Interview with C. Herbert Oliver
QUESTION 16
SAM POLLARD:

Okay. How did the struggle for community control in Ocean Hill-Brownsville come to be associated with Black anti-Semitism and ultimately what was the effect of that perception of anti-Semitism?

C. HERBERT OLIVER:

After the transfer of those students--

SAM POLLARD:

Teachers, once again.

C. HERBERT OLIVER:

Pardon me. After the transfer of those teachers and supervisory personnel, we noticed articles in certain publications labeling us as anti-Semitic, and we felt that this was unfair because we had not given any consideration to the ethnic background of any of the teachers and supervisory personnel who were transferred. But somehow that managed to stick. But as the strike in '68 in the, in the fall of '68 continued, those charges continued to, ah, to mount. And even though the Jewish teachers in the district took out a whole page ad in the New York Times saying that the district was not anti-Semitic, it did not seem to have any effect. The union however took a tract which was apparently anti-Semitic in nature, that had been written some three years earlier, and attached the name of Ralph Pointer to it. It's a young Black man from Harlem. And, ah, said that he had written this. And they circulated this all over the whole city. And that made the public perceive of us as anti-Semites and that has stuck to this day.