Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Feb. 24, 1964 Hon. Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Senator Senate Office Building Washington, D.C.
Dear Senator Ervin,
I understand that the Civil Rights Bill will be up for consideration in the Senate very soon. I urge you to reconsider your position and vote in favor of the bill for the following reasons:
- 1. It is not only a political, but a moral right for all citizens to be treated equally without regard to color.
- 2.A great number of responsible people know that some sort of public accommodations bill must be passed but are unable to do more on the local level. The untold number of hours spent in calling, writing, picketing and petitioning could be put to use in aiding the negro to become a more productive citizen if the law is passed.
- 3.The diminishing group of hold outs who refuse to desegregate their establishments because they fear the loss of patronage would benefit by the passage of the bill. I know from personal experience and observation that businesses most opposed to voluntary desegregation take this stand mainly on the ground that they might lose money. A federal law would put all businesses on equal footing, just as federal pure food and drug laws do.
- 4.The negro community, feeling it can no longer wait for basic rights entitled to all citizens is forced to more and more wasteful, serious, even reckless tactics.
I am certain that the example of courageous leadership on your part would inspire the confidence and support of the citizens of North Carolina. I do not think these next few years will be easy for any of us. I do feel that with this first step taken with your help, the people of North Carolina can work together to make our state a model in racial progress.
Alice W. Hollis
(Mrs. C. Carroll Hollis)