Thank you very much. It is a real privilege to speak as an individual on station WSCH on the very important matter of integration and brotherhood. I feel very deeply that the question of integration, the question of civil rights, the question of our attitude towards our Negro brethren is at heart a spiritual question. A civil rights problem in America is a spiritual problem. Basically all of us, Christians and Jews alike, believe that we are made in the image of Almighty God. The dignity of man stems from the fact that he is a creation of God.
If you take this away, there is very little left. If all men are created in the image of God, then all men are created equal. We are brothers because we have the same Father. The great difficulty has been that we have compartmentalized our religion. We have limited it. We have confined it to particular spheres of our lives. We say we owe obligations to God as far as our attitude towards our families is concerned. We say we owe obligation to God as far as our personal conduct on the matter of sobriety and integrity is concerned. But when it comes to a matter of treating our fellow Americans as equals, we say this has nothing to do with religion. It seems to me this isn’t attack on religion. This is an attempt to confine religion.
There is a Christian hymn that goes, “crown Him Lord of All.” And someone has said if Christ
is not crowned Lord of All, he is not crowned Lord at all. Jews believe God is the Father of all men everywhere. Now if this is true, we cannot be good Jews or good Christians unless we look upon all men as objects of a concern of our common Father in Heaven. To me it is inconceivable that one can go to a church and synagogue and not feel at one with brethren of every creed, of every color, of every race. We need laws that will protect the rights of the Negro.
As has been said, laws regulate conduct and religion can shape our attitudes. Basically and fundamentally, we must think of ourselves as all subject to God’s judgment and we must realize that we have all been recipients of God’s love and God’s grace. This is basic and this is utterly necessary and this is important. Now where does this lead us? It means that we must be concerned that Negroes and whites have an opportunity for the best education possible. It means that a qualified person should have a right to work, regardless of a color of his skin. Of course it means that everyone who is qualified should have the right to vote.
It means that every person should have a chance for decent housing, to live in decent neighborhoods and to be respected as a person who has within his heart and soul, a spark of divinity. Perhaps I can sum up some of the things I’ve been saying by stating that we must regard our Negro brethren not as these people, not as they, but as we. Of course at the very moment you call another person part of a group known as they, you are alienated from them and you are saying that God makes different classes and different categories of persons. In our schools we need to have enough guidance.
We need to have persons who love boys and girls, who have time enough to develop their potentialities and we must contribute money to an educational system so that every boy and girl will have a chance to develop his potentiality. Let me close the statement of faith by saying this and making this strong appeal. We Jews are everlastingly grateful to God for giving the Covenant of Sinai to us and through us to the world. We are everlastingly grateful to Him that He brought us out of a wilderness into the Promised Land.
And we are reminded again and again of a first commandment; I am the Lord, thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt
, out of a house of bondage. And we are reminded in the Bible to remember a stranger within thy gate, for thou too, who art a stranger in the land of Egypt
. Speaking as an individual layman, I do not see how a Jew can believe in God, can take him seriously and not be concerned with a lot of his brothers, regardless of creed or color. Christians ask for God’s grace. Christians are grateful for Christ
’s death on the cross and Christians know that Christ
died for all men, not for men of a particular color.
If we come to God in prayer, if Christians come to Christ in prayer, in time of sickness and time of temptation and time of need, should we not then, out of gratitude and our thanksgiving and out of love, embrace our brothers, our fellow Americans, as sons of God, as brothers under Him, only will we make God the Lord of our lives and dedicate our soul, our whole selves to him, our bodies, our minds and our souls, can we ever establish brotherhood in America.
I hope this day, this October 28th will be marked not only by an impressive and orderly demonstration in the capitol city, but I hope that all of the length and the breadth of the land, millions of Americans of every color and of every creed will re-dedicate their lives to God and will crown him Lord of all their being. Thank you.
Mr. Lewis Fox being interviewed by representatives of ERN station WSCH in Hartford, Connecticut
and we’ll be jumping back and forth to member stations of the ERN throughout the evening to bring you the feelings of how this march went as viewed from their respective cities. Of course the biggest problem right now in this capital city of Washington, DC
is how to get these 200,000 people away from the Lincoln Memorial
, back to their train and the proper train, by the way, and out of town.
We just had a report from our representative down at Police Headquarters
where all of this traffic movement is being correlated. It now turns out that there are 13,000 people in the concourse at Union Station
in Washington, DC
. This is just several blocks away from the capitol building, right in the heart of Washington
. The first train did depart from Washington
right on time at 5:10.
The next train at roughly forty minutes from now, at 6:20 daylight savings time, will be leaving for New York and because of the crushing crowds there, the 13,000, the gates are being opened early so that some of these people can file into their train cars, be seated, get off their weary feet and be ready to move out at 6:20 when the train is scheduled to depart. As of 4:55, the southbound lane of Memorial bridge which leads right into the back of Lincoln Memorial
has been opened to traffic to help get some of the people out of town who have been traveling by cars and were lucky enough to find a parking place.
You’ll remember that Washington
police ask everybody who was driving private cars to please park outside the city limits. Some people did get in early, of course, as did some of our men with cars. These people can now live the southbound lane. It hasn’t been estimated yet when the northbound lane coming into town will be opened on this memorial bridge. From 75 to 100 buses have now left Washington
without police escorts.
Again, let us remind you that police departments in Montgomery County
and in Washington, DC
and the park police going out the Baltimore Parkway, have set up pools of people and motorcycle men to escort these buses, to get them out of the city traffic and on their way. Well so far, 75 to 100 have left on their own accord and evidently are making it okay. To quote the police department, "everything is running smoothly." We now have a report from our site by the reflecting pool and this is an interview with Dick Gregory
and we’ll call on our reporter there, Cal Nossiter.