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June 21, 1963 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-06-21

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THE DE TROIT JEW ISH NEWS — Friday, June 2 1, 1963


Purely Commentary

Leonard Kasle's Four-Quarters School Plan

Our School Crisis . . .
Integration P ro bl ems
and Anti-Semittic Issue

By Philip

°Tess for Racial Equality, conceded that, as one aspect of the
Negro's militant fight for civic rights, there has been noted an
increase of anti-Semitism among Negroes. Deploring it, Farmer
said that the anti-Semitic prejudices among Negroes were fanned
by the Black Muslims and other Negro nationalistic groups. He
qualified his explanation by maintaining that Negroes often were
exploited by Jewish tenement owners and rent collectors.
In the course of human events it is to be expected that not
all members of any one group will be liberals, that there un-
doubtedly are some Jews who discriminate. Such tactics are
neither encouraged by Jewish tradition nor are they ever ap-
proved by any responsible Jews, either as individuals or as
As a matter of fact, the admonitions from Jewish ranks are
that the existence of anti-Semitism among Negroes must never
be utilized as an excuse for Jews to cease battling for the Negro's
rights. This is the accepted principle in our ranks. By the same
taken, it is the responsibility of Negro leaders, while they are
conducting their battle for just rights, jointly with liberals in
all walks of life, to repudiate, condemn and strive for an end
to prejudice towards Jews among Negroes.

Leonard Kasle, member of the Detroit Board of Education,
is at odds with Superintendent of Schools Samuel M. Brownell
over plans to save our schools from impending crises. Dr.
Brownell does not approve of Kasle's proposal for a four-quarter
system, and the latter expresses fear that failure to adopt a
drastic and revolutionary change in the present operations may
compel an over-all reduction of school days.
An indication of such a menacing prospect for our school
children already has been evidenced in Brownell's economy
ruling, and this city is now faced with one of the most destruc-
tive and most menacing situations involving the education of our
Only a few months ago, when the proposal for an increase
in taxes for the vital necessities for our schools was on the
ballot, it was clearly apparent that unless improvements were
made in Detroit's public school system there would be a dimin-
ishing of accord among the races who make up our community,
and that instead of assuring an improvement in the status of the
Negro community there would be a decline of standards. We
then feared the possible increase in racial tensions as a result
of reduced educational facilities for the impoverished among
the Negroes. Now, the menace of declining school standards Negro and Jewish Attitudes on the Serious Issue
In a recent evaluation of "Jewish-Negro Relations" in the
threatens the entire population.
Apparently Leonard Kasle was right in his warnings, and if Reform Jewish periodical American Judaism, Roy Wilkins,
his plan is not totally acceptable there must, at least, be some NAACP executive secretary, reviewed the problem at great length
measure of cooperation so that the contending forces within the and pointed to the faults on both sides. He indicated the sins
Board of Education should be able to get together on an ac- of commission as well as those of omission and he seemed opti-
ceptable and soluble plan of action in defense of the most sacred mistic about the restoration, of the best relations between the
two groups. He wrote:
institution in our midst: the public school.
"Lately Negroes have come to the admission (they long ago
By forcing a half day system upon our school system, the
situation may become so serious that many parents may then discovered the fact) that Negro landlords, in general, are as bad
choose to send their children to private schools, the parochial (or as good) as other landlords, and their judgment of their
schools may gain favor and the public school inevitably will be Jewish landlords is apt to be no more charitable. How much of
this can be attribued to the world-wide feeling of tenants for
We are still debating the church-state issue in relation to landlords no one can say, but observers of the Jewish-Negro
our public schools and we get into heated arguments over the scene seem agreed that some special attitudes do exist
"The Jewish neighborhood shopkeeper rounds out the list
separation principle. Yet we have given, by our parsimony, a
who come into daily face-to-face contact with large seg-
position of priority to parochial and private schools.
In order realistically to face the challenging issue, let it be ments of the Negro community. (The rank-and-file resident of
understood that private schools, certainly the Jewish Day the Negro neighborhood never meets a high-level Jewish in-
Schools, are for the select, for the very, very few who can afford dividual or family; he meets the housewife, the landlord, and
the high cost of a specialized education. Unless one accepts a the shopkeeper, supplemented, in late years,- by the Jewish
parochial standard, only the more affluent can afford to send worker in and out of the unions and civil service.)
"There are good and bad shopkeepers, as there are good
their children to the expensive progressive private Day Schools.
If our generation is to be rescued from illiteracy—and who and bad landlords, but the bad ones tend to leave (as always)
would deny that even under present conditions we suffer from the more lasting and damaging impressions.
"Lack of understanding, snap 'group' judgements, plain and
too little knowledge?—there must be an abandonment of indif-
ference. the people must begin to pay for educational privileges. ugly anti-Semitism, and a defiant arrogance are unhappy mark-
There should be an organized effort to compel another referen- ings of. a part of the Negro community. In their great hurt and
dum: perhaps our community will come to its senses and will in their blinding frustrations, Negroes—humanly—are receptive
rescue the school system from oblivion by providing the neces- to scapegoatism. They listen to and repeat the pat phrases of
the anti-Semites among them and among some non-Jews with
sary funds for an improved school system.
whom they come into contact.
"Anti-Semitism is not wide-spread among Negroes nor is it
Freedom Out of Seedbed of Hatred
nourished and passed on as a working creed. More often than
Tragedy struck our South many times. It all began with the not it is a spite thing, used to assuage a particular failure or to
sin that stems from imposing slavery upon human beings. The spur a particular effort. It is not virulent and exists among
seeds that were sown two centuries ago have borne an evil relatively few Negroes. If this were not so, and if actual hatred
fruit. The result has been barbarism, lynchings, an assassination of whites were not similarly limited, the Black Muslims would
only a week ago.
have millions of followers instead of thousands.
The shouts of "Freedom, freedom, freedom," which will echo
"Understandably, the Jewish community, along with other
in our city, at the demonstration scheduled by our Negro fellow- citizens who are concerned with the defense of our democratic
citizens on Sunday, are the result of
institutions, have viewed the appearance of the Black Muslims
One of the distinguished Michigan jurists (Federal Judge with misgivings. Any movement marked by a cultism reinforced
Wade McCrea) commented last week: "We learned action from by a rigid discipline, is cause for more than passing study in a
the Jews who fought for freedom." May we add to what Judge free democracy. But the Black Muslims, for all their earnest
McCrea said that liberty can be gained only when it is self- preachments against white people, for all their indoctrination
liberation, self-emancipation, as it was in the case of Jews who schools and their force-feeding of their young ones, do not appear
were incarcerated in ghettos not for 200 years but for two to be a menace to American democracy. In fact, they say they
millenia• want none of it and, unlike the NAACP, for example, do not
Now the Negroes are applying Auto-Emancipation (as the wish to be inegrated into American society. If the Black Muslims
famous essay by Dr. Leo Pinsker, the pre-Herzlian Zionist, pro- appear to be anti-Semites in some of their utterances, this at-
claimed in his famous essay). It is greatly to their credit. May titude is not that of the broad Negro community. Indeed, for
there be an end to infamy, and may the tradition for freedom in whatever comfort may be extracted therefrom, it is safe to assert
this great land be rescued not only by the self-redemption of the that the Muslim ani-Semitism differs from the genuine article
Negroes but also by the emancipation of the white man from in that it is a part of anti-white-ism rather than an attitude di-
bigotries that held him even more than the colored man in rected solely toward a particular faith.
chains for entirely too long a period.
"Needless to say, the responsible elements in the Negro com-
munity which have had to develop maturity in order to cope
The Role of the Jew in the Battle for Freedom
with their problems have no truck with anti-Semitism. They are
We point with pride to the role of our people in this struggle too occupied with fending off senseless hatred to become pur-
for freedom for the black man. In a speech in New York last veyors of it.
"But both Negroes and Jews could improve their under-
week, at a dinner of the Religious Zionists of America, Mizrachi's
president, Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, called upon the spiritual standing of each other by employing more than a casual or
leaders of all faiths to join in combatting discrimination against surface approach. From the inquiries that come to the NAACP
Negroes, and declared that by granting full equality "to the office, it must be said that some sections of the Jewish com-
American Negro and other minority groupings" we will be munity are making an effort to acquire information and under-
restoring our prestige "in the community of nations." We echo standing.
"One of the greatest aids to the program of the National
this call in the knowledge that Jews are adhering to the ideal of
Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been
justice for all, regardles of race or creed.
The principle adhered to by Jewish communities was in the untiring work of Kivie Kaplan, national chairman of the
evidence in Montclair, N.J., where a Jewish congregation upheld NAACP Life Membership effort, who took over when the paid-up
the rights of Negro members to use swimming club facilities on ($500) Life Members totaled about 300 and today has 3,000 paid
a par with their white brethren and forced desegregation at in full. In addition, he and his committee have 9,000 persons
purchasing life memberships on the deferred payment plan.
that swimming pool.
"The Negro efforts toward understanding have not been on
When the NAACP inserted a full page advertisement in
New York newspapers "For Full Equality for Negro Americans," the same scale, partly because similar resources are lacking and
the list of distinguished signers of the powerful statement in- because Negroes are more 'under the gun' of crude and con-
cludes those of Leonard Bernstein, Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, stant prejudice than are Jews. Thus, they have to devote more
Prof. Sidney Hook, Prof. Horace M. Kallen, former Senator time to elemental defense. But they are making more than a
Herbert H. Lehman, Dr. Max Lerner, and a number of other little effort over the country, in locality after locality. Their
ministers also preach sermons and give pastoral advice. Their
prominent Jews.
Indeed, Jews always were and remain at the head of move- leaders and their organizations urge understanding. In most
communities Jews and Negroes meet in common community
ments for full civil rights for the Negroes.
causes. It is reasonable to predict that from their side of the
street, Negroes will increase their efforts at interfaith under-
Both Sides of the Coin
It is regrettable that, in the midst of the current great effort standing and cooperation.
"With so great a stake as the survival and strengthening
for justice, there has emerged evidence of an increasing anti-
of the only system of government which protects minorities and
Semitism among Negroes.
We must look at both sides of the coin, and there must be grants them opportunities, these two great minorities of similar
exterted the greatest effort to prevent a splitting in the ranks experiences with proscriptions and oppression cannot do other
than come closer together in their common campaign for
of liberalism.
At a meeting of the American Jewish Congress in New humanity."
(Continued on Page 5)
York last week, James Farmer, executive director of the Con-

Black Muslims
Intensify Tension


(Copyright 1963, Jewish
Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

WASHINGTON — Intensifica-
tion of racial tension has pro-
duced an eruption of anti-Semi-
tism from the anti-white "Black
Muslims," a relatively small but
militant and well organized Ne-
gro faction.
Malcolm X, Black Muslim
spokesman, has told television
audiences in Washington, New
York, Boston and elsewhere that
Jews deserve special blame.
In a telecast that shocked
many in the national capital,
Malcolm X said: "A lot of Jews
have a guilty conscience when
you mention exploitation be-
cause they realize that they con-
trol 90 percent of the businesses
in every Negro community from
the Atlantic to the Pacific and
that they get more benefit from
the Negro purchasing power
than the Negro does or than any
segment of the white community
does, so they have a guilt com-
plex on this."
He charged that "when you
mention exploitation of Ne-
groes, most Jews think that
you're talking about them, and
in order to hide what they
are guilty of, they accuse you
of being anti-Semitic." He de-
fended the contacts of George
Rockwell, Nazi leader, with the
Black Muslims.
The National Association for
the Advancement of Colored Peo-
ple and other Negro groups
were denounced by Malcolm X
for permitting Jews to be mem-
bers. He said that the President
of the NAACP was of the Jewish
faith and that "the same Jews
wouldn't let you become the
president of the Bnai Brith or
their different organizations."
Malcolm X said that Jews used
violence against Nazis "but these
same Jews who will condone vio-
lence on their part or hate
someone whom the consider to
be an enemy, will join Negro
organizations and tell Negroes
to be non-violent."
Blaming both Jews and
Christians for the Negro crime
rate, Malcolm X said it was
"the Judaic-Christian society
that created all of the factors
that send so many so-called
Negroes to prison."
Malcolm X maintained that
most of his former associates
were white. "They were either
Jews or Christians, and I saw
hypocrisy on both sides—none
of them really practiced what
they preached."
The Black Muslims have
emerged as segregationists as
well as racist agitators. They
advocate a black chauvinist na-
tionalism and constitute a Negro
supremacy-separatist movement.
They despise the Rev. Martin
Luther King, NAACP, Core, the
student non-violent group and
Jews who support such integra-
tionist organizations. They urge
Negroes to hate the "white
An estimated 100,000 belong
to the Black Muslim cult.
Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, United
Nations Undersecretary, is con-
cerned. According to Dr. Bunche,
the Negro's only nationalism is
Americanism, and the Black
Muslims "with their defeatist
doctrine of racial separation are
as wrong as the white citizens
councils with their advocacy of
white supremacy."

Foundation of Jewish
Culture Allocates
$47,000 for Grants

NEW YORK, (JTA)—Fellow-
ship grants for the academic
year 1963 64 were awarded by
the National Foundation for
Jewish Culture at a meeting of
its board of directors. A sum of


$47,000 was allocated to grad-
uate students working towards
doctoral degrees in the field of

Jewish studies and to independ-
ent scholars engaged in writing
or research.

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