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-TV'COliNATIVS SAT, AUGUST 6, 1977
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WVNfflfW LOOKIN' TREE OFF
A generation has been born and
graduated from high school since the
United States Supreme Court struck
down the "separate but equal" doctrine ,
which was the basis for segregated
public schools in this nation. Since, we
have been riding the same buses, eating
the same lunches, taking the. same
classes under the same teachers, had
access to the same libraries, books,
science laboratories, et , cetera, as
students of every other shape; size and
color. While many of them have been
concentrating on academics, increasing
numbers of us blacks have been con
centrating on cheerleading, athletics,
dancing and partying.
To this day, we are hearing pleas
and cries for special treatment and
dispensations on the part of many
blacks. Granted, past injustices of
long standing, etched so deeply into,
the fiber and psyche of black folk,
can not and will not be erased in one
generation. Those painful marks may
not disappear over many generations
yet to come. There are, and probably
will continue to be for some time,
valid reasons for shortcomings among
blacks trying to function in the main
stream i of .American life. But there
comes a time, when reasons, overused,
v Governor Jim Hunt is proceeding ,
to implement competency testing to
guarantee, among other things, that
North Carolina's high school graduates
will be able to read, write and perform
basic arithmetic functions. We are well
aware;that testing, of and by itself, is
not the full answer, to the worsening
state of education, but it is a start The
problem is many-faceted.
IN HIS MAI LG RAM TO VERNON JORDAN ,
Olilr ni4 nil Urtiirlnn Irnm f PrAciriftntl Carter that Criticism aaainst "
thi Dimocratlc Party, th Congress, and the Democratic President does a
dlsservict to the poor. Such nonsense. Are we the imitation of the Darkless
canines who even when we hurt them are not supposed to yelp?
. . "The people are wise wiser than the politicians think.", .
. "The Black masses hear only what Jimmy Carter does, and must ignore
the Aministration s KiacK rooots wno nave severea nw roo.
. -..'r-Carlton B. Goodlett, Pres., NNPA ;
BUSINESS IN Till
- C;!Sicn$ Icr Black Business
President James Earl Carter signed
into law on May 13, 1917, a $4 billion
local Public Works "Program These
billions of dollars should not bypass the
black community. The..amende4 legis
lation requires that at least ten per cent
of this money go for minority business
enterprise through construction;; con
tracting, subcontracting and purchase
of materials and equipment.-
The United States Department of
Commerce,, through - the: : Economic
Development Administration (EDA), is
responsible for administering the pro
gram but black businessmen would do
well to buttress these bucks with their
locsl chapters of the NAACP, National
Eusintss League ; and " community
development organization to direct
th::; funds directly to the black
There comes a time - such as NOW
- to stop making excuses and get to
work 'burning the midnight oil and
wearing out some books with study. A
friend said this week, "hand-out clothes
you can get; hand-out food, you can
get; hand-out; living quarters, you can
get; but there is no such thing as hand
out education"-:' Sh.fYi'-,'
We've "observed, with A distress,
7 Hillside High School's HonoSociety;:
turning white; NCCUs graduate' pro-
.grams, "including . our
School, turning white fast.We've no
objection whatever to the use and
accomplishments .of whites - that is
not' the problem. When our black
students take the stupid position that
.to carry home books to study; makes
one a traitor to his race or is hot
'cool' or whatever other terminology
they use, it only shows how dumb they
are. These negativists are even exerting
unbelievable pressures on their peers
not to study. The simpletons are
drunk with hand-outs and think they .
will get their education through hand
outs, too. , It doesn't stop at high
school, either. James and Morrison
dormitories at Chapel Hill house most
of the black undergraduates attending '
the University of North Carolina. Those
two dorms ; arefackn6wle(jged to have
the highest noise levels and highest
theft rates on the campus. This is
ridiculous for the poorest segment of
- It . may take wholesale flunking
(failing) to knock some sense into
some black folks' heads. So, we say to
Governor Hunt, FULL SPEED
AHEAD!. The sooner, the better.
by CHARLES E. BELLE-
Ostensibly, the program is to pro
' vide 100, per cent federal funding to
- units of state and local governments for
the construction of needed.! public
facilities in areas of high unemploy
ment Given the unusually high concen-,
tration of people of color in these high
i unemployment areas, ten, per cent is a
minimum goal. Four hundred million
dollars is pennies. The objective should
' be more like fifty ' per cent to match
black youth unemployment. Two
The Economic Development .. Ad
ministration is committed publicly to
administer the ten per cent require
ment vigorously and effectively But
black people cannot ,be put ; down to
the lowest expectation of participa-,
Our recently concluded convention in St.
Louis was for me a mixed bag.. It was at once
satisfying and ' dissatisfying, mystical and
real, perplexing and clear.
It was filled with nostalgia: the legend of the
civil rights movement, Roy Wilkins, stepping
down from the post of executive director, a posi
tion he had proudly held for 22 years. It was a
changing of the guard: Wilkins relinquishing the
position to me. This capped more than 45 years
of brillant and dogged work with the NAACP
for Wilkins, who first began with the organiza
tion in 1931, held various posts from editor of
the Crisis Magazine and associate director until
he was appointed to the top position after the
death of the charismatic Walter White. .
It was laced with parties. A large round of
affairs designed to say goodbye to Roy, and each:
of them vying with the other in festive purpose
and attempts at disguising broken hearts. ,
While merriment jand light banter were the
stuff of these affairs, a tear or two appeared, es
pecially after a solemn word from Wilkins; but
each was hastily wiped away. It was as if the
veterans of the civil .rights movement, the folks
who have been at the cutting edge of change for
all these years steeled themselves with the re
solve: "Big boys and girls don't cry, no matter ho
how deep the hurt or sense of loss." But the
To Be Equal ?uf mmi joxdah
President Carter's proposal to upgrade less-than-honorable
discharges was a long overdue
step to restore some rationality and justice to an
irrational and unjust situation. But this proposal
is now ; running into Congressional opposition
that threatens to sabotage the hopes of hundreds
of thousands of Vietnam-era veterans.
The Administration wants to automatically
upgrade many less-'than-honorable discharges to
honorable. This has important consequences for
such individuals. It would qualify them for
veteran's benefits,? andjtjivould remove an db
stacleto employment, ifcce many employers
.won't hire anyone who holds less than an honor- 1
: able discharge, '.jflu
i V U)bbyin groirpl an4!;$0me Congressman
IhcjAgh? want ?,tohej fviK plan or dilute
it to the point where it's meaningless. Instead of
blanket upgrading, they're suggesting that reci
pients Of the upgraded discharges still be denied
veteran's benefits until cleaj-ed by a review panel,
a time-consuming and unworkable process.
Compassion and justice demand that such
vindictive measures be beaten back and the Ad
ministration's program be supported.
The upgraded discharges would go to people
-whose less-than-honorable discharges were ad
ministrative. The popular image of a military law-
Who Were Hew York's Blackout
During the looting ,thaY took place in New
York City's blackout, if onft believes the pictures
published in the July 25, Editions of Newsweek
and Time magazines, all the looters were black
(with the exception of a) sprinkling of racially,
unidentified culprits also sd involved),
Time magazine displayed six pictures, of
looting incidents; every picture showed blacks at
the center of activity. i ' '
Newsweek used eight pictures depicting loot
ing; blacks were prominently displayed in all 8
photos. . , . -
Both magazines, dramatically displayed -blacks,
in various looting scenes, on the covers of ;
their respective publications. They splashed these
covers with vividly dramatic colors to highlight ;;
f the viciousness of the plufidering that took place. ;
At first I refused t6 believe what 1 was
seeing, because somehow I though that we were
pass negative, racially explotitive, media report
ing. But unfortunately I was wrong on both
counts; one, I was seeing correctly and properly,
and two, at least Time and Newsweek were not
' above, racist reporting (especially pictorial re
porting) in this instance., . . '
And I say "racist reporting," carefully , con
servatively, and advisedly...
tion. EDA is intent upon enlisting the
support- of the U. S. Commerce De
partment's" Office, of Minority Busi
ness Enterprise (OMBE).
J rthis office is currently caring for its
own problems. The push muct come
from black people if there is to be any
true equity of participation by black
business. The past is full of well Men
tioned efforts to aid ."the struggling
minority entrepreneur. But, alas, poor
Yorick, I knew him well.
".' There should be bodies shrewn all
, about if blacks intend to do any real
business with this program. Allow me
to name names. The EDA has regional
1 offices manned by the following direc
tors: John E. Corrigan, 600 Arch St.,
Philadelphia; Charles E. Oxley, 1365
Peachtree St., N. E., Atlanta; John M.
Clark, 32 -W. Randolph St.,Chicago;
lumps were, nevertheless, there. And visible, 'at,
;. times, in the throat.
A stiff upper lip was the order of the day.
This was no time for tears. It was an uncertain
time, to be sure. A time to take stock; a time to
assess; a time to look over the new boy on the
block me; to weigh him; to assess him, to
i analyse him; to test him. Maybe even make a few
criticisms of him. But not too many, and maybe
most of all, hot quite so uncharitably yet. Civet,
him time. For this, I am grateful.;- ' - ' 4
, These were not just the thoughts of many
convention delegates, men and . women from
every nook and cranny of these United States.
They were my thoughts, as well. For I felt the '
lump in the throat, the tightening of the viscera,
the tingling of the spine when Roy, with great
dignity, acknowledged, upon arriving at an affair, ,
his wife, Minnie,: at his side, the great waves of
applause and cheers washing over him. v :,
I felt the burning of the eyeballs a$ hot tears
pushed against them. I, too, fought to hold my-'
self erect and not give way to emotional unstring
ing. For my life, too, was caught in the balance.
The years Roy Wilkins spent working with the
NAACP were ineluctably my years. I was seven
years old when he started with the NAACP, and
every battle fought, every battle won, or lost, is
etched indelibly in the record of my being.
The massive battles against lynching, against
breaker whose Court marital would be reversed is
fiction; Most of the veterans served their terms of .
duty, slogged through the mud in Vietnam, and,f-j
now, often because of grossly unfair procedures,
personal grudges, or other, factors including
racial discrimination are under a life sentence
of disadvantage because of arbitrarily imposed
Most also served honorably in the combat
zone, which is the basic test of the soldier, Their
discharges, when there was a valid reason, were :
often for minor infractions. The penalty does not
fit Jhe offense in such cases. , '
The racial factor is obvious from an examin
ation of discharge statistics that show dispro
portionate numbers of blacks getting less-than-honorable
too, amohVtfie'duiererit mHct aiuTilsTtfianr T
ten per cent of Army personnel separated for
"character or behavior disorders" got honorable
discharges but 77 per cent of Navy personnel
separated for the same reason got honorable
That doesn't make sense. It is unfair to in
dividuals who get uneven treatment only because
different services acted differently. This is capa
ciousness not justice.
Many of the veterans concerned never
jugyjjjj f Hawkins
The pictures don't lie. They caught the
plunderers red-handed; .fighting over stolen ,
goods; defiantly posing with their ill-gotten gains;
destroying, property; breaking into barricaded
stores. , '.
No-excuse for this.
But was mis the whole story? Am I to
understand ' that the only ransackers were the
. blacks - and no others? In a city with eight
million people, only blacks looted? Only blacks?
In that vast city, light-less, and laying pro
strate to all manner of indignities, does Time
Magazine and Newsweek magazine desire to send
out a message, which says that blacks and blacks
alone, ravaged the City of New York, when the
City was helpless to do anything about protect
ing itself? C
. . If this is the communication that these two
responsible journals wish to enunciate, then I
- say that they are taking tremendous liberty with
truth and honesty.
They also must be ready to accept the re
sponsibility for maliciously maligning the basic
decency of 99.9 per cent of the black people of
' that city. "?v-,'.
. By printing these pictures, and isolating loot
ing to blacks, Time and Newsweek are raising
Joseph B. Swanner, 22 N. Sixth St.,
Austin, Tx.; Craig M. Smith, 909 17th
St., Denver and C. Mark Smith, 1700 ;
Westlake Ave.,1 Seattle ' '
. It's well worth a trip to visit these
men with your NAACP and NBL local
president in toll, to demand your fair
share of the federal plev Most of the $4
billion will , be awarded by EDA to
states, cities, school districts, andother
; applicants by August 15, 1977p for use
in financing public works projects'
Construction of each project must
begin by the 90th day after approval..
Do not wait if you are interested in a
local contract on one of these pro-,
jects. Find out what is going on in your
town and put a stop to it now at the
; regional office level unless you got a
piece of the action.
the Grandfather clauses, against white primaries,
for equal job opportunities, against restrictive
convenants, to end separate but unequal every
thing twanged at my nerve endings as .Wilkins and
White and Randolph ' and other great black
leaders orchestrated, planned or plotted brilliant
strategy on the huge chess boardof America. ; v
' Wilkins' stepping down then, brought to an
end a whole way of life for me.Where I may
have, differed slightly from other delegates and
friends of the great leader at the convention, I
could not afford; after first blush, to spend time
contemplating the meaning this has for aO of us.
I was being primed to step immediately into this
big man mighty shoes. 4 - ,
The weight of the struggle's leadership then
is mine. The thrill of battle, the concerted action,
even the sensation of a fight well made, can be-
long to all of lis. But the burden of mistakes be
longs to me, alone. It is a sobering thought.
Who can really fill Roy Wilkins' shoes? Who
should try? I, for one, will try to be the pest
leader I know how to be. I will pray for gui
dance and ask friends, NAACP staff and mem
bers alike to give me their unswerving support,
But in the end it will be me, my leadership done
in my own inimitable style that must and should
be judged. ' - -
NATIONAL URIAH LEAGUE
should have been in the armed forces at aO. They
were persons, whose educational and other dis
i advantages were below military standards. Rather
than resort to politically unpopular draft of
. college students or calling up reserve units, such
persons were recruited into the military with the
promise that they'd benefit from special pro
grams upgrading their skills and education.
.. Instead they found themselves in combat,
and are disproportionately among those who re
ceived bad discharges. Not to correflt that situa
tion would be to double the unfairness they've
already been subjected to.
1 Less-than-honorable discharges are so im
portant in their effect on a person's life that they
should not be imposed without formal pro
ceedings. . Service personnel should not be subiecfea" to
arbitrary administrative fiats; removal from the
ranks and receipt of a discharge that carries
penalties should be for cause, with due process
and protection for the accused.
The Administration's program for upgrading
discharges should be supported against emotional
but mistaken attacks. It represents an important
step in the process of healing the wounds of
Vietnam, and well never escape from that
tragedy so long as justice to veterans is denied.
ghosts of the past, stereotypic and dangerous,
which in former days equated blacks with all that
was bad in this society, and painted whites as
being goodness personified.
I have an apology coming from Newsweek
and Time Magazine, unless they can prove to me
that there is no message of bigotry, prejudice and ,
bias in their glorious pictures, and that they are
not going to take us back in time to the kind of
slanted, racist reporting that once existed in that
: infamous piece of American history.
have an apology coming from Newsweek
and Tinie Magazine, because my experience with
and knowledge of the urban riots of the 60's
: tells that maligning a whole group of people for
the bad acts of a few, does damage to this whole
nation in the long run.
And1, oh yes, I also want that apology for all
the nice black and white kinds in this country,
who are beginning to understand that both black
and white are beautiful.
Time and Newsweek, with malice afore-
thought, have thrown handfuls of mud at that
road to understanding, which needs building not
Editor Publisher , 1927-1971
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