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August 06, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-08-06

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Purely Commentary

Deterioration in Civil
Rights m
. i. n.edSocb iya BAatntai tlui tdi e e s

By Philip

2—Friday, August 6, 1965

Brandeis U. Urges
`Fair Shake' When
Press Reports Riot

and one of our community's immediate responsibilities is to put
a stop to the unsavory pressure solicitations conducted in efforts
to encourage property sales. They often contribute to panic and
Theodore H. White's historically important work, "The Making
should be discouraged.
Surveys in our daily newspapers included such questions as "Are
of the
s as important for its handling of the civil rights and the race issues you thinking of moving?," "Are you afraid to walk the Detroit
WALTHAM, Mass — Partici-
as it The
is for story
its analyses
of the
campaign. Lyndon B. streets?" These are panic-inspiring queries, but the tragedy is that
of the rise
to 1964
great Presidential
heights of President
Johnson, the account of the selection of the Vice Presidential candi- they are based on actual happenings. Yet, the reality of it often takes nants at the final session of Bran-
deis University's three-day Confer-
date, the review of Barry Goldwater's actions and his attitude on his into account a basic fact: that there also are sadists and criminals
ence on Violence were told that
Jewish background, are important. The account of the revolutionary among whites, and in handling the community's
both newspaper coverage of the Hamp-
in crime
the matter
trends in the civil rights struggle is an indication that the author has factors
be the
into consideration.
But fellow-citizens, and ton Beach, N.H., riot last Labor
the race
is on our colored
gone deeply into the major issue of the last Presidential election.
in the process of changing neighborhoods, the school battles, the Day was very accurate, but there
White deals in his best seller with the riots that erupted in 1964. controversies over the rights that are due the Negroes, there are was a story that was never told.
Referring he to posed
the looting,
the burning,
the emergency
arose in serious social declines, great financial property losses and — more
Seymour Rosenthal, a social sci-
some serious
"Why had that
the Negroes
analyst for the U.S. Office
chosen to disrupt New York first, that city of the nation which had regretable than anything else — the arousing of suspicions that
divides our community along color lines.
of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth
gone furthest—to the edge of bankruptcy—in trying to open oppor-
Indeed, it is urgent that we should save our communities from Development, who has been study-
tunity and equality for its colored citizens? Were these truly race deterioration. Those who are accused must be the first to act. All of mg Hampton Beach, said that the
riots? Or something more sinister—absolute chaos? ... What lay ahead us must help bring an end to the sins of a century which have created
untold story is "why did it hap-
in the future—beyond 1964—as all of America's cities faced the same the conditions that call for civil rights and for an end to race prejudice.
Problems of Negro growth and adjustment?"
He asked: "What made it pos-
Pointing out that "the' riots of 1964 were "episodes far larger Vulgar and Banal Social Attitudes Must End
sible for these kids to riot?"
than campaign episodes," that "they were the first violent call
Rosenthal said that the Hampton
upon American politics and civilization" to pay attention to a against the false image of the Jew presented by stage comedians.
condition that
of those who offended us were themselves Jews. They had no Beach community did not get a
monishes: "History can signal its changes to wise men without understanding of the harm they were rendering. The battle against "fair shake" because an analysis
violence, but for those who prefer to ignore its message, it then the stage Jews was finally won. Others — Irish, Negroes, Italians — of the real causes of the riot were,
raps with gunfire to call attention."
similarly fought against stage insults that were, at times unwittingly, for the most part, never reported
White proceeds to point out the following: "Starkly put, the gross directed at them. The stage was cleansed by Jewish action.
by the media.
There is a reason for riots, he
fact is that the great cities of America are becoming Negro cities.
But since then, literature has been polluted, Jews have become
Today only one major American city — Washington — has a Negro the media for misrepresentation of the Jews, there are misinterpre- said. And during publicity of ev-
majority. But by 1980—if the arithmetical projections of present popu- tations in novels that are shocking. They evidence a lack of knowledge ents at Hampton Beach there was
lation trends come to pass—Negroes will be the majority in Detroit, of Jewish mores by Jewish writers who are suffering from complexes a lack of reports on the back-
Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis; and in the decade fol- which at times include self-hatred, at other times are fear reactions.
ground of the riot, on the previous
lowing, in Philadelphia. By 1990, then — which is almost tomorrow in
One such book, "How to Be a Jewish Mother," was no doubt history of the community and the
the eyes of history—these trends,
honorably motivated. But it is far from complimentary. It is at best beach.
civilization in which seven of the ten largest cities (all except New a burlesque. In a Yiddish essay in the Tog-Morgen Journal, Dr. Samuel
He said there should have been
York, Los Angeles and Houston) will have Negro majorities. . . ."
Margoshes recalled nostalgically the love with which mothers were a greater effort on the part of
There follow other facts, many based on White's personal survey always presented on stage, in literature, in songs, and he pointed to newsmen to "develop, understand
of Negro communities in big cities some 10 years ago. He asserts: the exaggerations that are resorted to in the Jewish Mother best seller. and analyze what preceded the
"What is pursued is a word — 'integration' — and a goal — He is right in indicating that a bad taste is left with the knowledgable event."
'stability.' What is ignored is the fact that the sheer thrust of people after reading the interpretations of the Mother who has held
The conference, attended by
population growth, as elemental as the tides, can be contained such a high place of honor in Jewish thinking and now is the image of
more than 125 newspaper and
by no dikes erected by social workers."
sensationalism and Hollywoodian craving for laughter, with emphasis
television representatives, gov-
He poses the question asked by some Negro leaders: "Where are on the joke at Jewish expense, rather than the traditional image of
ernment and law enforcement of-
the whites going to stop running when they know they can't hide?" the dignified lady who would not stoop to cheap punning.
ficials, and scholars, was de-
The banalities often emerge to plague us. There was a sad
White continues on this score:
to explore the role of the
"And the answer is, of course, as clear as the maps that chart experience several years ago when Gertrude Berg sensationalized a
in the reporting of
Negro expansion: 'they,' the whites, are going to the suburbs. story about the "Hanukah Bush." She apologized for it. But now she
There a more modest white population explosion closes a ring is recording the Jewish mother banalities — all in good faith, in the
In addition, the conference con-
about the changing central city. In Chicago, in Philadelphia, in same spirit as the author of that book, but nevertheless not on a high
Detroit — everywhere except New York City — the same pattern level of dignified presentation of the mother as of other elements sidered a number of basic ques-
tions relating to violence and the
repeats itself: the suburban 'white noose' tightens about an inner in Jewish life.
city becoming more and more rapidly Negro, while within the
A more recent experience is the current introduction of a series press.
Dr. Norton E. Long, acting di-
strangling city a turmoil begins that feeds on fear and hate."
of Hanukah greeting cards by a California firm. Samples had been
rector of Brandeis' Institute on

.)eterioration in Major Communities, Flight to Suburbs,
)etroit's MAP Project and Responsibility of Leadership

The continuing White story is most significant. It relates real-
istically, bluntly, the developing Negro struggle for just rights, and
it analyzes the past with all its horrors that were imposed upon an
enslaved segment of our population that is now a dominant factor in
American life.
Students of the civil rights issue will do well to study Theodore
White's findings and conclusions. He has written as scholarly a work
on the civil rights question as he did on the history of the 1964
What concerns us at this point in our own city is the above quoted
statement in regard to the flight to the suburbs, Detroit's impending
status and the "fear and hate" fodder about which we are warned.
Unlike Cleveland, whence practically all Jews have fled to the
suburbs, Detroit's west and northwest areas still retain 60 per cent of
the Greater Detroit Jewish population. It would be for the benefit of
our city, the Negro and Jewish populations, if neighborhoods were
not disrupted, if there were gradual and not militant integration.
jut it is easier to preach than to practice, panic travels faster than
reason, fear negates confidence in human nature.
• The effort that is being made as a Mumford Action Program by
parents and citizens in the Mumford High School area is especially
challenging. There is serious concern over the status of the schools
in the northwest portion of our community and the MAP project
sounds practical and realistic.
Yet, one must take into account that entire area and the expe-
riences that have been reported from there. Merchants are abandoning
a street that had become very popular among Jewish shoppers. Some
stores have found it necessary to close up during the lunch hour for
fear of excesses from what has been described as a gang outpouring
from the school under consideration during certain hours of the day.
There is the problem of security, and this has not been handled
properly either by the MAP sponsors, by our board of education, by
the police department or by leaders of the communities concerned
with the issue.

offered here to the Hadassah gift shop, and they humiliated those
who select merchandise for sale to the local women. The sample cards
are imitations of the lowest forms of Christmas greetings — the
Santa Claus -theme, Christmas trees with notations "deck the halls
with Stars of . David," one card reading "not a creature was stirring
. . . not even a Meshuginah mouse" and another "I'm dreaming of
a white Hanukah."
The imitativeness is evident, and the banality is disgusting. Yet,
when a woman at the gift shop was shown the cards she said:
"Isn't it cute."
Which goes to prove that it is the approval often given to banali-
ties by Jews themselves that creates a market for cheap novels,
for undignified introductions of mamas and grandmas who are sup-
posedly Jewish to large audiences.
It is no wonder, therefore, that a spokesman for the firm that
is offering the abusive and offensive greeting cards disagreed about
their offensive nature, insisting that "these cards have been accepted
and are selling in the finest stores in the country," adding: "The
Jewish population are the people who buy them and if they were
considered offensive, I'm sure they wouldn't." He then called atten-
tion to the fact that his firm also has humerous Christmas cards. Which
merely proves that those who condone offensive banalities are a uni-
versal lot. And it's nothing new to hear Christians, at Christmas time,
protest the commercialization of Christmas and the offensive manner
in which some of the observances are marked.
The lesson is quite clear: there is an unending need to educate
people not to yield to cheap and undignified interpretations of sacred
things in life, to reject the banal, to insist on respect for spiritual
values in life. Such obligations are especially incumbent upon Jewish
communities. If we fail to guide people away from the cheap approaches,
the "cute" acceptance of the vulgar will become more pronounced.

and broadcasters.

He said that newsmen need to
impose a system of standards on

Newsmen are trying "to tell an
honest story," but they should

look to both sides of an issue and
give each a "fair shake."

Members of Parliament
Protest 'Swastika Stamp'

LONDON (JTA) — Three mem-
bers of Parliament, two in the
House of Commons and one in the
House of Lords, formally protested
in their respective chambers this
week against circulation of a new
postage stamp showing the swas-
tika, scheduled for release in Sep-
All three demanded that the
postmaster general, Anthony
Wedgwood-Benn, have the stamp
redesigned or withdraw it from -

Expedition Proves Hebrews, Indians Used Same Dyestuffs"

If parents are Ied to believe that their children are in an
NEW YORK—A long trip into
insecure environment, all the assurances given by MAP, or by
confirmed a chemistry his-
Superintendent of Schools Brownell, or by well-meaning liberals
torian's theory that . Indians of
will go to naught.
As we see it, there is a growing justification of the criticisms that Mexico and Hebrews in ancient
have been leveled at Negro leaders that they have not exerted sufficient times used the same kind of dye-
pressure to prevent whatever incidents have been reported in the stuffs.
Dr. Sidney M. Edelstein, presi-
Mumford High School and other areas. If it is true that there is a
ganging up on some youngsters in the Mumford High School, that dent of Dexter Chemical Corp. of
some need protection from assaults, then no amount of police assign- New York, led an expedition,
searching out the sources of dyes
ments will help.
What that area needs is that those from whose ranks came the used by Mexican Indians to color
gangs should themselves mobilize vigilantly to call a halt of untoward cotton yarn.

acts by their kinfolk. Their number surely is exaggerated: all the
more reason to strive to offset exaggerations.
If Jewish gangs had erupted in some areas, threatening the safety
of their neighbors or classmates or others, we would be the first to
urge that Jews should mobilize a force to provide protection for the
abused and to prevent gangsterism in our ranks.
We urge, humbly, in our desire to see Detroit remain a solid
community, that such action should be taken by Negro leaders among
the unhappy and unfortunate youngsters in their midst who have been
driven to lawlessness by conditions under which they have grown up—
conditions which all of us must unite in eradicating.

Violence, summarized the three
days of the conference by pointing
to the need for greater "profes-
sionalism" on the part of newsmen

Dr. Edelstein said the ancient
Hebrews used the dye of the pur-
ple shellfish for dyeing the blue

Dr. Edelstein's interest in the
research began with a request
in 1960 from Dr. Yigael Yadin
of the Hebrew University, re-
questing him to study the colors
in fragments of cloth found in a

cave in the Judean desert.

general belief that it was brought
from the New World after the\
time of Columbus.
With modern research tech-
niques, Dr. Edelstein thus found
that at least three dyes used In
ancient times in the Mediterran-
ean area were used almost simul-
taneously by the Indians in Mexi-
co and Central America. They
were the blue from the indigo
plant, purple from the shellfiSh
and red from the cochineal insect.

The cave contained remains and
artifacts of followers of Simon Bar
Kochba, who led a revolt against
Rome 1,800 years ago. The Bar
Kochba followers holed up in a
cave, but slowly starved to death.
Their dyed, colorfast clothing and
shrouds withstood the centuries in Anonymous $100,000 Gift
the dark, arid cave.
A sample of cloth was colored PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — An
with indigo and shaded over with anonymous contributor has made a
the red dye of an insect. Dr. Edel- gift of $100,000 to the Philadel-
stein's study of the insect, the phia Psychiatric Center and the
cochineal, has convinced him, he building fund of the Federation of
said, that the cactus plant upon Jewish Agencies here, for con-
which it feeds existed in the Near struction of an outpatient pavilion

cord of the ritual tassels, or tsisis,
now made with undyed white tas-
(The Babylonian Talmud has a
large section devoted to specifica-
tions for the threads used in the
tassels and instructions for dyeing
East in ancient times despite the at the Center.
There is much to be done to solve the major American issue, them.)


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