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A great personal sacrifice these judges and the lawyers who practiced before them took the nation and the south from white robe Klan violence to black robed justice and helped to save us from ourselves. The most pernicious is the myth that affirmative actions black beneficiaries are taking jobs and school placements away from more deserving others. The truth is aren't enough black people in America to pose such a threat. Except except to those seeking justification for their own failures. In American courts. As in American law as in American life. It is race not class not gender but race that dictates both perception and reality. Hello I'm Patrick Sweig. And you are. At Howard. When we call the roll of champions in the fight for civil rights and economic justice. The name Julian Bond is prominent on the list for more than 40 years Julian Bond has used as his venues a variety of places including
the lunch counters of the South the streets of this country the halls of state houses Congress and any place where there's a need for social justice. Now serving as chairman of the board of the end of ACP Julian Bond recently came to Howard University to spend an afternoon with our law students reminding them of the lessons of history and challenging them to let their voices be heard in the fight for justice. There's a poem I wrote when I was in college at Morehouse College in Atlanta at a time when all of George's colleges universities were segregated by race and the opportunity for black college students to meet white college students was extremely limited. But on occasion we would meet and generally the black students would dress in suits and ties the women in hose and heels looking our very very best wanting to make the best kind of impression. We'd meet at the Newman house or at the Canterbury house the Episcopals church at some neutral site where black and white people could sit down without the interference of the law. We'd drink
tea and sip coffee eat cookies and at the end of these meetings one of the white students would always say if only they were all like you. And so I wrote this form goes like this. Look at my girl shake that thing. We can't all be Martin Luther can. I. As you know the relationship between the Howard Law School and the NWA CPD is both ancient and honorable and has its greatest residence beginning in one thousand twenty four. When Charles Hamilton Houston became a member of the faculty of what was then a part time afternoon and evening law school but Despite these limitations Howard had already made notable contributions to the struggle for equal justice. William hard LLB 1887 an L L M 1894 had while a member of the Howard faculty litigated Hart versus the state of Maryland
in which the Supreme Court upheld his contention that separation of the races and interstate transportation was unconstitutional. And Howard even then could count the governor of West Virginia a U.S. registrar of the Treasury several municipal judges and the first woman admitted to practice in the District of Columbia among its graduates. Then Houston and other black lawyers organized the Washington Bar Association when the D.C. Bar Association excluded blacks. And he embarked on transferring what he had called a very good but in no way exciting part time law school into the recognized Center for the training of a generation after generation of civil rights lawyers winning accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1931. It was those Howard graduates and others who struck down legal Jim Crow. And who made the profession a proud one. These lawyers white and black use the law as a weapon to open doors and remove
barriers. So for a non-lawyer like me it's always an honor to appear before lawyers and others in or about to enter the legal field. As long as our meeting doesn't occur in a court room. I want to talk about my experiences with and against the law. My first appearance before a judge was in a courtroom. I was 20 years old. It was March 1960 during the Jim Crow era. I had led a group of my fellow students to the segregated cafeteria in the basement of Atlanta City Hall. We passed along the steam table loading our trays and as first in line I approached the cashier. Like most Southerners she was polite and she told me I'm awfully sorry this is for city hall employees only. But I said you've got a large sign outside that says City Hall cafeteria. The public is welcome. We don't mean it she said. And she called the police who
came and locked us up. Well because nearly 200 of us had been arrested that day in various locations around Atlanta it was decided to try one person for each group. And I was chosen to represent my time. So for the first time in my life I stood before a judge on either side of me were two men whom I'd never seen or met before. I quickly understood they were my lawyers. After some back and forth between my lawyers and the judge the judge turned to me and asked How do you plead. And I was panic stricken. On the one hand I knew I was guilty. The policeman had asked me to move. I refused. I had refused to obey his lawful order but I didn't feel guilty. I knew I had a right to eat in that tax supported cafeteria and that any law that said I couldn't was not a law at all. I desperately looked to my left where the elder of my two lawyers was standing. He was Colonel aty
Walden the dean of black lawyers in Georgia. He dressed of life and limb for nearly 50 years to represent black people in small town court houses places where he dare not spend the night. Now he was nearly in his dotage and he was fast asleep. I turned frantically to the lawyer on my right Don Hollowell who said in a whisper not guilty you fool. And I had the presence of mind to drop those last words. Or perhaps I wouldn't be standing here now. No I'm not a lawyer but my wife is and she's allowed me to tell you that one of her judicial heroes and mine Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. dismissed within hours of its filing the first lawsuit she ever filed. He declared her complaint to be verbose prolix and argumentative. This dismissal was without prejudice allowing her
to refile and eventually to win that case the first of many she would argue before Judge Johnson and Johnson as you may know was a profile in judicial courage. He was a Republican from what was called the Free State of Winston a northern Alabama county that voted to secede from Alabama when Alabama seceded from the union. He spent 24 years as a federal district judge in Montgomery as a member of a three judge federal court. He ended the Montgomery bus boycott by ruling bus segregation unconstitutional. This would be followed by a ruling striking down segregation and discrimination in every facet of Alabama life. Schools parks jury selection higher education voting and legislative reapportionment. He put Alabama's prison system the highway patrol on the property tax assessment program the mental health agency public education system all under the jurisdiction of the federal court. Now he was far from alone in his judicial heroism as the Southern
correspondent for The New York Times put it in the early 1980s. Those people who think Martin Luther King de segregated the south don't know Elbert Tuttle and the record of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that circuit to which Johnson would eventually be elevated then encompass the six states of the old Confederacy including chief devil titles and my own state of Georgia after the landmark Brown decision struck down schools segregation and with it the doctrine of separate but equal. Senator James Eastland told a cheering audience in Son of Toby in Mississippi. He said on May 17th the Constitution of the United States was destroyed because the Supreme Court disregarded the law and decided that integration was right. You are not required he told his audience to obey any court which passes down such a ruling. In fact you're obligated to defy it. It was in this atmosphere that the Fifth
Circuit would be called upon to turn Brown's promise into reality and to expand it far beyond the schoolhouse. Its judges would strike down barriers to equality in voting. Jury selection employment in the process formulating the remedy of affirmative action. The just spoils of a righteous war. A great personal sacrifice. These judges and the lawyers who practiced before them took the nation and the south from white robed Klan violence to Black Rogue Justice and help to save us from ourselves. But of course they didn't always get it right. In 1066 I was the plaintiff in a case that grew from my first election to the Georgia House of Representatives a federal lawsuit had reapportion the Georgia General Assembly reconstituting a legislature where cows and horses were better represented than human beings having created new equal districts and urban Fulton County. The courts ordered elections for a one year term as a successful candidate for one of
these seats. I was to take the oath of office on January 10th 1966. Just a week earlier. Samuel Young Jr. a Tusky Institute student a colleague in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was shot and killed while trying to use the segregated bathroom at a service station and Tusky. Now Sammy needed to use the bathroom more than most people because during his Navy service including service in the Cuban Blockade he lost a kidney. And the irony of losing his life because of an illness suffered in service to his country prompted Snick to issue an anti-war statement. We became the first organization to link the prosecution of the war in Viet Nam with persecution of blacks at home. We issued a statement which accused the United States of deception and its claims of concern for the freedom of colored people in such countries as the Dominican Republic the Congo South Africa
Rhodesia and the United States and so. The United States the statement said is no respecter of persons or laws when such persons are laws run counter to its needs and desires. Well not surprisingly the statement created a sensation. I was the communication director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and when I presented myself to take the oath of office on January 10th 1966 hostility from white legislators was nearly absolute. They prevented me from taking the oath. They declared my seat vacant and they ordered another election to fill the vacancy. I ran in that election and won and was expelled again. And by the time I approached the third election this time for a regular two year term I had filed suit in federal court. Federal Judge Griffin Bell later to be attorney general in the Carter administration wrote the majority decision for the three judge court. Which refused to overturn the legislature's decision to
deny me the seat to which I'd been twice elected Judge Tatel dissented. Tuttle's view was adopted by a unanimous Supreme Court and a year after my first attempt I became a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Before the three judge court I was represented by Charles Morgan Jr. then of the Southern Regional Office of the American Civil Liberties Union and later my wife's law partner and I was represented by Howard Moore. Later my sister's partner in law and partner in life for the appeal to the Supreme Court I secured the services of Victor Rabinowitz and Leonard routine and I'd never been to the Supreme Court but I sat and listened as Georgia's attorney general Arthur Bolton argued that Georgia had a right to throw me out. And I found myself hypnotically nodding in agreement. RABINOWITZ that my lawyers partner elbowed me and whispered stop that you fool. That's not the first time a lawyer has addressed me in that way. During the
Attorney-General's audience Justice Byron White leaned forward and I asked him Is that all you have. You come all this way and that's all you have and I'll go to Rabinowitz nice and we went in Armory and indeed we were and we did the Chief Justice Earl Warren's decision and bond versus Floyd was more than a victory for the first amendment. It was a reaffirmation of my constituents right to free choice in casting their votes. And it was a reaffirmation of the Central Committee of the legal system in all our lives which is what makes Howard what Howard Law School does central to all our lives. Lawyers as Charles Houston used to say can either be social engineers or parasites on society. Houston as you know defies the legal strategy of the NWA CPA against state sanctioned segregation and Utah Thurgood Marshall how to practice law. He said a lawyer had five obligations to be prepared to anticipate guide
and interpret group advancement to be the mouthpiece of the week and the something that will guarding against wrong to ensure that the course of change is orderly with a minimum of human loss and suffered to use the law as an instrument available to the minority to achieve its place in the community and the nation and to engage in a carefully planned program of a rousing and strengthening the local will to struggle. The NWA Sepi retained Houston a special counsel in one thousand thirty four. He was one of a small group of black lawyers who came of age during the New Deal years. They in the end of a lacy piece shared a mutual dependency and a mutual admiration. As the president of the National Bar Association said in one thousand thirty nine were cognizant of the fact that the lawyers constituting the National Bar Association are essential to the success of the NWA CPC. We're also cognizant of the fact that the end of a lacy PD is essential to the success of the lawyers.
Although Houston and Marshall his protege and successors are synonymous with the NWA CPS litigation successes the NWC P. had pursued an innovative litigation strategy from its beginning in 1000 09 and early board chairman had been president of the American Bar Association. But it was Houston's legal vision that would not only lead the END UP Lacy P2 its great legal victories but would also have a deep and lasting impact on how we think today about public interest law. Now lawyers job a judge's job doing justice is often a struggle. As Frederick Douglass wisely warned. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will. And doing justice often means taking power from those who have it and giving it to those who do not. Now in this high tech age we hear a great deal about the digital divide but not long ago the AB A Journal ran a piece entitled divided justice
noting today there are still two views of the law. One black one white. A survey commissioned by the AP A Journal and The National Bar Association magazine revealed the divide separating black and white lawyers when asked about how much racial bias exists in the justice system for example. Fifty two percent of black lawyers said very much while only 6 percent of white lawyers agreed. More than 90 percent of black lawyers think the justices system is as or more racially biased than other segments of society. And opinion held by fewer than half of white lawyers not surprisingly almost 67 percent of black lawyers said they had witnessed racial bias in the justice system within the previous three years while only 16 percent of white lawyers said they had done so in every area surveyed racial profiling environmental justice jury configuration judicial appointments law firm diversity minority law
clerks affirmative action black and white lawyers stand on opposite sides of a racial divide. A more recent study sponsored by the Department of Justice and six major foundations confirms that black and white youths stand on opposite sides of a justice divide at every step in the juvenile justice system. Black and Hispanic youth are treated more severely than the comparable whites minority youth are more likely to be arrested more likely to be held in jail more likely to be sent for trial more likely to be convicted and are given longer prison terms. Among young people charged with a violent crime who have not been in juvenile prison previously. Black teenagers are nine times more likely than whites to be sentenced to juvenile prison. Black youth charged with drug offenses are forty eight times more likely than their white counterparts to receive such a sentence. Well behind these numbers there are names in the 1960s we used to say that military
justice was an oxymoron. Now we have to say the same about juvenile justice. Nowhere is public trust more important than in the justice system. Nowhere perhaps as it more difficult to attain trust in public and private institutions as been on the decline of this country for decades. And our courts are not immune nor are courts immune from the larger problems in society in the society in which they function. Wealth based disparities political favoritism unfair treatment of racial and ethnic minorities. So it's not surprising that another survey conducted in 2000 respondents views about the courts and their communities differ greatly among whites African-Americans and Latinos and almost all their assessments of fairness in court outcomes and procedures. Blacks were less favorable than whites sometimes markedly so among recent court users for example whites were more than twice as likely as blacks to
view court procedures as always or usually fair. The difference between white and black jurors was particularly stark. Although 63 percent of white jurors believe court outcomes are always are usually fair. Only 17 percent of black jurors share that perception. A feeling that courts treat people with respect was strongest among whites a lack of the trust of trust in the courts among blacks was palpable. A majority expressed the view that their group is treated worse than others and a recent Columbia Law School study found that as homicide a risk for whites rises or surpasses that for blacks error rates and capital convictions rise as well. The higher the number of African-Americans in the state and in Money analysis the higher the number of welfare recipients in the state the higher the rate of serious capital care in American courts. As an American law as an American life it is race not class not
gender but race that dictates both perception and reality. Judge Frank Johnson whom I mentioned earlier understood this. He told the commencement at the Boston University Law School in 1079 religious differences race differences sex differences age differences political differences are not the same. It is no mark of intellectual soundness to treat them as if they were more overt. If the life of the law has been experience then the law should be realistic enough to treat certain issues as special. As racism is special in American history. A judiciary that cannot declare that is of little value. The removal over the decades of the 1000 50s in the 1960s. Of the more blatant and outstanding forms of American apartheid has made it too easy for too many to believe today that all forms of discrimination have disappeared. Opinion polls reveal that a majority of whites believe racial discrimination is no
longer an impediment for people of color. In one study 75 percent of whites said blacks face no discrimination in obtaining jobs or housing even as housing discrimination daily becomes more severe. In another poll two thirds of whites said they were personally satisfied with the way blacks are treated in society. Polls show that most white Americans believe equal education opportunity exists right now even as our schools are becoming more not less segregated across the country. Not Americans disagree about why a lack of diversity persists in our schools and businesses. They disagree about the tools that we might use to close these gaps. But an overwhelming majority believes that achieving diversity is important. In one recent survey eight out of 10 said it was important to have persons of different races cultures and backgrounds in the workforce. Even more 85 percent thought diversity important to the future of the economy. And 90 percent thought diversity important to the quality
of higher education. A few months ago a majority of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said that diversity has the potential to enrich everyone's education and thus make a law school stronger than the sum of its parts. And I'm holding a race conscious admissions program to the University of Michigan Law School. The dissent proposed that the law school pursue experiential diversity in a race neutral manner. And I'm Sara sorry to say that I am cited in this dissenting opinion not I'm happy to say in favor of this proposition. The notion of race neutral diversity would allow diversity to become a dodge to avoid race just as has the notion of colorblindness as the dean of Michigan's law school rights colorblindness as an ideal not an idol. And the Constitution does not require us to sacrifice effective education and integration in its name. Or as I like to put it whether race is a burden or a benefit is all the same to these tears. That's what they mean when they
speak of being colorblind. They are color blind or right blind to the consequences of being the wrong color in America today. Race not only matters in America today it remains the central fact of life for every nonwhite American eclipsing income position gender education race trumps them all. The evidence is everywhere. A study of workplace discrimination found that blacks and whites with equal qualifications are treated equally barely one quarter of the time. A nationwide study of homebuyers found that minorities faced increased discrimination from mortgage lending institutions and a sweeping five year study concluded that race still determine success in everything from job opportunities to education to housing. The average black family has only eight cents a net worth for every dollar a white family has. Today the net financial assets of black families in which one member has a college degree are lower than the assets of white families in which the highest
level of education achieved is graduation from elementary school. While the nation as a whole is thankfully much more racially and ethnically diverse than at any time in our history white Americans still choose to lead a largely segregated lives. Our racial and ethnic populations are an evenly distributed meaning that many white Americans have little if any contact with people not like themselves. More than one half of all minorities live in just five states California Texas New York Florida and Illinois. Fifty five percent of all blacks live in the south. Sixty one percent of all Hispanics live in just five Southwestern states. Among Asians and Pacific Islanders half live in the West as do half of all Indians Eskimos and dilutes the 2000 census shows us that the average white city our suburb Weller lives in a neighborhood that is 80 percent white and 7 percent black. Blacks Hispanics and Asians all live in more integrated neighborhoods than do
whites. With the emergence of more multiracial and Malta ethnic neighborhoods comes confirmation that all differences are not created equal segregation among Latinos and Asians as often transistor E and immediate byproduct of immigration. Black segregation is different and longer lasting tending toward the permanent one race concentrations of 80 to 90 percent occur almost exclusively in black neighborhoods. The reason only in the case of blacks do all whites flee. Black white segregation One expert says is in some ways at least a different phenomenon. The reasons why are rooted in our past as long ago as the Confederacy. Its vice president said its foundations are laid on the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man. That slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and moral condition. After the Civil War ended legal slavery dictatorial constraints supported by state sponsored and private
brutality prevented African American mobility. No other ethnic group with the exception of American Indians experienced a comparable mix of Xena phobic attitudinal and structural limitations on their development. It is absolutely without parallel in the American experience our lives today may reflect this but our laws do not. Today through executive order Court decision and legislative acts the protected classes extend to a majority of all Americans including white ethnics the aged short people the chemically dependent the Left handed the obese and all religions. We ought to ask ourselves how the road to civil rights became so crowded and what the consequences are. Now we know that. We know that race is a socio political not a biological construct. We know there are more differences within races than there are between them but if race has only socio political not
biological significance we also know it isn't just a pigment of our imagination it colors all our lives and it has a profound effect of consequences on the lives of many scientists and laypersons alike which shuttered today at Mississippi senator James G Bilbo who claimed in one thousand forty five it's a biological fact that the negro skull ossified by the time a negro reaches maturity and they become able to take in information. But if this is laughable today it remains a part of what it means to be a racial minority in America. It's a part of our history and like all history the past informs and shapes the present. Two hundred forty six years of American slavery were followed by a hundred years of state sanctioned discrimination reinforced by public and private brutality ending only after a major struggle in 1965. So just as the black man was only 35 years removed from slavery at the beginning
of the 20th century so was the black man only 35 years removed from segregation when the 21st century began. As we meet here today it has only been a short 37 years since all black Americans were promised the full rights of citizens. Only 37 years since legal segregation was ended nationwide only 37 years since the right to register and vote was universally guaranteed. Only 37 years since the protections of the law and Constitution were guaranteed to all. And now some are telling us those 37 years have been enough to believe that is the victory of hope over experience to believe that is the victory of self-delusion over common sense. Those who declare that yesterday's civil rights movement wipe the slate clean clearly do not understand the present. Those who claim no connection with our history clearly do not understand the past. As the historian John Hope Franklin writes
All Whites benefitted from American slavery. All Blacks had no rights they could claim their own as their own. All whites including the vast majority who own no slaves were not only encouraged but authorized to exercise dominion over all slaves thereby adding to the system of control. Even poor whites benefited from the legal advantages they enjoyed over all blacks as well as from the psychological advantage of having a group beneath them. Most living Americans Dr. Franklin says do have a connection with slavery. They have inherited the preferential advantage if they are white or the low some disadvantage if they are black. And these positions are virtually as alive today as they were in the 1980s. Well considering that history the job we've done so far has been remarkable no matter how long the journey has been. No matter how great the task that remains undone one of the tools that helps to undermine say slavery's legacy is called
affirmative action created to fight what Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor called the unhappy persistence of both the practice and the lingering effects of racial discrimination affirmative action is now under attack not because it has failed but because it succeeded. It created the sizable middle class that constitutes one third of all black Americans today. Women and men with jobs in homes and education in the late 1960s. The wages of black women in the textile industry tripled from 1070 to 1990. The number of black police officers doctors lawyers double black electricians and college students tripled. Black bank tellers more than quadruple. Now some people argue that affirmative action carries a stigma which attaches to all black people. Beneficiaries are not as if black people suffered no stigma before the words affirmative action were ever said. No one must wonder why this argument is never made about the millions of whites who got
into college as a legacy because dad was an alumnus who got a good job because dad was president of the company or president of the United States. Thank. You no. You never see these people walking around with their heads Hello. Moaning that everybody in the executive washroom is whispering about how they got their job. Nobody suggests that white women affirmative actions greatest beneficiaries are suffering any crisis of self-confidence since the nation was founded. All our elite professions have been the special preserve of white men and they remain so today from membership in the House and Senate to the heads of Fortune 500 companies to the tenured faculty at the nation's colleges universities to partnerships at major law firms. I seriously doubt if a single one of these men is suffering low self-esteem because he knows his race
and his gender helped him win his job. Now the most pernicious is the myth that affirmative actions black beneficiaries are taking jobs and school placements away from more deserving others. The truth is aren't enough black people in America to pose such a threat. Except. Except to those seeking justification for their own failures at Harvard College about nine of every 10 applicants is denied admission. Fifteen percent of the students are black or Hispanic. Even if every one of these students was forced to surrender his or her place to a white or an Asian student acceptance rate for whites and Asians would increase by only one percentage point. Now Harvard could accommodate more students by denying admission to some legacies whose average S.A.T. scores fall below those of the black students. But no one seems to think that the children of alumni should be kept out because they are less deserving. Look at it this way. It's the
fourth quarter of a football game between the black team and the white team. The white team is ahead one hundred forty five to three. They've been cheating since the game began. The. White team owns the ball the uniforms the field the goalposts and the referee. There are two minutes left to play. All of a sudden the white quarterback who feels badly about things that happened before he got in the game turns to the black team and says hey fellows can we just play fair. Of course. Here fair is a farce. It's double speak for freezing the status quo in place permanently fixing inequality as part of the American scene. As one of the judges in the Michigan case said diversity in education at its base is the desegregation of a historically segregated population and backy and Brown must therefore be read together so as to allow a school to consider race and
ethnicity and its admission for many reasons not only spent most of my adult life in this cause but in 1907 when I was seven years old I was a plaintive in a lawsuit in rural Pennsylvania against segregated schools. As the suit was pending the school board tried to settle by giving achievement test to decide which of two schools on opposite sides of a country lane students would attend. Most blacks failed and all whites pass. Those schools remain segregated until the big dumb sons of the local white political boss fail the test rather than send them to the black school. That school was closed and all of Lincoln University villages children went to a two room school together. Recently I visited Berea College opened by abolitionist as an integrated school in 1055. It was closed by the Civil War but opened again an eight hundred sixty six with one hundred eighty seven students ninety six blacks 91 whites. It dared to
provide a rare commodity in the former slave slave states and education open to all blacks whites women and men. One of those early students was my grandfather James Bond. Who was who was born a slave. And today's 15 barely able to read or write. He hitched his tuition a steer to a rope and walked a hundred miles across Kentucky to Berea College and the college let a man know Berea maintained an integrated student body until the 1800s when the Kentucky legislature passed a law forbidding the mixing of the races in the state schools and colleges. The United States Supreme Court upheld a Kentucky law in one thousand eight forcing Berea to choose which students it would educate and it chose to become all white. My grandfather belonged to a transcendent generation of black Americans a generation born into slavery freed by the Civil War determined to make
their way as free women and men from Berea he studied for the ministry married had six children one of them my father Carr's man bomb. My father graduated from Pennsylvania's Lincoln University won a doctorate in education from the universe Chicago for him to education was a means to a larger n.. The uplift of his people and the salvation of his race. My father was asked to contribute to the NWA CPS brief and Brown v. Board of Education. He pursued this task with the optimism expressed by his father many years before when his father my grandfather James graduated from Berea the college asked him to give the commencement address. He said then the pessimist from his corner looks out on the world of wickedness and sense. And blinded by all that is good or hopeful in the progress on the. Of the human race. But Wales the present state of affairs and predicts woeful things for the future. And every cloud he beholds a destructive storm and
every flash of lightning and omen of evil in every shadow that falls across his path a lurking foe but he forgets that the clouds also bring life and hope that the lightning purifies the atmosphere that shadow and darkness prepare for sunshine and growth. That hardships and adversity nerve the race as the individual for greater efforts and grander victories greater efforts and grander victories. That was the promise made by the generation born in slavery more than a century and a half ago. That was the promise made by the generation that brought democracy to America's darkest corners four decades ago. And that is the promise we expect you to honor today. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Ponzi indicated a willingness to take some questions from you while Does anyone
have any questions for our speaker. I'm not sure first of all that any of these techniques that we thought we had invented but of course were practiced by many others and the generations before us. I'm not sure if any of them ever go out of style or out of fashion. The notion of the picket line of the nonviolent protest of the mass march these had currency throughout the whole of the 20th century now allowing for some real changes in the world in which we all live today. It may be that today's protester must find some way to put a different twist on these demonstrators I just read the paper yesterday that women worried about the exclusion of women from Augusta National. Augusta golf club are going to show up at the Masters dressed in green burkas the same green is the color of the winner's coat and demonstrate through the wearing of these
burkas which cover their faces all but their eyes that they're as excluded and marginalized as women are and societies that dismiss women. And so. There's a old technique the protest given a kind of new twist by a new generation of protesters against an old evil. So I'm not sure these techniques are outmoded in the way I just think you have to find of innovative way to use them they were good. The women who fought for the right to vote used them the people who wanted civil rights. African-Americans used them both in the 900 sixties and in the early part of the 20th century. And I hazard a guess they're still good if used in an innovative way. In 2002 2003 2004 I think people your age and slightly younger and slightly older if you look at the public opinion data is just a study done by the Joint Center for Political Economic Studies which demonstrates at this age cohort. This
under 25 maybe under 35. Cold hard in the population is less connected to political parties and you know many people believe that's a plus. They're less connected to the kinds of organizational structures that exist in Africa and Americana with the exception of the church that is less connected with the n Double A C P with the Urban League with the standard mainstream organizations that have carried this fight for all these years and generally less connected to the political system generally. They tend not to vote. They tend not to be engaged and they tend to ask the question what difference does it make to me. Why suggest all of you it makes an enormous amount of difference. I mean think about student loans think about the minimum wage think about all of these decisions that are made by the political process that affect each and every one of you. I mean if you don't care about politics it's a sure bet the politics doesn't care about you. So the first thing you ought to do and I don't mean you particularly because I know you do all these things already is
becoming gays in the larger society around you. You have one big responsibility and that's to do well here. But when you've taken care of that responsibility there's a larger world out there that's crying out for you for your energy for your intelligence for your drive for your caring your compassion. And you need to find some way to engage in that larger world. And that's a prescription I think for anybody of any age but it's particularly pertinent for people of your age because if this public opinion data is correct and we have no reason to think it's not this cold heart is becoming alienated is too strong a word but separated from the ongoing thrust of the African-American community and it's profoundly disturbing if it's true. And it suggests that five years hence those numbers will have grown the disaffection will be greater and that the next time the country chooses a president will not be able to call on you to assess and making that important decision.
If somebody calls you an ethnic bad name it's easy for you to say that person is an enemy or somebody denigrates your group than that person is an enemy. But people don't have to speak in order to become your enemy they can sometimes act just across the DC Maryland line the incoming governor has. Indicated his intention to halt the moratorium on executions that the incumbent Governor Glendening had imposed. There are serious questions raised about the fairness of capital punishment in Maryland as well as across the country. And he's dismissed these concerns. And the biggest victims of this unfairness are racial minorities. We just saw in Georgia on election night when the astounding victory of the Republican candidate who got elected by raising the idea of putting the confederate flag back in a prominent place on the Georgia
state flag celebrates his victory by saying I'm free at last free at last thank God almighty I'm free at last. It was like a slap in the face to me because both your dean and I were there when Dr. King made that historic speech at the March on Washington. And to hear it from the mouth of this man made me know that he was an enemy of mine I don't mean I'm going to beat him up when I see him. But you know that he's somebody I got to watch he doesn't have my best interests at heart. So I think you know people by their deeds as well as by their words. And you don't have to wait for them to say something hateful to you when you see them doing something hateful to you or announcing their intention to do something hateful to you it's pretty easy to know who they are. Since I've been the chairman of the NWA CPA for five years the question I'm asked most often is what are you doing to get young people in the NWC. My assumption is the person asking the question believes there are no young people in the end of a CV and that everybody in a place he has gray hair like me or is
in my age bracket I'm 62. The truth is that we have seven spots on our board of directors reserved for young people. They're elected to those spots by other young people I don't vote for them only their peers and they serve in all of the leadership roles in the organization. We've experienced a tremendous growth over the last several years in high school and college chapters. And these range from revitalization of the chapter at Harvard and Stanford Universities to Jasper Texas and piney woods Mississippi so elite colleges and small towns in the south. So we're experiencing a boom in participation among young people but nonetheless the perception exists that in this organization at least we don't have these young people. Those statistics I was to are those figures I was talking about earlier from the Joint Center study are disturbing. I'm not sure if it's attributable largely to the expansion of the black middle class because in even the
worst of times there always was a black middle class however small and tiny and from this middle class came a large portion of the leadership figures an African-American I mean Martin Luther King's family could not have been more middle class than they were his father was the pastor of the biggest or the second biggest black church in Atlanta he was on the board of directors of the bank he was a trustee of Morehouse College he had all of the attributes of the middle class all college educated all achieving persons. So I'm not sure if it's just the expansion of the middle class that's created this disconnect. I think it is in part. A disconnect from the time and the period and an absence of memory about the time and the period and when the horrific view of segregation white colored only lynchings mobs when that proceeds in memory and recedes and distance. Then it's more difficult I think to summon up some of the energy and emotion of things which are very very real to me I see civil rights history and I teach about things which are very very real to me because I live through them
but I know the young people I'm teaching who are 18 19 years old this is like the First World War was to me. It's as foreign and as distant to them as that is to me. So I think we've got a big big job to do. I don't want to argue that while there been many many improvements made over the last hundred years let's say. That there's still an enormous amount yet to be done. And that amount yet to be done will not be done unless more and more soldiers join in the fight that we can't afford to go into this battle leaving a major portion of the army sitting on the sidelines. We've got to find some way to engage this population. And if I knew of a surefire way to do it I'd be doing it right now but I'm not really sure how to do it I think. You point out to people what the problems are. You argue with them about causes you argue with them about methods of ameliorating the awful effects. You asked them for participation and you offered them several avenues of participation is not one way to do this there are many many ways. And after you've
done that I don't know what you can do. When I entered what I thought was a movement I was created because I knew nobody had ever done anything as bold and brave as I had done. But and so in my naivete I thought I was entering a movement I had help my my generation to help create our notion was that African-Americans ought to have equality with whites and access to everything in the society schools jobs homes so forth so on and these other questions about building economic strength and power were definitely second place although there were people interested in working with them and you can look at the movement and discover that countered that almost hand-in-hand with this desire for inclusion is a desire for building economic strength is never absent but it's definitely second place. It strikes me that over the last say 10 or 15 years that almost the reversal has happened so that almost all of the emphasis is is on
building economic strength with lesser emphasis I think a dangerously lesser emphasis on inclusion. The facts are that not all Americans are business owners and not all Americans are going to be business owners. Most Americans are workers some in blue collar some in white collar some and so collar jobs. And it strikes me that our approach has to be multifaceted. We've got to ensure that we are included in the kind of everyday ordinary pursuits that every American aspires to. And we've got to push extra hard to make up for absences capital business formation all of the things we've not had. And my fear is that we've tipped too far this way and we've begun to neglect this. So I think we need to give this if not equal at least some by equal effort and that these young people have to be prepared to go into a world is very very different from the world when
Thurgood Marshall graduated from Howard Law School when he graduated from law school a lawyer may have done some real estate work a few wills and things like that. And civil rights activity criminal work that was it. Now of course most lawyers never see the inside of a courtroom. They see the inside of a boardroom or they're engaged in some kind of financial effort guiding or directing or vetting or. Assuring that things are going within the confines of law that's what many of the young people in this room are going to be doing when they get out of here. They're not going to be Thurgood Marshall. Not that we don't need another Thurgood Marshall or another half dozen or more. But that's just the changing nature of things in the country. So I think you've got to find some way to equip them for that and equip them as as best you can because the competition is fierce. There are millions like you out there and more
millions every year the numbers are growing and this is a tough world out there. Julian Bond is a living icon. I definitely see him as a great example. I'm. A. Lifelong advocate for civil rights and he is a great example that we should deal with the next social engineers. The charge that he had to watch to not only continue in civil rights legacy but to find calls and to continue to find causes to champion which is outstanding. I think those were the reasons that I came to how it was the School of Law and it was good to see. The films of those charges continue to be re-entering out of the entire.
At Howard
Episode Number
Julian Bond
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WHUT (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Julian Bond speaks to the students of Howard University School of Law about the history and continuing challenges facing their educational and career pursuits. Among others, he quotes Charles Houston and his five obligations of lawyers as social engineers. He speaks about the "justice divide" that is experienced by African American lawyers as well as the people they represent. At the end of his talk, he answers questions from the audience on inclusion, economics, and the overall continuing Civil Rights movement.
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Race and Ethnicity
Politics and Government
Copyright 2002 by Howard University Television
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WHUT-TV (Howard University Television)
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Chicago: “At Howard; 115; Julian Bond,” 2002-12-19, WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 14, 2021,
MLA: “At Howard; 115; Julian Bond.” 2002-12-19. WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 14, 2021. <>.
APA: At Howard; 115; Julian Bond. Boston, MA: WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from