A Letter from Duke University, Durham, NC

Ervin’s Final Response to Paschal
Dr. Francis Paschal
Duke University Law School
Durham, North Carolina

Dear Francis:

I am deeply grateful to you for your letter of December 27 and the enclosed extract from your speech. This extract certainly shows that what you had to say was much “mummicked up” by the newspaper account, as we would say in the Burke County dialect.

The extract from your speech makes it crystal clear you were merely indulging in your undoubted right of fair comment.

When the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883, it put its finger squarely upon the defeat which is inherently in all the civil rights proposals now pending before the Congress. It stated in effect that Negroes ought not to be made special favorites of the law, but should be required to have their rights adjudicated by the same laws by which all other men’s rights are adjudicated. While you are at liberty to disagree with me on the point, I am constrained to say that the pending civil rights proposals and all others I have had occasion to study are allegedly designed to secure to negroes rights superior to those ever sought by or granted to any other Americans in the history of our Nation.

I cannot reconcile these proposals with the fact that all men should stand equally before the law, and that the laws should apply in like manner to all men in like circumstances.
With all kind wishes, I am

Sincerely yours,

Sam J. Ervin, Jr.


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