Nine years later: a Black panel on racism and civil rights since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Part 1 of 2)
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
I mean on golden and I was sitting at a panel. With the panelists a group of people black black people in the from the Bay Area. To speak to you tonight of the talk with you about the. The anniversary of her great man they had a vision of the assassination of a very great man. It's been exactly nine years today by the four since Martin Luther King stood on her round of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee and was assassinated to this day we are still hearing the questions around the investigation of his assassination. And since that since that time we've heard a lot of talk about the FBI and the CIA the COINTELPRO all the life on the life of Martin Luther King. Several persons will be discussing with with us tonight and on this panel for the next three hours will be discussing the death of Martin Luther King to begin the first hour I have with me in the studio. Mizuno Maxwell was director of the neighborhood house in Potrero Hill San Francisco. And there we are extremely happy to have you on the program and no thank you. And we have Joe nine and Abe run from the Black Panther Party and we also were very happy to have you with us and for them.
Glad to be here. And Gloria Davis who is the president of San Francisco blighted SCIACCA San Francisco. Thank you Gloria. Extreme haven't have you. Thanks. And last but not least our community activist Joe Mitchell who works with the California Youth Authority and the very active in education and San Francisco extremely happy to have you on the program Joe.
Yes of course you realize that good men always get introduced wrath my mouth they're my mother's affair.
However we will we will try to begin our discussion with around Everett work with all the Palace was sitting with us now a problem if you like to make a statement. I think what you have to say just in general in that little statement about what you feel is happens with the black community of black Americans is the death of Martin Luther King and in general but the US as a nation has made their worse with assassination. And anything else you'd like to put in your perspectives. Why don't we get started with you in our.
Well there's one thing I keep hoping that Dr. King's birthday will become a national holiday. Of course there are some people who say that Dr. King for all he's done calls for nothing because of the situation being what it is today.
But if you ever rode a Greyhound bus playing before the days of Dr. King with two small children looking for the sign that said Black. Well you know that Dr. King's living was not in thing. And if you were there at the March on Washington when there was over 200000 people. And nobody was arrested in Washington D.C. that day. Dr. King's living was not in vain and in Montgomery went when the young man I think of it all of the time when the young man said to him by the way the only American flag at the state capital in Montgomery Alabama that day was the one day Dr. King took with him this young man said we can't get in today but some day we will take our rightful place we will be there sittin down making the laws putting papers in the wastebasket instead of kicking them out. You know that happened that you can believe in was not in pain. And for me he will never die. He lives on and I cant. I sometimes think so clearly about Dr. King's death and. It was a strange thing. The black community was not crying for the execution of his murderer. Because I think we all feel that no one man could have executed Dr. King exactly what you know possible what the climate of the society that killed him in one man was responsible for his murder.
Then we know what we know he was well and naturally. Just was a lot of people responsible for summer and if you going to. Try and put to death the King's murder.
Well we all know about oh let's write poetry what would it be like you.
Know my thoughts. For me this is a very memorable.
And the kinds of thoughts that I have remained to him or expressed. And that and the lies about four people.
Paul Robeson for me Frederick Douglass. John Brown of course.
And William Douglas and I have a quote from William DOUGLASS I think which speaks to to what this country faces. And it says we must realize that today's establishment is the new George the Third. Whether it would continue to adhere to its tactics. We do not know if it does the redress honored interest in tradition is also revolution.
And that would be my sentiment a young man like Martin Luther King the young man when I come out comics dying and all of the lesser known young men who are dying and probably experience in that right now as we're speaking the real address isn't revolution.
Yes. Thank you Larry.
A couple things come to mind. You know when we celebrate the anniversary the assassination of Michael.
One of the things that comes to my mind is a film I saw the week of his assassination done by PBS and the film had been put together by young Blackfoot journalist working for PBS at the time. Who had been travelling with Martin Luther King for a number of weeks and was with him at the time he was assassinated. I've only seen that film once and it hasn't been publicized a great deal I suspect. One of the things I noticed is that for the first time to my knowledge Martin Luther King had started holding meetings with poor whites in Appalachian and they were discussing the the myth of white supremacy and how these poor whites had been led to believe all these years that they were somehow better than anyone who was black. And it was it reminded me of what is called inside churches testify because that's what they were doing. They were talking about how.
How much in fact they had in common and how little they had that was different from each other and that the powerlessness of poor working people was common to them all. Somehow in my head that was one of the things that made the struggle Martin Luther King had raised was a lot different than what he had done before along with of course his attacks against the war in Vietnam. And to this day I believe that it's that kind of mass organization that got started that was the last straw. As for see the Powers That Be were concerned and they had to destroy him in order to put down that kind of movement because if it had been allowed to grow I think perhaps many of us would have been better educated than we are now.
Thank you Joe Johns.
I think that certainly there's no question of the influence that Dr. King had on the Black Panther Party when Huey Newton our party leader in chief theoretician founded the party in October 1966 none of the people that he was that he had been inspired by his work. He looked to very strongly was that of a Dr. Martin Luther King. And certainly you know we would hope you know his work in the highest respect. I think that nine years later on the anniversary of his assassination we are still at a point where we don't have all the answers about who killed Dr. King. There's a committee in Washington D.C. The House Assassinations Committee which is investigating his assassination along with that of John F. Kennedy.
We still don't have all the answers there's been information that. While James Earl Ray who was convicted for killing him was in prison he was told that some business leaders and labor leaders were offering $100000 to kill Dr. King. And then I you know he was going to try to find out whether or not this was true this was prior to his escape from prison in 1967.
I think that the we can see that it's clear that the cow or structure of this country was responsible for Dr. King's assassination there's no question about that.
He was at the time of his death he had moved beyond the question of civil rights he was a sister mentioned before he was off into talking about Vietnam he was forming alliances with poor whites. He was becoming extremely dangerous to the power structure of this country which is responsible which I think it will come out eventually maybe not in Congress but he will be proved eventually that other power structure is responsible for his assassination. I think that everyone knows that it's second only to the Black Panther Party which the federal government lost a number of attacks against our party to destroy us which we will prove in the 100 million dollar lawsuit that we have filed against the FBI the CIA the IRS and other federal workers ations second only to the Grassman that our party suffered was that that was brought to bear against the civil rights movement and Dr. King a number of documents FBI comb example documents has surfaced pointing to the efforts of Hoover J Edgar Hoover who had a strong personal hatred against Dr. King who was intent on destroying feeling personally as well as discrediting the civil rights movement. So I think that we can see now years later that you know we still don't have all the answers to Dr. King's murder for the size reason that he was killed by the at the highest levels of government in this country.
Thank you we are going to get into discussion about the COINTELPRO documents and some of the activities that we have read sets about the assassination of Dr. King. I think many people have talked all day about the Dr. King's commemorative activities. You know the number of things committed commendations that he received. I'm interested in going a little bit deeper and talking about his book his ideology and where he could really move from you hit on that your nana about where he first started from and where he moved to a point of no compromising. I'm sure that after they found out that that Martin became was NOT want to compromise and we've had many leaders many black leaders who have taken just those positions no compromising positions that then they realize that it was time then that Martin Luther King must go. Are I think of him in the same room with many other black leaders but especially with the with some most recent contemporary leaders that we think of Paul Robeson was among compromises he would not compromise at any cost and thereby he too paid a very great price and all of the black leaders that we can I know all of us can think of there were leaders who were or could not compromise and they have not compromised as a result of not compromising. They had to have to be had to either to be to be kill that or my Malcolm X discredited by some means that had to be. I mean to jobs Voc. what have you had to be taken away from. Let's move with the ideology of King. Where are we I mean in describing where King was when he first started when he first started the movement.
Where do you think the king was when the initial evena movement started and to the point that you mentioned that he moved into the economics of the system which what the system is all about equal distribution of that wealth. Would it I mean where do we think you were that you think he was.
I think initially he he really you know the sort of circumstances sort of put him into a leadership role and the struggle at that time was around public accommodations.
And I I'm not sure that at the time he was was called upon by the community to to lead that struggle. He had thought a great deal beyond that at that point. I recall having the opportunity of introducing him to a group of people in my hometown I guess the year after the boycott was initiated and there was some something of a.
And he spoke at a church there and at that time his whole focus was on public accommodations eating facilities transportation facilities and that kind of thing. And I think he grew along with the times I think the people around him helped him to grow and to see beyond the business of where one is going to spend one's money but also where one is going to earn that money and how much one is going to be allowed to.
And I think part of that. So I think he grew along with the times I think I think he he aligned himself with a lot of young people and I think even younger than himself and he was a young man even at the time of his assassination but I think that contributed a great deal to his development.
Thank you Glora we've just been joined on the piano by Dr. Harry Edwards over from the University of California and we are extreme to have a have you have it.
Thank you very much. We are now discussing a discussing Martin Luther King's ideology and where he moved from we've given some general thoughts each person gave a jump thought about Martin Luther King and what you would are you prepared to do put upon. Ok honestly. OK OK.
We're discussing now what I was thinking about the day the afternoon of him Mrs. Rosa Parks just decided that I'm just too tired I'm vitiated there was no planned movement involved it was just a point to just push the individual to the point it was to no longer tolerate and she said listen I'm just too tired I'm not going to move I'm not going to move.
Not by any plan the means of strategy organizing I'm just too tired to move and I'm not going to move and the point of well you will move will be arrested and she chose the latter I'll be arrested I refuse to move. And Dr. King of course was a pastor at the time and I'm just thinking of the book kept a carious way in which that movement really got started and where he moved from the womb I want to discuss who they were.
Well I think that there's a I think that a great many things to be learned from that in terms of the situation we're in today. Many people think that movement started as a result of lots of hard backroom work and community organizing all of which is very very important in terms of social movements but the actual spark that sets the thing off many times comes totally and completely out of the blue. Exactly. And I think we have to understand that prior to Mrs. Parks being arrested there were a number of students and other young people who had been arrested but the general kind of notion was that well these are young students from the NRA thought those young kids would do anything they don't know how to live down here. But then all of a sudden this whole matronly woman was arrested her stablished into the community and so forth.
And people regal asked the extent and the depth of the degeneracy that was an intro aspect of the social structure and political. Institution in the south and people begin to move based upon that so I think they were in the same type of situation now. We never know what the incident is going to be that is going to incite again.
That's about the kind of movement that is necessary to salvage the interest of people in this life and I think that are very important Harry.
Yes yes we never know exactly that that's a very important point.
We never know exactly what's going to be the next move that will incite people to go do this and there will be no they are not able anymore to tolerate some of the things that they have tolerated and that just be just that spot to say no more that's it no more and I think that certain resonance of what Harriman and there's an arrogance I think and this is one of them that this kind of situation you will inevitably find incident after incident where it has not been a particular struggle or plan on the part of the press but the arrogance of the oppressor exam brought the situation home and I think we're into a similar kind of situation here in this country today where people are literally waiting to see the depths of the to which the degeneracy has again receded as institution after institution is leading the way back to the racists.
Sure that Dr. King and so many others sacrificed so much to bring this country out of it again and we never know what the incident is going to be exactly.
Well I don't know it seems if you were listening to my introductory statement to ban. George the Third in redress and revolution and whatnot. I grew with you. I have to say that the Martin Luther King that started off with that the blessed thing was really not my guy because I didn't then and I do not now believe in turning the other cheek.
I believe in raising a whole lot of hell if you are going to take advantage of me. Martin Luther King who was assassinated in my mind was a different Martin Luther King to the guy who was involved and the bus boycott.
And I love both of them and I especially love the the the the the range and quality of experience and and and what's the word I want and growth that I saw in him because at some point we need to stop turning the other cheek. And we need to get into this Malcolm thread. We need to get into some action.
I was wondering if anybody else were to say something about what we're talking about now in the beginning of the initial Martin Luther King and what Harris referring to about the spot and sometimes in the development of such of such a bill but you were going to say well yes I was less Let's call it a you know I mean I look at this that the development of Martin Luther King much as I look at the development of the movement itself I think it was imperative that someone would have to go through and lead people through that particular segment of this movement that is the aspect where we were conscientiously and sincerely talking about nonviolence as a viable tactic because this was supposedly a Christian society and all the rest. I think that one cannot really legitimately dislike. The child without also despising the adult and I think that that was a and age a period of development and growth that we went through that people in this country are not likely to go through again. I think it's like Jackie Robinson when he said that in 1980 when John Carlos and Tommie Smith were demonstrating at the Olympic Games I think it was Howard Cosell who called him up and said Jackie you went through it you paid the price why aren't these kids today willing to pay that same price to get you to get what what they want what they define as legitimately better than Jackie Robinson saying I'm not sure that I would pay that price and I'm alive today. But that was a period of time the athletes went through and so forth and the culmination of Jackie Robinson was the Thomas More than a culmination of Thomas Smith and John Carlos will be something else again the same thing with Martin Luther King in his early in his early days the notion of turning the other cheek of balance and so forth I think was a necessary stage of development and growth and understanding. That blacks went through whether or not they had to go through it is something else different but this is something that we went through and I think and so get to the overall thrust and development of the statement I made is one of description and one of criticism.
OK I'm I'm trying to to point to my understanding of how this guy developed. And then I salute him. OK. And I certainly will agree with you particularly around the whole issue of of athletics and whatnot. I salute you for what you have done OK. But at some point at some point the Martin Luther King. Beginning guy love him but oh I just want to do all kinds of things with the Martin Luther King was assassinated.
You know what I steal. I certainly believe in the nonviolent way. As a matter of fact I don't see any other way at this point in time for black people but the nonviolent way so long as we have to buy the off the material in which to be violent from the enemy. I don't see how we can afford to be violent but I certainly wish that black people would get tired. I wish more black people would get tired we've got an awful lot to be tired about. And as a matter of fact I think we ought to act as if we offer free. We ought to stop asking for freedom. Well my freedom.
Belongs to no one but me. Freedom is not anyone to give you. No one can give me my freedom. They don't have my freedom.
It is up to me to start exercising my freedom and to act as if I am free. If they cause me my life and I think this is what Dr. King was about he did not compromise with injustice. Because if I live or if I die I'm going to stand up and speak up for justice come what may exist and I think that's where the compromise comes is just this bottom line and stooping and continuing to tell the man give me my food every time some black person saying we are not free I imagine white people jump up and shout they just glad to hear so well is it not within you will they still have a long way to go.
We've just got to declare how long how long will we ask black people to die for freedom.
Haven't enough people died in order that we might just make a declaration of freedom and begin to act as if we are free. I think like you do evolve as Donna said. Right.
I just wanted to add one point that acne has been touched upon in terms of the development of Dr. King's ideology. But I think that we can see at the time of this death as was mentioned before he was attacking the very you know very economic structure of this country. And one of the reasons why he became so dangerous to the power structure was his whole position that he took on on the war in Vietnam.
He had begun to move up the poverty and the old pression that were being suffered by black people in this country to the billions of dollars that were being spent on Vietnam Exactly yes. And you know the power structure could not tolerate this simply because of the profound influence of the powerful organizing that Dr. King was the government the federal government realized that he started talking against the war in Vietnam and he would be able to organize a lot of people against the war and they couldn't tolerate this. And this is why they had him killed. He was working very hard on the poor people's march at the time of his assassination. And this was an effort to unite poor working white people with black people in this country something that no one had really really successfully been able to do. Had he lived he probably would have been able to do with this whole idea that. This country has systematically used poor has has has used racism as a method of keeping poor whites and blacks from working together. We have a common enemy all poor people in this country have a common enemy. But racism has been one method that has been used by the powers faction to keep us from working together.
And Dr. King was beginning to see that he was linking obvious things up and this is why he was killed.
Oh yes there's no doubt in my mind as to the power of his influence in organizing and I took that think about the compromise an issue that he was not able to the powers to be could not get him to come around to compromise with him when it comes to injustice racism or what have you.
It's a very planned strategy of the racism in this country how well it's used and Joe mentioned the other day the refined game that that this country plays in the powers to be the ruling class play on us working people and the working class of people and so refined the game it's nothing that's just haphazardly done it's well-planned and of course the powers to be see to see to that. I think we have sort of captured in our discussion that the initial movement was a movement that Harry began by saying it was a movement that shit the bed it was about a moment that. That particular time it was very apropos and the way they got started of course was of a kind of law to carry his way but never the less for if I had to move in the direction whether it was the kind of thing we had to go through but certainly as you said you know you end it with that. That Martin Luther King did close school he started getting on economics and that's a crucial issue in this country. They would have us believe on our particular level of racism the sexism and all the other isms. But we know exactly what it is we know it's the unequal distribution of wealth and I want to keep control of that that kind of capitalistic pattern that I mean keep at 1:50 in tune with capitalistic structure. Of course one has to oppressed and the oppressor is of course he was a working class people as the as the oppressed.
I think that you have to understand that the idea of a black middle class of the French William F.. That is to say most blacks who statistically at least in terms of the economics of the situation would classify as middle class or middle class because you have both parents both individuals in the family working to such an extent that they do not really have the opportunity all the time to even rear their family in a middle class way much less participate in typically middle class activities. In so far as putting one's finger on an issue that is clearly can be clearly defined as a race issue I think that the point that was made earlier by a number of speakers is one that we have to be particularly clear on and that is that the said that the issue never was race. What we have done to this point is to cut through the facade to cut through the veneer to break through the illusion in order to get at the act in order to get at the actual fact of what was happening it was always economics it was always a class situation with blacks. It happened to be a class situation that was compounded by some racial definitions and manipulations which were basically social and political. What we did when we made it possible for a black person to sit down on the toilet next to George Wallace and Alabama ought to eat a hot dog and drink a cup of coffee in Mississippi is to cut through the situation once we were able to sit down at the lunch counter with the poor white man and have a chance to talk over a cup of coffee the first thing we find out is that he is in no better shape than we were as a result of his having to as little as a result of his being able to sit at the coffee count all alone. And so we have to understand that it has always been an economic situation it has always been a class situation. We simply had to cut through the veneer of race as a motive force in human history in order to get to that fact and for that we are eternally indebted to Reverend King because even he came to sleep in the end that the problem. Of the 20th century is may be the problem of the coming land but the solution of the 21st century is to cut through the class land and I think that's the essential point that has been made over and over again tonight.
Not not not as eloquently but I certainly want to add to that that the time has come for white people to understand that they're in the same essentially the same bank that a whole lot of black people are and especially that category of white persons who classify themselves as middle class. You are getting the business and the sooner that you I'd identify with working class people the better off this country is going to be.
You are in no better situation than we are in you know all of this is why those who will not see you know that's a true statement. Anybody that cannot see the issues just look in the cities just look at the.
Cities just look at the houses and look at the unemployment rolls and see who all the people who are unemployed. Look at the working poor and see who are these people and gets a clue and that the educational system.
Look at who is being kicked out who's been suspended and the juvenile authorities look at who's in there who's been in cough and right who are being kept in there. And you would know there is something radically wrong in a society now. I say again if black people would just rise up and act out their freedom then this man would see the point when we just sit back and take it.
We should get tired not going to want to yes go right ahead. Not quite quite finished my dear.
The behind the economics comes an even more fundamental. Concern in fact and this is the fact of power. OK then we have to understand that. Again who is the nigger. Is not a man of color.
And at its foundation it is not even a matter of the dollar bill the dollar bill comes on the heel of the power which is what is the which is the defining factor. The main difference between the black so-called middle class and the white so-called middle class is that with the black middle class you have two people who have to work because they've got to pay cash with the white middle class only one person works because he has credit as the situation deteriorates and the credit dries up you're going to find one fewer and fewer jobs for the blacks less and less credit for the whites and the whole notion of who is middle class and who isn't is going to have to be totally and completely revised how those revisions take place and who they affect and who pays the price for the necessary changes going to be determined by power. And the sooner people understand that this is what the struggle today in this country is about. The better off we're all going to be it is not a black against white thing it is like it is those who have power against those who have less power and against those without any power at all in the sauna both who are in the masses really those with a little power and those who have no power come to understand that their interests are closely related and linked. Oh more so than those other than the relationship between those who then interest between those who are have a lot of power and those who have a lot of power.
The better off we're all going to be and the more equitably this situation is going to be resolved.
I didn't say you have to elaborate on this. Since we know that was thing that seems like many times the black people are dumb to fight back enough. Don't we take our question. I think that a number of black people in this country certainly the Black Panther Party is not prepared to sit back and take apparition but I think one of the reasons why it why it works out that way it was touched on has been touched on by the college this whole idea of middle class people are comfortable in suburbia. This is the government of this country is a very adept at throwing out crumbs to poor people. They've given out a few jobs they've allowed us to buy a few houses in suburbia here and there. We've been able to become lawyers and you know going to areas where black people who previously you know couldn't go into maybe prior to Dr. King's work you know these are just you know crimes that have been thrown out to the point where they have confused a lot of black people in this country they think they've made it so to speak because they have a nice job and they you know maybe they can have a swimming pool in their backyard and they can afford to send their children to schools of our schools back if they feel they really have made it and therefore that you know there's no reason for them to be involved in this whole issue of black people's oppression. But as Dr. Edwards just said it is a question of the hour the power the power less against those who do have the power. And I think one of the things that black people have to realize is we cannot be confused by these crimes that have been thrown out too good to subvert the black liberation struggle in this country. There is only a very minute handful of us that may have some kind of economic you know comfortable in a sense of the purity and the whole thing about that is that this can be snatched away from us at any moment because we do not control anything in this country. At this point. So you know you may have your house in suburbia today but tomorrow if the you know infamy and if you work for IBM you may lose your job tomorrow and there goes your swimming pool and everything else.
I like to take that a step further and say any of the working class black or white that's feels herself comfortable and such a waste of suburbia that that exactly what have I speak about the myth of the middle class.
That's the myth of the middle class all with class people I think that we have to understand that reverse discrimination is largely a conceptual myth.
That's how I got has been developed by people too who are functioning out in the fever swamps of right wing racist reaction. And in order to hoodwink. And to divide those individuals who are struggling like crabs in a bucket at the bottom of the social economic structure in a society we have to understand that as the situation deteriorates in this country economically and politically as the United States and other Western imperialist powers are more and more isolated from sources of all raw materials and so forth and third world countries and the situation at home deter rate's those individuals at the bottom are going to be the ones who are first affected and who are most deeply affected over the longest period of time. When we began to talk about affirmative action and this kind of thing what we're talking about is at a minimum protecting those individuals at the very bottom of the social economic ladder so as to at least ensure all of the necessities of life.
In this society if you do not have a job if you cannot read and write you cannot you are now in no position even to guarantee the necessities of life. We're not talking about social economic mobility we're talking about surviving we're talking about being here. And so I think that it is incumbent upon all just progressive thinking people to rally around those who do and for stopping most vitally affected now because they are at the bottom and therefore they are the first to be stepped on as the situation deteriorates. What we would hope for is a system where those things that are necessary to the maintenance of human life would not be. Commodities that are pursued through some competitive pig trough of a kind of human interaction. Hopefully we would not have to we will devise a society where we would not have to have affirmative action to make sure that black communities have enough doctors that you canno communities have enough attorneys that Native American Asian-American communities have enough nurses enough school teachers enough individuals who can read and write the English language and so forth. Hopefully we'll get into a society develop and build in fine form a society where as a birthright people will be able to get an education to get a job and so forth. But until that time I think it is only just that all progressive and just minded people move immediately to support the struggles on behalf of those the handicaps the oppressed the handicapped oppressed minorities and so forth that are at the bottom of the socio economic ladder.
So add to the reverse racism is a reactionary concept that was put out there by those who never had any intention of doing anything but being racist while it was reverse or straightforward. While they were talking about the backlash of a front lash and then making a difference they were simply racist.
Yeah but that's the same concept.
Yes some of us Jonah in this highly technological society and perhaps one of the best kinds of analogies to deal with the whole issue of reverse discrimination is to get in your car and try to shift gears and you cannot get to reverse until you've been in neutral and we have not had things neutralized for us. So how do we get to reverse discrimination.
Black people and I know the courts have said that I'm for codas. I am for quotas and I'm not one of those people who oppose quotas. I want quotas until we catch up. Until we get into neutral until we get to neutral we can't get into reverse. So it's unfortunate that yes you're probably catching some hell as a Hawaiian but you've got to understand to have that you can't touch against the realities of capitalism and and the reality is that capitalism will continue to try to divide us.
Everybody else Gloria.
You know I think it's one that you know can give a job to one very concrete example on this whole issue of reverse discrimination.
Is this whole the decision of the the bothy decision exam at the University of California where you have this white man who has found a suit against the federal government and I'm sorry against the University of California which is now being tried in the U.S. Supreme Court charging reversed reverse discrimination he has charged his name's Allen backing and he has charges that he was denied interest to use the medical school at the Davis campus not only because he was white or because of the fact the school had a certain quota of black students to Conall students and other minority students and he was denied admission because he was white and he also claimed he felt he had superior qualifications. So now you have this whole issue before the Supreme Court you have the affirmative action programs not only at UC Berkeley but also all over the entire country are being threatened. Probably I was the black students but for a very hard in the late 60s to get established these were not things that were just given out by the education system in this country black students had to march take over buildings and do any of a number of things to get these affirmative action programs established. Now we're in a situation where they may be withdrawn because you know because they're unconstitutional because they discriminate against against white people and I think the decision will certainly be a very key decision in determining what's going to happen to affirmative action programs like this throughout the country and it's a direct attack upon the gangs that the small gains that have been won by blacks in education and in other areas and I think that that's the that's the Bacchae decision is going to be the most important decision in the realm of civil and human rights in this country on a decade of the 70s.
And I think that unless we understand this we're in for some awfully dark days in a society. You say we're talking about a situation where the basic concept of human rights in this society is being changed. We're moving away from a concept of. Equality within a context of remedial justice into a situation of absolute equality under conditions that are inherently unequal. The end product of that has to be a return at least in spirit to the notion of separate but equal. And when you consider the fact that until the 1990s and toward the end of this century you're going to be talking about not 20 not 25 to 30 million Afro Americans but somewhere in the vicinity of 45 to 55 million Afro Americans. We have to understand that separate but equal cannot stay and this is the kind of situation that the South African government got itself and this is the kind of situation that the Southern Rhodesian government got itself in they started off of segregation and separate but equal what they called Separate the government and wound up by putting the entire governmental apparatus on bureaucracy. But Hind an effort an institutionalized effort to enforce what turned out to be apartheid which was genocide an act of institutionalized genocide against black people in those countries. I think that we have to understand the critical illness of the Bayaka decision as far as taking a step down that road not just in terms of the decision itself.
But in terms of the decision as part of an old going process demographic and social development in this society as goods and resources become scarcer and scarcer as the rest of the Third World industrialize and gains political and military and economic power as the black population in this country increases that of the Chicano population increases as other populations of people in this country increase as we become more and more sophisticated politically and understand that the civil rights struggle did not begin in 1954 and then not in the 1970 that that was just one phase of an own going forms of struggle that has that has now been wane in this society to send 16 19 and even back on and on to the continent of Africa. If you believe what Alex Haley and many other historians then we understand that the boquet decision is only one try. Fix them down a road that ultimately has consequences not just for blacks but it has consequences for the whole of American society. And so this is why this decision is so important this is why black people must mobilize and be at the forefront in the vanguard of the mobilization around this issue. This is why it is not just a black versus white on a Chicano vs. Why don't Asian-American versus white issue it's an issue that has to do with all people because again who maybe has to do with power. It may be the blacks today you are being cut out. I look back at this issue and what will it be next those two families are less than $20000 a year. If we've got to look at government statistics that is exactly and precisely what's happening. Not only have the number of blacks dropped out but the number of people as far as college enrollment is concerned about the number of individuals whose families are less than $20000 a year have dropped out significantly what was their slant. It most certainly was not being black. It has to be it had to be a class factor. And so what we have to understand is that the Baku decision is just one step down a tragic road that is ultimately going to spell chaos and calamity for the whole society. And at some point we have to stop hauling hay to a day harse called the meritocracy and all of these other big concepts they come up with to justify political positions already taken and begin to understand that we're really talking about what is going to happen to human beings what's going to happen to people and began to mobilize them to move in a direction that is people oriented.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Nine years later: a Black panel on racism and civil rights since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Part 1 of 2)
- Producing Organization
- KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
- Contributing Organization
- Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
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- Large panel discussion on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. King Jr.'s impact upon the Civil Rights movement, South Africa, the Vietnam War and the Black community, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Affirmative Action programs, the Bakke decision, capitalism, socialism, U.S. police forces, economics in the Black community, President Carter, racism at the University of California, the firing of Dr. Harry Edwards, and the future of struggle in the United States. Yvonne Golden moderates the panel. Panel members in this first hour include JoNina Abron, Gloria Davis, Dr. Harry Edwards, Enola Maxwell, and Joel Mitchell. Part 1 of 2.
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; African Americans--Civil rights--History
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Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 1104_D01 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: PRA_AAPP_AZ0074A_Nine_years_later_MLK_part_1 (Filename)
Generation: Master: preservation
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- Chicago: “ Nine years later: a Black panel on racism and civil rights since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Part 1 of 2) ,” 1977-04-04, Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-xg9f47hd10.
- MLA: “ Nine years later: a Black panel on racism and civil rights since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Part 1 of 2) .” 1977-04-04. Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-xg9f47hd10>.
- APA: Nine years later: a Black panel on racism and civil rights since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Part 1 of 2) . Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-xg9f47hd10