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although I do not know that it is an actual fact. You were quoted the other day at a hearing and I paid a little tribute to your great leadership in American education by saying something to this effect, that your views on southern educational problems would mean more to me than the views of any other educator in the country, and knowing how groups work when they have bills before a senatorial committee, I am a little suspicious you got a telephone call thereafter suggesting perhaps you might better have your views presented and put on the record.
I am glad, if that is what happened, if that was done, perhaps it may be of some inconvenience to you.
Dr. GRAHAM. I would say, Mr. Chairman, I was in a right considerable struggle with the legislature of North Carolina for a little more equal educational opportunity in North Carolina.
Senator MORSE. First, I want to say I think you have made a great statement. I think that statement is pretty much the epitome of the ideals of public education in a great democracy.
I want to ask you some questions along these lines.
We have had evidence and testimony here to the effect that this bill is not a bill that is based upon a true principle of equalization because of the fact that under the terms of the bill white children in the South, or any place in the country, but particularly in the South where you have your segregation problem, that the white children will get as much money per student under the emergency clauses of the bill as the colored children, and, therefore, because of that fact, the bill is unsound as it does not rest upon the true equalization principle.
I would like to hear your comments on that point.
Dr. GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, this bill provides that the Federal appropriation shall be distributed equally between all groups, majority groups and minority groups. I would say there is not much Federal control in the bill, that is, the Federal moneys that are appropriated to the States shall be equitably distributed to all children.
This is just a question of simple honesty. The Southern States will get Federal moneys from this bill, if it passes, on the basis of the number of children. Now, some of those children are Negro children. If that Federal money does not go to those Negro children, then that is simply a misappropriation of funds. That is just not common honesty.
If the States get money because of a certain number of children and some of those children are Negro children, then, as a matter of common honesty, those Negro children should get equally the benefits of that fund.
Now, your question, Senator Morse, goes beyond that point alone, because you recognize the fact that in the Southern States Negro children do not get the proportional amount or an equal part of the State school funds.
I want to say this on the record: I am personally in favor of Negro children getting a fair and equal distribution of the school funds. "In my own State, and I give this simply as an illustration of the way southern people with a little more economic ability to be just to minority groups are just, the State of North Carolina now by law provides for every child in North Carolina, white or black, a 9-month school term and 12-grade schools. Now, that is not completely fulfilled. It takes 2 or 3 years to carry out the intent of a law. But it is on its way to fulfillment, and I would say the people of North Carolina,
Senator Morse, are no better than the people in any other Southern State.
But, as they have through their own efforts won a little more ability to be fair, they are fair.
Therefore, by that logic and by this example, if this Federal aid goes to these hard-pressed States which cannot with their utmost efforts provide anything further toward bringing their educational opportunities up to the national average, if this lift is given, just through the very incidence of relieving a terrific economic load, there will not only be this equal distribution of Federal funds, but in time more equal distribution in the State funds.
The Senators from South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana know that is a fact.
Let me say this. If I understand this bill, and I boned on it last night when I knew you were going to cross-examine me very lightly, this bill will help provide more equal opportunity. This is a third answer to your question.
Even the great State of New York and the great State of California, where you have the greatest economic ability to provide equal opportunity, do not provide equal opportunity. There are higher opportunities in some areas and smaller opportunities in other areas of these States.
Let us leave the South for a minute, here. This bill will help those great States. In fact, I think it will almost morally compel them to provide more equal opportunity for some of the neglected areas of New York, Illinois, and California.
Senator MORSE. The next question is one I have asked other witnesses.
Do you have any State in the South in which the white children now enjoy a decent minimum standard of education? I ask the question because I want to know whether there is any basis for the argument that by the appropriation granted under this bill, if it is passed, we will be throwing money away in the sense that we will be giving money to white children who in perhaps some States at the present time have adequate money appropriated for their education, and so that we can safely say they had a decent minimum standard of education.
Dr. GRAHAM. Senator Morse, it is my very definite impression, and therefore I will state it as a generalization, and if there is one exception it will be a surprise to me, that there is no Southern State, in spite of the fact that the Southern States are making a greater effort than any of the other States in the Union to provide a decent educational opportunity for their children—that there is no Southern State that now comes up to the national average.
Senator MORSE. Do you hold that the money that will be received by any Southern State from this bill will result in the colored or white children receiving an appropriation that would bring their level up; that is, their educational level up to one in which it could justifiably be said that any of the money is wasted?
Will not the money under this bill help improve the educational standards to some degree and to some degree encourage more persons in the South to go into the teaching profession?
Dr. GRAHAM. Absolutely; yes, sir. There is no question or doubt about that.
Senator MORSE. Now, just an opinion for what it may be worth.
What is your opinion as to the standards of education, as you may know these standards in these so-called Northern States, including the wealthy States! I might say you indicated to some extent an answer to this question, but I want it directly on the record about such States as New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and California. Do you think any of the money that will go to them under this bill would be wasted or that we as Senators would be guilty of casting a vote in favor of waste of Federal funds on the ground that some States now give their children a standard of education which could not be improved by the Federal Government?
Dr. GRAHAM. Well, I would say, Senator Morse, if you take the $200,000,000 part of this bill you find it is for a national emergency growing out of the war and in a total war all States are affected. Those that have schools above the average of the Nation and those that have schools below the average are affected.
I am talking about economic support now. The hand of war has fallen on schools in all States, whether they are rich or poor, and teachers have left schools in all the States whether they are rich or poor, and so the emergency part of this bill will rightfully give aid to New York and California, too.
That is true because of the national nature of the emergency.
Senator MORSE. As I understand your testimony, even in the socalled wealthy States, the war itself has caused educational dislocation. It has placed an additional burden upon the schools. We have had a mass moving population going to the shipyards and war industries, and so on. And thus, even though we are dealing with a State which we might say could raise more money for education if it were willing to do it, there is still a Federal responsibility owed to the people in those States to share some of the load caused by educational dislocation resulting from the war. Is that your opinion?
Dr. GRAHAM. Yes, sir; certainly it is.
Senator PEPPER. Dr. Graham, I want to concur in what Senator Morse has said. It is hard to imagine that anyone could add anything to what you said either in content or the eloquence with which you have said it.
Now, isn't it a fact that the decision of the United States Supreme Court is in substance gradually working out the matter of the difference in the amount of public funds allocated to white children and colored children so that the school authorities are now prohibited against discriminating on the racial basis in the allocation of those funds.
Dr. GRAHAM. May I answer that of my own knowledge and not by way of any impression here.
The State of North Carolina by law now pays white and Negro teachers of the same training and competence the same salaries. That is not only because of the law of the United States, it is because of the law of the State of North Carolina. Now, I do not say, Senator Pepper, we have 100 percent fulfillment of that at this moment, but I am saying we have gone so far forward in the last 5 or 6 years that 100 percent fulfillment is just around the corner.
Every Negro child in North Carolina, by law now, has a right to a 9 months' school term and a 12-grade school, and by law in North
Carolina every Negro teacher in North Carolina has the right to have an equal salary with a white teacher of equal training and experience and competence.
Senator PEPPER. The next question then is, do you know of any other State which, assuming the ability to give those white and Negro children minimum educational opportunities, would object to giving the Negro children their minimum educational opportunities in the public schools? In other words, as you have stated in your former statement, isn't it a fact that what has happened is not that anyone had any animosity toward the Negro children or any desire to see they get less than what they should, but having only a certain amount of money to distribute it was probably only natural for a number of reasons that they gave the major portion of it to white children?
Dr. GRAHAM. Mr. Chairman, I would say to the Senator from Florida that a great deal of the injustice from which the Negro suffers is due to economic inability to provide a decent minimum for the white children. Now, we are all human. Under the Christian religion and the American dream they should receive equal treatment. They do not receive equal treatment as a matter of fact, but there are people all over the South struggling toward that equal treatment, and this bill, Senator Pepper, will be a great lift in the struggle to give them equality in these fundamental, elementary rights of equal opportunity in the schoolroom.
Senator PEPPER. Now, many of us will remember that the amendment which actually defeated this bill on the floor last time in the Senate was an amendment by a Senator from North Dakota, which required that there should be not only no discrimination in the distribution of the Federal funds, but no discrimination in the distribution of the State funds.
Dr. GRAHAM. As I understand it, Senator Pepper, nobody in all the 48 States wants Federal control of the State and local schools. Let me say this on that point, and this is the reason for what happened in the Senate, it is a matter of taking a stand for perfection or for the next step toward perfection. Perfectionism to me becomes a form of isolationism. If you see this has got to be 100 percent now and you do not take the next step toward perfection then we are never going to take any step at all, we will never get anywhere at all.
It seems to me those who want more equal apportionment of school funds, I am talking about the States now, should be for this bill. If you are against this bill, if you are against Federal aid to the States, then the way to defeat it is to require that it be 100 percent perfect now. But, if you are for this bill and see it as a step forward, then you will not, in our frail human society, demand perfection now.
I would like to say to the Senator from Arkansas that I think you gentlemen as Members of the United States Senate confront the same issue with regard to the organization of peace in the world. There are those who want the perfect peace now. There are those who want the perfect peace, but they realize to get a perfect human society in which we will outlaw war and stop war, you must take one step forward.
As human beings, with all the things that the human race carries on its back from its path out of the jungle, you must take the most decisive step away from the jungle that you can, but if you say we will not come out of the jungle, we will stay back with our claws and rule not through law and order but through power and force and cruelty, if you will not take that decisive step, that first step out of the jungle, we just will stay in the jungle.
I think the teachings of Jesus Himself, who was for the perfect society, recognized that His followers in His steps would not reach the perfect society before He died. In fact, His death was a challenge to men everywhere to follow in His steps, one step at a time.
This bill is one step toward not only more equal opportunity for school children all over America, but more equal opportunity for Negro children in the Southern States.
Do I make my point clear?
I would like to clarify this point. In the first place, the Southern States are opposed to any Federal requirements which would demand the absence of segregation. In other words, for reasons that are deemed adequate, the southern sentiment opposes any Federal demand that segregation be abolished. That is the first thing.
Secondly, if the Federal Government in this bill or through such enactment as this, should lay down the principles governing the distribution of local funds, isn't there a fear on the part of some of the southern people that the next step will be to demand that the Federal Government shall determine how the children shall sit, whether they shall demand that both races go to the same school?
Now, if the Federal Government would stay out of the question of social relationships between the two races, and if the Federal Government would provide enough money by Federal aid so that the sum of the States' contribution and Federal contribution would give a minimum and equal educational opportunity to the white and to the Negro, would you, out of your great experience, say there would be any southern objection to the equal distribution of State funds?
Dr. GRAHAM. I would not say, Senator, there would be no objection. I know of some people who would object to that equal distribution for Negroes whatever the situation. But there are very few and they are getting fewer and this is a step forward, away from them.
Senator FULBRIGHT. There is another question that comes to mind.
This requirement that is being developed as to equal treatment, such as the case in Missouri, it seems to me that it carries some justification as they are assuming the obligation to make it possible. It seems to me if we demand it from a Federal point of view it is perfectly justifiable that we make some provision to carry it out. To step in one side and say you must do that is interference under our Constitution.
Dr. GRAHAM. I think, Senator Fulbright, the Federal Government has a very clear responsibility in the light of the four propositions I tried to suggest here this morning and reinforced by the national emergency brought about by the war, which is a national responsibility.
Senator MORSE. I would think-I would like to say for the record, as a legal proposition your conclusion is debatable, Senator Fulbright, as to that.
Senator FULBRIGHT. Well, we will debate that later.
Senator MORSE. I did not want my silence to be accepted as an assent.