thumbnail of Say Brother; Affirmative Action or Discrimination; 804
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
That. Good evening. My name is Steve Kerr wouldn't welcome to say brother. Tonight we welcome
Mr. Peter Chen manager of Boston's Chinatown Little City Hall to discuss his efforts to expand the definition of minority. Open Platform this evening focuses on the debate raging around affirmative action programs and policies. And African sculptor Godwin cowrote joins us for a presentation and discussion of his work. In 1974 Judge Frank Friedman of the U.S. district court in Boston ordered the city's fire department to integrate its workforce. Judge Friedman further ordered that for every nonminority hired another minority firefighter would have to be hired until the fire department reached a minority workforce equal to Boston's representative minority populations. The order however defined the minority as those persons of black or Hispanic origins and grouped Asians and Native Americans into the non-minority or Caucasian category. Mr. Chan is here this evening to discuss the conflicts that have arisen as a result of that order. Mr. Chang how do you feel being labelled white by a court system.
I find this kind of you know interesting and amusing to say the least. And I think that to us the Asian Americans and Chinese Americans in sort of Boston that all those shouldn't be an oversight. What is it I'm sorry what are the implications now of this decision to lump Asian-Americans in with cricket. Or the implication these were obvious. Up to now we still don't have a single Chinese or Asian American firefighter in the Boston Fire Department so that these were obvious. Now in the past have Chinese Americans applied for jobs or just been turned down no place available for them. Well I would say that way back 10 or 15 years ago I would say very few Chinese or Asian Americans would apply for a job with the fire department or even with the police department. However in the recent past in the
past four or five years I have known and I have seen youngsters in the community who have become very interested in getting into the law enforcement agencies and into the fire department. So there has been interest in the community to become firefighters. And in fact we know that in the last couple of examinations conducted for the civil service we have Chinese applicants who did pass the examination. But these Chinese Epica applicants who passed within have been categorized as white. And then they'd have to be taken on a after the minority quota I guess that's what is the 150 or so minority slots were created by this court decision after 150 black or Hispanics. Exactly exactly and that's why you know we are kind of upset at the decision which did not you know put in the consideration Asian Americans and Native Americans.
But now as manager of a little city hall for mayor white mayor of course has some clout in this town. Politically what has he been able to do now to rectify the the court decision. Well I I can relate to you with a series of developments that have been taking place. Please do. And as soon as we found out the court decision as you know that what brought the court decision was it was in 1971 a group of 14 black. People and one Hispanic people. They brought a suit against the Boston Fire Department as well as the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission and the suit was drawn by and APCP which was later taken over by the Justice Department of the United States. That was in 1971 and it took three years of argument and proof and
evidence and all those kind of thing before the before the judge Freeman come up with a ruling in 1974 and then and then then and only then did we find out you know what the ruling was. And at no time between that incident one and that incident for the Chinese Americans were invited to be come a party to the to the case nor did the Justice Department solicit data on the Asian-Americans in terms of discrimination practice on those kind of things. So we found all of that above you know three years ago. And unfortunately the community at that time did not get together enough to raise an issue on it. The issue was we ignited. Last
year when I wrote a letter to the judge and asked for clarification of minority. OK we have to take a break. Mr. Chairman we'll be right back. OK. Hello I'm Dick Cavett and I'm here with kids today Cabot carries back for an uninterrupted half hour every weeknight. My guest will be the bad news worthy interesting entertaining from the public affairs world. So please join me for an entertaining mixture of fun surprises. I mean me having watch the Dick Cavett show weeknights at 11:30 on channel 2. Manager of Boston's Chinatown Little City Hall. And the seemingly ludicrous situation of Chinese people being considered as white under this court order for firefighters. I gather the mayor has struck some sort of compromise for you
on this issue though. Well the last three or four weeks I have talked to the mayor and I have explained to him the ludicrous situation of the this case and the mayor you know agree with me very strongly that the city of Boston cannot tolerate a situation in which there is no Asian or Chinese Chinese-American in the fire department. So he has talked to the commissioner. Mr. George Paul and he always so order his top aide Steve thundery to coordinate efforts on behalf of the Chinese and Americans to see if anything can be done. And I'm happy to say at this time that the fire department has begun to make some provisions. Whereby quote selective
certification process. Could be initiated and that some Chinese Americans will be hired into the fire department but not because they're a minority but because they speak Chinese basically. That's why we are still not fully satisfied with the requirement. My If I have my way I would like to see the city as a defendant in this case or the plaintiffs in this case could be a WCP or Justice Department to go to court with Judge Friedman and come up with a motion and have to judge to read the fine. He's you know his classification of minority to include not just the blacks Hispanics but also Asian Americans and Native Americans because it seems to me that's only fair. We have. 15000 Chinese people in the city
of Boston which constitute about 2 to 3 percent is state that we are clearly in the judge in the judge's order that even one percent of a minority population in the city Boston warrants some kind of special affirmative action. Process by the fire department. Now how about the police department how are you doing that. Well I would say that we are very happy at this time that two years ago we up with that then commissioner DeGrazia. And what resulted from the negotiations and the cooperation with the police department was that three Chinese Americans were recruited as police police police officers. Eventually one police officer left for personal reasons. Reasonably well informed by the police commissioner that
six more Chinese will become cadets in the next cycle which usually one for half a year of training six. Among a hundred new recruits which is almost 6 percent which is more than you know the ratio that is in the Bosnian population playing catch up. And this just happened very often to Chinese-Americans that you tossed from one category to the other sort of at the whim of the parties. Yes. Yes. I would say that a lot of my peers think that Asian-Americans on the one hand very visible because of their unique features in a black hat. You know yo face and speak a different language with accents. So in that sense they are very visible. But on the other hand they are very invisible because more often than not they are silent and they are glad to overlook. So you know and many many times
it just you know in terms of federal programs or all regulations we are not even considered minorities you know and that kind of baffle us. I mean we just simply don't know how they define those terms. Well thank you very much Peter chan. We have run out of time unfortunately we've just began though discussing obviously a major issue. Thank you very much for having me. You say brothers open platform. Melvin Moore on October 12 the United States Supreme Court will begin here in arguments in case number seventy six eight. The reasons of University of California versus Alan Barkey. This case involves the unsuccessful attempt of a white American Alan Barkey to gain admission to the University of California Medical School at Davis. It will be argued that backy was denied admission because he is white and because such do now denial is reverse discrimination and violates his rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Whatever the
Supreme Court decision it is seen that the decision itself will have far reaching implications on affirmative action programs across this country. For this reason many consider the Barkey case to be the most important case for civil rights case since the Brown versus Board of Education case in 1954. Tonight our guests are two community activists who represent people from the Boston communities who in some way will be affected by the Barkey decision. I'd like to welcome to say brother Mr. James Kelly a spokesperson from the south Boston information center. Ms. Sheila Martin a community advocate for the Massachusetts social and economic opportunity Council joining them are journalists Mr. John Robinson of The Boston Globe and Mr. William for the American opinion magazine. Together we will deal with the question is affirmative action policy a policy of reverse discrimination. I'd like to begin Mr. Kelly with your opening statement. I found of action as a harmless sounding name for a group of programs and policies that in effect discriminate against white males for the past 10 or 12 years old. As
we whites have been punished by the bureaucrats in the Department of Health Education and Welfare Housing and Urban Development the Department of Labor and the administrators of the executive orders as well as the federal courts. Not because of any discriminatory practice on our part but because we are quite similar to the social socialistic theory of redistribution of wealth. It has been decided that there shall be a redistribution of jobs and this burden shall be paid at the expense of qualified white males sometime between now and June of 78. The Supreme Court will decide on affirmative action in the Bengie case the case where a white male was discriminated against in favor of less qualified minorities. If we are a nation of laws. The Supreme Court's decision should be easy. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution and the 1964 Civil Rights Act is very clear on this issue. That is no one can be discriminated against because of their race. The high court after reading and understanding the laws as they were written and passed by Congress have no choice but to rule in favor of Alan Baker.
Think in your opening statement. Yes. I'd like to state that affirmative action is not a act of reverse discrimination. If that were the case right now referring to Mr. Kelly's opening statement we would see far more women blacks Hispanics Orientals handicapped and so forth employed within government and the private sector. Affirmative action is a program to ensure equal opportunity and access to all. As far as employment and educational opportunities are concerned. John could you start the question with. Well your first question to Mr. Kelly Mr. Kelly I'd like to ask you Kelly whether you agree. Do you agree with the U.S. Department of Justice in this suit filed in the back in their brief filed in the basket case that racial minorities have suffered I quote from them the special disadvantages unquote that other
ethnic groups have not suffered in access to jobs and education that requires special remedial efforts to compensate for. I've read just the newspaper accounts of which way the Justice Department is going to be heading in on the Baki case. And from my understanding. They are playing on both sides of the issue here. They were opposed to quotas but they were in favor of goals which to me goals and quotas are the exact same thing. Without getting into the issue of quotas and goals do you or don't you agree with the characterization of the predicament of racial minorities in this country that the Justice Department claims have suffered special disadvantages. No I strongly disagree with that. I don't believe that. No I don't think that minorities have suffered any more than a number of other people in this country. I think the main point is that all of us at one time or another have to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and not be blaming
society on their particular problems. I think that the black community have made a habit of making an excuse for any particular problem that that concerns them as a problem of society and therefore they're not to blame. I think that if they if they take a real hard look at to what their problems are many of them they can overcome themselves. Ruben. Well I feel that the Justice Department stating that wrongs have been done to the black race the United States in the past they cannot recoup those wrongs by now setting up programs which seem to incinerate other elements in this country. What has to be done is a program or policy has to be set straight across the board starting with education starting with housing starting with employment where all people have equal
chance to begin to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. And this not only applies to blacks it also applies to Hispanics. It also applies to white immigrants who have come into this country and have found themselves in the same situation as the disadvantaged who were here when they arrived. So I don't think that we can recoup the wrongs that have been done for the past two hundred and fifty years. And a program whereby people are saying that quotas and goals will affect us. This has to be done through an oval all enlightenment and awareness of racial and racism that is pervading our society and it's something that cannot be dealt with on a quota or legal basis. Bill your first question. Yes I would. I'm somewhat surprised that your statement that you do not believe in goals and quotas. I don't either. I would like to know more. Do you believe an employer has a right to hire whom he pleases.
Yes he does saying that that person is qualified for the job. But on the other hand. That employer does not have the right to blatantly discriminate against a person because of their color or sexual or sex. OK. Male or female or are they a social economic background they may be poor and they've worked their way through school and now they're in a position where they can now do a job which pays a certain amount of money. This is something that always sticks out in people's mind how much money should a certain race or a certain person in this country make. To discriminate on that basis is discrimination. That is not preventing an employer from hiring someone of his choosing who's qualified to go to college. I certainly believe that employees should be entitled to hire whomever they want employees by the. Find just the mere fact that they are going to hire someone who can do the best job and therefore
make the most profit for them so it's common sense that most employers are not going to discriminate based on skin color. But we've reached the situation where where you cannot become a fireman or a policeman you don't have that opportunity as a minority does in a BTA. All to get into the ship in a union if you happen to be to have a white shirt. You will have a preference or you will be given a preference if you happen to be black and that's wrong that that therefore the the federal government has completely hamstrung the employers and the unions in this country that they no longer have freedom of choice. They don't have the choice to get the most qualified. They have to hire an accordant based on skin color. John your question through his mind. Getting back to work. I wanted to go back to employer the rights of employers I wanted to ask a slightly ask the question slightly differently. Do you do you think that
employers ought to have the or the scope and the right to choose people on the basis of color. If it is if it's obvious to the employer that people have been refused jobs on that basis in their own companies in the past. Do you think this actually going. I think that's perfectly right and perfectly legal. If he has seen within his company or corporation. That people have been discriminated against not on their qualifications but mainly on the fact that they may be black or merely on the fact that they may be Spanish or merely on the fact that they're just an immigrant and they just got here to this country. And when. A president or a leader of a company finds that this is going on. Of course he should try to improve the image of his company. Of course he should try to do the
right thing. So you would argue for the right of an employer to choose who is right if he wishes to include an affirmative action program in as part of his overall employment program. You would say that that was legal. Yes. And I would also add that it has now been mandated in the federal sector the federal government and state government and city governments that they have to incorporate some kind of affirmative action program because it has been seen that in the past they have not been able to recruit people they haven't wanted to recruit people they haven't opened up their jobs where that the whole community will know about it. So in that area it has to be mandated. Now when you get to the private sector. Where. Government cannot really tell a private business what to do. That is where the pressure is brought
upon merely by guilt. This is goes back to the example that you gave if a president of a company found out that his personnel department was blatantly discriminating against people because of race or sex then yes this in his line. So who's right who's wrong who's the leader here. We have the personnel department. Yeah. I don't disagree with Ms. Martin if Miss Martin is stating that employers have the right to hire whom they see fit. I firmly agree with that. The problem though is the federal government has come in and mandated to employers who they shall hire. And that's wrong. I think as long as there is no discriminatory action proven against the employer that the federal government should have nothing to say about who the employer hires. Bill your question for Mr. Gore. Mr. Kelly kind of take the the other tack on it. Isn't it somewhat patronizing and demeaning to a member of a certain minority group to have the federal
government come in and say that only with federal help are you going to be able to make it in this country. Well I think that it takes away from the blacks of all of it. We're not talking about individual rights here we're granting an affirmative action to sponsored group of people not to individual rights which is in complete contradiction to the to the Constitution. But I think the. Could you repeat your question Bill. Yeah I'm I'm just a little bit disturbed at the patronize thing of the government for certain groups just saw it takes or it takes away. If someone is going to get something for nothing it takes away there's something inside a person feel the desire to achieve and get ahead on his own. You know I'm afraid the federal government has done this and I think there were many black professional people who fully agree with me I know that there are many articles that I've read over the past few weeks by different black columnists that that fully agree with me that
that takes away the desire. From the blacks when they get a free hand out continuously. No one minds a push in the right direction but I think it's gone too far and I think a number of other people are concerned that it's going too far. It is Mark. Well I contend that no one is getting something for nothing. I can't see where. People who have been discriminated against in the past are getting something for nothing. When the federal government has to mandate to those agencies under their control that they are to stop discriminating against disadvantaged blacks disadvantage Hispanics disadvantage IRA's disadvantage women if those agencies don't have the foresight to see that they are blocking out a part of America. OK. Same part of America that pays taxes just like the other people do that they should have the
same access to those jobs if those people who run those programs do not have the foresight Yes somebody has to come in and tell them and it's quite sad that someone does have to come in and tell them that that's the case here. John Grisham for us this morning. If affirmative action programs were available to us Do you know of any prescription that would effectively overcome the effects of past and present discrimination against black people. Women and language minorities Hispanics especially in this country. At this point no unless you go back to as I stated before dealing with our educational system where this is where people get the beginning. They get the skills in school to be able to go out and get jobs if they
don't have a proper grammar school education high school education. Then of course they never have a chance of getting to college and getting into professional areas. So if we don't start at that base root which we seem to have a hard time to do we have to start at the end product with the adult who has made it to a point where if they had a little bit more help they could get into a training program whether it be on the job training for a promotion in that same career area or whether it be entry level training to get into a career field. No people will not be able to get into the area where it's still quite narrow. Even with affirmative action. I think that when Martin says that you know the education level when it when a person is young black or white that is where they attain the education
or the competence to compete when they get into the the job market and forced busing which is part of an affirmative affirmative action policy being mandated by the federal government because it has to do with with numbers quotas it's just it's the same thing. The federal government is more concerned with putting black and white kids into mediocre schools and spending all the money that has been wasted on busing and making sure that all kids are entitled to go to a school of their choice where there's a good education with good facilities with. Good teachers with good curriculum. That's where if we want all people to get an education and to compete in the lady is that's where it should the priority should lie in getting a good education for all kids. And unfortunately I see very few members of the black community speaking out and say hey I
want my kid to get a good education. I see many members of the black community saying hey let's pass the kids let's get them get get them together. But I've never seen except with the exception of Jesse Jackson who is really concerned or seemingly really concerned about about the education of black kids. I have never seen a black leader come out and really do something about stopping the busing and getting back to the basics of education. Thank you. We're going to run on time like to hear closing statements from you Mr. Kelly and Martin and we can start as we began with a statement from you Mr. Kelly. With each weeks to an era in this country. And I said this a while ago. You know I can't become a policeman or a fireman not because I'm not qualified but because I'm I'm I'm happened to be white. This has happened to thousands and perhaps millions of people who are white. Want the entire country. They are qualified. And then when their argument is
presented that well you have someone. Less qualified getting the job. The argument comes back while everyone is qualified qualified because they have lowered the standards down will become a very mediocre country. And I think that John soba in the the head of the Harvard Medical School said it best when they said that we're getting into an era where mediocracy is acceptable. And I think that's dangerous for the country. Yes I would like to close with a statement from the current commission. You should remember the current commission was established after the 1968 science. In that report on civil disorders. The current commission stated that the cancer of white racism was already a. Our entire society and that unless funds form steps were taking to become a society of two one white and one
black both separate and equal. Thank you. Thank you very much. Mr. Kelly I'd like to thank you Mr. MARTIN. Mr. Romney and Mr. Gore thank you for joining us. And I'd also like to thank you for joining us this evening. And I would like for you to watch next week when we was in part two of our discussion on affirmative action. For now stay tuned for the presentation of the works of African sculpture. Got one accord. I.
Maintain 75. I taught myself. It's good for me to show the American people what I am doing in Nigeria. And why I can't do it. And since they came I've been attached to the Museum of Fine Arts. I've been receiving so much toady's too many time too. Since then I've been walking on the contrary. We're here at the Harriet Tubman museum on the corner of Massachusetts and Columbus. And you're here in the south of Boston and we're here to look at several pieces of art civil pieces of sculpture which have been done by God in coral who is from Nigeria. I call up call with.
Which you name me and say I took it and it's. Just customary to. The people of Africa you know to sample when they hear the sound of a drum. And the two surrenders vital issue. You know I point that this kind of government is someone. This was why I kept this out by the American people. It was the same but you know I call in people do black people of America to unite. And create this country. That is one of the. Sculptures that I cherish very much. This. Is a broad fight and we just make. It Bad presents. Big nations of the world like. The United States. Soviet
Union and so on support. Flight to the moon you see and the other coaches are more tied to than the ones that are tied to the land is that developing nations of the snake. But what bothers me is that this same advanced. World you know passed the fly over and tried to. Kill the missions that have not left the ground exploitation. You see Africa has a lot of resources. They have to develop on their own. But the problem is that the developed world exploits the people instead of really helping the people. You're talking about the exploitation of possibly the third world. Well the advanced nations of the Cold War.
We. Got. A lot of political issues involved here. This is the princess of the night you know picking up Moses. It's an abstract figure. If you look at it in front you will see a baby being carried by the Princess. This Pharaoh's daughter. Another story from the scriptures of the Bible. And what I'm trying to stress is that Moses. Was delivered by. An Egyptian. Do you.
I'm trying to translate that. To black people what they don't understand is that they accept education and. You see that. Then they become part and parcel of being able to what they are must haves one them to be. You know I'm stressing that Moses. Who was delivered by his daughter to find save his people the Jews from the land. Of the Egyptians. So as well. The black man was cut education is advanced to. Try as much as possible to. Save. His people from the problems. The title of this is the old and the new.
The woman is. Semi-naked who saw what she saw almost naked in front is absolutely naked. Apart from a child. You see what I'm trying to stress here is that present day Africa you have to was two things happening in Africa today. The influence of the outside was gripping the continent. I missed the simple tradition of people who say saying that within 20 the next 20 years you will hardly find any in absolute nude or nudity around the continent. So I have done this to show that within. The space of time say within 20 years when someone sees this portion of it it will he or she will know that when this artist was around there were people you know behave in some fashion.
This is carps about it's. Got that religious background. You know I did buy a book about. Jacob wrestling with this. Banjo wrestling with Jayco But like I want to stress is that it's very symbolic. About the president issues political issues. And I chose this term because. Jacob was an ordinary man who
he wrestled with the supernatural power. So I liked him too. What is happening in South Africa today. Where you have the whites dominating the blacks there. So I am saying that the cup represents the masses of the black people. Who must have to just. Insist. All the time be in jail or white till they give God a blessing. Just like Jacob did give a kind of. God. Why do you use biblical symbolism in some work. Because in America where the people are predominantly Christians and had to make people get across exactly what you are trying to communicate. You must use what they are familiar with. And as Christians they know the
Bible and Biblical stories and news stories from the Bible to. Use as my symbols in communicating with them. OK so then when you return to Africa for example you would be naturally using African symbolism so that the people in Nigeria Your guess would be that I use African symbols and stories to talk to my own people. OK let's go on to this. This particular sculpture here. WOMAN This is a fantastic figure of. A woman. Well this has got to do with the day where I asked to see women. They are very elegant as you see there. But when you look at the piece you sure you know that well it's like a woman. No but it looks like it. You see we see in women they are very
delicate people. You know the way I look at them and that's. Just. What. This represents women. So how do you look now that we've discussed on all the pieces of art how do you look at yourself as an artist as a political artist perhaps. How do you see yourself communicating political themes and social themes. Well. I don't know that people will say my work is good. I see a piece of it but I don't want to be looked upon from that aspect. Ms symbolist if your life I like to put it that way my it's within me and I want to express myself you know on political terms but it was too much for me. This is where I believe that the world will. Listen to me
ok. I want to thank you for sharing some of your pieces here here here at the Tubman museum honoree and to repeat that because people haven't seen you know your work I'd like to encourage them to come down here on the corner of mass Ave and Columbus Avenue. Thanks so much for sharing your pieces with us. Thank you. Tonight the Carnegie report backs race and admissions matter. Jackson wins second term and black public officials in Greece. All these stories and others coming up on say news. Stay tuned.
But first our calendar is. Good evening I'm Karen Holmes and the news this week a report by the Carnegie
Council on policy studies and higher education stated that race is a relevant factor and should be used in determining who is admitted to colleges and professional schools. The report strongly opposes quotas and admissions but believes that colleges should set admissions goals. The council also suggests that colleges put their admissions policies up front for public scrutiny including the publicizing of their political favors influence selection of students. The Carnegie report concludes that each person should be chosen for admission on their own merit but they point out that merit is not always based on tests alone. Three members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation filed emergency legislation earlier this week to limit all Wampanoag Indian claims to home owned land of one acre or less. Senators Kennedy and Brooklyn Congressman Gerry Studds maintained the legislation may provide a way to
expediently clear title to home owned land in Mashpee. Hazel Oakley is spokesperson for the Wampanoag tribe favors the new legislation. She says it relieves homeowners of a burden that is essentially the government's responsibility. Eric. Thank you. Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson was reelected to a second four year term on Wednesday finishing far ahead of his six opponents during Jackson's first term. He was able to hold the top of the line rather on new taxes pulled out of an economic slump and during his administration the city's rate of violent crime decreased because of these accomplishments. Jackson went into this election with a new strength in popularity among white voters and was able to keep the strong support of blacks by keeping promises that blacks get a fair share of city business jobs and promotions of special interest to our Spanish speaking audience are these stories of Consiglio. I mean what is that. Yes he spun us. But when you look on those to do with
it I see it in a central Cardinal Cushing. So you do although I say said I think that I call you Washington saying that I'm gonna leave out those I pushed me this way. I'll do that. But the most politicus centering the money that Despoina ceased on a but but people that noticed this issue on at the soonest. Sylvia otro the VM buddy but I'm asking for mercy on yeah. While I don't see it they see it through no see a single Latinos and also not know that their stalled in Massachusetts New Hampshire within the weedle nuclear program in Espanol is sort of doable. And actually in Salem New Hampshire and nobody is except those Latinos on to this. Going for the motto they got you know D.C.'s said drama and espagnol there therefore multiple angle via the Merrimack ganglia on this Poblacion has spun us in Lawrence. LOL.
Several actually Latinos also the US citizens meet the most Domingo's. The thought of the frequency of me seeing this on the. Amy can a Puerto Rican nationalist who was imprisoned some 20 years ago for participating in an armed demonstration in the House of Representatives was recently granted clemency by President Carter. Andres figured Autocar Darrell was one of a group of nationalists protesting U.S. involvement Ed in control of Puerto Rico. Recently doctors discovered that he was dying of cancer and had only four weeks to live. Many groups around the nation including the community church of Boston a non-sectarian congregation had petitioned President Carter for quadrilles release. They asked that he be permitted to spend his last days in his home with his family. The other nationalists involved in the demonstration are still being held in federal prisons around the country. The black American law student association or balsa will sponsor
several demonstrations next week protesting the U.S. Supreme Court's hearing of the Allen back in case Bacchae is a 37 year old white male who applied to the University of California Medical School at Davis in 1973 and 74 Bakir has charged reverse discrimination stating that the school had admitted less qualified national minorities while rejecting him. The case its wound its way to the Supreme Court where hearings will begin October 12th. Say rather reporter Margaret Todder spoke to bosses us national president Charles Ogletree about the case and the upcoming demonstrations. She files this report. OGLETREE indicated that at the heart of the Baki case is the assumption that minorities are getting preferential treatment in education in employment and taking opportunities away from white males. He said the week of anti Baki demonstrations will include a candlelight vigil in front of the Supreme Court. Ogletree talked about whether such activities will be effective.
There are three things that we hope to accomplish. One we hope to influence the court to the point they were to reverse that decision or if not reverse at least we've managed a case in California because we think there's a lot of errors in the record there too many stipulations that are adversely intrusive minority people. The fact that the real partisan interest in that case minority people black people aren't being represented aren't people who want to argue their position in this case and the fact that there's some evidence that Baki had assistance from university of California Davis administrators in this case. So one has to have a case with terror. Secondly we wanted to kind of heighten the cost consciousness of people around the country as a issue. We can't let people believe it's only concerned with our profession. Schools are grounding schools. We think that the case has much broader implications. We think it has implications for with education housing and a variety of other consumers who report to poor people. Thirdly we hope
to provide information that will balance some of the misimpressions and the misstatements and sensationalism to the press and the press interpret this case as a case of reverse discrimination. And that term is really missed in addition and the press has been saying to the students at UC Davis. Were. Unqualified. That is in fact true because they are all in the prop in the world now practicing practicing physicians and doing an excellent job. Do you think you can influence Supreme Court decisions by demonstrations. I don't think we can influence what will rule in favor or against where we should be able to influence whether or not they would consider a case that is really the poorest possible case to make such a significant decision. OGLETREE speculated about what would happen if the Supreme Court ruled against Baki assuming that the case is favorable in terms of what we want.
I think the impact would be that the court would recognize and then force legislature and other responsible branch of government to recognize that there is not adequate care given to the concerns of people or even health education and many other fields. And by recognizing this through established programs goals timetables by the number of minority professionals will be increased over the next number of years so that this care will be adequate. It is obvious that the people receiving the least amount of care and the healthier people who are receiving the least amount of attention in the legal field on blacks and other minorities. So the court will have to recognize that we have to increase the number of people who will go back to the Soviet Union. And that is one of the most important aspects Baki that they have to take an affirmative step to make a race conscious decision that would discriminate in the past that gives a group of people a race of people we was not correct we must now collect that
by making opportunities available for those people. Many people hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will bury Baki in the lower courts but there are those like Charles Ogletree who feel that any decision favorable debacle will have serious repercussions to affirmative action programs in the future. This is migratory burdens the number of blacks taught in public office and assault has increased by almost 3000 percent since 1965. That was the first four here that the Voting Rights Act of 1964 was in effect in the 11 Southern states only to two blacks held public office in 1965. That number has risen to over twenty one hundred this year although the numbers suggest that blacks have penetrated the South's political system. In fact blacks only hold 2.6 percent of the available public offices and in those 11 Southern states. Twenty point four percent of the population is black jazz musician Ronnie laws. Now Sonny
Joe White has a review. Thank you Carol. All the laws of music were broken opening night at the Ronay last concert and that is the Ronay laws were broken because despite a power failure in downtown Boston Ronnie Lawson pressure pressed on. The evening started with a new group. A lot they on our records and then progressed onto a very impressive session with the group. Pressure has been back and probably last for quite some time. About three songs into the Rodney last show the lights went out and the power fell yet hit Boston. But being a true musician and Ronnie is he knew that the audience didn't care about the lights but they did care that they would pay to see a show and that's exactly what he gave us. Even in the dark saxophonist Roddy laws and his drum lit up the stage with some of the most unique blends of soft core rock and jazz and having followed Ronnie for some time since his days with Earth Wind and Fire and other musicians. I think his show was best described by Hugh Masekela who
he once played with. Ronnie lawes plays music that is relaxed but still very hip and he's in downtown Boston very hip. Ronnie Lawes is a of through Sunday night at Pauls mall and I think you'll enjoy it. For say brother I'm studying Joe. That's it for say rather News. Eric San Pedro. All right. Karen Hall Take care and tune in again next week. Ice on. Ice. To
Say Brother
Affirmative Action or Discrimination
Episode Number
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/15-9bn9x30g).
Episode Description
Program addresses the isue of affirmative action in Asian and African American communities through an interview and open forum discussion., Host Stephen Curwood and guests Peter Chan (manager of Boston's Chintatown Little City HAll) discusses the recent court mandate in Boston defining African Americans and Hispanics as minorities and Asian Americans as Caucasian, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Melvin Moore. Panel debates the question, "Is affirmative action a policy of reverse discrimination?" with James Kelly (spokesperson for the South Boston Information Center) and Shelia Martin (community advocate for the MAssachusetts Social and Economic Opportunity Council. Also present for the panel are journalists John Robinson (the Boston Globe) and William Hoar (the American Opinion Magazine). Additional segments include and interview with African artists Godwin Okoro conducted by Eduardo Diz, the "Say Brother News," and the "Community Calendar."
Episode Description
This item is part of the Asian Americans section of the AAPI special collection.
Race and Ethnicity
Public Affairs
Discrimination in employment; Asian Americans Employment; African Americans Employment; Boston (Mass.). Police Dept.; Boston (Mass.). Fire Dept.; Reverse discrimination; Nigeria Arts; Sculpture, African; African Americans Massachusetts
Rights Note:It is the responsibility of a production to investigate and re-clear all rights before re-use in any project.,Rights Type:All,Rights Credit:WGBH Educational Foundation,Rights Holder:WGBH Educational Foundation
Rights Note:Media not to be released to Open Vault.,Rights Type:Web,Rights Credit:,Rights Holder:
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Publisher: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: fba38251f5792445f7dc8840e98a443075043567 (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
Format: video/quicktime
Color: Color
Duration: 00:59:43;00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Say Brother; Affirmative Action or Discrimination; 804,” 1977-10-07, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 22, 2024,
MLA: “Say Brother; Affirmative Action or Discrimination; 804.” 1977-10-07. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 22, 2024. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Affirmative Action or Discrimination; 804. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from