Whitney M. Young Jr., head of the National Urban League, last night called on the federal government to use the War On Poverty Program to put more money into the Negro community in America.
"Unless this country starts a conscientious program of better education, of vocational retraining, and of equal housing," he said, "equal opportunity in America will continue to be a myth. The scales of justice have been so heavily weighted against the Negroes for so long that you are not going to balance them just by equal rights now," he told the Law School Forum audience. "There must be more."
Young is executive director of the civil rights group. He described the white backlash as only a minor obstacle to civil rights. "The real barrier," he said, "is the barrier created by generations of deprivations. Any group would bear scars as a result of such an experience and the American Negro must not be ashamed of these scars."
Turning to a specific discussion of segregation in housing, Young said that "whites must work just as hard to make neighborhoods inclusive as they did to make them exclusive. Integration means opportunity for whites as well as Negroes. It gives whites the chance to get rid of the drab sameness in their lives. We grow through diversity."
Following Young's speech, Thomas Atkins, executive secretary of the Boston NAACP, discussed the recent outbreaks of violence among Negroes in the north.
He said he feels that most of the discussion of the subject has been one-sided. "It's hypocritical to fear violence from Negroes after so much violence has been done to Negroes for so long," he said. "The whites have created the situation."