thumbnail of Public Broadcast Laboratory; 202; Hear Us, O Lord. Part 1
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
oh home dana december second season the poor whites and the racial crisis
first hear us complete by many white americans fearful of them threatened by the government's efforts to impose integration with blacks and some reactions and comments about those years but those responsible in the federal government us attorney general ramsey clark and us commissioner of education terrel talk also of the personal point of view of the old chief correspondent edward p more on this evening he be held second seasons program on whites on the racial crisis will last night immigrants now here is elizabeth palmer well good evening in recent times all three branches of our national government have promoted racial integration it started with the supreme court forty years ago the court declared that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal
in a series of decisions the court has been telling the nation that negroes must be treated in accordance with the ideas of equality and justice which underlie our basic law the constitution and federal power should be used to achieve this goal if other means fail i am moving more cautiously both the executive and the legislative branches have reinforced this principle over the last decade civil rights legislation and presidential orders have allied all three branches of the federal government in support of a national policy that no man's rights may be limited because of his race to make this principle real in the field of education the civil rights act of nineteen sixty four and power the attorney general of the united states to seal in behalf of persons whom he believed to be discriminated against and who are unable to bring suit themselves in united states district court of northern illinois he brought the first such seen in the north the judge ruled in favor of the attorney general tonight pto will show you the reverberations in one white community of enforcing the national policy
against segregation our aim is not to judge the merits of the case but something more modest to show you how people feel in one town under court order to mix black and white <unk> remarkably group there's a school just the quantity one of cook county illinois defendants it is hereby order to the judge didn't agree that the defendants be enjoying from discriminating on the basis of race or color in the operation a school district one fifty one i sent out more particularly in the body of this degree defendant showed take affirmative action to get a suburban school segregation defendant show provides art school bus transportation as necessary for an effective implementation of the requirements line united states just because this is the first day of school in sao paulo and illinois one of the town's affected by judd hoffman's order south holland is a quite suburb of chicago its original settlers were proud dutch calvinist who's that is still shaped the community its schools are
quite under church hoffman's order all schools within districts won fifty one would be integrated back cross busing this would make integrated classes about thirty percent each low seventy percent white as part of his plan judge hoffman directed at white seventeen eighth graders be bused from south holland to a newly established junior high at coolidge school in phoenix another county and district one fifty one phoenix is separated from south holland by a two mile stretch of no man's land phoenix is a backpack on and coolidge's been a negro school the order has been appealed by the school board to district won fifty one the decision at the appeals court has not yet in power the appeal
i have thank you it has been surprising it's busy
there's issues it is possible but you dont you think that your ear more let's bring children by now there's the post until we're getting some mixed up in this and i do think it's wrong for the children to be next to me okay you mean thank
you anyway so we are all that government pollard be used to homogenized man race feel a cultural and it does then these instruments would have to go in a righteous are being abused and at the news media and the cause oh wait it is the last of our children as well as adults our symbol davis is now
the selectivity and he has created them for now that is not an airtight division to restrain the leaders of the refrigerator water and leave the divider our regular water a lot oh yeah he wanted delighted the bible teaches that god has been buy in order to restrain the wickedness of the natural man why this matter now to matter most to you
tonight pbr wants you to be with the south holland family during the three weeks that led up to the opening day of school the family is the lange's their children are doing and getting an air are yeah yeah
until a home for today even in the nineties increases the top didn't want to run away or three years and one thing it does for one thing try to show you a certain way she goes back to school in september thirty how ours was there with their first three of our interview recorded it
her you know anywhere you can understand the language so i didn't want to be in recess and historical of an eventful week sam and woodland occasion prior to return the we went out there to get his son and i ain't this went right next thing shows other countries are either coerced erased isn't so when it's going to air an educational life so were they actually i've talked to school teachers taught here poorer
sections of new light to people and they claim they get really you can do your level that's the teacher will try to do what they can teach them that they don't want to pay the same environment and is it that way these children are going to change because of the sat's actually really need to be getting into kind of a parent what was the civil rights bill you know two years ago and going into the fall and won enough i
think that right from the annual theo build a shopping center and the gator parking lot when i went there and the one theater the capitol i think it the nine grew up in chicago where he went to vocational school he works for a large architectural firm as an electrical designer he's broken with his old neighborhood in chicago but he goes back no and then he still holds the mortgage on the house he once owned a flier from a member of a neighborhood where you're from and then get home right there with a white torture one
i think the first time to find more efficient and in that second chemical or finding a third time and you know this time the three years that i've been over america one and i thought all the control and a neighbor and i'm going to get the you know right now i don't want to be people that a lot of people around the block owner of the same way in phoenix says richard holmes hammer you know
after they see that the percentage of maybe fifty percent tyler no no no that is not a good situation for them and in fact my brother lived in chicago in this poll were almost up to find that the neighborhood was completely color and he would the only white family there and they had three daughters then made it kind of hard for them because they really have to watch her daughter youngsters would come around mr rothstein will they move eventually do that it's where you live or thirteen people move than they might have a higher class education and they don't have that animal instincts and eliminate
it easier for you to live with those you can work with them i don't think white can live with the fact that i don't care to myself i will live there firmly they dress differently and i think that's why i go it's b that's because this area is being
welcomed to enforce the law in the school that i don't know if they can handle the situation you know it's a sight so many other things that have taken place in the world or mean smart watch and they thought they could handle the situation that they really found out that the president would be at some of the nativity why is that so i would like to be
i wasn't as superintendent this kenyan soil i could speak freely because i inherited the situation one is that when a court makes a decision the law isn't at an appeal doesn't that decision it's just like if i were convicted for murder ending including present i would be in prison and i can appeal the decision made but in the meantime i'm sitting in britain prison if we fail in school next week as even myself as the school board and the successor to the superintendent is being held the record responsible for implementing all at one of the private enterprise where the airway were racially people have changed not only learned that with the majority i think this would
have been a fear and an ipo is this is a petition to the school were illustrative one fifty one we understand parents and the parents who wanted you on petitions who wore on opening of all schools you're hearing a number sixty five you know this is america or not it comes to like oh well you know you
present waiting john m ward of education finds itself in an extremely awkward situation has to travel to grow the same time curiosity creativity by the united states district court here in illinois by the same token it feels that it has a responsibility to all the citizens in the district to appeal the decision of the district court this is an obligation as tunisian every citizen of this visit as well as to the children that is responsible for educating as far as the opening of school in september i would have to completely concur that the board had no choice but then to open the doors september four nineteen sixty eight our lives each and every one of you
to put yourself in the place the vision board member up there and as herself what would i do that we're all americans and we're rather stand for the ride but on the other hand we feel like we're going wrong and their supporters pre order for a piece that has been sentenced to more sales oh boy
is it oh boy i feel good obviously dan damon i know
yeah yeah yeah yeah gatsby it's big digital words are my mom plays but i really think that when there is this large an expression from a group in a community deserves to be recognized to revert it i do
feel that we're working hard those are great as bell the line the
pain has been that i for one will not let my daughter get on a bus the island directly across the street from the school and why should she have to walk that distance in the winter when she has to walk but two minutes to the school does that make sense out of auschwitz at a disturbance create any disturbance i keep her in the house and to let the young boys through and i don't give it and what the federal government says
it's b ms ballance yeah so where's the where no longer holding a school board meeting with questions being asked to providing a forum which is not a fiscal boys for i think that a motion for germany would be in order the pieces you
know we are is growth then they are in contempt of court then in the same breath they say they are forwarding this thing or just a bunch of wishy washy stuff done and we still don't have the answer you're on the absolute you have when you left then and i think you have the same hearing in september before a new album out of state to their grandparents and there's a few it's targeted at least temporarily going to take their children on an indication that issue again and i really wouldn't save it
we went south right and that there's a lot of these places that haven't had any problems like this home all the things that we're really like to have a very they are sending more to get out from under a christian school call it a double digit pins and have wireless of christians are that the government can say what i can do with my children well oliver yeah you know again if i had known there were going to come along with the appearance that i didn't know that this was going to be the key gretchen alone because then you couldn't think for yourself
went to school it's like and with the neighborhood it's like and so you know and i was thinking like now maybe over the weekend when pianist home when windy at ease that maybe we could go for a ride and to show you what phoenix is like i don't think you've ever rolled through thing except you this is the north it's
b further down the line there right now we're right here they almost over
well we really don't know anything that's what i thought the other night when i gave the word within great period really critical air roy is body thinks boys bureau's be on campus b it's been telling the stories behind the police
barricades thank you the problem collins
it's been interesting it's been this way
let's leave it like a man and according to the channel or that we'd see her with an ice sheets are and we have the boldness and an ex best we can begin to bite me a year where authorities there they me get my tribulations for you which is your garden griffith park that i had on my knees and to the father of our lord jesus christ upon the whole family in yemen in her christ jesus throughout all three pieces
with it was that we recorded a political broad cat wandered by the wall a cafe so the majority wallace has a winning way with people he goes to them and he gets wet them a job the language that you and most americans can understand you know your problems and share your concern is really a man of the people the path all
right oh yeah that he will continue to support the new mexico as they offer quote the country you i mean again i'm gonna return from saturday for the american government playing at our center along the border and for their country and everything and i think
they have a chance to vote for them and they will be september fourth holland goes by he has been well the coolidge of the greats and
i hope that's the first time you heard that i am as the prairie preserve off who usually has to go first the law on set before i introduce the teachers i want you to know that we are going to do everything within our power to make this cool the finest into the city are in the country for that matter we your assistance because this is your school where the light and it is it is going to be five these the era of a great is unclear is on the seventh grade it's
a piece by the fbi at some point maybe doesn't count on every sale this is great you know because a lot of the talent on the dean martin but i'm still not condoning it and i don't think either he
finds anybody here yeah why american ladylike
all right yeah yeah with and in the future and to take such planning another
actions with respect to student assignment and transportation as is necessary for the full and effective implementation of the requirements of this order for the nineteen sixty eight sixty nine school year and thereafter the court hereby regains jurisdiction over this case to ensure full compliance with its degrees united states district court northern district of illinois the sister grow sixty p that for a conclusion we have to we interview leading and so forth i find one thing one thing that this is our opinion that we're not trying to upgrade our ways or degrade color in any respect but that we think in our own mind that the people that are living in foul believe in what we are doing at the present time and they want to maintain their status of living and this school the thing or the neighbor school system
is we have it now and that was in the other territories i think what they're trying to do is trying to force colored and white to live together and i don't think you can force anybody to do anything i think this has to come from within your heart and if if you are forced to do a thing it's it's like trying to force somebody to love me our army to love somebody asked this can be done you can't force things and people i think it just yesterday dan webb well i just done or had to explain that it has to be done but i don't think it's gonna counterforce i think there's little things you can lead a horse to water to get naked or an infant the thing i do you with the american or the way he did could bring the colored another neighbor aron and if they don't like it you're not thinking after he graduates after associated with the
colored grammar school in high school and he accepts this then where does he know roller cart except when i got it and will the white except the negative power a community of their own which would strip day before in her narrative a know your idea's change your ways of life change and if he didn't they don't know colored girl i know we got through the floor and we i might fall out i don't know if i can tell you have to let the situation actually become a fair trial people have different emotions about things and it seemed like i could cause my eyes that night and go to sleep and just finally led to the lord that what would be within his well and praying that if it could be just well that he would really to have its own way with just one fifty one and if there was
really unjust thing which we felt it was that tesla would be done that the courts would decide to let us continue to have the neighborhood calling the decision of the court of appeals isn't the union but the lungs are ok the children don't like school any more or any less than they ever did their parents voted for mr nixon after law school board meetings are still pretty acrimonious fifteen percent of the white pupils of dropped out of district one fifty one schools some have moved to other safer district but most have transferred to church schools the school board has made preparations to stop the busing as soon as it legally can't for the town hasn't accepted the message that the national government has been sending out for the last fourteen years when it's applied to then south holland there's reject the idea that one nation indivisible and equal justice before the law means that white and black should live together in full community they are angry when the federal government tries to make them can form for that idea
there are a lot of people like them people that have voted with their feet is hurting the central cities for the white suburbs arranging themselves in school districts in such a way that southern segregation by law has been replaced by northern segregation in fact no national leader speaks of abandoning the american dream that we may all someday live in brotherhood international community where differences tolerated without pain and conflict is resolved without violence but if the dream is right has the strategy been wrong mrs lang said that change has to come from within your heart you can force things on people as a general proposition about the power of the law that doesn't hold up very well law may not immediately change the way people feel but it does affect what they do and that eventually changes the attitudes of the community when things are in order law embodies the leading notions of morality in the community and most people conform to it but in a free country there are many ways of evading unwelcome consequences of the
law without be fined the law and many americans are doing that when they devise ways of keeping their children together with their own kind there is more segregation today than there was forty years ago it seems to follow that if we as a nation really wish to create a multi racial community the idea and its practical consequences must be made more attractive to white people or desegregation suits have brought shouldn't someone from the national government be trying to persuade the citizens of the american ideal of equality rick choirs that there'd be an end to negro schools judge hoffman has said this in his opinion but no community relations service has tried to convince south holland of it or tried to when the cooperation of the parents know agency of government is empowered to administer to district won fifty one a sweetener along with the bitter draft of the court order special help in building a new junior high school perhaps and those of us in favor of positions responded to the fears and objections of those who are experiencing it firsthand the effects of the mass
migration of negroes to our great cities have a cold angry people not to think bad thoughts rather than sitting down with them and examining the basis of a few years or have we preached at them rather than converts to have secure and well educated people urged actions on others but they will take themselves though the goal of integration is right it is obvious that somewhere in the tactics to achieve that we had gone wrong a rethinking of the tactics should be high on the nation's agenda this is elizabeth rhine day still to come on the whole second season was washington dc attorney general ramsey clark commissioner of education now
and from chicago the lines only congressman from illinois which gave her wins will argue whether the federal government does interfere in order to force local school integration also won't reveal second season tonight the personal point of view of kiev correspondent edward p morgan the deal a second season continues in ohio eh
Public Broadcast Laboratory
Episode Number
Hear Us, O Lord. Part 1
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-12z3534n).
Episode Description
This is the first part of the PBL recording. In the full episode, Public Broadcast Laboratory presents a 90 minute color special, "Hear Us, O Lord," a report on the response of lil-white suburb to a federal school desegregation order. Confronted with the prospect of having many of their children bussed to school in a neighboring black community, the people of South Holland, Illinois, unite to resist the court order. "Hear Us, O Lord," a 50 minute film report on the response of one God-fearing family in an all-white Chicago suburb troubled by a Federal school bussing order. Television's first close up portrait of typical Northern adherents of George C. Wallace takes viewers inside the home of electrical designer Dan Lang in South Holland. Just outside the Chicago city line, his community is the first incorporated suburb in the nation to be ordered to desegregate its schools. Dan is not certain about the wisdom of fighting the order. He deliberates the righteousness of the action with his wife and neighbors around the kitchen table. The camera follows Dan as he goes into Chicago to visit his old home, now owned by a black, and he takes his children on a sight seeing bus tour of the black neighborhood where the court requires them to go to school. To make the color broadcast, PBL's reporters spent months in South Holland, virtually living with the Lang's and witnessing their deliberations with neighbors as the town closed ranks to fight the court order. PBL's cameras also filmed stormy public meetings in which several Calvinist ministers exhorted parents not to give in to the federal government. Ramsey Clark, Attorney General of the United States, and Harold Howe II, U.S. Commissioner of Education, appear on Public Broadcast Laboratory. They participate in a post film discussion of "Hear Us, O Lord". Clark and Howe discuss the film's implications for federal policies promoting equally of opportunity and racial integration. The children in the family are being bussed from South Holland to the neighboring negro settlement of Phoenix. Appearing with Clark and Howe in the post film discussion is congressman Edward J. Derwinski, who represents the two towns. "Hear Us, O Lord," gives an inside view of a family that feels threatened by the proximity of blacks. The parents are also troubled by the dilemma they feel is posed by the federal court order: whether to hold their notions of what is right for their children, or to obey the law. "Hear Us, O Lord" also illuminates some of the fears and anxieties which presidential candidate George C. Wallace exploited in his campaign. By happenstance, the broadcast is the first television close-up of a typical northern Wallace sympathizer (who later cast his vote for Richard M. Nixon). "Hear Us, O Lord" is introduced and narrated by its producer, Elizabeth Farmer. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
Production Unit: Media Library and Archives
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 121589 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: VHS
Generation: Copy: Access
Duration: 00:01:00
Identifier: 126723 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: Betacam
Generation: Master
Identifier: 126722 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Public Broadcast Laboratory; 202; Hear Us, O Lord. Part 1,” 1968-12-08, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Public Broadcast Laboratory; 202; Hear Us, O Lord. Part 1.” 1968-12-08. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Public Broadcast Laboratory; 202; Hear Us, O Lord. Part 1. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from