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October 28, 1966 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-10-28

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22—Friday, October 28, 1966


Catholic Children's Attitudes Toward Jews,
Negroes Revealed in study by Notre !Dame U.

It is a report on "the Notre uncertain about this question. In
Dame study of Catholic elemen- both the high and low levels of
tary and secondary schools," and religiosity 1 out of 3 students
it contains facts and figures of select the response 'not cer-
tain.' It seems that even the most
vital interest to all faiths.
There are details regarding the religious families do not instill in
children an open-minded at-
JOHN D. O'CONNELL attitude of Catholic children and their
parents relating to their Jewish titude toward Jews. The children
RATED "OUTSANDING" neighbors that make this study one are as likely to select the uncer-
BY DETROIT BAR ASS'N. of the most evaluative in dealing tain responses as to reject stereo-
type by strongly disagreeing. Ap-
CITIZENS' ADVISORY with the inter-faith questions in parently
Catholic school children
American society.
Many attitudes are tested and do not so much have an unfavor-
various areas are explored in this able image of Jews as that they
extensive study, and in its treat- have no image at all. This may be
ment of social-civic attitudes to- accounted for to some extent by
wards racial and other minority infrequency of social contacts be-
groups there is an item based on tween Catholics and Jews."
"A more tangible relationship
the posed-statement question:
"There is something strange and is found between the students'
different about Jews; it is hard to personal religiosity toward Jews
know what they are thinking or than between family religiosity
planning, or what makes them and attitudes," it is further
shown. "Of the students who re-
The text explains that "the ste- port not attending Mass regu-
reotype" in this item, "presenting larly on Sundays, 24 per cent
Jews as strange, crafty, and are unbiased toward Jews; of the
scheming was included to measure regular attenders, 31 per cent,
anti-Semitism among the students an increase of 7 per cent over
and to discover what background their irregular attenders. The stu-
factors are associated with anti- dents who show the least preju-
Semitic attitudes. The inquiry dice are those who attend Mass
brought interesting results on "dis- several times a month besides
tribution of biased and unbiased Sunday; 34 per cent of them re-
responses to questions on attitudes ject the Jewish stereotype; We
John D. O'Connell, promi- toward minorities," with expres- might expect those who go to
nent criminal lawyer, is a candi- sions relative to prejudices toward Mass several times weekly to
date for Judge of Recorder's Jews and Negroes. Analyzing the exceed those who go only sev-
eral times a month in kindly at-
Court at the election, Tuesday, ! table which presented the answers,
titudes toward Jews, but actually
the text of this study offers this
November 8th.
the percentages drop from 34 per
cent to 29 per cent. This brings
The Detroit Bar Association
"It appears that 7 per cent of
the daily Mass attenders 2 per
Citizens Advisory Committee our students gave strong assent
cent below the regular attend-
has classified Mr. O'Connell
to the prejudiced statements,
ers—the only time in our entire
among the candidates for and an additional 9 per cent to
study when the latter group dis-
Judge of Recorder's Court as 15
plays more desirable attitudes
what. The majority express un-
"OUTSTANDING," which is
than the frequent attenders."
biased attitudes toward the Ne-
the highest rating given by the
The probers into these attitudes
gro, although the majorities do
Bar Association.
not exceed two-thirds and three- pose the question: "One wonders
Mr. O'Connell has a substan-
whether those most devoted to the
fourths of the students. Most sur-
tial criminal practice and is
prising is the high proportion Mass feel vaguely that they should
currently working on 5 differ-
selecting the 'uncertain' response not be too favorable toward Jews,
ent murder cases. He has tried
for the Jewish stereotype; 33 and therefore take refuge in the
criminal cases throughout the
per cent did not know how to `safe' category of not certain. It
answer. This is the highest 'un- is even more puzzling when we
country and is widely recog-
certain' percentage reported in recall that the daily attenders at
nized as an outstanding crim-
the entire Student Attitude In- Mass report the least prejudiced
dex. Indications are that stu- attitudes toward Negroes."
He spent eight years on the
There are interesting replies to
dents in Catholic schools know
prosecution side of the counsel
very little about Jews, since the questions dealing with sex,
table and about 25 years for
over half of them (53 per cent) marriage, divorce and remarriage.
the defense. He has had ex-
either agree with the cliche or
--rience as an attorney in all say they are not sure. Even the
branches of the Prosecuting 'give-away' wording of the state-
.'\i- tcrney's Office and the ment did not help the uncertain
33 per cent."
Since it has generally been be-
He was appointed by the
I esHent of the United States lieved women are more prejudiced,
of special interest is the indication
-1-iirrnan of the Michigan
that "in all instances girls are less
H-a i th
biased than boys, although the dif-
in charge of federal funds ference is not so great at the
- , Ilocated to Michigan for use elementary as at the high school
feeding and housing dis- level." It is also pointed out that
- laced persons in the event of "the high school students are 4
—emy attack or other catas- per cent less biased about sitting
'. ophe during World War H. near someone of another race or
As State Social Welfare Di- thinking of Jews as strange."
Thus, the study shows: "Girls in
rector of Michigan Mr. O'Con-
general are 12 per cent less likely
nell supervised and admin- than boys to say that sitting near
istered the State Social Wel- a Negro disturbs them, and high
fare Department. He headed school girls are less disturbed. The
the Children's Bureau of Michi- same relationships hold for atti-
gan, in which the state's pro- tudes toward the Jewish stereo-
fessional children's workers are type, girls rejecting it 10 per cent
employed, supervised a state more than boys."
Even more vital is the state-
institution for the blind in Sagi-
ment that "more education of
naw, the Boys' Vocational
parents tends to reduce anti-
School and the Girls' School at
Semitism in children," that "edu-
cation beyond high school is
Mr. O'Connell was formerly especially influential in increas-
Chief Trial Lawyer on the
ing unbiased responses in the
Wayne County Prosecutor's children." The study asserts:
staff. He worked in every
"The education of parents shows
a definite relationship to atti-
branch of the Prosecutor's
tudes of anti-Semitism. The more
Office in which lawyers are em-
education parents have, the more
children manifest unbiased atti-
He taught school in the De-
tudes toward the Jews."
troit Public Schools, Detroit In-
There is emphasis on the fact
stitute of Technology, and at that the "not certain" group is
Michigan State University. He large. The survey also shows:
taught Criminology at the col-
"Whether a family is highly re-
lege level.
ligious or not makes little differ-
Mr. O'Connell's candidacy ence in the percentage of children
is endorsed by civic, business, who reject the stereotype of the
legal and Organized Labor Jew. Nor does the degree of re-
ligiosity seem to relate in a n y
- • .PoI. ' Adv. way to the proportions -who- are

Financed by the Carnegie Foun-
dation, a most impressive study,
"Catholic Schools in Action," has
been issued by University of Notre
Dame Press, Notre Dame, Ind.

On the question of mixed marri-
ages, "23 per cent said that the
person they would marry would
have to be a Catholic; 25 per cent
said that the person they would
marry would most likely be a Cath-
olic; 12 per cent said they did not
intend to marry . . . On the 'less
committed side, 36 per cent said
their marriage partner would not
necessarily have to be a Catholic,
although they would like to marry
one; an additional 4 per cent said
that as far as they were concerned
the person they would marry need
not be a Catholic."
The several tables revealing
the social attitudes of parents
are equally revealing, indicat-
ing the following: "The goal of
teaching children to like other
races and nationalities was
ranked high by 73.1 per cent of
the parents, but only 46.3 per
cent considered the schools
highly successful in achieving
this objective. A second related
goal that Catholic schools should
teach children to get along with
others such as Jews was ranked
high by 82.5 per cent of those
responding, but only 48.7 per
cent considered that the goal is
met on a high success level and
8.4 per cent indicated little or
no success."
Thus, the various fields covered

are most revealing. This is a study
that should be considered as a ba-
sis for further action in inter-faith
relations and in acquiring data re-
garding social attitudes among
Americans. The thoroughness with
which the University of Notre
Dame study was conducted com-
mends this volume to all students
of educational and social needs in
this country.

Michigan is the home of three
of America's billion-dollar cor-
porations and 16 of America's
hundred - million - dollar corpora-

As you are old and reverend,
you should be wise.



I'm Keith Rowley. My dad says a
major issue now facing the legisla-
ture is a better program of state
aid local schools. Elect my dad,
Tom Rowley, State Senator and
make sure he works on this problem
with Gov. Romney. Remember: Rom-
ney and Rowley, and call 356-2350
right now.

E xperienced: ....



e* A C IN

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