OCR Interpretation

Minneapolis spokesman. [volume] (Minneapolis, Minn.) 1934-2000, May 21, 1954, Image 2

Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025247/1954-05-21/ed-1/seq-2/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

"An lnd«p*nd«nt N«wip«p#r”
thrift, , : Mt Hhnttof ha toft aa wt4a mpm to Ha Mto
•4k an. Mm Owa tohtoM right to fkwto. ha toa thto to
kfkll tow aa right to aowrtowto. Maahar I, Wtoktogtoa.
Supreme Court Takes
Stand For Right
The U. H. Supreme court decision delivered May 17, out
lawing publle aabool segregation In any of the 48 states and
Um District of Columbia, wm a victory for right and justice
and moreover a victory for Amorim. It waa not alone a triumph
for tho civil righto of tho American Negro, aa ootne observer*
and edltorialieta aeaert, but the declalon in the long run will
bo beneficial to every American citisen and family. The social
advance, progress anil justice Inherent In such a decision and
achieved by orderly constitutional processes, will have the
eventual effect of creating greater unity and understanding
among Americans, snd unity is whst we need and must have
today- in America.
The Rttprems Court recognised that the time had come for
a literal application of the fundamentals of the Constitution
and decided to act on the merits and justness of the oases be
fore it rather than on the backward, regrettable, sectional pre
judices of a part of our common country, the existence of which
have greatly harmed our preetige as a nation. In this connection
only those who have traveled in the non-white countries or stu
dents of the Asiatic and African scenes and our Htate Depart
ment really know how costly our race segregation has been to
our International reputation. Our daily press by and large,
even In the north have referred only casually to the criticism
abroad and the southern daily press not at all, except in isolat
ed instances
That our international reputation was a possible factor in
the underlying thinking of the jnetleen, of course will not lie
(jpetjjy admitted, but the haste with which the State Depart
vend directed Voice of America broadcast the dcctelon overseas
to Korop# and Asia gave validity to our suggestion that con
tinued racial proscription in the chief democracy furnishes am
mnnition to our enemies, and that the Supreme Court decision
will offset Russian pro|iaganda which pictures the United Htate*
aa an enemy of the non-white races of the world.
Benator Hubert 11. Humphrey of Minnesota, member of the
U. 8. Renats foreign relations committee said Tuesday in a
speech in Minneapolis, that if the Hupreme Court decision had
come two years ago, our position in the critical Far Kaat would
now be much better with the nations of that area.
Without trying to take anything away from the sincerity
and honesty of the Hupreme Court, it is our honest belief that
the decision would not have been unanimous if there had not
been international implications involved In the cases before it.
In these days of On* World a domestic situation in any nation
which creates disunity is apt to affect the entire world Since
th* United States has had world leadership of the “free na
tions” thrust upon it—it has the responsibility of putting its
own houas in order and the Hupreme Court's outlawing of school
segregation ia part of that program whether the fact is widely
admitted or not.
Actually, educational segregation with ila tremendous in
squalitiee waa and ia a national scandal Not until the pressure
In tha courta by the NAACP did the aouth make any real at
tempt to remedy the little consideration ita dual school evident
offered to the Negro child. Part of thia disgraceful eituation
waa due to indifferenoe and the fear of anme whitea that edu
cation would make the Negro dissatisfied with hi<t etatiu and
part waa due to the economic difficultiea inherent in any genu
ine program to e<|ualiee the public echoole in moat of the 17
atatea which have aegregated achoola. Kcaidenta of three Twin
Citiea who know the tax burden involved in maintaining one
good pnblic echool ayatem ehould eaaily appreciate that the lew
proape roue aouth would not in the foreeeeahle future have been
able to equalise school facilities for Negroes without hank
rapting many of the atatea. Therefore the attempt to convince
themselves and others that the bent interests of the country as
a whole would he beet served by continuance of segregated
education waa totally inconsistent with the economic facta of
life and with the type of world in which we now live. Granted
that there might have been some reasonable excuse for race
segregation in southern public schools in the days immediately
following the Rmancipation Proclamation, those days are far
behind a country such as ours.
Even if the south. SO years ago. had gone about ser
iously trying to equalise school facilities, sooner or later
the situation would have to ho faood for inequality,—
actual or implied, ia ia conflict with the Amerloan Croud
of human equality aad the dignity of the Individual. He
fairminded Amerloan who ia honest with himself actually
believes that the separata hut equal theory expounded hy
civil rights opponents la the south or elsewhere has ever
meant equality—the best Hsgro schools in the south have
never been equal to tho best white schools—nor would they
ever be under the system which the Supreme Court de
cision overturns
The decision itself was a masterpiece of democratic logic.
Ft rejected the thcorv that there must be status quo in <>ur Re
public on the matter or human relatione The decision hit direct
gt the harm to Negro ehildren ia citing the opinion of a lower
U. 8. court which etated ‘ Segregation of white end colored
children in public achoola has a detrimental effect upon the
colored children The Imps ct is greeter when it has the sanction
of the laws fhr the pulley of separating the races >« usually in
terproted an denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. A
gsnaa of inferiority affectn the motivation of a child
"Segregation with the aanetion of law,** the opinion went
an to any, "therefore haa a tendency to retard the edueatieaa)
and mental development of Negro children and to deprive them
m[ pomv you mm ewa
'***. PRJ6KOS
“Always make him feel his friends are welcome.”
of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially inte
grated school.”
In approving this view the Hupreme court bench said,
“Whatever may have been the extent of psychological know
ledge of I’reasy vs. Ferguson (Kditor’s Note: 1896 case in
which the Hupreme Court ruled separate but equal accomo
dations met the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment) this
finding is amply supported by modern authority. Any language
contrary to this is rejected.” ,
The court decision then delivered the death blow to the
separate but equal theory by “We conclude that in the field of
public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no
place Separate educational fscillities are inherently unequal”
Credit for this monument! decision belongs to the many of
America who have the good sense to believe that this nation
could no longer, by legal action, visit upon any of its citixen* a
second-class status of citizenship.
The biggest share of the credit should go to the men and
women, black and white, who support the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People who initiated the fight
many years ago to remove from the American scene all of the
inequities with which unthinking people have shackled a part
of the people.
The NAACP began its assault on educational inequalitiea
years ago when it went into the courts to secure equal pay for
Negro school teachers in the south. Htep by step it has gone
from the state courts, to the district federal courts, and to the
highest court in its quest for freedom for th# colored people.
Where is has been unable to eonvines tbs sleeted Congress of
tie duty on civil rights, K has fouad the judiciary, especially
th* federal branch, whisk 1* not readily —spHMs to political
pressures, a place where jostle* has usually been given purely
on the merit* of the cases before it.
Lovers of freedom in this republic owe th* NAACP a real
debt of gratitude for persistently seeking to make a reality out
of the guarantees of the Constitution. This persistence and long
extensive ordeal of hearings brought about the decision of
Monday which made history and gave opportunity for Ameri
cans to be proud of their judicial system which is so set up that
it dare to extend to the weakest plaintiff protection against
the unfair restrictions of the majority.
Ity bringing about this recent decision alone the NAACP
has justified the money which the most humble member of the
organisation has paid into it. The decision of Monday adds an
other victory to the illustrious history of th* NAACP. Those
who have been its supporters through th* years should feel a
sense of great pride.
Credit also must go to the executive branch of the govern
ment At the direction of President Truman during his admin
istration when the latest case* first came before the court the
IT. 8 Attorney General intervened os a friend of the court to
side with the NAACP counsel in its position that school segre
gation waa in violation of the Constitution. This position of the
executive branch backed by the White House had great bearing
on the final outcome.
Once again when the court ordered additional hearings on
the matter, Attorney General Brownell at the direction of
President Kisenhower followed the precedent act by Truman
and intervened by brief and argument setting forth the ad
ministration's belief that public school segregation was un
constitutional and harmful to unity in the V. 8.
By the intervention of two administrations of different
political parties the case* have been removed from the realm
of partisan politics except aa the southern politicians will try
to use them Both administrations deserve credit for placing
human righta above political expediency at the risk of being
maligned by such southern politician* aa Rumelt of Georgia.
Gov. Herman Talmadge and Gov. Byrnes and others of thst ilk
Both Mr Truman and President Kisenhower have a right
to take a bow on the decision and the nation ought to recognise
X f
j-r Mi ktirq improve* hkU toon k. cat**
that each of thus# men know onoafk about what k go inf on in'
tho world to reeofnixo the wiadom of ootabliahing the prece
dent eet by Monday'# deeiaion.
Many people in our own etate hare played a part in the long
aerieo of erenta which made the Bupreme Coart deeiaion poe
aible. Our atate k a citadel of eiril righta. Ita eitisena from time
to time offer tangible evidence that they are againat diaerimina
tion on aeeoant of race. Oar atate legklatare baa not quite
caught op with the peopled thinking on the anbject enough,
for example, to paaa an FEPC law, but there are signa that thia
too, will come to paae. Our laat three gorernora hare demon
strated that they are againat restriction# of citizen# baaed on
raee. Oar junior U. 8. Senator, Hubert H. Humphrey is the
leading exponent of the eiril righta program in the national
eapital and indeed the country. Our NAACP branch in Minne
apolk spearheaded the morement to get the Army moring on
Our Minneapolis TRIBUNE, by ita saries of articles by
Carl T, Rowan on the school segregation issue made a tremen
dous contribution to the farorable Supreme Court decision,
a contribution which may nerer get the credit it deserves but
which was a public service at its highest level. All in all, Min
nesota has worked and prayed for the decision which will go a
long way towards improving our entire country.
There k no doubt that in some states there will be efforts
to erade the decrees which the court will make. It sounds rather
startling to hear a state governor like Georgia's Talmadge, who
swears to uphold the Constitution of the U. 8. say he is planning
to evade the law of the land. It is as ridiculous as some of the
Fourth of July speeches some southern senators make in which
they extoll the virtues of freedom and equality when they ac
tually are in favor of freedom and equality "for whites only”.
Thia newspaper has faith in the new white southerner who
has been growing up in the past 25 years who approaches the
whole problem of raee relations on a sane, realistic and fair
manner and who recognizes that one of the ills of his section is
in the race tensions which lie under the surface of segregation
and discrimination. It will be these people and the organized
church people and the more enlightened public officials and the
press of that section who place eountry before their public and
sectional prejudices who may be the deciding factor in bring
ing about compliance with the democratic ideal in the south.
The south will need the prayers and understanding of us
all as it faces the change in a custom to which it clings in spite
of the fact that down in its collective heart it knows it to be
basically wrong. If it accepts the inevitable it will in a few
years look back as one editor wrote this week and "wonder
what all the shouting was about." In every state where educa
tional restrictions against Negroes have been eliminated in the
higher colleges the faculties and the white students also wonder
what "all the shouting was about" and treat the whole thing bn
a best forgotten joke. •
The southern politicians who are going to holler most will
be those who have been elected year after year on the phony
white supremacy platform. As the race issue disappears as a
political issue in the south and thereby the nation, this tyj>*
of politician faces polities! oblivion for often he cannot intelli
gently diacuaa the mors important issues of the day that face
the country. If the south rejects these politicians the changes
bo meat the court decrees will move along rapidly.
!• closing this lengthy piece we venture to say that the
unanimoua-U 8. Supreme Court deeiaion of May 17, 1954 may
eaaity be remembered in history as the moat important pro
nouncement reaffirming human righta since the Emancipation
Proclamation.—Cecil Newman
Segregation Outlawed
Unanimously. the Justices of the Supreme court hqve (truck down
•egrefatlon In ths public schools anywhere in the United States. The
Court has left for future determination the questions of how soon the
change must be mads and how the principle announced yesterday la
to be enforced. Both the decision and the method of enforcing It are to
be commended.
In much the greater part of the United Btatee. measured either
In area or population, the decision will make no difference at all for
segregation by law in the public achoola Is largely, tho not wholly
a southern phenomenon.
It remains to be seen how tho south will accept the court's de
cision. South Carolina, Oeorgia and Mississippi have taken steps to
ward abolishing thslr public achoola systems should the court reach
the decision it did reach, and It is, of course, conceivable that they will
now go thru with their plans. It Is also conceivable that other southern
states may follow suit.
We should suppose, however that the chances are against the
spread of a resistance movement of this sort. We say this partly be
cause It is never easy to uproot an Institution, particularly one so
firmly established as Is the public school system In every state. More
over. previous Supreme court decisions attacking segregation In other
connection, such as travel and post-graduate education, have been
accepted with scarcely a murmur of complaint.
The admission of Negroes to the higher schools was actually arrl
comed by many members of the state university faculties in the
south and by many students Their consciences had not been easy
They knew that there eras no first-rate university In the world that
excluded students on account of color, and they could find no ra
tional Justification for doing so in southern state universities. Many
privately controlled colleges and universities In the south have taken
the same line.
The problem of adjustment to the new order will be more diffi
cult because the lower the educational level In any community, the
mors belligerently It clings to Its prejudices That principle has been
demonstrated In northern cities. Including Chicago, where rectal ten
sions seldom cause trouble except In areas where the educational
level Is below par.
The fact that the court was unanimous In the rases decided yes
terday should help a good deal to discourage resistance to the find
ing or attempts to evade Its plain meaning, for It Is not Uksly that a
unanimous court wtll change Its mind.
On# reason, we Imagine that Impelled the court to deride as it
did. was the probability that, if it decided the other way much that
has been achieved in improved rare relations would be lost If the
court had held that a state government may discriminate on account
of race in the public schools, where could a state not discriminate *
What logical basis would remain for forbidding discrimination in
state law arhooA. or on trains or anywhere else*
The principle eetahhahed by this decision Is not that anybody has
to give up any of his prejudices, no matter how desirable it might be
that he do so The principle is the much simpler one that the state
government* north and south must regard ail men as created equal
so far as opportunities at the disposal at the state are concerned That
Idea may appear dangerously novel to smnr citiaen* but the Supreme
court dktn t invent it. Indeed, they ran be said to have borrowed It
from a distinguished Virginian named Thomas Jefferson.
OpMon-Sompliag Growi Up
The public opinion poll ss the Minneapolis Tribune said Sunday.
Is growing up It has proved its value and rettabiltty; It >e no longer a
During its first tan years the Minnesota Poll guided by the Min
neap she Tribune has gained a reputation for being fair and accurate
It Is a search Into the thinking ofpsopts that dsas more than fur
nish something to talk about at sisctian tuns
Without claiming too much. M ran bo said as the Tribune dose
say that maay of the poll inqmrtss servo a useful social purpose by
Lotto** r To Tho Editor
calls pam* catmint amo satis/ actopt
Editor: After wading through the crime, tabloid presentation*
and competing headlines of some of our larger papers your paper Is
like a refreshing summer breese. I read tbs first copy during my
brief visit to your city to the AMI Spring Convocation end found
tbs clean, orderly presentation of the news, succinct editorials and ex
cellent local coverage so pleasing that I am enclosing W for a year's
subscription. I know only s few people In Minnesota, but your paper
pleased me so that I want to know more about the people and the
state end especially your alert editorial risers on the Issues which
face our nation and our particular race. For a paper of Ita etas, I find
it both corn piste and satisfactory O. B. I eng. Chicago. DL
Editor: I have attended many church conferences and read many
newepaper accounts before end after —but your paper did the best
job I have ever seen a paper of Its aise do In covering the meeting
called In your city by Bishop Oeorge Baber.
Three things Impressed me about your state. One was Its fine
hospitality, the fine church which the people of 8L Peter's AME wor
ship In and the good newspaper you publish.
Going back home I was reading the May 7 edition on the parlor
car between Minneapolis and Chicago and the conductor who took my
tickets said he was a regular subscriber to the paper (Newman's
paper, he called It). I thought you nice Minneapolis and St. Paul
brothers and sisters would like to know how some of us appreciated
your hospitality and your great cltiea. —Mr*. A. B. Hturdevaat, De
troit, Mich.
Editor. North High Is to be congratulated In appointing Mr.
Curtis Qwynne on their teaching staff.
Three year* ago he waa my boy's counselor at a TMCA Camp
My son was very fond of him. At that time we had an opportunity to
observe his expert knowledge of youth and his pleasing personality.
He will be a great aaaet to North High. Sincerely your*, Earl J.
Lyons, Judge, Fourth Judicial District, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Editor: The article In hut week's paper explaining the use of the
editorial “we" from the Minnetonka Record was Interesting and may
be as correct as any. However, I have heard another version of the
reason for Ita use which I would like to pass along.
In the old hell-fire and brimstone days of editorial writing when
an editor thought nothing of attacking, personally, in hts editorial
columns any one of a number of prominent eitisena of hts town, he
often left himself open for a punch on the nose from any one he so
attacked. Therefore, as s means of protection for his person, he
used the term “we“ to create the Illusion that there was more than
one person sharing his editorial stand, and who would be willing to
stand behind the editor In the event any blows were struck. Needless
to say. any on* who felt 111 used by the editor would think twice before
doing battle with more than one person, but If he thought the editor
was along, probably would have waded In with fists flying
There are perhaps many explanations for the use of the editorial
“we'' and slip robably have some basis In fact. I have read some
pretty shaky editorials, and It may be that some editors use the "we"
to bolster their own egos In the belief that others share the opinion
of the editor, even If it la really only himself Dale Hargeut, SUSS
Lee Av*„ Robblaadaie, Mina.
When you read thia paper each
week you are readlag the history
of your tows. your neighbors aad
your frteads. Todays newspaper*
are tomorrow’s history,
■ u
• Repairing of loose brick A
Concrete blocks
• Caulking of windows A
• Chimney repairing
• Steam cleaning and Blast
rally Insure*'
1137 lost Lake St.
DUpont 7341
1 1* f ,»o Tl.ut, (tnhiK S»
PHONf f>Ur > M
»»ii nan nil tee
H Dr. f I lUp
Strings and jCoom Association
Meyers Standard Service
MO! Porn—d Are. So. LO. IW
r. Friday, May U. ISM
ret ciMttai avi„ minniapoiii
Opoe tb 9 ?M. Seif I
•"SS —
mmlut nem n.twia um I
—A* ■ an uasst as un_J
Tewr Neighborhood
io. 07 n
37SJ lentil Ave. le.

xml | txt