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CONNECTICUT CHRONICLE, JUNE 5, 1948 CONNECTICUT CHRONICLE GEORGE W. GOODMAN, Editor ERNIE DURHAM, Managing Editor PUBLISHED EACH SATURDAY AT HARTFORD, CONN. POST OFFICE BOX 1199 A Minority s Dilemma The American Negro certainly finds himself thrown into some very anomalous situations these days trying first to manifest his loyalty to the nation and at the same time trying to maintain a modicum of sanity. With the Press and radio screaming away about the dangers of Communism and the frighteousness of all things democratic, one cannot avoid trying to take a stand either pro or con. And yet there are so many discrepancies between what we read in the paper and hear on the air and the stark realities of everyday living that individual confusion and frustration are cur rent manifestations. Negroes for the most part have the inclination to want to go along with the slogan "My Country, Right or Wrong." But just how to manage this in the face of circumstances is a major problem. For no sooner than they seem to be developing a philosophical attitude about some of the short comings, than another situation is deliberately exploded in their faces. For instance the group has known for long years about the blatant violation of the democratic ideology latent in disfranchise ment and segregation. However, not since Reconstruction Days have they been treated to so much deliberate contempt about the matter as in the South's reaction to President Truman's Civil Rights pronouncements. Not in this generation had they ever witnessed the South getting violent about the whole matter and threatening to bolt the Party if a Civil Righjts plank is included in the Democratic Party platform. Then' to add insult to the injury that has now been publicized throughout the world, race baiters and haters in the Congress of the United States stand up and advocate that Negroes be forced into conscription in a Jim Crow Army. And while these things go on radio commentators, editors of newspapers and speakers from public platforms tell them that this is the best and freest counlry on the face of the earth and we should be proud and glad to be a part of it. Which logically would seem to prove nothing except the fact that there is apparently very little freedom abroad these days in this world. It is out of this maze of collosal contradictions that the Negro must find his way to the solid ground of national loyalty. And if in the course of his stumblings, leaders such as Randolph, Rey olds and Robeson raise their voices in protest, the eye-brows of public opinion are raised in wonder. Wonder that is often made vocal with admonitions from some people that the Negro must be patient and all suffering. Historically it would seem that the same thing is being done to the American Negro hat ultimately drove the people of Boston to dump the King's tea in the Boston Harbor, or to-day makes a band of men and women and children in Palestine willing to die to the last individual. "";' w.--j j..J-l""; No group of people can forever continue to bear every type of imposition without at least resorting to the regrettable. But far more important than what the Negro will or will not do abrut his present dilemna.is the fact that his plight will ultimately styme every honest attempt to spread democracy across the face of the earth for men have long since learned to distrust any ideology that can make race, color, religion, custom or language bar to full citizenship participation privileges. How About Democracy In The Fire Department? It sounds rediculous to say that in the New England city that Thomas Hooker helped to found, it is a foregone conclusion that no man with a black face is capable of helping to put out a fire with the modern apparatus that we now have. And for the sake of keeping the records straight ,no one has really been weakminded enough to express such a notion either in writing or vocally, that we know of. Yet by implication and practice, that is exactly what we have been saying for years. We said it first by simply refusing to even consider the application of a Negro here for Fireman. Just what system is used at the moment to reach exactly the same ends is somewhat obscure, for applications are accepted, but that is as far as the whole matter ever gets. A few months ago we adopted a new City Charter, a charter that has some rather specific things to say about discrimination based on race in city employment. Many were the intelligent people who were advocates of this new charter. Most "of these people and organizations are still present on the scene and we assume that they are just as anxious now to see this charter work as they were to have it adopted. We therefore would like to suggest that they bring this Fireman situation to the attention of the City Council and the City Manager for their cooperative consideration. Because now that we have found out that Negro women can teach children without them reverting to savagery; that it is possible for Negro men to join the Police force without the development of a great crime wave, or that a Negro man can guide a Bus from one end of the city to the other without endangering life and limb; it would seem that at least we are reaching a safe point to trust us with a nice new Fire Engine. It goes without saying that we know the whole tenor of the above statement is silly in essence. However, we have purposely made it so because it conforms so completely with the practice of excluding Negroes in the city of Hartford from qualifying for the Fire Department. For the whole world knows that there is nothing so involved about such a work responsibility that any man of average intelligence cannot comprehend in very short order. The practice is really just a part of a general pattern that has existed in the city of Hartford for many years and is just now being broken down. The full intention to keep Negroes out of any kind of employment activity that was not decidedly menial. Now that we have had another war, written an Atlantic Char ter and are now on our way to prepare for the next war, in the interim, it would seem that we could make a few more democratic moves. So why not make one of these moves toward a democratic Fire Department? Sllfe' 1 ISitS TTAITH takes on the look of silver thing?: S 5 i shimmering path at night across Offgl IHIn. The points of stars, the silver tips of wings, Ssx Fa J The white, still luminosity Xj 2Z- f SL Of gabled rooftops when the moon shines 11 ilr JS tree ' "Uiy toWn" 2gr3jf5 S. "c Faith sflvered brightness in the soul: glLr.' g A A ahaft set there to point the way to heaven, p Sfv v i J And carrad upon it is a lettered scroll, C J Its words miraculously given f fe To guide the traveler on his shining way i J?l 3SS?sn "kV . LTdou the toad today. 1 jjjj$-m H help me keep my faith andimmed by Letters To The Editor SPEAKING FRANKLY By HUGH H. SMYTHE The plan for Jim Crow regional schools in the South has been much in the news, since the governors of some Southern states had tried to get Federal approval of this discriminatory educational compact. Fortunately, the hope for sanctioning by the Senate has been killed off for this session since by a margin of one vote the Senate voted to recommit the bill to committee. In this connection, the plan is of increasing importance to Negroes, and it would do well if we as a group had some idea of just what our Negro educa crs thought and felt about this whole thing. Are they in favor of it, or are they against it? Just what is the attitude of so-called leading figures of the race in education on this issuer Mr. William N. Smith, Personnel Mr. Smith, after surveying llie re- Courrselor at Shaw University, Ral eigh. N. C, has drawn up a report which, in part, gives some answer to this question.; Entitled A Report on the Opinions Given by Twenty Seven Educators in Private Insti tutions on the Southern Governors Proposal for Regional Colleges' for Negroes, it attempts to acquaint the public with the opinions of . these educators as put forth at a committe metirvg composed- of , Jhese educa tors meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Since Mr. Smith was astute enough to surmise that in all probability all of the members would not be present for the meeting, he formu lated a questionable and sent it to the prospective committeemen. Al though he sent out forty-two ques tionnaires, only twenty-seven re plied. The responses from these are set down here. All of the respondents said they were acquainted with the Southern governors regional educational plan. To the question: Do you favor high er education for Negroes in the South taught in well-run and well- planned all-Negro institutions, eight replied YES and nine said NO, with the latter stating that they pre ferred state colleges opened to all groups. Those in the affirmative felt that regional schools should be in the hands of competent Negro administrators. Relative to interracial institutions, sixteen were in favor of them, and eleven were aganst such schools. Two of the latter were white ad ministrators. Most of these edu cators if they had children, however, stated that they would not send their children to these schools. Only 21 replied to this, but four said YES, two said NO, and 21 were either uncertain or failed to commit themselves. We are as suming that they would not want to send their own children to such segregated, un-American schools of learning. In regard to accepting the presi dency of such a Jim Crow regional school, seven said they would ac cept, six replied negatively, and fourteen were uncertain or did not reply. Answers by those who said they would accept were: "Because changes can better be made from within;" "A qualified Negro can best help his people." Of those re plying negatively, "I am opposed to enforced segregation in education,' "I feel that the state universities should admit Negroes for College work." It is significant to more that not one of the 27 educators would an swer the question: Would you contribute to a fund to oppose such a plan? It should be noted here that of these 27 administrators, eleven were college presidents, and eighteen were college administrators other than presidents or teachers. Relative to Federal aid to educa tion, twenty favored such aid, six opposed it, and one failed to reply. In regard to answering truthfully whether their positions would be jeopardized by answering the ques tions in the questionnaire, nineteen felt that their positions would not be endangered, two felt that theirs would, and six did not answer. suits of his investigation, concluded: All of the educators are familiar with the Regional College idea. Those who favor all-Negro insti tutions favor them apparently be cause to them segregation seems something inevitably to be imposed upon Negroes in the South; there fore, they feel that " well-planned, and well-run institutions as pro posed by the Regional College Plan : jure '.needed... ', Sixty per cent of tht persona in private institutions who replied to this questionnaire indicated that; the felt that all students should be' ad mitted to state institutions without regard of race. Most of these educators were not sure whether or not they would send their children to a Regional school; nor were they sure whether or not they would accept a job in one of these schools, Mr. Smith felt that, based on his findings, the majority of educators in private institutions are opposed to segregated Regional Colleges. We are thankful to Mr. Smith for this effort. Small though it is, is a step in the right direction and is of help in estimating statistically, at least, what some of the men who head and guide he education of Ne groes are thinking. But we believe that Mr. Smith is a little bit opti mise about believing that the ma jority of educators in Negro schools are against the plan. We would like to go along with him here, but even judging from his own sample survey, the results would not seem to justify" this conclusion. The men who head Negro schools have a vested interest in their jobs, and being product of the American pattern of life self-interest is up permost in their minds. As any one knows, who is honest with him self, our way of life is not conduc ive to the rearing of individuals who think of the general welfare first; rather, it tends to instil in one the idea to get all you can; to be smart is to be able to take as much advantage of the other fellow as you possibly can. One becomes a laugh able entity if he is found to be try ing to work in the interest of the masses, instead of trying to feather his own nest. From all indications the leaders of Negro schools, with a very few exceptions, fit this pic ture quite well. If Mr. Smith will remember that in a sense the jobs of these ad ministrators are rather "cushy," offering soft living, a measure of prestige in the eyes of Negroes, and permit these individuals to be "big fish" in a small pond, then he will understand our reasons for not wanting to go along with him in his optimistic conclusions that the heads of private schools are largely a gainst regional schools. This survey has been of positive value, however, and we hope that some of those who read about it and see it otherwise will be prompted to write the heads of Negro schools to fight this Jim Crow plan with all the forces at their command. o Venezuela's Schools School attendance in Venezuela has increred 80.000 during the past two years. Dear Editor: It is with mingled feelings of joy and regret that I read the front page headlines of your week ly newspaper: "First Negro Bus Driver Accepted." Joy indeed it was for Preston Pope's sake in knowing that he is the first Negro bus driver in the State of Connecticut, regret that this news should be made front page headlines. It is not only disgusting and heartrending to know that the Connecticut Company could not see their way to hire a Negro bus driver before now, but that this their first action in this direction should be lauded as some achieve ment. After all, what does it take to operate a bus, but: (a) The know-how to drive (b) To be on schedule and know your route (c) To give accurate change (d) To be polite to the- public. Are these anything to be splash ing around as the ideal answer to a promising young man's prayer with a high school education? Since when does it take a high school graduate to operate a bus? How many of the white bus driv ers have high school education? We should be ashamed to laud about as news that Pope is the first Negro bus driver in the state. This news would be better read in the News in Brief column. I shudder at what many of the white bus drivers are thinking about this hue and cry over Pope's job as a bus driver. I am, sir, Your obedient servant, nom-de-plume (PROGRESS) Looking Out The Window By THE OBSERVER LABOR REPORTS- On PRESIDENT TRUMANS' CIVIL RIGHTS PROGRAM We have long been an advocate of those who felt that a strong Christian Church would solve some of the many racial ills that beset our nation. This feeling was intensified by the Christ-like kstand of the Roman Catholic Bishop of St. Louis when he re fused to allow a few dissenters to maintain Jim Crowism in the Parochial schools there. But now the protestants in the Baptists Church in the south have listed their clergy two to one against the Presidents Civil Rights pro posal. Worse still, the rump Baptist group in the south have raised that old bogey adopted by the Dutch reform Church of South Africa Years ago that other than white christians are equal only after they enter the kingdom of Heaven. This type of Christianity will not foster World Brotherhood or Peace. We are not in a position to ask for fair play as long as we refuse to recognize that all white men are not bad and all black men are good, we must recognize all men on their merits. Unles.s we are willing to do so, we have no right to expect the same in return. Ben Brown was suprised to find so many employees of color in the State Office Building. What puzzles Ben is why the Democrats were so afraid to venture in this field when they controlled the state. Tom Dodd and Chester Bowles both have many Negro friends. Dodd was well liked when he was state head of the N.Y.A. Bowles is remembered by his forthright manner in abolishing Jim Crow in his Department in Washington. The colored business men in the North End need your help and support. Plans are afoot to get them together to render you better and more complete ser vice. To have a successful com munity we all have to work to gether. The Chronicle is pledged to that program so get ready to DO YOUR PART. We miss our friend Herman Koppleman in Congress, and we hope the Democrats put him on the ticket again this year. Ben Brown says he never loses on leap year. PLEASE, MAY I FEED MY CHILDREN? (Last Hired First Fired!) This is the sad four-word story of minority groups and the business of earning a living. "White girl wanted . . ." "Gentiles Only . . ." These phrases are shockingly familiar in the want-ads of our newspapers. The President's Committee on Civil Rights lets us know that such discrimination is not unusual that it is a definite policy affecting millions of our fellow Americans in their basic right to earn a living. In the last depression unemployment hit racial minorities five times as hard as other workers. Now, after the war, cut-backs are hitting such minorities twice as hard as other groups. The Fair Employment Practice Committee, set up by Presi dent Roosevelt during the war and now dissolved, warned in its final report that "The wartime gains of Negro, Mexican American and Jewish workers are being lost through an unchecked revival of discriminatory practices." Even in times of full employment discrimination is cruelly- felt Jews, Negroes, Mexicans, Indians . . . find it next to impossible to get jobs for which they are trained. Only one out of twenty Negroes get a skilled or professional or managerial job as compared to slightly less than one out of three white men. Railroads generally exclude Negroes from jobs as engineers or conductors. In a Chicago employment agency Jews were barred from 50 percent of executive jobs, 41 percent of male clerical jobs, 24 percent of female clerical jobs. And these are only a few random: examples . . . . How much do you earn ? That, too, may depend on your race, your color, your religion. Even during the war, in 1942, if John Doe, unskilled laborer, was a Nejro his average wage was 47.4 cents an hour; if he was white it was 65.3 cents. , In 1940, Negro "high school graduates earned only half as much as equally trained white men. The same was true for college graduates. Once again, according to the President's Committee, our Federal government sets a poor example. Fully one-fourth of the complaints about employment practices made to the FEPC were directed against the government itself ! The best non-discrimination record is that of labor unions, but even they fall short of the goal. Six percent of the complaints were lodged against them. However, the AFL and the GIO, the Committee reports, have officially condemned job discrimination based on race or creed and are waging vigorous campaigns against it. Can we control unfair employment practices? In wartime the FEPC proved that it was possible. Now, six states have legislation against discrimination in employment. The record of New York State alone proves how much can be accomplished. ' In our remaining articles in this series we shall examine the Committee's report on abuses of rights in housing and education. Meanwhile, the report on employment is a challenge to every decent American. As the Committee shows, depriving our fellow workers of jobs for which they are fitted sets up a vicious circle: less wages . . less wages . . less purchasing power . . fewer goods . . then increasing unemployment all around. It stands to reason, therefore, that every American is protect ing his own best interest in fighting for "adoption of the Committee's recommendations an effective FEPC with clear legislative powers in the National Government and similar agencies in the states. 1. Ben Brown is more than an xious to see what the Republi can State organization is going to do about the request of the Hartford Town Committee for a County Commissioners Post. Which brings up the story that is being whispered around the North End that the boys feel the least the major parties can do now is to offer to place a Negro as a Deputy Sheriff or a Turnkey. Others feel the time is ripe to chuck the Police Court Messengers spot for something further up. But, such is the stuff that politics are made of. Speaking of colored veterans, did you ever see the battle flags of the two famous Negro Regi ments that brought fame and Glory to Connecticut. That's a story for your children to hear. But at least you can take them to the State Capitol to see the Flags and sometime in the near future the Observer will give you a full story about these two fine units. Keeping Flowers Fresh To keep a short-stemmed flower fresh in a slim deep vase, slit the end of the flower a little and wrap around it one end of a pipe clean er. The pipe cleaner extending into the water acts as a wick for the flower. - Brighten Aluminum To brighten aluminum pans, use a paste of vinegar and whiting and scour with a fine stee.1 wool pad. Aluminum usually becomes darker when cleaned with strong soap, scouring powder or soda.