RACE PROBLEMS - AS THEY AFFECT THE CHURCH Address By: Elder Mark E. Petersen Given At The Convention of Teachers of ReligionOn The College Level Provo, Utah August 27, 1954(1)The discussion on civil rights, especially over the last twentyyears has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinkingof some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed theirpolitical affiliations to color their thinking to some extent, andthen, of course, they have been persuaded, by some of the argumentsthat have been put forth.It is a good thing to understand exactly what the Negro has in mindon this subject, I'll be talking about other races besides Negroes,of course, but it is the Negro question which pinpoints it, so Iwould like to talk first of all about the Negro and his civilrights. We who teach in the Church certainly must have our feet onthe ground and not be led astray by the philosophies of men on thissubject any more than any other subject.I would like to begin by quoting from an interview conducted by theUnited States News with Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., a very prominentnegro leader, and a member of the Congress of the United States. TheUnited States News published this interview in its September, 1952issue. That was before the Supreme Court decision, as you recall.Congressman Powell was asked a number of questions, and he answeredthem. The first question:Q: "The question of civil rights in connection with segregation,Congressman Powell, opens up the often-mentioned subject of socialequality, and I was wondering: What is the viewpoint of the leadersof the Negroes in this country today on the broad subject of socialequality?"A: "Of course, social equality is something that covers so manydifferent things that it would have to be defined more closely."Q. "Well, would you say that, in principle, the desire is for socialequality?"A: "No. I would say that there is a demand for social equality inall public places; any place that is operating publicly, regardlessof what its nature may be should not have the right to refuseanyone. For a club or a(2)private institution, that may be another question."