Draft of MLK's Public Statement Concerning SCLC Supporting Communism



Dr. King addresses the accusation in the New York Herald Tribune that some SCLC members support Communism. He also states that the SCLC has severed ties with former member Jack O'Dell, including the fundraising that had taken place in New York.

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Draft of MLK's Public Statement Concerning SCLC Supporting Communism
Transcripts & Translations


[Page 1] [Underlined: Statement of Rev[erend] Dr. M[artin] L[uther] K[ing], Jr] Yesterday, in the syndicated column of Joseph Alsop in the [Underlined: New York Herald Tribune] I learned that I was the subject of 'head' shaking over the "unhappy secret" which is worrying official Washington. it is no secret that the Administration, both under President Kennedy and later under President Johnson, is genuinely concerned over the possible infiltration of agents of the American Communist Party into certain sections of the Negro Civil Rights Movement. However, in as much as I was mentioned specifically [Crossed out:MS:as an object of concern in [thn?] by me. Alsop as an object of concern by official Washington in connection with the problem of [Crossed out:MS: communist infiltration into my organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, let me state once again at the outset the position of my organization or [the?] problem] alleged communist infiltration into my organization, [Crossed out:MS:or communist association] the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, let me state once again the [fixation?] of my organization on this question.S[Southern]C[Christian]L[Leadership]Conference is a Southern bared organization [Crossed out:MS: consisting of] under the leadership of clergyman[men] having [Illegible] with. [t?] church affiliated and community groups from various parts of the United States no person [Crossed out:MS:is] who is a member of the [Page 2] Yesterday, in the syndicated column of Joseph Alsop [Crossed out:MS:appearing] in [Underlined: The Herald Tribune] [Page 3] Circled:2] Communist Party or presently associated with [Crossed out:MS:any number of] the Communist Party [Crossed out:MS:any number of] the Communist Party[Crossed out:MS:Illegible] can hold any of the administrative or executive position in [Crossed out:MS:Illegible] [Inserted over: our] organization. if anyone within our organization [Crossed out:MS:or one deeply associated with us].. changed with [Crossed out:MS:communist membership in or secret organization association] membership in as [prevent?] organizational association with the Communist Party an objective[Crossed: out:MS:Independent and [Illegible]] and [an] independent inquiry is made of such [Crossed out:MS:changes] [Inserted Text: allegations] with strict adherence [Crossed out:MS:to[for?] to standard] to democratic standards of ]farmers?] [Underlined: Illegible:non] of a free society. A person,against whom any [which?] allegations are made is [Crossed out:MS:Illegible] given [Crossed out:MS:an] [Inserted Text: full] opportunity to explain [Illegible] any changes. Our [executive?] [Been?] thereafter, weighing all the facts and circumstances in wrh[which] a care renders a decision [Crossed out:MS: In light of the [Illegible] of such our an independent [Illegible] and the [Illegible] relevance to our non violent program of action and persuasion for civil rights] While I appreciate the underlying confidence in my integrity [Illegible] me Alsop in he's down. I must take issue with the misleading implications of some [Page 4] [Circled:3] of [Crossed out:Ms:his remarks] [Crossed out:MS:his] [Inserted over Text: the] statements made in his article [Crossed out:MS:While] Mr[.] Jack O'Dell of NYC[New York City] [Illegible] in charge of the administrative and [Crossed out:MS:techica?]] [Text outside left margin:technical by mutual [Illegible] was relieved of his responsibilities in conformity with the administrative procedures already devised. [Crossed out:MS:that any [Illegible] [organization]] [Inserted over Text: It is misleading to suggest that. I or my organization retains any continuing relationship with Mr. O'Dell or anyone else described [Illegible] Mr[.] Alsop as "a key figure in the covert expansion of the Communist Party". After the resignation of Mr. O'Dell our entire [Illegible] and administrating fund raising procedures relating therefor, in NYC[New York City], [Illegible] unattended. I therefore [Illegible] [Text outside left margin in middle: Some of my representatives [Crossed out:MS:Me[Claurice?] B. Jones] [Crossed out:MS:my attorney to] to supervise and coordinate the [Wasla?] of [Crossed out:MS:the personnel [Illegible] in the NY NYC [is?] to far] the [Illegible] personnel in our NY office until [Illegible] [Illegible] could be taken to shift [Crossed out:MS:many of O'Dell's responsibilities to our many] [Inserted above crossed out:many] of Mr. O'Dell's farmer responsibilities to our Atlanta office.[Crossed out:MS:Illegible] On carrying out [Crossed out:MS:Illegible] my request during [Crossed out:MS:Illegible] [Text outside left margin:the] transition period followingMr[.] O'Dell's termination until the [Crossed out:MS:recent history] of present,[Crossed out:MS:recent history of] present, [Crossed out: MS:Mr] [Text outside left margin:my representatives] [Crossed out:MS:[Jones?] has been] [Inserted over crossed out word 'been':where] [Illegible] to talk with Mr[.] [Page 5] O'Dell [Crossed out:MS:and any all other persons having all persons who involved with the the [sic] [nail?] and] and [Crossed out:MS:any] [Inserted Text:all] other persons involved in [Crossed out:MS:the] our nail and fund raising procedures in NYC [New York City]:
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