North Carolina Newspapers

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Why Blacks Should Vote
By Hoyle H. Martin Sr.
Post Executive Editor
A young white candidate for public
office told the POST last week that
he was advised by a high ranking
white elected official not to spend
much time campaigning in black
communities. Reportedly, the rea
sorffor this advise was that blacks
have a relatively low registration
record and an even lower voter
turn-out on election day, therefore,
few votes would be received by the
candidate from blacks.
This is an illustration of the rather
low degree of respect that some
elected officials and other political
leaders - both black and white - have
for the black electorate. Such a low
level of respect was also illustrated
by recent allegations of “bagmen”
entering black communities in an
effort to buy black votes.
Furthermore, during the Caucus
of Black Democrats Charlotte con
ference in April, it was suggested by
a few leaders that blacks on a
national scale simply not vote in this
election year because the Democra
tic Party’s candidates had ignored
the needs and-concerns of blacks.
Implied here too is a lack of respect
for the black electorate by assuming
that they cannot act wisely in the
‘ ‘ vote-f or-the-lesser-of-two-evils”
game.
Illustrated Facts
These illustrated facts indicate
that an element of the political
leadership - local and national, black
and white - has little respect for
black voters because far too many
blacks don’t register, don’t vote and
don’t get involved in the political
process. In a word, black political
apathy is undermining potential
black political power and influence
and both leaderships are fully aware
of this.
The facts are that in the presiden
tial election of 1972 only 52.1 percent
(7,032,000) of all voting-aged blacks
voted nation-wide as compared to
64.5 percent of whites who voted,
and in the off-Presidential year
elections of 1974 only 34 percent of
7.778.000 registered blacks took time
to vote.
Furthermore, recent Bureau of
Labor Statistics projections indicate
that in 1976 only 55 percent of all
eligible blacks will register and,
hopefully; vote. In addition, BLS
estimates that 80 percent of those
registered or 6.6 million blacks will
cast ballots for the President. If
these estimates are accurate, only
44 percent of the 15 million voting
aged blacks will vote in this presi
dential election year.
In Mecklenburg County the story
is much the same since the 27,585
blacks registered to-vote represents
approximately half of those eligible
to vote, and probably not more than
22.000 will actually vote.
r-™
We could mention some quite valid
reasons as to why blacks do not vote
in greater numbers. However, it
appears to us that the POST might
serve a more useful purpose if it
states some of the reasons why
blacks should vote.
First of all, the POST believes
blacks should vote as a part of our
democratic right to demand a voice
in government and, in so doing, get
some response to our concerns.
Having Some Voice
Secondly, Blacks should vote as a
means of having some voice in how
the tax dollars are spent - dollars
that are too often used to benefit the
rich at the expense of the poor and
moderate income families of our
nation and community.
Thirdly, the true power of the vote
is to diminish the opportunity for
elected officials to engage in corrupt
practices and to prohibit the support
of policies and legislation that are
not in the best interest of minorities.
Fourthly, it is only from a viable
voting black electorate that we can
recruit competent black candidates
for public office. Often the mere
presence of blacks in the legislative
halls of the nation can make the
difference in how our welfare is
affected.
A fifth reason as to why blacks
should vote is that we can often be
the deciding factor in electing or
denying a seat to candidates seeking
public office. For example, a recent
CBS-New York Times survey point
ed out that the white vote in a
Ford-Carter race for the presidency
will probably be so evenly divided
that the black vote could definitely
be the voting block to decide who the
next president will be.
Political Participation
Lastly, by active political partici
pation blacks will have greater assu
rance “That the American Dream,”
as Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
has said, “need not be deferred.”
It has only been through more
sophisticated voting and other dedi
cated efforts in the political process
that we have Andrew Young, Har
vey Gantt, Fred D. Alexander, Rowe
Motley, Phil Berry, Mayor John
Belk, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mon
dale, Howard Lee, and Edward
Kennedy, office holders and candi
dates who are concerned with our
needs and share our concerns.
Do your part, register, vote and
give some free time to support the
candidates of your choice, their
ideas and, therefore, your needs. If
you support the system, the system
will work for you.
r
THE CHARLOTTE POST
“THE PEOPLES NEWSPAPER”
Establis) <-d 1918
Published Ev y Thursday
Hy The Charlotte Post Publishing Co., Inc.
2606B West Blvd.-Charlotte, N.C. 28208
Telephones (704 ) 392-1306, 392-1307
Circulation 11,000 .
57 YEARS OF O 1TNUOUS SERVICE
Bill Johnson ;.- Editor-Publisher
Sidney A. Moore Jr. ...Advertising director
Rex Hovey .. Circulation Manager
Gerald O. Johns. ..Business Manager
Second Class Postage Paid at
( li.irlotte, N.C. under the Act of March 3,1878
Member National Newspaper Publishers
Association
N"i ih Carolina Black Publishers Association
L)< odline for all news copy and photos is 5 p.m.
Monday. The Post is not responsible for any
photos or news copies submitted for publication
• t
■■■" ■ ——
National Advertising Representative
Amalgamated Publishers, Inc.
45 W. 5th, Suite 1403 2400 S. Michigan Ave
New York, N.Y. 10036 Chicago, 111. 60616
(212 ) 489-1220 Calumet 5-0200
Trouble With Public Schools
By Gerald O. Johnson
Post Staff Writer
No doubt you’ve read about
the high school graduate who
lost his job because of his
inability to read and write
beyond the fifth grade level.
There are many like him
being graduated each year
Parents of the student are
threatening to sue the Char
lotte Mecklenburg school sys
tem (CMSS) I think the pa
rents should sue.
It is ridiculous for a student
to go to school 12 years and
come out dumb.
But I think the CMSS should
counter sue. It is equally
ridiculous for a parent to only
realize how stupid her child is
after he has graduated.
Thus we can see the pro
blem ; the school system and
the home.
Let's start with how a stu
dent in one grade can be
stupid and end up in the next
grade the following year.
There are numerous reasons
for this.
First the school system is
responsible for hiring teach
ers that are disinterested in
leaching. They (teachers i
could care less about the
success or failure of a student
Moreover, the school sys
Don’t Let The Black Community Become A Jungle
□OWN TO
After 200 Years - Moving Toward Parity
Dr. Berkeley G. Burrell
National Business League
What should be the mood,
thrust and spirit of Black
Americans in the year 1976?
Almost without exception,
every segment of this nation is
completely involved in Ameri
ca’s big birthday party. In
everything, the movies, thea
ter, radio, television, news
media, organizations, local,
state, and federal govern
ments, citizen groups and
very definitely, American
business, all activities have
been geared toward celebrat
ing the Bicentennial. It all
boils down to doing what is in
their best interest as they say
“happy birthday America”..,
Therefore, in this Bicenten
nial celebration of indepen
dence and freedom, Black
people must also base their
observance of the occasion
upon everything that is in
their best interest. As a dis
advantaged minority group in
this “Land of the Free”, we
cannot afford to miss the
opportunity to further our
cause for the elimination of
disparities of every kind be
tween white and Black Ameri
ca.
Yes, we should look back in
honor and pay tribute to the
great and outstanding Black
Americans who played signi
ficant roles and contributed
heavily in the struggle for
freedom in the development of
this nation. This includes
every aspect of development
in areas such as education,
religion, industry, inventions,
miltary, government, politics
and indeed, business and eco
nomics.
It is our obligation and duty
to recognize our ancestors and
contemporaries who helped to
build this nation, because the
majority of America has con
veniently ignored our contri
butions.
But for us to simply look
back over these achievements
will only render us empty
pride in the year 2000 and
beyond. Black Americans
must see this Bicentennial
celebration as a stage to begin
a new level of struggle and to
develop a new spirit of ‘76 that
will carry Black people and
the whole nation injp the next
century without the burdens of
•the disparitier of past centu
. ries.
M m
In 1976, it is necessary to
move beyond oiir "gains” in
social and civil rights. It is
imperative that we develop
strategies and identify and
coalesce our resources for
launching a sustained struggle
toward achieving economic
parity for Black Americans.
Our celebration should be
based on the goal of achieving
economic parity by the year
2000. This is the goal that has
been adopted by the National
Business League. We felt that
it is timely, appropriate and in
the best interest of Black
people to utilize the NBL 76th
Annual Convnetion as a
launching pad. Our celebra
tion will be one of analyzing
the crippling disparities and
developing plans for achieving
the goal of economic parity for
all people in America.
DR. BERKELEY G. BURRELL
This cannot and must not be
a t^oal of just the National
Business League. The tasks
demand the total involvement
and cooperation of every indi
vidual and organization and of
business and government. It is
a job too big and too important
for the future of the nation to
be left to a single individual or
-group.
For the first time in history,
organizations and individuals
of every walk of life and
expertise have joined together
to develop the appropriate
format for addressing the sub
ject of parity for the people.
As America moves towards
its third century, a legacy of
deprivation, discrimination
and disparity hampers the
economic growth of 37 million
Black and other minorities.
What we want to see in this
Bicentennial year is the entire
nation get down to business
and work toward economic
parity in a society where
freedom and equality are the
cornerstones*
I
tern is responsible for drawing
up elaborate programs on pa
per, but not carrying out the
program with qualified teach
ers, modern facilities, and the
like. An example of this would
be the open school concept
Most teachers in this program
are not adequately trained to
operate such a program.
Furthermore, too much em
phasis is placed on methods of
teaching and not enough em
phasis is placed on subject
matter when one is learning to
be a teacher. Consequently,
teachers learn how to teach
but not what to teach.
Of course there Is the pro
blem of discipline Some
teachers have to waste an
entire year trying to discipline
kids and they never get the
opportunity to teach them
anything
This is where home is at
fault If a parent does not take
interest in his child's educa
tion. then the parent has no
argument about his child not
receiving an education
Parental indifference leads
to apathy in schools Parents
who do not make kids do
homework are practically tell
ing the kid that education is
worthless Thus the child will
take an indifferent attitute
about education
Parent* who do not attend
PTA meetings are not only
breeding apathy in children
but also in teachers. It shows
that a parent is accepting
whatever goes on in a class
room; good. bad. or indiffe
rent.
There is also the problem of
parents being too involved
with their child passing but
not involved with their child
learning This type parent
puts pressure on a teacher
who is apt not to stand his
ground
Many cases show that pa
rents think of a school as a
baby sitting center. They send
their kids to school to get them
out of their hair for awhile.
All of this and more leads to
the problem of "Social Promo
tion.”
A factor that must be consi
dered is that we force every
one between the ages of 6 and
16 to attend school. This con
cept is good in principle but
poor in reality. The majority
of problems that occur in the
school system can be attribut
ed to students who do not care
to be educated.
Therefore. I think if we
really want quality education
we must not force people to go
to school. We should use a
voluntary means of enrolling
students in school.
No age limit should be re
quired If you think about it an
age limit is stupid anyway.
Since people mature at differ
ent rates, are exposed to
different environments, and
have different ideologies, it
stands to reason that all six
year olds are not ready for the
first grade at the same time.
Once a student has been
enrolled in school on a volun
tary basis then he is more apt
to try to learn something This
will cause less disciplinary
problems in the system
Vernon E. Jordan Jr.l
Towards A New Bill Of Rights
Most of the freedoms we enjoy can be traced to
the first ten amendments of the Constitution --
the Bill of Rights.
The hallowed rights to free speech, freedom of
religion, press and assembly, protection against
unwarranted police powers, rights of accused
persons, the right to a jury trial, and other
cornerstones of our freedom are to be found
there.
It is not to disparage those rights, which are
still rare in other parts of the world, to suggest,
that the time has come for extending other rights
to all Americans, rights that are as important
and as vital to the continuation of democracy.
It’s time to start thinking about a new bill of
rights that deals with the economic rights of man
and with the human rights to the basic
components of life.
Some of those rights would be:
: The right to jobs. Every person able to work
ought to have the right to a decent job at a decent
wage if he wants one. We learned in the civil
rights movement that the right to check into a
hotel is worthless without the right to earn
enough money to check out of the hotel.
: The right to economic security, which could
take the form of a fair and just income
maintenance system to enable those in need to
live in dignity.
: The right to education and training all young
people should have to prepare them for produc
tive lives.
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accomplished through a national health policy
that assures each citizen access to quality health
facilities regardless of an individual’s ability to
pay, race, or geographic location.
Other rights we ought to be dealing with are
the rights of cities to survive, the rights of
families to be kept together and not broken apart
by social and economic pressures, the right to
decent housing for all, the right to enjoy safe
communities free' from fear, and the right to
representation and full participation in the
political process. .
As our nation has eyofVEd.lt'harberorrre-clear
that many of the things people think of as
essential have been denied to most others. Even?
now there’s no uproar about ten million people?
jobless.
We’ve been conditioned to think of rights as?
being something abstract, and not part of daily:
life. The right to free press is not something most
of us think about often, and except for buying a;
paper or turning on the tube it has no real:
conscious impact on us.
We’ll agree that everyone who wants to work
should have access to a job, but from there it?
takes something of a giant leap to consider that
people have the right to employment. Work,
health, housing, and other key aspects of life?
aren’t abstract luxuries. They’re real and?
without them other rights become marginal.
Back in 1776 when the colonists talked about:
establishing freedom and pressed for free speech:
and our other freedoms, they seemed to many to
be very far out. :
It has been my experience
that each student has his own
learning point That is, an age
when he is susceptible to
learning For some people this
age is six For others this age
is thirty six I don't think
anyone can force this learning
point.
Once we realize that schools
aren't the place to try to keep
students off the streets then
we can start dealing with
quality education.
Our education system does
not offer many options They
offer numerous teaching me
thods but few options
What I would like to see
happen is a program that
would spend time on finding
out a student's interest Once
an interest has been establish
ed, build your teaching me
thodk around that. For in
stance. a student interested in
sports can learn basic math
skills if those skills ae related
it' sports We all know that
sports and numbers go hand in
hand There are many other
things that could be done to
make schools play a vital role
m our society
In conclusion the problems
can be summarized as fol
Im»* I * Trying to fit people in
Programs rather than
building programs around •
People 21 Teacher and parent
apathy about education; 3|
Unskilled teachers in the sysi
w-m 4, Viewing education ai
• mass production business :
AH of these factors have
contributed in making educa*
,n.°Vr •oc'ety a liability
instead of an asset.
something On Your Mind ?
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w“> •• J»un« people, regardL of ag* rel“tes ,n to** *
mind! y y d about whatever is on your.;
So. if you have something to sav writs- n*i,
Some subjects 'hat may L of sLciai !T.E °N'
Urugs. Generation Gaps Welfare 1 ,ntere*1'» you are:..
Steady. Police Revolution Wh.tM '£?8‘: School> Goin8 ;
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