Box 18, Folder 29, Document 97

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata


LOr™rersAiS L440


P fore OF per femme S770 TE (C6 ECREA):


Zlzalecer. CF Bac.

3 ' SEPTEMBER 14, 1966

_The Uses: of Black Power

. |

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the
civil-rights movement's chief apostle
of nonviolence, was busy in Atlanta
this week seeking a way to calm a
situation that has broken into riots
several times in recent days.

Dr. King’s considerable talents could
be put to much better use elsewhere.
Atlanta already has an enviable record
of progress with civil rights, not only
among southern cities but in the na-
tion as a whole. Yet it is now the
scene of an ugly struggle for control,
pitting Dr. King and his moderate
Southern Christian Leadership follow-
ers against a more radical civil-rights
wing led by Stokely Carmichael and
the so-called Student Nonviolent Co-
ordinating Committee:

The Carmichael group, with its cry
of “black power,” is giving that vague
term its worst possible meaning. Fan-
ning emotions to the point of destroy-
ing property and injuring people is a
far cry from the ballot-box power and
the marketplace power the American
Negro can use legitimately to help
himself. Yet destruction is the turn
the “black power” movement took in
Atlanta with Mr. Carmichael’s en-
couragement. And the damage goes
far beyond a few broken windows.

A critical vote takes place in the
U.S. Senate today on ending a filibus-
ter against a civil-rights bill that in-
cludes the fair-housing provision
sought fervently by Negro leaders.

The bill’s chances, never really strong,
are clearly diminished by Atlanta’s
tragic news.

News of racial violence elsewhere is
doing other harm, too. Civil-rights
groups report a drop-off in contribu-
tions to finance their constructive
work. Political candidates in several
areas—not just the South—have been
reaching for the ‘white backlash,” hop-
ing to ride it into office with an im-.
plied pledge to do less, not more, for
Negroes. And as William S. White
reported on this page the other day,
fears of gangster ties with some of the
rights groups is causing further dis-


The setback being handed the civil-
rights movement is so obvious that
one wonders if the lure of publicity, the
thrill of the limelight, and the heat
of the fray aren’t more important to
this radical fringe than Negro ad-
vancement. Dr. King and other vet-
eran leaders, Negro and white, have a
good deal more to show for their less
fiery efforts. The progress of many
Negroes, of course, increases the frus-
tration of those who have been by-
passed so far. But the rights move-
ment will pick up momentum again
when Negroes by and large repudiate
the wild-eyed revolutionaries and sup-
port—with sensible, reasoned “black
power,’—those leaders who can use
power effectively on their behalf.

i a

public items show