Thomas F. Pettigrew, lecturer on Social Psychology, yesterday called the Chairman of the Boston School Committee "Boston's own Bull Connor." He charged the Committee's chairman, Mrs. Louise D. Hicks, with evading and suppressing Negro protests against alleged de facto segregation in Roxbury.
Other members of the Divinity School panel were Archic Epps 2G, James L. Adams, professor of Divinity, and the Rev. James P. Breeden, a member of the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity.
The large majority by which School Committee incumbents were re-nominated this fall proved, according to Pettigrew, that "politicians in this city could operate as biatantly as Governor Wallace and win big at the polls."
He claimed that late in her previous term of office Mrs. Hicks had tried to set up an "Uncle Tom committee" composed of Negroes who would approve School Committee policies rather than represent the demands of the Negro community.
Pettigrew predicted that Boston Negroes would join effective nation-wide boycotts of companies with discriminatory employment practices. According to Pettigrew white resistance to integration is strongest in the lower-middle class, "the most reactionary segment of the population on any topic," and among "the Wall Street Journal crowd."
Epps agreed with him, saying that long years of inferior status had given Negroes a psychological need for a direct confrontation with the white power structure. But he noted that extreme groups like the Black Muslims make a cult of rebellion without accomplishing anything. He remarked that the Association of African and Afro-American Students shown similar signs of aimlessness.