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RFK to Labor: Eliminate Race Discrimination

Mar. 9, 1963 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy appealed to organized labor today to strike race discrimination from its ranks — “and by no means only in the South.” Calling for labor’s support of the Administration’s civil rights program, Mr. Kennedy said, “We would be dishonest with ourselves if we did not admit that some discrimination continues to exist in the labor movement.” The Attorney General’s remarks were made to the Civil Rights Committee of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “There is no question,” Mr. Kennedy said, “that segregation in the South is socially, politically, and morally wrong. But there is deep-seated discrimination in the North also, and it is just as wrong. Racial discrimination is a national, not a regional problem, and it cannot be solved simply by individual instances of federal action on behalf of Freedom Riders or a single college student.” The solution, Mr. Kennedy said, “requires the hearts, the voices, the mind, and the muscle of individuals and organizations all over the country, public and private.”


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