The Christian Association yesterday pointed to its 99-year history of social activism in response to claims of discrimination by a radical black rights organization. CA Director Beverly Dale yesterday disputed the Uhuru Solidarity Committee's charges that the association was "blatantly anti-black" because it would not give the committee space to hold a forum. Dale said she refused the Committee space because its methods conflict with the ideals of the CA. "No group is welcome to use the CA when their behavior is abusive, intolerant or is disrespectful of people," Dale said yesterday. "They're not consistent with our ministry of wholeness, reconciliation, openness to dealing and respecting people's integrity." "What I've got is a 100-year tradition which says we have been on the cutting edge of every social issue including and especially racial issues," Dale added. Solidarity Committee members said in a letter to President Sheldon Hackney that Dale told them the committee was "banned" from the building, but that the CA director would not give specific reasons. The CA director also said the CA provides substantial grants to various black student organizations, adding that a diverse group of students attends chapel services every Wednesday night. She said the CA was the only organization on campus to publicly donate a large sum of money to last semester's fundraiser for the release of Wharton sophomore Christopher Clemente. The CA building, located at 36th Street and Locust Walk, also houses several black University affiliated organizations including The Vision -- the black student newspaper -- and the University Gospel Choir. Choir President Derick Wilson, who is head of the CA's program committee, yesterday supported the association and renounced the Solidarity Committee member's methods. "Their history has shown that they do nothing to unite the black people," Wilson said. "They're a bunch of crackpots and kooks who we wouldn't let into the building, and they're bitter." The Solidarity Committee, a predominantly white offshoot of the African Peoples' Socialist Party, gained attention this summer for organizing protests against a Korean shop owner who shot a black man who was attempting to rob him. Black Student League President Buzz Thomas said this week that he does not think the Solidarity Committee poses any threat, adding that "some of what they say [about racial issues] is very valid." But Thomas also said that he has never heard reports of the CA discriminating against minorities. Assistant to the President William Epstein said yesterday that although the committee addressed its letter to the president, Hackney can not interfere with the CA because it is not a University organization.Comments powered by Disqus
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