Negro churchmen say they are convinced U. S. cities need “not more studies of the causes of the ‘civil disorders,’ not more ‘anti-riot’ controls, not more welfare handouts, and certainly not more piecemeal appropriations for limited aid to the cities.”
The real problem, says a statement adopted by the National Committee of Negro Churchmen, is a lack of capital: “Even as Negroes in 1863 saw themselves deprived of necessary land, so Negroes today see capital flow through their communities without capital gain for their communities.”
The NCNC, which in effect is the ecclesiastical arm of the responsible element in the black-power movement, held a meeting in Washington last month that coincided with the one-day conference of the star-studded Urban Coalition.
The Negro churchmen voiced support of the coalition’s bid to “reorder our national priorities” and to establish “earn and learn” centers.
They also endorsed in general the coalition’s call upon Congress “to move ahead on the many proposals already before it which seek to remedy the root causes of our urban crisis.” But that endorsement had a hollow ring, because black-power churchmen seem to be growing increasingly dubious of the effects of government handouts.
“Neither emergency job programs nor any present legislative proposals can be more than palliatives providing short-term relief unless one critical need is placed at the center of the stage,” they declared.
That one need is identified as capital. “The despair and disillusionment among black people in America will not be intercepted—peace will not be achieved—unless the historic wrong which has denied us a stake in this nation’s capital economy is righted.”
To this end, the Negro churchmen called for creation of a “national ...1
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