Box 19, Folder 18, Document 82

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July 31, 1963

Hon. ‘Ivan Allen

Mayor, City of Atlanta
City Hall

Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Mr. Allen:

Your testimony in behalf of the pending civil rights legislation
deserves a note of audible support from all those who share your
viewpoint. It is with distinct pleasure that I applaud your
statement. Your courage and willingness to face the outcry of
many is to be commended.

It has been said that all that is needed for evil to take over
is that good men do nothing. I think your stand for what you be-
lieve is right is one of the most encouraging signs in our nation.

May I share my view in brief? I fear many are losing sight of
the forest because of the trees. Debate is being turned away from
the basic question of whether Negroes will be given full rights

as citizens to a side issue on property. It is good to have a
public discussion on property because there are some genuine
reasons for it, but unfortunately in the present context it is
mostly a red herring.

It is being said that a man's business property is like his home.
Only in a sense is that true. Business property depends on the
community for survival. Conversely the community depends upon the
business property for its survival. Business property and the
community are interdependent.

Recognizing this fact the government already regulates businesses
_and their clientele. For examples: A liquor store owner cannot
sell to minors; zoning laws will not allow unrestricted business
properties, nor will it permit hodge-podge expansion. Along the
same line the government even seizes properties by expropriation
through the power of eminent domain when the public's interest
dictates it. Therefore I see nothing of the government over-
stepping its bounds if it chooses to pass the public accommodations

My best wishes to you. My fellow worker, Miss Frances Furlow
said she wants to add an "amen" to what you said in Washington!

Bebe Kirgtein

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