Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #8 (Reel 1)
Challenge 69 the urban crisis. The students response. I observe that there are two problems that that seem to be emerging. One is a generation gap that is quite this horrible between the speakers and the young men and women who have come here to hear them. And also something of a communications gap. Comments were made by the men and women. Who came to hear a number of the speakers that we live in a competitive society which is all very true but they fail to understand that one must compete on something close to equal competitive grounds. It isn't fair for a 6 foot 200 pounder to take my young 10 year old son into a ring and proposed to box or to wrestle with him. And I submit to you that the one fifth of all Americans who have to compete with the 80 percent of us that seem
to have the full measure of the blessings of this society are competing not on a very very fair basis a cold and I think that that's what challenge 69 is all about. The Wake Forest University's symposium on contemporary American affairs presents challenge 69 the urban crisis. The students response. This is the eighth in a series of nine programs that seek to focus attention on the problems of American cities. The topic of this program is the role of self-help organizations in meeting the urban crisis. The speaker on today's program Clarence Kohlmann is a past president of the American Council for Judaism. He is presently the southern regional director of the National Urban League. Here now to speak on the role of self-help organizations in meeting the urban crisis is Clarence Coleman.
Mr. Chairman ladies and gentlemen. I'm at a decided disadvantage here. I understand you've been in sessions as well of this morning and it's 3:30 and who wants to listen to another speech at 3:30 in the afternoon. We have to be out in one hour of standard Mr Lensky was your previous speaker and who wants to follow Savulescu said in a very good range of schedule I probably would have kept myself on probably his presentation. I am delighted that up to speed in this program and it's a pleasure for me to join with others who have come to you in this symposium discussing a very important matter now opinion dealing with contemporary American affairs. The invitation suggested our focus on the role of self-help organizations and urban crisis and especially addressed myself to the role that students might play in these organizations and they went ahead to describe what. Some of the non-governmental organizations did want to talk about churches we mention
business associations we mention civic groups and suppositions as I talk to some of the planners of a conference a said to have organizations interpret a vision as I do. They were talking about a broad spectrum of social welfare organizations that we find in all of our communities. I thought I might address myself briefly to each one of these and end up with discussion about the self-help organizations which is a way to say that I represent falls in this category. I think the discussion is very timely here and I'm delighted to know that Wake Forest is concerned with trying to. Engage in dialogue with people from the community to deal with a very serious crisis we face in America. And if we don't find some solutions to the crisis it just may mean that we are not going to be able to save America from itself. You know as I do that we have a gap between the young and old black and white rich and poor the educated and the illiterate and we must find a
way to build a relationship between these forces and order to have a better understanding of the of a crisis of inner city and and to do something about it and do it in a hurry. I understand some of the early meetings you've been talking about for governmental organizations and the role that they have played and are playing in the crisis. And I wonder have you given attention to what some of the differences in the governmental and the non-governmental groups. I represent the non-governmental private sector and I think it has certain positive aspects to it that the government agencies do not have. I think it gives them a degree of an example of flexibility. The government agencies do not as well closer to the people who have an opportunity for a greater degree of creativity than the government wants to do. They are not as bureaucratic the federal agencies are they have a degree of independence and they're not tied to political considerations. They're controlled by and by the people through boards of directors and advisory committees that is not true in the governmental sector.
There ought to be a greater degree of sensitivity and the private organization than is in the governmental ones. And we think that is a chance for the private non-governmental agencies to work a little closer with the constituency. This close line of communication with the constituency where you can more or less hear the heartbeat of the people you're trying to serve gives you a better opportunity to reflect in your services the real needs of people and is not that is not the case in the governmental agencies. And the government wants to launch a program to serve a segment of the population. They have a problem of dealing with people in 50 states you have to set up a headquarters perhaps in Washington regional offices state offices district offices than I am by the time a service gets to the local community where people are to be served. The whole thrust of the movement some time is lost. This is not always true of the private sector. The whole question that I would like to talk about here today is what in the world can young people students who haven't developed the
economic power that other people have in a community and they don't have at least in the passages in this van felt that he did not have a political strength that other groups in the community have. And maybe there's not much they can do about it. I think there's quite a lot that you can do about it. As a matter fact of who you've heard the cliche the youth are such an important thing in the world that are not to be wasted on young people. I wish that was the case if we were able to transfer and I'd like to get some for myself. I think that as far as the non-governmental and the government agency is concerned no that is a move in the future that is going to have to be a closer working relationship between the non-governmental and governmental agencies. Just as the federal government for example can and does employ private industry to build their airplanes for the government and other hardware that it needs and money is not always a factor here. It seems to us in the National Urban League which I represent and other non-governmental agencies that the government needs to engage in a contract
relationship with the private sector organizations to help them to do the job that the federal government has admitted it cannot do satisfactory not successfully. It has been proposed an example to the problem of agriculture but I believe by their own assessment they have not found a way to distribute food stock to people who are hungry. You got a problem when you have food and you have people hungry and the system does not permit you to get the food to the people. We think that the government perhaps needs to recognize an ability to do this because of some of the things that I mention and begin to engage the private sector to this problem. We frankly really felt like for example American Red Cross and National Urban League might undertake the complete responsibility for not only identifying people who are a me but certifying those people who are in need and assume responsibility for getting the services to them directly. I like to comment just a little bit on the role of the church. The role of the business community the role of civic groups and the urban crisis and then the role of
the. Of the. Of. The group that we call that is the separation of social welfare groups. I understand that you are church related institution and I am a church related man to a degree. I work very hard at the church at home but I'm not always as optimistic about his possibilities as out of the hope that you are. But I find as I look at the church as Institution and the role that it is playing on auto play and urban crisis I'm very much disappointed. I find an example and perhaps you do not find that the church is grossly divided by denominationalism. I think it's much too involved in spiritual ism. It is rendered almost totally ineffective by its overall organization is asserted through some denominations. It is controlled too frequently in a by a very very conservative laity. It is led by underpaid and
under stimulated and motivated poor TIR does not have a party nor the means to develop a very relevant church in 1969. It is absolutely too comfortable I think in 69 and it is too afloat and it really lacks what we might call soul. James Brown says a soul is the most important thing in the world want to have a more important have money but he didn't say that I know this until he became a millionaire. I think it's unfortunate that the church where you would expect to find progressive movements as unfortunately in 1909 a bastion of the status quo and a barrier to progress and to advancement. You'd be interested in knowing that over a hundred and twenty six million people go to church in a members of a church in the United States of America. UBL says some of you who are Protestants may be interested in knowing that there are over 37 nearly 30 million young people going to Sunday School and 59 Protestant churches in the
United States. And they contributed these 59 Protestant dominations over three and I have a billion dollars to the church in 1967. This is too great a force not to be taken a more active role in their crisis and I hope that somehow we can find a way to motivate revitalize and refocus it to make it a really a powerful instrument that ought to be and one time was and relieving the misery of human beings and perhaps even bring peace to the world. I am absolutely convinced though that the people who run the church that is the church establishment is not willing in 1969. Perhaps they're not even able to to do what is what needs to be done to make the church more revelent the instrument for change. I am equally convinced that young people students do have a role to play and I hope that I can have some discussion with you later about how students can take an important role and bring in the other members of the noun generation into into play.
I am very distressed a short time ago in L.A. when the deacons in the Baptist church I'm a Baptist so understand that you supported by the Baptist church I'm a trustee and a deacon and I know our church and what it ought to be. Wish there were something else sometimes. But being a Baptist I do all the things you do and don't talk about the Carlow that there was an effort on the part of some black students and a lot of the go to some of the white churches in Atlanta. I thought it was the Christian thing to do go to church on Sunday. And they were not as welcome as they thought they might be. As a matter of fact the churches instead of trying to deal with what they thought was a crisis in their town began to organize a deacons not to try to help the people who were in the church and those who come in to be better people but organize them in the palace guard. Can you imagine just by four years ago in Atlanta and this may have happened even today in Winston-Salem you would know this from anywhere North Carolina where the deacons of the church wagon eyes and into guards where they would put them on the four corners
around the church near the entrance with loudspeakers you know talk of telephones talking back to each other announce and when they saw a group of black individuals coming along assuming maybe coming to their church. They also had a deacon standing in each one of the interests at the door so that if he got past the guard and got to the door they'd be someone to stop him. There was even an effort on the part of some churches want to go want to be a little bit more progressive and begin to have folks in the church to determine whether or not black folks are to be admitted. I'm not at all sure what kind of people make up churches that haven't developed that kind of attitude. I wonder whether or not some of your relatives some of your uncles and brothers and fathers would be a part of it is such a guarded. I ask myself that question I've asked of my white friends that question I ask you that question this morning. If you some of a group of black folks back in your hometown made an effort to come to your church what do you think your Rockall and your father and your
brother and your mother may do about it. Seems to me the time has come for the church began to deal with some much more important things than that. And I'd like to just two three things that students might possibly do. It seems to me we ought not to give up on the church because we may have lost confidence in the people who are now running it. I think the people who are running out of victims of their own past and they just can't do any better and they need some help. And I'm inclined to feel that young people can help them tremendously. I believe that young people students you ought to be active in your church at home and you ought to try to see to it that that church establishes some kind of mechanism so that the voice of the young people in that church can be heard. Those who say that Sunday morning 11:00 o'clock is the most segregated hour in American life and set about four five years ago I'm not sure that's true in much of Salem and Carolina but it seems to me you would be interested in knowing this and if it is the case we ought to try to do something about it. Maybe just 11 o'clock service on Sunday morning is not the way the church would operate in any event.
Perhaps perhaps some new kinds of discussions ought to be brought brought about. Remember snow in Atlanta not long ago and. And I don't know why but somehow I was driven to go to church that morning and ordinarily would have several hundred people present. It turned out only about 12 people when church on staff of the pastor preaching as he usually does. He left a pulpit came down for an invited everybody to come down on a two or three seats on the front and had a chance to talk about some issues of a close to people's heart. The preaching we had a dialogue about spiritual and religious issues and moral issues here proved to be a very rewarding experience for all of us. Perhaps this kind of exchange an opportunity to ask questions and to talk back to the Minister is something that might give some life to the church. I'm very much concerned that the church ought to be now what it was when it started out. That is an agency that was good that is concerned with the needs of people and our concern itself with our problems. Unfortunately. The church has gotten into the business of talking about religion and
talking about doing good but really not in the business of doing as much to much as we see ritualism in it and this is not what it's all about. I'm wondering whether or not young people who are students here wait for hours and other schools are represented might want to think about how you can start a statewide program here in North Carolina citywide program and environs. To have black and white families visiting your local church black and white students visiting black and white churches here I would like to suggest that as a possibility and I wonder if we could talk about whether that has any real possibilities of succeeding here I must say of. One of the very great difficulties with the church is the financial base is as funny. They conservatively people who run the church run the pulpit and they tell the minister what to say. I'm one of the not some of you economic majors might not wish to suggest that the church might wish to go in business so it might wish to invest
this money and establish an endowment to give it a kind of freedom of operation which is now presently enjoy. I don't know to what extent that your students are engaged in religious activity on the campus. You might wish to review that term and whether or not you can encourage people who like to go in the Pope as one of the great problems we see as a people who man the pope is particular in a certain region are not particularly qualified from a spiritual far more power point of view to try to bring about great change. If somehow we could as we think about this particular non-governmental agency if we could somehow Pereiro this important force together of dealing with a serious crisis in urban centers rather than have the church to do what it is doing move into service so we can get away with the ugliness of the urban center. We think it will be gone a long way. Perhaps love is the answer. Perhaps a brotherhood which might start here might be the answer somehow students of A now generation must try to get the
message over to the older people who are running the church. And I consider myself an ass I have about as a freshman in college and I am not sure I am really communicating. We talk about things that are not not related to much. You need to to help us to understand that change must come about. The second group of non-governmental agencies that I was asked to mention has to do with business leaders and if you marry anybody from any town knows that the people who run the businesses in your hometown will run the town practically. They have considerable economic political and cultural influence. The chambers of commerce and the National Alliance of businessman and other groups of this sort almost completely in charge of the city planning all the social engineering the social welfare It iss and education institutions. They serve on boards and make determinations about who does what established policy and government as well as non-governmental agencies. And we know as a matter of fact that business people are conservative by nature. I think it's very logical for a businessman who made it out of
a system to try to work to try to protect that system and we must understand said main man who feels that anybody can make it if they do what he did. That is the work and he determined that he can make an effect. He made everybody else can make it. Unless we can somehow find a way to get this businessman to recognize how important it is for him to take a more important role in community affairs and to try to make tax payer's rather than tax burdens out of people then we're going to have a real problem. I ask a man who's teaching business administration one time to define business for me. I wonder if some of you business majors would agree with this. He said business is bang as cheaply as you can. And selling boy's theory if you can and one which said and put it in a cannon and sit on the can. I wonder whether or not that does not need to be real re thinking of this if this is the definition of business do we accept the present time. We need to somehow develop a greater
positive influence on the business community to try to help the business community understand that the consumer has responsibility and without the consumer the business may suffer. And a businessman ought to think of this and trying to share profits with workers. That was a time i.e. the changes we need to change their attitude either changes behavior. That was a time in the days when many of us were fighting for integration. Great that we can change enough people's attitude about race. We probably would have a problem of segregation when I long since have decided and maybe use psychology majors might disagree with me on this. I'm not at all so sure it is important to change a person's attitude is it is to change a person's behavior and you can change behavior without change in attitude. I know of an example in the early days when we were permitted on black metal to go into a public facility for the first time a question of what the waitress thought about me was a matter important. And I hope that people would love me and accept me
and treat me differently. But I learned that that really isn't important what I am concerned about when I go on a restaurant. Now while I'm not the person will give me service quickly whether the food is good and if the services careers and what the person thinks about me the attitude toward blackness attitude toward me is a matter of great concern. I'd like to suggest three things you might do before I go to the next category. That is it seems to me that students ought to begin to think of how you can get to Chambers of Commerce to set up a youth advisory committee so that you could share with them some of your ideas about how business are operate and how businesses are be relevant to the needs of people they're trying to serve. I would suggest that the Greco-Roman here at the school and at the problems of business economic and finance might be rethought to be sure courses in the humanities are included so that those who want to be the business leaders tomorrow will have a clearer and better understanding of the responsibility of our business man.
I am inclined to feel that if we began to take a very careful look of the American Enterprise we may conclude that what we need to do is to try to make capitalism a little bit more compassionate. I think we move in this direction. We need to find a way to speed this situation up. And finally I don't know if you agree with this at all. When their family decided several years ago that what we need in terms of closing the gap between the black and white particularly on economic grounds and others too that we need to develop a program of compensatory opportunity for the underprivileged people. It didn't just it didn't just fair didn't just write although it appears to be so to claim that we will now have a system of equality and the economic sphere. If you have two people running a race and you let one start running it said and you start out when I was say I run that same race at a quarter after 12:00 and you put a chain around the one to leave the court after
12 and they both ran around a five mile race and all of a sudden maybe after 15 minutes you take the chain off the ones behind and said Now did you want to run the base on the base of equality and I want to win will get the prize is really not fair. We're suggestion. That there ought to be a consideration of the fact that American society has denied the second fellow a chance to compete on the basis of equality and we must do something special about it and I put it in one of a context. Suppose you have a scoop two school systems one black and one white and the white children who graduate from school read on a level on a 12 grade level and the black ones graduate from school reading on an eighth grade level and you have a teacher quote that have a large number of specialists in reading the question is Where would you deploy those specials in reading. It seems that logic would dictate that you would put those specialists in reading the work primarily with those students who need it the most.
We call this compensatory opportunity and I hope that we can find a way to make that a reality now. Working in civic groups or something is not at all new to a social worker and we find business is important for us try to work with people wherever they are and I feel comfortable discussing this. Just post the section. Groups like the League of Women Voters the Junior Chamber of Commerce. You might have some chapters of some of these on your campus the White Citizens Council. The Black Panthers the Ku Klux Klan was used to be popular enough. I don't know if we have any here Wake Forest. There's a group that I find and organize all around so I call the BBB the beard the Bush and the. BEARD The Bush believes. I'm wondering whether some of those here think that maybe this symbol of greatness is a vial important. We think that is awfully important in a community that has all these kind of groups they are have a right to
operate. The Black Panthers and the White Citizens Council the League of Women Voters and others have as much right organizing to do that thing as anybody else. And the fact that you try to eliminate one to deter want from organizing you deter the freedom of all. And it seems vitally important that the selfish interests of of the one that you like a protective and you protect the one that you don't think are important. It seems that students ought to recognize the importance of these civic organizations in our work and them and if you don't think they're doing things the way you want to do them it seems to me joy to join them and try to change them if you think you can and identify yourself with those that that are important from your point of view and to do anything that you think is important. I come now to self-help organizations the social welfare organizations which I conceived here to be that whole broad spectrum of social welfare agencies that we find in all communities including And with in Salem. Like your case worker agency the Traveler's Aid Society and the Legal Aid
Society and The Family Service Association they and a group of organizations like the YMCA the YWCA Girls Club the boys club and etc.. And acute observation agencies like the Community Planning Council and the Urban League. It seems to me that the role of students and working in these self-help organizations is vitally important. These groups really run the social welfare system in your local community and you can have great influence on them. And I'd like to encourage you to participate in them because these are the agencies that are originally assumed responsibility for dealing with the problems associated with crisis to eliminate the human misery. And we think that they can be and ought to be measured restraint. You'd be interested in knowing an example that there must have been 21 fouls on different United Front campaigns in 1969 and they raised over 800 million dollars to try to deal with the urban crisis and they assume
responsibility when they organize to deal with the problems that you're talking about here in this conference. Unfortunately though they really have not accomplished their objectives and the question is What role should students have and trying to improve the quality of these services. I would say that you are doing some of this many of you and I would want to encourage you to continue it. There is now and will continue to be a need for Volunteer counselors. Social work aides interviews research aides camp supervisors librarians teachers aides office workers and neighborhood organization workers and the like. I would say that it would be tremendously important to those ages here in Winston-Salem and Greensburg and in the environs of these students used to those who are free from them. The limitations are those people who are running of organizations what are your strengths to what they're trying to do. I would say that if you were able to get as many students you probably haven't as much upon a community volunteer your services to these
groups. You could make a tremendous impact on the urban crisis and helping people who are under privilege who want to motivated who really don't who are hopeless and feel that the deficit is not going to offer them very much. People who are inclined to feel that the only way to bring about change in western Salem and other cities is the burn the town down and start all over again. If you feel that you can bring about change here's a broad spectrum of organization that you could join up with to try to help them to do the job.
- Episode Number
- #8 (Reel 1)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- No description available
- Social Issues
- Media type
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-30-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #8 (Reel 1),” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 8, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-qv3c3w83.
- MLA: “Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #8 (Reel 1).” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 8, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-qv3c3w83>.
- APA: Challenge 69: The urban crisis; #8 (Reel 1). 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-qv3c3w83