Viewing page 13 of 356

[[newspaper clipping]]
Urban League Aides 'Disturbed' By Pace of Inquiry in Jordan Case
By THOMAS A. JOHNSON
[[text obscured]] executive vice president of the National Urban League, John Jacob, said yesterday that league officials were "disturbed at the slow pace of the investigation" into the shooting last month of the organization's president, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., in Fort Wayne, Ind.

"We have grown increasingly disturbed and distressed over the diversion of public attention away from the horrible nature of the crime and onto matters of speculation, innuendo and gossip," Mr. Jacob said.

In a half-hour news conference at the league's headquarters at 500 East 62d Street, Mr. Jacob insisted that his impatience grew out of the importance of the [[text obscured]] May 29 and declined to ac[[text obscured]] of Investi[[text obscure]]
[[image]]
[[/newspaper clipping]]

What is clear, however, is that efforts over the next several years to maintain and enhance the status of blacks will take place in a political atmosphere that is markedly conservative and any strategies to ensure this end will have to take that factor into consideration.

Blacks will be aided in their functioning in a conservative atmosphere by the historical fact that there have always been black conservatives within the black community and a dialogue has always been maintained bewtween them and blacks of a more liberal bent. While the number of blacks who would apply the label "Conservative" to themselves has never been very large, those who have chosen to wear it have been given a hearing. There is little doubt that the same process will continue to occur.

This dialogue has and will be materially abetted by general agreement within the black community on basic goals, although there might be honest differences over the best route to travel to reach those goals. As an example, it is hard to believe that there is any real quarrel within the black community over the pressing need for jobs, the staggering dimensions of the problems of youth, the deplorable failure of the schools to adequately educate, and welfare reform. It is when specific answers are given that paths diverge and differences become apparent.

These differences are in fact helpful. They signify that the black community is not monolithic, that it does not think with one mind, nor does it march to the beat of the same drummer. Such diversity is a measure of an intellectual maturity that welcomes hearing diverse opinions on a given issue.

This willingness to objectively examine various approaches should not, however, be interpreted as a sign that the black community is prepared to abandon certain positions it sees as crucial to its survival. Here, we particularly cite such all important issues as affirmative action, the 10% set-aside for minority contractors, busing, welfare reform, full employment, fair housing legislation and the strict enforcement of all civil rights laws. On these, there can be no compromise.

The election has given black conservatives a new prominence, but we suggest that they should be aware that their espousal of conservative ideas does not lessen their responsibility to combat racism or to protect the best interests of the black community. They should be ever mindful that racism continues to be a common burden shared by all blacks regardless of political persuasion and/or economic status.

As the National Urban League's Black Purse Survey reported in 1980, next to unemployment, blacks, regardless of their income levels, believe that racism is the most serious problem they face. Some 64% of the more than 3,000 black heads of households questioned felt that black people are being discriminated against a "great deal" today and this feeling was more pronounced among blacks with incomes of $20,000 and over (71%), than it was among those earning under $6,000 (61%). The survey went on to say:

"If there has been a significant decline in racism in recent years, middle income blacks appear to be less aware of it than low income blacks." Thus, a reasonable assumption is that economic well-being does not guarantee protection from random racism, or what is perceived as racism.

In the light of such a strong attitude held by blacks, it should not be
Continued on page 164
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.