Michael J. Calhoun, vice-chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, said last night at the Institute of Politics that Blacks must begin to confront economic realities or risk being "left further and further behind" mainstream America.
Speaking before an audience of about 75, Calhoun, the second highest U.S. trade official, criticized blacks for following "so-called leaders who operate on the humanitarian" appeal that Blacks are owed and should be given economic relief. Instead, he said, "we should attempt to understand and analyze economic issues" so Blacks can "frame their interests in accordance with prevailing economic policy."
Calhoun's comments came at a public forum addressing the impact of U.S. trade policy on American Blacks. Sponsored by the Harvard Association of Black Faculty and Administrators, the discussion included Clarence C. Ferguson Jr., Henry L. Stimson professor of Law and Willard R. Johnson, a professor of political science at MIT.
Calling Calhoun's speech "brilliant" and "absolutely true," Ferguson said "we are in the process of designing a new world order" adding, "we don't have any Blacks designing this new world order." "Blacks aren't prepared to defend their interests," he said.
But Johnson said "he was profoundly disturbed" by Calhoun's and Ferguson's statements. Blacks may not have much economic power, Johnson said, but they should consider that less important than retaining their cultural identity.
Benigno S. Aquino Jr., a Phillipine opposition leader who is currently a fellow at the Center for International Affairs, has been formally charged with conspiring with 86 other persons to overthrow the Phillipine government, Returns reported yesterday.
Aquino could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A State Department official said yesterday that the charges are not new and were simply transferred to a civilian court from a military tribunal. The tribunals became obsolete after Phillipine President Ferdianand E. Marcos lifted martial law on January 17.