Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

The Carolina times. (Durham, N.C.) 1919-current, August 15, 1981, Page 14, Image 14

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Affirmative Action NEEDED KwjjMTEP COWIUNITY LEADERSHIP ' VZMUSTFZEVEHT , PREVENT THAT. BlaclcTBritain and Reagan's War On Civil Rights Gerald C. Home, Esquire NNPA Editorial We Must Pay As Well As Pray For Civil Rights "We must pay as well as pray for civil rights progress." Those are the words of a black business man who exemplies black philanthropy at , its best. Don King, boxing promotor ex traordinaire, is known as a self educated and very glib speaker. Put him behind a microphone or in front of some listeners, and he can entertain, charm, and over- . whelm you with his .; eloquence. But he also believes in putting his , ' Don ', King ' practices what he preaches not forgetting from whence you've come; returning f something significant to the community which helped make you; sharing, caring, and giving in support of your, own people; doing all you can to' help support the strength of the black conw ; munity , black family, and using . power and money intelligently , and effectively to support our cause. st '.',-', -Ji'.r,s In February, King, during a , visit to Howard University to sneak to students. ' handed out checks totalling $130,000 to ten NAACP, the National 1 Urban League, United Negro College runa, ana inc . national Newspaper Publishers Associa tion. - Significantly, King presented a $10,000 check to Dr. LaSalle Lcffall, a black physi cian, then the president of the American Cancer, Society, , for a national campaign to reduce the high incidence of cancer deaths In the past several years, King has contributed more than a half million dollars to "black causes. ! At the PUSH convention in 'Chicago recently, King not only, contributed another $10,000 in support of , Project Excel arid other - PUSH programs, , but brought with him four of his box ing champions, each inspired to contribute $1,000. otys rung, ouuicj ui uui. suc cessful blacks, who are products .of the black community, the , black ghetto, like myself, are so quick to forget who helped make them, the origin of their black roots. As soon as the wrinkles get nut rtf thir hl1tc tliv nrnMaim ; they have done it alone. . . .made it to the top by themselves,? Added King, "We must deal ' with the fact that we are our black brother's keeper, whether we want to be or not. And our plight, as blacks struggling for parity in the economic market place, will not be -changed, until we help ourselves." As the flames of rebellion begin to flicker in Great Britain, it is appropriate to examine the reasons for this mass unrest For the past ! . weeks, the kind of urban rebellions that dot-; ted the landscapes of Harlem, Watts and other black communities hit Liverpool, y Manchester and other, staid, terribly British towns. - Those of the United States should be especially quick to analyze recent events in Eneland because Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been pursuing assiduously the same kind of "monetarist" soak the poorfeed the rich policies formulated by the r right-wing economist Milton Friedman and presently being executed by. her Atlantic , counterpart, President Ronald Reagan. -i The fact is as even New York's Gover- . nor Hugh Carey has pointed out that con- tinued pursuit, of Reagan's program Of throwing money at the Pentagon while bleeding dry all social programs (Medicare, mass transit, daycare and the like) will cause rebellions of a sort that would make Britain's unrest seem tame by comparison. ; Britain? prestigious Commission for 4 Racial Equality, which was established by ' the government to monitor progress in race relations and . to investigate charges' of discrimination;' declared in a recent report . that as the economic recession worsened and unemployment rose, blacks and other peoples of color were disproportionately af fected. - The report noted that discrimination in employment, far from being eliminated, is. increasing in some areas and that at the head of the unemployment line are blacks. But like the USA, whites are affected too by this f unemployment; hence, it was not surprising that black' and white youths were joined together in fighting the police and attacking symbols of corporate wealth. . What, this report outlined about unemployment and racism plaguing the British isles could' just as easily have been written about the U.S. Of course, this kind . of urban outbreak as only a few commen tators noted is nothing new for Britain. In the 18th century, for example, "bread riots" and other forms of opposition to price hikes were as common as slums. Nevertheless, the specter of black and white youth banding together in the recent rebellions is certainly worthy of note. ' - Though he is not smart enough or suffi ciently sensitive to do so, President Reagan would do well to study carefully the report , -Of the Commission for Racial Equality. For -it is certain that his policies are inexorably' . leading to a domestic apocalypse now. ; Nowhere is this more apparent than in his current war on 'civil rights. Reviving Presi- dent . Nixon's discredited . "Southern p.. ...... ..... : : ; .-. - TTT3T i.u :.f-:4 tv. strategy wun vengeance, uip imiuci - same .FBI that investigated Dr. B m0vie'thesDian lias been working overtitne'- A" 'A'AUAA'Aih'- ik A'n A htiltM lAMfAj k' ArtI 1A' As a boxing promoter who brought the "big purse" to the fighters, King has had a phenomenal "rags to riches" saga from an ex-convict to the "P.T. Barnum of Boxing." But when you reach the mountaintop, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., discovered, there are many forces out , to knock you down, to discredit you, to put ''the nigger'? back . in his place. ,,, ,". J ' ' ; So it is true with King. ,The, extended to cover all fifty states.; The Presi dent knows that the Justice Department can ; barely fulfill its present responsibilities in en forcing the Act. Extending jurisdiction tp all fifty states would mean that states where the most serious and egregious violations occur : w - Mississippi, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, etc. would be likely to escape notice and get away clean. Some op ' ponents of affirmative action have tried a similar trick by suggesting that everybody should receive "preferential treatment." But, if everybody receives affirmative action, then moves to give blacks a boost are negated and we're right back where we ' started. Reagan must know that his proposal would be the kiss of death for' the Voting Rights Act and he should be ascorded the same lack of respect that he is displaying toward us. tW--' "f'!r ;-;- " , 7 If Reagan's position on the Voting Rights Act is bad, then" his position on school desegregation, civil rights litigation by the -Justice - Department ?v and i employment discrimination is incalculably worse. , In response to complaints from Big Business, the Department of Labor has delayed the date for publication of affir mative action guidelines by the all-important Office of Federal Contract Compliance Pro- grams (OFCCP). , But that's not all. Since Reagan has taken office, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has filed a meager five civil lawsuits on discrimination issues, as against 17 such suits in the first six months of the Carter" Ad ministration. Before a call is issued for a return to the White House by the peanut farmer, please note that 24 such suits were filed in the first six months of the Nixon Ad ministration. These statistics dramatize a fact some of us have known all along. What . is important is not so much the President but the political context in which he operates. In 1968 when Nixon came to power there were frequent demonstrations, picketing and mass pressure to which he had to bend. Some of us thought that just because, black votes elected Carter, we could sit on our hands. But it should have been recognized that freedom is a constant struggle and the pressure should always be on the President he should always hear our marching feet even if our votes elected him. In criminal actions, mainly against policemen accused of civil rights violations, the Reagan Justice Department has filed 21 suits, while during the same time frame the Carter 1 Administration filed 28. During Reagan's reign, eight objections have been lodged pursuant to the Voting Rights Act; under Carter during the same period, 23 were filed. In the area of school desegregation, e.g., - i t - Kins, anrf nassed 1 alonsr Vicious! - and malicious rumors to discredit , him; the same FBI that helped .destroy the life of a white movie star by deliberately planting news items in Hollywood gossip col umns about the woman being im- . pregnated by, a member of the Black Panthers, and this samel FBI is now allegedly looking into ' criminal violations in boxing, but; : up to now, the focus has been on one person, Don King. ; - - King's No. 1 competitor, Bob ; Arum, who is white, has not been a subject of what the FBI agent in New York, described as , ''comprehensive investigations." ,-: Of course, we know that when a black man moves near the top, 1 whether in politics or the private ,' sector, racism raises its ugly head , in many sophisticated forms.1 ' We remember very clearly how : the Federal Trade Commission " instituted an investigation against Johnson Products regarding the safety of one of its products and refused to make similar checks on Avon and the other major white cosmetic firms. The FTC claim and subsequent publicity critical ly hurt George t Johnson, presi- ? dent of Johnson Products; in the . marketplace. . . So, black America, let us not be so naive to believe that every . investigation by federal, authorities against blacks in power in justified and the black is not guilty until proven guilty. K : : In the meantime, we should call upon the Reagan Administration and Attorney General William Smith to explain why one person,' Don King, is being penned against the wall, and is the only subject of a prolonged investiga td appease those who long for the g6od old days'! when blacks "knew their place." High on their hit list is the Voting Rights ' Act of 1965, which has .helped to brihg so , much change and so many black elected of ficials on the scene. Civil rights leaders want to renew the act in its present form, covering . nine southern states and portions of thirteen other states in various parts of, the country, including Manhattan, Brooklyn : and the Bronx in New York City. ; i Hi s ? ' ' With a slyness and sleight of hand that would cause an amateur magician to blush, Reagan has suggested that the Act should be North Carolina's higher education stem, Justice Department attorneys have asked the . : ..Hi Department attorneys 1 North Carolina court for a consent decree , cancelling most of the desegregation 'demands the Government has made over the past decade. : : -i Attorney General William French Smith has stated opposition to busing in school desegregation cases and affirmative action in employment cases. There seems to be no hurry ta confirm Reagan's appointee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, William Bradford ; Reynolds; ; moreover,, Reynolds is vastly in experienced in the field and has not been known for a fervent com mitment to civil rights. , , v Most observers agree that there is a ' vir tual paralysis . of activity" " at ' the crucial Equal Employment Opportunity Commis sion, as the New York Times put it. The civil rights community has been taking it on the chin from Reagan, as he has won round after round. The New York Times captured the perversity of the situation: IronicaHy, the civil rights forces have been sustaining major losses in this behind-the-scenes battle while Mr. Reagan has been inviting black groups to the White House to reassure them of his (.stand on civil rights." This two-faced ' strategy is fooling fewer and fewer and many civil rights forces are in the process of taking off the gloves ' and doing frway with the defensive "rope-a-dope" tactic, that has allowed Reagan to pile up points. Changing tactics is especially critical now because Reagan has made no bones about his desire to sustain withering blows on the OFCCPv At the moment, companies with fifty or more employees and at least $50,000 in government contracts must develop writ ten affirmative action plans. Reagan wants to change this to make jurisdiction reach on- ly concerns of 250 or more employees with contracts over $1 million a year. This would' reduce the number of companies covered from 17,000 to a paltry 4,200. Certain sec tors of the business community are over joyed at the prospect of this coup; They are also ecstatic because of Reagan's appointee ; to head OFCCP is an inexperienced attorne who has worked her way quickly up the cor porate ladder by being a "yes-woman." Tht appointee, Ellen Shong, has acknowledged already that she has no plans to bar govern ment contracts to violators of her agency's : rules. Meanwhile, back in the black community, Labor Department statistics reveal a high unemployment rate that almost makes one long nostalgically for the Great Depression of the 1930's. In the schools, black children use tattered books and note books while across town white children are using com puters, reading machines and other fruits of the scientific and technological revolution. Most of all, a growing resentment is building that threatens to explode in an orgy of violence unless corrective measures are " taken. The NAACP has endorsed the call of thq AFL-CIO and the labor movement for a massive March on Washington September 19 to protest the awful insanity of Reaganomics. Operation PUSH, the Coali-, tion of Black Trade Unionists and the Na tional , Conference of Black Lawyers are. among the hundreds of other groups whq have similarly endorsed this manifestation that may surpass the 250,000 that marched , for jobs and equality in 1963 ' "Mobilteing for this march must be ac IUJederBttJdkso Reagan will know just as we let Nixon know , that his policies are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Fur ther, few look forward to seejng blood flow-. ing in the streets and fiery confrontations between unemployed black youth and police officers with pistols, rifles, hoses and tanks. Black Britain has shown where "monetarist' Thatcher-Reagan policies in evitably lead. Their rebellion was a warning shot over the bow that Reagan would be wise to heed. But unfortunately, Reagan must be . forced to sue for peace and call a ceasefire in his ongoing war against civil rights. To Be Equal; Britain's Riots By Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. W"l''"''"a'llll'"'"l'lww',lMW,WMMI""W I ' The ' July rioting that .swept through British cities provoked a lot ' of soul searching, both here and abroad. In some ways, the responses to the riots were more interesting than the fact of the riots, themselves. "':' That is not to underestimate the impor tance of the breakdown of social order in what is generally regarded as the most order ly of nations. Rather, it . is because the responses to the riots tell so much about to day's social climate. ; "r '. . The initial response on the part of the authorities was to give the police more authority and weapons. Officials were more -concerned with putting out the fire than with seeking the cause of the blaze. - One Cabinet minister, noting that the rioters were unemployed young people of all races, called for guaranteed jobs and train ing positions for all young people. ' That proposal was quickly shot down by Britain's conservative , government, which stuck to the monetary and economic policies that have "ted in the highest levels of unemployment since the Depression. Finally, the government managed to bend its rigid principles just enough to announce a modest plan to subsidize private employers that hire young people at below market-level wage rates. It plans other measures too, to expand youth job and training programs.. Such steps amount, 10 fire prevention doing just enough to keep some semblance side of the ocean. American editorialists warned against such compromises with the ' finn FJfhr miMu rharopc tViniiM !. . 5 . . wwU. proDiems mat resuu in social explosions. be filed against King, orwe all ' But even those limited steps make more will beWevti its nart of a racial sense than some of the comments from this persecution plot. v It's Don King this time. Who will be next? : For this reason, black America cannot sit idly back and let our Administration of Justice run a reckless course, as it has often wantonly done in the past., , rioters, Many suggested that a hard-line law and order approach was the only one that should be taken. Almost all American commentators ap peared sensitive to the similarities between Britain's angry youth and the effects of the Administration's economic program on out inner-city poor.'. The particular mix of ingredients that led to Britain's explosions are peculiar to that country, including race. The attacks of neo . fascist white hoodlums on Asians and the police harassment of British blacks are part of a complex form of racism that has its roots in Britain's history and social struc ture. But the riots were not race riots; they; brought white, black and Asian young peo ple into the streets in an integrated display of anger and alienation. ' . How bad do things have to get before social controls break down). Britain's unemployment rate is about eleven percent, or about what America's was during the. deep recession of the mid-seventies. . J ) , But youth-unemployment ranges around the fifty per cent mark, similar to minority youth jobless rates in our cities. And that may be a more relevant factor, one that has to make American" officials uneasy. ? . But unemployment and other forms of economic hardship rarely burst into riots such as both America and Britain have ex perienced if poor people still feel themselves jart of the sqciety. So long as they feel they are being dealt with fairly, that their hopes and needs are taken into account, and their ' condition is temporary, they will not burst the bonds of accepted social behavior. But once they feel they are being treated unfairly and denied even minimal access to If there is no struggle, there b no progress. Jhose who propose to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are men who want cri yithout plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder' and lightning.; They want the ocean's majestic waves : without the awful roar of its waters. Frederick Douglass the svstem. watch out. That's whv the issue of police harassment was so important a fac tor in the British riots - the white and black poor could put up with the poverty in digni ty, but the official harassment appears 10 ' have been the spark of humiliation that ig nited their outburst. ', When poor and alienated people of any nation feel themselves pushed against the wall their reactions are not going to strike well-fed, comfortable people as rational. - - ' LE. AUSTIN . Editor-Publisher 1927-1971 . .'. : " Published every Thursday (dated Saturday) at .Durham-, N.C. by United Publishers Incor porated.; 'Mailing Address: P.O. 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, ,N.C. 27702. . .. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One year, $12.00 (plus $0-v48 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 TIMES. : "! , 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 Assdcia-, tlon." ' ; v. -,- ; ' ' . : Opinions expressed by columnists1 In - this newspaper, do oot necessarily represent th v policy of this newspaper. -,- - . This newspaper WILL NOT be responsible for the return of unsolicited pictures: ;

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina