« AnteriorContinuar »
have a broader general opportunity. I think great progress has been made there, too.
I think we should continue. In my judgment it is no surprise that the subversive elements, those who seek to destroy this Government by any conceivable way, are exploiting this opportunity, this great crisis in the society today between the races.
It seems to me that we do ourselves a disservice if we do not properly acknowledge that these subversive elements would have little to prey upon if you were making the American society work well and truly fulfill the inspiring declarations of our Constitution in bringing into reality equal opportunity for every citizen.
Now it seems to me that the most effective way that we can deal with the understandable danger of subversive exploitation which they are most anxious to do as you properly indicate, set black against white in this country, is to eliminate what I would personally acknowledge to be very legitimate and just frustrations and grievances.
It seems to me if we put our energy and attention on this gigantic assignment, and spend less time in seeking simplistic scapegoats for the cause of these conditions in our country, that we are not only going to be well on the road to having a better society in America, but we will deal the most devastating blow possible against communism and its appeal in this country.
I share your belief it is in the areas of housing, jobs, and education that we have to mobilize our resources. And I think in that effort, making America work well in all its greatness, we have definitely the best opportunity to fight Communists most effectively not only in this country, but throughout the world.
Mr. Tuck. I may say to the witness that the gentleman from Iowa also is quite an athlete. He is a former All-American football player.
Mr. CULVER. That is very kind of you. It is a nice thing about Congress, if you ever did anything in athletics you get better every year. I can assure you if you ever went to a game in which I participated that very kind and enthusiastic caricature would hardly be appropriate.
Mr. Tuck. I wish to commend the witness for the very fine, constructive work in which he is engaged and say also that his testimony is very impressive and inspiring.
We thank you very much for coming today.
I am sure that we have all profited by the colloquy between you and my esteemed colleague, Mr. Culver. But so that we might get back on the track here, as I understand your position, your life and your program and your philosophy dictate this. Regardless of the adversity, regardless of the problems that a person might have, the solution to those problems is to be found through education, through obedience to the law, through attendance at church, and in no way is it to be found in rioting and violence in the streets of America.
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir.
Mr. TUCK. Do you have anything further to add ?
I would like to close by saying that the pursuit of happiness is every man's opportunity. The pursuit of happiness. I would rather pursue happiness than be pursued by people who destroy happiness.
And ABC still has such a wide scope you do not understand, you cannot conceive, of what is in a youngster's mind, what he wants to be.
Maybe many of you gentlemen in this very room are not doing some of the things that you have set out in your life to do when you were a little boy, or what you wanted to be. Maybe you wanted to be a great singer, something like that. Maybe you are not good at that. Well, we will give these youngsters that choice to let them name the things that they want to try to be in life.
Let them be part of that program, organize that program ABC for them. Let them be a part. Let them be the working part of this program. Let them be the cause, let them run their own program.
You quoted something a while ago when you said man set against man. This is a Biblical quote. Father will be against son, nation against nation, rumors of wars. This is in the Bible. You can find this.
These things are coming to pass. But let us hold these things off by teaching our youngsters how to get along in the harmony that every man needs in his lifetime. Let us make the resounding note. If it is the black key, let it hit loud and clean and clear. If it is the white key, let it hit loud, clean, and clear. The red key the same way, the brown key and yellow key. Let it be a resounding harmony.
Mr. ICHORD. I have one more question, Mr. Chairman.
I noticed in your statement, Mr. Moore, that you came out against a guaranteed national income, which many of our liberal friends embrace. I wonder why are you against such a program as a guaranteed national income? What is your philosophy behind that, Mr. Moore?
Mr. MOORE. Let me ask you a question. Maybe I can answer this with a question.
Well, suppose that there is a man out in the field pulling weeds, and you are up here making laws and presiding and governing things. Your work is more complex and more difficult than his. His is easy. Maybe he can pull weeds 1 hour and he will be through. You have to work all day, slaving over books and paperwork. Do
you feel that he should earn as much as you are? What I am saying is that if I can devise an idea that can cause a hundred thousand people jobs and job opportunities, why should I be salaried $40 a week, the same as a man who is pulling weeds 2 hours a day?
Mr. ICHORD. What you are saying is that all every man is entitled to regardless of his race, color, or creed is opportunity?
Mr. MOORE. Equal opportunity, opportunity to develop.
Mr. Asa Spaulding, should he be making $40 a week or $100 a week that he is paying his man who is cleaning his yard! He is president of the company that he devised from his own ideas and hard work and labor? No.
Mr. ICHORD. I agree with you.
Mr. Tuck. Will you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. MITCHELL. I do.
TESTIMONY OF CLARENCE MITCHELL Mr. MITCHELL. Governor Tuck and Members of the Committee: In preparation of my testimony I had assumed that the chairman, Mr. Willis, would be here and I have included in it a little reference to him, which I will read, because I want very much to be on record as saying it.
Mr. McNAMARA. Mr. Mitchell, before you proceed with your statement, would you kindly state your name and address for the record, please?
Mr. MITCHELL. My name is Clarence Mitchell. I am director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP. Our office is in the Congressional Building, 422 First Street, Southeast.
Mr. McNAMARA. Mr. Mitchell, is your appearance before the committee today in response to an invitation and request of the chairman to Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP, that he or another representative of that organization testify in the committee's hearings?
Mr. MITCHELL. That is correct.
Mr. McNAMARA. Can you tell us, Mr. Mitchell, how long you have held the position of the director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP?
Mr. MITCHELL. I have been director of the bureau since 1950. I began my duties with the organization in 1945, when I was labor secretary.
Mr. MCNAMARA. In addition to your work with the NAACP, have you from time to time been engaged in service with the Federal Government?
Mr. MITCHELL. I have from time to time given volunteer service in the areas of employment, housing, educational matters, and things of that sort.
Mr. McNAMARA. I understand, Mr. Mitchell, that you have a prepared statement to read for the record.
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes, I do, Mr. McNamara.
Mr. Tuck. I may say to the witness that the chairman, Mr. Willis, would have liked to have been here today. We do expect him here next week.
I may further add that he expressed himself on many occasions as being highly pleased with your cooperation with him and your willingness to appear before the committee and give us the benefit of your testimony. Mr. MITCHELL. Thank you very much, Governor Tuck.
As I stated, I am Clarence Mitchell, director of the Washington Bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. I want to thank you very much for this opportunity to appear and to present testimony at this hearing.
At the outset I would like to express appreciation to Chairman Willis for his courageous challenge of the Ku Klux Klan. The terrible implications of Klan activity were emphasized in recent days during the trial of individuals for murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.
I would just like to say for the record that if we are to stamp out lawlessness in this country, the people themselves must show concern. We need just laws, we need prosecutors and courts that are above corruption, but in the end we also need determination by the people themselves that they will uphold the law.
I would like to use this forum, Mr. Chairman, to salute the people of Mississippi who served on the jury in that case to which you referred.
I do not know a thing about their views on civil rights, segregation, and whatever else might be their philosophy. But I would say that it is a great thing in our country when people who are entrusted with the duty of seeing to it that the law is upheld fulfill that duty. It is my opinion that to the best of their ability they did that. This is what I mean when I say, in the end, if the people do not uphold the law we cannot have law. If they do, the law will prevail.
As I understand it, the committee is addressing itself to two questions. These were set forth in the chairman's letter of October 11, 1967. First, whether rioting, looting, and burning are compatible with the American system of government and whether it will serve to advance the interests of Negro citizens in the United States.
The second question, whether or not Communists sincerely have the interests of Negroes at heart and Negroes, therefore, can accept them and work with them in their efforts to achieve full equality in this country.
On behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as an organization and myself as an individual I answer both if these questions with an emphatic "No."
With reference to question number one, I would like to point out that throughout its long history the NAACP has always been against lynching, mob violence, and the destruction of property. I might say I have strong personal views about that, too.
Right after I finished college in 1932, I was assigned to cover a lynching as a newspaper reporter. I was against mob violence then when I saw it and I am against it now, regardless of who is the perpetrator of mob violence.
We are opposed to lawlessness and have spent most of our existence, as well as most of our funds, trying to build a society in which this idea will prevail, of law and order. We also seek just laws, which in themselves promote peace and tranquility by strenthening the faith in the Constitution of the United States as a means of obtaining redress for grievances.
We are aware of the underlying causes that promote discontent in this country. The fact that unemployment is higher among minority groups, that many must live in ghetto areas because of restrictions on housing, and a century of mistreatment, all combine to build frustrations and desperation.
I might say, Governor Tuck and Members of the Committee, that it is a fact that the rate of unemployment among Negroes in this
country is about three times the rate of unemployment among white people. We have problems which stem from not getting the right kind of educational training.
I was in Meridian this weekend and had the pleasure of seeing a private school which some people have started down there for the purpose of training young women to be secretarial workers. They were
good secretary. But the persons in charge of that school pointed out that all too often, even though the applicants and the trainees have completed high school in the regular public school system of that area, they really have only the equivalent of an eighth grade education, which means that there are serious deficiences in English and in other things that would be needed in order to be ready to go into the mainstream of life in this country.
Mr. ICHORD. Mr. Chairman, if I may interrupt there.
Your figures there, Mr. Mitchell, include both Negro males and females. I am certain that that is true. I wanted to ask you this question. I was rather surprised to notice a headline in one of our metropolitan papers a number of days ago I did not read the entire article.
The gist of the headlines, anyway, was that the unemployment figures of Negro males was less than whites. Are you acquainted with that article? I was rather surprised to hear that such a thing would be true.
Mr. MITCHELL. I did not see that, Mr. Ichord, but I would say it is a very unusual thing if it is true. I can't imagine any area in this country
Mr. ICHORD. The statistics were undoubtedly limited to a specific area. I did not have an opportunity to read the article in full. I thought you might be acquainted with it.
Mr. MITCHELL. I am sorry, I didn't see it.
Mr. MITCHELL. Under the leadership of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Nation is engaged in a great struggle to right some of the wrongs which I have mentioned. The positive things that are being done, such as encouraging Federal aid to education, promoting better health, insuring equal job opportunity, and strengthening civil rights legislation, are all a part of the Nation's effort to keep our pledge of equality under law. I just would like to say, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, that I can't emphasize too much the belief that I have that, if we could pay a little more attention to some of the direction that the President is trying to give in handling some of these problems in our country, I think we would have a few more solutions than we now get.
For example, there is no doubt in my mind that the rent supplement program is a very valuable thing in these ghetto areas of the
tee in the House cut him back to $10 million. Then when we got to the floor, it did not get through at all.
On the other hand, there are some people who are attacking the President and saying why doesn't he do something about housing, why doesn't he do something about these problems in the cities? Well, I think the best way to find out the effectiveness of the Presi