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     The Portuguese Community in Cambridge and Somerville, Interview with Victor
    Sidel, and News of the Day with Louis Lyons
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When. It. Turned to letting the thunder. You. Both. Come First. They Portuguese population Cambridge and Somerville as large as the profile of that community is a first feature on today's show. That I have an interview with the author of a book examining the medical system in this country and Louis Lyons will comment on this week's news. Days of the features on today's edition of GBH Journal. In historical terms America has experienced three great waves of immigration from
overseas in the mid 19th century at the turn of the century and in between the two world wars. Several other waves of immigration have taken place. There is actually a constant flow of immigrants from overseas. They have fostered the development of ethnic communities in all parts of the United States and depending on the numbers and background of the people many of these groups have come to exercise a great deal of political power. Others are less vocal but figure prominently in the populations of certain communities. An example of such a group is the large Portuguese community which is developed in Cambridge and Somerville Massachusetts. A group which reporter Allison 80 profiles in this feature the city of Boston is the home of a diverse variety of different peoples ranging from back Brahmins to the Italians of the north and on the Irish of South Boston. In addition there are communities of less prominent immigrant groups scattered throughout the greater Boston area. One of these groups is the Portuguese community living in East Cambridge in Somerville. The
Portuguese appeared in the Boston area for quite a while. They settled in the north end before shifting to Cambridge and some of the first wave of immigration ended in the early 20th century. The second wave began in 1968 when immigration was relaxed and it continues still. Nobody knows exactly how large the Portuguese population is and estimates differ dramatically. The last Cambridge census was conducted in 1975 and put the Portuguese population at 4.5 percent of the city total. Portuguese community workers reckon 12 percent is a more accurate figure for both Cambridge and Somerville. Alderman Francis Bheki who represents the predominantly Portuguese would to in some avail puts the figure as high as 20 percent for Somerville. One thing is however clear the Portuguese population is sizeable and is growing rapidly. Those who come overwhelmingly from the Azores and are islands Raavan from Maine and Portugal they live a simple agrarian society in search of material betterment.
Their reasons for leaving are economic not political. The hopes nourished by the continuing American dream often suffer a severe shock when confronted with the reality of life in America. Sorry to our Rancho arrived from Portugal 10 months ago and works in a factory in East Cambridge she explained the predicament of the Portuguese women she works with who find it a traumatic experience coping with city life. Factory work and a foreign language when they are for the most part illiterate in Portuguese and when they're from America they just go to the home. When they start working afraid it's the first time that they work in a factory. The first time that they see a city there it's a pretty shocking culture shock for the people. Sometimes. They're saying you don't need to work there are two tribes because of the need to buy the tickets when they can maybe because they have heard from.
Some rich people to prove they can think of when they need. To get from him to pretty good. You think of him working in the work in order to survive economically and to support the families of sometimes 10 or 12 children. The Portuguese who rarely have marketable skills have to work two jobs. Grandparents from Portugal are frequently brought over to act as babysitters in place of working mothers. The Portuguese have set up self-help agencies to cope with the effects of alienation and to promote integration Spahr and Copa respectively the sum of the Portuguese American League and the Cambridge organization of Portuguese Americans serve a Portuguese community in this respect. Clef a greeter who works at Copa described the organization as an umbrella agency offering a wide range of direct services emphasis is also placed on advocacy clavicle reader wants to see the Portugese accorded
official minority status at the moment she feels they are only recognised as the school system and are too often confused with the Spanish. We would like people to know we are here was the way she put it. MICHAEL COSTA The director of spark and cuss for some successes. Some agencies state and federal agencies have higher violent cost while he has bilingual workers. Unemployment has some but of course not enough welfare has some but not enough. Sida has some but not enough. We continue to ask for more because these agencies are receiving federal monies to provide services to people and we don't feel they can adequately provide services and thus they communicate with the people they are mandated to serve. Besides the most immediate problems of poverty and communication the Portuguese face difficulties resulting from the contact of two very different cultures.
Portugal until 1974 was a dictatorship and the Portuguese have no experience of democratic political processes. Many are eligible to vote because they're not yet U.S. citizens. But even so the number of registered voters is extremely low. Michael Costa estimates there are only 300 registered Portuguese voters in wood too. Alderman Baker he was elected to two unopposed. The only person of Portuguese descent in a prominent political position is Tom Ogust the mayor of Somerville. The major source of strain within the Portuguese community tend however to be social rather than political generational conflicts develop when the children learn English and adopt American values more readily than their parents. The bilingual school system in Cambridge and some of all accommodate large numbers of Portuguese children parents suddenly find themselves dependent on the reading and writing skills of their children. Given the patriarchal nature of the Portuguese family this dependence is sometimes hard to accept.
Children are expected to contribute to the wellbeing of the whole family. For this reason they are pulled out of school aged 16 and sent to work. The Portuguese not used to higher education in Portugal place no emphasis on it here. America offers more choices for women as well as for children. First time in their lives women find themselves in the position of wage earners. This confers the possibility of Independence. It would be premature to talk of the incipient liberation of Portuguese women sex roles are clearly defined and Portuguese society is male dominated. However three Toronto asserts that women are beginning to learn their rights they are beginning to use family planning clinics and some are prepared to countenance separation as an alternative to staying with a husband who mistreats them. As the Portuguese adapt to life in America they're bound to adopt some American values. The rags to riches dream which they came is not as unattainable as it sometimes appears during the first few difficult years. The Portuguese credit union stands as testimony to
the financial enterprise of the Portuguese founded in 1928. It celebrates its 50th anniversary this month 80 percent of its clients are Portuguese and the other 20 percent of Portuguese descent. It has assets of 11 million dollars 7 million of which are invested in real estate. Carlos Caetano the manager of the Credit Union describes his clients. We have many members that have. Because sometimes one is not there because they have. Been responsible and most of them have some money to buy property or live. Or work on the property that they. Can mentor some of the. People that buy property. They really do a good job on the property. They are very hard workers. It is difficult to make generalized statements about trends within the Portuguese community.
The community remains predominantly working class and poor with few people moving into the ranks of the professional middle classes. Some things however can be stated. The shape the community will take in the future depends partly on the efforts and priorities of the Portuguese themselves and partly on the actions of the host country. The experiences of the Portuguese are in essence the same as those of other immigrant groups in America's history. The pulling power of America and the prospect of the good life remain strong. But some of the old beliefs or myths may have died. Clef a reader explains. It's not happening. It's happening in sort of in some respects yes backed up. People come over here and they want to better their lives and therefore they want to work very hard. Maybe they want to buy a house and maybe they want to have a car too.
You want to find a family who wants the same thing as other families you know better their lives and and move to a better sort of situation if. They can. But unfortunately I want to make as clear as my person that our society in many ways the Leonids people from different cultures and different backgrounds. And of course the most of his home in no obvious way to do that is by of course people become minorities immigrants because take the lowest paying jobs. And so there is really you know they're not really getting in the type of support to better themselves or to even want to you know. Be part of the culture very often explored the Catholic region of
Copa for GBH Journal. This is Allison E.D.. Medical care in this country is a subject of a great deal of criticism. Charges of high costs in personal care the overuse of drugs are constantly leveled against the medical profession. The book I help the state. I Victor and Ruth Sydell examines what they highly planned health care in four other countries is based. And evaluate say hazards and drawbacks of the current American medical system. Thank you for your spoke recently with Victor Sidel about this book in your book a healthy state and you explored and examined
the health care of medical care systems in four of the country's Great Britain Sweden the Soviet and China. The problems that they faced and how they solved them. Which of these problems are do we share with these countries and how could their solutions be applied. You know our country you know healthy state we we analyzed what we thought were four countries that might produce at least partial models for some of the solution for some of the problems that face us now. Clearly none of these countries medical care systems can be moved directly into the United States we have a different history we have a different set of social and geographic and economic and political problems. But for example Great Britain has managed to preserve the general practitioner where we have gone overboard in the direction of specialization and technology. Britain has also managed to have totally medical care totally without charge at the time of service except for modest
charges first for drugs taken on an ambulatory basis. And this is another element of a health care system we might learn from Sweden whose gross national product per capita is now higher than ours is now a wealthier country than we are has managed nonetheless to regionalize its medical care system thereby to avoid duplication to avoid runaway technology and to keep its health care costs and the dangers of its health care system at a more reasonable level. The numbers so they don't that read the regionalization they vote region wise things to the county level and at those counties in those counties there are both hospitals and ambulatory care services that are for the hospitals are concerned county owned and so forth the amatory care services are concerned. The county provided and at every succeeding level in every higher level there are there is a clear regionalization in the sense that there will be one kind of a service in each region.
So two hospitals near each other will not both have open heart surgery units or will not both have renal dialysis units thereby saving a fair amount on the cost of duplicating and overlapping services in the Soviet Union. The principle of totally free care totally without charge at the time of service extends over one sixth of the earth's Lamb House. And so you know has managed particularly in areas which is emphasized such as maternal and child care occupational health providing care on a comp on a community basis to provide a kind of preventive medicine that we have not even come close to. And of course China has moved in a very different kinds of directions. It has mobilized its communities to work on their own health care on the health care of your neighbors has recruited barefoot doctors street doctors from among the people in communities and has developed a grassroots kind of health care system that we think would be
important to explore for our own. He said I noticed that you did suggest that physicians and health workers in general should work in teams. And one way to achieve this would be to change the medical school structure. Could you explain how this could be done. Yes we think that with in medical schools that medical students should be. Educators should be taught together with students of other helping professions in ways that emphasize the contributions that there are other kinds of health workers have to make in the health care system. We think that as it now stands the doctor is educated is socialized to think that he and to a certain extent Sheo that's still a relatively small fraction of medical students that he is the cock of the walk that he is the one who owns the medical care system that he's the one who should get the lion's share of its prestige and the lion's share of its income. It can't be that way anymore and medical schools one of the
places where doctors could begin to learn how to do it differently. What is the amazing reaction to all of this do you know I mean what could you surmise that their reaction to all of you through the American Medical Association Of course one would like to keep doctors in their current position in order to do this they've attempted in various ways through the years to limit the number of doctors in the United States through state licensing kinds of examination and other standards by limiting medical school places in the 1930s and 40s and so on. We think the time has come to take medicine which is far too important to be left to the American Medical Association. Out of its hands and out of the hands of the private insurance companies and the others who control medicine now and put it in the hands of people and communities the way that happens and this is the reason we've written our book all the way to have that happens is for people to inform themselves on what the problems are what the alternatives systems or that could be parts of which could be introduced and
to work for change work for change through legislation. Well I think change can occur at a large and a great number of levels on the one hand there are community groups that can be gained that can begin to change health care services with their own communities. So far as legislation is concerned one of the most crying needs of course is for a National Health Insurance Program. But it's got to be a national health insurance program that pushes the system in the direction of regionalization of away from profit making. And something like the Kennedy Corman Bill indeed does that. And if only we started in in those two steps viewed them as a way of bringing real change to the medical care system. It would change very rapidly because it's in deep trouble. We complete our show for today and for this week with a look at the news from the airlines
in three days of talks President Carter failed to budge. Israel's prime minister begging from his positions that it was negotiation both but they described their talks as difficult and agreed they disagreed all down the line before going home back and criticized the president's position on a national broadcast. He said he'd found a sudden change of atmosphere at the White House and appealed for American fans. The president State Department refrained from issuing the usual statement in conclusion of important conference. This report led to help cool it but the differences are big compared to 1957 when President Eisenhower threatened to seek sanctions against Israel unless it pulled back from invasion of the Sinai and the 1975 proposal a reassessment that resulted from just frustration. But Washington is holding its horses to see whether the disagreement is with Israel or just rebellion. People can read the same news in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
phase Jap division in the Knesset and his cabinet over the settlements issue before he came to Washington. The terrorist raid had united the country against the Palestinians but whether Baggins intransigence will find full approval at home is a question that Washington is watching. DEGGANS own defense minister Weizman today calling for a unity government of all parties. An editorial in The Jerusalem Post yesterday said The time has come to rethink our positions rather than begin defiantly. It's to be hoped to Mr. Begg and the government will not engage in such a reassessment of our positions and strategies. The New York Times reports that Washington officials are satisfied with the way the begging visit was handled that the White House succeeded in diverting attention away from Lebanon and keeping the talks focused on the issues raised between Begin and Sadat. The Times reports the administration feels it succeeded in its main goal to make the differences between the United States and Israel are crystal clear
without provoking an open breach with Mr. Baggins government. Now they hope the political consequences of Mr Begin stand will be obvious in his current colleagues in Israel urging a move toward compromise. On the military front we brought abatement of crisis the Israeli forces accepted a cease fire the first UN units were arriving and negotiating amicably with the Israeli commanders to replace them. The logistics of Israel withdrawal would have been to take perhaps weeks but they reached their objective to push Palestinian forces north of Little A tiny river. The Syrian army in Lebanon kept its distance. So ending anxieties over a military clash. The Israeli incursion sent masses of new refugees streaming into the northern cities of Lebanon. Perhaps a quarter million as their town's Red tactic came under the path of Israeli invent. Most of these refugees it was expected would return once it was safe.
But rebuilding from the destruction in the care of a new Thousands of refugees impose new costs which Lebanon must seek World Relief has begun to have present kind attend to that other critical problem the world economy. Prime Minister Cameron Hanover Great Britain had arrived. While all eyes and ears were on bagging his bill. It was so he and the president could agree on a plan of action he said for an economic summit meeting in July. But the urgency of a March meeting on the eve of Easter seemed hardly explained by the need to get their ducks in line for a conference this summer. Callaghan sounded more press than that. He was obsessed he said with the feeling that the industrial nations were adrift that they had lost the old guidelines for united action. We've been acting individually more than I recall he said. He said Our responsibility on the world is to act in concert to restore confidence to pull the world out of the
recession and which it finds itself in his words. This comes after efforts in Europe to restore the fallen value of the dollar have had little effect when not in the grip of economic forces were unable to control said Mr. Callaghan. But even saying that sounds as if he isn't quite sure if all of us together. Certainly the major countries want to apply the political effort to improving the situation he said can be done. He sounds as though he thought it couldn't wait for July when Canada France West Germany and Japan will join the summit. Mr Carter said Callaghan has been conferring with Chancellor Schmidt of Germany and Japan's prime minister will be coming to Washington this spring. Both houses of Congress have passed the bill to push off the age for permitted mandatory retirement from age 65 to 70. This in private in prime and to take it off entirely in federal jobs it may not make all that difference.
The trend in recent years has been the other way for early voluntary retirement exemptions from this bill cover fireman policeman the highest paid executives and workers for firms of fewer than 20 persons. It will not apply to college tenured professors until 1982. Ending retirement age has been a fetish you Congressman Claude Pepper of Florida who now says he's going to press for eliminating it altogether. Peppers from Florida and that haven of the retired his constituency has kept him in one house or the other of Congress half his life to age 78. The commoners are voting today on the strike settlement approved by the National Council. It's the third time the council has approved this time those who want to end the strike. I believe they have an edge on those who prefer to make it last but the earliest vote so far reporting raises considerable question about this. The administration is held back on applying the Taft-Hartley injunction pending this vote.
The English language gained a partial victory over bureaucratic jargon through an executive order of President Carter that federal regulations be written in plain language. It's partial because it fails to include the independent regulatory agencies. They are of course right most of the regulations Congress leaders told the president it would violate the independence of these agencies to direct them to use plain English. The president disagreed but says we decided to try to persuasion with him. I think their independence should be preserved for those within his jurisdiction the president says his directive promises to make the federal regulations clearer less burdensome and cost less. No one will suffer except those who sell typewriter ribbons he said. To make it stick he directed that all new regulations be signed by the authors. I want a lot of pride in authorship. The president said he made a ceremony of signing the executive order that covers more than style it calls for agency reviews of existing regulations and analysis of the effect of new ones.
The Senate laid aside the Panama Canal Treaty debate for a 10 day vacation. Opponents have not given up after the passage of the first treaty and hope that a homestay will put enough pressure on the treaty supporters to shift the two votes needed to block a second treaty. The American Conservative Union has announced plans for an advertising campaign against a treaty in 17 states and is edging its members to put pressure on a few senators believe most uncertain most politically vulnerable Senator Brooke of Massachusetts is again a special target. Senator Laxalt later in the end treaties in the Senate says he sees a 50/50 chance to swing the two votes. It would take to kill the treaty. A serious setback to the development of black influence in the national political life is threatened in the indictment of Representative Charles Diggs of Michigan on charges of mail fraud and taking kickbacks from his office staff.
Diggs has been in Congress 24 years. He's been the dean of the black membership of the house since the ouster of Adam Clayton Powell who was also charged with fraud and kickbacks and the death of William Dawson of Chicago. So it's black public figures as Andrew Young John Conyers and Julian Bond have changed the public image of the black politician since power's defeat in 1070. The Senate voted appeasement of the striking wheat and cotton farmers with a vote for a much increased final price supports and payment for families for land kept idle. Santa must be protested it would destroy the budget making process and cost consumers six million six billions a year. But it had the support of key senators like Talmage whose vote for the Panama treaty the president had to work for whether to try to upset this inflationary move in the house was a decision the administration's considering the important joint economic committee of Congress one that mounting inflation pressures may require wage and price controls and
action that they have opposed. Time now sat Easton's announced a time and ends a 22 year dominance of the important Judiciary Committee by the most conservative of Dixiecrats Senate is and further loosens the grip of the old south on committee chairmanships. Senator Kennedy is in line to succeed as Judiciary Chairman the most utter change. Imagine. Friday March 24th 1978 that's GBH Journal. Regional news magazine heard Monday through Friday at 4:30. Producer for The Journal is Marcia hurts his engineer John Moran. I'm Bill Cummings. Right. At the.
WGBH Journal
The Portuguese Community in Cambridge and Somerville, Interview with Victor Sidel, and News of the Day with Louis Lyons
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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This episode of WGBH Journal includes three features: a profile of the Portuguese population living in east Cambridge and Somerville, an interview with Victor Sidel, the author of "A Healthy State," a book examining the assets and drawbacks behind the American medical system, and a news commentary given by Louis Lyons.
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WGBH Journal is a magazine featuring segments on local news and current events.
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Identifier: 78-0160-03-24-001 (WGBH Item ID)
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Chicago: “WGBH Journal; The Portuguese Community in Cambridge and Somerville, Interview with Victor Sidel, and News of the Day with Louis Lyons ,” 1978-03-24, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2023,
MLA: “WGBH Journal; The Portuguese Community in Cambridge and Somerville, Interview with Victor Sidel, and News of the Day with Louis Lyons .” 1978-03-24. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2023. <>.
APA: WGBH Journal; The Portuguese Community in Cambridge and Somerville, Interview with Victor Sidel, and News of the Day with Louis Lyons . Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from