The means may have differed, but the end was the same.
"Anyone who thinks the private sector is enough for all those institutions who don't have rich alumni and private endowments -- anyone who believes that -- is not playing with a full deck," AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland told the crowd last night at the Washington Hilton.
Kirkland was honored at the United Negro College Fund's second annual Salute to Leadership dinner, given to recognize prominent leaders and big donors.
He was one of six: Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.); Donald M. Kendall, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo; Vernon E. Jordan, former executive director of the National Urban League; Thornton W. Owen, chairman emeritus of the board of directors of Perpetual American Federal Savings and Loan Association; and singer Lou Rawls. Given Tiffany lapel pins for their contributions were honorary chairpersons Walter J. Annenberg, former ambassador to Great Britain; his wife, Leonore Annenberg, former chief of protocol; and August A. Busch III, chairman of the board and president of Anheuser-Busch Co. Inc.
Kirkland was also one of at least 25 people to take the podium before 1,500 guests at the dinner of filet mignon and kahlua ice cream bombe.
Kirkland's rebuttal was aimed at Donald Kendall, the first honoree, who left early to catch a plane for New York.
Kendall, upon receiving his plaque, told the audience, "I happen to be one that believes it is not the responsibility of our government to take care of the needs of our people. We need to get the private sector back to making money the way it was planned and to give it to institutions like the United Negro College Fund. That's what this country is all about."