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Dr. Bunche Criticizes Racists — Black and White

Oct. 23, 1963 - Dr. Ralph Bunche (pictured at the March on Washington in August), U.N. Under Secretary for Special Political Affairs, was sharply critical today of Negro “carriers” of the “racist virus” as well as white supremacists. In a speech in Jackson, Miss., Dr. Bunche had harsh words for Gov. Ross Barnett of Mississippi and Gov. George Wallace of Alabama. He was equally critical, however, of Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, Democrat of Manhattan, and Malcolm X, national spokesman of the Black Muslims. “I reject racists and racism, whoever and wherever they are, and whatever their color, whether the infamous so-called White Citizens Council, or the Negroes’ embracing — as the Black Muslims and Adam Powell have done — a black form of the racist virus,” Dr. Bunche asserted. “This is my country; my ancestors and I helped to build it. I say my color has nothing to do with it. I have a stake in this country, and I am determined that I and my children and their children will cash in on it. I want no one — Malcolm X or anyone else — to tell me to give up this fight because equality is unattainable and to look elsewhere — to some mythical, fanciful state of black men — for my salvation. I say that that is surrender and escapism, and I want none of it.”

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