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This is the fourth in a series of programs entitled seeds of discontent. Presenting the program tonight as Hartford Smith Jr. assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University. PROFESSOR SMITH Thank you. Good evening ladies and gentleman welcome again to seeds of discontent. Tonight we continue our examination of the subculture of poverty. On last week's program it was pointed out by your narrator and by the voices of poor urban negroes how our basic systems for meeting human needs and basic survival areas such as shelter food and clothing and Recreation leads to complications and consequences and other social endeavors such as school and work school and work are society's formular for overcoming the suffering implicit in being poor. In a world of plenty. Yet even here the poor are short changed. Take the average school in a given low economic or depressed area of any large American city. You'll find that teaching techniques textbooks and other teaching aids are largely
outdated and obsolete. The large amount of new exciting developments in the use of electronic equipment color schemes and games seldom find its way into ghetto schools. If a large number of ghetto kids start out with two strikes against them because of the economic plight of the family school very often becomes a third strike against their ever escaping. Is it any wonder then that within the last three years in Detroit and other similar urban areas we have witnessed rebellions in Detroit. We've seen at least two rebellions at major schools and a near rebellion at another. There is an even more treacherous quality about being poor in America. Let's look back again at the basics of shelter food clothing and recreation. Poor housing poor food lack of recreation and living in congested areas has a profound effect on the human body.
The body is exposed and sometimes gives in to various types of illnesses. Medical care then becomes quite necessary. Without medical care the human body becomes nonproductive and then a large number of cases eventually dies. Without adequate medical care the motivational level and the ability to perform is lowered. The meaning of this in relation to our competitive world should be fairly obvious. Medical care then becomes a necessary item if one is to survive. Large numbers of the poor because of limited income and because of paying more for other basic need items cannot afford a private medical doctor. They usually have to go to a large metropolitan hospital in the central areas of the city and to various emergency divisions of hospitals. Let's take a look at some of the problems faced by the poor in
obtaining medical care. And the age of 19. I've had this house. I've found that 80 now when I'm sick I can't take it down. And I was sick one day and I took it out and they tell me I have to bring my mother. And on ABC and they say that it's OK to fire on the ABC by myself but they're still saying I have to bring my mother. Then another time I hear no more news and they don't. And Sammy and tar are the 10 and it's about 15 doctors to come in and see you and Willian to the house for four. And up stairs this was for and even and didn't get up stairs until 4 5 o'clock in the morning and when I got in a beer. Bad more came in Sammy and it wasn't different as them it was just saying thank you and then again they did not call my mother to get in.
And. OK to give me a spinal tap. Which I didn't even know I just got because I was too ill to say no I want to rest at the time but they did not question or call my mother for that and I was very ill after that we're back to our good despite how the doctors really what do you think about. I think he'll live a Degas ailment taken term as you as a human being. They just taught you here. Mad Dog I was very very ill to have a hospital the doctor didn't belive toucher uses well. Female child were taken around she can say they're not she gets worse and worse and takes a detour on the morrow. M. Hamel and she was so sick she has swollen knockers had told Bulla plan he wanted tax hole out questions
about something no one even in the book and well take her round she can stay there and on the next morning she has swollen up so almost screaming in a gallery and now the hospital he says Hopkins has affected her right away that just wasn't turned to save her life and that they should be done about it should take term exam a person if they are sick. Her mission. How long would you say to time that you could start to time to really get medical services from Windsor even when she came home sick from phone work. She came home on Wednesday I had to go to a private doctor. All of those staying home when on Friday I took it to heart. Oh I'm sorry I took a detour on the morrow. Then it was on Sunday one o'clock before I got in a teacher for her and her family had roughly in her world some time the sun morning before galloped to the hospital I think she dropped in on the way because this when she passed down something else now we frequently heard that.
When you go to see if you have an appointment that you frequently have to wait long hours usually how long would you estimate you have to wait just to get him to see your doctor say about six hours or more. Six to ten hours this is the time for this. And even with medicine sometimes it takes this long. For you to wait. And then again what if you come in like if you come in in the morning when it's how you know by layer one down and you have to wait for hours actually waiting for hours for that to come downstairs they say that it was upstairs you call me Ian and put me in the bed I still had to wait for hours I slept in it with me before the doctor came in and which at this time this doctor did tell me actually told me what was wrong. What I had to do. But I mean any other attorney will give you medicine and that's it. They tell you on the ballot take it three times a day and there are IME is no
as a no no can't even tell you what it is. They won't even tell you how you got it so if it happened again you know you can do something about it and you feel you just don't really take time to talk with you too. You really can't tell you what you can do this is right this is true they don't. I mean this is something that needs to be done because they are perceived. There are doctors they know we don't know. And if they can't tell us. This helping us to not just the medicine we need to know what's going on before the end so if they happen again and we know how to stop it before it gets out of hand. More and more you talk get something here in a way of what you feel the way that Barker looks at you at first sight from his checking you briefly how do you think the actors really really love that person. Well now they get so many of these fun battles and when you go I mean they long waited
on a figure they feel that you have to depend almost better that use color than have to go to these hospital tell a longer so they just look certain Salome and some turn they talk to each other and smiled at each other. Here see if you was a camp over in the corner or something and this is getting worse and worse and most all of the main law schools around with a whole person comes to that is what they are doing this is actually at the time they are there talking angrily and laughing about your problem. It should be told to me not to the other that I mean I should know what's wrong with me you know and they're set up you know even they won't even tell my mother so you know how can I help myself. They can't tell me what's wrong with me and how can you know I can protect myself next time. If it does happen. What can I would imagine there are 10 children here family you have to go down there and stay all day.
What do you do in the way of getting help for her babysitting and is trying to work this out. Someone out of state from school that's the only thing is that they don't have a nursery a day like mad to own them. If they had any time of day you dropping them you could just leave them you know and if they charge you thank the play them out for now as you go. But now when you do something got to keep someone away from school you know used to go to school. I see so you really have to call one of your own kids out to watch the hospital all day. Right and if you girls love a third of Parliament down there well doctors do not walk again until Teen tenderly I mean you don't see numbers and in their study world bar one in Colombo but well there it is down for their lunch and you listen and there's nothing they should say well love the duck is gone for lunch and all of you have say 25 mins and
then you have to leave for missing a bet. But no they won't tell anybody. In that the doctors just walk out and if you get up and go well and you might go over you may stay in them so if they call your name then you get so home and tired you will go then they'll call them lay come either call your name and then if you not then I put you on the balun list though as well I don't think this will actually I was just an ally stand there say 20 minutes or 30 minutes and everybody go about their business get back celebrate their one chance you go home you got religion no cancer now na laundry. Now this is something I don't envision. See see actually I mean I've been. I have been in a wheelchair now for about going on 12 years and I have no way of getting medical treatment on. The only way that I can get it is through receiving hospital.
And. I would say that it is very very hard to even. Get this treatment. Then after I mean once that you get there with my son says he has his up to me to go to this place for a couple of occasions. And so I get in certain time in the morning and it's in the afternoon or maybe at night a lot of time for leaving gusset and people lay around in the hallway at receiving and just look like they're overlooked. You feel real long waiting period you indicate you leave sometimes early in the morning or late at night before you get back. That is right go down 6 o'clock in the morning.
It be 7:30 8:00 9:00 at night before you get out of there. What what happens to your kids in the meantime. I have been told at receiving and they asked who would come with me I said well my children maybe one of my children and. And then they would tell and this would have to go back home. I mean you can't you can't wait in the waiting room. So what happened to your kid. Well during the time that they leave coming back home I mean I don't know until I get home. The real problem here is when you have to go right. Now and the one one hospital that's Detroit John and I. Well I'm with you like not going I know it's 8 o'clock and don't get out of
downtown. One two and sometimes you don't get out there and I know one morning when I got back here for a block. How many doctors people running for just one. Well the doctors are fighting it. Thus. The hospital is pushed more than leaving the city because just most people just know of a doctor to get to the people here something more medical services here. I was getting my town's a steak you know and a nurse came in again. It's supposed to be a drug that they're supposed to be giving me she shot me and mad men who took me to the operating room. I sat up in a chair. For about half an hour because I am wired awoke
and this stuff happened. You know start working on me yet and take an obvious pain getting my vote from our house was taken out and this medicine didn't affect me and took the words and the doubt I'm telling you I'm still a well and you know he's still telling me be quiet in United and so forth. And this is the current thing and this is one thing that I really disagree about the nurses and they don't they don't have these things. You know they just go you and Piers and drop them just like this and the nurses talk very coolly to you. They'll tell you no. So you're a selfish This way you got to be in debt and it puts you in the shop you. Know once in a while. This is why it's so many fights timepiece even that I don't believe anybody here about. I see no point in editorializing on the comments made. They speak for themselves. I would merely end that again in terms of trying to
satisfy a basic need such as medical care the poor pay a high price in terms of money time energy absorbing anger frustration and finally degradation. Our voice is thus far have been those of the negro poor and most large urban centers. There are also large pockets of poorer so than whites who have been attracted by the possibility of better jobs. During the past week we're tempted to interview a large number of these families in order to get some idea about the problems that they've faced. Most were reluctant to talk and felt insulted that someone would ask them to talk about their problems. Most live together in small overcrowded apartment buildings in some places. There were large holes in the walls and garbage cluttered hallways. Kids crawled and played in any vacancy surveil noise went through apartments as if wallpaper was
the only partition between unit yet nothing was wrong. It was almost as if they were saying look my white skin says that I am aright. It seemed to be a defense against the realisation that they were on rock bottom. It was almost as if they were trying to duplicate the social order of their homeland. I found one gentleman who was able to provide some insights into the problems of the alienated social group. There are similarities in spite of the historical as well as present day tensions between the two groups. This tension sometimes spills over into conflict and violence in large metropolitan regions. What are the housing situation. And what really need a just not merely not have faith in you know to put people in need to take care of the problem really you.
Know not you if you got to go. What are some the kind o albums if you run into say when you're looking for a house. What do you mean. Yeah yeah. Thank you sweet. Thing. All right now. How much would you estimate. Landlord. Charge. Your price. Try to keep the property or any kind you get out of it. Yeah I want to go would you have a rant. Probably never again. How much would you just estimate kind of charge. For the house. Let's see how many children do you have the president.
So you know you don't have to watch five bedrooms. Well we have to make a charge for a. Hundred to one hundred why you don't know me and furnish you gaping like. My how much would you estimate that right. I mean. If I can
play. Have you ever watched your dealings with. Same. Have. TO WORK FOR FREE were I want this from. You know. Pay for the pain. Free card. How many times would you estimate since
you Detroit. About 5. We're all concerned about our children. What's been some of your experience. Our city looks after children provide thanks. Maybe she wasn't thinking. Sorry I mean you know move from room to room. We're going. To go round right after you and you're going to be the kid you were born. Well we're going to let you know there's a bit too much going on there are a lot of problems around here but I don't
think you do like to keep you. Cool when you're there. Ok I see you. I don't take my kids there. Can you just tell me maybe a little bit about some experiences of some of your friends maybe trying to find work since they come here from come your home state. I believe our state was Tennessee was that right. Yeah yeah. Tell me some of their experiences that you're real. Well you know what the media need then you really can't you got no education no. Dealing. Yeah. But you really
need Kareem program. But I'm all for him to learn you know. Yeah. So really difficult times. But you go anywhere when we have to wrap in you know you keep it out keep take on you know one way or you know you know. The families. Are still trying to stick around and find one.
Stick around you know just be drowned. Get. Kind of wary. Thank you Norman that I need to take your help. You know. With their kids you know. Do you know of any of your friends who maybe just got just what you. Do 3. And they feel like. They can go. Down there. I don't. Keep making any money out there and I. Can go back home sit down there and work on the phone. I see.
Let's see. Did you. Most are your friends. Let me just get some of the reasons I think you mentioned. Before coming to Detroit in the first place you know. Looking for better. Remember you have the most friends have a particular trait now and have no way to say what was it kind of we're doing this for me. Mainly working on the former. You get the feeling sometimes. That you just kind of crowded Yeah yeah yeah. It's like he. Had me. Large numbers of the urban poor both black and white are refugees from the
south. The reason for their leaving are rooted in the blood stained history of the South. This bloodstain history itself must be understood in the light of the economic patterns of the South in relation to the basic needs of people and a changing industrialised world. The resultant hardship and degradation literally forced millions of citizens to leave their homeland in search of better living conditions. Northern regions of the country and tent on building large empires and wealth encourage this massive ship and population yet fail to supply systems that would allow basic survival needs to be met in a fashion that would also allow for social growth and skills needed to cope with the forces pitfalls and complications of a technologically driven society. It would be unfair to say that this country has made no attempt to solve some of these problems but the sheer size and dimensions of the problem today suggest that to a large
extent we have failed. Millions of citizens then must turn to welfare systems in order to survive. Next week we shall attempt pro further through the medium of the voices of the poor on various types of welfare. We will attempt to get at their feelings and attitudes about welfare systems and what needs to be done in the future. We will also attempt to interview a segment of the Mexican-American population who are also victimized by conditions of poverty. More so than any other ethnic group there is a history of movement back and forth across America and search of better conditions. You have just heard Hartford Smith junior assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University. Seeds of discontent is produced by David Lewis and engineered by Dave Pierce. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Seeds of discontent
Episode Number
Episode 4 of 26
Producing Organization
Wayne State University
WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3313 and 3314. This prog.: As previous program (#3) but centering this time around medical care and effects of poverty on various ethnic groups such as poor Negroes and southern whites.
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: Wayne State University
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-15-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:10
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Chicago: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 4 of 26,” 1968-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 4 of 26.” 1968-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: Seeds of discontent; Episode 4 of 26. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from