Chula Vista Star-News - 08/08/1963
'No Racial Problems'
We watched with considerable interest the ruckus in National City recently over whether to establish a human relations commission, similar to those being established all over the nation to help reconcile racial problems.
After much back-and-fourth between rival politicians who claim to be spokesmen for the Mexican-American community, the proposal was shelved, at least temporarily.
Because one political faction facored it, another opposed it. One opponent, apparently blind to the poverty and joblessness of his own people compared with the white community, blithely claimed that in cities where such commissions have been set up, Mexican-Americans have lost jobs to make way for lowly Negroes. Such is the narrowness of a certain breed of politician, and not necessarily from minority groups either.
WE WERE sort of sorry that such a commission wasn't formed, because we understand these commissions have done much good elsewhere. But what interested us most of all was the statement by one opponent that in National City there are no racial problems.
This is a statement we've heard often, not only concerning National City, but Chula Vista and Imperial Beach and San Diego. And it is true, if by 'problems' we mean the race riots and marches and demonstrations that have been going on all over the nation from a people who were brought to this country in chains, who suffered for centuries the ignominy and cruelties of slavery and who, a century after they were ostensibly freed, justly are fed up with being considered second-class citizens.
No, we have no such problems now in our area. We hope we never do. But we have problems. And the best way to make sure we don't have the other kind of problems is to make sure that the problems we have are overcome before they ignite.
WE HAVE PROBLEMS as long as t here is such a wide disparity in the unemployment rate of Negro (and Mexican-American) and white, because our minority citizens just don't have an equal chance at many jobs.
We have problems as long as the conditions exist which breed a sense of hopelessness and lack of self-respect among minority groups .. conditions which can cause the crime rate, the drug addiction rate, the school dropout rate, the illigitimacy rate to be many times that for minority groups than for whites.
We have problems as long as our minority groups are largely ghettoized ... as long as a person is denied the right tow own a home where he wants because of his racial origin or skin color ... as long as a Negro trailer owner has to file suit against four South Bay trailer parks to get accommodations ... as long as a Negro golfer, participating in a county (i.e., tax-supported) tournament in Chula Vista's San Diego Country Club, was informed that he could not use the club's facilities, an incident reported in a Negro newspaper last week.
We have problems as long as we pre-judge people by their skin color or religion or ancestry, not by their character.
And the problem is not only economic .. not only political ... it is not only a matter of intelligent self-interest for our nation to exorcise the cancer of discrimination which should have been exorcised decades ago ... but it is also a problems of the community conscience. Discrimination is all around us, and it is not fair, not just, not moral, and not right.
For these reasons, we would like to see the full force of community opinion brought to bear on those who will not give their fellow man a fair chance.