THE REPORT of the President's Committee on Civil Rights is grounded in several fundamental assumptions about the American people. We believe that they cherish freedom and want to see it protected and extended. We believe that they have the courage to overcome the prejudices and fears which have brought the scourge of disunity to so much of the world. We believe that they have the intelligence to come to enlightened opinions, after calm and mature consideration of a national problem.
Civil rights is such a national problem. The world is today confused by differing and often contradictory uses of the language in which free men express their ideals. It is our hope that our Report will help in the continuing rededication of our people to the historic principles which have made us great. We also hope that it will help other nations to judge our capacity for vigorous self-criticism and improvement through the normal processes of democracy.
We have done our honest best to deal with long-standing and perplexing questions. We ask only a fair hearing, and a serious discussion of our proposals in the nation's cities, towns, and hamlets. Action to implement our report can only come with the consent of the people expressed through their leaders. We believe that their decisions will be consistent with the ancient tenets of our faith: all men are brothers; and each man is his brother's keeper.
All of the members of the Committee join me in expressing our thanks to the distinguished publishing house of Simon and Schuster for making our Report widely available.
CHARLES E. WILSON, Chairman