Three experts on race relations agreed at a Liberal Union forum last night that desegregation in the public school by September, 1956, was the best answer to the problems set up by the Supreme Court's anti-segregation decision last May.
Gordon W. Allport '19, professor of Psychology, said that he had once believed education in schools and churches-to be the best way of combating race prejudice. "I have changed my opinion, however, and now feel that legislative decisions forbidding segregation are a faster and more effective method than trying to educate and convince each individual in a state that segregation is wrong," he said.
Allport added that if a survey were taken of the schools and factories, particularly in the South, which have been desegregated, many of the workers would express dissatisfaction with the new system. "Nonetheless, the majority of these people do not actively express their dissatisfaction and soon they get along quite well," Allport said.
He added that the fact that most people quickly accept desegregation and that such legislation as President Roosevelt's wartime FEPC have worked so well, convinced him that we should desegregate the schools as soon as possible.
Walter Carrington, a member of the national board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that he, too, was certain of the need for desegregated schools by September, 1955, if possible, and by September, 1956, at the very latest.
He agreed with Allport that desegregation has worked and added that even in the deep, south a number of parochial the school have admitted colored children without any difficulties, providing an example public schools should follow.
Danger in Delay
Carrington added that if desegregation very delayed for any considerable period its enemies would have a chance to rally and obstruct it. "We have a good example of what vacillation on the part of a school board can do," he said, "when we see how bigots were able to re-establish segregation in the Milford, Delaware, public schools after its board wavered in their decision to desegregate."
In discussing the legal aspects of desegregation Mark DeWelfe Howe '28, professor of Law, said that the problem of desegregation in public schools within the next two years in extremely complex, and should be carefully approached.
"The Supreme Court's decision does not represent the majority of the people in many parts of the country, and public school education is traditionally a state problem; therefore, we must examine the best way to administer this decision," he said.
He suggested that school desegregation might best be handled by local federal and state courts under the supervision of the Supreme Court.