The Congress on Racial Equality may sponsor a nationwide "positive boycott" within the next year, James Farmer, national director of CORE, said last night. The organization is considering the preparation of a list of "equal opportunity employers" which it would urge all Americans to patronize.
"We no longer say to management, 'You need only be colorblind'," Farmer said. "A special effort is needed in recruitement, hiring, and training if we are ever to close the gap in American employment," which he said had been caused by racial discrimination. "No bystander is innocent today. The Negro wants no monopoly on unemployment," he told a Business School audience.
Commenting on the November election, Farmer said that the repeal of the Rumford Act in California was "the one disappointment." The state law had prohibited discrimination in housing.
Farmer added that the constitutionality of the repeal was being challenged in court. If the election result is not thrown out, Farmer said, CORE could only watch vigilantly to prevent the repeal of other anti-discrimination laws.
Asked about his reaction to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's attempt to replace the regular Mississippi delegation at the Democratic convention, Farmer termed it a "glorious and inspired challenge."
He said that the Freedom Democrats had almost accepted a compromise from the convention's credentials committee, offering to seat two of the group as delegates-at-large.
Had the credentials committee not insisted on selecting which two men, Farmer said, the Freedom Democrats would have accepted the offer. But they refused, he explained, because, "They were sick and tired of white men trying to tell them who their leaders were."