VOICE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
The National Federation of the Blind is not an organization speaking for the blind--it is the blind speaking for themselves
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, Calif.
OCTOBER ISSUE 1960
THE BRAILLE MONITOR
Published monthly in Braille and distributed free to the blind by the National Federation of the Blind, 329 Insurance Exchange Building, Des Moines 9, Iowa.
Inkprint edition produced and distributed by the National Federation of the Blind, 2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California. Subscription rate-- $3.00 per year.
EDITOR: KENNETH JERNIGAN, 329 Insurance Exchange Building, Des Moines 9, Iowa.
News items should be addressed to the Editor. Changes of address and subscriptions should be sent to the Berkeley headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
On the Washington Front
by John Nagle
Proposed Earned Income Statute and Definition
Statement by Senator Hartke on New Exempt Earnings Provision
"Right to Know" Advocate Passes
Here and There
From Our Readers
Round-Up of Free Press Agitation
George Card Resigns from NFB Staff
This issue of the Monitor was prepared at the Berkeley office of the NFB. The next issue of the Monitor will be prepared in the Des Moines office by the new editor, Mr. Kenneth Jernigan.
by John Nagle
The 86th Congress is now history!
The members of Congress have all left Washington and returned to their states and districts to campaign for re-election.
All of the representatives and more than one-third of the senators are faced with a common problem, whether Democratic or Republican: the problem of convincing their constituents that they should be sent back to Washington for another term of office.
What have the three sessions (two regular and one special) of this Congress meant to the members of the National Federation of the Blind, and to the blind people of America?
Of course you are all familiar with our clear-cut legislative achievements: the enactment, as a part of the Social Security Amendments of 1960, of the earned income exemption increase provision of the King-Hartke bill, so that now blind aid recipients will have disregarded from meeting their needs, not $50 of their monthly earned income, but $85 plus 50% of their monthly earned income; the extension of the Missouri-Pennsylvania state aid to the blind "cut-off" date for three years, to June 30, 1964; and the elimination of the age 50 eligibility requirement for the establishment of the right to receive disability insurance cash benefits.
These are all legislative victories for the Federation, the result of our determined efforts. But we of the Federation also have other achievements, other gains made in the 86th Congress; and though they are not as spectacular as the transformation of legislative bills into Federal law, they are, nevertheless, of great and far-reaching importance.
Throughout the two years of the 86th Congress, many Federationists appeared before congressional committees-- and not only were they heard, they were listened to with attention and respect.
First of all, 24 blind Federation members told the members of the Subcommittee on Special Education of the House Committee on Education and Labor about our organization, its goals and its functions, its surveys and its accomplishments, as they testified in support of our "right to organize" bills.
And when this same body of Congress conducted hearings in various parts of the country to gather information about the real needs of America's disabled citizens, many more of our members, headed by Dr. tenBroek, appeared and presented the views of the organized blind regarding the unmet needs of the blind.
The Subcommittee on Administration of the Social Security Laws held hearings on the operations of the disability insurance program of the Social Security Act; and I prepared and presented testimony which enumerated the shortcomings of this program. Following the hearing, the report issued by the Subcommittee took note of two issues I had raised in my testimony.
Then, Dr. tenBroek appeared before the Subcommittee on Labor Standards of the House Committee on Education and Labor in support of our bill to establish a minimum wage in sheltered workshops for blind employees. This gave the Federation, through its president, the opportunity to make known our views regarding sheltered workshops and their function as places providing employment, job training and rehabilitation.
When the Senate Finance Committee held hearings on social security matters, I appeared before it on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind, and gave arguments in support of the Hartke amendment: the earned income exemption increase provision of the King-Hartke bill.
Following the hearings, the Finance Committee published a report in which it stated in part: "The committee was impressed with the evidence presented during the hearings that people receiving assistance through aid to the blind programs desire an increase in the present earnings exemption so that they will have a greater opportunity to work toward self-support. ..." And it adopted the Hartke amendment!
During the course of the 86th Congress, some 68 congressmen introduced 74 Federation- ponsored or Federation- upported bills, many of them similar in nature. Several congressmen introduced more than one of our bills. The Honorable Walter S. Baring of Nevada, for example, introduced three: H. R. 14, the original "right to organize" bill; H. R. 30, the "residence" bill; and H. R. 9801, our "minimum wage" bill.
A total of 55 names of senators appeared on the five Federation bills introduced into the Senate, and these 55 names represented 45 different senators. Some senators introduced or co-sponsored the introduction of more than one bill.
In the course of my efforts to promote our legislation, I called upon and talked with more than 150 representatives and all 100 senators or their staff assistants--and visited some offices many times as the 86th Congress approached adjournment and various issues came closer to a vote, and a legislative decision.
Finally, judging from reports, members and friends of the Federation sent thousands of letters and telegrams to members of Congress, and some of our members talked with their representatives and senators about our bills before Congress.
Yes, we of the organized blind movement can count many gains in the 86th Congress--and not the least of these is that we were heard and listened to as we proclaimed our philosophy and our beliefs. We were heard and listened to by many men in high places, among them the men who make the country's laws, and because of this, we are closer today to the realization of our goals: those of security, equality and opportunity for all who are blind!
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Now that the NFB has gained the objective of the new liberalized earned income provision enacted by Congress (see story above), the next step for all state affiliates and members is to secure its immediate implementation in the laws and regulations of the states governing Aid to the Blind.
Accordingly, with the help of experts who prefer to remain anonymous, the NFB has prepared a draft statute whose enactment would make the implementation of the new provision immediate and automatic. Without such special action, in most of the states, eligible blind recipients of public assistance will be forced to wait until the new exempt earnings provision becomes mandatory on July 1, 1962.
It was just such a statute as that set forth below which, enacted in 1947, permitted California to give immediate effect to the original $50 exemption on October 1, 1950--and which will now enable the same state to effectuate the new provision on October 1, 1960.
Also set forth below for the guidance of affiliates are a definition of exempt earned income, a definition of net income, and material useful in the determination of attainment of self-support.
Implementing the Exempt Income Provision in Title X.
I. The Statute:
It is suggested that a statute be enacted which would permit the immediate passing on to recipients by each state of any increases in exempt income permitted by the Federal Government. Such a statute might read:
For the purposes of Section (income section of statute), earnings of an applicant or recipient shall not be deemed income or resources of the applicant/recipient, and shall not be deducted from the amount of aid to which the applicant/recipient would otherwise be entitled.
This section shall become operative if and when amendments to the federal statutes or rules and regulations of the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare take effect permitting this State to give effect to this section without thereby rendering this State ineligible to receive federal grants-in-aid for assistance or aid to the blind of this State.
It is suggested that the following pertinent regulations be promulgated to give full effect to the exempt income provision:
1. Definition of exempt earned income.
Exempt earned income is net income to and including $85 a month, plus 50% of any net income in excess of $85 a month, received as wages, salary, commissions, or profit from activities such as business enterprise, farming, etc., in which the applicant/recipient is engaged as a self-employed individual or as an employee. It includes earnings over a period of time for which settlement is made at one given time, as in the instance of the sale of farm crops, livestock, or poultry (other than the sale of an entire holding).
If earned income is received in a lump sum payment for services rendered over a period of more than one month, a sum up to $85 plus 50% of the sum in excess of $85 (depending on the amount of other exempt income which may have been received) multiplied by the number of months during which the lump sum income was earned shall be exempt from consideration.
Returns from personal or real property holdings, such as the net income from rental of rooms, from purveying of board and room, from crops or livestock, etc., is considered earned income if such returns result from an appreciable and continuous effort on the part of the applicant or recipient.
2. Definition of net income.
Net income from wages, salaries or commissions is the amount remaining after subtracting all required deductions and expenses incurred in the securing and retention of employment. Net income from property, produce, or business enterprises is determined by deducting from gross income all normal items of expense incident to its receipt.
3. Determination of attainment of self-support.
The recipient is entitled to receive the maximum amount of aid each month and retain net earned income up to $85. If a person has net earned income of more than $85 in a given month, one-half of any such income is exempt and the balance is considered in determining the grant.
Aid for an otherwise eligible recipient shall continue until the recipient becomes self-supporting. Any determination that the objectives of a plan for self-support have been realized shall be made on the basis of the particular circumstances involved with due regard for the necessity of continuing grants of aid until self-support has been fully achieved.
Self-support is considered to have been achieved if the recipient's earning pattern over a reasonable period of time demonstrates average earnings which are sufficient for self-support and which are likely to continue. For the purpose of determining whether a person has achieved self-support, monthly net income of a recipient shall be computed without deduction of any community property interest of a spouse in the income, since self-support for a recipient of aid to the blind means support for the recipient personally and does not include allowance for the needs of members of his family.
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(Editor's note: Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana, who introduced the increased exempt earnings provision and fought it through to its successful enactment in the upper chamber, submitted an exceptionally clear and forthright statement on the issue just prior to passage of the bill. His statement is herewith reprinted from the Congressional Record of August 23, 1960.)
"Among the social security amendments approved by the Finance Committee is an amendment I introduced to help the blind. A man who loses his sight when he is 25 years of age--or 35 or 45--should not be on public assistance for the rest of his life.
"A man who is still in his working years, who becomes blind, does not have to be on public assistance the rest of his life. He should be working and earning his own living. Many blind men and women today are doing just this-- providing for themselves and their families, contributing to their community life, strengthening the economy of the Nation.
"A man who becomes blind may have to accept the help of public assistance temporarily to feed himself and his family--but this help needs to be only temporary if it is geared to assist him to work his way off public assistance and into economic self-sufficiency. In 1950, the Congress recognized that blind [aid] recipients did not have to be permanent public charges, by including in title X, the Aid to the Blind title of the Social Security Act, the earned income exemption concept.
"This concept brought rehabilitation into the Federal-State blind aid programs. It provided that a blind person receiving aid could earn up to $50 a month--up to $12 a week--without having these earnings used to reduce the amount he received during that period from public assistance; if he earned, not $50 in a month, but $75, then the $25 excess over the exempted amount would be used to diminish his public assistance check.
"This put rehabilitation into the public assistance for the blind--and it was a fine, a magnificent action--it was government help of the highest caliber, a help to disadvantaged men and women who had the spirit the determination and the willingness to rebuild their lives--but couldn't do it alone.
"Ten years have changed very much the value of $50 and the action taken by the Congress in 1950 has become meaningless as the value of $50 has shrunk to a mere shadow in purchasing power.
"I believed there was need to bring the action of 1950 up to date--to bring the rehabilitation principle incorporated into the aid to the blind title in 1950 up to date--to make it commensurate with today's values, with today's needs.
"I therefore proposed an amendment to title X of the Social Security Act, which would change the present $600 annual earned income exemption for blind aid recipients to $1,000 a year plus 50% of income in excess of this amount. I am gratified that it was accepted by the Senate Finance Committee and that it is included in the pending bill. This is not a grab bag for the blind.
"This provision does not mean that a blind person may earn $100,000 a year and still draw public assistance. It does not mean that a limit should be placed on the earnings of a blind aid recipient so as to be sure that this can't and won't happen. It can't, and won't happen with the amendment as I have proposed it--as it was adopted by the Finance Committee.
"Let me give you an example: A blind man applies for public assistance and it is determined by the authorities that he has need for $75 a month or $900 a year to meet his basic needs. This man has a newsstand and he earns, let us say, $1,400 a year; according to my amendment the first $1,000 of this man's earnings would be exempt-- exempt from being used to meet his basic needs; 50% of the balance or $200 of his earnings would also be exempt; this would leave $200 of his earnings not exempt and this amount would then be used to meet his basic needs to reduce his public assistance grant--so that he would receive not $900 public assistance but $700; and with each additional dollar of his earnings 50 cents will be used to reduce his public assistance check. When this man's income from his newsstand amounts to $2,800 a year he will receive no public assistance at all.
"So, instead of public assistance merely helping to feed this man, it is so structured by my amendment as to help him to eventually escape from public assistance.
"And, I use the word 'escape' with the knowledge that as of April, 1960, the average blind aid check for 107, 787 blind persons was $72.42 a month.
"Last week, we declared by action of this Chamber that a man has a minimum need of $1.25 an hour and should receive it. What of the blind aid recipient? He has the same needs; he too must eat, must pay rent, and buy clothes --and he must make these purchases at the same stores used by everyone else. How does he make these purchases? He does it all--or more than 100,000 of them do--on a current monthly average of $72.42, or an average of $18.10 a week or, figuring it on a 40-hour-week basis, the blind aid recipient has an a average hourly income of $0.45 to pay all his living costs.
"I do not set forth these figures as an argument for increased public assistance funds; I state them so that all will understand why blind men and women who are on public assistance want and need release from public assistance, want and need the opportunity to get off public assistance.
"My amendment gives them this chance--to work their way from dependence upon public aid to economic independence; it provides a means, it provides a gradual transition from complete reliance upon public funds, to complete independence of public funds.
"I urge that my amendment be allowed to remain in the form in which I submitted it. There is no need for controls, or limitations on a blind man's earnings--the blind person's own initiative will in itself be a control, his own ambitions a limitation--for as his earnings increase, his public aid will decrease until one happy day, one wonderful day, the blind worker will discover he is again his own man, free of public aid, free because he has earned his freedom through his own efforts."
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Senator Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., of Missouri, a long-time staunch supporter of Federation causes, died in August. Senator Hennings was a particularly strong advocate of our "right to know" legislation--securing the right of blind clients of public services to full information regarding the policies and regulations of government in the fields of social security and welfare. His influential role on the Senate Judiciary Committee will be much missed.
At its Miami convention last July, the NFB unanimously approved a resolution urging the passage by Congress of legislation to break through the mantle of secrecy cloaking the operations and hearings procedures of governmental agencies. In particular, this legislation (embodied in Senate Bill S. 2780) would make available to blind claimants of disability benefits and other social security, information now withheld regarding agency rules, orders and decisions governing their eligibility. The resolution as passed by the convention stated:
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind has long recognized the need of the public for more information about the rules, regulations and procedures of federal agencies; and
WHEREAS, 5 U.S.C. section 1002, known as the Federal Administrative Procedures Act, has been cited by many federal agencies as the authority for withholding much information from the public; and
WHEREAS, section 1002 contains numerous phrases which are vague and ambiguous, such as--
"any function... requiring secrecy in the public interest,"
"any matter relating solely to the internal management of an agency,"
"required for good cause to be held confidential,"
"matters of official record,"
"information held confidential for good cause,"
and these phrases have been interpreted by secrecy-minded officials as an excuse for withholding much-needed information to which voters and taxpayers should have access; and
WHEREAS, S. 2780, introduced by Senator Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., is a bill designed to eliminate the withholding of information from the public by federal agencies when the revealing of such information will not endanger the security of the United States; and
WHEREAS, S. 2780 is designed to clarify section 1002 and thus make it a declaration of the right of the public to have information, rather than an authorization for withholding information, by amending section 1002 of the Act; and
WHEREAS, S. 2780 would permit the withholding of information only when such information is specifically exempt from disclosure by statute, required to be kept secret in the protection of the national security, submitted in confidence pursuant to statute or published rule, or of such a nature that disclosure would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind, in Convention assembled at Miami, Florida, this 3rd day of July, 1960,
THAT the officers and staff of the National Federation of the Blind are directed diligently to seek the passage into law of S. 2780 and similar legislation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers and staff of the National Federation of the Blind are instructed to seek any amendments that might be necessary to make such provisions applicable to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Senator Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., is commended for his alertness in seeking to protect the constitutional rights of the American public.
Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and its Constitutional Rights Sub-committee, recently wrote to Dr. Jacobus tenBroek, NFB president, expressing full support of the objectives of the "right to know" bill and his hope that "prompt action" will be taken by Congress "to secure enactment of this Bill which would require Federal agencies to publish statements of their organization and general policy, their rules of procedure, their rules relating to availability of information, and to make available their orders and opinions."
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From the Montana Observer: "It appears that there are a number of blind people in the Lewistown area who are becoming enthusiastic supporters and we are looking forward to the formation of a new chapter there.... Mr. L. Ernest Parmer, principal of the blind division of the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, has resigned his position in Idaho to become director of the Kansas School for the Blind."
The Washington State White Cane reports that Florence Grannis, who has served in the Seattle Library for the Blind for the past eight years, is transferring to Des Moines, Iowa, to establish a new regional library for the blind in that city.
From the California Council Bulletin: "Miss Delores Allado, blind teacher in the Napa, California, public high school, has been elected president of the Napa County Club, an affiliate of the CCB.... The employment committee of our San Francisco chapter has laid the groundwork for the finding of jobs for more blind people. In a meeting with Mayor George Christopher, the committee's purpose was outlined and the mayor gave his immediate and wholehearted support. The committee chairman, Dick Murphy, has a letter from the mayor, addressed to all employers, strongly endorsing the committee's work and urging their full cooperation. Mayor Christopher also wrote a letter to the head of the City Civil Service Commission, Mr. Grubb. Mr. Grubb met with the committee and gave assurances that he would work to break down the barriers keeping blind persons from becoming city employees."
From the Hoosier Star-Light: "Glenn R. Reynolds... has been named chief of vocational rehabilitation in the Indiana Agency for the Blind by Howard C. Carroll, director of the agency. ... He had spent ten years with the U.S. Employment Service in Indianapolis, specializing in the employment of the physically handicapped. ... He plans to spend as much time as possible in the field with the counseling staff.... John Richardson, Indianapolis, ascended to the presidency of the Indiana Association of Workers for the Blind during that organization's 38th annual state convention in Evansville, July 13-15.... The IAWB has retained the services of a professional fundraiser, whose job it will be to raise approximately $2, 00, 00 needed to build a home for indigent, aged and multiply handicapped blind persons. Wabash is the proposed site of the home and ten acres have been purchased there."
From the New York Eyecatcher: ...New chapter presidents reported in this issue are: Tri-City Council, Carl Zutty; Rochester chapter, Mrs. Norma Wagner; Frontier chapter, (Niagara Falls), Floyd S. Field.... "Five girl members of the Buffalo chapter--Marian Tall, Louella Wise, Elizabeth Miller, Catherine Gold and Irene Sakelis--won first place in the Gross Division at the 1960 National tournament of the ABBA with 2,629 pins.... The Rochester chapter has made its annual contribution of $25 to the Hope School in Springfield, Illinois."
From Viewpoint (United Kingdom): "The New Zealand Foundation for the Blind expects to spend $95,000 converting its talking book system from gramaphone records to tapes. The tapes are encased in steel cassettes and have a life expectancy of 20 years. A book the size of Gone with the Wind fills 60 of the present records; now it will be fitted onto one cassette, taking 20 hours reading. Once these tapes are in general use the work of the post office will be reduced by about 50%."
The 1961 appropriation for the Braille and recorded book program administered by the Library of Congress contains an increase of $91,300.
The Nevada Newsletter reports that the recent election of officers by the Northern Nevada Association of the Blind (Reno chapter) resulted in the choice of Catherine Callahan as president.
From the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin: "Eye surgery restores sight to about one person per day under California's free-to-the-needy prevention of blindness program. The state Department of Social Welfare box score: sight restored to 350 to 370 persons by cataract operations in the past 12 months; in 88% improvement was sufficient so that Aid to the Blind could be discontinued. Average cost per operation, $450; average annual cost of Aid to the Blind, about $1,300.... For the tenth consecutive month, Aid to the Blind caseloads dropped across the nation in March, Social Security figures show."
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"...The purpose of this letter is to determine whether there is a need for the recording on tape or disc of material which blind people cannot read for themselves such as: legal papers, instructions, recipes, etc. The reading would be done by prisoners wishing to help.
"If such a need exists, RITE hopes to make this service available, the only cost being that of tapes or discs used. "Your individual comments and suggestions regarding this matter will be gratefully received. Address all correspondence to:
Mr. William J. Jackson
7629 Dale Avenue Richmond Heights 17, Missouri S
pecial Projects Committee
Real Independence through Employment, Inc."
"I enjoy reading the Braille Monitor and keeping up with NFB news and I think Australia has much to learn from its example. More and more people here are reading it and it is having a real impact in this country. We kept Dr. Isabelle Grant so busy while she was here that she did not have time to glance at the pile of back Monitors which I had saved for her. Everyone was delighted to meet her and she has been a great stimulation to our members. I know that she has done a great deal of good wherever she has been. She is certainly one who gives far more than she receives as she moves around the world.
"I hope your NFB work continues to be fruitful and successful. Have a happy summer and think of us, hugging the fires and envying the States their central heating in your homes." Leah Wilson, Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia.
(A telegram): "17th chapter of Pennsylvania Federation of the Blind organized tonight, June 14, Chambersburg, embracing Franklin, Adams, and Fulton counties. Officers were installed at Hitching Post Hotel. They are: President, Turner Gillen, Lamar Hotel, Chambersburg; vice president, Mrs. Carrie W. Crunkleton, Chambesburg; secretary, Leslie Walker, Williamson; treasurer, Harold Dale, Chambersburg. I expect 18th chapter to be organized at Norristown, Montgomery County, in July." Frank Lugiano, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.
"Would you be interested in receiving tape recordings made of short stories, novels, magazine articles or anything else you may think would be interesting listening for the blind? Having had experience in the theatre for years, I feel qualified to do this type of recording. I should be happy to donate the tapes made of whatever type of subject you would choose. I also have the equipment to do this. Do let me hear from you regarding the above. ..." Mrs. James Smith, 2049 Paseo Dorado, La Jolla, California.
"...A vacancy has already occurred on the Board of Managers of our Commission for the Blind, and the State Board of Control has asked us to recommend blind people who might fill this vacancy. The Council has recommended the following: Frank J. Hall of Highlands; Norbert Cifelli of Trenton; Joseph Melillo of Newark, and myself. I am quite pleased that the Board of Control is recognizing the organized blind of the state....
"An R.C.A.-Camden record titled 'Pipe Organ Encores in Hi-Fi' has just been released. This record was made by Robert Brereton of Woodbridge, formerly of California but now one of our members. I have a copy of the record and to me it is great. ..." George E. Burck, Leonardo, New Jersey.
"...Let me take this opportunity of thanking you and your organization for putting out so informative and stimulating a magazine. Although I am not presently a member of NFB, I nevertheless enjoy hearing of your vital approach to problems common to many of us blind persons. I must state honestly that I am not always in accord with the ideas of your organization as they are expressed in the Monitor.... This does not, however, lessen my sincere hope that NFB continues to be an articulate spokesman among the blind.... As a professional social worker, working with blind persons, I am not insensitive to many of the valid criticisms your organization raises against some social agencies. On the other hand, you must try hard to see what we of the agency world are trying to do, and to report this in a manner which does not needlessly and inaccurately show our goals at cross-purposes with those of NFB. While there have been and continue to be defects in the various agency structures and functions, it must also be recognized that none is yet equipped to do the complete job we all desire." Arthur Wohl, Brooklyn, New York.
"...The Oregon Council of the Blind is refunding $200 of the greeting card money for the use of the Monitor. OCB felt that in view of the need for funds to restore the Braille Monitor to its normal size, we should make this refund..." Lydia Harris, OCB Treasurer, Medford, Oregon.
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Due to the severe space limitations which still govern the Monitor the conventions are reported in abbreviated form this month.
The Tennessee Federation of the Blind met in Knoxville on September 3 and 4. The following officers were elected: President, Miss LaVerne Humphrey, Knoxville; first vice president, Mr. Richard Wild, Chattanooga; second vice president, Mr. J. B. Jordan, Memphis; third vice president, Mr. Donald Jones, Jackson; secretary, Mrs. Richard (Helen) Wild, Chattanooga; treasurer, Miss Willette Marshall, Nashville; board member for 3 years, Mr. John Hansbro, Memphis; delegate to the Kansas City convention in 1961, Mr. Floyd Morgan, Nashville; alternate delegate, Mr. Hollis Liggett, Memphis.
The Nevada Federation of the Blind met in Ely September 16-18. The following officers were elected: President, Audrey Bascom; first vice president, K.O. Knudson; second vice president, Gar Orcutt; secretary, Gus Raepsaet; treasurer, Jim Ellis; chaplain, Julie Davis; board of directors: Catherine Callahan, Dorothy Bowring, Gar Orcutt, Jim Ellis.
The Empire State Association of the Blind met in Buffalo on September 3-5. Banquet speakers were Dr. E. L. Palmer, retired superintendent of Batavia School, and John Nagle, NFB Washington office. Among the other speakers were William Gallagher, St. Paul's Rehabilitation Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Herbert Brown, Director, Vocational Rehabilitation Service of New York State; Harry Spar, and Mr. Richterman of the Industrial Home for the Blind, Brooklyn, New York.
The Kentucky Federation of the Blind met in Louisville September 9-10. Banquet speaker was Kenneth Jernigan, Director of the Iowa State Commission for the Blind. Officers Harold Reagan, as president, and Robert Whitehead, as first vice president, were re-elected unanimously.
The newest NFB affiliate is The Capitol Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, formed in Washington, D.C., on August 18,1960. Officers elected are: President, Robert Merchant; vice president, Charles McNabb; recording secretary, George Reed; treasurer, Katherine McNabb; board members: Virginia Nagle and Carl Winterwerp.
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Despite the clear policy laid down by the majority at the 1960 NFB convention--specifically embodied in the democratically adopted decision to suspend six state affiliates and to reinstate them on condition that they cease destructive activities against the organization--those activities have not diminished but have been systematically continued and increased. The report which follows covers only the high-lights of the McDaniel faction's agitation during the month before this issue went to press. It should serve to clarify for all Federationists both the organized scope and ruinous purpose of this minority attack against their organization, its policies and its elective leadership.
"Free Press" Meets in Secrecy.
The convention of the "Free Press Association," made up of members of the McDaniel faction in the suspended states and one or two others, met at Nashville, Tennessee, over the Labor Day weekend. From the start the meeting proceeded in an atmosphere of complete secrecy and stringent control. The president of the NFB, who had earlier inquired whether he would be permitted to attend in person or by representative, was specifically excluded from the meeting, and was also refused permission to tape-record the proceedings. Those who sought admission were closely examined, sworn to secrecy, and made to pay dues to the Association before being admitted. Some who resisted or failed the examination were turned away; at least one person was thrown out. None of those who did obtain admittance was permitted to tape-record any part of the activities, or even to take notes. When one person was observed to be taking notes on the second day, the proceedings were immediately stopped and Durward McDaniel took the floor; he announced that no one except "official note-takers" had permission to write down anything of what was transpiring. All this, it should be remembered, took place at a "national" meeting of an organization--self-titled the "Free Press"--whose campaign has allegedly been based upon the denial of free expression, democracy, and minority rights within the NFB. Its atmosphere of secrecy and rigid uniformity contrasts starkly with the open conventions of the NFB--in which anyone, member or non-member, blind or sighted, is welcome; in which anyone may speak, anyone may take notes, and any member whatever his views is free to record or transcribe the activities.
Those in attendance at the Nashville convention included Durward McDaniel and Floyd Quails, Oklahoma; George Card, Wisconsin; Marie Boring, North Carolina; Earl Scharry, Maryland; A. L. Archibald, Washington, D.C.; Arthur Steward, United Workers of the Blind, Missouri; L.E. Roy, G.W. Slemons, and Ufemon Segura, Louisiana; Ned Freeman, Otis Boothe, and Ed Starr, Georgia; Dean Sumner, South Dakota; Reese Robrahn, Kansas; Juliet Bindt, California; Hollis Liggett, June Goldsmith, and several others from Tennessee.
Among the resolutions adopted by the Free Press meeting was one authorizing the formation of a separate organization, although no date was specified for its inauguration. This move was, of course, an empty gesture, since the "Free Press Association" already constitutes a permanent and separate organization complete with elected officers, an official publication, and national conventions. In another resolution the assembled members voted not to comply with any conditions which might be attached by the executive committee of the National Federation for the removal of the suspensions. Instead the representatives of the suspended states resolved to stand as a unit, with none of them to accept readmission unless all are readmitted without conditions, and with all of them committed to disaffiliate if any of their number should be expelled by the NFB.
Card Joins "Free Press" Faction.
Another development of the past month was the open enlistment of George Card in the ranks of the McDaniel faction, as an active agent committed to touring the country for purposes of attacking the national administration and agitating for the unconditional readmission of the six suspended affiliates at the 1961 convention. To this end he has been flooding the nation with letters and speeches bitterly assaulting the Federation's president, its first vice president and the new Monitor editor (Kenneth Jernigan), as well as seeking to undermine the democratically adopted policy of suspension and conditional reinstatement of the six affiliates. Card, who was relieved in August of his editorship of the Monitor and placed on a semi-retired status at reduced salary, traveled to Nashville to attend the Free Press convention, where he played an important behind-the-scenes role. He also attended the convention of the Tennessee Federation (reported below), where he delivered a blast against the NFB's leadership and the suspension action of its Miami convention. Although unable to attend the convention of our New York affiliate, the Empire State Association of the Blind, Card sent numerous letters to its president, as well as one addressed to the convention itself--which were read at both general and executive sessions by Mary Jane Hills as part of an abortive effort to force through a repudiation of the NFB policy. In these outpourings, as elsewhere, Card accused the president of the NFB of "egomania," of betrayal and conspiracy, directly threatening the convention delegates with dire consequences if they did not follow his orders, and of relieving Card himself of various of his staff duties solely for reasons of personal vengeance.
Nowhere in these communications did Card acknowledge the critical state of his health or the unmistakable deterioration of his work and relationships as factors affecting his staff position; nor did his narrative of events ever indicate that the suspension was a democratically adopted decision of the national convention as the NFB's ruling body. On the contrary he repeatedly assaulted that decision, and by implication the great majority of convention delegates, as a "cold-blooded and calculated" act of tyranny and retribution. Card has now embarked on his grand tour of the states, and has already announced his two primary objectives in a Minnesota address: (1) automatic reinstatement of all six suspended affiliates at Kansas City, without qualification or condition; and (2) "tenBroek must go." In addition, he is writing an article for the Free Press entitled "The Miami Lynching Party." After Nashville, he went to Louisville, Kentucky, to seek to convert our affiliate to the "Free Press" position.
The annual convention of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind was held at Knoxville, also over the Labor Day weekend. Its two-day sessions were marked throughout by an unusual degree of disorder and confusion created by a group opposed to the incumbent state president, Marshall Warren, as well as to the national administration. Donald Capps, the NFB's second vice president, was its lone representative at the meeting, speaking both at the Saturday afternoon and evening banquet sessions. Taking the rostrum shortly after Card's anti-administration harangue, Capps defended the actions of the Miami convention and sought to answer as many of Card's charges and mis-representations as his time permitted. Although he was frequently booed and heckled during his talk, at its conclusion Don received considerable applause from the members present.
Following its convention banquet, at which Don Capps delivered a well-received address on a non-controversial topic, the Tennessee Federation held a special business meeting which had been authorized earlier in the day, together with an unusual motion barring the meeting to all outsiders. As it turned out, the latter motion had been instigated by Marie Boring, who was present along with Durward McDaniel and George Card at opening sessions but was forced to leave early in order to attend the Nashville conclave of the "Free Press," thus leaving Don Capps as the only outsider to be excluded. A motion was passed at the meeting, by a vote of 31 to 15, to contribute $300 to the "Free Press" out of non-greeting-card funds. The delegates also passed a motion to contribute a similar amount to the Braille Monitor, the money in this case to be taken from greeting card funds. A resolution was introduced by Winfield Orrell calling for the Tennessee Federation to disaffiliate from the NFB by July 15, 1961, if all six suspended states have not been reinstated by that date; the resolution failed by a vote of 27 to 20. Another motion, which passed, stated that the Tennessee Federation would not participate in the national greeting card program after 1962, and that it would retain all money raised in Tennessee. The group also approved a resolution to appropriate $500 to George Card to assist his campaign to overturn the majority suspension decision and the national administration. In the debate surrounding these actions, the attack against the national administration was led by Orrell, who introduced most of the motions; the opposition to the Orrell faction was led by Edgar Edens.
Nashville Withdraws from Tennessee Federation.
One week following the Tennessee convention, the Nashville chapter of the state Federation, at its regular meeting, overwhelmingly adopted a resolution withdrawing from the state group and repudiating the actions of the Knoxville convention. The vote was 18 to 5, with 6 abstaining. At the same meeting, according to the official chapter report, the members were addressed by Mrs. LaVerne Humphrey, newly elected president of the Tennessee Federation, who said that she "came with the intention of telling the chapter that she was considering calling a meeting in Nashville and trying to get some of the Knoxville measures rescinded."
The complete resolution of withdrawal as approved by the Nashville chapter follows:
Resolution adopted September 10, 1960 by the Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc.:
WHEREAS, in recent years the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., has achieved considerable progress in its efforts to provide more social and economic opportunities for the Blind of the United States; and
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., is nothing more nor less than the total sum of its state affiliates and therefore draws its strength from the said affiliates; and
WHEREAS, conversely, the effectiveness of the state affiliate in its work on a state level is largely dependent on the prestige of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc.; and
WHEREAS, we do not approve the suspension of certain affiliates by the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., in its convention at Miami, neither do we subscribe to the action of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., in its recent convention at Knoxville, Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, this course of action was pursued in spite of warnings that such a course would result in the suspension or expulsion of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., by the National Federation of the Blind, Inc.; and
WHEREAS, we, the members of the Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., do not wish to be placed in a position of approving the above-mentioned actions; and
WHEREAS, there can be little doubt that the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., will be kicked out of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., not later than next July; and
WHEREAS, the Nashville Blind, Inc., is an organization chartered for the purpose of improving the general well-being of the Blind of the State; and
WHEREAS, the said Nashville Blind, Inc., is made up of members of the Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc.; and
WHEREAS, it is our belief that we can be of more service to our fellow Blind through the efforts of one organization; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., in regular meeting assembled this the 10th day of September, 1960 that this Chapter ceases to be a chapter of the said Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc.;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the said Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., petition the Nashville Blind, Inc., to assume all the activities of the said Chapter except such duties as are directly connected with the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc.;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we request the Nashville Blind, Inc., to make the necessary changes in its constitution and by-laws to carry out these petitions;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all funds and/ or assets belonging to the Nashville Chapter of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., be transferred to the Nashville Blind, Inc., but to be used for the same purpose as now provided;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to: the President of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind, Inc., each executive board member, and the headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc.
New York Convention.
At another affiliate convention staged over the Labor Day week-end, members of the Empire State Association of the Blind gathered at Buffalo, New York. On the eve of the convention, President Mary Jane Hills convened a special meeting of the Association's executive board in an attempt to push through a resolution condemning the NFB's suspension decision. Despite the reading of lengthy correspondence from George Card and Marie Boring, and the playing of unofficial tape-recordings of the Miami convention (which were of dubious parentage and still more dubious accuracy), the board members refused to endorse the "Rochester resolution" of condemnation supported by Mary Jane Hills and voted to leave the issue up to the convention. In its Sunday morning session, the convention debated at length between the Rochester resolution and a "Buffalo resolution" supporting the actions taken at Miami, which was introduced and defended by Peter Roidl. The main speakers in support of the Rochester resolution were Norma Wagner and Mary Jane Hills, who read into the record three different letters by George Card. At the conclusion of the debate the convention voted overwhelmingly to affirm the Buffalo resolution supporting the national administration and convention (the exact count was nine chapter votes for Buffalo and two votes for Rochester).
On the following morning, a motion was made and passed to clear the record of the preceding day's vote on the two resolutions. It was pointed out by Tony Parise, a member of the executive board, that since the state affiliate was a part of the National Federation no specific action was needed to express its acceptance of policies adopted by the national organization as a whole. Other members also made plain their dissatisfaction with the factional dispute forcibly injected into the state convention by Mary Jane Hills, whose efforts appeared to stem mainly from her personal loyalty to George Card.
Maryland Refuses Accounting on Funds.
Among recent events shedding light upon the intention of the suspended states not to comply with the conditions of membership is the outright refusal of the Blind Brotherhood of Maryland, Inc., to accede to the instruction of the NFB's executive committee for a full accounting of its expenditures. The executive committee action, taken at its spring 1960 meeting, was the result of evidence that earlier reports from the affiliate were of such a character as to make necessary further investigation to determine whether there had been an improper use of funds. The executive committee stipulated at the same meeting that there should be no disbursement of the state's share of greeting card receipts to Maryland until a satisfactory accounting had been received. The Code of Affiliate Standards of 1955 states in this regard: "Each affiliate must maintain an adequate record of publicly contributed funds, and must be able to account for the expenditure of such funds in accordance with the stated purposes given in the solicitation of such funds." The accounting requested of Maryland has not been provided, nor was the executive committee's demand acknowledged by the affiliate's officers until August. Meanwhile, the Blind Brotherhood of Maryland was suspended on July 3 by the Miami convention of the NFB. On August 24, Rosario Epsora, president of the Blind Brotherhood, informed the NFB's officers that the Brotherhood had voted in May not to comply with the executive committee stipulation and to make no accounting of its expenditure of funds. His letter made clear that this defiance of the executive committee of the National Federation and of the Code of Affiliate Standards is permanent and deliberate.
Suspended Affiliate Attempts to Alienate Congressman.
A shocking attempt to antagonize and alienate one of the NFB's chief congressional supporters, Representative Walter S. Baring of Nevada, was undertaken in August by Ned Freeman, a vice president of the Georgia Federation. His letter specifically attacked the president of the NFB, the suspension of the states constituting the McDaniel faction, the constitutional amendments adopted by the Miami convention, the refusal of the convention to approve the resolutions proposed by the minority faction, and the convention speech of Congressman Baring's administrative assistant, Tim Seward. Concerning the Seward speech, Freeman's letter stated:
"I would like particularly to call your attention to the statement made by Mr. Seward to the convention which is quoted in the August Monitor article--'It is only fair to say to you that I cannot in good conscience give you the assurance that the confidence of our office has not faltered. Not until every vestage [sic] of organized destruction within this organization can be eliminated--and not until this organization can again function under its constitution, in the true democratic way it has always operated, can I pledge to you the continued confidence, the support, and the energy that Congressman Baring has authorized me to extend in his behalf. Then and only then do I pledge to you our redoubled effort and support in the attainment of your goals.' Those of us who are familiar with Dr. tenBroek's choice of words and his unsurpassed ability to actually say one thing while appearing to say something quite different are certain that this statement was written by Dr. tenBroek himself for Mr. Seward's delivery--and that this use of your name to support this autocratic and arbitrary proceeding did not have your authorization."
Congressman Baring's reply to the Freeman letter speaks for itself--and is accordingly reprinted in full:
Mr. N.E. Freeman
"Meadows" Rt. No.3
Dear Mr. Freeman:
I read with some little interest your letter of August 20th, which principally has reference to an address made by my Administrative Assistant, Tim Seward, before the convention. I have read Seward's address and frankly the only thing he failed to say was that while my confidence in the National Federation of the Blind, per se, had recently faltered, due to receipt of a letter from North Carolina opposing legislation sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind and certain other local incidents, my confidence in Dr. Jacobus tenBroek and the solid majority he represents has never faltered. He spoke with my permission and within the authority vested in him.
As a matter of fact, I am a little flattered at your assumption that Dr. tenBroek is his ghost writer. Seward writes his own material and, if I may say so, I believe he made his meaning quite clear. His speech to me seemed completely void of double talk.
You state in your letter, "The only thing about the NFB which the reform movement wants to 'destroy' is the totalitarianism of the present administration." This effort could bear several labels, none of which within my interpretation of Constitutional Government could be construed as flattery. I understand the effort has failed and I shall continue to lend my every support to the purposes and the objectives of the organized blind and their duly elected leaders.
Walter S. Baring
Congressman for Nevada
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The resignation of George Card from his position as a staff member of the National Federation became effective in mid-September as the result of a letter to the president reaffirming his defection from the administration and his adherence to the McDaniel "Free Press" faction.
Card's defection, although long in the making, was first openly announced two weeks earlier in a letter to Dr. tenBroek setting forth his "plans for the immediate future"--plans which were indicated to be permanent and unalterable, and which included joining the McDaniel faction in its Nashville meeting and embarking upon a country-wide tour of agitation against the national administration and the policy of the national convention. At that time Card stated: "I am going to campaign to the best of my abilities in an effort to persuade the states which voted against the suspensions to stand their ground next year and to persuade at least twelve other states to join with them and to vote for reinstatement at Kansas City. I shall write many letters (always on my personal stationery) and I shall make as many personal contacts as I can. ... I am going to Nashville the latter part of this week."
Card's defection and resignation constitute the latest links in a chain of events set in motion over a year ago when he inaugurated a series of attacks upon the president, the first vice president, other staff members and close associates of the Federation. As the evidence and destructive consequences of Card's activities became unmistakable, the president ordered him as a staff employee to cease carrying them on. Instead of complying with this elementary condition of staff employment, Card broadened his attacks and redoubled his political activities. During recent months, and most conspicuously following the Miami convention, the scope of his campaign has been still further extended.
On August 20, the president informed George Card that due to the deterioration of his health and effectiveness, as well as of his personal relationships, he was to be relieved of several of his staff duties (notably the editorship of the Monitor and the supervision of greeting card mail) and placed on semi-retirement at reduced salary. Card's reply was to challenge the president's authority to carry out the transfer of staff functions, to level an attack upon him personally and upon the convention for its action in suspending six affiliates, and to disclose his plan to tour the country as the agent of the McDaniel faction's purposes. As detailed elsewhere in this issue (see article entitled "Round-Up of Free Press Agitation"), Card has since begun his tour and has visited numerous states with the now openly avowed objective of eliminating the president of the Federation and overthrowing the policy democratically adopted by the national convention.
On September 10, President tenBroek wrote to George Card answering various of his charges and clarifying his status as a staff member of the Federation. In view of Card's subsequent resignation and political itinerary, the president's letter is herewith reprinted in full:
Let me try to make a few things crystal clear. I made a similar effort last spring which apparently failed. In personal terms you cannot afford to misunderstand now.
You tell me in your letter of August 29 that I may wish to withdraw my offer to you of a changed job in the light of your avowed intention to carry on a campaign against the administration for the unconditional reinstatement of the suspended affiliates. I made no offer. I shall not withdraw any offer. In my function as president I altered your status as an employee of the Federation. You were placed on semi-retirement; your duties were adjusted. If because of this change of status and assignment of tasks or because of any other reason you wish to resign that is entirely up to you. You are free to remain as a staff member only if you comply with the established policies of the organization regarding the staff. You may not carry on a political campaign regarding the duties assigned to you as a staff member; you may not carry on a political campaign regarding the policies of the organization; you may not carry on a political campaign affecting the officers or members of the executive committee. All three of these things you are quite patently carrying on at present. Only one of them is frankly avowed in your letter to me of August 29. You must cease all such activity and cease it immediately. If you do not you will have automatically resigned your position as a staff member.
I still adhere to what I said in Omaha in 1955, Federation members who have genuine moral scruples on any point should not be subject to moral pressure. There is quite a difference, however, between a moral scruple and political shenanigans, and between a staff employee and a member or officer. I see no moral or other scruple in what you are now doing; you are simply joining a political campaign which, if it is successful, will eventually destroy the Federation.
The renewal of your campaign against the administration includes an outright fabrication. I did not, in our June 30 meeting in Miami, request you to make a statement in my support. You volunteered to make it. Moreover, you did so in the presence of a third person, so that you knew that you could not get by with your present misrepresentation. Or is this, after all, as I am convinced it is, another lapse of memory accompanying your deterioration of health? These lapses have occurred frequently in the past couple of years, and at times have been virtually complete.
You seem, indeed, to be strangely ambivalent on the subject of your own health. When the purpose is to show that you can carry on all your staff functions, you claim that your health is not a factor. At other times, you are willing to portray it in the direst terms. At Miami, you asked your wife to leave the room in order to inform Bernie Gerchen and me that you felt the end to be very near, that you were in incessant pain, and that the symptoms were occurring which the doctors had warned you to watch for. Whatever you may now wish to say about it, the objective evidences concerning the state of your health cannot be disregarded.
Your defection to the McDaniel camp is reflected not only in your personal attacks but in your faithful echo of the McDaniel doctrine concerning the suspensions. That argument holds that it is only the minority which has rights, and that those rights are unlimited, whatever the degree of internal or external wreckage they may cause. When, after years of this bickering warfare, the majority at last rose at Miami to assert its own rights and protect the Federation from further destruction, its democratic decision is held out by you to be a "mockery of fair play" and a "monstrous miscarriage of justice." There is nothing unjust or unfair in requiring members to fulfill the minimum responsibilities of their membership, and holding them to account for flagrant refusal to do so. There is no need to repeat (to you of all people) what the grounds of suspension were; they were not only recited at length in my presentation of the motions at Miami, but they have been thoroughly and painfully thrashed out for three years at our conventions and meetings, in the Monitor and Free Press, in public bulletins, open correspondence and continous discussion throughout the country. Most federationists now know them by heart.
Furthermore, as you well know, the suspension decision was not a punitive action or courtroom prosecution, to be regarded in legal terms of crime and punishment. It was simply an effort on the part of the majority to save the Federation from future destruction. It was preventive and protective rather than punitive and retributory. It was not expulsion which was voted, but only suspension. The proper judicial analogy is that of a restraining order or preliminary injunction from which the defendants are released if they can show that they are complying with proper standards. Any or all of the suspended members may be swiftly and readily readmitted to full standing whenever they are willing to abide by the indispensable conditions of membership in any democratic society. If they cannot bring themselves to do so, they are free to disaffiliate. The choice is clear, and it is theirs to make.
What choice they are making is also quite clear from their post convention conduct. The Georgia convention refused to budge an inch from the activities which had led to their suspension. Moreover, they then and there voted a $300 contribution to the Free Press Association and authorized delegates to attend its forthcoming meeting with power to join. Oklahoma voted a $500 contribution to the Free Press. The Louisiana executive committee voted to surrender the national charter. The first vice president of the Georgia Federation dispatched a letter to Congressman Baring doing everything possible to alienate him from the Federation. A Free Press meeting was called for Nashville on the Labor Day weekend. The six suspended states and one or two others were present. They voted not to comply with any conditions of readmission that may be laid down by the Federation. They made a pact that no one of them would seek or accept readmission unless all were readmitted. They voted to establish another national organization. George Card traveled to Nashville to attend the Free Press meeting and has since projected a long tour of states in league with the Free Press and to achieve their objectives.
It would be instructive to know how you explain and justify these latest factional maneuvers. Are these maneuvers "fair play" or are they such unmistakably vicious blows at the very existence of the Federation that suspension (if it were not already in effect) must seem only the gentlest of possible sanctions?
We both know that the actions and attitudes which you now see fit to disclose have long been in the making. For many-months prior to the convention you were engaged in attacking the Federation's fundraiser, in attacking its then first vice president as a ruthless and unscrupulous schemer, and in attacking me as the accomplice or dupe of both of them. These charges, which you knew to be altogether false when you spread them, were merely the weapons of a personal political campaign designed to destroy the first vice president, to bolster your own position as finance director, and to foster an image of the president as an impractical and idealistic professor utterly dependent upon the practical common sense of the finance director.
Early in 1960 I was forced to call you to task for this agitation, and to direct you as a staff employee to bring it to a halt. Instead of complying, you offered to resign from the paying part of your position. Out of consideration for your years of service, as well as for your failing health, I declined the offer. You then promptly took up the affair with a member of the executive committee and formed your league with Dave Krause, with the result that problems of staff were made the principal issue of the March meeting of the executive committee. Since then you have not only refused to discontinue your political activity but have vastly increased it and broadened the scope of your attacks.
You state in your letter that I should not have informed the convention of my decision not to remain either as president or as a member if the Federation was unable to defend itself against these attacks. That decision was a fact. Obviously it should be considered among other facts. If it is not a fact of importance to you, it is not unimportant in the minds of others. To have kept the members in the dark about it would have been the heighth of deception. It had the same relevance to the discussion as the other factual consequences of this destructive campaign bearing upon our relations with Congress, our fundraising, and our effectiveness as an organization.
In another phase of your attack upon me, you speak of a "myth" of my indispensability. I have never contributed to such a myth or believed anything of the kind; on the contrary, I shall be most happy to be relieved of the presidency whenever the majority believes that it has found a better man for the job. But in the meantime I assure you that I shall not be driven from that office by the harassment of a minority, even though you have now seen fit to join its cause.
But if I have done nothing to encourage the "myth" you mention, I confess that I have done much to build another one: the myth of George Card. Unlike you I do not now regret that action. There was then a great deal of justification for it. I would not now seek to rewrite history as it then stood. That you have ceased to be the George Card you once were makes of the earlier portrayal a myth of today or of any time since Boston.
I have, despite everything, been willing to retain you as a member of the Federation staff with the adjusted responsibilities indicated in my letter. Let me repeat, however, unequivocally that if you continue to flout the constitutional policy governing staff employment, and to carry on further the agitation you have outlined and already initiated, you will forthwith have resigned from your position. J
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