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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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Randolph and George Meany here when A. Philip Randolph was setting up his Negro American Labor Council, and George Meany was objecting to this they had this quarrel. I believe it was the floor of an annual convention of AFL-CIO. Afterwards when asked, A. Philip Randolph said, “George Meany is not a racist.” I was just wondering what's your reaction to these charges that Ronald Reagan is a racist, or would he, in the context of A. Philip Randolph's talking about George Meany not be a racist although he says--he makes expressions that have the effect of being racist?


Well, I'm going to say to you that the term racist is a term which I rarely, if ever, use. I'm more concerned describing what people do, and comparing what they would do in one set of circumstances that involved blacks, and similar circumstances that involved whites and seeing the extent to which there are clear differences. For example, if the Polish government had killed hundreds of dissident Poles, this government would have been screaming for some change or modification. It would have used all of its propagandistic resources to let our people know what a devilish, dehumanizing, unacceptable behavior this would be on the part of the government. As far as I know, this has not happened in Poland. Whatever controls or restraints the government has used against dissidents have not been of the form of killing and cruelties. Now, this is a distinction. Black lives are not considered as valuable or important as white lives.

The same government, ours, that imposed sanctions and blockades and what not, in regard to Nicaragua has been reluctant to approach

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