To the Editors:
I am writing to seek the support of your readers to help combat blatant and overt discrimination by the Mississippi Democratic Party. The 1964 Democratic National Convention promised to seat a racially representative delegation from Mississippi in 1968. In truth, the Mississippi State Democratic Party is sending a hand-picked lily-white delegation to Chicago with but two token Negro delegates, even though Negroes represent 40 percent, or 240,000, of the registered voters in the state. The Mississippi State Democratic Party has refused to adopt resolutions supporting the right of all persons without regard to race, creed, or color to participate in the Party. They have refused to adopt resolutions pledging support to the National Democratic Party. They have refused to adopt resolutions pledging support to the candidates for President and Vice President nominated by the Democratic National Convention. They have failed as well to name one Negro or liberal white to any of the committees of the State Democratic Party.
To combat this irresponsibility and to make good the promise of the Democratic National Convention of 1964, we have formed a bi-racial coalition consisting of the NAACP of Mississippi, the Freedom Democratic Party, the Prince Hall Masons, the Mississippi Teachers Association, the Mississippi AFL-CIO and the Young Democrats. Among our coordinators are Charles Evers, Hodding Carter III, and Lawrence Guyot.
The purpose of this coalition is to appear before the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on August 26 to prove discrimination by the regular Mississippi Democratic Party from the precinct level up. We will present affidavits from Negro citizens from more than 30 counties throughout the state, representing more than 20,000 Negro voters, who contend they were not allowed free participation in Mississippi State Democratic Party affairs. In addition, a number of national civil rights leaders will testify in our behalf.
As no funds are available to us from either the State or National Democratic Parties, we urgently need $30,000 to cover the cost of sending our delegation to Chicago. At a time when Negro and white liberal forces in Mississippi are just beginning to be heard, we hope your readers will help us in our fight for recognition as the one truly representative delegation of the state of Mississippi. Contributions can be sent to Loyal Democrats of Mississippi, room 402, 150 East 52nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022.
Aaron E. Henry
Loyal Democrats of Mississippi