Box 17, Folder 15, Document 14

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Easton, Maryland

Samuel. J. Setta, Chairman

Mr. Chairman:
Members of the Committee:

I am Samuel J. Setta, a motel owner and operator on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and a
prime mover in the drive to place the Maryland Accomodations Law on the ballot in '64. I come
before you an adamant opponent of forced integration of businesses and I am sure I speak the sen-
timents of a majority of the people in America when I express myself.

First: I question the wording of the title to S. B. 1732: "A Bill to eliminate discrimination in
Public Accomodations affecting Interstate Commerce. "' The word public as used in this title conveys
the idea that the objects of this legislation are owned and controlled by the public in the same manner
as public lands, public works, public funds, etc. The title should read: A bill to eliminate discrimi-
nation in privately owned accommodations catering to the public, '"' or more appropriately: "A bill
to eliminate private enterprise. "

You are listening to a voice from the grass roots. Our voices haven't been too loud but don't
be deceived by noise being made by the negros and do-gooders who are trying to force you to act on
this legislation. The ominous silence from the congregations who disapprove of their clergymen,
union members who don't agree with their leaders, and citizens everywhere who have seen near
anarchy develop in this country will have the expression necessary to meet the occasion when the
voting begins in 1964.

I have opposed this Public Accommodations Law at every level of government for the last three
years because it is aimed at businesses which are strictly privately enterprise.. The fact that I
can open and close my doors at my pleasure certainly makes it private. Many businessmen, myself
included, earnaliving and also make their homes with their businesses and their social life should
not be regimented any more than the private citizen who does not have a business.

Not one member of this committee or the senate would venture into a negro neighborhood alone
and neither would you permit your wives to go alone; yet the legislation this committee is considering
would force businessmen and their wives to take these people into their businesses and homes.

We are not guilty of anything more than catering to the wants of our customers. Everyone, except
the proponents of this law, knows that in any business the customer is the boss. If you gentlemen
shop anywhere you call the tune not the proprietor.

In my motel if my customers want T. V., I provide T.V. If my customers want room phones
I provide room phones, And if they prefer a segregated motel I provide a segregated motel.

Now if it were feasible to write this law to read that customers must stop discriminating and
continue to patronize businesses you might solve the economic aspects of this dilemmabut that would
be impossible. So, to get at the buying public who are the discriminators and beyond the administration
is trying to get laws and penalties fastened on to the businessman to force customers to integrate.

The proponents say that integration involves no loss of business. I never cease to be amazed
at how many brillant business analysts are among the proponents, none of whom have ever owned or


operated a restaurant or motel. It's equally amazing how great their enthusiasm is for a law that
doesn't touch them in the slightest degree.

Also,’ it's very easy for a family which is high in government to build homes on mountaintops
and exclusive areas, and enroll children in exclusive segregated schools to tell the peasants of the
country that they should integrate every phase of their lives.

The attempt to "keep up with the Joneses," to gain social rights at the expense of the civil
rights of private enterprise, if successful is certain to undermine one of the pillars upon which this
great country was built. The one big difference between communism and capitalism is private en-
terprise. The administration itself is admitting that this law will infringe on our civil rights when
they seek this law under the commerce clauses of the federal constitution, rather than the equal
rights fourteenth amendment.

The theory evolved by the Department of Justice is that because a business concern deals with
the public, it may be subject to complete regulation or possible extermination by the Federal Gov-
ernment. This alleged authority is derived from the clause of the Constitution which gives Congress
the power tc regulate interstate commerce, and Mr. Robert Kennedy cited various laws passed by
Congress in this field. Not a single one of these statutes, however, covers the selection of customers
of a business. They deal with employees, or the practices of the employer in his relations with his
own workers, or the practices of business owners in relation to other businesses or in shipping goods
to another state or other countries. Never in the history of the United States has the commerce clause
of the Constitution been invoked to regulate the customer relationship of a business owner and indivi-
dual citizens.

No court has ever held that sleeping in a privately owned motel is a civil right. No court has
ever held that munching a sandwich in a privately owned restaurant is a civil right. England re-
jected this very law by a two to one vote in 1962 and it was labeled undemocratic and unworkable
by leading clergymen and civic leaders.

The dictator countries, oppressive as they are, don't even have this law on the books. What
value is there to a business or a high position or profession without the rights to operate freely as
we have since this country was founded.

We all know of countries where people have all of these occupations in good measure but they
don't have rights. The result is they burrow under the Berlin Wall. They swim canals. They crash
barbed wire fences, they risk ‘their lives daily to escape. This is a king size step in that direction.
Deprive us of a right now and next year another and another and before you know it we will be in the
Same position.

This law is definitely class legislation. Under this law we may turn a white man away because
he is uncouth or undesirable and he must leave, but if a negro is turned away for the same reasons
we may face charges of discrimination. When you write the word color into this law, the white cus-~-
tomer is not equal before the law. When you force hotels and motels to eliminate discrimination and
exclude tourist homes and rooming houses who are in the same business of renting rooms, we are not
equal before the law. When you force restaurants to eliminate discrimination and exclude segregated
church suppers, dinners, and boarding houses, which are catering to the same public and indeed are
strong competitors we are not equal before the law.

The Attorney General stresses the immorality of discrimination but ignores the fact that it is
just as immoral to enact laws which will legislate a man into bankruptcy or into a business relation-~
ship which will make his life a daily ordeal. It should be obvious by now that there are many people
who don't want the negro socially. I have seen strong men break up under the strain of the demon-

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strations and harrassment sanctioned and abetted by this administration. Women in business have
become terrified at the prospect of facing unruly mobs with the knowledge that they are being en-
couraged by this administration. The responsibility for the violence in demonstrations by negros
can be laid squarely at the door of the White House. I have a very good cross section of citizens
from the North, South, East and West patronizing my motel and this issue is discussed daily so
that I may keep abreast of my customers’ thinking and I say to you that this administration will pay
the price in the 64' election for its handling of this situation. This nation cannot afford the luxury
of a president who serves 10% of the people at the expense of the other 90%.

All businessmen have a different financial situation.

In my particular case my two immediate competitors are millionaires. My resources consist
of a $23, 000 mortgage and a going concern. Certainly they can approach this problem with a greater
degree of aplomb then I can.

I meet a mortgage payment every month, plus numerous other bills. What do you think the re-
action of my banker would be if I came to him and said, “Mr. Banker, a couple of months ago Congress
passed a law which took the control of business policy out of my hands because the administration said
it was immoral and business has declined so that now instead of $245 for this months payment, I have
to give you 245 morals?" I'll tell you what his reaction would be. I would be slapped with a big fat
foreclosure. Is this economic growth?

I refuse to gamble the welfare of my family and our pursuit of happiness on the business judge-
ment of an administration which is loaded with theorists who have never operated a successful business
or met a payroll and have never balanced a budget.

The Attorney General has testified that at present white prostitutes, dope addicts, and moral
degenerates could come into our motels and hotels but negro citizens in high positions could not. I
don't know what kind of places the Attorney General frequents, and I'm sure he gets his information
firsthand because he hates hearsay, but this statement is an insult to every motel and hotel owner in
the country. Now then let's look at this law again. This law would reverse this contention and would
not only enable black prostitutes, dope addicts, and moral degenerates to come into our places but
also a people with a poor hygiene, high incidence of venereal disease and vandalism, plus the ele-
ment of force to make us accept them because here again I can reject the white person but not the
black person, Is this the Attorney General's idea of an improvement? I hope I don't haveto face
many more like that one.

Gentlemen, there's a labor angle to this situation. When a labor contract is negotiated there is
one clause that is non-negotiable: The right to strike. When we are paid rental for a room, part of
that money is overhead and part of it is wages. Since the customer is the boss, this law would force
us to work without the right to strike. These very labor leaders who advocate this law would vio-
lently rebel if any attempt was made to eliminate their right to strike.

The administration says the negro is rejected because of his color. This is wrong and complete-
ly untrue. We don't care if he is blue or pink or red, The negro is rejected because he is an econ-
omic liability to our businesses, I have rejected negroes who were practically white. I would be
less than honest or helpful if I didn't include the reasons why the negro is a liability, since the pro~
penents won't

The two races are absolutely proven to be incompatible. The two races can coexist harmoniously
but there will never be true integration. No other minority in this country has a feeling of inferiority
because they live among their own people. Why should these people? No one is trying to sprinkle

the Chinese, Indians, or Japanese among the whites so why this massive effort to integrate the negroes?

If the ‘administration and the negro leaders and other proponents would take the time they are
spending on demonstrations and pressure tactics and point out to the negro people that law or no law,
acceptance will never come until they stop a disproportionate contribution to the high crime rate,
illegitimacy, production of slums, and making careers of unemployment compensation and welfare

The negro people will gain acceptance when they meet certain standards of morality and living
conditions. No law can accomplish this. This is the one objective the negro will have to work for and
earn himself. There is nothing wrong with individuals having to meet standards. It is done every day.
Churches demand standards, schools demand standards, you gentlemen in the Senate require standards
and whether we like it or not, all people have standards for their social equals to meet.

The thirty states that have had these laws are just as segregated as the twenty that don't. I pre-
dict now that attention has been focused on these laws there will be a rash of suits testing their consti-
tutionality. When the Attorney General said Senator Lausche enforced such a law as Governor of Ohio,
he should have realized Senator Lausche was just tolerating it like the Kennedys tolerate the Taft-
Hartley Act. These laws do not accomplish the goal of integration. Proof of this is the agitation and
demonstrations all over the country and the existence of harlems in every major city in the country.

These laws could subject the negroes to more humiliation than any voluntary agreement would.
All of us have had poorly prepared meals it restaurants when the owner was trying. What do you
think the result would be if he wasn't trying?

The people who favor this law are largely executive boards of church groups but not the congre-
gations, executive committees of labor unions but not the rank and file, business executives but not
the employees. In short, gentlemen, a great number of generals but no soliders,

Today we are witnessing one of the strangest paradoxes of all time: churchmen with segregated
churches, labor leaders with segregated labor unions, news media with segregated work forces, and
politicians and civic leaders who lead completely segregated lives trying to force a segment of private
enterprise to integrate. ‘

Christianity has not been able to integrate intwo thousand years and judaism for longer than that
and yet these very religious leaders expect Americans to do it in less thantwohundred, and if we don't
shove it down our throats and gag us in the process, and all this on the false accusation that we are

You are bucking a law which was never enacted by any legislature when you pass a law like this,
the law of nature. God himself was the greatest segregationist of all time as is evident when he placed
the caucasians in Europe, the black people in Africa, the yellow people in the Orient and so forth, and
if God didn't see fit to mix people who are we to try it?

Christ himself never lived an integrated life, and although he knew his life on earth would be a
model for all mankind,. when he chose his close associates, they were all white. This doesn't mean
that he didn't love all his creatures but it does indicate that he didn't think we had to have all this
togetherness in order to go to heaven.

Gentlemen, we should give a lot of serious thought to these final remarks of mine and not try to
out do God in the make up of the world.

Thank you,

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