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CONGRESSMAN HAWKINS' WEEKLY COLUMN
COSTLY BLACK - BROWN ANTAGONISM

8303 South Broadway, Suite 200
Los Angeles, California 90003
750-0260

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 18, 1972

The soaring game playing that various Latin American groups have engaged in, charging that Black Americans are realizing a larger slice of federal dollars and jobs is of utmost concern to me. The irony of this effort to compete with the costly gains of Black Americans, is that they have fallen into the trap established by interests desirous of dividing black and brown Americans. Further there appears to exist political motivation fostering this division. The two groups if united and politicized could seriously challenge either party for their betterment.

Expressions of this division and its damaging effects are apparent in federally funded programs eg. model cities, anti-poverty, compliance, education etc. Many Latin American groups are are participating in a well calculated drive for political favortism. In other words, they seem to be inferring that their political support will be forthcoming if funds designated for black communities are redirected. Further, they are pointing to federal employment gains of Black Americans to justify this job demand. In the long run this approach will be self defeating.

This problem is much more serious than most blacks realize. The vicious inter-ethnic attacks in federally funded programs and federal agencies ought to provide some idication of this. However, most black organizations seem to ignor this fact. Federally funded programs are being bombarded by boisterous demands for greater brown representation, backed by divisive tactics rather than rational and


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collective efforts. Various sutle and blatant conspiratorial actions are promoting bad will between blacks and browns. In many instances the division is causing a complete breakdown of many federal programs.

Its tragic that many Latin Americans have permitted themselves to be placed in the position of fighting with blacks for seriously inadequate federal funds. The irony of this is that the Federal Government appropriates just enough maney for services to raise hopes and desires, but also a sense of desperation. Limited funding wets the appetite but doesn't assure continued or adequate services.

Historically federal funding for socio-economic programs has been grossly inadequate. Further, the limited and disproportionate number of federal jobs provided blacks and browns invites divisive battling, browns trying to get jobs presently held by blacks, rather than demand additional jobs for browns.

Certainly the needs of Latin Americans have been severely neglected by the Federal Government. This is also true of Black Americans. But if browns seek to deflate the gains of blacks, who have struggled and sacrificed for decades for equal opportunity, the result unfortunately will be bitterness. This we cannot afford individually or collectively.

The real tragedy is that our governments moral commitment to fully meet the needs of its disadvantaged citizenry is weak. Under these circumstances the preoccupation becomes that of fighting for crumbs. However, the mission of all disadvantaged Americans, irrespective of ethnic background, should be to collectively fight for more benefits.


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We cannot afford permitting political interests to divide us; thereby limiting the impact that we can have on both political parties.

Its sad that the Federal Government has done little to provide the necessary leadership to discourage this trend. Its public response has been to declare neutrality or to disquise calculated schemes designed to destroy services eg. anti-poverty programs, claiming mismanagement. This dastard action has made already designated funds available to be funneled into brown programs.

The gains that this type of game playing allows Latin Americans is short lived and is destined to antagonize blacks, weakening a needed friendship.