AUGUST 9, 1948
HYDE PARK, Sunday—It is a very interesting thing to find that one of the best known among the Negro newspapers is editorially opposed to the stand taken by A. Philip Randolph and Grant Reynolds, leaders of the League for Non-Violent Disobedience Against Military Segregation and the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service and Training.
This newspaper countenances none of the discriminations which make the life of any minority group hard and, sometimes, almost past bearing. But it feels that nothing is to be gained by using undemocratic methods to fight undemocratic actions within our democracy. We have lately found that there is a determination, on the part of our highest legal authorities, that the law of this land shall be impartial. The President has decreed that as far as government is concerned both in military and in civil service there shall be no segregation and no disabilities incurred because of race or creed.
This is all that can be done by law. But it is not enough, for the real change must come in the attitude of every citizen of the United States. We hear much about democracy, but what is needed is a desire to see it in complete and full practice. We must realize that today these failures in our system of democracy are what give a handle to our enemies—who are only too ready to point out how much more democratic, for instance, are the Communist states, where fear of discrimination is unheard of.
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The newspapers, I see, are placing less emphasis on the spy scare. I wish we could do a little clear thinking on this subject. Granted that Russia, who was our ally during the war, payed people over here to obtain certain information—what did she gain by it? We were giving her everything we possibly could to help her win the war. None of the information obtained could be of great value to her now.
The only thing we really need to fear today in our country is the election to public office of Communists who would form a bloc within our various government groups, such as they have done in many European governments. We have been free of that so far and I hope we will remain free. Once you have a bloc of this kind, then you have to cater to them—because, as a bloc, they are probably going to be sought after by the administration and by the major party in opposition. That would bring the Communists much more power and much more attention. I therefore hope that we will concentrate on preventing Communists from being placed on the ballot and from finally being elected to public office.