thumbnail of America Street, U.S.A.; 6; Civil rights and civil disturbances
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Like a street USA series of programs produced by Radio Station UK FJC FM at Foothill College in Los Altos California. The very idea that people are the worst. Well I think this situation in the city of Sunnyvale California there is a street named America street. Families of many different backgrounds live on the street and in the immediate neighborhood. It's a melting pot of America in miniature. One of the feelings the attitudes the texture of life on America's street what do these Americans think about America as it is today. For if we are to approach the reality of the American experiment in democracy we must know understand and respond
to the opinions of America straight in the series of programs we ask you to imagine that you are overhearing a discussion among the residents of America St.. I was occasionally compared and contrasted with informed opinion from other sources. Today's topic civil rights and civil disturbances in America. We chose America street because in many ways it is a typical American neighborhood but in one sense it is too typical. There are no black American families living on America's streets. A few black Americans live in the surrounding neighborhoods but many if not most black residents of the county live in such ghetto areas as East
Palo Alto. It might surprise some of our listeners to learn that there are ghettos in the suburbs as well as the big cities. And yet at the core of America's racial problems is the fact that for too long we have not properly taken into account of the opinions of black Americans. The black experience is foreign to most white Americans. Therefore as part of today's program we have chosen excerpts from statements by two of the most articulate spokesman for a black American novelist as I asked him playwright James Baldwin known for his understanding and compassionate view of the black experience in America as well as the vigor of his statements and Stokely Carmichael an intellectual leader for black militants and activists. First some of the opinions of America straight back in my day we never. We never heard this news. Researchers patients of course. I mean we were raised right he said it kind of funny we were all. You know. Kids play together in the U.S. and there was a lot. But I worked with those now that are real nice fellows.
But when you get in and you've been down to talk to them. I mean they're real with. Real better. Looking and even though the thing they're not from what I understand talking a lot of that they're not satisfied with. Having equal rights. And I mean they they think they should have a lot more. This is the attitude that I love him. And these fellows that I talk to are nice fellows I mean you know but in their families Evidently I mean they. Probably. Get stuck af and past everything is just made to feel this way they must do it to get a better life than it was getting worse. Some people feel. I'm going to be more of the way I wish it were than I think. I think quite a bit of progress moving more than many of the very life of me and re-educate people. Some of the.
I think you're great you're ever. More. People who have suffered from different racial. I think this is the quote you. Made a great deal more effective than many people really think who were achieving a degree of certainty. But I think there's still going to be a lot of trouble ahead partially because of the slowness or work of art as we should and also because of the. For the militant group black and white image for the viewer. Just one report said we're going into a few societies one black one one.
Is that necessarily worse if that's what they want. Well I don't know I don't know. There are. Others. Where I think I can see. The point. They. Want me to it to educate their own. Their children and their own their own people and their history and background. I don't I don't think that. I don't think it's a desirable thing. But if they do I almost feel that it's what they should do. Remember second class citizens this is the way. How do you get an event that's a class that was going to ask you
you know you get on your situation get better before I do. This any question. Well I think the situation among blacks. Approving the work anomic play very well but as far as their mental attitude goes further feeling that they're being integrated or thing like that I think for Stokely Carmichael speaking to an audience of security. Yes. Just like you know this is using violence you know like you're going to think they're just a little bit you know they're used to but they just don't want to see that black with that good shooting the policeman or disrupting the system and I do not think that we should waste disposal there because it's really irrelevant especially since the question is moot. There is going to run anyway so why waste this person.
Balanced news tonight it is concerned with political. But is not concerned with economic policy that is just an opportunity for economic equality. The United States with opportunity for political equality not through the economic inequality and I think that contradiction is beginning to catch up with them. Some want to have a full stomach. With an empty stomach. Really doesn't mean anything. And I think that this becomes crystal clear especially after the Chicago convention where people begin to see clearly that the vote really doesn't mean anything because we are whatever they are the real choices of the people within those conventions were never realized as a people and that the people had looked for them.
So then I think the new issue today and the issue which more people according to me is going to be the issue of economic inequality. I've become more of want him to think this is a sign that peaceful demonstrations didn't get anywhere. Well I think they've got they've served their purpose for a while. And then I don't. Well I don't think that went fast enough for them and I can't blame them. For that. And their rights their rights right in Los Angeles proves that if they got it right and they accomplished something that's why I say violence accomplishes something lots of time. And I can't blame them. And I think that. I think that that's why they're doing this I think they are keeping militants from the course I think that you and I think we do routing and that to them that yes we do definitely but that they do you. Know violence in the in the in the Hunter's Point area. Good good. I don't think this will
change the results. If people thought it would be for example the number of jobs that they have come up with for colored people. Has been rather very trying to force the general economy at the moment isn't swinging like it was six months ago I mean the government is trying to take the pressure off. And they still difficult but at the same time I think that more people are good. For something like people who said that earlier than you can and you're always in a better position than we were I think things were Peter's goal was we're all better off with all the Centaurs racial. Problems. On different prices I think it was for me to root. For people to go after them you know a family that has made it hard on their already I mean I think there's a few that's made it hard for you right. Radicals has made it hard to take I would say the average person
they don't like. The color. They don't like it don't think I don't think there is still the movie I. Think most people. Are afraid of them getting over. There because it was a raise for a group for I don't think so. I don't like the word but. I think this is the real world point he's trying to get everything settled back down. There that cover people we've got to help one point people in the world to look forward to having both sides we've got to work together they can't you can't find it in the ME for instance to say I think there's a disagreement among the black people as far as the proper approach I think that Dr. King had to proffer. Proud of. Myself that I think there is. That many of the people have got patients saying feel
they've waited long enough. Again this is one of these things you would almost have to be there yourself telling. I think that. Dr. King was a great man. And he was truly trying. To. Teach. The right people. The need of integration. And. He was trying to do it basically. And it wasn't working and he was sort of caught in the middle. Dr. King was forced to do things. That. He didn't really want to do. He did want to have this confrontation the way it occurred. And when it did occur. While in the white community. Went against him. And but by the same token he had to do it in order to get the support of the black. Caucus the blacks. Were so quickly inclined to car another black and Uncle
Tom. If they were was fraternizing or two friends no two amenable to quite their. Domain. When speaking to an audience of young people in the present climate of our country it seems to be a very great the world in the heart of a great many people as a right but as I see it is that creates discontent in the cities and in the school. This discontent has been with us since the first lady got here and has been with us since the first slave master. He would beat his slave. It has been with us since the first Christian gave me my name and destroyed my history has been with us or during the time of the spiritual it is about Jazz comes out of what it is all about. It is what people talk about now. They're talking about is a great gap between lifestyles occurring on the
same continent within the same nation. And this gap between the experience of a black man and experience of the right one has now begun that it had as it did many years ago. It now is one single most menacing fact of the national life is not an accident that now in the last half of the 20th century in this country people are still demanding why black people are upset. People been upset as I said for many many many generations. But now now something is happening very important in American life and that no one can any longer contain the discontent. The structure which held it together is no longer able to control it. You get a situation getting even better for one. Thing where it is or getting worse. And it's getting better I don't think I don't think it's going to be to society. I don't agree with that I think it could be headed for either and faster than there is and I think that as a
political football that it really had more money to spend here on the United States in the United States instead of on the moon than in Vietnam and it is they that must be given in their part to get them down to the Kurdish issue which is going to be better. By then. This is. Our future generation. We're.
Going to take time. So I think. I'm. Lucky. Try that with. People.
2 percent this is very. True for. Him with joy. I might. Benefit. I don't. Really. I'm. Sure. There will be rapid. Do you know other places if we treat our back over as we ourselves get out of oil back up to it and I want to be treated ourselves I believe that
we can get along in brothers sisters throughout the world and I do believe this is not the old cliche I'm not trying to get across the point like at some of my best friends are black. That's not the point I'm getting at now. It happens I do have some but that's that's not the way it is not just my friends it's everybody if we treat everyone with the worst back and that's how we want ourselves to give them a chip their chance of that everything that we have a fair chance at which we don't now. I think that this is the sort this probably would still be a problem they couldn't have because it's going to be bigots anyway though there's going to be you know segregation is everywhere you go I don't care where you go especially in the south I guess but if you just put yourself in that person's place for one second. Of their life. I think you'd be just so disgusted with yourself as a person because I do I mean. On that one if you ask me if my daughter wanted to marry you know my daughter was going to marry a black person I'd take out. Please no I could have that smile it's a big No because I don't think it would be good for their kids because of the society we live in but if everybody in this society. Had the viewpoint that let's treat everybody as a unit
that's going to tell the brothers we are a people or you are being let's start acting that way treating each other that way I don't think you are that you would go from a lot of guys and it would go from mine for one. If I didn't think it would affect my daughter adversely as far as how she was looked on by other people. Which is all important in this world right now then I would I would say finally marry whoever she wants to I really would I think that if the whites were more willing to sit down and discuss and try to get the problems today stop today today or tomorrow and look for that kind of a goal don't look for the go like well in 10 years we'll have everything integrated let's don't let's try to do it a little quicker. I think that those things will sound out of it if the black people realize to a certain degree also that we're not trying to make them wait any longer that's not the point. But the things just can't be done overnight but. We can try that. The endless cycle is short a time as we can but that you cannot do violence and sniping and looting and robbing and burning down your own place to live or somebody else's place that you don't think you really get.
Stokely Carmichael but perhaps the major failure of the liberal movement is that their primary task is to stop the confrontation. They're not their primary task. I remind you it is not really just a matter of injustices. Now following on that comes what I think is also the liberal movement. In the United States makes a mistake and that is good for the United States is afraid to alienate. They want to tell everybody that they can be their friends. But whatever the liberal never ever seems to grasp. The idea that he must point out the problem he can't adjust to the mairie world and just somehow something we can all just never body will live happily ever after. You know the remarks are usually black and white didn't get along why can't we all just now and sing We Shall Overcome and enjoy life.
And. Just dismiss them. I think that. One of the reasons for that is because. The liberals have to seek to maintain the status quo. Third point. They have to seek to maintain the status quo because the liberals benefit from the status quo. Liberals believe in the United States economically secure. But the liberal is already economically secure. He does not want to correct his economic security so what he wants to do is to reform the system. Commenting on this economic security and that is the basic failure of the liberal movement in the United States. They have different different parts of the country. I know why cities like Chicago Detroit York where the black population that used to grow but they're being Charlie page. Bush did it in a very forceful way for example the House if. They continue to attract
black people to emigrate from the south and to go out there to these lighter areas which are a perfectly fair and it becoming worse and worse and worse for the job eventually unless our. City and state governments in the urban area do something. Immediately and not of a temporary nature but of an important long lasting nature to alleviate that situation. Do we have a blowup in our city. You know just chain reaction cross country black problem is not necessarily. The. Problem of the agricultural communities differ their respect. It's a big city. The other problem there is a backlash right now California the black situation which will result in more villages say that is the minorities in California
such as Californians with a bit of actually going to see reacting to the favoritism being shown to the blacks to their disadvantage. They're not receiving aid and aid or assistance to the extent that the blacks are and yet they outnumber the blacks just because they don't dare demonstrate or are already hired as well. There may very well be a maybe this is what they were going to maybe this is what proves your point. They certainly are as well as James Baldwin It is very difficult for a white man a white person. He said my version of American history which is that it is at bottom and perhaps it is true of all history. When the next move a criminal history and this fact had to be faith before we can do anything about our present situation when I say criminal history I mean he's do with me and put flesh and blood in order to make money. This is the generation hopefully.
We tried to look into this matter but the price I think with it and here I'd have to begin again as very young people. The price we're beginning to do this is to begin to realize that you have lived you have been the Queen our legend concerning black people which only existed in a white man's mind that has never existed in fact when black people riot or rise up all say they want to get a gun. They want to arm themselves that Eason says there must be comments involved in it and everybody else says the negro the violent violence become something to be feared only that turns out that Black people may become violent. Now this says something about the white people psyche doesn't say anything about me.
If I had lived among you before a hundred years somehow raising my children some how loving I was somehow living my life and singing my songs and getting to my grave. And you still don't know what I'm talking about. You still can ask me at this late date. What are you unhappy about what made me go along. Rod makes you think you aren't anywhere when you deal with a complex global know like in the south I always feel this way. The biggest trouble with your racial problem was the older people themselves I think. Again if they leave young people alone even mingle with each other I think they could handle. They could work out the situation with one show but to me they get a lot of. Influence in their prayers from the older people and younger people were born with
his betters and he has got to be and still lose to somebody. And I think it's been one of the. Many older people that kept a thing going didn't young people taking in people are going to change it. Or try to. I think you believe the young people whom I think it will eventually. I think you've just got to take people this is their god the earth or black or white either like him or dislike him here. You know people have tastes they've got to temper their tastes honestly rather than true color. That's not. That's really not from an honest opinion if you don't like somebody because of his color wife I guess that's your road to hoe. That's not what you can to done it. You can't legislate. Popularity but I think I think it is somewhat better given that we kind of all had to sit up and pay attention and I'll have to think about it when I think about it. What. Lies ahead I think the young people are going to have to.
Do most of this for us you know. Yeah I think that just the right stuff to passing on their prejudices to their children to I want to know this is what happened for the hundred and seventy years after the civil right you know just went on and on and people said yeah you. Can expect to have everything overnight this was 100 years at the Civil War where you can expect everything right away. Thirteen years after the civil the Supreme Court's decision and we desegregate condemn it. Black militants do kind of scare me. You know we don't have the answers yet to the crucial problem of civil rights in America. But if the opinions of the residents of America Street are any indication we do know that the racial dilemma has deeply affected all Americans more than ever before and as best they can they are responding and attempting to solve that dilemma. This has been America Street USA one of a series of programs investigating what Americans think about America as it is today produced
America Street, U.S.A.
Episode Number
Civil rights and civil disturbances
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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/500-ms3k219k).
No description available
Social Issues
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-9-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “America Street, U.S.A.; 6; Civil rights and civil disturbances,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 17, 2022,
MLA: “America Street, U.S.A.; 6; Civil rights and civil disturbances.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 17, 2022. <>.
APA: America Street, U.S.A.; 6; Civil rights and civil disturbances. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from