"We can't afford to have segregation, and the time to get rid of it is now," declared Thurgood Marshall, Chief Counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, at last night's Law Forum in Sanders Theatre.
Marshall and Marion Wright, President of the Southern Regional Conference, both called for the immediate abolishment of segregation. "We should now repeal all segregation statutes," Wright stated.
"But by going too fast we may turn the clock back," warned Alfred G. Ivey, Nieman Fellow and associate editor of the Winston-Salem Journal. "Segregation," he said, "cannot be eliminated immediately by law."
Danger from Speed
"Advancement for the Negro can best come gradually, aided by positive programs," Ivey claimed, and added that too hasty action would fan hatreds and stop all progress.
"The gradual approach will not solve the question," Marshall replied, declaring that everything that has been done for Negro in the South has ben done by Federal Court order. Gradualism was decided on after the Civil War, he said, "and we and still being told to wait a while."
"Segregation may be ended and ended now," Wright said, pointing out that some schools in the South had opened their doors to Negroes and that student polls in colleges favored the admittance of Negroes."
Wright declared that there has not been "a single school in the South which maintained equal institutions for Negroes until forced to by the courts."
"Segregation will always mean discrimination," he said, for its conditions "are always separate, never equal." He decried segregation's "folly and waste," citing the cost of establishing equal facilities in the South for Negoes at one billion dollars.