The petition now being circulated by the Harvard Inter-Race Council has been attacked as illiberal, and seeking to foist anti-lynch legislation on the South as a war measure.
The Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation were frankly was measures universally acclaimed by democrats. They were assailed as such by the Tories of the Revolution and the Copperheads of the Civil War. Today, another crucial war measure, the granting of Dominion Status of India, is assailed only by the enemies of democracy and the appeasers still at large in the democratic capitols of the world. The argument against anti-lynch legislation at the present time because it is a war measure will not stand.
Herbert Agar, Editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, in testimony before the Senate Sub-Committee on the Anti-Poll Tax Bill, said, "Our most numerous allies in this war the colored peoples...if we lose those allies--if we lost Asia--we are likely to lose the war. The only way to keep Asia on our side is to show that we believe in the American ideal that all men are created equal."
Thirteen million American Negroes, one-tenth of our population, place no conditions upon their support of their country in this war against fascism. They know the issues at stake. Their sole demand is for full integration into every phase of the war effort. They are supported in this demand by anti-fascists everywhere. In fighting for democracy and against fascism aboard, we must not give up the struggle against every expression of fascist brutality and fascist racism at home. This is the meaning of anti-lynch legislation today. Clinton Oliver, Chairman, Harvard Inter-Race Council.