North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
tl TUT URM INLTIIIFS-
SAT., MAY 30, 1981
YOU MUST BECOME
INVOLVED WE WEIFAW
r i u a v r, t, r''Bi 1 1 m 1 mm m
To Be Equal
Rights In Jeopardy
By Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.
Congress is holding hearings on extension
of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, scheduled
to expire next year.
Supporters of the legislation, including
many not otherwise, identified with civil
rights aims in the social and economic arena,
want to extend the Act until 1992,
But first they'll have to overcome strong
opposition from a coalition of die-hard Dix
iecrats seeking a return to black political im
potence and conservatives blinded by suspi
cion of federal power. "
Some want to extend the provisions of the
Act to all political subdivisions. The law now
requires certain States and localities all
with a history of voting discrimination to
submit all changes in voting or election pro
visions to the Justice Department for ap
proval. Extending this provision nationwide
would stretch the Department's resources so
thin that the law could not be enforced
anywhere. Which is of course, what its foes
The record shows that covered jurisdic
tions have tried relentlessly since passage of
the Act to dilute black voting. They've sub
mitted plans to gerrymander districts, hold
at-large elections, and shift polling places.
Subtle discrimination continues in many
places. - ' " '
' Free them from Justice Department over
sight and we will see a rash of electoral
changes, apparently insignificant, but which
will have the effect of , lowering black
political participation, ,
The Voting Rights Act actually does in
clude a provision Section 2 which pro
hibits racial discrimination In voting
anywhere in the country. That Section needs
to be reinforced with language that clearly
makes discriminatory effects of voting laws
ground for challenging those laws.
This is important, since the Supreme
; Court is demanding proof of discriminatory
' intent before it strikes down laws that have
discriminatory effects. Since proving such
intent is virtually impossible, Congress must
act to prevent the purpose of the Act from
Perhaps the biggest barrier to extension of
the Voting Rights Act is the general com
placency of people who feel the problem has
been solved and there is no further need for
federal interference in what is traditionally a
They point to the numbers of black voters
in the South and the nearly 2,000 black of
ficeholders there and conclude that the Act is
no longer necessary.
Better Late Than Never
Last week was Black Child Development Week.
Local and national organizations are to be commended for the
serious interest that is being taken in the plight of our black children:
In April, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., met in Detroit "to develop
strategies to reduce the black student failure syndrome"; on May 14, a
Durham Chapter of the Black Child Development Institute, a child
advocacy group for black children, received its charter at White Rock
Baptist Church; and, the Youth Affairs Committee of the Durham
Committee on the Affairs of Black People held a Youth Breakfast at
Mount Gilead Baptist Church.
We must do more much more however, if we are going to find
solutions to all of the critical problems facing black youth: 65 of
special education in New York and California consists of black
children (the black population of New York is 17 and it is 18 in
California); 25 of every 1000 black babies die in infancy; black
females represent a disproportionate percentage of teenage pregnan
cy; black youth is overwhelmingly represented among juvenile delin-
quents; pushouts and dropouts in school systems across country
are comprised mostly of black youth. When we add to this list what is
happening in Atlanta, the effect is chilling and numbing.
Those parents are to be commended who have managed to maintain
discipline and control over their children's lives and who have helped
them to shape acceptable goals for their lives. The black students,
therefore, who graduate from college this month and the high school
students who graduate next month are to be congratulated, along with
their teachers, for a job well done.
But for those members of society who are not yet dedicated to help
ing a black child to find hisher way in these perilous and troubled
times, this is the time for you to make that decision. It is time that you
realize that the hour is late. Black people cannot afford to lose another
child to murder, drugs, poverty, ignorance, teenage motherhood,
juvenile delinquency and psychological brutality.
For those who are indecisive about what type of service they may
render, the list is endless: become a school or community volunteer for
black children; join one of Durham's many organizations for black
children; provide a foster or adoptive home for a black child;
volunteer to supervise a child of working parents until the parents get
home; participate in the PTA or PTSA at the school of your choice;
attend school board meetings; work with church youth groups, or
organize a tutorial program in your community.
And it is imperative that black parents make every effort to
establish friendly, wholesome relationships with their children so that
their children will no longer feel compelled to follow destructive peer
Finally, let every person, and particularly every black, person,
parent or nonparent, decide today that heshe will work with some
problem facing black youth.
Yes, the hour is late, the situation is critical, but it is better to have a
late.beginning than not to begin af all.
Things You Should Know
. . . ONE OF JOHN BROWN'S ARMED
BAND IN THE FAMOUS RAID ON HARPER
FERRWVAylN 6S9mANYDIED INTHE
&HN PROWN,ON PEC? ),DED ON THE QALLOWsaN PERSON ES-
CAPED TP WRITE'A VOICE FROM HARPERS FERRYft LATER TO
FIGHT W THECIVILWAR ATA COMMEMORATION OF BROWN IX
ECUTION IN A WHITE MOB RIOTED &THREW FREDERICK
DOUGLASS DOWNSTAIRS AT BOSTON'S TREMQNT TEMPLE
Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are plenty of rural counties where r
removal of federal jurisdiction would im
mediately lead to a return to intimidation
,'and changes jn local voting regulations that
. i j .fr U.' J... UI.U h ever.
wuum viivvuvvij uuiuvi, ... -- -
cise of their citizenship rights. And cities,
suburbs and states would not be far behind,
either. r 7
It is incredible that at a time of rising
racism and a resurgent Klan there are still
well-meaning people who think the Voting :
Rights Act can be allowed to fade into obli
vion. The problems the Act deals with have been
solved only to the extent that the Act re
mains on the books and is enforced. Take it
away, and we will revert to the -evil days
before black people wrote the Voting Rights ,
Act into law. v
That's right: blacks wrote the law. I knoiw
it was drafted by Congressmen and passed
by Congress. But it was really written with
the blood, sweat and tears of thousands of
black people who, with their dedicated White
allies, marcnea ana demonstrated unm me v
nation's conscience cried out with the pain.
This is one law that has martyrs com
mitted people who were killed in the struggle
to obtain federal guarantees for the most
cherished of America's precious rights.
And The World
Gerald C. Home, Esquire
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) of
': Princeton, New Jersey recently released a
, study confirming what some of us knew all
along: there is a boorish ignorance about in
ternational issues in this country.
ETS's study concentrated on college
students but their findings can be generaliz
ed. Their "test" of students' "global
understanding" showed that fewer than fif
teen per cent of the seniors and ten per cent
of other students got more than two-thirds
of the answers right. Even accounting for
ETS's well-known methodological errors,
these figures remain stunning.
The knowledge of foreign languages is vir
tually non-existent except V for certain'
minorities, e.g. Puerto Ricans and Chicanos.
Only seven per cent of the students surveyed
thought they were sufficiently competent to
y understand a native speaker talking slowly
V and carefully; On the i other hantf (knowledge
of foreign languages in countries such as
West Germany and the Soviet Union is quite
prevalent, the effect on international
economic relations and ultimately, the
domestic economy -r should be obvious.
The Afro-American community has long
, had an interest in foreign affairs. The pre
Civil War Black State Conventions hailed
the "age of revolution" symbolized in the
fabled uprising of 1848 in Europe. W.E.B.
.DuBois had a long time interest in interna
' tional affairs, as evidenced by his knowledge
of German and French, and his frequent
traveling in the Far East and Africa. In fact,
when he was unceremoniously ousted from
the NAACP in 1948, the ostensible issue was
a dispute over international human rights.
Affirmative action advocates have long
been aware that discrimination and its
remedy is not a question confined to the
United States. In India, the so-called
"untouchables" ("harijans") are not only
assured of a set-aside of seats in the pniver
sities butjn Parliament as well. In Africa
itself, the Basaiva people (the so-called
"Bushmen") of Botswana, because of their
economically depressed condition have been
responding to appeals by racist South Africa
and have begun enlisting in their mercennary
army in Namibia. Hence, the government of
Botswana has initiated "special measures"
to overcome a legacy and reality of oppres
sion, i.e., affirmative action.
But such are not the sole affirmative ac
tion issues that occupy attention. It has
become increasingly clear that the policies of
President Reagan and Company have led
and will lead to gutting foreign language
programs in schools but as well his gargan
tuan spending on the military and shipping
of funds overseas to right-wing dictators will
mean no MedicareMedicaid, no food
stamps, no Social Security, no jobs.
Reagan's embrace of apartheid South
Africa is particularly unsettling. Though the
present South African leadership were jailed
the 1950's that handcuffed DuBois, Paul
Robeson and other black heroes. It should
not be forgotten that just as some blacks in
this country were slave-owners, there were
those in our community who were on the
side of Kirkpatrick and opposed DuBois
during thhe tumultuous Cold War. In fact,
the leadership of the NAACP Legal Defense
Fund, which rebelliously split away from the
NAACP during this era and which now
takes a position seen by many as leading to
the extinction of historically black colleges, .
was a bulwark of anti-communism during
the civil rights movement. This brought it in
to conflict with Dr. Martin Luther Kingj Jr.
and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee (SNCQ, the "shock troops" of ,
the movement. In fact, the head of the Legal
Defense Fund Jack Greenberg is criticized so .
;sjk .v." vmiratm:&Jiutt-iattaaiai nsnis organization, out
them as being "allies" with the U.S. in past
wars. Reagan is pushing for repeal of the
Clark amendment in an attempt to col
laborate directly with South Africa in the
destablization of Angola a land from
which, whether we know it or not, many of
our ancestors came.
But it is the present United Nations debate
on Namibia, that is occupying the rapt atten
tion of the worjd but has received little
notice in this country though it is occurr
ing in this country, in New York City. The
'lAfrica Group" at the U.N., in conjunction
with the non-aligned and socialist nations, is
moving to impose comprehensive economic
sanctions against South Africa. This would
make it "illegal" to trade with this outlaw
regime and would clearly have impact on the
many U.S.-based trans-national corpora
tions that profit from cheap black labor.
Not surprisingly, Reagan's U-.N. Am
bassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, is expected to
attempt to veto sanctions. Her presence
leading the charge against independent
Africa, raises another point. For Ms.
Kirkpatrick was one of the primary ar
chitects of the anti-communist legislation of
moreso because his policies often conflict
with the history and reality of the Afro
American community. Their anti
communism in the civil rights movement in
evitably paved the way for Reagan and
It paves the way for spending billions on
the Pentagon and right-wing dictators in El
Salvador. It paves the way for collaboration
with a South African regime that is the ma
jor cause of black death in the world today.
It paves the way for less spending on affir
mative action and jobs.
The way out should be clear: following the
path lit by W.E.B. DuBois, just as blacks did
at the turn of the century in rejecting the
"accommodationist" line of Booker T.
Concretely, this means getting your
church, your union, your PTA, etc., to send
a flood of post cards apd letters to the White
House protesting the conditions that lead to
black death in South Africa and Atlanta.
This means building organizations
unions, PTA's tenants' associations, etc.
so that the dream of Dr. DuBois of black
freedom everywhere becomes a reality.
Taking It Out On Seniors
By Congressman Augustus F. Hawkins
The President, fresh from his budget vic
tory, where he almost single handedly
eliminated 300,000 CETA public service
jobs, curtailed the school lunch program and
curbed health care and food stamp benefits
. for tens of thousands of pur nation's elderly
disabled, working people and the poor, now
has his sights on reducing Social Security
With Health and Human Services
Secretary Richard Schweiker at the helm, the
Administration is trying to sell its Social
Security cuts to the American people cuts
which call for substantial reductions in
Social Security benefits to countless
Americans who have reached retirement age.
Whatever the Administration calls its pro
posal, it. boils down to this. . . .Those
. Americans who are already retired would
lose because Mr. Reagan seemingly does not
believe that their cost of living increases
along with inflation. Moreover, those now
working, but who are close to retirement,
face the prospect of sharp reductions in
scheduled Social Security benefits. At the
same time, Social Security benefits for those
who retire early (those who retire before the
age of 63), even those who have in excess of
thirty years of. service, would be cut
drastically. In addition, Mr. Reagan wants
to raise the retirement age from 65 to 68,
which in and of itself could have particularly
adverse effects on black males and females
who have a statistically shorter life expectan
cy. This ruse, which Mr. Reagan alleges i
necessary to balance the Federal budget
even if it mans balancing the budget on the
backs of the elderly, disabled and poor, is lit
tle more than an unprecedented attack on
the Social Security System a system which
millions of Americans are relying upon for
their old age.
The Administration's stated objective in
reducing Social Security benefits is to
preserve the integrity of the Social Security
System; a goal which everyone would agree
is admirable., Nevertheless, the proposal
which has been outlined thus far by the Ad
ministration is at best dubious for the simple
reason that it has singled out two groups of
Social Security recipients for sharp and
abrupt cut the long term disabled and the
This sudden change in expectations for the
, disabled and those nearing retirement is not
only insensitive, irresponsible and inhumane
but it will disproportionately impact upon
low and moderate income workers, the
elderly and the poor the same groups
which will be most affected by the Ad
ministration's earlier proposal to terminate
andor drastically reduce other social securi
ty programs such as food stamps, extended
unemployment . benefits, medi-cal and
As it stands now, any reasonably in
telligent persons knows that the average
Social Security monthly payment is totally
inadequate to maintain anyone today, in
light of rampant inflation, escalating rents,
rising food prices and soaring prices in other
necessities such as medical care.
(Cmiiiued,oii Page !5)
Editor-Publisher 1927-1971 ,
Published every Thursday (dated Saturday) at
Durham-N.C. by United Publishers, Incor
porated: Mailing Address: P.O. J Box 3825,
Durham, N.C. 27702. Office located at 923
fayetteville Street, Durham, N.C. 27701. Second
.Class Postage paid at Durham North Carolina
27702. POSTMASTER: Send address change to
THE CAROLINA TIMES, P.O. Box 3825, Durham,
SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One year, $12.00
(plus' $0.48 sales tax for North Carolina
residents). Single copy $.30. Postal regulations
REQUIRE advanced payment on subscriptions.
Address all communications and make all checks
and" money orders payable to: THE CAROLINA
NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:
Amalgamated Publishers. Inc., 45 West 45th
'Street, New York,. New York 10066.
Member United Press International Photo Ser
'vice, National- Newspaper Publishers Associa
tion, North Carolina Black Publishers Associa
tion. ' :
Opinions expressed by columnists in this
newspaper do not necessarily represent the
policy of this newspaper.
This newspaper WILL NOT be responsible for
'he return of unsolicited pictures.