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The Work Must Continue
Locally, the 1932 political campaigns were hard and grueling.
Everyone deserved a rest after the elections.
But the elections have been over for more than a month now,
and it's time to go back to work.
In a recent interview, Dr. E. Lavonia Allison, chairman of the
Durham Committee's political subcommittee, banged the nail
squarely on the head when she said: "While we are glad to see
twelve blacks soon to be seated in the North Carolina General
Assembly, that is not nearly enough." 1
Referring to what she called parity, Dr. Allison noted that
blacks make up about 25 per cent of North Carolina's popula
tion, and a fairer number of representatives would be 41 blacks in
the General Assembly.
"But you can't win those battles when you have 500,000 voting
aged blacks unregistered," she said. "You certainly can't win the
game when half of your players are not even in the park."
Her point is well taken.
The Durham Committee, as it represents the black community,
the NAACP and other organizations and individuals must return
to the political battlefront.
We need more emphasis on voter registration, voter education
and encouragement to participate. We need a well-organized and
effective candidate search process, as well as a process by which
we prepare candidates to run for, win and effectively hold various
We need to get more blacks working on appointed boards and
commissions city and county so that we are in a position to
hear about discussions that later become plans that usually we are
left out of.
So the work must continue.
It is obvious that our political involvement in Durham is not
commensurate to our purported strength and sophistication. We
believe this is more true because we don't work consistently
enough than because of some nefarious scheme to keep us out ol
the political mainstream.
So now that we've had a breather, let's buckle up, knuckle
down and get back to work.
ThNew County Commission
Before discussing other matters of importance regarding
Durham's new County Commission, let us first congratulate
William Bell for his historic achievement of becoming the Com
mission's first black chairman.
Symbolically, it is a singular event, one that has been long over
due. But this new commission really has its work cut out for it.
Among other issues that confront this body of county
Improving the county tax base
Maintaining and improving the water and sewer facilities
Improving management techniques to hold the line against
rising costs and dipping revenues
Establishment of an affirmative action program for the coun-
Making the county lawmaking process more accessible to the
This is but a partial list of the issues these elected officials will
have to face, and they need the help of every citizen of Durham
The black community must be in the forefront of providing
that help. Too often we send elected officials into the lawmaking
halls and expect them to win all the battles without our ongoing
and dedicated support. ' -. '( '
We have agreed that these five men and women serve us. We
have asked them to tackle themonumental task of helping to
make Durham County one of the best places in this state to live,
work and play. ,
So we must be involved with that work.
We must attend meetings and help discuss the issues. We must
call our elected officials with information from time to time that
will aid their decisionmaking process, and alert them to things
that they should watch.
We must volunteer our services, our expertise to sit on boards
and commissions, and further help the Commissioners serve the
If we do not do this, if we don't prove our support by backing
our elected officials, we only have ourselves to blame when they
. don't win battles we thought should have been won, or when they
don't listen to us when we go to complain.
Things You Should Know
. Born In Williamsport.lVa:, he topk his early
schooling In Canada. In 1890 he received his M.D.
degree from Meharry. He did advanced work in Lon
don, England! Remarkable in his versatility, he was
renowned as a professor, director of a savings bank,
, member of the, National Medical Association and.
editor of their Journal), and author of books on
medicine, religion, ethics and sociology. .
Business In The Black
.- 1 1 ' ' i .1." " " -
White House Hoax :
Fools of War ;
By Charles E. Belle
. U:S. voters have whispered into the
. ears of the occupant of the White House.
Albeit he has wax in his ears. It would
have taken a good clean sweep of winning
the Senate to send the proper message to
the President. People do not want to be
unemployed and poor. Policies pursued
along the present lines will lengthen and
deepen the current depression.
Democrats were sent to Washington
because they are at least perceived of haw.
ing a different program for employment
other than the "burn up money" defense
industry: A dog of war. Without wiping
the pants off the White House the mid
term election yelped for change in the
military spending build up. Unless it
becomes a domestic disaster even before it
destroys the rest of the world. When fools
Slay with matches, much of the time they
urn themselves first, then others.
Nuclear weaponry is white heat in the
, hot hands of the current White House
helpers. Having a man decide the fate of
' the world with a mind in the past is like
having Caligula for President. Presently,
the occupant of the throne is taken up
with horses. His leadership,- has been
recorded to remark to the current
Secretary of Defense if it was "possible
someway to bring back the cavalry?"
Considering this is the leader of the coun
try, it is no laughing matter. Is the man
serious? Since we only have the past per
formance to project ; from for policy
movements it is madness in the making.
E.P, 1 Thompson, British social
historian, writes in Beyond the Cold War,
To Be Equal
a deadening discussion on a new approach
- to the arms race and nuclear annihilation.
Analytically speaking, E.P. Thompson
'suggests the "U.S. seems to be the more
; dangerous and provocative in its general
' ' military and diplomatic strategies."
Washington, not Moscow, he states with
historical accuracy, has set the pace of the
arms race and has been the innovator of
every major nuclear strategic doctrine.
Does the resident of the White House
believe he can deceive the people of both
Russia and the United States? Unless he
has fallen off his horse once too often he
will call a halt to this current nuclear arms
race. Ruins will not just be in Rome, but
in the West and the rest of the world if
fools continue to waste money, men and
resources on nuclear weaponry.
Helping Gities Survive
By John E. Jacob
; . Executive Director, National Urban League
President Reagan recently told the con
vention of the National League, of Cities
that cities had become "addicted to
federal bailouts" and would have to
become more self-reliant.
That came as news to many in his au
dience, including myself. We had been
under the impression that, rather than
benefiting from "bailouts", cities were
getting far less than their citizens need
from federal programs. And stirring as
"self-reliance" may be for a school essay
theme, it has little to do with urban pro
blems. Self-reliance isn't relevant to cities suf
fering from the effects of the Depression,
with local revenues drying up and local
needs mounting fast. The legacy of sharp
ly reduced federal aid is seen in
widespread layoffs and service reduc
tions, ranging from cuts in the number of
cops on the street ' to boarded-up senior
The hymn to self-reliance is no
substitute for a national urban policy
recognizing that the problems of the cities
are human problems .that are national in
scope. Unemployment, lack of health
care, inadequate education, poor hous
ing, and other urban problems are not
bounded by city limits. "3
While conditions differ among cities
and regions, only national 'programs aim- '
ed at creating jobs and providing better
health care, education and housing will
enable the cities to survive as productive
centers of our society.
Instead of a comprehensive urban
policy including such programs, the Ad
ministration boosted what it called "the
New Federalism," which amounted to
packaging federal service delivery pro
grams and giving them to the states to
That's nor urban policy. It's a formula
for making urban problems worse. Even
if enough revenues went to the states to
compensate for their new responsibilities
. and no one's offered those dollars it
is clear that the ensuing fifty state policies
add up to considerably less than one com
prehensive national policy.
Cities have looked to Washington for
aid because, in most cases, state govern
ments lean toward rural and suburban in
terests. And even within the cities, the ur
ban poor are not likely to benefit from
programs intended for them without strict
federal oversight and program controls.
All of this has helped to bury the new
Federalism. After an initial flurry of
publicity, it got bogged down in complex
federal-state negotiations. And it is not
likely to get off the ground, if only
because it has been overtaken by events.
The slow deterioration of the economy,
tiirningjfrdm recession ititd 'depression,
'demonstrates Hhat'reshiifflrrrg" existing"
programs is no solution to urban pro
blems. The New Federalism suffers from the
misconception that the problems of the
cities are administrative that transferr
ing programs from Washington to the
state house or city hall will solve them.
And it suffers too, from the common
misperception of urban problems as being
cities' fiscal and budgetary problems, in
stead of human problems of access to
jobs, health care, decent housing and
other basics of life.
Just as the New Federalism is irrelevant
to urban needs, job creation on a national
level is central to them. The planned pro
gram of infrastructure repair is vital to
cities. With streets, bridges and sewer
systems crumbling at an alarming rate and
cities tightening the austerity belt of self
reliance to the point of foregoing
necessary maintenance, such a program
may boost urban economies while im
proving public services.
But no one should pretend that the in
frastructure repair program is an urban
policy. It is a small step in the right direc
tion. It doesn't even meet the minimum
necessary to repairing cities' physical
needs. Nor does it tackle the human needs
of the people living in the cities. That will
require less preaching about self-reliance
" and more federal Droerams to heto oeoDle
The 1982 Black Vote
The announcement by Senator Edward
Kennedy that he will not seek the
Presidency in 1984 has thrown wide open
the quest for the Democratic Party
; Senator Kennedy's withdrawal from
' the race also has thrown wide open the
battle for the support of blacks and the
labor movement the two segments of
the Democratic constituency which will
have a decisive say in who is to be the Par
ty's next Presidential candidate.
Black Americans long regarded Senator
Kennedy as something of a standard
bearer. His staunch commitment to social
justice and civil rights, coupled with the
appeal for blacks of the Kennedy family
name had made him the one potential
Presidential aspirant to whom blacks
Kennedy's support within the labor
movement, while less unanimous than
among blacks, also was certainly quite
substantial. And although former Vice
President Walter Mondale clearly has
many allies among blacks and in the
unions he hardly has a lock on the support
of these constituencies.
The withdrawal of the front-runner
from the Democratic sweepstakes has
; potentially a two-fold effect: First, the
race for the nomination will be opened to
' new faces and lesser known candidates.
Second, the race .and political discourse
may also be much more substantially
dominated by ideas rather than per
sonalities, an enormously healthy
, With national unemployment edging
toward eleven per cent and well over
twenty per cent for blacks, the task of the
Democratic Party is to develop and adopt
a wide-ranging program for economic
recovery and social justice. To date the
Democrats have been in something of a
state of disarray. Nothing resembling a
coherent strategy for coping with our
economic difficulties has emerged from
Any candidate who takes the
Democratic nomination will have an im
portant role in shaping and articulating
the Party's socio-economic agenda. But
the view of the candidates on that agenda
will also be shaped by the labor movement
and by blacks. For in seeking to win the
support of the blacks and unions, poten
tial candiates for the Democratic nomina-.
tion such as Walter Mondale, Senator
John Glenn, and Senator Gary Hart will
have to be open to their ideas and con
cerns. While the Democratic Party may not
have developed a coherent strategy for
restoring growth to America, labor has.
The AFL-CIO supports a cap on tax cuts
for the rich and well-to-do which would
constitute progress toward achieving a tax
rate based on ability to pay. The federa
, tion also supports the creation of a
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
made up of representatives from business,
labor and government. Such a body could
"find out just what people will submit to, and you have
found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which
will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they
are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The
limits of tyrants are prescribed by, the endurance of those
Four Great Lies Of Control
That white people are omnipresent, all-knowing, practically infallible, and
that racism is an aberration of character. '
That success for blacks in this country Is based more on our abilities to
keep secrets fromhltes than upon skill and execution. But, of course, If you
believe this liealong with the first one, success is impossible. ; ;
That progress for blacks in America can be measured only In the light of
white benevolence. Thus, there are no really talented," skilled or committed
blacks, only blacks upon whom whites have smiled. j
That above all things, blacks cannot trust each other which of course,
leaves us in the psychologically suicidal position of trying to tiustt,whites.
By Norman Hill
President, A. Philip Randolph Institute
target investments and loans to stimulate
the expansion of high-growth areas of the
Ideas and programs such as these not
only are coherent and workable, they con
stitute the outlines of a program for a
Demcoratic Presidential candidate which
would succeed in winning the support of
blacks and other workers. Such programs
would succeed not only in revitalizing the
Democrats, they would succeed in
revitalizing the country.
(Mrs.) Vivian Austin Edmonds
Kenneth W. Edmonds
C. Warren Matienburg '
Contributing Editor-Foreign Affairs
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Volume 60, Number 50.
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