James Farmer last night called for a Christmas shopping boycott on retail stores that practice racial discrimination in employment. Farmer spoke before the Ford Hall Forum in Boston.
Modifying the proposals of James Baldwin and other Negro leaders for a general boycott of Christmas, the national director of CORE said that such a boycott would put stores with discriminatory employment practices at no real disadvantage, "A boycott does not work unless it is specific, unless it pinches some where," he said.
Farmer also asked that Americans retrain from giving expensive Christmas gifts, and that the money saved be donated to the civil rights cause.
In his speech, Farmer also attacked President Kennedy's stand on civil rights, charging "he has been more interested in the vagaries of politics than in true statesmanship.
He also said the President's original civil rights bill should have included a section giving the Justice Department the statutory power to file suite whenever civil liberties are violated. Police brutality has become the greatest evil in the civil rights struggle in the South, he said, and such power is the best way to combat it.