Other CORE Chapters

Mount Vernon CORE part 2
In discussing the context, the Times noted that after Hawkins of Mount Vernon CORE told the audience during the BOE meeting, "We are here to demand our rights!", a White male responded by telling her to 'go home'. Several other White males also started yelling at her. It was then Brown made his remarks.

Brown apologized half an hour later and stressed he spoke as an individual and not as a representative of CORE. It is not known if Yannantuono was Jewish or how many at the meeting were Jewish.

The New York Times noted in an article the next day that Brown had earlier in the meeting called the BOE 'degenerate and corrupt' and at a meeting the week before, 'degenerate and inept'. It also noted that several local chapters of prominent Jewish organizations denounced Brwon as did the Mount Vernon's mayor.

That Febraury 9th's coverage, though, focused mainly on the fact that Will Maslow, identified as the executive director of the American Jewish Congress, quit CORE's Board of Advisers. Because CORE had not acted fast enough or strong enough, he characterized its response to Brown's statement as "tepid and ambiguous". He therefore could not belong to a group whose "moral fiber is flabby".

While the Times reported he quit solely over CORE's response to Brown's remark, Newsday stated it was due to both the remark and CORE's response. Maslow clearly felt CORE's response as 'unsatisfactory'. Maslow was especially upset that Farmer would even consider investigating context of Brown's remarks.

Bayard Rustin, who was also on the advisory board, was quoted as saying the response was 'not strong enough' and that Brown should have automatically been fired. Jackie Robinson, the legendary baseball hero, seconded this in an Amsterdam News op-ed.

There was no mention in the op-ed or the reporting on Rustin's statements of the racist statements made by White members of the audience and BOE. The New York Times also did not mention whether Maslow had equally denounced the remarks of White audience members or the racist actions of the BOE.

The New York Times may not have known that Farmer's decision followed the CORE Rules of Action - investigate, negotiate, and (only then) action. This policy was at the foundation of CORE's philosophy and practice. While the New York Times may not have been aware of CORE's policy, Maslow and Rustin would have been.

Brown resigned just as Maslow did. Mount Vernon CORE accepted Brown's resignation but did not want it. Farmer agreed it was a good move.

A February 10 New York Times article noted that CORE called a meeting of its board of advisers which had not met in years, implying that CORE took the matter very seriously. The meeting was called in response to another telegram from another Jewish board member, David Livingston, president of the District 65 Retail, Wholesale and Department Workers Union (AFL-CIO). In condemning Brown's remarks as abominable, he urged the eradication of all taint of anti-semitism within CORE'. He goes so far as to even suggest that there should be no forgiveness which again should be seen as straying from CORE's basic philosophy: "Whoever is anti-semitic is an enemy of the Negro people. The offending member can not absolve his guilt by resigning."

The Times also reported that Farmer had released the results of his investigation. While condemning Brown with more vigor than before, he concluded that during the 'tumultuous' meeting in which several people were screaming and yelling, Brown's remark was in defense of his chairman, Isabelle Hawkins, after someone yelled, "Tell the Black son of a bitch to sit down". The article also noted no reporters or other audience members were found who heard the 'black son of a bitch' comment.

That same day, Bronx CORE came out in Brown's defense. Many in the chapter had known and worked with Brown previously. A letter from its chairman Sol Herbert to Herb Callender did not condone or justify the statement, but did state Brown should not be asked to or allowed to resign. It recommended instead Brown be reprimanded and not allowed to be the education chairman.

Herbert went one step further in noting that what happened to Brown could have happened to either one of them, a reference to Callender's treatment in the press after his citizen's arrest of New York City's mayor and subsequent targeting by NYPD's police commissioner. He also noted the potential to open up "a new avenue of attack which the White power structure will use whenever they want to remove a Black brother who is rocking their boat". This is exactly what happened the day before when Mount Vernon's mayor announced he would not 'recognize' anyone from CORE as long as Brown was a member.

>>>> Part 3<<<<