Duquesne Law Review


In a syndicated article, Ralph McGill asks whether the economic plight of the Negro in the United States will continue to be a statistic merely for social workers. The New York Times, recognizing that "Negroes make up one tenth of the civilian labor force," but that "they account for one fifth of the unemployed," recommends a federal works program, similar to that utilized during the depression, to end high Negro unemployment. Civil rights leaders meeting in Washington at the behest of the federal government call for massive federal governmental programs and new and stronger legislation to combat the problem of Negro unemployment-as well as many other problems facing the Negro community." Nonetheless, the air of quietude remains. Unemployment in the white community is at its lowest level in recent years, the economy is booming, and the federal government worries about inflation. A "Watts" occurs, a commission is empaneled, a study is issued, and the Negro's economic plight grows progressively worse." Both federal and state officials attempt to educate businessmen and labor unions in the economics of racial discrimination and their community responsibility, but businessmen and local labor unions covertly and overtly resist education. The community at large remains indifferent (until, of course, its safety or economic well-being is threatened by a "Watts"). The plight of the Negro goes from bad-to worse-to impossible.

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