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World press comment

A London dispatch of the Associated Press (the Star Telegram, Fort Worth, Tex., May 19, 1954) reported that the Court's decision had received a good press throughout the non-Communist world. The powerful Indian Express newspaper chain in New Delhi, Bombay, and Madras declared that the ruling represented a “healthy change in enlightened American opinion."

The story was also played up in other Indian papers even though there was no editorial comment. In London the Daily Herald of the Labor Party said that the ruling "will make every friend of humanity and every believer in democracy cheer,” and called it a "great liberal victory and a sign that America is going the right way about a problem it does not always recognize for what it is--a colonial problem within its own borders."

A columnist in the Daily Mail (Conservative) Don Iddon, writing from New York said "The ruling has helped to spike the Communist propaganda that Americans treat their colored people like dogs and worse. It is a beacon light to the Asiatics in Korea, in Indochina, and the entire Far East.”

The London Daily Mirror, frequently anti-American declared that the ruling would "rank in sociological significance with Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation."

French newspapers also commented. Le Monde, also often critical of the United States, devoted its regular front page editorial to praise of the decision. The ruling, it said, "marks a victory of justice over race prejudice, a victory for democracy."

L'Aurore hailed the decision as an "important victory for the colored people of the United States."

The one exception to this praise of papers in the non-Communist world was found in South Africa where the Cape Town Die Burger declared that in the decision the “most important bastion in America's color bar policy now has fallen and the Court's ruling has started a serious and lengthy internal conflict, the forms of which are not foreseeable." Organized opposition

Organized efforts of groups of private individuals, in contrast, or as distinct from public officials, to nullify or evade the Court's ruling developed by the end of the summer. The first group to make headlines was the National Association for the Advancement of White People, which started court action in Milford, Wilmington, Baltimore, and Washington, to prevent the voluntary desegregation program of the local school authorities. This group and its organizer-president, B. W'. Bowles, is responsible for stimulating and organizing the public demonstrations, student strikes, and other unrest which broke out first in Milford and then in other communities where voluntary desegregation programs were undertaken. This group publishes a fortnightly sheet called National Forum and is open only to whites over 18 years of age.

Two other prosegregation groups have attained some local influence and are seeking affiliates in each of the States affected by the decision. The first is “a new type of anti-Negro vigilante movement using boycotts instead of bull whips" which has arisen in the State of Mississippi.

(The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1954, Associated Press dispatch.) The local units are called citizens councils. The councils are secret and plans are under way to organize 1 in each of the 82 counties of Mississippi.

A reporter from the Birmingham News has described the councils in these words:

"A refined descendant of the Ku Klux Klan is 'riding' again in the South to protect Dixie's school system from the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This time there are no bedsheet robes, no violence thus far, and none of the ritual mumbo jumbo of the night riders of the Reconstruction era.

"In place of bullwhips, the citzens councils have substituted economic pressure to handle what they term 'agitators'-both white and Negro—who think the Supreme Court way rather than the southern way of segregation." (The Birmingham News, Sept. 20, 1954; cited in Facts, Vol. 9, No. 6. September 1954.)

Efforts to apply this economic pressure have already been reported. One instance was against a Negro dentist in Columbus, Miss., who was head of the State branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which organization had sponsored some of the Supreme Court cases. A restaurant operated by this dentist was summarily closed by municipal authorities on the grounds of an alleged complaint that it was a nuisance. His restaurant was located in a building owned by the local Negro post of the American Legion. The (McCloskey, ibid.)

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charter of the post was suspended. (Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Sept. 12, 1954.)

Another potentially influential prosegregation organization is called the Ameri: can States Rights Association, Inc., formed in Birmingham, Ala., by the head of a large insurance company and other businessmen. This association is dedicated to resisting the antisegregation laws and any modification of the traditional segregation system of the Southern States.

Seven other new groups have been reported as being in the process of organization and planning to fight the desegregation ruling of the Supreme Court. They are: The National Association for the Preservation of the White Race, Inc., Augusta, Ga.; the National Association for the Advancement and Protection of the Majority of the White People, Inc., Griffin, Ga.; White Brotherhood, Atlanta, Ga.; the Southerners, Mobile, Ala.; Florida States Rights, Inc., Miami, Fla.; Heritage Crusade, Gulfport, Miss. (Facts, September 1954, vol. IX, No. 6, published the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith.)

Four old white supremacy groups are reported also to have renewed their activities around the desegregation ruling of the Supreme Court. They are: The Dade County Property Owners Association, Miami, Fla.; the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, Inc.; the National Citizens Protective Association. St. Louis, Mo.; and the Christian Anti-Jewish Party, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Several publications related to such groups have been cited as campaigning against the Court's ruling. They are: Common Sense (July 1, 1954); the Cross and the Flag; the American Nationalists; the Economic Council Letter; Coser Up; Williams Intelligence Summary (Facts, September 1954, vol. IX, No. 6). Reaction of church bodies

National Council of Churches. By coincidence, the general board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, was meeting in Chicago at the time the decision was announced. The board adopted a statement in which it declared that the decision "gives a clear status in law to a fundamental Christian and American principle. The decision will have far reaching effects in the whole Nation and the world. It offers the promise of further steps for translating into reality Christian and democratic ideals. The decision is a milestone in the achievement of human rights, another evidence of the endeavor to respect the dignity and worth of all men."

The statement recognized that there would be difficulties in the application of the decision in certain localities, but expressed the confidence "that the churches and individual Christians will continue to exert their influence and leadership to help the authorized agencies in the several communities to bring about a complete compliance with the decision of the Supreme Court.”.

United Church Women.-shortly thereafter, representatives of the United Church Women, an affiliate of the National Council of Churches, from 15 Southern States, meeting in conference in Atlanta, Ga. (June 21, 1954), adopted a statement in which they declared that because of their “high calling of God in Christ Jesus" and their belief in human brotherhood and the inclusiveness of in which segregation is no longer a burden upon the human spirit. We accept Christian fellowship * * * we feel we are impelled to promote a Christian society principle of the dignity and worth of human personality and affording the opwith humility the Supreme Court decision as supporting the broad Christian portunity of translating into reality Christian and democratic ideals.”

The statement expressed confidence that by working together, constructive and positive solutions would be built and affirmed the desire to build Christian emotional maturity to meet the new challenges to our patience, understanding, and creative action."

African Methodist Episcopal.—Representatives of this church from all sections of the country, meeting at its anne mare connectional council at the

end of June, honored position of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in proclaiming passed a resolution in which they hailed the decision as "vindicating the timethe absolute equality of all men before God." We commend "the Supreme Court for this far-reaching decision and urge the support and cooperation of our entire constituency in its implementation." ing in August, drew attention to the fact that it was organized in 1796 as "a

African Methodist Zion.The board of education of this denomination, meetresolution thanked God for the decision, reaffirmed confidence in the "inevi. protest against segregation and proscription based on color" in the church. The mended that its 44 annual conferences with 723,000 members in the continental table fulfillment of American democracy under the Constitution," and recom

l'nited States cooperate actively "with local school boards in implementing the program of immediate desegregation," and called upon the leaders of the church w help "create the climate of public opinion favorable to desegregation in every form of American life." The resolution concluded, “we authorize, empower, and arge our secondary schools and junior colleges to amend their charters and/or their rules and regulations, if necessary, so as to provide for integrated faculties and student bodies."

American Baptist convention.—Meeting shortly after the decision was anbounced, this convention adopted a resolution (May 28, 1954), in which it comDended the Court decision, affirmed the Christian principle of the worth and dignity of each person, and urged "American Baptists to increase their opposition to other areas of segregation-housing, employment, recreation, church participation.” The resolution concluded, "we urge local churches to carry forward educational programs dealing with this issue and we propose cooperation with other Christian bodies of like mind." Southern Baptist convention.--The Southern Baptist convention meeting in June declared that it recognized “the fact that this Supreme Court decision is in harmony with the constitutional guarantee of equal freedom to all citizens. and with the Christian principles of equal justice and love for all men." It commended the Court for allowing time for further study of methods of transi tion and urged “our people and all Christians to conduct themselves in this period of adjustment in the spirit of Christ.” It expressed confidence in the public school system and hope that they would not be impaired by the neces sary readjustments occasioned by the decision. The statement concluded by urging "Christian statesmen and leaders in our churches to use their leadershij in positive thought and planning to the end that this crisis in our national his tors shall not be made the occasion for new and bitter prejudices, but a more ment toward a united Nation embodying and proclaiming a democracy that wil commend freedom to all peoples."

Roman Catholic Church.-A trend toward desegregation of Roman Catholi schools in the South since World War II has been noted by some observers. A survey made by the National Catholic Welfare Conference News Service shower that by the end of September, there were "only six States where no official step bas been taken to integrate Catholic schools on the primary and secondary level," namely, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Souti Carolina. (Paul W. McCloskey, National Catholic Welfare Conference, in Civi Liberties Bulletin No. 39, October 1954.) Roman Catholic efforts to desegregat church schools have met with opposition, but have been on the whole successfu and easier than such efforts in public schools. Three factors have been cite as contributing to the spread and success of Roman Catholic efforts: the "com plete authority in matters affecting faith and morals in their own locales" which the bishops have; the antiracial teachings of the Popes over a long period o time; the “relatively small number of Negroes who are” Roman Catholics

More than a year before the Court's ruling was announced, the Roman Catholi bishops of the South issued a joint statement, calling on Roman Catholies t * set the pattern" of brotherhood free of racism. They said: "We sincerely hop that the day will come when the ideal of Christian brotherhood will displac from our southern scene all traces of the blight of racism. Let us Catholics true to our convictions, set the pattern."

The most far-reaching and successful desegregation of Roman Catholic school has been in the following dioceses: Washington, D.C., on all levels since 1949 Arkansas; Delaware on all levels; Missouri on all levels prior to the Court ruling; Raleigh, N.C., almost all primary and some elementary schools; Sa Antonio, by order of the archbishop in the spring of 1954; certain areas o Virginia ; and West Virginia, where it was begun several years ago.

Church of the Brethren.-The annual conference of this church, meeting dui ing the summer of 1954, passed a resolution hailing the decision and urgin members of that church to "lead out in effecting these social changes in ever area of our life."

Congregational Christian Church.—The general council of the Congregation: Christian Church, meeting on June 30, recalling its repeated summons "for nonsegregated church in a nonsegregated society" recommended "that loca churches, where segregation has prevailed move toward ways in which the and all churches can open their membership to all persons on a simple basis 1 faith and character." The council said, "we call upon Congregational Christia

United States cooperate actively "with local school boards in implementing the program of immediate desegregation," and called upon the leaders of the church to help "create the climate of public opinion favorable to desegregation in every form of American life.” The resolution concluded, "we authorize, empower, and urge our secondary schools and junior colleges to amend their charters and/or their rules and regulations, if necessary, so as to provide for integrated faculties and student bodies.”

American Baptist convention.-Meeting shortly after the decision was announced, this convention adopted a resolution (May 28, 1954), in which it commended the Court decision, affirmed the Christian principle of the worth and dignity of each person, and urged "American Baptists to increase their opposition to other areas of segregation-housing, employment, recreation, church participation." The resolution concluded, "we urge local churches to carry forward educational programs dealing with this issue and we propose cooperation with other Christian bodies of like mind.”

Southern Baptist convention.—The Southern Baptist convention meeting in June declared that it recognized "the fact that this Supreme Court decision is in harmony with the constitutional guarantee of equal freedom to all citizens, and with the Christian principles of equal justice and love for all men." It commended the Court for allowing time for further study of methods of transition and urged “our people and all Christians to conduct themselves in this period of adjustment in the spirit of Christ.” It expressed confidence in the public school system and hope that they would not be impaired by the necessary readjustments occasioned by the decision. The statement concluded by urging “Christian statesmen and leaders in our churches to use their leadership in positive thought and planning to the end that this crisis in our national history shall not be made the occasion for new and bitter prejudices, but a movement toward a united Nation embodying and proclaiming a democracy that will commend freedom to all peoples.”

Roman Catholic Church.-A trend toward desegregation of Roman Catholic schools in the South since World War II has been noted by some observers. A survey made by the National Catholic Welfare Conference News Service showed that by the en of September, there were "only six States where no official step has been taken to integrate Catholic schools on the primary and secondary level,” namely, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. (Paul W. McCloskey, National Catholic Welfare Conference, in Civil Liberties Bulletin No. 39, October 1954.) Roman Catholic efforts to desegregate church schools have met with opposition, but have been on the whole successful and easier than such efforts in public schools. Three factors have been cited as contributing to the spread and success of Roman Catholic efforts: the “complete authority in matters affecting faith and morals in their own locales” which the bishops have; the antiracial teachings of the Popes over a long period of time; the "relatively small number of Negroes who are" Roman Catholics. (McCloskey, ibid.)

More than a year before the Court's ruling was announced, the Roman Catholic bishops of the South issued a joint statement, calling on Roman Catholics to "set the pattern" of brotherhood free of racism. They said: "We sincerely hope that the day will come when the ideal of Christian brotherhood will displace from our southern scene all traces of the blight of racism. Let us Catholics, true to our convictions, set the pattern.”

The most far-reaching and successful desegregation of Roman Catholic schools has been in the following dioceses: Washington, D.C., on all levels since 1949: Arkansas; Delaware on all levels; Missouri on all levels prior to the Court's ruling; Raleigh, N.C., almost all primary and some elementary schools; San Antonio, by order of the archbishop in the spring of 1954; certain areas of Virginia ; and West Virginia, where it was begun several years ago.

Church of the Brethren.The annual conference of this church, meeting during the summer of 1954, passed a resolution hailing the decision and urging members of that church to "lead out in effecting these social changes in every area of our life.”

Congregational Christian Church.The general council of the Congregational Christian Church, meeting on June 30, recalling its repeated summons “for a nonsegregated church in a nonsegregated society” recommended “that local churches, where segregation has prevailed move toward ways in which they and all churches can open their membership to all persons on a simple basis of faith and character." The council said, "we call upon Congregational Christian

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Interdenominational groups

Several local councils of churches in southern communities have passed resolutions and issued statements in support of the Supreme Court decision. Among these are the Atlanta Christian Council, the New Orleans Council of Churches, the Oklahoma Council of Churches, the Washington Federation of Churches, and the Virginia Council of Churches.

The Oklahoma City Council of Churches in an open letter to the Christian
people of that city made the following three suggestions: (1) That each church
have an active race relations committee; (2) that people study the text of the
decision itself; and (3) that the church be ready “to help people to be prepared
to give a positive answer to questions or statements based on propaganda born
of ancient prejudices."

The Metropolitan Church Federation of St. Louis urged its 550 member
churches to abolish race segregation in "worship, fellowship and membership,”
and praised the Supreme Court decision in a resolution passed unanimously at
the Federation annual assembly.
Jercish religious bodies

The Synagogue Council of America greeted with “deep satisfaction the historic decision of the Supreme Court.” The statement saw the decision as a “conclusive repudiation of the Communist challenge to the genuineness of America's democratic avowals.”

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations.—The executive board of this body issued a statement approving the decision as "a major chapter in the history of the growth of true equality under the law.” Episcopal Church reaction

Background: Reaction within the Episcopal Church to the Supreme Court ruling on segregation in the public schools can be properly evaluated only in the light of certain recent trends and events within the church which preceded

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colleges, agencies, associations, conferences, and institutes, to practice nonsegre-
gation and nondiscrimination in enrollment, employment, church extension, and
church conservation, and organization.” The resolution also called "upon all
Americans to undertake timely and tolerant implementation of the Supreme
Court decision, and that our department of race relations and the council for
social action carry forward such activities as will develop public support for the
Supreme Court decision."

The Methodist Church. The general board of the Methodist Church has not met since the decision has been announced. However, several confereuces of that church have issued statements or passed resolutions supporting the Supreme Court decision. Among these conferences are: the western North Carolina conference, the Indiana conference, the west Wisconsin conference, the south Georgia conference, the Little Rock conference, the Minnesota conference, and the North Arkansas conference.

The bishop of the south Georgia conference appointed an eight-man committee to give guidance to Methodists in that conference. The Little Rock conference called upon Methodists in that jurisdiction (1) "to take an active part in discussions and plans in their communities to help find just ways of implementing the Supreme Court decision; (2) in every circumstance to exercise clear, calm judgment, and Christian good will in all their attitudes and actions."

The western North Carolina conference declared that there are more Negroes in that State than in any other State except Mississippi, and that the members of the conference were deeply concerned about the consequences of the decision. They called upon their people “to exercise patience and forbearance, to refrain from hasty words, and in every circumstance to maintain the spirit of Him whom we call Lord and Master.” The statement further declared that “we recognize the obligation of all citizens to obey the law of the land.” It further called upon “the institutions of the church, local churches, colleges, universities, theological schools, hospitals, and homes, carefully to restudy their policies and practices as they relate to race, making certain that these policies and practices are Christian.” The resolution also reaffirmed the 1952 declaration of the general conference, namely, that “to discriminate against a person solely upon the basis of his race is both unfair and unchristian. Every child of God is entitled to the place in society which he has won by his industry and character."

The Presbyterian Church, United States (South).–The general assembly of this body was meeting at the time the decision was announced and passed a resolution in support thereof, calling upon its constituent bodies and institutions to abolish segregation wherever it is practiced.

The synod of Texas of that same denomination meeting in September passed a resolution which stated among other things: "The synod affirms that enforced segregation of the races is discrimination which is out of harmony with Christian theology and ethics, and that the church, in its relationships to cultural patterns, should lead rather than follow:

“That trustees, directors, and officers of institutions and agencies of synod be urged to adopt policies for operating these institutions and agencies on an unsegregated basis;

“That the presbyteries be requested to urge sessions of local churches to admit persons to membership and fellowship in the local church on the scriptural basis of in Jesus reference to

"That in time of crisis and scomiteroute commend to the membership of synod and especially to all leaders of our churches, the earnest cultivation and pract tice of the Christian graces of forbearance, patience, humility, and persistent good will." denomination, meeting in care, mpassed ca resolution approving the Court's delica

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church.The 124th general assembly of this sion and instructed in boardermissions and evangelism to prepare and lito meet the issues arising from the decision of the Supreme Court.” tribute materials which will aid in orienting ministers and churches in how to

The Presbyterian Church U.S.A.-Following the Court's decision the board of where local laws prohibit mixed enrollment. The board statement recognized tion in the schools which it maintains. Three of these schools are in States that local conditions would affect the rate at which constructive changes would rollment without restriction as to race.” take place, but declared "meantime, the board continues its policy of open en

the ruling.
First, there are two resolutions adopted by general convention in Boston,
1952, which commit the church to oppose racial discrimination :

(a) "Whereas Christ teaches above all the fatherhood of God, the conse-
quent brotherhood of man and the oneness of the whole human family; and

"Whereas present-day developments, leading to an increasing interdependence of nations and peoples, are making ever clearer the necessity of Christ's way of brotherhood; and

"Whereas Christ's teaching is incompatible with every form of discrimination based on color or race both domestic and international; and

"Whereas almost every country today, including our own, is guilty in greater or less degree of mass racial or color discrimination: Therefore, be it

“Resolved, That we consistently oppose and combat discrimination based on color or race in every form, both within the church and without, in this country and internationally."

(6) "Whereas it is the clear duty of Christians to lead, in seeking justice and equality of opportunity for all men, regardless of color or racial origin: Therefore, be it

"Resolved, That this convention affirms its conviction that no branch of the Christian Church should rest content while any injustices in racial relations obtain in parishes, schools, and agencies under her control or in association with her; and that it urges every member of the church to labor unceasingly for the elimination of such injustices."

Second, there is the public discussion and the subsequent modification the admissions policy of the School of Theology of the University of the South. These events were touched off by actions of the synod of the province of Sewanee, initiated by its department of Christian social relations. Third, there is the cooperation of the Episcopal National Council with the Southern Regional Council. This includes contributions, as well as the assisiance of the division of Christian citizenship in a combined field work program of the National Council of Churches and the Southern Regional Council. Prior to the ruling, this program provided fieldworkers who visited towns in seven Southern States to aid local church people in developing ways to prepare their communities to deal with the implications of the forthcoming Supreme Court decision. These field risits have continued since the ruling was announced and are to be expanded.

Interdenominational groups

Several local councils of churches in southern communities have passed resolutions and issued statements in support of the Supreme Court decision. Among these are the Atlanta Christian Council, the New Orleans Council of Churches, the Oklahoma Council of Churches, the Washington Federation of Churches, and the Virginia Council of Churches.

The Oklahoma City Council of Churches in an open letter to the Christian people of that city made the following three suggestions: (1) That each church have an active race relations committee; (2) that people study the text of the decision itself; and (3) that the church be ready “to help people to be prepared to give a positive answer to questions or statements based on propaganda born of ancient prejudices."

The Metropolitan Church Federation of St. Louis urged its 550 member churches to abolish race segregation in “worship, fellowship and membership,” and praised the Supreme Court decision in a resolution passed unanimously at the Federation annual assembly. Jewish religious bodies

The Synagogue Council of America greeted with "deep satisfaction the historic decision of the Supreme Court." The statement saw the decision as a "conclusive repudiation of the Communist challenge to the genuineness of America's democratic avowals."

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations.The executive board of this body issued a statement approving the decision as "a major chapter in the history of the growth of true equality under the law.” Episcopal Church reaction

Background: Reaction within the Episcopal Church to the Supreme Court ruling on segregation in the public schools can be properly evaluated only in the light of certain recent trends and events within the church which preceded the ruling.

First, there are two resolutions adopted by general convention in Boston, 1952, which commit the church to oppose racial discrimination:

(a) “Whereas Christ teaches above all the fatherhood of God, the consequent brotherhood of man and the oneness of the whole human family; and

“Whereas present-day developments, leading to an increasing interdependence of nations and peoples, are making ever clearer the necessity of Christ's way of brotherhood; and

"Whereas Christ's teaching is incompatible with every form of discrimination based on color or race both domestic and international; and

"Whereas almost every country today, including our own, is guilty in greater or less degree of mass racial or color discrimination: Therefore, be it

"Resolved, That we consistently oppose and combat discrimination based on color or race in every form, both within the church and without, in this country and internationally."

(b) "Whereas it is the clear duty of Christians to lead, in seeking justice ind equality of opportunity for all men, regardless of color or racial origin: Therefore, be it

"Resolved, That this convention affirms its conviction that no branch of he Christian Church should rest content while any injustices in racial relacions obtain in parishes, schools, and agencies under her control or in assoiation with her; and that it urges every member of the church to labor uneasingly for the elimination of such injustices."

Second, there is the public discussion and the subsequent modification of the admissions policy of the School of Theology of the University of the South. These events were touched off by actions of the synod of the province of Sewanee, initiated by its department of Christian social relations.

Third, there is the cooperation of the Episcopal National Council with the Southern Regional Council. This includes contributions, as well as the assisiince of the division of Christian citizenship in a combined field work program of the National Council of Churches and the Southern Regional Council, Prior to the ruling, this program provided fieldworkers who visited towns in seven Southern States to aid local church people in developing ways to prepare their communities to deal with the implications of the forthcoming Supreme Court lecision. These field visits have continued since the ruling was announced and are to be expanded.

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