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[music] We gonna petition Lyndon Johnson. Woah, we gonna petition Lyndon Johnson one of these days. Hallelujah. We gonna petition Lyndon Johnson. We gonna petition Lyndon Johnson one of these days. We gonna walk the streets of Washington We gonna walk the streets in Washington one of these days. we go to walk the streets we go to walk the streets Hallelujah! We gonna walk the streets in Washington, we gonna walk the streets in Washington one of these days Stop we go to walk the streets to stop police brutality We gonna stop police brutality one of these days. Hallelujah! Gonna stop police brutality We gonna... [music] You are listening to Jimmy Collier and Reverend Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick, of Dr. Martin Luther King's Southern Christian
Leadership Conference. [music] It is Sunday evening, March 3rd, and from New York, this is PBL, a public broadcast laboratory, an experiment in public television, combining elements of information, education, and entertainment. Tonight, the United States stands warned that it is moving toward two societies, one Black and one White, separate and unequal. Tonight, PBL will be a special edition devoted to the President's Report on Civil Disorders, which is addressed to white America. [music continues] I don't agree with the moderator nor Reverend Robinson
that we want some kind of agreement. We want an agreement by which we can live or die. You too. I have spoken to you a lot of times in hatred and anger, and you have not heard me. Well, you had better hear me today. It's because you consider me a vagabond leader that I'm not to speak here. Well, you had better cut those neck ties over them Black boys that you put in their district, because they don't know what's happening, and I'm from the pits of nigger hill, and I know what's happening. If you won't listen to me when I make an appeal for the Negroes, because you have no concern for the Negroes, listen to me when I make an appeal for America. You claim you love America. Well, we love America. But you are driving us back
and you are making a Samson out of us, and we are gonna pull down the [inaudible]. Should you try to pretend that I'm crazy because I want America to be saved? Riots that goes on in this country, and in this city, this city is better than Pittsburgh. And then you think we have no right to ask for something? Is it too much to ask you to grant us human dignity? Should we be put down and shot to death for this request? If so, you can aim your gun. What the hell do you think we care about dying if you're gonna deny us the right to live? Good evening, I'm Tom Pettit. Tomorrow, the Report of the President's Commission on Riots will go on sale in a paperback edition for a dollar and a quarter.
It will tell White America what in the past only novelists like Faulkner and Baldwin have said so well, that the United States is a racist country. As in Faulkner's novel, Light in August, the report suggests that White people bear the burden of guilt for our racial dilemma. As in the Baldwin novel, The Fire Next Time, the report suggests that for the Negro, violence may seem to be the only way out of the ghetto. Except for its official designation of this country as racist, the report says virtually nothing new. It just puts it all in one place. The report tells White, middle-class Americans that they do not comprehend life in a Negro ghetto. Tonight, PBL will make a small effort to overcome that failure. You can get the details of the report someplace else. Last November and December, a Negro photographer, Gordon Parks, spent several ordinary weeks with one family in Harlem. Parks' diary and photographs
will appear in this week's issue of Life Magazine. Tonight, they form our first report. Here's Gordon Parks. This is a story of a Black man. His name is Norman Fontanelli. And this is his Harlem apartment. What he wants, what he is, what you force him to be, is what you are. For he is you, staring back through a mirror of poverty and despair of revolt and freedom. Look at him. And know that to destroy him is to destroy yourself. You are weary of the long hot summers. He is tired of the long hungry winners. None of us are so far apart as it might seem. There is something about all of us that goes far deeper than blood, or Black and White.
It is our common search for a better life and a better world. We march now over the same ground you once marched. We fight for the same things you still fight for. Our children's needs are the same as those of your children. We too are America. America is us. It gave us the only life we know. So we must share in survival. Look at us. Listen to us. Try to understand us. Our appeal is urgent. There is yet a chance for all of us to live in peace beneath these restless skies. It was damp and cold in the Fontanelli apartment today. It was an especially bad hour for Norman Senior.
He just been laid off his railway job, where he worked part-time as a sectionhand. He lay beneath a thin crumpled blanket trying to help 13-year-old [inaudible] with her homework. He said he had lain awake most of the night worrying because there was no food or money. None of the kids had winter coats. If it turned colder, he probably wouldn't be able to go to the school the following day. It's awful, he said. The Black man always gets the walking papers first. He's the last to get called back. I've got 10 mouths to feed here. And there ain't enough in that ice box to even fill the baby's stomach. Ain't much I can do about it. The White man does all the hiring. And the White man does all the firing. When the hard work's done, we get sent home to wait until he feels
like calling us back again. What can I do? I don't have an education so I can't get anything better than what I got. That's why I hang on to this part-time job with the railway. At least they give me five days notice. Little Richard, who was three, kept pointing silently at the goldfish bowl on the mantle. Most of the goldfish had died from the cold the night before. Only one wiggled around slowly in the dirty green water. Richard could hardly talk. Fish's dead, fish's dead he kept mumbling. His neck glands and mouth were swollen because he's been eating plaster from the wall cracks again and there were still poison in his system from the lead paint. Both he and five-year-old Ellen had been in the hospital for this. I just don't know why those poor children eat the walls their mothers said. Doctors say something about a nervous condition they have. Both of them nearly died from it once.
Betsy Fontanelli appears to be a strong woman, especially in the early part of the day when she looks younger than 39. But as the day wears on she seems to age with it. By nightfall she has crumpled into herself. All this crying and needing and wanting is about to drive me crazy she said this evening. Now I've got double trouble. My husband is a good man, but every time they fire him, lay him off, he takes that out on me and the kids. He gets his little bottle and he starts nipping. By the time he nips to the bottom, he's mad with the whole world. Then the kids and I get it, especially Norman, Jr. November 16th. Betsy Fontanelli has attempted to give warmth to this home. But it remains a prison of endless filth, cluttered with rags and broken furniture. Her woman touch shows in the shapeless [inaudible] curtains,
the dime store paintings on the grimey walls, the shredded scatter rugs covering the cracked linoleum, the waxed flowers and the outdated magazines. She slaps the urine soaked mattresses on the children's bed and shakes her head in disgust. I just can't break them of the habit, she says. Not a night passes that one of them don't wet the bed. Even if there were sheets, I couldn't find the time to keep them washed. Now and then one sees a little starched dress, hang clean above the rubble, like a flower above a weed patch. It's amazing the way the kids keep their books stacked so neatly all in the rubble. In the quieter moments, the older ones help the younger ones with their lessons. And at such times, the house seems to be filled with love. Norman senior is quiet, sharp and powerfully built. Despair is in his eyes,
his words and his movement. But he hasn't given up yet. This whole building is crawling with roaches and rats. It ain't fit for dogs. But what can I do? My wife's always trying to get into the projects. But they won't let us in until I get a steady job. So we're always finding ourselves right where we started from. Nowhere. November the 19th. Today, as if she was recognizing the Sabbath, Betsy Fontanelli reached over and straightened the portrait of Christ that hangs above the baby's crib. I asked her if they were a religious family. Well, I guess we are, she said, At least we used to be. We just don't go to church anymore. It's hard keeping faith in something when everything's going so bad for you. I teach the kids at prayers,
and that's the best I can do. Seems to me the most important thing now is to try and get them some kind of education. That's why I keep their heads in those books. November the 23rd, Thanksgiving Day. Betsy Fontanelli and the children were all sitting in the kitchen, warming in front of the oven this morning when I arrived. There was no heat. There hadn't been any the night before. The ten of them had slept huddled together on mattresses with the oven going all night. There was warmed over fish for breakfast. Sausages and eggs were being served for the Thanksgiving dinner. November the 25th, 1967. I caught up with Mrs. Fontanelli today in the Board for Anti-poverty office of [inaudible] She had gone there with four of her children for help. Bob Hagen, the board director, sat in his overcoat listening to her complaints.
The poverty office had also been without heat for three days. Her complaints were common to Hagen's ears, broken windows, hunger, rats, roaches, garbage strewn hallways, doors off the hinges, the heatless days when the wind whistled through the holes in the walls. The landlord looks and promises but nothing happens. But just let us miss that $70 rent one month and he's threatening to put us on the street she said. Hagen promised help and asked her to come back to see him the following week. November the 27th. Betsy Fontanelli received a letter from her oldest son today. His name is Harry, she said, with a trace of sadness in her voice. She sat in her coat with her back to the window light.
He's got seven more months to go at the Pilgrim State Hospital for narcotics. He got on that stuff when he was 15. I did everything I could, even took him to the police. But once he was hung up, there was nothing to do for him. To protect the other kids, I finally had to put him out when he was about 18 years old. He went from bad to worse. I haven't seen him since he's been out of there. Tears running down her face. It cost $4 dollars and a half apiece for us to go out there and back and that's too much for my husband and me to scrape up right now. I'd like to see him though, he's a good boy at heart. Norman is a strange mixture. And in his talk, there's a defiance for Whites. The White policeman, the White butcher, the White clerk in the grocery or our appliance store. His eyes have the hard glint of the older Black men in Harlem.
At 13, he is already primed for some kind of action. He is aggressive, determined, and powerfully built for his age. But his hostility is balanced by an overwhelming tenderness at times. Today, for instance, he lifted his baby brother Richard and smothered him with rough kisses. December the 7th. I have yet to see all the Fontanellis sitting down and eating together. One of the kids will cry as hunger and Betsy Fontanelli will scrounge up sandwich of some kind. Norman seems to exist on tiny seven-cent sweet potato pies from the grocery store. Richard, a three-year-old, was eating a raw potato one day. Sometimes four of the younger children's hunger is share one apple. But even if there was enough food for regular meals, the kitchen table is too small to accommodate all ten of them.
December the 8th. It was extremely cold today. Norman senior spent most of the evening stuffing more rags into the broken windows and cracks. His wife lay on the bed, tired, and fevered with a bad cold. She had been up all night with Richard, whose neck, glands, and lips were swelling again. For a child, it's so bad he can hardly eat anything. There's no money to call a doctor, she said. I'll carry him over to the hospital tomorrow morning if he's no better. December the 10th. There was a quiet excitement in Mrs. Fontanelli as she waited for the guards to bring her son in. When he arrived, they embraced warmly as the guard watched. Norman senior, Betsy and Harry sat down at the table and began talking.
It was awkward for all of them at first. But since time was short, the mother got down to the basic problem. I hope you come out good and clean, Harry. You've had enough trouble already. Oh, I'll be straight, Mama. It's just going to take a little time to get everything out of my system. Everything will be straight, Mama. I hope to God you never touch that stuff again. His answer stunned all three of us. Well, I don't know. I can't say for sure I'll never go back on it. You see, I wasn't on heroin. Just cocaine, which wasn't so bad. Betsy Fontanelli's eyes watered and Harry suddenly realized that his words had hurt her. He choked out a sob and covered his face. We left shortly after.
December the 15th. I found Norman Jr. on the corner, warming over a garbage can fire this evening. The smell of snow was in the air. The boy wore tennis shoes and a light windbreaker. This was his heaviest coat for winter. I asked him what he was doing out so late in the cold. Papa put me out, he said, rubbing his hands over the flame. For what? Nothing. He's mad about not having work, I guess. I didn't do anything. I asked him if he wanted to go home with me. No, he answered. Mama will fix things up. I'll get in all right. I was going up to see how things were. As Betsy Fontanelli's voice came to the door before I had a chance to knock. You ain't going to put that boy out in the cold for the night.
Not my son. I knocked and [inaudible] let me in. The argument stopped, but tension remained in the chilly apartment. I sat around for nearly half an hour in the uncomfortable stillness. The mother went with me to the door. Things are little rough here at night she said softly. One of his friends gave him a bottle. He got churned up inside and put Norman out. But I'll get him in. December the 16th. Betsy Fontanelli was lying, groaning in misery when I arrived this afternoon. Little Richard had climbed beneath her arm. I asked her if she was ill again. She took a long time answering. When she did, it was through a painful half smile. Well, he gave me a going over last night. My ribs feel like they were broken.
My neck is scratched and swollen. Now she began to cry. I just can't take it no more. It's too much for anybody to bear. I asked her where her husband was. In the hospital, she answered over at Sydenham. How did he get there? I asked. I put him there. I just couldn't take any more. My mother's 65 and my father has beat her all her life. Kicking and beating. That's all I've known since I was a child. I know things are hard for my husband, losing his job and everything. But he hadn't ought to take it out on me. I asked her if she wanted to tell me where her husband was in the hospital. Well, when he got through kicking me,
I got up and I poured some sugar and some honey into a boiling pan of hot water. And I let him have it right in the face. Why the sugar and the honey? That's to make it stick and burn a while. Lye is too messy. She was silent for a few moments. Tears were streaming down her face. I'm awful sorry now that I did it. They say one of his eyes I hurt pretty bad. Both of them were closed when I went over there to see him this afternoon. But I just couldn't take any more. It's hard enough just trying to keep 10 kids alive. He should leave and let us alone. Then maybe we'd get more help from the city. I went over to the hospital to see him. Little Norman wanted to go so I took him along. Mr. Fontanelli is in the first bed
to the right of the corridor the nurse told me. I looked at the man in the bed she had direct me to. But that's not your father I said to Norman. Oh yes it is. I can tell by his hands. Look, see how fat they are. It was him all right. But he was burned beyond recognition. The honey and the sugar had served the purpose. How you feel Papa? Norman senior stirred and looked at us through one puffed eye. The honey and the sugar still coated his neck and his face. His right hand, which had been raised in attempt to shield his face, was horribly burned. He sat up on the side of the bed and daubed his eyes with a gauze. I don't know why your mother did it boy. I just don't know why. Then he layed back down and lapsed into a painful sleep. Just another one of those thousands of violences
that explode in a ghetto every week, I thought as we left the hospital. In the heat of summer they pile up and spill over into the street, and buildings burn and people are killed and windows are smashed. And the big Normans and the little Normans dash in to look for what they don't have at home. As we cross the street and climb the four flights to the cold apartment I could only wonder why they waited for summer. PBL Special Report on Civil Disorders. Part 2 continues in one minute. [music plays] Part 2 continues in one minute.
Part 2 continues in one minute. [music ends] The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders reported that the United States is becoming two countries, one White, one Black. One in the suburbs, one in the cities. One rooted in affluence, the other in poverty. The report condemns Black power as contributing to White racism. But it asks an enormous task of White America. Namely that Americans stop blaming Black people and start blaming their own system.
In that sense the Riot Commission Report has accepted a central thesis of Black power philosophy. Black power says Whites usually cannot condemn themselves. But this is what the report asks. It also pleads with White America to reverse the tide of racial division. The report says it is possible to do that. But White reaction to Black violence and Black nationalism seems to indicate otherwise. Here are two examples of how this country seems to be headed toward apartheid. First, black nationalist Russ Meek as he appeared on PBL last fall, then a report by correspondent Dave Dugan. Which oh, I'm talking to Black folk now, you know. That no matter. What happens? The dialectics of the situation are going to make you either get off the fence or crawl in a hole in the ground. It is the ability to take your own resources and develop a culture, a society, a community of our own. The way we want it, free from White interference. And we give you the same privilege.
We're not interested in interracial housing. We don't want your neighborhood. We want ours to be just as good. We don't want a store in your neighborhood, but we don't want you coming in our neighborhood and open up stores and exploiting us and then go home and throw a bomb if we move next door out in the suburbs. We don't want your schools, but we want our schools to be the highest in the best spot for our black progeny. See what the people don't understand. We are saying and we're not asking. The die is cast as I said. We're not asking. We're saying this is the way it's going to be. The gentleman in the back of the room - My name is Russell Davis and I am a student of political science. This afternoon, Mr. Meeks has said that he's not afraid of alienating White America. The young lady from Winnetka has stated that she saw, during the marches which she participated in, people who were full of fear and hatred. Mr. Lucas has said that the American Negro is either going to be free or he's going to be dead. My question is this. If the violence continues, aren't you, Mr. Meeks, and you, Mr. Lucas,
afraid that it's going to be the second alternative? Mr. Meeks, quickly. Let me answer this gentleman. You know, it's very hard to say what you want to say when, after you've said it, somebody gets [inaudible] that you haven't been talking. But you know what, young White fellow? I got a son in the Hundred and First Airborne that you're going to kill probably, because he's going to Vietnam. I got a nephew. He just came back from Korea. He was wounded three times. The first thing happened when he went home was that a cop beat the hell out of him. With a pistol gun. Now, you get this straight, you can kill all the Black folks you want to, baby. But you will not kill the freedom of Black folks. It's coming, we're going to get it. You think you're so indestructible. You think you're so great because you got all these weapons. I remember Mao Tse Tung once said he wondered where he'd get his weapons from. And then we arm Chiang Kai-shek. And he said, thank you, Jesus. You see? So don't misunderstand us, baby. We're dead serious.
This country was founded on revolution. The old little settlers out there in the northeast section of this country had some muskets and some sticks and some stones. And they whipped a mighty professional British army, baby. And five thousand more Black, and one Black woman disguised herself as a man and fought with you all. And we don't have our freedom yet. We fought in every one of your damn lousy wars, baby. And you give us nothing. Now the war is going to be here, cause we're going to be free. Now you kill all you want to. But we kill too. All right ma'am. Now, your gun is ready to fire. You'll get a grip on it with your right hand. Support it with your left. Support it with your left. Bring your elbows up. And your lock is straight. Now, fire right at the intersection of the target. Talk in the suburbs of tanks and troops and terror in the streets has led her to the pistol range. A grandmother, fearful. She's part of what the president's report calls
the polarization of the American community. The little manuals that you have that were furnished by one of the shooting foundations pretty well sum it up. And keep them in your, with your cookbooks, they make a pretty good reference if you ever need anything like this. Up to this point, we have gone through the routine of practice. We are going to now do a little tiny bit of something very similar to combat shooting. It seems incredible if you would ever have to do anything like we're going to do here today, but simply we want you to know and you want to know how it can be done. So some of it's been demonstrated and you have had it done. The gun is suburbia's new tranquilizer. These housewives in Dearborn Michigan, an all-White city of 100,000, are learning to use it. The city's public recreation department offers the instruction. All-White Dearborn is on the edge of Detroit,
which is 40% Black. Fear and hate are the only bonds. Now, who would like to be our first volunteer? Maybe I should ask if there are any questions. No questions? You mean everything I've said you remember? At a, like a, combat shooting, where is the vital point? Well, we can't really go into the anatomy of this thing, but you'll find that those targets are marked. They're the same targets that the police department, the FBI use. Study the target and you'll see what they consider to be the more vital areas. Believe me though, there's nothing more vital than being hit any place almost in the body. I think this is a terrible thought. But if it's a terrible situation, you have to resort to this, well in the middle, someplace. Yeah. Okay.
We have our volunteers? Four, six people. Let's go down here. Now, now, double action firing for five rounds. [gun shots] That's a heavy calibur. That's about 38. It makes a lot more noise. Well, if there's going to be another riot, I want to be prepared. And let me tell you one thing. He better not show his face in front of my house because it means my own life. I'd shoot him. Fear is fear. And when you get fear into you, you'll do anything. And I know what fear we had when we look up in the sky and see the sky all illuminated. It wasn't very pleasant. I don't like the idea of shooting at one - anybody. And I don't mind target shooting. That sounds like fun.
But people, I just don't like the idea at all. But if it's necessary, I mean, you know, you do what is necessary. What is it? Necessity is the mother of invention or something or is that the opposite? Is that the way it goes? The concern of these women is genuine. From their homes, they've seen flames in the night. But the president's report says the real danger facing the United States is dissolution. Two separate communities in a garrison state. One, two, three, four, five, six. So you didn't miss my [inaudible]? No. Attitudes are much the same in Rochester, 25 miles north of Detroit. On the surface, it's a peaceful White community, untouched by last year's riots. The nearest they came was 10 miles away in Pontiac. Still, there is fear.
It's an insulated community, quiet streets, proper homes, family pets, and apprehension. The citizens are worried from their isolation they can think only of us and them. It's going to happen. There's been too much - the robbing of the arsenal in Pontiac, and the stores are being robbed of guns and everything else. Somebody's doing it. I'm kind of apprehensive about the whole thing. Last year was pretty bad. I've been thinking about arming myself, my wife, you know, my father knew. He lives next door to me. He's armed, and I know several other people who've taken the trouble to go and buy a gun. I think quite a few people around here actually are worried about it. Even though we didn't have a terrible time last summer. It was in the city, of course. But I'm worried about it. I'm afraid it's not going to stop. They've been doing it for years and years now.
It's getting on to what, 10 years or more that we get this every summer. It's getting to be too much and I think it's going to be a... If the city or the government can't stop it, then we're going to be a little troubled in the suburbs or with normal people. Do you think there's anything that we've gotten done to improve the situation? I really can't see anything. I think that everyone's afraid of the Colored race lately. The man on the street, as well as even the police, they seem to - everyone seems to be scared to make them obey the laws, which is something that doesn't happen to Joe Blow like me or the guy next door. We get thrown in jail for some of these actions. I wouldn't know what the solution is, of course. It's probably difficult. I'm tired of being scared and not doing anything. These men have been meeting since last summer. They're seeking official
status as auxiliary police or deputies and they're trying to build a formal citizens public safety corps. As you know, we had one leader in each of these seven areas that we divided the township into, with some sub-leaders under them for various subdivisions. The only thing I'm going to ask you to do here tonight, fellas, is the possibility that some of you may be able to assist myself in finding a leadership in this area six here, And on the maps that you zone leaders have been issued, you'll know what area that is. I had a little trouble organizing that particular area. This area three up here, is also in the same situation. We have several people interested but so far, nobody has cared to devote the time to the leadership capacity, the rest of it - Originally,
some charged that they were a group of vigilantes. The report has warned against the widespread tendency of communities to overreact. These men say, though, that the few hotheads who were with them originally have been weeded out. They appear now to be all genuinely concerned townspeople who feel there just isn't enough formal police protection to go around. Their chairman is an architect but talk is rarely of building foundations for better understanding. The county sheriff doesn't approve of the group. When I got out there, there's about 25 of them. I sat in on the meeting and listened to it. And I wasn't very much impressed with it because I thought it was a little strong about guns. Everybody wanted to carry guns and figured they'd all be deputized and I couldn't deputize them. I only stayed a little while and then I came back and I wrote them a letter the next week and told them that I wasn't interested in the setup because I didn't think it was just right.
Because if everybody carries a gun then runs out in the street, they don't know how to use them. They're going to get hurt. And I advise them to stay off the street if there is any trouble. In nearby Pontiac, an industrial town, the large Negro population is very sensitive to what it hears. They know about the group in Rochester and they get other reports of towns planning purchases of tanks and the arming of veterans groups. They're angry and frightened. Why am I mad? You know, White people ask me why am I so angry? And you know, I don't have an answer because it'd be ridiculous for me to answer him because he couldn't understand anyway. Obviously, because he's asked me the question. Do you know of, if you heard of any black people arming, you hear of Avon Township, Springfield Township, Waterford Township, you know, by the [inaudible] of Birmingham, that she has racist state representatives that are telling them to arm like Coon and Harvey Lodge. You don't have - listen, if a Black ne- if a Black man was a state representative,
and was going around in the county, telling people - telling Black people to arm themselves, he would be in prison for inciting a riot. Right. Well, aren't there Black people telling their people to arm themselves? Sure. [crosstalk] black people [crosstalk] [crosstalk] [crosstalk] But if a black legislator was out in the county, telling Black people to arm themselves, where do you think they'd be now? If they got into jail, before they killed it. If they killed it. Before they killed it. But Harvey Lodge and Coon is jumping all over the town and they're like, they deal. You know, in the 400 years that I've existed there, three years, you know, three generations within my own family. Why don't you know what I'm like? What is so new in 1968 or, you know, in the 60s that you've got to learn? Because my grandpa was born, you know, he's 90. My mother was ready for integration. You know, she's a middle-class Negro. Now, all of a sudden
you come to me and you say, you know, communicate with me. Hell, I've been here all the time. Where were you? You communicate. Now, what do I have to say to you? The most advanced nation in the world. It has to be resolved. It has to be resolved. Because I want my children to have an answer. If not me, I personally prefer that I have an answer. You know, I don't have, you know, I like to think I don't have my lifetime to waste on this. You think we're going to the gas chambers like the Jews did during summer? I'm not going to the gas chambers. I'm not going to be singing and praying and going to the gas chambers. And, you know, it's a very real possibility. You know, people talk about genocide. A lot of people talk about it, especially now. And a lot of people don't believe it. But it's a very real factor. It's a very real factor and white people are [inaudible] to bring this thing about. And it's a very real thing. And Black people decide they're not going to the gas chambers on their knees. This is what, we,
there's some discussion came up in the chambers of the city commission. And someone said something about 25 million Black people. And you could hear a little moment in the background. Yes, and we've got 25 million graves. This is a very real thing. This is what they're planning for. [music and singer] Middle of the summer, [inaudible], Sitting in a crowded apartment, about a hundred and ten degrees. I went outside the middle of the night. All I had was a match in my hand I wanted to fight, so I set off, burn baby burn, burn baby fire. Nowhere to be and
Lordy no one to see and now, nowhere to turn, burn baby burn, burn baby burn. Called President Johnson on the phone. The Secretary said he wasn't there. Tried to get in touch with Mr. Humphrey. He couldn't find him anywhere. I went into the courtroom with my poor black face. Didn't have no money, didn't have no lawyer, they wouldn't plead my case. So I set off, burn baby burn, burn baby burn. No where to be Lordy, and no one to see and now, nowhere to turn. Burn baby burn, burn baby burn. I really wanted to be a
decent citizen. I really needed some scratch. I really wanted a decent job now. All I had was a match. I couldn't get oil from a Rockefeller's well. I couldn't get the diamonds from the mine. If I can't enjoy the American dream. Won't be a water but the fire next time. I set off, burn baby burn, burn baby burn. Nowhere to be and Lordy, no one to see and now, nowhere to turn, burn baby burn, burn baby burn. Walkin' around in Harlem now, lookin' mean and bad. Deep down inside my heart, feelin' sorry and sad. Got
a knife and a razor blade. Everybody that I know is tough. When I tried to burn my way out of the ghetto, I burned my own self up when I set off. Burn baby burn, burn baby burn. You need to concern, you've got money to earn, you've got midnight oil to ah burn, baby burn. I really want a decent education. I really want a decent job now. I really want a decent place to stay now. I want to live like everybody else. I want to live like everybody else. I want to live like everybody else. [music and song ends] Good evening. I'm Roscoe Lee Brown. The commission report talks about the communications gap between the people of the ghetto and the rest of America. Just
how deep is it? To scratch the surface of this skin deep problem, PBL now offers part of a test prepared by a social worker from the ghetto of Watts in Los Angeles. The social worker, Mr. Adrian Dove, was struck by the fact that low income Black men were required to do well on tests key to middle-class experience and educational standards. So Mr. Dove decided to put the shoe on the other foot by writing a test for middle-class Americans both White and Black to see how well they understood the special culture of the ghetto. From an original case test of 21 questions, we have selected 10. With each question you will be given four choices from which to select an answer. You'll be given the correct answer at the end of each question. So if you have a piece of paper and pencil handy, simply mark down the numbers one to 10 and take the test. And now for the first question. The term square is an almost universal one by now. In case you didn't know, a square
is a person who just isn't with it. One wonders how many people who work on Madison Avenue are with it in their knowledge of what goes on below the railroad station at 125th Street on their way in from suburbia. 125th Street, the Broadway, the main drag of Harlem. What better a place to ask the first question on our quiz. Question one then, everybody. In the Negro community, the opposite of square is how about A, round, or maybe B, up, why not C, down, or maybe D, hip. Again, the question. In the Negro community, the opposite of square is A, round, B, up, C, down, D, hip. It's time for the answer folks. The answer is every good brother and sister know is D. The opposite of square is hip. And if you got that one correct,
you're a hip man. And for the time being, least ways. Nowadays, soul music is the big thing in the Negro community. Jazz is always a favorite for the brothers. After all, they started it back in New Orleans. So here's question number two. Ready? The nickname bird, or yard bird, refers to only one giant of jazz. Is it A, Lester Young, B, Benny Goodman, C, Charlie Parker, D, the bird man of Alcatraz? To repeat the question, the nickname bird, or yard bird, refers to only one giant of jazz. Pick one answer from four choices you see on the screen. The answer is C. And there he is. The man who blazes the trail for most of modern jazz. The one and only, Charlie "Bird" Parker. When a Black man's rapping it out to the brothers, a common comeback
from the audience might be "that's right brother." Now, there's another way of saying this, which leads us to question three. The following four choices complete the phrase which begins, tell it A, as it is, B, how it is, C, like it is, D, straight. To repeat the question from the four choices shown, complete the phrase which begins, tell it. The answer is C. Tell it like it is, yes, tell it like it is brother. From Monte Carlo to Vegas to Harlem, throwing dice is as popular as sport as throwing the bull. Which brings us to question four. If you throw the dice so that seven shows on the top, what's on the bottom? Is it A, 7, B, snake eyes, C, box cars, D, 11? To repeat question four, if you throw the dice or that seven shows on
the top, what's on the bottom? The answer is A, 7, 11. I hope you didn't crap out on that roll. Now here's another saying that you'll hear in the inner city, ghetto, or slum, or whatever you call it. Let's see if you know the answer to question five, which goes, if a man is called a handkerchief head, he is A, a cool cat, B, a porter, C, an uncle Tom, D, a preacher. To repeat question five, if a man is called a handkerchief head, he's one of the four possibilities which one. Time's up Masser, and in case you haven't guessed the answer is C, a handkerchief head is an uncle Tom, and why here they are. America's number one aunt and uncle.
One of the familiar phrases in an Negro community for how to get ahead is a phrase that we want you to complete. So for question six, complete the following sentence. Quote, you've got to get up early in the morning to A, get worms, B, be healthy, wealthy, and wise, C, fool me, D, be the first one on the street. To repeat question six, from the four choices on your screen, complete the following sentence which begins, you've got to get up early in the morning to... The answer is C, you've got to get up early in the morning to fool me. This is Muhammad Ali, the former Cassius Clay, and as boxing moguls would have it, the former heavyweight champion of the world. Another famous Negro who dropped what he called his slave name is a jazz pianist, Ahmad Jamal.
So for question seven we're asking you, what was the former slave name of Ahmad Jamal? Was it A, Millie Lee Jackson, B, LeRoi Jones, C, Fritz Jones, D, Andy Johnson? Here's question seven again. What was the former slave name of Ahmad Jamal? Pick one from the four. The answer is D, Andy Johnson. Ahmad Jamal may have kept his initials for his luggage, but otherwise he dropped his baggage slave name for good. Here's another expression that is popular in the Black community. Let's see if you know what it means. Now question eight asks, if a man is called a blood, what is he? Is he a A, prize fighter, B, Mexican American, C, Negro, D, American Indian?
Here's question eight again. If a man is called a blood, what is he? Choose one from the above four. The answer is C, a blood is an equal brother. No two ways about that. Soul food is a popular staple of the ghetto. It consists of delicacies like hog maws, black eyed peas, and chitterlings, or chittlins. Now about chittlins, just suppose you're a black Julia Child and you wanted to cook these chittlins to a tee for best results. How long do you cook chittlins? A, for 15 minutes, B, 24 hours, C, one week over a low flame, D, one hour. Here's question nine again. For best results, how long do you cook chittlins in boiling water? The answer is B, 24 hours. In addition, trim off most of the fat, keep a little around for taste,
add a pinch of salt, and you've got a meal for real. There are some Black people who say that Juneteenth, June 19th, that is, should be a legal holiday. So for our 10th and final question, we ask you to complete the following sentence. Juneteenth should be a legal holiday because that was the day that A, Martin Luther King was born. B, Booker Taliaferro Washington was born. C, Lincoln freed the slaves. D, Texas freed its slaves. To repeat question 10, Juneteenth should be a legal holiday because that was the day that chose one of the four options. The answer is D. Juneteenth or June 19th was the day back in 1865 when General George Granger and his Union forces landed on Texas soil and freed the slaves.
It is still celebrated by Black folk down south. Those who haven't lost their farms and gone north, ladies. Well, how did you do? I passed. On the test, that is. The PBL suggests that anyone with five or more correct answers in some kind of touch for the people of the ghetto has been to lunch, perhaps. But if you had anything less than five correct, then we respectfully submit that in the jargon of the social worker who wrote the test, you may well be culturally deprived. And now for a non-scoring question which tells the score. Recently, Jet magazine asked its Black readers to answer the following question. What ethnic name do you prefer to be known by? Jet gave its readers these five possibilities. In what order do you think they were chosen by the Jet readers? The five choices which you see on the screen are shuffled, if you'll excuse the expression, from the final results of the Jet poll. The question again was what ethnic name do you prefer to be
known by? And the five ethnic designations are A, African-American, B, Negro, C, Black, D, Colored, E, Afro-American. Remember to rank your choices according to how you think the Black readers of Jet answered the poll. And now for the answer. At the bottom in fifth place was that old euphemism, Colored, and in fourth place was that schizoid term, African-American. In third place with less than a quarter of the votes was the term, Negro. The word which the white community and communications media are accustomed to use. In second place was the term, Black, and an uncomfortable lead for the moment is the phrase Afro-American. Of these two expressions, Black is more popular among youth and college students. It's less than two years since Stokely Carmichael popularized the phrase Black Power from a speech by Adam Clayton Powell. It's less than a year since Martin Luther King endorsed the slogan Black is beautiful and it's so beautiful
to be Black. But more beautiful and best to the point is as Robert Burns said, for all that and all that and all that, a man is a man for all that. The Riot Commission had something to say about the role of the mass media. It said that generally they did a good job of covering the riots, but they did a bad job of covering the normal, ordinary day-to-day life of Negroes. And so far the press has done a pretty good job of covering the report itself. Its main recommendations this weekend are well known. More jobs, better housing, better schools, better police. The commission itself did not say how much all of this would cost. PBL has learned that the estimated cost is 8 to 10 billion dollars a year more than the administration has asked for housing, education, welfare, and job programs. Dr. Martin Luther King,
who was planning a new March on Washington, has been urging that kind of spending for a long time. We feel that the time is now. Our summers of riots are called by our nation's winters of delay. And as long as justice is postponed and these delays are here, we're going to have these dark and desolate summers. So we're coming here in an attempt to get the nation to do something, rather than talk about the long hot summers and lead to more repression and strengthen the forces of reaction and lead to a kind of fascist state that nobody in America within a good sense would want to see. But the longer Congress delays, the more you're going to have repression and the more the forces of reaction are going to take over. And we can very easily end up with a kind of right-wing takeover that will set the whole nation back. Therefore, we feel that it is desperately needed now. This movement is needed now. And it's needed in the
sense that we commit ourselves to staying in Washington. My contention is that it's better for the nation to have a deficit that grows out of doing something positive for justice and freedom. and for its own survival, than to have a deficit based on a terribly unjust war in Vietnam. So it just means adding about $10 billion to the deficit. And if Congress had sense enough to see this, we could go on and solve many of these problems. We're going to have a deficit anyway. So just add another 10 billion dollars to the deficit. And you would see a totally different climate in this nation. And Negroes would develop, and poor people generally, a new sense of hope because they could see a kind of good faith alive. Even though everything wouldn't be done on the basis of that 10 billion dollars, it would be the signing of a huge promissory note that many people would respond to by a lifting of their hopes and their longings with freedom. And I think
it would do a lot to deal with the great anger and the cynicism and the despair in the Black community. But the Commission report makes it clear that government spending alone, federal, state, or city cannot do the job without help from the business community. Again, that is not a new conclusion. Several anti-poverty programs have taken that approach. One of them is in the Bedford–Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, a ghetto with one distinction. Its crime rate is higher than Harlem's. Reporter Jack Newfield wrote about the project for Life Magazine and for PBL. Dave Dugan narrates. When Aretha Franklin sings, I can't get no satisfaction, she seems to speak for all the
Bedford–Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. [music] False escapes wherever you look. Neon credit signs. Bars, churches, TV sets on sale, liquor stores, and more loan signs lit by neon. Burned out houses with families, Negro families, still living behind the boarded up windows. The percentage of Negroes in Bedford–Stuyvesant today is about 90 percent. An enormous increase since 1950, when just slightly more than half of population was Black. In the interim, not one new hospital, not one new high school, have been built. Buildings of decay, the area died a little more each year, with the classic conditions of the slum to be seen everywhere. Then it happened.
July 1964, Bedford–Stuyvesant rioted, almost at the same time as Harlem. It was the start of the long hot summers. A riot focused public attention on Bedford–Stuyvesant, and among those showing continued concern has been Senator Robert Kennedy. Reporter Jack Newfield asked him if Bedford–Stuyvesant residents are better off now than before they started rioting. I would think probably the situation is perhaps somewhat worse for the average individual there. I don't, certainly don't think it's better. Senator, if you can imagine yourself Black, 18 unemployed and living in Bedford–Stuyvesant, do you think you might participate in a riot?
Well I don't- I think violence is a mistake. I can understand the disillusion with government and with our society and feeling that no one cares and no one will care as far as the future is concerned. I think that- that's put ourselves in that position is what we- those of us who are more affluent and those of us who have positions in government or positions that are within the establishment. That's where we have to put ourselves if we're going to understand what the problem is. Do you think that the basic existing complex of anti-poverty and welfare programs have not at all been effective in diminishing poverty in the ghetto? Well, I think that they have not been as effective as they should be, but I think added to that is the expectations of attire. Do you think New York would have been worse on the average than other cities? Well, I think New York- The problem is greater and therefore the situation is far more serious and far more essential that something be
done and therefore the situation is worse in New York. Because they haven't organized it. There's been an awful lot of talk about it, but they haven't organized it. And the result is that the solution then grows greater. I'm not in favor putting more money, for instance, in the poverty program in the city of New York until they have it organized. A senator says that he realizes because of Vietnam there isn't enough federal money to rehabilitate Bedford–Stuyvesant. Senator Kennedy and his staff have developed a new bipartisan program aimed at breathing new life into the area. Simply put, the plan is a systematic attack on urban poverty, starting with the idea of convincing private enterprise to invest massively in the ghetto. Two non-profit corporations have been set up. One is called the Bedford–Stuyvesant Corporation. It consists of about 25 Black community leaders. Its function is to create and implement training programs, employment opportunities, and community development activities. The corporation's first target was tenements that were in various stages
of death and decay, 400 four-story buildings on Halsey Street. The work of renovation began last summer. The idea was to attack a highly visible problem and give a community that had lost hope concrete proof that something could be accomplished. The renovation created jobs for 272 unskilled, unemployed residents, people who otherwise would have been on the streets. One of the young people expressed the sentiments of many when he said, this ain't cool at work like the city gives you for the summer so you won't burn the town down. This is real stuff. By last November the work on Halsey Street was completed and the people celebrated with a block party. Then on their own the residents went out and collected money for trees and other things to improve the street even more. Today the street almost looks like the old middle class Bedford–Stuyvesant of 40 years ago, a shining symbol of a possible but difficult future. A second corporation is called Development and Services and it contains some giants of Wall
Street including Roswell Gilpatric, former Deputy Defense Secretary who is now a Wall Street lawyer. Jack Newfield asked Gilpatric if the Bedford–Stuyvesant programs would be able to reach all the people there. Well I wouldn't give up on anybody in the community over the long run. I think in the near turn this will affect primarily those who are not now employed who need more training, need more education and who need some inducement to stay instead of moving out of the area. That's why we are stressing the physical rehabilitation and the arresting of deterioration which has gone on there all those years. But ultimately everybody should benefit. The homeowners, the children, the people who want to keep their families together and keep this a real community within the city of New York. Do you think the war in Vietnam has preoccupied the government and made the city a lesser priority and therefore made it imperative that private enterprise fill the gap? I think it made it clear you can't wait for the government in every case and if we're going to solve our local problems, our city problems, we must do something on our own level.
That's why I'm interested in Brooklyn, having been born in Brooklyn, having families, living there, having office workers here from Brooklyn. To me I wanted to do something and not wait for Washington to act. Probably the most ambitious program actually going on now is the demolition of an abandoned milk bottling plant. Local people are doing the work but eventually to seek construction of a community complex that will include meeting rooms, office space for city service organizations and daycare centers for children. Based on its idealized blueprints, combining private and government funds, the Bedford–Stuyvesant program could become a national model of slum regeneration. But the odds are long. No one yet has succeeded in reversing the drift toward decay of an entire ghetto. The leader of Brooklyn Corps, Sonny Carson is one man who isn't overly optimistic about the chances of success in Bedford–Stuyvesant. But the problem is so big that they would need a thousand restoration programs in this community. The establishment is
going to have to learn that Black people have to be allowed to do a lot of things on their own and until they realize this, then there is not going to be anything done in this community. But you don't think it's another extension of a kind of liberal colonialism with IBM putting up the money in a paper department? Of course it is. We're living in a colony and every time these people feel that they want to do something for the Black community then they come in here and do it themselves. They never come in and say to a community organization or to the people of the community, look we would like to do something for the community. How best can we do it? And this is what has gotten the Black people fed up with the whole society. And what's going to happen to all the Black people in Bedford–Stuyvesant who restoration can't reach? They're going to die. They're going to die. There have been difficulties in all of the Bedford–Stuyvesant restoration plans. The idea of buying up vacant lots to use for low-income housing for instance had to be discarded when the owners demanded three times the value of the land.
Despite the setbacks though, work has moved along, and by 1970 or 71 there should be rehabilitated housing where there are now rotting tenements. Trees where there is now concrete. Small parks where there now is rubble. Play areas where there is now traffic. Benches where there is now nothing but garbage. A water fountain where there now is nothing. The future is always inscrutable, yet walking through the community one sense is something. If not yet the beginning of optimism, then at least the end of impotence. The Commission staff went out and asked people in riot city ghettos to list their major grievances. Number one was dissatisfaction with the way they were handled by police. Number two was unemployment and under-employment. The Commission says two million people are unemployed and the Labor Department said today that out of every three non-white youths who are of job age, one is out of work. An especially significant figure since
trouble in the streets usually involves these young people. What should we do about it? Well, the Commission says there should be a vastly increased manpower and on-the-job training program using a combination of federal and private funds. That approach is being taken by a Negro organization called the Opportunities Industrialization Center which has branches in 60 cities. President Johnson visited the Center in Philadelphia last year when OIC's founder, the Reverend Leon Sullivan, was being honored as man of the year by the Chamber of Commerce. Recalling a selective buying campaign he had led in protest against job discrimination some years before, Reverend Sullivan reminded his audience that he had not always been quite so popular in the city of Philadelphia. It was at that time, that instead of wanting to give me an award, I imagined that I had some here tonight who wanted to put me in jail. I thought it was important to tell the Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders who were
there that night about selective patronage, because just six years ago in Philadelphia, less than three percent of the sensitive jobs in industry were being held by Colored people. Selected patronage was quite successful, but then we began to find it difficult to find people to go into some of the areas that were being opened. And I realized that unless we did something now to prepare people while we had been a worse predicament than we were perhaps even in the beginning. Because integration without preparation is frustration. And I did not want my community to be frustrated. The other manpower programs were good programs, but they weren't reaching the people who needed it most. Therefore I had to construct a program to fit the need of that man, that man who needed to be helped. The unreached had to be reached. One of the greatest keys that we have to the success of OIC is the recruiter. Once that recruiter meets them face-to-face and eye-to-eye that motivated recruiter, brother he can do a job. I mean I want to go to work, I don't want no help.
Let me do something for myself. I'm going to get trained for this. You must be trained for it. OIC trained you. We trained you. Listen, we trained you free. Then we place you on a job free. We guarantee you that if you come to school and get a training, we guarantee you a job when you're finished. What's your name and address brother? Come on let's go to school. Unquestionably the most important part of OIC is the feeder school. The feeder part of OIC. One half of what we do is skill training. The other half is attitudinal training. Is there anyone here who feels that man is not basically lazy or that people are not basically lazy? I haven't had no rosy life. I don't think - there are very few in here that have had a rosy life. I still [inaudible] the point that I agree, basically that man is most lazy. I was motivated by OIC to come and better myself. I see other people with good jobs, good houses, you know, nice things. I say to myself, well now why can't I get off my lazy behind and get
some of these things? Colored kids have no image. Our images are white. There's no ambition. Who can we say that was great? A lot of the Negroes complain about we never had [inaudible]. I grant you the Negro has been discriminated against 100% yet. I grant you that. But not only Negro. Not only the Negro. Look how many Jews. Look how many Jew people were burned in thousands. But yet these people didn't let us stop them. They wanted something. That's right. So why can't the Negro do this? Stop being lazy. Stop waiting for someone to hand something out to you. That's right. These men aren't lazy. They were just beaten down so that they didn't believe they could get up. A man has to believe he comes from something, that he comes out of something, that he's somebody. Therefore he has to be traced back to where he began, so they can have a sense of pride for being what he is. Once a man has respect for what he is, he doesn't have to hate
anymore. We do not have to be better than other men. And we are not. In fact, we are a group of men. We have a genius here and there, a fool now and then, and most people are just average. Now we will have to be viewed as such. And it has to be. The nation must face the fact that Black Americans received a hell of a lot of help getting in the predicament we're in. We're going to need just as much help getting out of it. I'm sure that when Black children can look and see that there was a king that was Black with wooly hair just like them who ruled over an empire larger than the United States, like Mali was larger than the United States, then certainly I can run a candy store in the block where I live successfully or certainly I can go to school and become an engineer. When a man or a woman leave the OIC feeder center, they then go to an OIC technical center, where they learn a skill. OICs succeed, I think, where many other technical centers fail, because of our involvement with industry. Industry is in full partnership with OIC. The equipment we train
on is the very best, screened by industry and much of it put there by industry. The jobs to which our trainees go are jobs that industry have shown us are available now. Because if you train a man for jobs that do not exist, you frustrate him all the more. For this reason we have high placement rates. More than 80 percent of our people who finish our training programs actually go into jobs. OIC started with the people because we believed that the people had to prove they wanted OIC themselves. It's a program of the people, by the people and for the people, and the true tradition of the American dream. But the purpose of all of this is to get a man a job. And unless you can give a man a good job out of the OIC preparation, all that we're doing is in vain. We have a young man at General Electric in the drafting department. It's amazing the minds many men and women have
walking the streets. IQs, tremendous potential, but no one ever thought so, no one ever did anything to help them. There are many others like him at General Electric, and there are 3,500 like him in 800 industries and companies all over Delaware Valley, all around Philadelphia. OIC is only the start. There is the next step, which is AAE, adult [inaudible] education. Adult [inaudible] education is the next great step that might well become the mechanism to help large cities to begin the process of rebuilding themselves. And believe me, people can rebuild themselves. With the help of government programs, I took 200 members of my church, and we raised enough money to build a million dollar garden apartment complex, owned by the people themselves. OIC helps a man to get a job, but beyond that,
we have to create jobs. And for that reason, I took 600 people, and we're building what we're calling progress plaza, which will be the largest and most sophisticated shopping center built by colored people serving a whole community, ever in this country's history. Nonetheless, the Riot Commission is blunt about the need to do something about the unemployment that leads to so many problems of the ghetto. It says we must take immediate action to create two million new jobs over the next three years. And next year alone, we should come up with 550,000 jobs, 300,000 of them in private business. The organization probably doing most to open employment office doors for the Negro as the Urban League. And the man doing a major portion of the work of the League is the executive director, Whitney Young. PBL followed Whitney Young around the country to come up with a view of how he goes about convincing the white business community to
hire more Negroes. We do face a credibility gap in the Negro community. It has historically been consciously and deliberately excluded. And that credibility gap will not be changed, will not be closed, until the business community shows that it can consciously and deliberately include, as those in the past have consciously excluded. I think we've got to be perfectly honest about this situation. It is in fact one minute to midnight. The time is in fact running out, not just on people who are economically and educationally deprived. The time is running out in terms of people throughout the world, taking America to be real and to be honest. But if we can say to the community, this is going to take 10 years. But next year, this is what you can look for.
Everybody will have a job. Everybody, that is employable. And that's not hard to do. It just takes doing the same thing we did in 1932 when white folks were out of work. And overnight, we pass WPA, NYACCC, FERE. Nobody said, well, we got to wait. They don't have skills and they don't have motivation. They don't have the incentives. We just put these angry folks to work, shoveling air, sweeping air, just anything to put them to work. And remember, I am asking you not just to have the Phi Beta Kappas and the Lena Hornes, I'm asking you also to apply and to let apply hire dumb Negroes like you do dumb white people. And mediocre Negroes like you do mediocre white people. I don't own general electric and {inaudible]. Very persuasive.
And thank you very much. First rate job. Thank you very much. I was just wondering if you had noticed in your travels any indications of any types of firms in the areas within the business community that are lending more support to the- One thing there seems to be a willingness now, to public- to publicize what they're doing. They used to, you know, hide it. There was less sensitivity to whether they might be irritating, you know, some southern consumer. The one thing that bothers me [inaudible] is that they still don't identify those sources that have helped them to move. I guess [inaudible] why else they like to feel when they make the decision, that they made it out of the goodness of their heart. But it plays havoc with my PR. You feel that the businessmen and leaders at the meeting this morning were receptive
to these ideas? I think they were receptive because I didn't make an appeal on a moral basis. I try to point out the reality situation. And the reality is that Negro citizens today have have learned the messages of Patrick Henry and the issue is liberate me or exterminate me. And that America has to make a decision whether it's going to build a wall around the Negro community and have concentration camps, or whether it's going to engage in genocide and destroy the Negro community. Neither of these ideas is novel. I mean Hitler has already showed us how this might be done. How do you, as director of the National Urban League, respond to the charges made that the Urban League is a part of the system? There's a what? Is part of the system. I don't deny being a part of the system if you're saying that I'm not trying to violently overthrow it. I am not trying to violently overthrow it.
I'm a part of the system in the sense that I do talk to the establishment. But those are the people that give the jobs. I mean it's like Mr. Powell out in California. They call me the Wall Street of the Civil Rights Movement. I must confess I got more jobs off Wall Street for my people than I do at the End of the World Bar in Bimini. [inaudible] in California about the modern Negro leaders, including Whitney Young of the Urban League, talking today with ABC's Steve McVie in Washington, Young reacted more with sorrow than with anger. I have nothing but deep sympathy for Adam Powell, and I make no apology about my working with the people in industry who can provide jobs for my people. And I believe I can get more jobs on Wall Street than than I can at the End of the World Bar in Bimini. Where now moving in an entirely new period and it's still a little difficult for the
masses of Negroes to understand, that today a Negro can associate with the establishment, with the power structure. On their terms, talk their language, without compromising at all and accomplish something. But let me make it real clear, I'm not a pacifist. I'm not a non-violent person. I am a very violent person, particularly as it relates to self-defense for myself and my family. And I'm not at all sure that I would not be an advocate of violence if I thought I could win. If the situation were reversed and we were in Nigeria or in Ethiopia or somewhere, I might well be an advocate of violence. But looking at the hard realities unless somebody shows me something that I haven't seen yet, by a way of superior weapons, then I at this point do not see
this as a as a very sound tactic. And so we are against violence. But I think the responsible Negro community has gone about as far as it can go, in saying to its constituency be patient, be non-violent, be loyal and not being able to produce the tangible concrete victories. The Negro must be given a stake in this system. In the same way that the business community at a time in history after great soul searching and great anguish and grief, managed to begin talking with labor leaders. And finally gave them a stake in the system, to the degree that when I was in Miami not too long ago, the AFL-CIO executive council, I walked in the hotel and all of the executives, wives were walking around with Pekingese dogs, mink coats and chauffeured cars waiting outside and elaborate well-stocked suites. It's just they were in no move to talk
about revolution. [laughter] [crosstalk] And a guess who's coming to dinner after they had the third change for dinner and the lady who was the cook says, well, Jesus Christ, I don't what to expect now. Who's coming? The Reverend Martin Luther King? And I was thinking, why is it going to be more real than you realize? And this is one of the hidden items on the agenda. You know, it's a whole fear of interracial marriage. You want your daughter to marry a Negro? But at any rate, there's one thing that they're adamant on and that is there ain't nobody but nobody going to tell us who to marry. Germany set out not to destroy a few blocks in our cities. They set out to destroy all of America. They didn't succeed, but they did destroy hundreds of thousands of American lives. But nobody raised a whimper when we, you know, allocated billions of dollars to rebuild West Germany. There are no slums in West Germany today. No employment in West
Germany. But if we can do this for Germany, we ought to be able to do it for our own citizens. I believe that we've seen the handwriting on the wall. And we will not wait to be embarrassed, to be pushed, to be bludgeoned, into being decent. That we will do this because it's right, not because 3% of the Negro citizens in this country rioted. But because 97% kept the faith and said that they believe in America. I believe that your actions, as evidenced by your attendance at this meeting, by having even this subject on the agenda. But the kind of work that the NICB group is doing, even the National Association of Manufacturers under Mr. Gullinder, who almost have the AME in line, to show you my optimism. But I'm convinced that given this kind of collective wisdom and sensitivity, that we can, in fact, produce today, the people who will work as
imaginatively to make democracy work as your forefathers worked to make democracy fail. This is my hope, this is my dream, this is my faith. Thank you. As our forefathers did to make it fail, is that [inaudible] Yeah, work to make it fail. It was conscious, deliberate exclusion. The establishment in the past, government in the past, FHA worked to make suburbs white. They built all the public housing in the city, and this was conscious. [crosstalk] It took great skill and imagination to build the mess we got. Mr. Young is a moderate, but this weekend he said summer violence would result if the findings of the Riot Commission are ignored. Another of [inaudible] things from author James Baldwin.
I looked through a mountain of reports on civil disorders. And the latest one is a very interesting document because it's most honest that I know of. It's the most inadequate. It doesn't really have for me any content. I live, you know, it's my life they're talking about. And they discovered enough finally to discover that I might have a reason for being in the streets. Well, you can hardly expect me to pick up my [inaudible] when I saw dancing because they finally figured
that much out. I think it comes as news to a great many of my co-citizens that the reason that Nlack people are in the streets has to do with the lives they're forced to lead in this country. And they're forced to lead these lives by the indifference and the apathy. And a certain kind of ignorance, a very willful ignorance on the part of their co-citizens. Everybody knows, no matter what they do not know, that they wouldn't like to be a Black man in this country. They know that and they shut their minds against the rest of it, all the implications of being a Black father or a Black woman or a Black son. And all of the implications involved in a human being's endeavor to take care of his wife, to take care of his children,
to raise his children to be men and women in the teeth of a structure which is built to deny that I can be a human being or that my child can be. The great question in the country has been all the years that I've been living here and I was born here 43 years ago. Is what does the Negro want? And this question masks a terrible knowledge. I want exactly what you want and you know what you want. I want to be left alone. I don't want any of the things that people accuse Negroes of wanting and I don't hate you. I simply want to be able to raise my children in peace and arrive at my own maturity in my own way in peace. I don't want to
be defined by you. I think that you and I might learn a great deal from each other. If you can overcome the curtain of my color, the curtain of my color is what you use to avoid facing the facts of our common history, the facts of American life. It is easy to call me a Negro or a nigger or a promising Black man. But in fact, I'm a man like you. I want to live like you. This country is mine too. I paid as much forward as you. White means that you are European still and Black means I'm African and we both know we both been here too long. You can't go back to Ireland or Poland or England and I can't go back to Africa. And we will live here together
or we'll die here together. It is not I am telling you. Time is telling you. You will listen or you will perish. PBL's special edition of the Presidents Report on Civil Disorders with guest David Ginsburg, Executive Director of the Commission, Negro leaders Dr. Kenneth Clark, Bayard Rustin and Charles Hamilton, continues with part three in one minute. The Riot Commission report is addressed to White America but there is another view that it is indirectly addressed to the Black community, in effect saying we mean it this time. We realize
something must be done while there is still time, if there is still time. We've asked three men to our studio in New York to discuss, among other things, whether they believe that and if there is still time. Bayard Rustin, long time civil rights leader, now Executive Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Professor Kenneth Clark, Professor of Psychology at City College of New York and Charles Hamilton co-author with Stokely Carmichael of the book "Black Power." Professor Clark, you were a prominent witness before the the commission and you referred to previous studies that had been done of racial or civil disorders and you said something to the effect, I must say it is a kind of Alice in Wonderland with the same moving pictures re-shown over and over again.The same analysis, the same recommendations, the same inaction. Do you expect this report to change anything? Well, I expect it to be talked about, but most reports on American racial problems have been talked
about. And interestingly enough each one is considered enlightening. Each one is considered to be memorable. I'd looked up today and found that President Truman appointed a commission which came up with a memorable report in 1947. The one consequence of that really memorable report was that a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was set up by the United States government. This commission has been eloquent in its inability to affect any significant changes even with the government itself. You're deeply pessimistic then? I don't know whether I'm pessimistic or not, but you ask me a question and I try to give you as realistic an answer as I could. Oh I mean you're pessimistic that the report won't really accomplish anything. I don't know whether the report is going to accomplish anything
or not, I think that there have been previous reports which have been as hard hitting as this one. In the 1940s the Myrdal study was a magnificent report, and the Myrdal study dissected the anatomy of American racism ruthlessly and skillfully. And I don't think there have been significant changes in the predicament of the Negro in America in 1940 to 1947 or from 1947 to 1968. We have had judicial decisions. We've had legislation. We have had occasional commitment to change and more recently we have had commitment even coming from the White House. And still the man in the ghetto sees very little change in his day-to-day life. Mr. Rustin do you think this report will change anything? Do you gain anything by telling a white [inaudible] is a bigot? Well let me say that I think
the report has new elements. Number one, a cross-section of prominent Americans are now saying what enlightened Negro leadership has said for many years; that the basis of this problem is economic and social. Number two, the report deals with the backlash which has been built on the basis that these riots were a conspiracy. It is made quite clear that they are not a conspiracy. Number three, Americans have thought that by just being nice people maybe they could do away with the problems of the ghetto. This report says unless you are prepared to invest billions and billions of dollars, even to the point of increasing taxes, nothing will change. What do you know about all that? Because that has never been presented to the American people by such an august group of people with
the backing of the White House. Well granted that, do you do you think it will change anything? Well I'm not, I have no crystal ball, but I am saying that all things are ultimately changed by people getting new insights. Now I would hope that the American people will now see the choice - whether they are going to invest these billions and stop American fabric from being torn apart, or whether they want race war. Now I would assume the American people have said it's enough not to want race war. That is a stark choice which this commission reports to us. Mr. Hamilton do you think the report will change anything? Do you think it will evert the race war of which Mr. Rustin just spoke? I don't know enough about the White racist mentality to be able to answer that specifically. But I would say that there's an added component here now, I think, in the late 1960s and that is
in all of these other reports we haven't had, I suspect, the absolute groundswell from the Black communities before the ferment. Now I think the likelihood of the race war is absolutely there and I think that that's the added component. I think that's unfortunate, you know, that we have to put it in those terms. But what the report obviously is relying on, I think, is a kind of rationality that I think that we have to either assume exists or hope exists. I'm not sure I follow what you mean. Is White America rational enough with this thing? Granted, its racism. Is it rational enough to see its self-interest, because it's cleared my mind that its self-interest
does not lie in repression of the Black communities, because if that happens I don't want any White person looking at this program this evening to think that his individual civil liberties can survive that, you see. If they come down hard on the Black community, as many of them are planning to do, we saw earlier in this program, arming themselves and so forth, and repressing the Black community with force. Then I think that it's very clear that what has been called civil liberties for white people in this country will no longer exist. So I'm suggesting that it's in White America's self interest to listen to these demands and exceed to these demands today. Listen to this report, exceed to the fantastic urgent cries of this report. Well let me, let me ask the question in another way. Do you think that integration is a viable goal in this country? I think that question itself is the symptom of American racism. What do you mean integration
a viable goal? Is it without integration it means that you are subjugating groups of people to a second or third or underclass status by virtue of their race? If America does not have integration, it has racism. And if you're saying if you even ask the question, you are in effect saying that America is suffering from an incurable disease of racism. That may well be, I'm just saying that is. Well what are the alternatives? Either we integrate or the people of America decide to give Negroes a certain number of states in which to live and set up their own nation, or they shoot us, or they send us back to Africa. Or they maintain law and order in the sense of rounding or surrounding American ghettos with mobile and effective military force. The function of which is to maintain law and order with continued inequities of injustice. Let me ask you. Let me just clarify one
thing with Dr. Clark. The reason I ask the question is that the report suggests that school systems will be 80, 90, 95, 99% Negro in our cities. Under those circumstances is integration even possible? Well school systems in our cities will be 80, 90 or 100% Negroes because suburbs will be attempting to maintain 100% white. And a nation in the latter part of the 20th century spending a tremendous amount of money competing with the Russians for mastery of outer space, functioning in this anachronistic way of dividing its population according to color is, to say the least, fascinating. I think, may I add here, that the important point in connection with your question about integration, again you see, and I think that this is where we should really focus. Not just our discussion here, but the dialogue that will obviously
go on in this country. To ask if integration is a goal, is to really ask what the Congress is going- what the Senate now is going to do about open occupancy, things of that nature. I suspect that when people ask that question, I'm not accusing you, but they have in mind the Black Power movement you know, and so forth. Well it seems to me I think that a lot of the questions that now surround the whole discussion of race relations, answers to these questions lie almost exclusively with White America, you see. Well that's what the report says. Yeah, now... in the capacity of White America. Pardon me? In the capacity of white America. The willingness, the capacity of White America. How willing do you think White America is? But we can say it has not been yet willing. Now the problem about integration is not that it has been tried and failed. The problem is it has not-
there has not been a will genuinely to try it. Now I believe that the American people can and must. There is nothing but tragedy for Black and White unless we are prepared to build an integrated society in which, like all other groups, the Negro is able to maintain certain of his own cultural heritage and to bring to that multiple, pluralistic society certain values which are his. Let me ask a question another way then Mr. Rustin. Aside from the question of integration is assimilation of the Negro into a one society, a feasible realistic goal? Your answer Mr. Rustin. No I'm asking each of you, and perhaps we should start with Mr. Rustin. Well, let me say that already the Negro is in fact integrated into many aspects of American life. There are over 2 million Negroes in the trade union movement, good dues paying members
with other white people. The idea that you cannot have integrated schools is false. It's simply a matter of whether we're going to draw the lines so we can have it. There are many small cities, as Dr. Clark knows, where integration is possible tomorrow. We make a bugaboo of busing. When I was a child, busing was the thing around consolidated schools. But the minute you talk about busing Negroes, then busing becomes something horrible. Did you see I think that we're making a mistake at this moment in this program because what we are now doing is analyzing things in a glass bowl. I would be more interested in discussing where this particular Commission's report, in terms of the economics of the matter which is basic, fail what they did not deal with. And furthermore then, to deal with the political problem of how do you get the nation committed to implementing
this report. All right. Well before we let you answer those lengthy questions you just posed, perhaps we could air Dr. Clark's views on the question of assimilation being a viable goal. Well frankly I don't know what assimilation really means. I have some vague idea of what we mean by integration and my best model for integration in the American society would be the seemingly very effective and efficient integration which we have in the armed services in Vietnam. It seems to me that we have had very little difficulty in getting Negro soldiers in Vietnam, sharing fully the suffering and responsibility and I presume some of the heartache of that and of course the death. I don't get the point you're making. Well my point is very simple, that whenever and wherever the society wants integration,
or any other type of social change, it manages to get it. I would settle, and I presume many Negroes would settle, for integration into the political, economic and other aspects of our society of the same degree that we seem to have gotten in the Vietnam situation. If you want to call this assimilation light. But one of the disturbing things about the American Civil Rights movement is that it seemed to me to be in imminent danger of being drowned in words and reports. I suspect that we will spend the next 70 or 75 percent of our time and energy on civil rights problems, talking them to death. Like this you mean? Well yes, I have a feeling that the panel discussions and reports are very subtle techniques of avoiding coming to grips with some difficult problems
which our society must come to grips with, and usually cannot come to grips with them as long as they are talking them to death. You think this is a waste of time Mr. Hamilton? Well I think it's part of the process of deluding oneself that the symposia is meaningful coming-to-terms with the issue when it really isn't. I think that as Whitney Young said the other day, we can stop studying the Black man now. That what we really must start to do is to zero it on the Whites. Well I think that there's a great bit of what I would call engagement in this whole process. That is to say one engage- I've been to at least 128,000 conferences on this subject in the last since September, give a take a few. A few hundred thousand. Yeah, and the process that goes on in the minds of my audience, you know, they feel that I come and speak and they are turned on and they've released
their obligation to the issue. Well do you think this report that we're talking about was in part issued to say to the ghetto, fold the lid on this summer, we're going to go through a mass soul-searching and seeking out of our conscience. And that was not directly addressed to the White community, but is in fact a political document. Well if it was, it won't work. I think it was the system's way of handling it. I think it was a system's way of reacting quickly, and that's what we do in this society. We appoint a committee and we investigate, ergo something's being done. That's just simply not true, and you know conferences on emergency measures to end the violence in the ghettos this coming summer. I don't think that's possible. We've just seen here and we've been seeing evidence, profuse prolific evidence, that there are no
such solutions, emergency kinds of measures. We've identified the problems and now the society's on the brink and it's handling it in the same way. Investigations, reports, voluminous language. Well there's a public relations component now, that seems to me much more sophisticated and much more effective by way of catharsis than previous ways of handling reports and investigations. Now, like America seemed to be engaged in the kind of public ventilation catharsis, which takes two forms. As far as I can see. One, guilt, in which many White people seem to be getting their kicks having Negroes flagellate them in terms of telling them how guilty they have been. And the other form of catharsis is by increasing the hostility toward Negroes.
And I think both things are happening right now. Both things are happening at the same time and sometimes maybe in the same persons. Yeah but can we are engaged in what seemed to me to be a peculiar macabre dance of continued insensitivity under the guise of continuing dialogue. Continued indifference and what's most disturbing, of course, the continuation of the cruelty. And I think if you want the barometer to this, just look at our congress. And I'm not one of those people who believe that our congress is below the norm of the American people. I have a feeling that they're pretty representative of anything, maybe somewhat slightly above the norm. That's more shocking than the report. Why? Taking a look at congress and- Well I think that if you want to know the meaning of this report, look at the behavior of the congress with the next week or two. I think you will get a pretty good index of whether words are going to be translated into any meaningful program to
affect the lives of human beings. Professor Clark you've been looking at this for a good long time haven't you, and I would like- Too long. I would like to ask you if you share the view that some have, that we are sort of headed toward Armageddon in race relations in this country? Well no, I don't think that we're headed toward Armageddon, if you have a picture of this in terms of war or guerrilla warfare or things of that sort. I think this is part of the pattern of words which we use. I think we're headed for something maybe even worse. What? Continued stagnation. The, this program showed to me, horrifying because it was so real, picture of Gordon Parks and the family. I think we're headed toward a perpetuation of this disguised by words.
This man and his children will feel afraid. We will have more and more sporadic bitter, bitter explosion against this, and we will control them by more effective police actions. When you say we will control them, who's we and who's them? The decent people in our society are respectable people and I think that we will have decent middle class Negroes who are also appalled by violence to also cry out against violence. Particularly if the violence is the violence that comes out of the despair of people who have nothing to be non-violent about. Do you think that we're headed toward an apartheid society, Mr. Rustin, or are you still the optimist? You know, to be quite frank with you, I think that this discussion which we
are having is only adding to the confusion and despair. What we should be doing is looking at this report and noticing certain things and discussing them. Number one, that it has no rationally planned cost analysis. Number two, that the creation of two million jobs over a three or four year period is not going to get it. We need a half million jobs now, before summer. And the O'Hara bill should be passed now. This report did not call for a legislative program. This report calls for half the amount of housing annually, which we need. This report does not mention mass transit. When the jobs are moving to the suburbs, billions of dollars are being spent to make nice roads for middle class white people to get to the ghettos. When they ought to be through the ghettos into the suburbs. And what they ought to be building is mass transit to make
it possible for poor people to go where the job market is developing. This report does not deal with the need for construction of public facilities and the billions of dollars in the interest of all the people. Now instead of getting bogged down in a psychological discussion or attempting to look in a crystal ball, these are the things we ought to be discussing for the education of the American people. All right. That's what we'll do then, but we'll have to do it in Washington because the executive director of the Commission on Civil Disorders, Mr. David Ginsburg, is in our studio in Washington with PBL chief correspondent Edward P. Morgan. So let's switch to Washington and perhaps we can get the answers to those questions. Mr. Ginsburg, what are your answers to Mr. Rustin's very deep-seated concern that we've just heard him talking about? Well, I think that there's much to be said along the lines as he's indicated. It's quite true that the commission was unable to
deal with all of the many things that he spoke about. But we did deal, in some considerable detail, with a number of matters. And the first, of course, was the matter of manpower, matter of employment, the matter of jobs. We did deal with the problem of housing. We did deal with the problem of education and we did deal at some considerable length with the problems of welfare. But in listening to the conversations that we've just heard, I'm surprised that there's been no indication of the other matters that the commission touched on. In particular, what can be done at the local level? What the mayors can do within their own communities? What the chiefs of police can do within their own communities? What people can do to understand each other better than they do presently? If everything in this 1400-page report here is true and I've read it, not every word, and I'm impressed by it. It might properly be called a warning of a domestic Pearl Harbor.
When we were hit at Pearl Harbor, there was no question of cost and yet, although this report has only been out a little over 24 hours in its entirety, almost everything we have heard has been in the form of a question, how much is it going to cost and can we afford it? Isn't this telling you something, Mr. Ginsburg? Isn't this saying that the nation draws back as a whole, the white majority, and says no, we can't afford it? No, I don't think it's that, Ed. I have a quite different reaction to the question you ask. The commission sought to do something quite different than to focus the attention of the country on the matter of price tags. Indeed, we were quite unable to price out the program. It's not that it couldn't be priced out, but the central issue before this commission, as this commission saw its job, was to focus the attention
of the country on the need for an active will, a need to decide that now, once and for all, we will come to grips with a problem. This was the central objective of the commission and this was one of the reasons why the commission refused to come to grips, why the commission refused to touch on the problem of price. If it's a question of mobilizing the country's will, aren't you a little bit discouraged and dismayed that immediately after the summary was published on Friday, the Senate refused for the third time to suspend its filibuster and allow a vote on civil rights. And incidentally, Senator Mansfield, the majority leader, indicates pessimism toward a fourth try at the closure of the filibuster. Aren't you discouraged by the fact that Chairman Mann of Texas of the House Appropriations Committee says that the country can't afford it, no matter what price tag you put on it? No, I'm not at all discouraged. To begin with, we've heard so much talk within
the last few hours on the matter of price tags. There is no price tag on the issue of federal open housing. I'm not at all discouraged by the fact that three votes have been taken, a fourth is to be taken Monday, Monday at noon. And as far as I understand the situation as of this moment, only one vote is lacking for closure. And my every hope, and I'm sure that every member of this commission joins with me, is that cloture will be voted and that this issue will be finally resolved in a way that's effective. As far as the other price tags of concern, the references that were made to costs, ranging from a trillion dollars to 40 to 50 billion dollars to one that I heard for the first time this evening, eight to 10 billion dollars. These, none of these figures, originate with the commission. None of them, so far as I'm aware, reflect the truth. It strikes me that one of the most valuable things that the report does is something that we have hardly more than glanced over in our reports in the press as a whole. And that is a matter that
might be called education. And I'm not talking about integration or segregation of classrooms and busing and that sort of thing. I'm talking about the awareness, largely of the white majority, of the situation of how it is to live in a ghetto, such as Gordon Parks showed us a little bit earlier this evening. You remarked to me once, after you had had the commission organized, that you yourself, a native of New York City, now a Washingtonian out of Harvard by way of West Virginia, that you had no idea until you had started this assignment what a ghetto school was like, what life in a ghetto slum was like. And I heard Governor Kerner, the chairman of the commission, say this afternoon, that he thought that, in effect, ignorance on the part of the white majority was a key factor. Would you address yourself to that in terms of your own personal experience?
Yes, we all began, I think, pretty much from scratch. That is nine of the 11 members of the commission. The other two being Negro. The other two being Negro, Senator Edward Brook of Massachusetts and Roy Wilkins. They knew, we didn't know. Certainly I didn't know. These problems were the kind of problems that you felt this should be taken care of and you felt the good people were indeed taking care of them. But among the first things that we did was to organize trips to the ghettos. And all of the commissioners and many members of the staff went to the ghettos, stayed there, talked with people, walked the streets, ate in restaurants, talked at great length in the basements of the churches and elsewhere. This was done without publicity, sometimes at midnight and unannounced. Exactly so. Through the night, we walked through the night, we stopped into the bars, we spoke with the policemen on the beat, we spoke with others, and we learned a good deal. But there was more to it than that. The commission sat, as you know, for 20 long days,
and during eight or 10 hours of each day we heard witnesses. And we heard all sorts of witnesses. These were witnesses, the university presidents, representatives of the government, but the representatives of the militants, representatives of others, and we learned a great deal. And it was in this process of accumulated information, the staff taught us a great deal. We had many who voluntarily came to bring to our attention the kinds of information and judgments that they had, and it was inordinately helpful. And this was the way over a period of time. We accumulated the kinds of knowledge which I hope is adequately expressed in the report. Now, if it took you and the actual appointed members of the commission, all intelligent, sophisticated, concerned men and women, this intensified experience to learn, how are you going to get those good ladies in Dearborn, Michigan, those men in Pontiac and other places that we saw tonight, to believe what the report says, just on, let's say, one factor. That of the 83 fatalities last summer in the riots,
almost all of them were Negroes, that there was no conspiracy and that the so-called sniper fire, as far as victims were concerned, was largely due to police and national guard shooting? First, the facts that you give are true. How these facts are conveyed to a country, how the information is made available so that all, gradually over a period of time, come to understand, is extremely difficult. Obviously, we're engaged in it tonight. What we've seen on the television tonight, and throughout the day, is part of this process. The copies of the report will be made available throughout the country in the schools. The Congress itself will be now engaged, I hope, in a debate regarding these matters. There will be congressional hearings on aspects of the programs that we're talking about. The President has done an inordinate amount in terms of the messages that he sent, raising over and over and over again, the kinds of issues that we're talking about here.
So I think that over a period of time, it will sink in. It must sink in. The President is well aware of what the report contains because you've been keeping him informed, periodically, and you gave him the report as it was released. But we have heard nothing from the White House yet. How do you interpret that silence? Well, I think that the notion that the President has been kept informed in detail about what went into the report is not true. We have made, there has been an exchange of information. We have obtained the information from the White House and from the agencies of government, information that we had from other task forces, from other commissions. It would have been impossible for this commission to do its work without the assistance that we had from many sources. So that I'm certain that at the moment, this report is being considered by a number of departments and agencies of government, as well as within the President's assistance within the White House. Is it fair to say that if the White House doesn't back this report solidly,
that the commission's work will have been largely in vain? Oh, I don't think so. I think that it isn't a question in any event of whether the White House is going to back the report or not back the report. This report has now launched it, it has a life of its own. Members of the Congress are considering it, the press is debating it, it will be discussed throughout the country, we hope, and ultimately it's bound to have it to be reflected in the actions of the mayors, of the police chiefs. As you know, we've had 125 mayors and 125 police chiefs visiting Washington throughout the past weeks, reviewing portions of this report. And I think it will have its effect. And I don't think that particular attitudes as to one facet or another of the report will affect its ultimate life. The - speaking of the mayors and the police chiefs reminds me of a question that I wanted to ask you, which is this, a sociologist who testified before you, and is a ranking sociologist in the academic
community of the country, told me in rather great detail on Friday that he was disappointed in chapter 11, dealing with police community relations because you did not spell out specific things. He said, as far as the police department is concerned, it isn't enough to say that you've got to have better relations. You have got to be specific. Will you respond to his criticism? Yes, what we did was to test out that particular section of the report on police chiefs. What we did as these sections were drafted and as they were reviewed by the commission, we sent them out to numbers of police chiefs throughout the country for discussion among them. We received comments back, which added to the specificity and the detail of the section. In addition to that, just as I've indicated, we arranged to bring to Washington at Earlyhouse nearby, just 50 miles away, groups of 25 to 35 mayors of the cities and police chiefs, because we wanted them to consider their problems together. And these particular sections of the
report were considered by them and they've been changed in process and they may be changed further, and further detail may be provided. But our feeling is that on balance, at the present time, that this does reflect the kind of material which will be exceedingly useful to the police department. It's probably fair to say that this report is the most comprehensive report on the subject of race problems nationwide that this country has ever generated. And it also would probably be fair to remind ourselves that this was the middle class of America indicting itself. That this wasn't a Negro group calling whitey racist. This was nine white men and women and two Negro men saying so. Given that, I think one of the basic questions is this. How do you answer Dr. Kenneth Clark? That this report not go the dust-covered way of all the others? You've heard Dr. Kenneth Clark this evening. He was,
I believe, probably the most effective single witness before the commission. I'll never forget he sat there for two and a half hours before the commission, smoking and gently speaking as he did tonight. And he presented the issue with the kind of cynicism in a way, from my viewpoint, a kind of withdrawal from the problem. Not that it reflects, it was simply reflecting the kind of history and the kind of attitude which he's had to the problems and seen happen over these past few years. In our view that, as we've seen it now, we believe that as these issues are better understood, not just by the experts, not just by the psychologists, of the quality and caliber of Dr. Clark and Bayard Rustin, Mr. Hamilton whom you've heard tonight, but by people generally throughout the country. As it begins to sink in, as the alternatives become clear, because there are alternatives. The alternative of what we have now, what this country will look like,
12, 15, 20 years from now. We had a choice, Mr. Morgan, say in 47, had we wished to do something about the rural poor before the great migration in the sense to the cities of the North. We could have done something at that time and we didn't. And now we're forced to come to grips with a different kind of problem. And I believe as the country comes to understand the depths of the problem and the importance of it, as the Congress comes to understand it, I believe things will get done. The President has made a substantial beginning for exactly the kind of program that we have here. And step number one, quite obviously, is to get behind those portions of the program which are now pending before the Congress and one of them is Monday morning. When the President appointed you and created the Commission last July, with the smoke literally still hanging over Detroit, would you have dreamed that the Commission would have come up with a report indicting the white majority of this country for white racism? And do you accept the
validity of that indictment? Would I have dreamed that we would come out with a report of this kind when I left the West Coast to come east? I left Portland. There had been a riot that night in Portland. And driving to the airport, you could hear shooting. And I thought it in the way it was symbolic of what I was returning to. Did I dream that it would come out this way? Yes, why? Because no white people rioted last summer. And no white people rioted in Watts or in Huff and Cleveland. Negroes riot. And it would be pretty hard to conclude on the basis of that that somewhere that race was not one of the underlying factors. So that I think even at that time, most of us who would have taken a look simply at the facts would have concluded that race must have been a factor. And indeed we found that it was. But the indictment that seems to me to be most significant, and to set this report apart from other reports, and I detected a certain
distinction on the part of Dr. Clark and Bayard Rustin as well, is that here is, if you please, representatives of the majority, the power establishment of the country, indicting itself for racism. That was what I was driving at. Yes, it is new. It is different. But I think that as we sat there, Mr. Morgan, as we heard these witnesses, as we walked through the streets of the ghetto, it was not possible to do otherwise. And indeed we did one other thing. I noticed that no one in his commenting on the report has called attention to a simple chapter. I forgot the number four or five, which we call Rejection and Protest. A chapter of history. Chapter five. Chapter five. It begins with simply the arrival in this country in Jamestown in 1619 of the first Negroes. And we seek to trace in that chapter, what has happened through the present time,
through the Black Power development? And we find cycling over and over again, many of the same themes that we hear discussed today and that we heard discussed just this evening by our expert witnesses. Driving to the studio tonight with you and your son Mark, we were discussing that very point, you remember. And I told him that I had not been taught, if I had certainly not well enough, to remember that Negroes fought at Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill in the Revolutionary War. And he said that he was so being taught. I hope this is not an idle question. The fact that we have known so little about the history of Negro oppression by the white man in this country and in other continents and other countries, probably sets a good deal of the prejudice of the country. Do you think a massive effort should be made in terms of writing that, let's not call it a wrong, let's just call it a historical omission, to put textbooks in
ballots? Question's a good one. I remember one dramatic point of testimony before the commission. An Omaha barber named Ernie Chambers was appearing before the commission and he began to speak about the textbooks from which his children was being taught. And he said to us, you know, my son in the fifth grade is being taught about Little Black Sambo and he stood there and he pointed to the commission and said, my son isn't Little Black Sambo and we could understand that. And that textbooks which reflect that attitude are obviously wrong and that it is essential that it be changed. But I rather think Ed, that since your time and mine, that they have been changed. Certainly they are being changed. And our effort in this volume is to call attention to certain vignettes of history. It isn't obviously a history of the Negro in the United States, but a history of certain
memories of the 5,000 [inaudible] soldiers, the Negro soldiers served with the revolution and so on carrying it through World War I and World War II and what had happened in this country. And we think it important that people know that. Eloquent as he is, and as penetratingly as he writes, it is highly doubtful that a James Baldwin would ever be able to communicate with the ladies that we saw taking target practice in Dearborn. But do you have any evidence, do you feel in your bones that some of the mayors, some of the police whom you brought to Washington, would begin to break down the barriers that are blocking communication with these people? Isn't this part of the problem? Education in this sense and how are we going to overcome the barrier? This is an essential part of the problem.
And indeed, I rather think as of the moment, that it is even more important than these large programs of which we in the commission have spoken of, which Mr. Rustin has spoken just a moment ago, they are important and they must go forward. But at the community level, it is vital that this be done. And you ask whether there is any evidence. There is certainly evidence. One member of our commission, Herbert Jenkins, chief of police of Atlanta, has done a great deal in this direction. The mayor of St. Louis, Mr. Savantes, has done a great deal in this direction. And others have. We believe it can be done. We've sketched ways in which we think it can be furthered. But there is obviously much more to be done. What Mary Lindsay has done in New York is a great help. What others have done throughout the country, so that we think there's- its on its way. And we believe that much more will be done. In reading the report, I kept groping for a key, a single group that
was more important than another, a single problem. I don't think I found it. But I took some notes on chapter 16, which is one of the most provocative chapters in the report, about the future of the cities. And on page six or so, it mentions the Negro age group of 15 to 24 as being critical. Because it's growing faster than any other age group. It has the highest unemployment rate, relative high proportion of participants in all crimes. And yet, and certainly one of the most significant participants in the riots. And yet, a great potential and reservoir. And you're dealing here with a very few million. People. Would they, if you were searching to oversimplify, which we Americans always do, be the linchpin of this problem? I don't know at what you mean by linchpin. This is the group that's essential from the viewpoint of the future of the country,
essential that they be brought in as part of the society. They seem to be the most alienated and the most flammable because it was that age group that participated more than other age groups in the riots. Yes. Obviously, it's here that the job program begins to be essential. One of the important findings of the commission was that in answering the question, who rioted? We found that many times the rioters did have jobs. But what kind of jobs were they? Often menial. Often the lowest kind of jobs. And the people who are rioting often were the most alert, the most politically conscious. So that there is this conjunction of inability to get forward in life, coupled with a complete awareness of the kinds of things that were not available to them. I have suggested to you what might be one of the most important segments in analyzed and chapters. Do you as the director of the whole commission report
have something that you would single out as the crux of the matter? Well, I think it would be the same chapter. If we had to scrap the entire report and publish just a piece of it, I think I would publish the future of the cities. It's really the futures of the cities. What's going to happen to this country over the next 12 to 15 years in terms of the polarization of the communities, the separation between Black and White, in terms of the geographic separation between people within the cities and the suburbs. So that our feeling is that it's essential that the country face the alternatives. One is to continue as we are now. Another is to do what can be done to improve the situation within the ghetto. And a third is obviously the integration process. I keep hearing, ringing in my ears,
the testimony of that Negro that we heard earlier this evening from Pittsburgh, is it too much to ask for dignity. Thank you, Mr. Ginsburg, and good night. [music] This has been another in the continuing series of inter-connected broadcasts, produced and edited by PBL, the public broadcast laboratory of NET. [music]
[music] [music] Tonight special assistance was received from public television stations in Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Next week, PBL will present the last reflections on a war, Bernard Fall, 1926 to 1967. It is Sunday evening, March 3rd, and this is PBL. [music] I want to live on like everybody else.
Public Broadcast Laboratory
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This episode of PBL has segments including "Civil Disorder", about the civil rights movement; "Bedford Stuyvesant: Progress?", which discusses segregation; "Literary Review by James Baldwin"; and "Gordon Parks' Diary of a Harlem Family", which uses photographer Gordon Parks' photo journal of time spent with a family to discuss poverty and race.
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Chicago: “Public Broadcast Laboratory; 116,” 1968-03-03, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 19, 2024,
MLA: “Public Broadcast Laboratory; 116.” 1968-03-03. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Public Broadcast Laboratory; 116. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from