Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
B. writes from York, Pennsylvania, February 23, 1999
I AM A high school student at York Suburban High School in York, Pennsylvania. Recently, we had an homework assignment that dealt with the segregation of schools. We were supposed to describe the position of a senator in the 1950's for segregation and a senator against segregation.
For the senator for segregation, I gave him a racist point of view. He was quoted as saying, "If you allow blacks in educational institutions where whites are, it will have a negative effect on the whites' education because blacks are less intelligent." My teacher circled the "less intelligent " part of the writing and wrote "no" next to it. My teacher then proceeded to use my paper as an example of poor logic for the homework assignment.
My teacher says that politicians during the 1950's were not openly racist and would only use Plessy versus Ferguson for justification of segregation. I disagree with him and believe that there were openly racist politicians. However, my resources are limited and I have been unable to find conclusive evidence to substantiate my claims.
Could you please provide me with any information that would corroborate my position? I specifically need quotes that would verify openly racist statements that involve senators claiming African Americans are less intelligent. I am concerned we are not learning the full truth about our past. Thank-you for your time and any help that you may provide.
I am not an expert on race matters, which looks like a real minefield. I will post your letter in my Website's correspondence section and invite others to respond directly to you.