Placing a Bust of Clarence Mitchell, Jr. in the Rotunda of the United States Congress
WHEREAS, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., as director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and legislative chairman of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights from 1950 to 1978, led the NAACP mission in Washington for leadership by the President in the struggle for passage of civil rights laws by Congress; and
WHEREAS, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., in seeking to keep the idea of the wartime Fair Employment Practice Committee alive, got presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson to issue executive orders barring racial discrimination in employment by the government and by private companies holding government contracts; and
WHEREAS, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., led in developing and executing the strategy that won passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Acts, which, as the first such measure passed by Congress in 82 years, broke the psychological barrier to the passage of such legislation; and
WHEREAS, in seeking stronger and broader civil rights laws, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., continued in his unflagging devotion to this struggle and won passage of the 1960 Civil Rights Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act; and
WHEREAS, following enactment of the landmark civil rights laws, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., led the struggle for passage of strengthening measures to further assure protection of the constitutional rights of African Americans, women, and other minorities suffering discrimination; and
WHEREAS, passage of the civil rights laws further helped to affirm the basis for adoption of other constructive national policies by the Executive Branch for the protection of civil rights; and
WHEREAS, a central part of the mission of Clarence Mitchell, Jr., as the lobbyist for the civil rights movement, was blocking passage of legislation that was harmful to African Americans; and
WHEREAS, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., firmly established the NAACP's presence in Congress as the leader of the struggle for civil rights laws by testifying at least 180 times before congressional committees in the quest for civil rights laws between 1946 and 1978, when he was employed by the Association; and
WHEREAS, in 1969, the NAACP expressed its appreciation to Clarence Mitchell, Jr., for his dedicated service and leadership of the civil rights struggle by awarding him its 541 Spingarn Medal; and
WHEREAS, President Johnson publicly acknowledged the unparalleled contributions Clarence Mitchell, Jr., as a civil rights lobbyist, by noting in 1968 that, "he didn't have the highest title in the room, but all in all he had forced down my door more than any other person"; and
WHEREAS, in 1980, President Jimmy Carter awarded Clarence Mitchell, Jr., the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which read:
Clarence Mitchell, Jr., for decades waged in the halls of Congress a stubborn, resourceful and historic campaign for social justice. The integrity of this "10151" senator" earned him the respect of friends and adversaries alike. His brilliant advocacy helped translate into law the protests and aspirations of millions consigned for too long to second-class citizenship. The hard-won fruits of his labors have made America a better and stronger nation.
WHEREAS, upon his death in 1984, Senator Howard Baker, Jr., eulogized Clarence Mitchell, Jr., on the floor accordingly: "In those days, Clarence Mitchell was called the 101st senator, but those of us who served here then knew full well that this magnificent lion in the lobby was a great deal more influential than most of us with seats in the chamber"; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People call upon the Congress of the United States of America to accord this giant of the modern civil rights movement national recognition of his historical role in ensuring that the Legislative Branch join the Judicial and Executive Branches of Government in providing protections for the constitutional rights of African Americans and all others suffering denials of their civil rights by having made and placing a bust of Clarence Mitchell, Jr., in the United States Capitol Building.