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there are children whose parents do not want their children to go to school with children of a different religion than their own children. I think there are parents who do not want their children to go to school with children of a different race, who want them to go with children with the same cultural background.
I think this is true of all the United States. I think it is very natural.
Senator Ervin. I am glad you say that you think it is very natural, because that is the opinion I entertain.
Attorney General KENNEDY. Senator, may I explain that?
Attorney General KENNEDY. When I say I think it is very natural, I mean that we have every point of view in the United States. A portion of our population think it is natural to swallow goldfish.
Senator ERVIN. That is such a negligible portion. There is no provision in the civil rights bill for protection of people who want to swallow goldfish.
Will you join me in assuming that there are a substantial number of people in the United States who believe that children can be best educated in segregated schools attended exclusively by members of their own race, free from the racial tensions which exist throughout the country—or, rather, in many areas of the country?
Attorney General KENNEDY. I don't know about a "substantial pro portion." I think there is a high proportion in the Southern States that feel that way. I doubt if it is a high proportion in the rest of the country.
Senator ERVIN. The rest of the country is not quite as affected. But I will call your attention to the rest of the country in a minute or two.
The reason I asked that question is this: Would the Federal Commissioner of Education have the authority under this provision about employing specialists to develop an understanding among the general public to expend any funds for the purpose of giving currency to that belief!
Attorney General KENNEDY. No; I don't believe so, Senator. The provision is that the Commissioner may make a grant under this section upon application of State or local authorities. I think that is extremely important. The Commissioner has to have an application for the funds. Then the money is spent by the local school board. The Commissioner does not employ anyone. The local school board employs people and the Commissioner of Education, the Federal Government, helps pay the cost.
So I think the control still rests completely and absolutely in the hands of the local people. This I think is important.
Senator ERVIN. I have a little difficulty accepting that interpretation, because in lines 20, 21, and 22 on the same page it says this:
Each grant under this section shall be made in such amounts and on such terms and conditions as the Commissioner shall prescribe.
Attorney General KENNEDY. If they are not acceptable, then the local school board does not have to accept them and therefore will not obtain the funds. I think that is very wise, Senator. You wouldn't want the money expended by the Federal Government without some kind of control.
Senator ERVIN. I do not think it wise for the Federal Government to spend tax moneys for the purpose of imposing an acceptance of its policies upon the general public as this bill authorizes the Federal Commissioner of Education to do. The bill states very plainly that the grants for the hiring of specialists as well as all other grants are going to be made upon such terms and conditions as the Commissioner may prescribe rather than on terms and conditions which the school boards make.
Attorney General KENNEDY. No. 1, Senator, there has to be a request for the funds. The Commissioner does not spend any money unless there is a request for funds.
No. 2, individuals who are going to be hired to perform any functions or tasks are going to be the employees of the local school board. So there is that local control.
Senator Ervin. The school board can apply for the funds, but it can never get them unless it is willing to accept them on such terms and conditions as the Federal Commissioner of Education may prescribe.
Attorney General KENNEDY. Since the funds are coming from the Federal Government, some control by the Commissioner of Education I think is very wise.
Senator Ervin. I do not think that action on the part of the school boards will be quite as free as you imply.
Attorney General KENNEDY. Senator, they do not have to request it and they do not have to accept it. So there is no real problem for anybody.
Senator Ervin. No; but they are not going to get the funds from the Federal Government under these provisions of the bill unless they accept them with the strings tied on them that they shall deal with them under such terms and conditions as the Commissioner prescribes.
The provisions of title III of the bill relating to the powers of the Federal Commissioner of Education make reference to racially imbalanced schools or the problems of racially imbalanced schoolseight separate times.
Is it the policy of the administration to encourage transporting children away from their neighborhood schools to schools in other communities for the purpose of getting what some educators may conceive to be racially balanced schools in the other communities!
Attorney General KENNEDY. No; we have no policy on that, Senator,
Senator ERVIN. If the administration does not have any policies on this matter, why does it ask that Congress authorize the appropriation of money to be used as grants by the Commissioner of Education to solve problems of so-called racially imbalanced schools?
Attorney General KENNEDY. In order to assist school districts that are having problems with racially imbalanced schools, Senator. There are such problems, as we discussed last time.
None of this legislation has been suggested in a vacuum, Senator. There are problems in the United States at the present time which need attention, require assistance. The legislation that we are suggesting will provide some of that help.
Already problems have arisen in a number of our major metropolitan areas with racially imbalanced schools which the local school authorities, the local officials, the people in the local area, are trying to deal with. We are hopeful that through this legislation, we can be of some help. But we will only be of help where there is a request from the local authorities for assistance.
Senator Ervin. Being a sinful southerner who attended segregated public schools during his youth, I lack the power to comprehend why the administration asks Congress to authorize the Federal Commissioner of Education to use Federal tax funds by way of grants for the adjustment of problems of so-called racially imbalanced schools if the administration has no opinions or policies in respect to the matter. I simply cannot understand why the administration would ask for authority to use tax funds in a certain way if the administration does not favor such use of such funds.
Attorney General KENNEDY. Senator, there are problems-problems of school attendance, problems in voting, problems of public accommodations, many racial problems in the United States. I do not think we can close our eyes to them. They happen to exist. We are suggesting some legislation which will be of help to the country in facing those problems.
Senator Ervin. Your statement does not dispel my lack of understanding. My understanding is not a lack of understanding of the problem, but the problem I do not understand is why does the administration ask Congress to authorize one of its policymakers to spend money for a certain purpose, or to make grants of money to school boards for a certain purpose if the administration does not have any opinion as to whether that purpose is wise or unwise.
Attorney General KENNEDY. You asked me specifically about the transportation of students from one city to another. I said we did not have any policy in favor of that. There are other solutions to the problems, I am sure, and the school districts are attempting to come up with some of those solutions, Senator.
May I just ask you a question? Do you feel that there is a problem in a number of our major metropolitan areas, at the present time, dealing with racially imbalanced schools?
Senator ERVIN. I do not. I think that
Attorney General KENNEDY. You see, we are not talking the same language, Senator.
Senator Ervin. We are both talking English.
Senator Ervin. I do not think that there is any problem of this nature other than the artificially created problem made by those educators who insist that all schools must be racially mixed in certain proportions and those people and organizations which misconstrue the holding in the Brown case and insist that it is the duty of the State to provide integrated education for all of America's schoolchildren. The public schools of this country have been operated for a long time on the theory that all students should attend their neighborhood schools where they can associate with their friends rather than with strangers. I will not press this argument any further, but I must confess that I cannot understand why the administration asks Congress to authorize the use of Federal funds for certain purposes if the administration does not have any opinion or any policy in respect to the purposes for which such funds are to be used.
Attorney General KENNEDY. Senator, I go back to my answer. I think that many school districts across the United States feel that this is a problem. I do not know that any school district yet has come up with a solution to it. Maybe they are just going to continue as they have in the past. Maybe that is going to be the answer. But again, all you have to do is read the papers and statements that have been made to realize that people are concerned about this in local communities and feel that there is a problem.
We do not have the answer to it. Each local area must try to figure out what is best for the community and what is best to further the education of the individual students. Maybe we can be of some assistance to them. That is as far as it goes, Senator.
Senator ERVIN. It seems to me that the problem is created by the people who demand that the races be mixed in all public schools. If attendance at the nearest school will bring about compulsory integration of the races, they insist on the right of all children to attend the nearest school; but if it is necessary to haul children away from their home districts into other districts in order to bring about compulsory integration in the public schools, then they insist on that.
I would like to put in the record at this point an Associated Press dispatch from Stanford, Calif., of August 7, 1963, entitled "School Desegregation Seen Harming Students" and an article by David Lawrence, which is called "False Theories of Integration," which appeared in the Washington Evening Star of July 19, 1963. The CHAIRMAN. So ordered. (The material referred to is as follows:)
SCHOOL DESEGREGATION SEEN HARMING STUDENTS STANFORD, CALIF., August 7 (AP).—More harm than good can come from desegregating schools attended by students of predominantly one race, a New York educator says.
Henry T. Hillson, principal of New York City's George Washington High School, spoke yesterday at a conference on big city schools at Stanford University. The 62 delegates are trying to determine what should be done to improve secondary education for the underprivileged.
Mr. Hillson cited a New York City proposal to send children by bus from one school to another to break segregation as “political, not educational."
"It would do nothing but destroy the schools they moved from,” he declared. "The ones who'd leave would be the better students. When they've gone, what have you?”
Mr. Hillson insisted that “breaking up a segregated school does more harm than good.”
He also told of "an even more severe and harmful proposition. They call it reverse open enrollment, in which students are sent into Negro schools.
"If this issue is forced, it will cause a parents' revolution. You can't bus white children 5 to 6 miles outside of their community and put them in a Negro school.”
He said the political problem is forcing the Negroes into an assertive position that they don't want. The educators are too frightened to take positions on this. They are afraid of being called either Uncle Toms or reactionaries.
[From the Washington Evening Star, July 19, 1963]
FALSE THEORIES OF INTEGRATION-IDEA OF QUOTA SYSTEM FOR NEGRO JOBS IN ANY
AREA SHOWN TO BE IMPRACTICAL For a long time now, many people in the South have been saying that the newspapers of the North don't understand the segregation problem. But something has happened recently which indicates that prominent newspapers in the Norththe New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune_are beginning to understand that "integration” isn't as simple as it has appeared to be.
"Equal rights,” for instance, are being found to be impractical if they are literally applied in education. Even the viewpoint of the Supreme Court of the United States—that a Negro child can't get as good an education in a segregated as in a desegregated school—is turning out to be more theoretical than practical.
Perhaps the most realistic editorial that has been written on the impracticality of racial equality in the public schools appeared yesterday in the New York Times. The full text is as follows:
“New York City is doing some hard and needed thinking these days about how to give the Negro his equal opportunity in every way-education, jobs, housing, everything. That is good. But the Negro, equally with the white man, should be wary of easy solutions, quick remedies that seem to promise instant success. One of these is inherently unjust and inhumane. It is the quota system.
"It has the temptation of surface plausibility. If the population of the city is 15 percent Negro, why shouldn't the Negro have 15 percent of the jobs? If the population of Manhattan is 25 percent Negro, then he should have 25 percent of the jobs in Manhattan. Easy, isn't it? But go on from there.
“If this reasoning were valid, the quota should be immediately applied in every business, in every industry, and on every level—whether there were qualified applicants or not. And it would apply to religions, nationalities—and how many other kinds of divisions? Every floor in every office building would have to have its quoted shade of color, race, or whatnot. To state the proposition is to show its absurdity and also its inherent evil.
“Now let us look at the public schools. With the best will in the world how, in Manhattan, can 'quota' be achieved even if it were desirable to do so? Negro and Puerto Rican children in that borough total 76.5 percent of elementary school enrollment and 71.6 percent junior high school enrollment. Citywide, there are 117 elementary schools whose pupils are Negro or Puerto Rican by 90 percent or more. These schools cannot be made 'white.'
A satisfactory percentage of inte gration can be achieved neither by busing, nor by zoning, nor by governmental fiat, nor by magician's wand.
“What is possible in this impossible situation? The board of education can do its best with the fullest use of the tried previous methods, which include the open enrollment policy of moving some Negro children to underutilized schools in white or mixed districts. New schools can and must be built in fringe areas. But the best thing it can do for the Negro now is to bring him the best school that can be bought, with money and talent.
"Joseph P. Lyford, staff member of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and author of a study being made for the Fund for the Republic, for nearly a year has been working in a 40-block area of the upper west side of Manhattan. The other day he said:
'In my interviews over the past 10 months with low-income Negro and Puerto Rican parents in the area, never once has the question of racial percentages been raised as a concern. The parents' interests have been in the type of teachers the children have and the various facilities the school has to offer. All this leads me to feel that there is a considerable gap between the concerns of the low-income Negro families in my area and the avowed aims of various organizational leaders who presume to speak for them.'
"The novel idea was thus presented that parents are more interested in good teachers and good teaching for their children than in color quotas. It is to their credit that they are. The best thing the city can do for the Negro is to make the schools better."
The New York Herald Tribune just a week earlier-on July 11-said in an editorial :
"True equality doesn't lie in mathematical formulas, in the careful maintenance of a 'nice balance,' or in a reverse racism that seeks to boost the Negro through preferential hiring or arbitrary advancement. Racial quotas are as un-American as discrimination itself. They separate, they categorize, they label; they inherently contradict the ideal of equal opportunity, because they establish separate ladders of opportunity.”
But what becomes of the view that Negro leaders have been expoundingnamely, that equality should mean equality, that for all jobs held by white men there must be a certain percentage of Negroes working alongside them, and that the same rule applies in the schools? Also, what happens to the views of those moderates in the South who have felt token integration to be adequate ?
Anybody who has insisted heretofore that the practicality of the problem rather than theoretical equality must be taken into account has found himself classed as "racist” or a “Negro hater.” In the end, it will be discovered that the best friends of the Negro are those who want to see such changes made as will truly benefit and not injure him or his opportunity to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.