Correcting the Record
To the Editor:
In his article, “Two for SNCC” [April], Robert Penn Warren quotes Stokely Carmichael on the subject of an article by Loren Miller, Sr., in the October 20, 1962, issue of The Nation (“Farewell to the Liberals, A Negro View”). Carmichael characterizes the article as “ridiculous” and alleges that Judge Miller, a Vice-President of the NAACP, got “hopped up with this Black Nationalism”; he implies that the article shows how everybody [was] afraid to attack Malcolm X.
These comments are not only unfair to Judge Miller, but have no relation whatever to the article he wrote. Nowhere in the article was Malcolm X mentioned, directly or indirectly, and only once was any reference made to black nationalism or a black nationalist organization. Nothing in the article supports Carmichael’s characterizations of it. . . .
The Nation article deals with the position of the present Negro leadership in the civil-rights revolution vis-à-vis the white liberal. Judge Miller variously refers to this leadership (led by King and Abernathy, et al.) as “the young Negro militants” and the “direct actionists.” (Carmichael may have misread these references as references to black nationalist movements.) Judge Miller states what he believes their positions to be, and sums up the point of the article in his last paragraph:
Their message is plain: To liberals a fond farewell, with thanks for services rendered, until you are ready to re-enlist as foot soldiers and subordinates in a Negroled, Negro-officered army under the banner of Freedom Now.
One of the more interesting points of Warren’s article was the comment by Robert Moses concerning the Negro students’ resentment of the whites (liberals?) who go into command positions in their, the Negroes’, movement. This is the essential point also of the Nation article, written by Loren Miller, Sr., in 1962; and white liberals, to which group one of the undersigned belongs, do not, even now, fully realize or accept the importance of this idea in the civil-rights movement.
David M. Rothman
Loren Miller, Jr.
Los Angeles, California