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Executive Records, Governor Spiro T. Agnew, 1967-1969
Volume 83, Page 759   View pdf image (33K)
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CIVIL RIGHTS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS 759

Baltimore Police as "enemies of the black man. " Some of you here,
to your eternal credit, quickly condemned this demagogic proclama-
tion. You condemned it because you recognized immediately that it
was an attempt to undermine lawful authority the authority under
which you were elected and under which you hold your leadership
position. You spoke out against it because you knew it was false and
was uttered to attract attention and inflame.

When you, who courageously slapped hard at irresponsibility,
acted, you did more for civil rights than you realize. But when white
leaders openly complimented you for your objective, courageous ac-
tion, you immediately encountered a storm of censure from parts of
the Negro community. The criticism was born of a perverted concept
of race loyalty and inflamed by the type of leader who, as I earlier
mentioned, is not here today.

And you ran. You met in secret with that demagogue and others
like him and you agreed, according to published reports that have
not been denied, that you would not openly criticize any black spokes-
man, regardless of the content of his remarks. You were beguiled by
the rationalizations of unity; you were intimidated by veiled threats;
you were stung by insinuations that you were Mr. Charlie's boy, by
epithets like "Uncle Tom. " God knows I cannot fault you who spoke
out for breaking and running in the face of what appeared to be over-
whelming opinion in the Negro community. But actually it was only
the opinion of those who depend upon chaos and turmoil for leader-
ship those who deliberately were not invited today. It was the
opinion of a few, distorted and magnified by the silence of most of
you here today.

Now, parts of many of our cities lie in ruins. You need not leave
these City limits to verify the destruction and the resulting hardship to
our citizens. And you know whom the fires burned out just as you
know who lit the fires. They were not lit in honor of your great fallen
leader. Nor were they lit from an overwhelming sense of frustration
and despair. Those fires were kindled at the suggestion and with the
instruction of the advocates of violence. It was no accident that one
such advocate appeared at eight separate fires before the fire chief
could get there.

The looting and rioting which has engulfed our City during the
past several days did not occur by chance. It is no mere coincidence
that a national disciple of violence, Mr. Stokely Carmichael, was ob-
served meeting with local black power advocates and known criminals

 

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Executive Records, Governor Spiro T. Agnew, 1967-1969
Volume 83, Page 759   View pdf image (33K)
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