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BRYN MAWR, Penn., Feb. 9--A Negro civil rights leader and the editor of a segregationist newspaper clashed head-on Friday night over whether Negroes are superior to whites biologically, intellectually, and legally.
James Farmer, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality, was integrationists' spokesman in the debate, held at Haverford College as part of a three-day civil rights conference sponsored by Bryan Mawr and Haverford. James J. Kilpatrick, editor of the Richmond Newsleader, argued the case of segregation.
Kilpatrick held that Negroes are inherently inferior to whites, and have contributed nothing to Western culture. "Integration is wrong and should be actively opposed in situations that would lead to marriage." Author of The Southern Case for School Segregation, Kilpatrick said that there should be integrated schools only for especially intelligent Negro children.
Farmer rejected Kilpatrick's argument of racial superiority, and said it was irrelevant anyway. "Civil rights are the rights owed to human beings and American citizens," he said.
Kilpatrick said that the triumph of integration would result in the loss of those "race values"--the separation of powers and the rights of property, which he called the "first of human rights." "I uphold the rights of a Negro to buy a house from my neighbor," he said, "but I uphold mine to sell my house to whom I please."
Farmer replied that, "no one will lose except the bigots. America will win."
The debators could not even agree on the accuracy of the title of the conference. Farmer said the civil rights movement was "part two of the American Revolution." Kilpatrick denied this. "James Farmer isn't Washington, James Baldwin isn't Jefferson, Martin Luther King isn't Patrick Henry," he said.
William Worthy, a Negro correspondent for the Baltimore Afro-American, who spoke later in the evening, also criticized the civil rights movement--but for a different reason. He said it hadn't gone far enough.
The civil rights movement is at a dead end because it is devoting too much attention to public accommodations and not enough to housing and "well, I'll just go on hoofing it." jobs, Worthy charged.
"I don't want to get my head knocked in to integrate a mid-city tea room where Negroes won't eat anyway," he said.
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