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This is the 21st 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. On tonight's program we're presenting the second and final part of our programs dealing with the subject of discontent on college and university campuses. With us again will be R. Johnson editor of the Wayne State University student newspaper the South then. Chuck Larson ex chairman of the student faculty Council the student government of Wayne State University and Lani Pete chairman of the Association of Black Students also at Wayne State University. These three students have during the past year had some kind of confrontation with the university and mood and spirit at least seem to symbolize a part of the very activist stance being taken by students and major universities throughout the country. Our purpose in presenting these students point of view and their feelings about the current
university saying is to more fully understand and hear their perceptions of what is wrong. As a result we hope to be able to more fully understand the total scope and depth of the causes of the unrest. On the basis of key words and phrases used by these three students last week it appears that the real rub agent the crux of the conflict and discontent goes far beyond the university itself and indeed the university seems to be but a symbol a ceremonial figure in the whole spectrum of their discontent. The roots of protest occurring with increasing frequency within the relatively benign structure of the campus is basically a discontent boredom and anger with a society that preaches a philosophy of self directed beings but still manages to keep a large number of its citizens between the ages of 17 and 21 with in a prolonged state of dependency and powerlessness. It appears to be a
struggle against the sense of vastness irrelevancy and absurdity created by the impersonal forces and conditions of life and western civilization of the 20th century as a prelude to the opening dialogue with the students on tonight's program. We're going to present a very lyrical poem by The Doors a contemporary musical group and their music seems to suggest some of the flavor and mood of today's collegiate Revel where yet.
Very. Serious. Side. Fan. You're. Right.
We were only. Going to hear. Something just happened two days ago I think it is kind of you know sums up my feeling social as an awareness of the educational institutions and also the type of partnership today continue on with the power structure itself for example. And Orangeburg South Carolina Blue Stars unite South Carolina state. Brothers and sisters they were having some difficulty with one of the shopping centers there and they wanted to integrate the bowling alley and be served in a restaurant within a shopping center. So they went up and went into the town and they tried to get service they were refused service and so being quite
disturbed they returned to campus and they had a rally where they were going to come up with some actual some programs as to how they should go about integrating this bowling alley in a restaurant. And as they were standing on campus really having to rally the police came up from the town and purely unannounced unprovoked start shooting into the crowd. And they killed three brothers and all three brothers that was shot was shot in the back. Now coming of the news media said that there was an exchange between the black students and the cops but if this was really a lie because it was no exchange because they were holding a rally and the cop just came up and they started to shoot and I'm pleased by 37 people now are in the hospital and quite a few on the critical list. And the town now is under. State and local police and National Guard was called in to set up a perimeter of the fence around a shopping center which is kind of strange you know actually how they are protecting the shopping center and they are not really too worried about the condition that exists within the
shopping center. I think that this is purely indicative of the whole racist attitude that has been availing so far through all echelons of the power structure because as you take a look at the educational institutions they have been more or less existed as Chuck and I have said to program you to certain things. And just like you program a person his scope is very limited. His his imagination his intelligence has been well not even stigmatized retrogress you know to a point we doesn't think for himself and I think to do is a growing concern right now of these students and especially the black tims why I am primarily concerned with that you know we are no longer willing to sit back and be complacent and to get an education and try to get in your aristocratic position or to assimilate into the power structure you know because we realize that with all the education these five Ph.D. We might have and where we might live a nice long car we might drive when it comes down to the wire. We're not just because of our qualifications and intelligence we're just
because we're black. So consequently our energies and resources must be channeled to those people you know that are black. And there's a growing concern. Through all of the colleges throughout the country such as black students are concerned that we are forming a coalition of the black students within the college campuses and where in establishing communications through all the campus so when one thing goes out on one campus all the brothers and sisters throughout the country know about this and they can respond. So what I'm trying to say is that the time is getting very close right now and things will start to get very warm and we as black students are going to do what needs to be done to contribute to the actual the tearing down of the system as it does exist. And we're going to contribute in using what we have gained from these institutions in accomplishing those things that need to be done I think like 0 0 0 young girls because it's a larger point another example of it going to lock in between the media the different the different power interests in American society and that is the way that even
the the press which is normally one thinks of the press as being some sort of you know bystander serving there with the press you can cooperate with the university as well as other social institutions that you know I'm just mentioning a case where in South Carolina where it was distorted and it was portrayed as a as a. I you know I was made to look as if it wasn't made to look as if it was just some sort of interchange quote This is a check and I am here and I'm also a little pressure not as much because the people are shut down right now when he smiles and pulls himself but check and I certainly have have excess experience the way the the City Press distorts information coming out of the University of information even my own part things that were doing things that were involved. There's another example that in that situation surely you realize it demonstrates who's calling the shots I mean you know to see the concluding that where the National Guard is going not going to protect anymore blacks Jews from being shot and not going there to protect other people to other people. They went and put a perimeter around the shopping structure I mean they you know there's the that's the part of the industrial complex
but that just demonstrates where the values are in America. I mean there is this poor businessman you know trying to hold us as godless and building from being burned down the city and that's where the guard go they're more concerned about keeping that building pure keeping the business structure operating and making sure he doesn't lose a couple bucks than protecting black people really why people might be involved. Thanks for the clues call the shots but where they're going I'm not going to protect the people it won't protect the businesses and I think it's only Dick. OK. After Berkeley and other campuses exploded after there was a challenge to the established order. There was seemingly a greater level of. Pressure particularly Burke said as a symptom of things to come. Are do you feel that students are going to be sophisticated to come together to develop an organization is going to
stand this kind of pressure. I go from the point of view of. Budget allocations. My. Visuals are certainly very suspect and they are becoming the trend. Future part. You know I think it can be expected as Mr. Asians become more uptight as we would say as you can more concerned about the potential power of the sins are going to have that there will be much more repressive much more press than did those people who you know taking your inconsistency is pushing very hard to become very very strict in your region and the hope is it become more rigid they also become more brittle and they'll be able to break down easier. But could we see real depression they're starting to back up a time when this is a sit down talk to us about things that they don't do it they just do the reaction shoot out here tonight and try and apply we call little gaming more was a time of it which they wouldn't be so crass in trying to deal with arts paper. There's a time
when we try to sit down and try to come up with some you know some other rules for living in the paper or doing something on this basis it was you know talk about at least give the impression that they were considering then do that anymore. I mean just in the Dean of Students just said I'm like the way you run the paper you know I get money for any more than eight pages and that's it. I mean that was repressed and that was coming in response to what they perceived as a possible threat I think is going to happen longlife Association of laxatives wouldn't be in this way and it ended in the student representative line if we ever become a threat which we haven't been for a long long time or become a threat we're going to see the repression there and they're also they're already taking you know some minimal caput precautions to swing interest in using so much refreshing I think it's clear that it's going to be more repression. I think things are being much more tight and you know it's going to start start putting people into different camps are polarizing people and that's why I see happiness here asking at the different caps is it. Going to happen here at some point I'm not sure exactly when to transfer them into the student union idea what exactly is about. Well you can make a very clear last number one that we can that we can no longer be effective.
We can no longer represent students as long as we let the ministration decide what deal we're going to use this time than we had now was a mechanism drafted by faculty members and written by the by you know get approved by the president was doing when you involve the president said here's a cool way for students who are represented as repressive there's no power with it you have no intrinsic power so we realize number one no longer can minister to the writing of our charge force and giving the right for student loans to exist and in fact in no one has a right to decide it's going to exist or not going to have intrinsic right to exist on the basis students have needs when people come together who have needs. Basic Democratic leader they have a right to be represented but the right to come together and find their own things. So cinema one was going to happen even recently we got just a new concept is again a way of legitimize the student government by having the ministration write down say school you know for someone only to you know we have a right to exist. We're going to come together organizing of students come together and want to do this thing we're going to do it we've got to give so we're just going away from the whole formalized structure and ignoring it and trying to destroy and coming together by bringing
students together rubbing sticks together all become clear to me that one of the basic problems with student government is that is it affirms elites you know forms people like like myself or chairman who get involved in the fights you know but I can relate to the students and when you get screwed within that system I mean you know you can only tell the people but they don't get screwed themselves off the very very real problem of leadership in those people not just the students who did their bit of something but because it is the season. Yeah yeah that's good for me going to school of course but they don't perceive it they don't see that there was a lot of people like to write. So we're trying to do is get more students online new and bringing together so this is what we're trying to bring people together in a union. Make a match for me at times seem like very trivial things like a small parking fee or bus cards or or credit you know things that really are like roads I don't want to service low I don't try to deal with an institution they say well you know we can see you know this information this thing this ought to happen is cyclical and then when the U.N. representative is told no it's not like just like some some elites in government going to be told no we have a lot of
people there will be told no that's going to make a lot of people up and when people get involved those things can produce a consciousness that's another reason to bring people together not kind of a movement and that is were never going to have an effect if that movement the countries will have to have a student consciousness people are going to understand that students themselves have specific interests and that India and become students over to some extent and understand what it means to be a student and understand what their function is in society than to deal with that thing. So that's why you bring people together also. It finally comes down to it's just just a pragmatic political consideration. It's very clear that students know when the country had any institutional power and the only power the students have this is their ability to say yes or no with their bodies and that's never going to be effective is going to be a mass kind of movement. They were using unions as as an aspect to bring people together in a mass kind of thing to bring together. There are force and student side wants and unity sides do something and it's going to be like several thousand people doing it rather than just a couple hundred. There's going to be a constituency and the will to act and hopefully be effective within the pluralistic set up that are talked about as effective as
possible just as it doesn't let me say that I don't perceive to be an end within themselves or seen merely as a vehicle a vehicle for producing student consciousness a vehicle for bringing students together understanding collectivism. You know on the vehicle for getting some minimal kind of power with an institution the line elsewhere could be closer to Lani's And I think that by dealing with that system as you would you know that it's never going to change the system that we want to. I think that the system the university just in has some intrinsic evils within it that are never going to be transcended by even dealing with it and you know kind of thing so uniquely becomes a vehicle for getting people together make you understand what psychosis is there I think that you know the talk about revolution becomes very real. They're not to be revolutionary changes that can be done with unions and what vehicle that take will have to see the unions are is really a step onto a higher level that will eventually come to school. We like to come. Yeah you know it's kind of interesting when I sit back and listen to you in our exchange because you know what you're doing is that you're coming to an awareness and you're traveling up the road at like black
people travel a lot and I think it's it's it's in the lightning to see how IGS X-acto how you can become aware of certain situations so for the past such as concern for example and the peace movement and Washington D.C. I think it was quite evident then that you know a whole lot of bycatch really became believers that you know because they manifest one thing is that they want to exercise their right and they want to exercise right at the center and they want to be heard you know but I think to and historically speaking whenever people start to deal with the power structure they have always dealt with it to a certain point and then they will able to back it back down. But what is happening now is that these these white liberals or radicals whatever you want to call them are now being becoming exposed to dealing with power. And then when the man started busting them upside the head. This kind of reorient some of their priorities. So you know like like black people you know we've been happiness for quite some time and you know I think he's still in a lot of ICBMs and stuff yeah. Wait what you Clara what you gone do you know because like we have
discussed this and we have we have programmed in our actions because in dealing with the power structure we deal with it by certain ways you know. Now I think that actually actually that the students see the radical liberal students you know have a position you know in fighting against a power structure itself but as black people and as black students I don't think you can really afford to have ourselves to pin the point a lot of your actions and alleviate our conditions because what's what simply happens is that no black people here regardless of how long they want to fight a struggle against a power system. They can never back I'm so ok man you know like I give and I'm going to go I'm going to work with you because and I quote We black we can't do this. But you know getting back to your point I have seen quite quite a few of the white radicals and liberals you know want to really start dealing with the power and they see that it hurts and it physically hurts to deal with it they say well you know I'm sorry you know Program me a little bit more to what is my function in society. So this is what I'm trying to say that you know you do have a function and you do have a
position. But you know as black people and as blacks Jews I think that we have to move independent of this you know. And you you and you know and see exactly how you come along the line because what you're doing is you're traveling the road we have already traveled and I'm thinking that quite a few of you might fart along the way because you know I deal with this part of you know is no game has some real serious and dedicated business and I think that are quite a few other people are going to get a little bit more serious in dealing with the structure as you do it. Doesn't this now look to your point because. There were radicals like to hate white liberals just as much if not more because that's possible. The black radicals do share sympathy hirsute Why don't you feel the way you do about things that are saying you know what they can and can't import and that it's like a draft thing you know nothing is like you know we know that black you have no business you know fighting any racist war you know any place in the country you know like in a world where they know our words like you know right here in the streets in cities in it and the United States but are
very very liberal people you know who are actually descending now against the draft. We're really only suspicions about this because you know quite a few few white liberals continue to be you know discontent about being drafted and they escape to Canada and places like this to simply means you know that more black people become drafted so we see this is something to be viewed from a more or less personal basis this is where we make our initial stance like you know what hell no we won't go. But the point is there are some some people can't understand why we don't form a coalition groups with names you know acting as a dissent against a draft because we see this as a purely a personal thing. So for as the isolated groups are concerned where we as black people form our own draft you know no going to the on whether the case might be. When it comes to join in with the other the other white liberal groups know this is something we can afford the luxury of doing because any time they want to actually stay they can co-opt you know it back into the system and by their refusing to go to war I mean there are more black. You feel that quality hey we're not going to age 18.
Whether or not you were in any way to learn any more power to you to deal with some of the problems what you are now dealing with. I'm going to the gym it's about time you know I'm not willing to work on that with a person to work for the unfolding a city teen becoming that deal right because it would at least you know Force little responsibility on the people and there would be another base there and because the people are slim parties or to slightly change their stance to encompass you know this is you know younger folk are coming in with some different ideas. It will say that it has any real real major help. I'll tell you one because I really lost a lot of faith as it were that you know I was off base within the within within the ballot box concept with this in this society of people coming to making something this is the ballot box I don't think that's where the decisions are made but people are giving you know choices between Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in this notion of difference there you know I mean the bill. The birther mongers you know you're going to think there's no choice available there and people don't even know who their people are voting for the basis of slogans and and 10 minute spots on TV and there's no
real consciousness about what they're voting for. There's no choice and I don't think the majority of people who don't like voted out of Lyndon Johnson and the peace candidate the more stuff because I don't think that even they have the power to stop the war. I really think the powers of the collar I think the powers of the military really got the structure singer set up the parking structure I say good in quotes. And the businessmen who really got in the big business not the smartest of the big Missenden who got a real financial stake in that war. You know the guys who are getting all the war materials out of Vietnam going to continue to get the guys who are worried about Japan going to Red China. I didn't read China about the United States. The guys who are worried about them not buying takes the more music I really want that work continue so I don't think even that you know people can make a decision I think those guys are going to think I don't think that people develop bikes can make the decision. So I don't see is a real major help. You know I think you may patch up a little bit about system I don't think it's going to solve the problems and it tends just to be minor patchwork. It tends to be a little kind of reform and that happens it's not going to hurt but I don't expect it to make any major changes.
Secondly you point to a number of. Significant problems which our society is going to have to come to grips with and the future I'd just like for you to thank You know I as an individual into the future about 10 years from now when each of you see yourselves. Ok myself you know I write something I worry about alarming what happens if in this year you know I've always been sort of you know I'm not I'm not able to. I was sort of like I'm my own person you know I am unable to work in a corporation and say I tried it once and it didn't work and I still have personality and needs. You know I could never you know like you know be a lawyer or become a corporation or a column and so it really bothers me because I kind of wonder you know we started two years on
you know of course also I you know for philosophical reasons also why wouldn't the corporation I don't know I just you know try to do something to sort of stand off of the sidewall America burns down I mean and I was certainly you know what I really think is going to be a black revolution in this country and whether you know I wonder. Don't mind is completely around and I'm white and I'm not going to be an aunt. I'm not going to be a tyrant and the best thing for a white radical to do when it comes is Iran is just going to try to stay out of the crossfire and so I really don't know what I'm going to do. Yeah I sure love the same problems that our toes moment. I'll be going on after I graduate to CNN. That's it's a fix for this you know to go to another school I get to say for the education because I have new great sympathy then we get new Education them going there and using that position as a vehicle does a kid myself and learned that I can learn more about his reading myself than what happens in class that got me there for a short period of time because of
that I'm not entirely sure I feel very committed that soon to be revolution. I think it's necessary to work towards that kind of a goal. But I'm not sure how I fit into it. I want to keep going to keep talking to people want to keep educating people as much as possible trying to make people understand the relationship but I know exactly what would cause I'm going to feel that religion I'm not sure but I'm sure it's going to come. I'm like yourself. Well I think actually it's quite evident right now that if we're gradually approaching the time for rhetoric to cease and it's going to be it's quite evident because the system itself you know has manifested its name and that it's really not going to change. Well we're more concerned about you know allocating seven million dollars for riot control weapons in the city of choice instead of enhancing the anti-poverty program or the Ojo where the case might be. So it's quite natural it's very difficult for me to foresee for what I'll be doing 10 years from now but I think that basically speaking that
the time is coming quite evident where there will be an open type of revolution in this country that it has been that will be cause and will be perpetrated by such people who are existing now in the Congress and also in our other type of ministry positions throughout the cities of the country. So what they're doing now is that they are stay the power structure itself you know assess the rules of the game they themselves have set the rules for the game. So we now are we acting to these rules and we're starting to meet power with power. So whenever you start any power with power I'm no longer concerned with meaning power nonviolence and morality and conscience and love you know you're headed for one way and I don't always open conflict. For the most part the contribution of the student activists has been a positive one. Various civil rights civil liberties and community improvement projects have been shaped and directed by the student activists. They have raised significant issues that have too long been ignored by the society at large in many respects. They are well educated right and imagined yet in many respects they
are confused and too often do not have well-defined realistic alternatives to the establishment that they would destroy. Too often there is a romanticism and fervor about revolution and revolutionary figures without fully coming to grips with the moral issues and limits involved in any concept or consideration of rebellion. Too often there is short sightedness in terms of analyzing the total effects of their actions on the establishment and conditions of life rather than creating a more free and sane atmosphere by accident. They sometimes create the opposite effect. What does the future hold. Well the activists of the 60s who is a symbol of a last ditch effort itself direction and individuality you heard tool frequently throughout American history cop out and become another apathetic citizen. Will they become a more constructive reformist and provide ideas that will make the world better for mankind.
Or will he become a loud irrational voice amid the ruins of a revolutionary society torn by civil strife and suffering. Some are and ponderable some are not. This much is clear unless he is given a greater sense of meaning for participation in the world that runs his life and a greater role in deciding issues that have direct bearing and implications for his survival as a human being. Greater numbers will become alienated and their discontent compounded it would then logically follow that the seeds of open rebellion are complete withdrawal may ripen. You know. Very.
Well. Now the. Trio that. The that the the the the. The the. With the. The the Igbo the. You have just heard Hartford Smith Jr. assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University seeds of discontent is engineered by David Pierce and produced by Dave
Seeds of discontent
Episode Number
Episode 21 of 26
Producing Organization
Wayne State University
WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3313 and 3314. This prog.: Campus unrest, student demonstrations. The growing discontent and rebellion of college students. Interviews with student activists at Wayne State U. who are in conflict with "the establishment."
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Producing Organization: Wayne State University
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-15-21 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:21
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Chicago: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 21 of 26,” 1968-04-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 2, 2021,
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APA: Seeds of discontent; Episode 21 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