The Carolina times. (Durham, N.C.) 1919-current, November 06, 1982, Image 9
SATURDAY, KOVEKfiW 6, Ik Ir-Ul CA.'lwLtf'A - Howard Trustee Leads t Fight .iftgailri'sS AmitiDbyaiinig B By Henry Dirndl WASHINGTON ' The! Helms-Johnston ' , anti-l busing legislation . sailed : quietly through the Senate earlier this year.: But if Frankie M.' Freeman, a former member of the U.S. Commission ' on 0 Civil Rights, has her way, the measure will never pass the House. v . , . Ms. Freeman, a lawyer and member of t the Howard' University Board of Trustees, is one of the leaders of a newly . formed civil rights group attacking the constitu tionality of the pending legislation. The bill challenges the authority of the federal judicial 1 system, leading to "an erosion of basic rights", she warns, adding, it is a "smoke ; screen" to ap peal to the fears of anti busing proponents, h Sponsored by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NQ and Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), the legislation : would diminish ; the Supreme Court's t deci sion in Brown vs. Board of Education, says Ms, Freeman, threatening the authority of federal courts to achieve school desegregation. "This would take us back to relying on the decisions of the state courts," she says, adding that the bill would lead to other con sequences. The legislation in question, known as the Helms-Johnston Amendment, would bar busing of more than five miles or 15 minutes to achieve school desegregation. It also would prohibit the Justice Department from seeking busing as a remedy to integrate schools. Additionally, the bill has a retroactive feature. It would require courts to eliminate plans that exceed the busing limits even if they have been in effect for sometime. ' 0 V J"- T' WW ) '''' i ("i " ! "V:7'J I ; . ' - - - - 1; . t fc ' ; " 'J- t-f , 1, -v 1 5, ; V VV; ff T 1 ' 1 Attorney Freeman ver the past two decades. Members of the com mission include Birch Bayh, former U.S. senator from Indiana; Ray Marshall, former secretary of labor; and Elliot L. Richardson, a former attorney general and secretary of health. aThe measure .hai;, education and welfare. ominous lmpHcattonsWs?In a 1 14-page report and coincides with "the ' recently released at a consistent efforts to turn ; press conference in the clock back." ' Ms. Washington, the corn- Freeman emphasizes. "Affirmative action wouldn't have a chance after this." There's need to mobilize "the troops" to block the bill, she declares, noting that the public slept through the Senate vote on the bill, including much of America's black leader ship. Ms. Freeman has join ed 15 . former high ranking federal officials to form a bi-partisan group called the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights, headed by Arthur S. Flemming, former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The group was founded to counteract actions that may jeopardize the gains made by; minorities, women r and the poor mission concluded inai the Helms-Johnston legislation would "drastically alter our legal system." "The no tion that courts should be guided in constitu tional determinations by public sentiment, and curbed by legislation if their decisions conflict with popular will, is of most serious concern to the commission." The report, "There is No Library...," points out that if the judiciary is restricted in the matter of school desegregation, "the issues tomorrow may lead to restraints of the press, or freedom of religion...." Specifically, the report notes that the legislation would endanger educa tional opportunity and "reawaken community and racial conflict in America." Says commis sion chairman Arthur Flemming, "This move . would open up wounds. Old wounds in desegregating schools have either healed or have begun to heal." Supported by the Reagan administration, the Helms-Johnston Amendment passed the c Senate-by voteof 37.-37 last March as a rider to the Department of Justice Appropriation Authorization Act. It is currently being con sidered in the House Judiciary Committee. The commission ques tions the power of .Con gress to changd by legislation "specific, constitutionally required remedies, ordered by the federal courts and en forced by the executive." A portion of the legisla-, tion, according to the panel's report, violates the separation of powers principle. Basic civil rights do not depend on the whim of what is believed to be the majority political sentiment, says Ms. Freeman. The Constitu tion is designed "to pro tect the basic rights of all citizens." Ms. Freeman, who served 16 years on the' U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, was ap pointed to the panel in 1964 by President Johnson. She was the first woman to serve on the six-member commis sion. In 1979, the Howard University law school graduate, a member of the university's Board of Trustees since 1976, was named inspector general of the community Ser vices Administration by President Carter. She is . currently a partner with ; the St. Louis law firm of ' Freeman, Whitfield, ' Montgomery, Staples and White. (Continued on Page 13) 1 Ui l I JO II R ' ft : "J I --CS7 way. By Joe Black Professional & Center v'SeryitiQ Your Home tlmprovemerit Needs Tradesmen ;Tit Coitstructlsn ; AndRssStyl i (second location) Residential, Church . And Commercial Construction Complete Real : Estate Services 682-3082 Sturdivant Roofing Company Gutters, Roofing Waterproofing .: 688-4944 Residential and Commercial Electrical Wiring 682-3062 Morrow & Dixon Construction Co. Water, Sewage Storm Drain Lines 682-0532 ' Let us Solve W6se;li6me PMem l600U 2919 Faycttsv!!!3 Streit' ; 5i ' Trkesan, Do Yoa Need Office hpte? tCi Ut'4e, Secretarial And Jaoltorial Services?uCpict W At Ay Of lie FoSSowlBf Nanberu ! TRtip IRtsity Co. Lessisj 9421933 9424325 . . C3W52 , . . ... . 1 i..'.iiiunii . ? Black people are endeavoring to hold their heads above water as the tidal wave of a depressed economy continues to sur round them. Yet when we call for help it seems as though we are asked to accept rhetoric as qur life preservers. That's a fact. r However, we must share the blame because through the years, too many of us have been content to sit back and let others do all of the talking for us. It's understandable why . . . some of you fear being criticized. But we must recognize that sometimes the people, whom we let talk, are merely seeking popularity through the manipulation of emotions. I'm talking about those people who spend all of their time shouting racism and Reaganomics, but never project a solution to our woes. We must wake up and let them know that rhetoric and semantics won't solve our problems. It's time for us to stop sitting around letting others lead us down the path to nowhere. If they are going to speak for us then they should have something to say. As Rev. Jesse Jackson when he articulates: "We must put dignity over dollars and emancipation over entertainment. It is better to boycott with dignity, then to sing and dance in shame: Stand up! Black Americans and begin to think, forks Malcolm X said in aspeech: "If you don't think for yourself, if you don't see for yourself, then you will end up hating your friends and loving your enemies? Vice President The Greyhound Corporation Z Each of advarl (f ftf J batow th advartlMd in thH d. 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