Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #1 (Reel 2)
Because we cannot have it both ways. We cannot take away the negro's job. In the central city and then effectively refuse him access to the suburbs to which his jobs. Have moved. We just can't have it both ways. And so American industrialized industrialists must recognize the real connection between housing and job opportunities. When industry moves to the suburbs. The negro is in evident pre denied both. And if we continue to move jobs out of the reach of the poor our industry has no choice. But to use its leverage to break down the rigid residential patterns of discrimination that are
the brand of the suburbs of America. This means creating opportunity for low cost housing offering low interest loan and suburban rent supplement program and forcing real estate agents. To practice open houses. Industry also has a responsibility. To discourage expansion. Into communities that continue to practice residential exclusion. And to identify Americans by their color and not by their character. This kind of a role for the private sector won't be easy but it is creative. And imaginative and it can do a great deal to prove. That social compassion
and private enterprise. Are not incompatible. And this private initiative cannot wait. It cannot wait to begin when some official yells crisis are when militants burn down a city. Or when government offers vast financial inducement it must be a risk initiative and it must be initiated by private enterprise. Private entrepreneurs who are determined. To blend social need with private gain. And who operate from a sense of knowledge that their business can be considered successful. Only when society itself is successful. But in the end the most important role must be played by you.
The individual and especially you young people you will determine. The nature of our response to the urban crisis and to any crisis that confronts America. You will determine whether government will act. With energy or with lethargy. And you will determine whether the private sector. Will behave sluggishly. Or forever. You know if anyone. Had the talent. The resourcefulness the energy to force society to act. The question becomes how do you most effectively marshal. These qualities for that struggle. It's a question that faces every member of society. One that is particularly relevant to students. You young Americans have been telling us.
That you no longer intend to be excluded from the decision making processes. Of our society. You have told us that we can accuse you of many things but that smugness is not one of them. And for that I think you ought to be applauded. Smugness is not where the action is. And if contemporary life tolerates our excesses it will never tolerate our indifference. So the role that you can play. In solving the urban crisis is a very special one. In the first instance you can direct the take direct social action into legitimate channels to society provide jobs for those who want to help restructure or remake it. You can participate investing in the Peace Corps or the Community Action Program. You can sponsor tutorial projects teach in urban schools. Or care for those who are mentally retarded.
You can participate in political activity. Ringing doorbells and drafting speeches and all of these kinds of activities. There's a greater opportunity. For entry into the system for working at it. Rajiv in positions of leadership in it and for achieving results. Than the young people of America fully appreciate. In the America of 969 you can challenge. The direction of those who believe you can serve. As effective advocates for those who are treated unfairly. More importantly you can serve as society's Koncz. You can bring to us your own indignation your own frustration the depth of your own commitment. Yes even your skepticism and your cynicism and your protests.
This is the business of you in any society. And when the youth of any society lose this capacity for passion. That society is on the way downhill. And so you must do these things passionately. Life should be lived passionately. There's no reason why dissent should be less than passionate. As long as that passion does no harm. To others. It is in fact that very impassioned plea for justice and humanity. That will strike a car at our national conscience forces to do something about these problems. But when you choose to dramatize as you will as you have and as you should.
Remember that reform. Does not require revolution. Change does not mean destruction. When the message you carry is a just one. And it is why I let the media. Distort the message McLuhan would tell us. That violence is a hot media. In an era when the Ku mediums. Are considerably more effective. Nor can you allow your cause to be captured. By the lunatic fringe that always looks for good bandwagon. History teaches us that when militants and revolutionaries take over a cause. The cause itself becomes suspect. And society's resistance different. The European cause
is too critical. To fall in the hands of those who would use violence to gain their end. There are midway many of them to meet this challenge effectively and to act as societies conch. One effective way is the doorbell way. Why must you wait until 1970. And 1972 to go door to door or to stand in shopping centers on a street corner to espouse your cause. Now is the time you should be going door to door convincing suburbanites that they cannot survive if they don't loosen the noose around the city's neck. Now is the time you should be persuading businesses and businessmen to open up jobs for inner city residents. Now is the time you should be working to organize and organize Housewives. To clean up
alleys or to fix up playgrounds. Now is the time you should be using your energy to change the attitudes of white Americans toward black Americans and black Americans to white America to convince others that they should care as much as you do. And organize society into a force for opportunity and equality. If you are looking for the response. To the urban crisis I can't think of any that would be more challenging or more demanding. Than taking the problem directly to the people. In this most direct form of participatory democracy after all it was the underlying assumption from the beginning that an informed electorate would be an enlightened. Direct. Electorate and that an enlightened
electorate would be a concern and compassion electorate. Help us prove this fundamental thesis of our society. If you can't prove that we can't do anything effectively about this problem because the urban crisis cannot be solved by government alone. Nor can it be solved by businessmen operating in a vacuum. Nor can it be solved by the lonely citizen. Tearing out his high. It needs to solve. It. Without government ordering priorities and acting vigorously to preserve our human and natural resources. There will be no resources just angry people and foul air. Without business leaders opening job opportunities in the inner cities. And
demanding equality in the suburbs. There will be no inner city or suburbs just rubble. Without you and others like staring descend dramatizing issues and peacefully confronting the society and its conscience. There would be no society. Just history. And to bring the full weight of voluntary social. And government cooperation to bear. On the urban crisis we require two essential catalysts. I'm often asked. What my strongest impression. Of the 968 is. I hasten to say it wasn't the one thousand sixty eight campaign.
Nor was it the skepticism or the cynicism or the dissent or the disorder of the demonstrations or the riots. The strongest impression I carry 968 is the intolerance or the intolerance of each other's opinion. Of each other's views of each other's circumstance and intolerance that wasn't limited to whites or blacks or young or old are northerners us Southerners are Easterners all Western. The first catalyst we need to solve this. And other problems is Pollard's groups cannot work together. If they are intolerant. Of each other's aims and objectives.
In a free society ideas can clash without being subversive. We can argue over means and even over ends without destroying the system that allows us to argue. We can reject ideas. Without placing the exponent before a firing squad. Or burning his notes. Or spilling blood on his prepared text. Surely our society is strong enough to tolerate. Legitimate to said. And flexible enough to survive legitimate social action. Violence militancy physical harm and threats. Unnecessary tactics of reform. And in the
end more harmful. Than helpful. And in the end it leads not to the solution of the problems of our society but to the destruction of the society itself. The second catalyst we need is trust. Without it. And I'm left we find ways to create trust between parent and child between white and black students and faculty. Then we lose our sense of direction and i sense of compassion. And that would be tragic because we've always bad essentially a compassionate society in spite of the inequities in life and the suffering of many. We have not been cruel in our approach to public problems. We are still a compassionate and trusting society.
So the quality of trust is not yet lost. But it desperately needs to be redefined and renewed. There's another impression I carry over from last year and that's an experience of the campaign. I'm convinced out of that experience that Americans are tolerant and trustful. And I also think we are wise enough to recognize the seriousness of our problems and to make the necessary adjustments to make. But it won't happen by accident. Justice Holmes once said this it is required of a man that he should share. The passion and the action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived. I think the underlying criticism of America
that disturbs young people and that disturbs disadvantaged Americans. That disturbs our friends overseas. And it gives comfort to our enemy is the spreading conviction that the overwhelming purpose of American society. And of American life. Is material gain at the expense of dealing with so evident domestic problems. That the most important thing for Americans. Is the material standard of living of each family at the expense of that family's relationship to its neighbors to its community
and to the rest of the nation. Is it a legitimate criticism. I were indeed so preoccupied. If we are a mess we break away from it. We are indeed threatened. Consider the growth in American substance and well and affluence since 1960. During that period in terms of real dollars. National pride productivity has increased by at least 50 percent. How much of that growth. Have we devoted to erase. The very real problems the public problems. Of our society. How much of it have we committed to our own individual
private satisfaction. That's an interesting task for each of us to make of our own perspective on America. And the world. Over the period of a single decade. What has bad preoccupation what directions have we driven i self. What problems have we saw. In this 10 year period. Which of our own domestic problems have we solved in this ten year period. Could we have done better with a better distribution. This increment to our national wealth. If we could have done better if we haven't done enough. Who is responsible. I say to you that all
of us are responsible. There may be a heavy load of responsibility and should be upon those who were leaders in this period to fell short. But there is also a heavy burden of responsibility upon the shoulders of every citizen whose preoccupation was too much in order and not enough. Let me say to you young people that you are just as subject to this tendency to this weakness as we were. As I look back over the 30 odd years since I was a freshman in college. I can see a period which began. With tremendous concern. On the part of young people with the problems of that day and they were great.
I could remember our dedication to the solution of the problems of that day. And it was real. And yet as I look over that 30 odd year period. I see also the extent to which the students of my college generation. Drifted away from that concern with public problems drifted away from that education became preoccupied increasingly. With the satisfactions of press in the life and family and home and job. And the 30 years were a tremendous shock to our system. We had real doubts that it would survive. And despite that shock and those doubts in the next 30 years we did not doom. But it should have been made clear to us we had to do to create a just society
an equitable society a fair society. A society in which every member up. Has a chance for a fulfilment of his intellectual physical and spiritual capacity. So we've missed this chance of the last 30 years. Not altogether. Life in America is better but we've missed the full potential of what we had in our hands. The intellectual and spiritual determination. To build a country. That was fair to all its people. We have it again. Now. We've a commune accumulated a tremendous resource not only physical but spiritual and intellect intellectual a tremendous resource which equip us as no country has ever been equipped to build a fair country. So let's
do it. Saying it with a little bit of irresponsibility lets you do it because you are the future. You are the continuity from the present into the future and make you better in that respect than we are. The. You have just heard an address by Senator Edmund S. musky speaking on the topic. The role of the student as citizen and voter in meeting the urban crisis. Senator Muskie spoke at the Wake Forest University's symposium on contemporary American affairs challenge 69. The theme of this year's symposium was the urban crisis. The students response. Next week Dr. Chester Hartman expert on housing at the Joint Center for Urban Studies at MIT and Harvard University will
- Episode Number
- #1 (Reel 2)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- No description available
- Social Issues
- Media type
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-30-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #1 (Reel 2).” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-m03xxq7b>.
- APA: Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #1 (Reel 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-m03xxq7b