thumbnail of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
Transcript
Hide -
MR. LEHRER: Good evening. I'm Jim Lehrer in Washington.
MR. MAC NEIL: And I'm Robert MacNeil in New York. After tonight's News Summary, we analyze today's staff changes [Focus - Job Shuffle) at the White House, then Paul Solman reports on going into business [Focus - Fields of Dreams) after the Los Angeles riots, William Henry of Time Magazine reports [Focus - Stonewall - 25 Years Later] on the weekend gay celebrations in New York, and essayist Amei Wallach discusses [Essay - The Cunningham Revolution] choreographer Merce Cunningham. NEWS SUMMARY
MR. LEHRER: President Clinton announced changes in his top White House staff today. Budget Director Leon Panetta will replace Mack McLarty as chief of staff. McLarty will become counselor to the President. Deputy Budget Director Alice Rivlin will be nominated to succeed Panetta. David Gergen, now a White House counselor, will become a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Clinton and Secretary of State Christopher. After the Oval Office announcement, reporters asked the President if the switch will be seen as a repudiation of his original team.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I long ago gave up trying to determine how it's viewed by other people. All I can tell you is I think it's a real tribute to Mr. McLarty that he came to me several weeks ago and suggested that we consider this and even mentioned Leon's name to me. And we began to talk about it. I think that this is the -- I think the job of the President is to make the White House as effective as possible, which means you're going to have to use the people at their highest and best use. I think that's what I'm doing. I also think that someone might question the decision in light of the successes that have been chalked up. I think we have done a good job with a huge agenda. I think it's getting bigger and more complex. I think that this is the right thing to do at this time, and I think it will pay off.
MR. LEHRER: We'll have more of the President's news conference and full analysis of the changes right after this News Summary. On another matter today, President Clinton's lawyer said he will seek to delay resolution of the sexual harassment case brought by a former Arkansas state worker. Lawyer Robert Bennett said he will go to court in August in Little Rock to argue that presidents are immune to private lawsuits while in office. Robin.
MR. MAC NEIL: The Supreme Court ruled today that a New York state violated the Constitution when it created a special school district for orthodox Jews. The Kiryas Joel School district in Orange County, New York, was created in 1989 specifically for disabled children of Hasidic Jews. Today's six to three decision upheld a lower court ruling that the school district violated separation of church and state. In another decision, the court granted cable TV operators more protection from government regulation. By a five to four vote, the Justices ordered a lower court to review a law requiring cable systems to carry local broadcast stations.
MR. LEHRER: The U.S. dollar had another interesting day on foreign exchange markets. It was down slightly in U.S. trading this afternoon after dropping to a record low in Tokyo overnight. Japan's central bank bought dollars in an attempt to shore up the U.S. currency, but by the close, it had fallen below one hundred yen to the dollar. Last Friday, 17 central banks bought dollars in a failed attempt to stem its slide. Today's action did not affect the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up nearly 50 points.
MR. MAC NEIL: There was more wrangling today over health care reform on Capitol Hill. It was supposed to have been the day Senate Finance Committee Chairman Daniel Patrick Moynihan presented his compromise proposal to the full committee. Instead, he held closed- door meetings with committee members and put off the announcement until tomorrow, saying he had not yet decided whether to include a controversial provision requiring employers to pay a share of workers' insurance. He told reporters he would base the decision on what he thought he could get the committee to pass.
MR. LEHRER: The Energy Department released more information today about radiation experiments conducted on human beings. They were done secretly from the 1920's until 1989. Today's release includes information on at least 48 new cases involving some 1200 people. At a Washington news conference, Energy Sec. Hazel O'Leary was asked if all information about the human experiments has now been uncovered.
HAZEL O'LEARY, Secretary of Energy: We're dealing with a system that's very old, whose methods and practices of collection and storing of data back to the 40's is faulty at best. What I believe and hope is that we have it all. Will I be surprised to discover a year from today that there is more? I will not be surprised. And it gets back to the very far flung universe of places where this data and information can be. And almost like a detective story we've gone out to identify all of those sources. Do we have it all? I wouldn't say that we have. I believe, and I hope we have the bulk of it.
MR. LEHRER: U.S. officials confirmed today that talks with North Korea will convene in Geneva July 8th. The two sides will be discussing North Korea's nuclear program and regional security issues as well as North Korea's missile sales to Syria and Iran. White House Press Sec. Dee Dee Myers said President Clinton and North Korean Leader Kim Il Sung could eventually meet, depending on progress in Geneva.
MR. MAC NEIL: Brush fires have destroyed at least 10 homes in Southern California and have burned thousands of acres near Los Angeles and San Diego. Officials believe at least one of the blazes started from a campfire near a Boy Scout camp. The cause of the others is under investigation. Firefighters have been called in from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, and New Mexico. Storms, floods, and tornadoes have caused widespread damage in several southern states. At least two people were killed today in Georgia and twenty injured. One of the victims was a ten-year-old girl who was trapped with eight other people in the wreckage of a two-story house which was struck by a tornado. Storm damage was reported yesterday in North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama.
MR. LEHRER: And that's it for the News Summary tonight. Now it's on to those changes at the White House, a new business, gay celebrations, and an Amei Wallach essay. FOCUS - JOB SHUFFLE
MR. LEHRER: The big job shuffle at the White House is our lead story tonight. Leon Panetta will replace Mack McLarty as chief of staff. Alice Rivlin, now Panetta's deputy at the Office of Management & Budget, will move into the top OMB job. David Gergen, counselor to the president, will move over to the State Department as a senior adviser, McLarty will remain at the White House as special counselor to the President. President Clinton announced those changes at an Oval Office news conference this afternoon. Here's an extended excerpt.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Today I'm naming Mack McLarty as counselor to the President. He has been and will continue to be my closest and most trusted personal adviser. His newrole will permit him to spend much more time as my personal representative to the people who are so important to the success of this administration's efforts, Democrats and Republicans in Congress, constituent groups of all kinds, friends who helped to bring me to the White House. I am delighted today to say that Leon Panetta will succeed Mack as White House chief of staff. Over the past year and a half, he has been a pillar of strength for our administration. In the early days, he was a prime architect of the economic strategy, an integrated plan that reduced the deficit and laid the foundation for sustained economic growth. Then he took the lead in formulating and gaining passage of that deficit reduction package, the largest in the history of our republic. He will go down in history as the budget director who began to slay the deficit dragon. I am also announcing today that I will nominate Alice Rivlin to be the next director of the Office of Management & Budget. She has been a superb deputy at OMB. She played a major role in helping to run that organization and in sharing the President's management counsel and in gaining congressional approval of our budgets. Finally, I want to announce a shorter term assignment. For the past year, I have gone heavily upon the counsel of David Gergen. He has been a wise and steady voice for bipartisanship, for moderation, and for an effective government. It has been widely understood that he anticipates returning to the private sector in the next few months. I have asked David to stay on for the remainder of the year and to concentrate his full energy in the foreign policy arena. I'd like to now to ask them each in turn to make a few remarks, beginning with Mr. McLarty.
MACK McLARTY, White House Chief of Staff: Mr. President, first, thank you for your very warm and your very generous words and comments but most importantly, thank you for your continuing friendship. I am very proud of our accomplishments during the first year. We laid a very firm foundation that the President has already spoken of from which to build. 1994 is a different year. It is a year that has a full and a complicated legislative agenda. It is a year where we approach mid-term elections. It is essential I have felt for some time that we put the strongest possible team on the field in this critical year and that we put people in positions that best suit their talents and abilities and their strengths.
LEON PANETTA, White House Chief of Staff-Designate: For 30 years, I have dedicated myself to public service. Now I have the opportunity to help direct the office of the presidency and to try to make it serve the President in an effective and efficient manner. It will not be easy. Changes will be made in consultation with the President, but they will be made in the spirit of making the best use of the talent and abilities that are here.
MR. LEHRER: Now some analysis of these changes from our regulars, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Wall Street Journal columnist Paul Gigot, joined tonight by Washington journalist Elizabeth Drew, who is just finishing a book on the Clinton White House. Elizabeth, what caused these changes?
MS. DREW: Well, a number of President's and Mrs. Clinton's close friends have been urging them for some time to replace McLarty. So have others as well. It doesn't work; it didn't work. McLarty, as everybody says, is a very nice man, and I think he was working against enormous obstacles. Being chief of staff in any White House I think is extremely difficult if you don't have much Washington experience. Second, he didn't really get to bring in his own staff. His staff was sort of given to him, and it's not a -- there's some very smart people, but it's not a wildly strong or cohesive White House staff. Somebody down there said to me on Friday this place is dysfunctional: Meetings still go on too long; it takes too long to get decisions; decisions aren't necessarily carried out; they're not sure what the decisions are. There is no policy coordination anywhere. Everybody just goes off and does their thing. And so I think this has been in the works for a while. McLarty, himself, has been back and forth and up and down about it, and they tried to find a way to do it with dignity. As you heard the President say, he's my best friend, and I think it was very hard for Clinton to do this. My understanding is that Mrs. Clinton came to the conclusion that it needed to be done before he did, and then they both have come to the conclusion quite recently. Picking Panetta is a very interesting choice. He's a tremendously popular man. He has an easy laugh. He's smart. He's a nice man. Whether - - how successful he will be I think will depend on two things: One is how much authority the President actually gives him. The President has not been a great delegator.
MR. LEHRER: To Mack McLarty, he didn't give much authority.
MS. DREW: Not very much to Mack McLarty, and that which McLarty had he didn't really use and he didn't really pass on to his deputy, so there was a kind of non-decision thing at the White House, also, whether Panetta has enough of an authoritarian streak, frankly. Now we just heard him say there are going to be other changes. Panetta understands what's wrong. He does understand that there's no coherence in policy formulation or carrying out. Too many meetings go on too long. Some of that's because that's how the President wants it.
MR. LEHRER: And what the President wants the President gets, does he not, Mark?
MR. SHIELDS: Well, we'll find out on national health in a short time, I guess, within the White House.
MR. LEHRER: No, no. What I mean is within the White House.
MR. SHIELDS: No, every --
MR. LEHRER: When the White House chief of staff is the creature and clearly the most servant of the servants of the President.
MR. SHIELDS: Absolutely, Jim. That's why the change was made. It was -- reminded me of the old college alumni who said to the football coach, we're behind you, win or tie. They were losing. They've been losing. When Mack McLarty was chosen, there were voices on this show who said it was a mistake at the time, not a reflection on him personally, but a President from outside Washington who didn't know Washington, the importance of having somebody who was comfortable, having a strong chief of staff. I mean, Bill Clinton made the decision right then and there that he was going to be his own chief of staff. I think the choice of Leon Panetta -- I agree with Elizabeth totally -- is an important one because the immediate fate, fortune, and future of this presidency resides on Capitol Hill and how he does on Capitol Hill. He couldn't pick anybody who was more respected on Capitol Hill, who understands it, who has lived by and with the two-year cycle. On Capitol Hill, there's an anxiety among a lot of Democrats that they're just thinking they, the White House are thinking in terms of 1996. They have to live in 1994. They're all up next November on the House side and a third of the Senate, and they're saying, if these guys are thinking in terms of 1996, what about us? Leon Panetta has lived since 1976 to 1992 with the two- year cycle, representing California. I think he brings enormous strength to it, but the key question that remains to be decided is, if Bill Clinton is ready to turn it over, cease to be his own chief of staff and say, Leon's the guy, because I think a call to or from Leon Panetta will have the equivalent impact that a call to or from Jim Baker did in the Reagan White House if he has that laying on of hands.
MR. LEHRER: What's -- what's the record look like to you, Paul, as to whether or not President Clinton is going to, going to give Leon Panetta the power it'll take to be a kind of Jim Baker figure?
MR. GIGOT: It's not a good record, and let me say something in defense of Mack McLarty that both Elizabeth and Mark kind of hinted at, which is that I'm not so sure that he could have been a good chief of staff I think under any circumstances with this President, who really does like to not delegate at all, and in a White House in which you have various power centers. And the First Lady has her own power center, for example. It's clear from a lot --
MR. LEHRER: Those are real things, are they not, Elizabeth, those divisions?
MR. GIGOT: This vice president is one of the most powerful vice presidents we've had. And then you have the political advisers, James Carville and his partner, Paul Bigala, the pollster, Stan Greenberg, who's as powerful as any pollster. We've had, I think, an American history. They have entre to the White House whenever they want, it seems. They were always sending memos about the economic program saying it was -- what everybody else should be doing. The question is: is the President going to change to give the authority to Leon Panetta, to take names, to fire people, if need be, and to make sure that all authority funnels up through his position?
MR. LEHRER: What do you think, Elizabeth? Is that going to happen?
MS. DREW: Well, Leon Panetta's last comments on your tape saying there are going to be other changes, there are talented people here, we're going to be sure that we have the best talent, suggest that maybe there will. There's been kind of a lot of freelancers there, and no, no discipline. It's not just that the President didn't give McLarty authority and that McLarty didn't take what authority he had. You just have all these freelancers operating on their own, doing what they wanted, going to what meetings they wanted, and I --
MR. LEHRER: All with the President's ear, right?
MS. DREW: All with the President's ear. Every once in a while they'd say, okay, hold it, we're going to pull back on this, we're going to have fewer people in the meetings, and we're going to have the meetings better prepared, and then the President will say, well, where's so and so, why isn't he here, let's get everybody in. The President has wanted it both ways. He likes the loose atmosphere, he likes to hear a lot of people, and he gets very frustrated when it goes on too long when something doesn't get carried out. So the President's bifurcated in his own mind as to what kind of a White House he has. I think in picking Leon he has certainly not picked a John Sununu, he's not picked a Haldeman by any means, but --
MR. LEHRER: Meaning that he won't be what?
MS. DREW: Not a complete authoritarian who's going to really rule the place with an iron role. You can't do that with these people. It sounds like Panetta, while popular, while being liked, does want to make some other changes.
MR. LEHRER: Do you agree that -- what's -- you've been covering Panetta a long time, Mark.
MR. SHIELDS: I've covered Leon for 30 years.
MR. LEHRER: Thirty years. Okay.
MR. SHIELDS: He was a Republican when I knew him. He was working for Sen. Tom Kiekle, the Republican whip, the last Earl Warren Republican really elected from California. He was Republican Senate whip, lost a primary in 1968 to Max Raferty, and Leon then went to work for John Lindsay, was the director of the Civil Rights Office and what then was HEW, now Health & Human Services, under Richard Nixon, quit that position -- Bob Finch was secretary of HEW then -- quite in protest, became Democrat and won the House seat from the most beautiful congressional district in the country, the Monterey-Carmel-Pebble Beach-Santa Cruz -- you know, it's a beautiful district.
MR. LEHRER: And how is that going to influence --
MR. SHIELDS: California -- I mean, if there's anything that's crucial to this administration, it's California. And that's awfully important to them. He has good relations with the Congress. He has good relations with the press. Dick Gephardt, the House Majority Leader, pushed very hard that he be appointed director of the Office of Management & Budget. He is a fellah who's got a reputation, a deserved reputation, which cost him a ton, became very candid. This is an administration where good news has been, I think, rewarded more than somebody speaking the bitter or unvarnished truth.
MR. LEHRER: Panetta will change that.
MR. SHIELDS: Panetta will do that.
MR. LEHRER: All right. One other change that was announced today, Paul, and it affected your predecessor on this program, David Gergen, and he's going to go to be a foreign policy adviser, apparently to have, as I understand it, an office still at the White House but also an office at the State Department. What's that all about? How do you read that?
MR. GIGOT: Well, I think, in part, it's a reflection of the fact that David Gergen's influence within the White House, itself, had been waning, and it created by going over to the State Department - - this created an opening for Mack McLarty to be the counselor and take that position. It also was a way for David Gergen to exit himself. There was a lot of talk, and I think --
MR. LEHRER: He was already set to go, was he not?
MR. GIGOT: He was already set to go, I think, and so -- and third, it's an attempt to deal with one of the President's big problems, which is the, the perception that he doesn't really have control over the foreign policy portfolio. Now, I don't know if it's really going to be able to address the substance which I think is at the core of the problem of foreign policy because David Gergen's expertise is, of course, is as -- was the messenger, how do you package it, and if this -- if this means that the problem is the packaging and not a package, I don't know that it will solve the problem.
MR. LEHRER: Sure. How do you read that change?
MS. DREW: Well, I think the most interesting thing was David Gergen said afterwards on CNN, "I'm going to be on the principals' committee." The principals' committee is the group that makes foreign policy, and it's something David has been wanting to be on for some time now, and it never worked out. He just sort of wasn't led in, although he was in a lot of foreign policy meetings, a lot of foreign policy discussions, but the principals, the secretary of state, defense, head of the CIA, the chairman of the joint chiefs, and the U.N. ambassador, the national security adviser, that's where it happens, sometimes joined by the president and the vice president. And David's been wanting to be there. Now he's going tobe there. He also has struck up a bit of an alliance with Warren Christopher. He has spent a lot of time over there talking to Christopher, and he does have some real concerns, again, about not just on how foreign policy is articulated. It goes deeper than that on how it's made and whether the President is given enough options. So I think he'll be over there shoring up Christopher in a way.
MR. LEHRER: Okay.
MR. SHIELDS: I think David has the capacity to be a very honest broker here. He has good relations with the State Department, with the people there, with Tom Donovan, with Mike McCurry, with Christopher and the substantive people at the Pentagon.
MR. LEHRER: What about Strobe Talbott?
MR. SHIELDS: I don't know about Strobe Talbott.
MR. LEHRER: He's No. 2 --
MR. SHIELDS: But he also has good relations inside the White House with Tony Lake and the national security folks, and he has - - David is somebody who substantively has dealt in that whole foreign policy area for a long time, and I, I think he brings special, special talents to it. But I think Paul's assessment is right, that the string had run out for him domestically. I think it made enormous contribution the first six months -- the last six months of 1993.
MS. DREW: There's one other point about that, and that is that Mack McLarty was really David's strongest ally, and now he's going -- let me say a quick word about Alice Rivlin.
MR. LEHRER: Go ahead. Make it quick.
MS. DREW: Well, she was the first person Clinton was really thinking of putting in that OMB job, and then as Mark said quite accurately, the Hill people, and particularly Dick Gephardt, came down to Little Rock and said, you really have got to meet Leon Panetta, and the President, like everybody else, really fell for Leon Panetta. But now it's justice. Now Alice Rivlin, who's enormously qualified, has been the deputy, ran the Congressional Budget Office, and she gets the job, and that's as it should be.
MR. LEHRER: Paul, in a word, a lot of talk, things happened here a lot inside the beltway, are they that important outside the beltway? These changes are important, or are they not?
MR. GIGOT: Well, I keep thinking that we've seen this before. We were talking about it when David Gergen went to the White House. We were talking about when Lloyd Cutler went over to the White House, that these were going to make, these changes were the decisive ones. Is a third time a charm? I don't know. I mean, my guess right now would be that unless the President makes the determination to change himself and to delegate and to be more disciplined, it won't make a difference.
MR. LEHRER: What's so great about what we do is we could come back to this. Yes.
MR. SHIELDS: I think it is significant for this reason. The easiest thing to do would have been to wait until after the election. I think the fact that they're moving now suggests that it is a serious move on the President's part.
MR. LEHRER: Serious move?
MS. DREW: And the President's friends convinced him he really couldn't wait any longer.
MR. LEHRER: Got to go. Thank you all three very much.
MR. MAC NEIL: Ahead on the NewsHour, business opportunities after the riot, Stonewall remembered, and essayist Amei Wallach. FOCUS - STONEWALL - 25 YEARS LATER
MR. MAC NEIL: Next tonight, trying to revive small business in the inner city as seen by a group of young entrepreneurs straight from the inner city. Business Correspondent Paul Solman of WGBH- Boston has the story.
MR. SOLMAN: When Bill Clinton visited LA last year, it was not to prove that white men can jump, however convincing he was on that score, but that black entrepreneurship can thrive in the ghetto. The Playground, it's called, a post-riot sneaker store that teamed up managers like Glenn Harvey, on Clinton's right, and investors like Floyd Coard, in the jacket, with a group of ex-gang members. As it happens, we first visited this would-be model of success within weeks of its inner city inception and have followed it ever since. After the riots of '92, of course, stores closed left and right throughout South Central LA. But with a $20,000 grant from a local sneaker company, Eurostar, these former gang members set up shop in a vacant lot day after day led by Ray Ray, laying out the footwear, and High T. To say these guys used to be an economic liability is to belabor the obvious. Ray Ray's last 18-month prison term alone cost taxpayers somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000. But illegal activity did teach them something, says High T. Drug dealing, for instance, taught them how to sell.
HIGH T, Partner, The Playground: The same skills. You got to deal with the customers. You got to get the product off and get - - but selling drugs is a little different though because you're tryin' to get rid of the customer fast. You're not tryin' to spend the time to make the customer happy; you just want to get your money, get him his product, and get away from him.
MR. SOLMAN: High T and Ray were converted by former NFL fullback Jim Brown.
JIM BROWN, Founder, AmerIcan Program: We are gangsters of love, and that passion has to be there because we believe in the responsibility of self-determination.
MR. SOLMAN: Brown's program is called "Amer-I-Can," and some think his mission is almost impossible, turning gang members around.
JIM BROWN: It is very difficult to get back into the system once you're outside it. And those people who do not understand the many details that a person has to go through to become legal within the system is very naive.
MR. SOLMAN: AmerIcan taught High T and Ray basic life skills, getting up in the morning, showing up for work, and, in fact, breaking into the mainstream paid off right away. They were making $9 an hour here and on August 4, 1992, High T went to the bank, where he made his first deposit ever.
HIGH T: It's awesome, man. I'm carrying the money. It's my money. It's legal. I'm in a bank. Everything's legal. It's just -- I don't know. It can't really be explained, I guess, unless you lived the live that I lived. Seeing my name on the city of Los Angeles tax registration certificate, "High T and Ray," just, just alone would make you feel, you know, tremendous. I mean, it's awesome. I never had nothin' like this before. I'm a 28-year-old man. And all I've been having is a dollar and it's gone, a dollar and it's gone. Now it's like I can save, and it's money that I actually really worked for physically, mentally, and all that.
MR. SOLMAN: To observers like us, this seemed a perfect model. In a community short on education, confidence, and commerce, here was a legitimate way for young men to earn a living and the priceless respect of their peers.
RAY RAY, Partner, The Playground: They're our buddies. Man, they'd come up and help us set up, man, and kick it with us, sometimes help sell shoes. You know, they like what we're doin' man, they respect that, man. You know what I'm saying, and, you know, we respect them for helping us and loving us, you know. That's basically what it is about, helping each other.
MR. SOLMAN: Is this the answer? Is this the answer? Is this how if the inner city, call it what you will, poor streets are going to turn around, is this how it's going to happen?
RAY RAY: Jobs, opportunities. That's the only way I believe it's going to turn around.
MR. SOLMAN: Jobs and opportunities, the inner city refrain of recent years, the economy supposedly the problem, jobs the only answer. Where white flight was once blamed for leaving a segregated ghetto to fend for itself, the current culprit is job flight, especially the exodus of manufacturing jobs from inner cities like LA. With the black middle class having moved out as well, there were fewer job opportunities, arguably because there were fewer businessmen left to create them. To economist Ron Mincy, the lack of jobs, entrepreneurs, and capital is largely responsible for the crippling of the ghetto economy.
RON MINCY, Economist: On average, white families have about $45,000 in net worth, whereas, black families have $4,000. And Hispanic families have about five point five thousand dollars in net worth. So you are not going to be an entrepreneur unless you have wealth, unless you have capital, and I think that's the fundamental reason why there's so little business ownership in the black community and why it's so important for activities such as these to get started.
MR. SOLMAN: Ron Mincy's latest book is called Nurturing Young Black Males and to him, High T and Ray are a case in point. But if young black males need nurturing, you should see how much nurturing a young black business can need, especially when it's low on inventory and on the brand names that are targeted in TV ads to the inner city.
[COMMERCIAL]
MR. SOLMAN: To a sneaker store, the message is loud and clear: You'd better stock every size of Shaquille O'Neal Reeboks. So in the winter of '93, our entrepreneurs switched suppliers from small scale Eurostar to Reebok and Nike, and they invested in a real location, The Playground, a concept they hope to turn into a chain by providing sneakers, clothes and refuge.
RAY RAY: You know, doing little things for the kids that, you know, that need to be done, because they don't have no football teams or parks that represent their cities or their neighborhoods around here that they can go join and, you know, play, so we're trying to bring something back.
MR. SOLMAN: For this operation, of course, they needed generous credit terms from the big suppliers and an infusion of real money. Dr. Floyd Coard provided the lion's share, $35,000 of start-up capital.
FLOYD COARD, Investor, The Playground: We talk about sometimes, about the government being the employer of last resort. Let me tell you, we are the employers of last resort, because these guys whom we employ in the stores, several of them have very, very serious felony records. I'm talking about manslaughter, drug trafficking, and -- but some of these guys are decent fellows. One guy who has a record of a capital offense, one of our partners, whom I discovered to be a very sensitive, intelligent, sensitive, caring individual, who committed crimes because this was the thing to do in his neighborhood. You do what people around you do. If you don't do what people around you do, you're pretty dysfunctional; you're a misfit.
MR. SOLMAN: To economist Ron Mincy, investors like Dr. Coard are part of a bold and building way.
RON MINCY: You see it among inner city youth who want to be involved in entrepreneurship programs. You see it among black college students who want to own their own businesses. Somehow either we have taught them or they have acquired this understanding, that unless you control wealth and control resources, your community is not going to survive. I think our job now is to undertake more of these demonstrations. The job of my generation is to save for the next one.
MR. SOLMAN: If Mincy's right when he says that wealth creation is the next phase of the civil rights movement, then Glenn Harvey might be a latter day community activist. Harvey grew up in South Central, got MBA and law degrees from UCLA, is now vice president of a local bank. On the side, he manages The Playground with businessman Al Sanford and holds a weekly meeting to go over problems. There are always plenty to discuss, like maintaining the store when short of staff.
[MEETING]
MAN IN MEETING: Well, the thing I worry about the stores is just, you know, when stuff comes in, I don't like it sittin' in back for three or four days, 'cause what happens is as soon as it gets here, the clock starts tickin. We've got 30 days to pay for it. If we keep it back there for five, six seven days, we've only got twenty- eight days to pay for it.
MR. SOLMAN: The point Harvey's trying to drum in here is that the backroom needs to be kept up even if it isn't your regular job.
MAN IN MEETING: So where are you saying that you're going to run this back room?
[MEETING CONTINUING]
MR. SOLMAN: These guys still wear the badge of gangdom, those tattooed teardrops beneath the odds. But they're now learning the nuts and bolts of business from Harvey, who takes no salary and - -
[MEETING]
MR. SOLMAN: These guys still wear the badge of gangdom, those tattooed teardrops beneath the eye. But they're now learning the nuts and bolts of business from Harvey who takes no salary and, in fact, put $15,000 of his own money into the playground. When we were last there, his investment didn't exactly look like a slam dunk.
MAN IN MEETING: It'd be about 250 yesterday. Typically we at a minimum do three, four hundred dollars, a break-even spot. But our worst days have always been -- have averaged about three dollars - - that's our worst day -- yesterday it was about two hundred. Now we missed a couple of sales, a couple of guys came in won Dionne's -- $200 sales that we missed there, Dionne says is the hottest shoe right now. We've got a shipment in on Thursday, a full-sized one, and by Saturday, we were down to two size 12s.
MR. SOLMAN: The point is pretty simple: If The Playground had more capital, it could stock more merchandise, make more sales, but it's tough to grow, especially in the economically depressed inner city. On the other hand, there are competitive advantages to starting a business here.
RON MINCY: Where can you afford to buy real estate? Where do you really know what the market looks like? You have to know your customer, and a logical place for -- where do you know the needs of your own community? Again, lots of low income communities people don't have access to good supermarkets, decent places to buy clothing, the normal thing. That makes inner city communities great places to open for initial entrepreneurial ventures from which they can expand.
MR. SOLMAN: But even if it doesn't expand, this venture arguably has side benefits for the economy as a whole.
GLENN HARVEY: [talking to children] See how this income statement is going to look based on a week's worth of sales.
MR. SOLMAN: Glenn Harvey is teaching business to the next generation, a group of kids who've opened a concession stand while hanging out at The Playground.
GLENN HARVEY TEACHING KIDS: Now you have to remember that the first three lesson are going to be the income statement, and your balance sheet, and the cash flow, and those are the three most important national statements that you'll ever have in business, okay. If you learn those three statements, you should be able to run your own little business.
MR. SOLMAN: As business owners, the kids have a reason to learn the numbers.
[GLENN HARVEY WORKING WITH KIDS]
MR. SOLMAN: And the kids seem to be learning the essentials.
[GLENN HARVEY WORKING WITH KIDS]
HIGH T: Well, they all know that we're learning just like they're learning. We all know that Al and Glenn is our brain right now on the business aspect, you know. Those was the guys that came down to teach us this part that we didn't learn in our schools right in the inner city, which is sad, but I feel the same way as Anthony feels. You know, I'm learnin' too.
MR. SOLMAN: Now I suppose we shouldn't get too carried away here. Remember, most entrepreneurial ventures simply fail. So suppose those kids at concession stands -- even High T and Ray Ray, themselves -- don't make it. After all, it's been two years since we first visited, and while both High T and Ray still own about 12 percent each of the business, they did open a store in Compton at a shopping mall and quickly closed it due to lack of customers and with a new higher overhead, they now earn around $5 an hour, not really enough to keep them alive. But even if The Playground were to go bankrupt, that wouldn't mean it was a failure according to economist Ron Mincy.
RON MINCY: I don't know that the success or failure of this particular venture is all we should be focusing on. I think what's important is that Ray Ray and his partner got a taste of the mainstream, that they own their business, they have a banking account, they're very proud of it. They're making contributions to their community, and they'll learn things about running a business that they couldn't have learned in any other activity.
MR. SOLMAN: Finally, says Mincy, there are the young kids who look up to the gang members turned entrepreneurs. Playground or not, those kids will have an experience that they will never forget.
RON MINCY: How do we know whether or not some of those younger kids who are running the juice stand will end up being entrepreneurs themselves, so there are a lot of lasting lessons whether or not The Playground goes under in 1994.
MR. SOLMAN: In fact, High T is now taking business courses and working at a youth center. He and Ray have also been traveling around the country some, lecturing about their experiences, and The Playground, it's still in business. It averaged $675 a day last month, well above break even. FOCUS - STONEWALL - 25 YEARS LATER
MR. MAC NEIL: Gay rights and gay political power are next tonight. This week marks the 25th anniversary of an event widely considered to be the beginning of the gay rights movement. Time Magazine's senior writer, William Henry, has our report.
MR. HENRY: For homosexuals, it was a day not to have to feel like members of a minority group, a parade of hundreds of thousands starting at the United Nations for symbolism, climaxed a gay week in New York City, there was more celebration than confrontation. While last year's march on Washington was mostly political, focused on getting gays into the military, the varied New York gatherings involved a lot more fun. Crowding into dozens of gay-oriented cultural events like Broadway's Tony winning drama, "Angels in America."
[PLAY SEGMENT]
MR. HENRY: Partying the night away openly -- with other gay and lesbian professionals, business people, and candidates for local office. The big draw was Gay Games 4, an assemblage of athletes more numerous, if not always more competitive than the Barcelona Olympics. Anyone who paid the registration fee could enter. Some events were novel, same sex pairs ice dancing. And while entrants included some former Olympians in peak form, many were there just to have a good time or test their personal limits.
WOMAN: You feel an overwhelming sense of acceptance of who you are and what you are, and everybody encourages you to do your best!
MAN: I ran my personal best time in a hundred meters free style, one minutes, five seconds, fifty-seven
OTHER MAN: This is like a wonderful environment, you know, where they can be out, open, free, gay, and still participate in things they love.
MR. HENRY: All this ease and freedom was unimaginable 25 years ago when the gay movement was transformed at this lower Manhattan bar. There were activists in the 40's and 50's, but they didn't get very far. If what happened one hot June night in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn was not precisely the birth of the gay movement, it was its baptism of fire. When the police raided the bar, as they routinely did, this time the customers stopped submitting meekly and fought back. Activist Marc Rubin was a Stonewall Inn regular.
MARC RUBIN, Activist: They were people who recognized that they had been pushed too far and were simply not going to take it anymore.
MR. HENRY: Four days of skirmishes followed, and then a mass movement. Stonewall became a symbol to gays the world over, their Bunker Hill, their Bastille, their Tiananmen Square.
MARC RUBIN: We've moved from that little bar up there, from that riot, that little riot, into a, a cataclysm that's changing the world.
MR. HENRY: British actor and gay lobbyist Sir Ian McKellen brought a special, one-man show to Broadway to honor the Stonewall anniversary. In it he celebrates what he sees as a global movement toward gay acceptance.
SIR IAN McKELLEN, Actor: Last year, the Catholic Republic of Ireland in a single afternoon repealed every bit of anti-gay legislation that the British empire had left behind when it partitioned the country in the 1920's. One by one, the old countries of the Soviet Union are appealing their anti-gay legislation and generally becoming democratic. Israel removed their ban on lesbians and gay men serving openly in their fairly efficient armed forces. The new constitution of South Africa has established equal rights for all, so these are huge and important advances.
WOMAN SPEAKING TO CROWD: Brothers and sisters, hug, hug, hug.
MR. HENRY: For American gays, the change in visibility is unmistakable, the change in power and public acceptance is a lot less dramatic. In 42 states, it is legal for an employer to fire someone just for being gay. In all 50 states, gays are unable to marry. In 23 states, private gay sex between consenting adults is illegal. A Times/CNN Poll offers two striking statistics: Some 65 percent of Americans feel gay rights are already getting too much attention, and 53 percent feel that gay relations are immoral, the same total as in 1978 before a decade and a half of intense gay activism.
URVASHI VAID SPEAKING TO GROUP: Get involved. Keep up the resistance. We're going to win!
MR. HENRY: Urvashi Vaid used to run the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force lobbying group; now she's writing a book about where gay strategy should go next.
URVASHI VAID, Community Organizer: The political movement, the gay and lesbian movement, needs to focus its attention out of the legislative and legal sphere and into the cultural sphere a little more. If people think that I am an immoral person, it requires a different kind of education and communication than to convince them that I am entitled to job -- to employment without discrimination or to housing without discrimination. And I think that's the challenge that the gay movement faces. It's very hard for us to reach into the hearts and minds of people.
MR. HENRY: Writer Larry Kramer co-founded two leading AIDS groups, the care-oriented Gay Men's Health Crisis, and the deliberately strident, ACT-UP. He's skeptical about the value of moderation or of evoking sympathy.
LARRY KRAMER, Writer/AIDS Activist: If we have to wait for everybody in this country to like us before we get our rights, we'll never have them. I think that we'll get our rights when we are more organized and have better lobbying power and pressure in Washington. We are not a well enough organized community. And until we are, I don't think we will get the kind of things that we desperately deserve and want.
MR. HENRY: The pride of the gay community, its extreme diversity of race, religion, social class, and, of course, gender is what makes it hardest to pull together. Everyone has his or her own priorities.
URVASHI VAID: The reality of gay life and lesbian life is that it's hugely diverse. We are found in every segment of society. It makes for a very difficult organizing chore if you're an activist trying to create a movement, a political, social change movement of all these different strains of people.
MR. HENRY: Some gay leaders wistfully talk in private of downplaying the extreme elements of this diversity, the transvestites, the lesbians on motorcycles, or dykes on bikes, but they also remember that the drag queens helped launch Stonewall. Gay historian Eric Marcus, who calls his own customary coat and tie straight drag, questions how much it really matters whether the gay movement bears a moderate face.
ERIC MARCUS, Author, Making History: Just because you dress in straight drag, just because you might pass as straight doesn't mean that people are going to like you any more than they like a drag queen. People like me get bashed just as people who dress as guys in dresses get bashed. So there are people though I know who believe that if we keep the drag queens in the closet, if we keep the leather people off to the side, if we keep all of the -- what's called the fringe elements off to the side, that we'll somehow win our rights. We won't.
MR. HENRY: The deep divisions are re-styled, reflect a similar division over tactics. Some aggressive leaders want to push now for the most controversial items on the agenda, legalizing gay marriage, repealing sodomy laws that make gay sex illegal. Others want to start with the politically easier task of banning discrimination in the work place. Last year's political struggle over the military is now seen by many gay leaders as a strategic mistake, seeking too much, too soon, and maybe in the wrong place, Congress instead of the courts.
LARRY KRAMER: Obviously, I want the Supreme Court to rule that we're just the same as everybody else and it's, therefore, illegal to discriminate against us in any which way, which means we could get married, which means that I could inherit or leave my stuff to my lover, which means that they have to research age just like they have to research everything else. But -- umm -- I want to be able to walk down the street with my lover holding his hand and kissing him on the street or seeing two men or two women kissing each other, living together happily on the screen in the same way -- I want everything that you have, and God damn it, I think I deserve it! And we all do.
MR. HENRY: Perhaps the deepest objectives of gays and lesbians are dignity and respect, the very things their conservative opponents find it most distasteful to offer. While many straights continue to think of gays as freaks of nature, meriting sympathy at best, gays see themselves as a people, with a history and a culture
ERIC MARCUS: You know, the thing is people think that being gay is simply what you do behind closed doors, what you do in the bedroom, but it has to do with what you read, the subjects that interest you, the people you socialize with. It infuses every part of your life as it does for heterosexual people, but heterosexual people are not accustomed to thinking of it in that way.
MR. HENRY: For most of the past dozen years, the overpowering image of gays, or at least gay men, has been AIDS. It affected hundreds of thousands. Politically, AIDS changed everything.
LARRY KRAMER: The irony is that AIDS made us much stronger in every possible way. It was at a great cost obviously, but I don't think we would be as far today if it hadn't been for AIDS. For the first time we have something really urgent to fight for.
MR. HENRY: Perhaps the most enduring impact of last week's events was a reminder to both gay and straight America that there was a gay movement long before AIDS and that other seemingly hopeless battles have been fought and won. Outside the Stonewall is a gay memorial now. Its statutes are a gathering place for gay tourists from all over the world. The Stonewall is also again a bar, and there and at thousands of places like it across the U.S. the police don't routinely raid anymore. ESSAY - THE CUNNINGHAM REVOLUTION
MR. LEHRER: Finally tonight, essayist Amei Wallach of New York Newsday looks at choreographer Merce Cunningham.
AMEI WALLACH: The feet of all dancers, like the roots of old trees, are gnarled and twisted, and not always serviceable anymore. This has in no way kept Merce Cunningham from dancing. In this season of his 75th birthday, he simply substitutes a crooked elbow, a staccato hand for those celebrated quick silver leaps. A half century ago, when Merce Cunningham was the star male dancer in Martha Graham's company, she used to say that he was so buoyant he seemed made for the air. In 1945, Cunningham left Graham to incite a Cunningham revolution, a revolution as radical and important in the history of modern dance as Graham's before it. Cunningham didn't just reject Graham's mythic story line and heavy breathing emotions, he actually redefined dance and music and the relationship between them. Dance, the way Merce Cunningham interprets it, is simply movement, trained and disciplined movement but movement, nonetheless, movement in time and space. To expand his understanding of movement and generate new steps for his dancers, he'll study an insect in the grass, a short stop on a baseball diamond, pedestrians in cars making room for each other on the street. They don't move to sound, although they make sounds. The late composer, John Cage, who was Merce Cunningham's longtime collaborator, conceived as music, as simply sound. The sound of static or a twig brushed across a board was as much music to Cage as a Beethoven symphony. And that's the way Cunningham uses music, purely as sound. When we look at movement on a stage, the sound we hear inevitably affects how we perceive and understand the dance. But for Cunningham, the sound has nothing to do with the way a dance is made or what it means. The dancers, the composers, the artists, or set designers all work separately on a Cunningham dance. And usually the dancers don't get to hear the music or see the set until just before the performance. That's one of the things that many artists from Andy Warhol to Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg have always loved most about working with Cunningham.
ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG: It was excruciating collaboration, but it was the most exciting and most real because nobody knew what anybody else was doing.
AMEI WALLACH: During Rauschenberg's six years as artistic director of a company in the early 60's, when audiences were sparse and the whole company traveled by Volkswagen bus, he might just paint a picture on stage during a dance. In what will always seem the most nostalgic of Cunningham's dances, Summer Space, Rauschenberg concocted sets and costumes of the same shimmering dots so that the dancers became lost in the background and then reappeared again like memories. In a way, Cunningham is very much the man of his artistic times, which are the 40's and the 50's. Just as Jackson Pollock made all the paintings that didn't depend on a focal point, in a Merce Cunningham dance, wherever a dancer is moved is centerstage. In the 1950's, artists of all kinds studied Zen Buddhism. From Zen, Cunningham took the idea of attention to the moment and the large role that chance plays in our lives. To this day he tosses pennies to make decisions about direction, rhythm, and time. His art wants to imitate the process by which things happen in nature, not just the result. But it isn't for ideas that have been influential for half a century that young dancers worship Merce Cunningham and the great dancers of our time like Mikhail Baryshnikov, perform his dances. It's because for all those years he has remained alert for everything that is unpredictable that will make him rethink, renotice, start all over again. Today he is pioneering the use of computers for choreography. The name of the dance he performed for his 75th birthday season in New York was "Enter," after the computer command. The most unpredictable element in a Cunningham dance has always been the audience. It takes an audience to complete a performance, and Cunningham took a certain amused delight in the days when people left in droves because they so hated what they saw and heard. Now that he's an international monument honored everywhere. People sit docilely through the most excruciating noise which perhaps amuses him equally. But adulation or rejection have always been beside the point. The point is embodied in Merce Cunningham, himself, on stage, concentrated, comical, completely himself, this very human human being moving, and always alert for new possibilities. I'm Amei Wallach. RECAP
MR. MAC NEIL: Again the major story of this Monday, President Clinton announced a shake-up of his top White House staff. As part of the moves, Budget Director Leon Panetta will replace Mack McLarty as chief of staff. McLarty will remain as counselor to the President. Good night, Jim.
MR. LEHRER: Good night, Robin. We'll see you tonight. I'm Jim Lehrer. Thank you, and good night.
Series
The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
Producing Organization
NewsHour Productions
Contributing Organization
NewsHour Productions (Washington, District of Columbia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/507-pc2t43jx3h
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/507-pc2t43jx3h).
Description
Episode Description
This episode's headline: Job Shuffle; Field of Dreams; Stonewall - 25 Years Later; The Cunningham Revolution. The guests include ELIZABETH DREW, Author; MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist; PAUL GIGOT, Wall Street Journal; CORRESPONDENTS: PAUL SOLMAN; WILLIAM HENRY; AMEI WALLACH. Byline: In New York: ROBERT MAC NEIL; In Washington: JAMES LEHRER
Date
1994-06-27
Asset type
Episode
Topics
Education
Literature
Global Affairs
Religion
Politics and Government
Rights
Copyright NewsHour Productions, LLC. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode)
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:58:57
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Credits
Producing Organization: NewsHour Productions
AAPB Contributor Holdings
NewsHour Productions
Identifier: 4958 (Show Code)
Format: Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 1:00:00;00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Citations
Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” 1994-06-27, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 25, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-pc2t43jx3h.
MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” 1994-06-27. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 25, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-pc2t43jx3h>.
APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-507-pc2t43jx3h