Looking Back: ‘Law and Order’ Concept Queried by Attorney

SPOKANE attorney Carl Maxey kicked off Black Week on Eastern's campus Monday with a talk in Bali Lounge built around the meaning of law and order from the time of Christ to the present. Maxey was well-received by a standing-room-only crowd and given a standing ovation at the end of his talk. Sitting behind him from the left are Al Sims,· Larry Goncalves and Art Sullivan.

SPOKANE attorney Carl Maxey kicked off Black Week on Eastern's campus Monday with a talk in Bali Lounge built around the meaning of law and order from the time of Christ to the present. Maxey was well-received by a standing-room-only crowd and given a standing ovation at the end of his talk. Sitting behind him from the left are Al Sims,· Larry Goncalves and Art Sullivan.

By The Easterner Archives

This story was originally published in the Easterner, Vol. 19, No. 24, February 5, 1969 and has not been changed except for AP style.

Carl Maxey, keynote speaker of Black Week, told students Monday ·that, as Americans, ”we must commit ourselves to the principles of the Declaration of Independence-that ‘all men are created equal’ and endowed with certain inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pur­suit of happiness.”

Speaking on the concept of law and order, the Spokane at­torney said, “Jesus Christ was killed in the name of law and order, and things haven’t changed much since then. The concept of law and order as a means of social control is not being ac­cepted anymore.”

Explaining the position of black militants Maxey told the capacity crowd that St. Augustine, H. D. Thoreau and Dr. Martin Luther King all said that a man need not respect a bad law “and the United States at one time (during the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal) agreed with them.”

“Thirteen years ago the U.S. The Supreme Court, in Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka, declared that separate schools were not in fact equal and re­quired that they be integrated with deliberate haste and instant majesty, and now 13 years later there are more segregated schools than at that time. Did law and order provide education, did it provide housing, did it provide jobs-or did it build the ghettos?”

Maxey stated the conclusion of the President’s commission on racial disorders (Kerner Report) that “we live in a racist society, separate and unequal.” He then enumerated the problems of blacks and of the poor, saying that 37 percent of American blacks are functionally illiterate, that the chance of a black per­son receiving a college education is about one half that of a white persons, that the infant mortality is higher for blacks, and the average life expectancy lower.

“Black people cannot be com­pared to those waves of immi­grants who come to our shores when most of the descendants of the slaves still bear the mark of inhumanity. Can you really blame us for fighting this bag?”

Maxey proposed a program, “a modest guide to a human so­ciety,” in which be stressed com­passion and respect for each other as human beings. A commitment to social justice, to the declaration of independence is essential to a humane society “The law to be meaningful must be just.” 

Maxey’ s program consists of an “economic bill of rights by which each American would be guaran­teed the right to full employ­ment if he were able and will­ing to work, the right to an in come above the poverty level under conditions that safeguard self respect.”

 Maxey asks that “we commit ourselves to an educational sys­tem that fosters education,” and to a compensation program for those who continue to suffer the disabling consequences of a system of slavery.

“We must believe in a humane society, by this I mean one in which the very quality of our institutions is permeated with respect for human beings.”

In introducing the first speak­er of Black Week, Jim Bill Black Student Union vice-presi­dent, stressed the importance of the lectures and discussions of the week to the students saying Black Week “should enlighten the students to the role of the black man in America.”