr. Robertson and many of his fel- 
low employers throughout the nation. 

The commissions receive complaints 

filed by persons who believe they have 
been discriminated against on the basis 
of race, nationality, or religion by em- 
ployers, labor unions, employment 
agencies, or fellow workers. 

The complaints may relate to hiring, 
firing, upgrading, or job transfer. Reli- 
gious, charitable, and non-profit organ- 
izations are usually exempt from the 
provisions of the laws. 

Commission representatives investi- 
gate complaints to determine whether 
“probable cause” exists for the com- 
plaint. If probable cause is found, a 
conference is arranged with the “re- 
spondent” who is usually an employer. 
(Other agents, such as unions, have also 
had to answer complaints which are 
filed against them.) 

The give-and-take of conference 
methods leads to conciliatory attitudes 
on the part of employers as many of 
their fears are allayed. They are now 
persuaded to take some step toward 
employing qualified members of min- 
ority groups on a merit basis. 

FEPC Cases Show: 

* Few go into court; 
most end with 
compliance order 

Should the commission, in the course 
of the hearing, find the employer in 
violation of the FEPC law, it may then 
issue cease and desist orders. If the 
discriminatory practice does not cease, 
then, and only then, can the employer 
be taken to court and possibly fined or 

e The Oregon commission reports 
that during its first five years of op- 
eration only one public hearing has 
been necessary. In this case cease and 
desist orders were issued but the panel 
provisions of the law did not need to 
be invoked to secure compliance. The 
Oregon commission holds that this 
demonstrates the success of the meth- 
ods of conference, conciliation, and per- 
suasion and adds that the whole em- 
phasis is remedial, not punitive. 

e Rhode Island secured compliance 
by conciliation and persuasion alone in 
all cases handled during its first six 
years under the law. 

e In Massachusetts, the history-mak- 
ing Pullman case, which upset the tra- 
ditions of half a century, did not have 

What is Your State ? 









New Hampshire 
North Carolina 
North Dakota 

South Carolina 
South Dakota 

West Virginia 

If it is one of the 33 above, your state does not have a Fair 
Employment Practices (FEP) law. Accompanying article de- 
scribes how FEPC has worked in states which have it. 

NEW YORK: Ansco 
Film Company devel- 
ops good racial policy, 

(New York State Committee 
Against Discrimination photo) 

to go to a hearing. The Pullman Com- 
pany within that state has agreed—it 
might better be said: is now free—to 
hire whites as porters and Negroes as 

FEPC Cases Show: 

* Hiring unqualified 
worker not required 

Another objection some employers 
have is that FEPC would encroach 
upon employers’ right to hire the best 
qualified workers available for job va- 

Let us look at a few actual FEPC 

e A New York publishing house fired 
a secretary after one month of employ- 
ment because her typing was poor, her 
stenography hopeless and much of her 
work had to be done over. She filed a 
complaint charging that she was fired 
because of her religion. 

The commission investigator pro- 
posed that she take a simple test in 
his office. She refused and the com- 
mission determined that she was prob- 
ably unqualified and had no cause for 

e In another New York case a Ne- 

Merit Employment Laws in 13 States Prove Wor 

gro charged that he had been refused 
employment as a welder in a steel com- 
pany because of his color. After inves- 
tigation the commission found that the 
man would not have been hired in any 
event as he lacked the amount of ex- 
perience required by the company. His 
complaint was dismissed. 

What about personality and appear- 
ance qualifications? Can companies re- 
tain these under FEPC? Certainly, if 
these are essential to job performance. 
But appearance may not include color 
or racial characteristics. 

FEPC Cases Show: 

* Defending against 
complaints not 

Opponents of FEPC may think that 
freedom of choice is preserved at a 
great cost in time, effort, and money, 
necessary to defend themselves against 
charges of discrimination by the com- 

Again the experience of the FEPC 
states does not bear them out. 

e In 1954, a typical year, New York 
investigated complaints involving 189 

OREGON: Portland Traction Company hires 
qualified drivers irrespective of race. 

(ST. JOSEPH Magazine photo) 



firms and found some discriminatory 
practice or policy in only 52 cases. The 
other 137, after full investigation, were 
found to have no discriminatory pat- 
terns whatever. 

FEPC Cases Show: 

* No quotas used— 
for or against 

The phrase “discriminatory patterns” 
arouses some employers’ fears that an 
FEP Commission will force “quota” 
employment of minority group mem- 
bers on them, thus limiting their free- 
dom of choice. However, the quota sys- 
tem is excluded from all FEP legisla- 
tion and commission practice. 

e One employer, found guilty of re- 
fusal to hire Negroes, later had such a 
change of heart that he asked the com- 
mission to help him recruit ten Negro 
clerks for new job openings in his com- 

The commission advised the employ- 
er that the commission is “not an em- 
ployment agency, and does not recom- 
mend applicants. It is also against the 
letter and spirit of the Law Against 
Discrimination for employers to select 
employees on the basis of race, creed, 
color or national origin. 

“All applicants must be judged and 
evaluated on their individual qualifica- 
tions and merit. . . . Naturally, we ap- 
preciate the motive that prompted you 
to state that you would like to employ 
persons of the colored race. 

“However, to do that without con- 
sidering white persons would be as un- 
democratic and unlawful under the 
Law as to place a limitation whereby 
Negroes would be excluded.” 

While searching for patterns of dis- 
crimination and the means of altering 
them, commissions must consider many 
factors and judge each case on its 

FEPC Cases Show: 

* Follow-up work 
is helpful 

And the closing of a complaint does 
not always mean that the commission’s 
work with that employer is finished. 
In cases where discriminatory practices 
or policies have been found, the agree- 
ment reached with the employer in- 
cludes commitments for future action. 

The commitments may include things 
like the promise of removal of ques- 
tions about race, creed, or nationality 
on application blanks or the future hir- 
ing of qualified minority group mem- 

bers. Later investigations and confer- 
ences may be conducted by the com- 
mission to determine whether the com- 
mitments have been fulfilled. 

e During such a follow-up investiga- 
tion a commissioner wrote to an airline 
company personnel director as follows: 

“You will recall that in our confer- 
ence I pointed out to you that the total 
absence of any Negroes from any cler- 
ical positions in this company, while 
not conclusive as to a discriminatory 
policy in itself, is so contrary to the 
experience of the Commission where 
honest effort has been made of com- 
pliance with the provisions of the Law 
as to raise serious question as to the 
hiring practices. .. .” 

Happy Endings 

Some months later the personnel di- 
rector reported that a Negro girl had 
been hired as a reservation clerk in 
one of its offices and that she seemed 
happy with her position as well as 
popular with her fellow workers. 

A second follow-up revealed that 
two Negro girls were employed in the 
main office of the air line. And the per- 
sonnel director was now saying that 
he was working hard to integrate min- 
ority group members into all positions 
of the company. 

e Similarly a bank hired its first Ne- 
gro in a clerical capacity as a result 
of conferences for the settlement of a 
complaint filed by a Negro girl. Later 
the commission reviewed the case and 
found seven Negro clerks in the bank. 

The employer said that there might 
have been some people in the bank 
who had felt that Negroes would not 
fit in with the other employees, but 
that if so, they had changed their 

FEPC Cases Show: 

* Commissions do 
vital job of 

The experiences of these employers 
and their employees, who have been 
helped by their commissions to change 
—in fact, to want to change—their 
practices, illustrate the vital education- 
al role that an FEP Commission plays. 

Once it becomes known that the 
commission offers this kind of assist- 
ance to companies, unions, and work- 
ers, the help of the commission is 
sought voluntarily by these groups 
when integration problems arise. 

The duty of commissions to carry on 
constant educational work is spelled 

NEW YORK: Ability determines position 
in office of Philip Morris Company. 
(New York State Committee Against Discrimination photo) 

MARCH, 1958 

OREGON: In 1946 Port- 
land appointed first Ne- 
gro policeman (right). 
Fire Department is also 

(ST. JOSEPH Magazine photo) 

out in all FEPC laws. 

e During a conference with repre- 
sentatives of a company which had re- 
fused to hire a Negro engineer, the 
employer appealed to the commission to 
help eliminate discriminatory attitudes 
in the supervisory staff and thus permit 
the company to utilize the much need- 
ed skills of Negro engineers. 

The agreement reached in this case 
provided that the commission conduct 
nine training sessions using films, 
group discussions, and other tried 
methods, to assist the staff in over- 
coming their discriminatory habits. 

This, then, is a representative cross- 
section of the experiences of states 
where FEPC laws have been in actual 

A second article in next month’s 
COMMUNITY will discuss the limita- 
tions of voluntary merit employment 

—Mary Clinch 

Miss Clinch is on the staff of the Illinois 
State Employment Service, working in one 
of the Chicago-area offices. She was for- 
merly a staff worker at Chicago Friendship 


What About Voluntary 
Merit Employment Programs? 

“There are soft spots in the no- 
tion of voluntary programs.”— 
Another article on merit employ- 
ment will appear in April issue 

Governors Form 

EW YORK, New York—A 

standing committee of Gover- 
nors on Civil Rights was formed 
in December by governors of 12 
states having FEPC laws. Their 
goal: to seek greater job oppor- 
tunities for members of minority 

The group urged that state 
agencies, where they exist, be 
given the job of policing merit 
employment in companies hav- 
ing federal contracts because “we 
have the machinery and willing- 
ness to eliminate job bias, and the | 

federal government does not.” 

A report on the work of the 
state agencies was presented to 
the Governors by the American 
Jewish Congress. In presenting 
the report AJC staff member 
Shad Polier stated: 

“The widespread acceptance of 
the anti-discrimination laws 
proves their value. It shows that 
discrimination can be combatted 
by legislation that avoids criminal 
penalties and instead establishes a 
specialized state anti-discrimina- 
tion agency that relies primarily 
on education and conciliation, but 
also has the power to issue, where 
necessary, specific orders enforce- 
able in the courts.” 

INDIANA: Interracial staff of hospital 
cares for newborn baby. 

(Holy Cross Central School of Nursing photo) 


ash k aeiet eee eae 


Are you sure you'll find accommodations for you and your family? 
Would you like a vacation in any of the 48 states 1 minus rebuffs? 

Are you ready for any highwayemergency -even in a hostile town? 

Advertisements like the above appear from time to time 

in Negro papers—offering information where Negroes can 
secure overnight accommodations travelling in various areas. 

Survey Hotel Discrimination 

ECENTLY the Anti - Defamation 

League undertook a national sur- 
vey, the first of its kind, to examine 
the admission policies of 3,014 hotels 
in the United States, Canada, Mexico, 
Hawaii, Alaska, and the Caribbean. 
The results indicate that nearly one out 
of every four resort hotels in the United 
States practices religious discrimination 
in the admission of guests! 

More significant than the figures ob- 
tained was the overwhelming evidence 
of evasiveness and covert practices on 
the part of resort establishments. Many 
hotels, which depend greatly on off- 
season convention groups, will accept 
Jews included in a convention but 
would refuse the same people admis- 
sion as individuals. Such hypocrisy has 
been met by a growing resistance 
among business and professional or- 
ganizations to holding their conventions 
in resorts that raise religious bars. 

The ADL survey indicated forcefully 
that vigorous enforcement of state laws 
against discrimination in public accom- 
modations is the principal key to the 
elimination of the problem of hotel 
bias. For example, in three New Eng- 
land states which have laws against 
discrimination by places of public ac- 
commodation — Connecticut, Massachu- 
setts and Rhode Island—only 15 per 
cent of the hotels discriminate against 

The anguished face and ragged clothes of this young Chilean 

Jews. In the adjacent states of Maine, 
Vermont, and New Hampshire, the sur- 
vey placed the discrimination rate at 
56 per cent. 

—The Christian Friends Bulletin 

Rule Against Hotel 

NEW YORK, New York—Elmer A. 
Carter, head of the New York State 
Commission Against Discrimination, 
ruled that the New York office of the 
Homestead, a resort hotel in Hot 
Springs, Virginia, violatéd the state 
law against discrimination by rejecting 
patrons because of their Jewish faith. 

Mr. Carter closed the case “with the 
specific reservation” that it is subject 
to reopening at any time “upon suf- 
ficient evidence that the respondent 
has resumed its activities in the state 
without compliance with the law 
against discrimination.” 

Mrs. David Kaplan, the complainant, 
of New York City, said that she and 
her husband applied in April, 1956, for 
a reservation for July 22 to August 4 

and that her application was rejected . 

because of her faith. Mrs. Valarie 
Courtenay, also of New York City, 
made an identical application at the 
same time and was accepted. 

boy are mute evidence of the destitution in many parts of the 
world. Catholic Relief Services work to aid such children 
in Chile and throughout the world. March 16, Laetare Sun- 
day, is date for annual collection for CRS. 

Visitors Share Experiences, 
Join in Varied Work (.. 

ILL HAD ALL the enthusiasm one 

would hope for in a college senior 
—determined to change the world after 
the sheepskin due in a few months— 
or at least the world of the traditional 
South, centered in his Mississippi home- 
town. He stopped in to see us at 
Friendship House on his way back to 
school in Minnesota the last day of his 
Christmas vacation. 

Already he was building from others’ 
experiences toward that dream of an 
interracial group at home—after grad- 
uation and his Army years. 

Many young students like Bill, sin- 
gle men and women, married couples, 
young and not-so-young, people of dif- 
ferent races and religions, have come 
to Friendship House of Chicago—a 
Catholic interracial center in the heart 
of the city’s Negro ghetto. They come 
to exchange ideals and ideas toward a 
real Christian community free from the 
injustice prejudice brings and to give 
many hours of their free time working 
within the House itself or in their own 
area, putting those ideas into practice. 

Helping at the Center 

Working within the House, volun- 
teers help the staff with the hundred- 
and-one-editorial and promotional jobs 
behind publishing COMMUNITY or in 
the general business routine — book- 
keeping, typing, filing, mimeographing. 

Others will join in with the work of 
planning programs such as arranging 
informal visits across the color line, 
formation programs for teenagers, pub- 
lic forums and lectures, socials, Days of 
Recollection, or Communion Break- 

Still others, for a change from their 
regular jobs, may put their energies to 
washing walls or scrubbing floors in our 
janitorless “mansion.” 

Working Away from FH 

A good number of our regular vol- 
unteers we seldom see at the House. 
They work quietly from their own 
homes, meeting in small groups with 
one of our staff, helping each other 
find answers to the racial injustices 
that disturb them in their own neigh- 

In their own homes, too, many busy 
mothers have taken on the jobs of writ- 
ing thank-you notes to Friendship 
House donors, sending announcements 
of our public forums to newspapers, 
and typing letters (dictated by a staff 
worker over the phone) to answer in- 
quiries on race that come to Friend- 
ship House by mail from all over the 

Assisting the staff in the responsibil- 
ity of policy-making decisions is an 
advisory board which was formed last 
October. Its members offer a repre- 
sentative outlook on the wide commu- 
nity — housewives, married couples, 
business men and women, teachers, so- 
cial workers, former staff workers. 

Constantly Changing Picture 

Over the 20 years of its existence 
Friendship House has constantly stud- 
ied the changing race relations picture 
and often rejuvenated programs in the 
light of the present moment. From the 

early days in New York’s Harlem, 
where the first House was founded in 
1938, the movement has tried to keep 
pace with the needs of the time. Re- 
cently this has meant eliminating ac- 
tivities of a settlement house type in 
order to expand the traditional effort 
for interracial justice, to meet more 
effectively the pressing problems of 

Monsignor Daniel M. Cantwell, chap- 
lain of Chicago Friendship House since 
its beginning in 1942, has summed up 
the present goals well: “To strive to 
increase our contacts with Negro and 
white people in order to eliminate ra- 
cist thinking, racial discrimination, ra- 
cial segregation; to attain in our time 
justice, unity, equality among racial 
groups; and thus to glorify Christ in 
Whom we are all ONE.” 

Extending the Effort 

You, and others like you, can help 
FH on the way to these goals. 

1. There is always need for more and 
more people with a Christ-like zeal for 
interracial justice to carry these ideas 
into the market place. Why not begin 
where you are? 

2. Friendship House is supported by 
individual donations — mostly from 
those who themselves have meager in- 

3. We are looking for a fourth full- 
time staff worker—a man to be ex- 
ecutive director. You can be “talent 
scouts.” The staff is paid a modest 
allowance — satisfaction, more than fi- 
nancial remuneration, is the chief com- 
pensation for the workers. 

4. This papér COMMUNITY con- 
stantly seeks additional subscribers to 
reach more and more people with its 
interesting reports of interracial ex- 
periences and practical ideas on what 
one can do for interracial justice. Sub- 
scriptions are $1.00 a year (subscrip- 
tion blank on page 8). 

5. And, of course, your prayers. 

We would like also to be of service 
to you in your own specific efforts. The 
“Workshops in Building Friendships” 
described in January 1958 COMMU- 
NITY can be arranged for out-of-town 
groups, as well as local ones. These 
workshops are one-evening or one- 
afternoon programs, arranged during 
the week or on weekends, consisting 
chiefly of informal social visits between 
members of different races. We have 
found no greater, simpler way to be- 
gin loving than to begin knowing. 
(Couples can bring the family along; 
baby-sitting and a children’s recrea- 
tional program will also be provided.) 
To arrange such a program, contact us 
a month in advance. 

We also welcome your queries and 
comments by mail. 

We will hope to hear from you—at 
Friendship House, 4233 South Indiana 
Avenue, Chicago 15, Illinois. (Phone: 
KEnwood 6-9039.) 

—Betty Plank 

Betty is Education Director of Chicago 
Friendship House. She was formerly on the 
staff of the Confraternity of Christian Doc- 
trine in Columbus, Ohio, 

Friendship House invites you on Laetare Sunday 
March 16, to a Time of Recollection 

* NEW YORK CITY: Father Greg- 
ory Smith, O.Carm., will give an 
Afternoon of Recollection at Little 
Sisters of Assumption Convent. 
Phone Friendship House (WA 
6-3563) for details and reservation. 

* CHICAGO: Father Richard Rose- 
meyer will give a Day of Recollec- 
tion at Marillac House. Phone 
Friendship House (KE 6-9039) for 
details and reservation. 

Please make reservation by March 10 


ai tte and Gat Ged 

- . 

Law School Group Votes to 
“Censure” Discriminators 

SAN FRANCISCO, California — The 
Association of American Law schools 
defeated a motion to expel law schools 
who refuse to admit qualified Negroes. 
This motion came up at a recent three- 
day meeting of the group. The associa- 
tion instead voted to “censure” the of- 
fending members. 

The motion to expel failed when west 
coast law schools joined most southern 
institutions in opposing it. 

Admit Negro Colleges to 
Southern Association 

RICHMOND, Virginia—More than 1,000 
white delegates from southern states 
voted recently to accept 18 Negro col- 
leges in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, South 
Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Vir- 
ginia, to full membership in the South- 
ern Association of Colleges and Sec- 
ondary Schools. On the vote only a 
few dissenters shouted no. 

The move gave the Negro schools for 
the first time in history equal recogni- 
tion with white schools for purposes of 
accreditation and setting of educational 

Bus Line Quits as 
Boycott Cuts Business 

ROCK HILL, South Carolina — Star 
Transit Company, which had operated 
city bus service here, went out of busi- 
ness early this year without the re- 
quired 30-day notice. 

Busses had been under boycott by 
colored citizens since last summer, 
when a driver ordered a colored wom- 
an passenger out of the seat beside a 
white woman. The white woman had 
invited the Negro to sit with her. 

The line was faced with mounting 
losses in revenue, and prospects of Fed- 
eral Court action. 

First Air Stewardess 
Hired by New York Line 

NEW YORK, New York—Another em- 
ployment barrier went down as Mo- 
hawk Airlines here announced the hir- 
ing of the first Negro flight stewardess, 
Ruth Carol Taylor of New York City. 

The hiring of Miss Taylor follows by 
a little more than a year the hiring of 
the first Negro pilot by a scheduled 
passenger airline—Perry Young, pilot 
for New York Airways. 

Defeat City FEPC; Two 
Say Negroes Satisfied 

LOS ANGELES, California—A city 
Fair Employment Practices (FEPC) or- 
dinance lost here recently by one vote. 

Councilmen Cathcutt and Navarro, 
whose constituents are predominantly 
colored, said they voted against the 
ordinance because they believe colored 
people of the community were satisfied 
with conditions as they are. 

There has never been a colored per- 
son elected to the Los Angeles city 

Report Negro Lynched 

In Mississippi 

RULEVILLE, Mississippi — George 
Love, 38-year-old Negro, was cornered 
by a mob three miles outside Ruleville 
in early January and killed. His body 
was riddled by 76 bullets. 

Medgar Evers, National Association 
for the Advancement of. Colored Peo- 

MARCH, 1958 


BOOK REVIEWS yk paar ” 
Are Women Really Like That? 

Book on marriage rewards close study, but reviewer 
questions one chapter: “The picture of the ideal 

woman simply does not fit all.” 

MARRIAGE IS HOLY, edited by H. 
Caffarel, 219 pages. (Fides Publishers, 
Chicago 19, Illinois, $3.75.) 


“case history” approach so evident 
(and useful) in today’s offerings on 
marriage, this book asks more than we 
are wont to give: a deep look into our 
own “case histories” as married people, 
and into our success or failure in relat- 
ing our married lives wholly to God’s 
love and providence. As such, it is 
not a book for light Sunday afternoon 
reading. Each paragraph, even each 
phrase, requires close study. 

Those who make the effort will be 
well rewarded in additional insights 
into that eternal mystery which is hap- 
py, holy wedlock. The newly married 
may not find such a book immediately 
useful or rewarding because Marriage 
Is Holy would seem to require the 
background of several years of married 
life in order for its truth to stand out 
in bold relief. 

Are Exceptions Perverse? 

One chapter gave this reviewer some 
difficulty: that on The Personality of 
Woman. My objection is chiefly this: 
while the author sets out firmly that, 
of course, there are exceptions to the 
generalities that he (or she) considers 
to be the proper fulfillment of Chris- 
tian womanhood, he (or she) promptly 
cites these exceptions as the perverse 
members of the female sex. 

Obviously, if genes, chronosomes, 
and temperaments were divided neatly 
down the center, this for him, this for 
her, there could be no quarrel. We 
might then safely say that a tender 
man was unnatural, trying to be a 
woman; or that an ambitious woman, 
perhaps, was trying to be a man. Na- 
ture has not been that “cut and dried”; 
should we really expect people to be? 

To illustrate, it is said (page 79) 
“... she carries within her a world of 
extraordinary richeness ... she is made 
to give herself totally.” All very flat- 
tering, but always true? Also: “The 
fundamental sin of woman is the re- 

fusal of her femininity. ... The woman 
who says ‘no’ to her inner personality, 
to her dignity of woman, corrupts ev- 
erything she touches.” 

Two Who Chose Nursing 

I cannot help thinking of two fem- 
inine “brains” with whom I graduated. 
Both chose nursing, thereby fulfilling, 
one assumes, the qualifications of 
“womanliness.” Yet considering the 
personalities of the two women, I can 
say without further aplomb that I 
would as soon be nursed by an IBM 
machine as by one of them. The other 
is any good nurse’s ideal. 

I truly believe that the former would 
have made a top-notch nuclear physi- 
cist. That she did not follow such a 
course is due to just such pressures 
to be “like other girls” as is expressed 
in this chapter saying what all wom- 
en “should be.” Had my fellow grad- 
uate’s mother begun replacing the 
chemistry sets so dear to her heart 
with dolly formula sets, there is some 
question whether her mind would have 
accepted such restrictions, even while 
her childish head nodded in resigna- 

Not All Women Fit Role 

The author’s picture of the ideal 
woman simply does not fit all women. 
Her role as handmaiden, serving her 
husband and children in all required 
capacities for their nurture, has dig- 
nity and strength—but it is a “role” 
handed out willy-nilly, one which could 
ill be “played” with any sense of real- 
ity by many women, simply because 
their personalities have a strong lacing 
of so-called masculine characteristics. 
Have women all, indeed, a strong de- 
sire to give themselves totally, which 
they perversely deny? Some may think 
they are fulfilling their deepest needs! 
It is useless to think that any human 
person comes equipped with all the 
appurtenances, physical, psychological, 
and spiritual, which are deemed by ex- 
perts to be most desirable for the vo- 
cation he or she chooses. We can edu- 
cate people to see the value of par- 

ticular traits in a particular role; we 
cannot be judge and jury as to wheth- 
er or not these same people are “fail- 
ing” if they do not copy out carefully 
our advice. 

I believe that natural selection takes 
care of some of these problems. In gen- 
eral, men seek out women who comple- 
ment their best characteristics, and 
soften their worst. A quiet man mar- 
ries a vivacious wife; a sensitive wom- 
an marries a clod. Perhaps they “fill 
up” one another’s needs. It seems to 
work out in so many cases. 

No Serious Pursuits 

Although other chapters of Marriage 
Is Holy bring out the fact that wom- 
en’s individual personalities ought to 
be developed, one cannot help wonder- 
ing if any serious woman reader would 
not be frightened off any such attempts 
by such blanket statements as, “ . . 
Her mission is to have no mission other 
than that of her husband.” Anything 
more seriously pursued than an after- 
noon tea would seem to make grave 
inroads on all these people who de- 
pend upon her! 

While finding much food for thought 
throughout this book, especially in the 
chapters on Unity, Fidelity, Marriage 
as Sacrament and Mystery, and Life 
Through Love (about the most sensible 
and sensitive piece on having a family 
to appear in some time), so much of 
the whole picture depends upon the 
right interpretation of women’s role in 
the spiritual quest that I reserve at 
least one regret. Could not the key- 
stone of the arch be made to fit more 
snugly and securely into the mind and 
heart of modern women? She is not 
unwilling to do her job; she is just un- 
willing to be squeezed into a mold that 
doesn’t fit. After all, even the Blessed 
Virgin ascertained that the integrity of 
her desired vocation would be pre- 
served before she made her fiat. 

—Sally Leighton 

Mrs. Leighton is the mother of seven 
children. She has written frequently for 
AMERICA, GRAIL, and other periodicals. 

ple (NAACP) field secretary,, reporting 
on the lynching, said Mr. Love was 
being questioned about the death of an 
aged colored couple. “As I understand 
it,’ Mr. Evers said, “a night marshal 
questioned Mr. Love as a suspect in 
the killing, and when the marshal at- 
tempted to search him, Mr. Love hit 

Shortly after, over 25 persons—in- 
cluding a number of teen-age whites— 
banded together and launched an all- 
night search for Love. They staged a 
reign of terror in the Negro commu- 
nity, invading and searching homes and 
questioning people. 

“A number of convicts from the 
Parchman State Penitentiary were also 
in the party,” Mr. Evers added. 

Court Rules Against Color 
Bar in FHA Housing 

ALBANY, New York—lIn a far-reach- 
ing decision the New York State Su- 
preme Court last January ruled illegal 
the barring of a Negro tenant from an 
apartment built with FHA assistance. 

Affected by the ruling are more than 
50,000 apartments built in the state 
with FHA assistance since July, 1955, 
when the state’s anti-segregation law 
was passed. 

If the owner Of the test-case build- 
ing fails to comply with the court or- 
der in a reasonable period, a contempt 

citation can be brought. Such citation 
could result in fines or a jail sentence. 

Attorney for the owner said the rul- 
ing would be appealed. 

First Georgia Challenge 
to School Segregation 

ATLANTA, Georgia—A group of Ne- 
gro parents in January filed the first 
suit challenging segregation in Geor- 
gia’s public schools. Governor Marvin 


out exception deplore violence. 
They have no truck with the Ku Klux 
Klan. But my contention is that they 
set in motion forces which bred the 
Klan and the very violence they now 
condemn. What they advocate, in es- 
sence is disrespect for law. They choose 
to limit such advocacy to one law — 
that relating to the public schools. But 
when you enter the area of disrespect, 
there is no such thing as a limited in- 
fection. It spreads. 

There may be more than a thread of 
connection between what governors 
and senators say and what men in Mis- 
sissippi did to Emmett Till. 

Marion A. Wright 
From a talk by Mr. Wright, former presi- 

dent of the Southern Regional Council, 
quoted in the NEW SOUTH magazine. 

Griffin has repeatedly declared that he 
will close schools before allowing in- 

No date had been set for the hearing 
as of mid-February, but it was expect- 
ed shortly. 

While this is the first suit against 
public schools, one is pending in United 
States District Court brought late in 
1956 by four Negro students for entry 
into Georgia State College. Also, a suit 
against segregation on Atlanta buses 
has been filed by two Negro ministers. 

—Clif Thomas 

A regular contributor to COMMUNITY, 
Clif works for the Chicago Housing Author- 
ity. He is a former FH staff worker. 


Baptismal Robe—Kit of materials 
and instructions—$3.50 

Beeswax Candle—six 9 by 1% 

We also have Easter cards in $1 
and $2 assortments 

Newport, R.I. 

a non-profit corporation 
for the liturgical apostolate 

Housing Segregation a Five-fold Injustice 

Denies Negro families their natural dignity 
Fosters and perpetuates housing conditions that injure family 


Imposes an unfair economic burden 
Restricts and distorts social participation 
Promotes among whites a false superiority 

(Continued from page 1) 

for people who have not met many 
Negroes and who do not understand 
housing conditions. 

If people have a respect for principle, 
it is important for them to understand 
that there is injustice involved in hous- 
ing restrictions based on race. Housing 
segregation is frequently spoken of as 
a social problem, as a threat to civic 
harmony, and as a mass expression of 
mental illness. Before all else, however, 
it is a question of justice, and we must 
not be diverted from this point. 

Out of Experience 

In what does the injustice of housing 
segregation consist? My response to 
this question may lack some of the 
niceties of the professional textbook 
teachers of ethics, for my answer grows 
out of my own experience with this 
problem of residential restrictions, and 
presents the works of injustice that are 
most prominent to my view. I will re- 
strict my comments to those injustices 
that are borne by the family, for hous- 
ing discrimination in its practical ef- 
fects usually touches families and is 
not limited to difficulties between in- 
dividual people. It is not only single 
personalities who are involved with 
this problem, but families, the basic 
units of society. 

How is injustice visited upon fam- 
ilies by housing discrimination and seg- 
regation based on race? 

1. Housing Discrimination Denies Ne- 
gro Families Their Natural Dignity 

By excluding Negroes from equal 
opportunity in the housing market, 
white citizens deny to non-white fam- 
ilies the social dignity and respect that 
is due to them. This dignity and re- 
spect is due to such families because 
of the uniqueness of human nature that 
reflects in all of us the image of God. 
My contact with dozens of white audi- 
ences has convinced me that racial in- 
tegration in housing is rejected and 
unpopular because whites assume in a 
stubborn and vigorous fashion that Ne- 
groes are innately inferior to them. This 
assumption that Negroes are a caste 
apart, lacking ambition, potential, re- 
finement, and self-respect, is an injus- 
tice to many, many Negro families. 
There are Negro families who have, 
no doubt, debased themselves, but even 
these are essentially God’s children. 
We dare not assume that all Negroes 
must be set apart and segregated be- 
cause of the failings of some who would 
make bad neighbors. To do so denies 
that which every family merits: the 
right to be regarded and treated as 
accepted members of society at large 
unless some specific and definite fail- 
ing prevents this. 

2. Housing Discrimination Fosters and 
Perpetuates Housing Conditions 
That Injure Family Life 

It is a vividly evident and unshake- 
able fact that Negroes have tradition- 
ally been alloted only the left-overs of 
the housing market. Negro families are 
confined by racia! restrictions to the 
most overcrowded, oldest, and least 
desirable districts in city after city. Ra- 
cial barriers freeze this situation and 
frustrate remedial action such as re- 
location, slum clearance, and urban re- 
newal. In such areas family life is at a 
severe disadvantage. In physical terms 
there is often inferior heat, light, ven- 
tilation, sleeping space, space for exer- 
cise, privacy, and cleanliness. Even 
with the best intentions householders 
wage a losing battle against overcrowd- 

ing, structural deterioration, and in- 
flated rents. 

Every family has the responsibility 
of caring for the health and education 
of its members. Housing conditions that 
prevent parents, through no fault of 
their own, from setting up tolerable 
domestic conditions in which they can 
meet this divinely imposed responsi- 
bility, are gravely unjust. The segre- 
gation system confining Negroes to in- 
ferior housing reinforces this injustice. 

In my own city I know of many 
very exemplary families who must bat- 
tle dreary housing with poor plumb- 
ing and dismal rooms because they are 
tired of being rebuffed because of color 
in better neighborhoods. In my city 
most Negroes live in the areas built 
before 1920. These areas were poorly 
built to begin with in many cases. In 
them residential life is up against traf- 
fic, manufacturing, and old schools and 
facilities. Negro families pay the toll. 
Health is poorer. Residential fire deaths 
for non-whites are more than double 
the rate for whites. And over-crowding 
is fearful. How can families maintain 
their health and integrity and build 
the educational bulwark of wholesome 
family life under such a blight? This is 
injustice rampant on a huge and dis- 
gusting scale. 

3. Housing Discrimination Imposes an 
Unfair Economic Burden on Negro 

We know that overcrowded Negro 

families in slum areas often pay almost 
half their income for rent, but the un- 
fair economic penalties of housing dis- 
crimination extend far beyond this. Ne- 
groes must look longer and harder for 
decent houses because of the limita- 
tions of their choice. Such looking re- 
quires extra money in carfare and other 
small costs. If a home is found for 
sale to Negroes, it may very well have 
an extra premium added to the price. 
Negroes frequently pay more than 
whites for comparable housing buys. 
Because Negro families are largely re- 
stricted to older areas of the city, their 
down payments and mortgage pay- 
ments on housing purchases will be 
much higher than on new homes, from 
which non-whites are almost totally 
barred. Older houses have higher main- 
tenance costs also. All of these added 
costs mean that the Negroes, who are 
the largest element of our low income 
population, are forced to pay propor- 
tionately more for homes than those 
who have many more advantages. 
From limited income is taken the tax 
imposed by housing segregation. The 
natural tendency toward home owner- 
ship that is so beneficial to families and 
communities is thwarted and retarded 
by the premium charged by racial dis- 

4. Housing Discrimination Restricts 
and Distorts the Social Participa- 
tion of Negro Families in Full Civic 

Every family has an obligation to 
serve the community. Families should 
be free to take a full part in the po- 
litical, educational, cultural, and voca- 
tional activity of their city or town 
and to mingle in the general civic ef- 
fort. But Negro families are excluded 

from full civic activity because as a 

practical matter they are confined to 

segregated areas that are usually lower 
income neighborhoods with all of the 
disabilities that this implies. The Ne- 
gro family cannot move about freely 
in community circles. Many cultural 
areas are closed to such families be- 

cause of the simple facts of geograph- 
ical distance or social rejection. Hous- 
ing segregation perpetuates this situa- 
tion. Not only that, but it tends to fos- 
ter distorted social expression where 
natural social expression is denied. It 
propagates racism and makes the ut- 
terly foolish factor of skin color the 
basis for community organization and 
activity. Such a condition is not only 
unjust, it is perverse. 

One cannot pass over the damage to 
the morale of Negro families that seg- 
regation works. All of the complexities 
and problems added by discrimination 
to the fundamental tasks of fulfilling 
so basic a need as housing weigh heav- 
ily upon the Negro family. These dif- 
ficulties undermine confidence, restrict 
ambition and produce a morbidness 
that can poison family life. 

5. Housing Discrimination Promotes 
Among White People a False Sense 
of Superiority and a Complacency 
Toward Injustice 

White families who live under cona- 
ditions where housing segregation pre- 
vails quite naturally try to explain and 
justify this system to themselves. As 
has been noted previously, it is a very 
wide response of white people to as- 
sume that they are placed beyond con- 
tact with Negroes because they are, “de 
facto,” better than Negroes. This sense 
of superiority, sometimes reaching pro- 
portions of arrogance, is a necessary 
prop for the segregation system. Men 
want reasons for what they do, and 
white men have historically sought to 
give this reason of superiority for their 
discriminatory actions. Housing dis- 
crimination is today the most wide- 
spread expression of the superiority 

In addition, it must be recognized 
that housing segregation provides a 
screen for all of the injustices men- 
tioned above. People tend to accept the 
social situation they are in and to ig- 
nore what they feel is separated or 
segregated from them. Housing segre- 
gation prevents the intimate personal 
contact that would lead people to see 
the basic misfortunes caused by this 
system. Tradition supports the system 
and condones it, lulling whites into a 
complacent acceptance of racial es- 

* a * 

There are many strong arguments 

that can be leveled against housing seg- 

“Spreading Concentrations” 

“The Negro has to pay an inflated 
price for inferior shelter in a neigh- 
borhood he wouldn't choose if he had 
the freedom of choice. 

‘The fast-rising Negro population 
in (New York) city is spreading rap- 
idly in all directions. . . . But none 
of this is a true dispersal of Negroes 
among whites. What is spreading are 
concentrations of Negroes. 

“In a true dispersal, whites and 
Negroes would live beside each other 
in full stabilized neighborhoods. But 
that is not happening... . 

“The Negroes are not to blame for 
this, nor is the situation to their lik- 
ing. In fact, they are victims of it. 
The causes are a monumental short- 
age of low and moderate-cost hous- 
ing in the city combined with the 
hard residential segregation against 
the Negro race... . 

“Negroes are not, as many whites 
suppose, overtly driving out the 
whites. The Negro’s housing dollar 
buys where it can, and the only place 
it can buy is in neighborhoods that 
are already changing, already over- 
crowded, already deteriorating, or al- 
ready suffering from obsolescence.” 

—Robert S. Bird, in 
New York Herald Tribune 

regation. It is out of harmony with our 
national ideal of full citizenship for all 
without regard to race. It works against 
school integration in many places. It 
produces tension and sometimes vio- 
lence. It permits foreign peoples to 
question our devotion to democracy 
and so on. But the central and pre- 
dominant fact about this system is that 
it is unjust. It denies our fellow men 
that which is their due, not in some 
matter of convenience or luxury, but 
in the matter of shelter, one of the 
three basic necessities of life. This is 
what we must answer for. 

At the present time we need men 
who have heart enough to attack this 
problem not for political gain or civic 
expediency, but because they find ugly 
the sight of injustice. We need men 
who not only hunger for justice, but 
who have the appetites of lions for 
justice in order to solve this twisted 
and difficult problem. 

—Dennis Clark 

On the housing division staff of the Phila- 
delphia Commission on Human Relations,° 
Mr. Clark has written for SOCIAL OR- 
retlecting his major interest: race and ur- 
ban affairs. 

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