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The. Job in question is to whether or not Carmichael is a citizen of this country. And I understand he is if he is not a citizen of this country I think he should be deported forthwith. The voice you just heard was that of United States Representative Dan Kirk and all Republican of Tennessee. Our guest this week on the NE our Washington forum a weekly program concerned with the significant issues before us as a nation. This week a discussion on anti riot legislation with a secondary consideration of the growing trend toward lawlessness in this country. This program was produced for the national educational radio network through the facilities of W am you FM American University Radio in Washington DC. I'm in the E.R. a public affairs director Bill Greenwood. Our guest Congressman Kirk and all is serving his first term as a United States representative. A resident of
Memphis Tennessee. He ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate from that state in 1964 as a member of the 90th Congress. He is currently serving on the interstate and foreign commerce committee. More important from the standpoint of this program. Congressman Dan Kirk and Dall is the author of House Bill Number 8 6 8 3. That is the so-called anti-riot bill. It has been co entered used by 131 Congressman. An excellent indication of the importance which members of this Congress place on the growing trend of efforts to combat lawlessness. Congressman Kirk and all this legislation has gained massive support by the number of co-authors of it. Could you tell our listeners first what it's about. What is the actual purpose of this legislation and why is it needed. Well there are. Laws in most states that prevent the inciting
of riots and the Encourage discouragement of people who would tend to encourage a lot of the disobedience of the law. These laws exist in most states however our difficulty has been that several instances of occurred of so-called national figures meaning people who travel throughout the nation going from state to state encouraging civil disobedience encouraging actual criminal acts and starring people up into a state of frenzy and then leaving the state. Most state laws are such that extradition is not easy and we think it is entirely proper here. That stuff's such trafficking in what you might call interstate lawlessness
should be stopped. And we think there's a place for this loft a place for this proposed legislation which I feel sure will be passed and. The actual encouragement of criminal. Acts of violence in interstate commerce should certainly be discouraged when how would your bill go about doing this accomplishing these objectives. Well the first thing it does is defines exactly what the acts might be and the bill reads and let me take just a moment if I may. And it says whoever moves our travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility in interstate or foreign commerce including the mail. And this would be radio television maybe all the highways airlines railroads and so forth with intent. And here's where we
actually define the acts that would be covered inside promote encourage or carry on or facilitate the incitement promotion encouragement or carrying on of Herat or other violent civil disturbance are committing a crime of violence arson bombing or other act which is a felony or misdemeanor under the federal or state law in Father in Sabar during commission of any specified Act are assist encourage our instruct any persons to commit or perform any specified act. Now these are the specifications within the bill which point out very clearly that violent civil disobedience such as violence arson bombing the things that are accepted in any society that we know of as being criminal that the encouraging of these the specifying in either written or oral statements that these acts should be committed.
And if this is done within the realm of interstate commerce then we wish to have it prevented by this law. When you mention quite a very wide variety of types of civil disobedience. And you singled out as one example the use of the money you know to incite rioting. How do you mean letters that are written to individuals or pamphlets or generally speak. Well let me say why do you single out the most well let's say that a general pamphlet was sent out through the mail even to box holders in a certain area encouraging participation in a demonstration which by its very act will be a disobedience of the law. Let's say that an area where. Such a gathering had been prohibited by a court order. Well putting out a pamphlet through the mail encouraging disobedience of that court order
and I believe that the Supreme Court has recently held such a conviction that holding a demonstration in violation of a court order is a punishable offense. I don't want to get bogged down too much on specifics but there as a broadcaster is another aspect you mention which intrigues me and that is the use of radio and television. You know the intent of legislation is so often important when it goes to a court. Would you for example say a newscaster is filming a speech by an agitator in which he makes some statement. Promoting such a situation a riotous situation with the speaker then be liable under your intention or the station which broadcast this news report. I don't think that we could under any interpretation of this particular legislation imply that the reporting of the news should
come into the coverage of this particular legislation have to go further. If the person making this inciting speech if he himself did not employ and pay for our radio or television space to communicate this particular act then it could not be covered. Now if he paid for the space about 30 minutes on television or on radio to broadcast this inciting bit of prose across the state line then he certainly would be covered. Let me also get into the penalties of this bill you rather well mention the aspects of incitement which you want to prohibit what will be the penalty the force with which you used to make this bill effective.
Well this is in the class of a very severe penalty because we feel that this is a very serious crime and the penalty should be a fine of not more than $10000 and imprisonment for up to five years are both. How many states have also anti riot acts and Anarky laws in this type of thing we've seen them in New York particularly where this bill supersedes state law in this view. It would complement state law as was the case in our flag bill as was the case in the legislation it was passed a few months ago to prohibit interstate trafficking and organized crime you remember. Actually this bill is very similar to the organized crime bill. And if a state has a statute which is as so there are more severe than this particular legislation and if the state wishes to. Preclude action by assuming the responsibility itself. Then I can assure you that the federal government has no intention of taking up the
state's responsibility. Perhaps also it would not be impossible to assume that action could be brought against the individuals on both the state and federal level. Well the action could possibly be bar brought con currently but I think the laws of double jeopardy and so forth would prevent any duplicate action in or at least in the sentencing area. That's right. Has your bill resulted specifically from the racial troubles that have been so widespread recently. This is more a problem of the general breakdown of law and order in our country and it stems more from the fact that we feel that the. Racial troubles are more a result of a planned use of the misfortune of some of the people in our society to to create disturbance in this nation. We feel like that this is more of an international type conspiracy to create discard to create an arche. I think any
revolutionary will tell you that discard an anarchy and confusion and riots are the greatest weapons to discredit a country that can possibly be. I talk to Vice President Humphries for brief moments after his return from Europe and he said that he was convinced that the different relatively small but very vocal groups that as you know gave him such bad treatment at the different airports. He says he's convinced that this is all part of the same group. And this is one of the things that I think is most unfortunate about our situation here in this country. I don't think it is racial. I think that the racial unrest that exists in this country is being used to help hurt the country. You mention the planned use of misfortune you also say international conspiracy do you have any hard facts to back up those beliefs as far as being able to find it written down in some manifesto somewhere if you call that
hard facts. No we don't. Not that I know of now the CIA may very well have but this I seriously doubt. But when you find an almost universal pattern. When you find the methods used are the same. When you find interestingly enough the type of placards that are carried at the airport in Paris are very similar to those carried in San Francisco are very similar to those in Cleveland are very similar to those in London. When the verbiage is almost identical. The tirades against the Yankee imperialism only sometimes changes language but they don't change their content at all. There is just too much coincidence here for it not to be a planned effort to discredit this country. After all we're in a more I don't think anyone denies that we're in a physical war in Southeast Asia in an ideological war in the rest of the world
and we are the main target of the radical elements on the left the radical socialist and of course the communists. I think we're naive if we imply otherwise let's face the fact that they're after us. When I say they I'm talking about the forces of the Eastern communist and common is leaning bloc and let's not be naive about this situation. Sure they want to take us over. There's no doubt about that their stated goal is destroying the free enterprise capitalistic society of this country. What you're implying then is that the communist movement is using our racial problems to further their own goals in this country. If you want to use the word imply that's that's your privilege but I'd like to do more than imply I'm absolutely sure they are. And I don't mean all of the racial movements. I think that we have a great many dedicated civil rights leaders who are have gone through the normal processes of law. I think we have.
Some of the finest attorneys in this country who have fought on the civil rights side and have gone all the way through our courts of law and fought many cases in the Supreme Court I think to even imply that they are friends of communism or of or extreme socialism would be absolutely wrong. And I think the vast majority of even the people that are taking part in any civil disobedience in these criminal acts are not even aware that to a degree theyre being used. But I think that you can look at the background of a great many of these people look at the things they say statements like. To hell with the draft. Disobey the draft. To hell with the law of the United States. Direct overt statements against everything we hold dear in this country. Indicates that there are people that are definitely trying to use the word of the civil rights movement and just want it.
And you know the unfortunate thing is here who gets hurt the worst the worthy people in the civil rights movement because they end up being discredited by the French lunatic element that tries to use them and in some cases particular with the immature succeed in using it. And I think the tragedy of it is that the really worthy people in the movement are being discredited by a lot of irresponsibility. Congressman Kirk in dollar you willing to name any names of groups which you feel may have been infiltrated by this communist movement. No I'd rather not at the time I think this will be a matter for the enforcement of the law for the law enforcement people to discover and turn these cases over to the Justice Department and then for the Justice Department to prosecute. I'm not the type person that wants to make any blanket I mean any specific charges by naming people. I simply won't indict someone by hearsay evidence. I have my own beliefs on a broad sense which I've stated
but I'm not going to single out any one person or any one group to indict with this legislation before it's even passed. And I'm not really trying to force your hand which you have noted in some recent speeches on the floor of the house. The activities of Stokely Carmichael who was the advocate of Negro black power now. Could you relate to us what you have meant in the speech. Well in the case of Stokely Carmichael himself I don't think there's any doubt here because you mentioned groups I'm speaking with sound talk going to Michael his own words indict and himself. He has said these things publicly said on television I've read in the newspaper I've heard on the radio and he has encouraged people openly to defy the draft he said To hell with the white man's law. He has said these things there is not even any argument about the fact he said these things. I think in my opinion the case against him
would be almost open and shut because the evidence is public knowledge. I mean are you saying he is a communist. I don't know whether he's Communist or not but if he were he couldn't be doing them any more good than he's doing them. If they're getting all that service without him being on the payroll there then they're getting a pretty good service for nothing. While your criticism of Carmichael won support recently from Congressman William calmer of Mississippi and he has questioned the nationalism of Carmichael what country he's from Would you explain that controversy. I don't. I haven't gotten into this I've been questioned as to whether or not Carmichael is a citizen of this country. And I understand he is if he is not a citizen of this country I think he should be deported forthwith. If he is a citizen of this country and did not achieve his citizenship under false pretenses then there's no way you can take his citizenship away from him certainly not with the recent rulings of the Supreme Court but even before those rulings if a person is a citizen of this country and has not had it did not get his
citizenship under false pretenses. You see back in some of the. Mafia cases where people have been deported in these cases they say they proved that the people got their citizenship under false pretenses in the first place. So this was the way their citizenship was voided. But a natural born citizen or properly naturalized citizen of this country. The only way in the world that a court with this recent Supreme Court ruling that he can have his citizenship taken away is for him to denounce it. And so I simply do not know whether Carmichael is in this country or not. I don't want to really prove it as anyone trying to find out. I would I would be reasonably sure that the Justice Department either knows or is in the process of learning. And with this bill here I'm sure that they would probably find out. Do you feel you can name any other individuals who fall into this pattern which you speak of the extremist element to which you placed Mr. Carmichael.
Well he has some followers that I don't I don't think I will name he's the only one that I've ever named openly and the reason I've done this is because he himself has said these things. It's not hearsay. I would say that 75 percent at least of the listening or watching citizens of this country have witnessed these acts and have heard these statements so I'm only repeating what people already know in this case. I have heard rumors which I won't repeat. The reason I felt free to discuss and mention Carmichael is because this is not hearsay. I have heard the statements over television and radio and so has practically ever citizen in this country. Now would your bill have any application to other extremist elements such as the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party. Certainly this bill does not restrict itself to an extremist element on the left extremist elements on the right could certainly be covered. I think that the FBI probably has in times past longed for this type of bill and apprehension of some of the.
Elements on the extreme right and who have used interstate commerce to create disorder and to evade the law. And certainly we're not aiming at that one spectrum of our society here. Congressman Kirk and all I'm sure you're going to hear someone say that a bill like this violates the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. How do you answer someone who may raise that question. Well as you see no right is absolute. And any time a person hides behind a so-called right in an attempt to destroy. All right. Then it's self-defeating. The only statement by. One of our famous justices who said that the right of a man to yell fire in a crowded room is not an absolute right and I think there's
never been a better description of it than that. And isn't it interesting that the people who who are hiding behind this so-called freedom of speech are the very elements who are prescribing a political philosophy and a way of life that has no freedom of speech at all. And what you see. Every state that I know of has a law against the inciting of riots. Now this means that there's a law against making a speech telling the people to go break the law. Now this always has been and as far as I know in civilized society illegal to contribute to the delinquency of your society by an overt suggestion as you know it's illegal to contribute to the delinquency of a juvenile by encouraging the disobedience of the law. So this is nothing new here. This I'm sure that every say practically every state if not
every state has a law here in most cases extradition is not easy and particularly in modern times sense the people that are involved in this are in pretty much the same position that the organized criminals were before we passed a law making the apprehension of organized criminals in interstate commerce easier where our country is getting smaller and smaller as far as communications are concerned as far as the time element of travel is concerned. And this is one thing that makes this essential. Congressman I'm going to coin the term your accidental incitement. You know what I mean by that. Many times civil rights leaders of national statute go into an area to assist people and by their mere presence and opposition will develop on this on some occasions lends itself to riots. Cicero Illinois St. Augustine Florida this type thing where a well known Negro comes in
and is advocating a pacifist attitude. But a riot still breaks out. Now he has crossed a state line to get there and his presence incites the opposition. Your bill would apply to this or would it not. I think that the parson would have to openly and actually tell people to break an existing law. In other words your bill will not be an attempt to curb civil rights demonstrations per se. Not any sort of orderly or legal demonstration certainly not. This is this is freedom of speech and expression and. Actually I think that the cases of civil rights demonstrations breaking into violence when they were not deliberately incited are very very few. Now we've had you remember literally scores of civil rights demonstrations
throughout the past 10 or 15 years and there was very little violence until just a couple of years ago. And with the appearance on the scene of just a very few individuals you know this and it's a matter of history a matter of record. You don't find any evidence of Whitney Young Roy Wilkins or Thurgood Marshall ever starting a riot. There is no evidence of these man ever having been irresponsible enough to cause people to deliberately break the law and hurt their own cause. There's no evidence of this. And these men were leaders in the civil rights movement when these other fellows were in short pants. This bill has been opposed in the past by the White House and the Justice Department. You know why. Well I think probably in less speak of the Justice Department because the Justice Department is part of the executive branch and I think we speak of them in one in the same breath. All right.
I think that they are a little bit afraid of the implications. I think that they are afraid of being called anti civil rights and I believe that actually though and you may not get any public admittance of this and i'm fact I'm reasonably sure you won't that you're not going to find that they really object to this law I think they like to have it in their arsenal to use. And let me say one man in the Justice Department doesn't object. This is J Edgar Hoover and the FBI they'd like to have it. So he's part of the executive branch. One of the major people in the Justice Department a lot of people forget that J Edgar Hoover is part of the Justice Department. So this is one reason Secondly and I think this is a very unfortunate development of our recent history and that is that people have used as an argument against worthwhile legislation that it will be difficult to enforce. Since when has that ever been a justifiable reason for not passing a law if a wrong exists and it is illegal. Then the difficulty
of enforcement. It really is of no criteria whatsoever. If it is wrong and should be stopped some of the most hideous things are the most difficult to stop. And I met her some radio or TV comedian several years ago made the joking remark that he had invented a way to eliminate crime just make everything legal. Well sometimes I looked at the recent court decisions and recent statements made by so-called experts in the field and I almost get the impression that that's what they want to do. If something is difficult to enforce get rid of that crime does make it legal. And this is not the right approach and just because of a law it may not be easy to enforce. Actually the Supreme Court's done more to make a law hard to enforce than any other group in this nation anyway. So that's no reason for our proper legislation to be passed this was used against the flag Bill you know.
Congressman Kirk and all as a final question can we say that this anti-riot bill may be the beginning of a new step toward the elimination of civil disorder and lawlessness. I think that the bill will do one thing. I don't think that we would be wise to say that. That civil disobedience and disorganized disorder will stop with this act because I have no idea that it will not organize disorder conspiracy type disorder in the planned type disorder. The disorder that announces ahead of time that we're going to tear up X city this summer and then go do it. This kind of disorder in my opinion will if not stop will be sharply curtailed. Congressman Kirk and all our time is up I'm afraid to say. We thank you very much for being our guest this week on the Washington forum. You've been listening to a discussion on anti-riot legislation and the growing trend
toward lawlessness in the United States featuring United States Representative Dan Kirk an Dall freshman member of the 90 of Congress and author of House Bill Number 8 6 8 3 a bill that was favorably reported by the House Judiciary Committee bill which would make it illegal to engage in the movement across state lines for the express purpose of inciting a riot. This program was produced for the national educational radio network through the facilities of W am you FM American University Radio in Washington DC. The NEA are a Washington forum is heard weekly at this same time over most of these same national educational radio network stations. This is NPR public affairs director Bill Greenwood inviting you to listen again next week for another edition of the Yani our Washington forum a
weekly program concerned with the significant issues before us as a nation and bringing the nation's leaders before these microphones to explain those issues. This is the national educational radio network.
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NER Washington forum
Anti-riot legislation
Producing Organization
WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Anti-riot legislation and the growing trend toward lawlessness in the United States. Guest: United States Representative Dan Kuykendall, R-Tennessee.
Series Description
Discussion series featuring a prominent figure affecting federal government policy.
Public Affairs
Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Kuykendall, Dan
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-24-22 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:20
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