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The Fair Housing Committee of Wichita's Statement of Conscience

 

LET'S BREAK THE COLOR WALL

The Berlin wall, which separates fellow citizens from one another, is known through the free world as the wall of shame. Yet in Wichita we have our own wall which encloses 20,000 of our fellow citizens because of race and color. There is an invisible but real wall of residential restriction in northeast Wichita beyond which our Negro citizens cannot move.

Today, if a qualified Negro buyer wishes to buy a home in another area of the city, it is virtually impossible for him to find a real estate agent to show him a house or a mortgaging agency to grant him a loan. If he wishes to rent living quarters he fares no better.

The real estate agent, the lending agent, the rental agent all put the responsibility squarely where they believe it to lie. They say that white citizens of Wichita are not ready to accept integrated housing. Therefore, it is up to us as individual citizens to demonstrate that we are not willing to be accused of Jim-crowism.

We want to break down the color wall. We want all citizens in our city to have the freedom to move and live in areas of their own choosing. We want to open up the neighborhoods all over the city for any qualified resident. To show that our words are sincere, we have signed the following:

 

STATEMENT OF CONSCIENCE

WE WISH TO MAKE A DECLARATION OF OUR BELIEF IN THE PRINCIPLES OF EQUAUTY VITAL TO AMERICAN LIFE. WE BELIEVE THAT WITCHITA, THE ALL-AIVJERICA CITY, SHOULD HAVE OPEN OCCUPANCY IN HOUSING. IN SIGNING THIS STATEMENT, EACH OF US DECLARES THAT NO QUALIFICATIONS ABOUT RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN OUGHT TO BE APPLIED, NOR SO FAR AS WE ARE CONCERNED WILL BE APPLIED TO PROSPECTIVE RESIDENTS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.