North Carolina Newspapers

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CBD Conference-Historic, Timely
By Hoyle H. Martin Sr.
Post Editorial Writer
Basil Patterson, chairman of the
Caucus of Black Democrats (CBD)
Issues Conference steering commit
tee, called the 3-day conference “an
historical and timely meeting” and
the first of its kind.
Patterson’s viewpoint, however,
was not shared by all the caucus
leaders. Some leaders and many
delegates expressed the feeling that
the conference may have been too
little and too late. Detroit Mayor
Coleman Young, the conference’s
opening keynote speaker, reflected
this sentiment when he said:
“ We’re coming to talk about maxi
mizing the influence of black Demo
crats in a presidential election when
most of us know the train has
already left the station.” Having
“left the station” has reference, of
course, to Jimmy Carter’s comman
ding lead in the state primaries and
committed delegates.
The same belief was echoed by
N.C. State Representative Joy John
son, she said, “I think this (confer
ence) is a positive step...a good
move for four years from now, but
the conference is too late (to do any
good) for right now.”
We believe that these sentiments
of “too little too late” indicate a
failure to put the conference in
proper perspective, that is. a failure
to ask what were the goals and
accomplishments of the conference?
Frank (Jowan, director of minority
affairs for the Democratic National
Committee and a conference plan
ner,said, “There are two parts to our
purpose here (Charlotte) - to fa
shion an issues agenda to present to
the party and, second, to develop a
political strategy for 1976.” Basil
Patterson added to this by noting
“the aim is to get the presidential
candidates “on the record” and to
declare themselves on some issues
of concern to black Americans.”
In The Post’s opinion the confer
ence achieved each of these goals.
Specifically, the conference:
- gained a consensus among the
political leadership on goals;
-defined a set of issues that the
candidates can address themselves
to, in part, because the issues have
implications f( Gladys Anderson not
just blacks;
- broke the "conspiracy of silence”
on issues of particualr concern to
- got the candidates “on the record”
in support of some of the issues of
major concern to blacks; and
- generally convinced the candidates
they cannot win the election in
November without the substantial
aid of the 8 million black registered
The Post believes further, that any
lack of enthusiasm by the delegates
because of the timeliness of the
conference, can be overcome by
their own diligence in helping to
spread the “issues agenda” among
the 8 million black voters.
In the final analysis, black voter
knowledge of the issues is one of the
major factors in making the confer
ence a lasting success and making
the black political strategy of 1976 a
reality. Finally, The Post believes
that the ultimate results will show a
substantial increase in Black voter
participation in November.
-Follow Your Conviction And Vote
Political issues of major concern to
blacks — largely ignored by the
Democratic Party and its presiden
tial hopefuls - has led to the unthink
able idea of blacks simply not voting
in this election year.
Basil Patterson, one of the leaders
in the recently neld black political
issues conference, expressed the
frustration among the black leader
ship when he said that if the Demo
cratic nominee fails to give attention
to issues of concern to blacks he
won’t get the support of the nations 8
million registered black voters. Spe
cifically, he siad, “those votes don’t
necessarly have to go to a Republi
can candidate, they can just stav
home. J
Mayor Richard Hatcher of Gary,
Indiana, said as much, “One alter
native is for black voters to stay
home” on election day if the nomi
nee and the party fail to respond to
their needs.
What Patterson and Hatcher are
suggesting is that blacks take the
third of the histoical options that are
available on election day. That op
tion - not to vote -- is political suicide
because it gives the balck voter no
justification for demanding any
thing from the political system.
Option two is to vote for tne lesser
of two evils in the hope that the office
holder can be forced to recognize the
role black voters played in getting
elected and therefore, blacks may
get some consideration when policy
decisions are made.
Patterson and Hatcher are sug
gesting that if black voters fail to get
voter option number one - a candi
date who supports fully the caucus
and needs of blacks - that we should
withdraw from participating in the
political process. It is such a vicious
cycle now that is in part the cause of
the Democratic Party’s indiffer
ence, that is, some blacks don’t
register and vote and in turn some
candidates don’t give a “damn.”
Black voters should always use their
vote to maximize their own benefits,
this cannot be done if we stay away
from the polls on election day. Fol
low your convictions, and vote, it is
your God given right and civil obli
gation to do those things that are in
your own best interest.
„ SToPu^
JWLiCg/ 1
Blacks Must Help To Stop Crime
Right To Food Resolution
By Jim Martin, 9th
District Congressman
A couple of weeks ago,
I discussed the “Right
To Food” resolution be
fore Congress. It calls
for the United States to
donate 1 percent of our
Gross National Product
(G.N.P.) in food and re
lated aid for “Third
World” countries. That
would come to $16 bil
lion, or three times the
total of all foreign aid at
Support for the resolu
tion comes from several
church organizations.
Thirty-two percent of
the people who respond
ed to my 1976 question
naire were in favor of
the resolution. The ma
jority were opposed.
It seems to me that a
resolution declaring
that everyone in the
world has a “right to
food,” ought to provide
that this “right” should
be coupled with an equi
valent “duty” on the
part of hungry nations
to do all humanly possi
ble to balance their food
consumption and pro
duction, and stabilize
their populations.
Otherwise, they would
be asking for an irrever
sible dependence on us.
We have a duty of
conscience to exercise
charity internationally,
in cases of earthquake,
flood or unavoidable fa
mine. Yet, I do not be
lieve we as a govern
ment have a right, much
less a duty, to tax our
people year after year
to provide aid to other
governments who re
fuse to adopt changes
which would make their
own people more self
We have seen clearly
where other nations,
chronically dependent
on us for support, have
indulged the wrong pri
orities. India for exam
ple, has been able to
develop nuclear wea
pons, instead of ferti
lizer plants. The govern
ment of Mail has watch
ed the Sahara Desert
expand, consuming
grasslands where cattle
once grazed and some
crops were grown.
Thousands of people
have succumbed to the
ravages of the drought,
but their government
has not moved to relo
cate those affected.
They just turn to the
United States, because
we can’t turn them a
What should we do _
when a country as in
dustrialized as Russia
looks to us for help.
There’s no chance it will
reorganize its govern
ment involvement in •
agriculture. Yet, Rus
sians could grow more
food if they shifted their
emphasis from Mar
xism to incentives that
give more income to
those who raise more
per acre. In a way, it is
fortunate for our trade
balance that Russian
shortages mean an op
portunity for profitable
sale of our grain sur
In light of the 3 exam
ples I have mentioned, I
think it is best we main
tain the concept of food
assistance by means of
a commerical effort or a
voluntary act of charity.
With poorer countries,
there’s no reason why a
barter system could not
be set up, whereby our
food surplus would be
exchanged for their mi
neral resources on a fair
market value basis.
„ wv. .
m I —
YKK\0\ K. JORI> \\ JR. j
Desegregating Suburbia
The Supreme Court’s recent decision giving a
reluctant Department of Housing and Urban
Development authority to develop regional plans
that would place low-income housing in the
suburbs is a landmark step toward reducing
suburban apartheid policies.
HUD was found to have violated constitutional
rights by placing its public housing projects in
Chicago’s ghetto neighborhoods, thus increasing ^
inner-city segregation. ™
The riding doesn’t mean the suburbs’ wall of
exclusion will definitely be breached; it does,
however, take HUD out of its traditional role as
accessory to discriminatory practices.
And it is likely that a new round of court cases
will be set off by this ruling, since the suburbs
are likely to hide behind zoning and land-use
restrictions to squirm out of any federal scatter
site housing plans.
nut me c,ouri s acuon opens ine aoor to
metropolitan-wide solutions to housing segrega
tion and it weakens its ruling in the 1974 Detroit
school busing case that appeared to limit such
metropolitan remedies. Further, there are other
cases in the docket that challenge patterns of
housing segregation and promise to help break
the white noose that strangles inner-cities through
denying blacks and poor people access to hous
ing near new jobs in the suburbs.
One such suit was brought by the Justice
Department and charges national real estate
appraisers and lending institutions with discri
minatory standards in assessing homes and
making loans to homeowners in integrated
areas. Lower values are assigned to homes in
integrated areas and higher ones in “racially
homogeneous areas.” At least there’s no double
talk about “ethnic heritage” here.
That appraisers and lenders have been “red
lining” integrated and black neighborhoods for
years in common knowledge and has been docu
mented at length. Why it took the government so
long to finally move, against such practices is a ...
good question, but now thatithas, the courts
have a chance to make the law more than an
empty promise.
A_1.1__*1 • • * . ...
miuuTCi suit is ui jersey, wnere citizens
and some local officials charge real estate
brokers with perpetuating racial segregation by
steering potential black homebuyers to areas of
black settlement and whites to white areas.
Enough evidence has been accumulated to
show that such devices by brokers effectively
keep the races apart, and the pleas of the brokers
that they’re just trapped by potential white
clients’ fears just won’t wash. They’re licensed
by the state and have to comply with the law, not
with the racial hysteria of white suburbanites. •
In New Jersey’s Bergen County, one town of
38,000 people has just 64 blacks. The conventional
response is that it’s probably an expensive place
and most blacks can’t afford to live there.
If that’s so, how can we explain the fact that a
middle income town of 20,000 has only 35 blacks?
Or that a blue collar suburb of 23,000 residents
has a grand total of seven blacks?
At the same time those communities are kept
lily white, towns in the County with significant
integration are targets for funneling in new
black residents, raising the danger that the^il
eventually become predominately black islanls
in a white sea, duplicating center-city experi
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as i sec i L
Council Off Track On Mass Transit
By Gerald Johnson
Post Staff Writer
Charlotte should consider it
self lucky to be blessed with
one of the finest city councils
I’ve ever seen. The current
city council Is progressive,
aggressive, and for the most
part intelligent. All facets of
the Charlotte Community are
seemingly well represented.
Moveover, Charlotte's best in
terest is usually the primary
objective of most of the coun
cil members.
However, sometimes over
zealousness leads to poor rat
ionale. Such seems to be the
case as council members ex
press their ideas on upgrading
Charlotte's mass transit sys
One proposal suggests, at a
cost of approximately 139 mil
lion ducketts, building bus
lanes on major thoroughfares.
Council members are seem
ingly in favor of upgrading our
transit system, but to insure
proper usage of the system the
council members intend to
force people to ride the sys
tern."i am sorry! Force is a
bad choice for a word. The
council members intend to
impose “car disincentives” to
persuade you to ride the bus.
Some of the ‘‘car disincen
tives” mentioned were (1)
make city employees pay to
park downtown, (2) raise the
cost of the city sticker to $15 or
$25, (3) raise the cost of park
ing downtown.
These are some suggestions
that council members thought
of to kind of make you want to
ride the bus.
After all, after spending 129
million dollars, somebody’s
got to ride the bus...Lets face
Realistically speaking, I for
one feel that you should have
the riders to warrant the ex
penses. It is absurd to incur
the expense and then look for
the riders.
But the council member's
hearts are in the right place. It
is their heads that has me
Charlotte is not a mass tran
sit town By that, I mean, it is
Gerald Johnson
not a town that merits that
type of an expense for mass
transit. It does not have the
people. It is not urbanized
toward center city. It does not
have a good center city. It is
not congested enough. All of
this and more should cause
everyone to feel that the cause
does not justify the cost.
For example: Let us com
pare what I will call a mass
transit city with Charlotte.
There are several; Philadeph
ia, Washington, D.C., Chicago,
New York, San Francisco, Los
Angeles, and many others. Let
us take just one , Philadelphia
Within a S mile radius of
downtown Philadelphia are
probably more people than in
the entire Charlotte Metropoli
tan area. Thus, areas that
could be used for parking lots
are used for housing people.
Consequently, parking space
in downtown Philadelphia is
very expensive.
Furthermore, If you couple
that fact with the fact that
downtown Philadelphia is
used more than downtown
Charlotte, you end up with
more people using downtown
on a percentage basis and less •
parking space to accomodate'
those people. Therefore, mass
transit is the only answer. It
becomes quite inconvenient to
be a car owner in Diaces like
Philadelphia. The cost of re
pairing and maintaining a car
is astronomical. The congest
ion of cars makes it unbeara
ble to drive in these placet.
The long distance that must be
traveled to get somewhere
adds to the inconvenience and
the cost. .
This inconvenience caused
people to turn to something
else. This something else hap
pened to be a mass transit
But note here that mass
transit had all the riders it
needed. People seek out mass
transit systems. Cars are sel
domly used by inner city dwel
Charlotte Is just the oppo
site. It is inconvenient to use
the mass transit system. The
convenience of shopping cen
ters eliminates the downtown
area as a major shopping
area. Sparsely populated
downtown areas offer an a
bundance of parking spaces.
The inconvenience of trying to
get from one location to ano
ther on buses does not warrant
forcing people to use It.
Hence, from a practical
point of view Charlotte should
not go out on a limb with this
type of investment. The need
for it does not justify the cost.
The whole thing reminds me
of the guy trying to get fly
paper off of his right foot by
* uaing his left foot to pry it off.
Well, he got it off of his right
foot but It generally get’s
stuck to his left foot.
The city council is seeming
ly facing the same dilemma in
trying to solve the city’s mass
transit problem.
With a little ingenuity and a
lot of work this council can
and I’m sure will come up with
a reasonable and far less ex
pensive solution to the pro
A good place to start would,
be with a percentage of Char
lotteans that currently ride
the bus. Money should then be
allocated proportionately.
Then...I’m sorry,...the council
is getting paid for doing this
sort of thing. After aU, they
are intelligent men and wo
men. Come on council: A little
less heart and a little more
head. I am behind you M
and .44 percent.

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