Four documentaries; 4; No Charity for the Poor -- How relevant are the United Funds?
Every year the United Way and The Los Angeles area collects millions of dollars for charity. Do you believe that that money winds up in the hands of the poor in the Navy I think it forgets what they're supposed to land these united things. Do you believe that that money winds up in the hands of the poor in the Navy. I really don't think that there's much of it gets to where it's supposed to go. As I say. Do you believe the money collected by the United Way winds up in the hands of the people who need it most. No not really. What do you think the money goes down now with Jess's money people quite a while. Do you see any of that money going into your community down. While. Those. Two world wars. United Fund in Los Angeles reacted to a list of proposed interview questions like the
Pentagon replying to a request for military secrets from an enemy agent. United fans across the country have good reason to worry they are being charged with failing to serve the poor for the Children's Foundation in Washington D.C. This is Jeff Cayman reporting no charity for the poor. See you again when you should not. Be given. One. Cargo. Have lots of fun to go to the Jewish charities the charities the cafeteria just you know blocks of funds to go to the black community. Also in Chicago more money is given to the Boy Scouts than is given to Chicago Urban League. That's that's that's just does not make sense. We have to assume that the
Urban League is doing much more to correct problems in a city than the Boy Scouts. Eugene Perkins a member of the Chicago organization called the catalysts. It is trying to change the way in which the United Community Fund relates to the people the grassroots organizations in Chicago do not receive funds for the community fund. The reason they do not receive funds is because the criteria for receiving funds. It does not reflect the needs and does not reflect the types of representation that is involved with grassroots organizations let me give you an example. Basically the monies funded to agencies with so-called professionally trained people which means social workers and sociologists and people like this who basically have degrees in with some formal training. Now we know that grassroots organizations do not always have these types of trained people but yet we feel that they are doing more in the
community than the so-called professional buffers and we see that the professional practitioner as a buffer that is planted in the black community to neutralize any aggression and to sort of maintain the status quo Birken says the problem isn't the amount of money collected during Chicago's crusade of mercy. The money does not get to the people. And one reason is of course of. It's because of the bureaucracy the status quo and because in Chicago monies have to funnel through City Hall as is true of model cities before it goes directly to the community. And so did decisions made prior to. Being approved by the community people themselves. And we feel that decisions have to be made at the community level first and not at some other Echelon that is sort of remote from the
problems inherent to that particular community. The American establishment is fond of saying protesters never offer solutions to the problems they raise the community fund should allocate as it is to the Jewish fund to the Catholic Charities to the Lutheran charities a large block of money to the black community so that the black community can begin planning and providing services for itself. Because this is done with these other ethnic organizations and it's not done with the black organizations and there are black organizations that are prepared to receive monies and to provide the types of services that the black community really needs. Law school over in Detroit a rainbow coalition of blacks whites and Latins has been formed in opposition to the policies and practices of the PC ETS.
The Protestant community service was slow to load release her load PCOS is funded by the local umbrella charity organisation the united community service. Their board of directors. Their decision making groups are all made up of people who are by and large suburbanites by a large come out of the economic control of the city Detroit along with some political control and religious foundations who are so aloof and absolutely withdrawn from Community Affairs. That when they prescribe and drop their programs their services which is the biggest thing they're supposed to be involved in and you see the least of this in the poor communities. They designed these programs in their own offices with their own professional staff. By and large I have no contact with the inner city and they fail time and time again year after year but they maintain the organizations and the agencies based on the fact that it gives legitimacy to the operation
overall. That is it how low professional community organizer when we organized a coalition of 27 organizations made up of Latin black and white people of southwest Detroit and we started to do our homework to find out how much of the 30 million dollars raised in the city of Detroit for the United Fund actually got down into our community. When we broke it down due to the fact that the only operation we have in southwest Detroit is Protestant community services. We found out that it averaged out to a popsicle a week per person. And that that 11 cents per person. We still don't get down to the people because that was tied up in a ministration and staff professional level of Protestant community service that had no operable program in a community was not relevant and the local people involved in it. Could not communicate with the people and if anything had made enemies and alienated the greater part of the black and Latin communities that they're supposed to be working in the rainbow coalition formed with helos help put together a list of demands designed to help the
Protestant community service become relevant to the needs of the poor people that was supposed to be serving. Howe says the director of PC s was shocked his reaction to the situation was that the people were against him and therefore they would remove the agency from the community. The only agency United found to legitimately has in southwest Detroit. That has any budget at all. They out of reaction to legitimate demands by grassroots people said Well what we have to do is leave the community. PCL says a board of twenty members none of them living in the community none of them having to do anything with the community. They're not paid more or less. The whole idea of being on the board of peace years is a status thing with them you know which is cool you know I don't care what this thing is but you know our demand was that turn black and be on the board so that would give us the majority that is Latin community organizer Ricardo Guzman
his black colleague in the Rainbow Coalition is Gladys Woodward. What we want in the Latin and black community is that this money will be divided in equal parts 50 percent by 50 percent level. The rest of it I guess in there for why. Or you know whatever they want to use for what we want. This money is divided equally for our communities where we can implement our programs hardened in many battles with the rigid and compassionless establishment. Ed how doesn't anticipate that the so-called charity organization in his community will meet the people's demands for relevancy. They actually they won't meet the demands because they're not going to lose control of what that operation what that expenditure of money means. Because they're not really interested in whether or not they're relevant. But whether or not they can legitimately point at the end of the year to those people that are the primary supporters of the United Farm that they've done something. And so the by and large it is in fact middle income operation.
It never gets down into the inner city. The monies of united front at 30 million dollars comes from the kind of blue collar worker in the factory that lives in this kind of a community. It's his money that that he's pressured at the plant wherever he happens to work and he has to put in X amount of dollars a year into the United Fund. And yet he never receives nothing in the way of services. You don't you don't really see significant services either from the federal local or state governments. And then when you have the biggest second operation and city being a charity type organization like United Front providing no services for these people either there are no medical centers. There is no. Dental care there's there is no health of any time for in my opinion the biggest front in the country today is the United Fund or charity organizations foundations of this type because if you look at about 75 percent of their budgets and anybody can break it down it's all tied up in professional administration. It's tied up in paperwork. It's tied up in bureaucracy. And when you get down to the community it's
peanuts. It's garbage. You know they don't do nothing for the people they can care less because they're really protecting their own system and they spend all their time and all their energy in protecting that system. But in the. Street you know. That. You know the. One thing that you have to recognize right off the bat is that the boards that can generally control United fans that make the decisions as to who gets what. How much of the money shall go to X agency and so on. That generally speaking these are boards these are primarily middle class individuals. In many
instances who do not even live in the community in some cases who live in the suburbs and for the most part have very little poor or sensitivity to the real needs of the people who ostensibly are to be served by the United Front. Richard Gordon Hatcher a black man and mayor of Gary Indiana. Now here in Gary we have a very. Typical situation I would say and that we not only have as I say this is actually the middle class kind of board but we have just recently seen the Gary United Fund converted into the northwest Indiana united front. The problem with this of course is that this takes the fund or the board itself even even further away from the people who really need the help. City of Gary for example has two thirds of all the poor people in this county and yet that board now will be literally control by individuals outside the city of Gary County why and for the most part who not only have some
economic problems with really helping poor people but for the most part they have some very serious political problems with the city of Gary to begin with. So I think that our situation is going to be very bad in that regard because the bulk of the money the bulk of the funds for the United Fund. Will come from U.S. Steel which is located in Gary will come from the steelworkers unions which is the which are located in Gary will come from the people who carry the bulk of the funds for the Qantas northwest Indiana United Fund will come from there and yet the control and the say so as to where those funds go will be in the hands of people who only do not relate to the poor people in this community but do not even relate to the community itself. Mayor Hatcher says the charity deck in his city seems to be stacked against the poor. Traditionally the United Fund has been a little white organization the board and so on with a few black and black
people sprinkled here and there just to give a touch of color. And there has never even been this is the third year of my administration and there's never been anything approaching say a third of the members on that board who represent minority groups in the community has never come close to that kind of fear. It is typical I think of the boards of most united fans around the country. It is essentially a lonely white middle class operation in Gary Indiana. The poor have tried to help themselves. A Streets program was submitted by one of the settlement houses to the United Fund for funding and it was turned down on the grounds that it represented a very militant kind kind of thrust Mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher of Gary Indiana is the only public official you're going to hear on this program. My position is not one that perhaps traditionally a mayor would take. But that's only because I've
obviously experienced poverty I've experienced many of the kinds of exclusionary practices that create much of the alienation and the polarization that exists in many cities today. And so I've had an opportunity to see it from the other side. And as a result of that I certainly have a different view. You know as as mayor of the city and recognize the very real need to relate to relate. The things that the United fun is supposed to do to what it actually actually does do. And you know I think this is perhaps another form of what has been characterized as the suitable policies that exist in this country where the United Front says that we exist for the purpose of helping and supporting the efforts of poor people alienated people people who have who are involved in or in poverty programs try to help them
to improve their condition in life but in fact in terms of the kinds of judgments they make it's a completely different situation. And there's mair fact most of the agencies that get funded get funded by the United Front are those which satisfy certain middle class standards you know. And in terms of what is and is not acceptable behavior and the decision and judgments are not based upon such. A manner. The National Lawyers Guild is a loosely knit Federation of attorneys and law students across the United States who believe deeply that social justice in America can be achieved with the help of the courts guild members act as attorneys for civil rights demonstrators and others. They receive no public funds. Jonathan LaBelle a well-known attorney is president of the New York City chapter of the Lawyers Guild.
The concept that charity organizations is one which has in it a political assumption our political perspective by those organizations. I do not think and our past experience confirms that that they will assist and organization like the Lawyers Guild which is involved in. Legal services related to movements for social change these movements political movements these movements present challenges to the establishment challenge challenges to the existing order of things and the charitable organizations from our experience in observation not directed no will do nor do they intend to bend any assistance to any organization that would change the existing law. Do you see these charitable organizations as they call themselves serving the needs of the people at the grassroots. I do I do not see these charity organizations once in a while
in a particular emergency situation such as a flood serving the needs of created by an emergency situation however when it comes to directed at changing the lives of people they have fortunes their ability to live healthy lives. In that regard I do not see the charity organizations as contributing whatsoever. As a matter of fact the charity organizations if any we divert funds of well intentioned contribute is far more significant places to contribute. How would you define the national charity drives. I would define them as an effort to to convince Americans. Most of whom fail to some extent some sense of affluence to the best of the world and also relative to poor people in the United States to convince these middle and rich Americans that they are doing something significant with a small bit
of their money when they contribute to try something to make the middle and rich American Pharaoh that he doesn't have to have any guilt feelings because he has more money than the poor person because he here is something he can give to that has some significance. The fact is that when he does give to these two guys the money does not play a significant role in assisting the poor. Gallup New Mexico is known as the Indian capital of the world. Every year tens of thousands of Americans flock to Gallup to see the Indian ceremony. Christine k an Indian helps run the Gallup Indian community center. It is the only real service agency for Indians within hundreds of miles. The center is now in danger of economic collapse. Christine Kaye tells why business leaders and gallop at the local United Fund choke off the center's money supply. They said the center was housing activists people that don't quite fit into their model of what an Indian should be.
The model that they won is just an Indian who come who comes to town and doesn't doesn't make waves just comes here and spends his money and then leaves something that will bring money and but never anything that questions. Listen here here because the Indians are here are you making all this money off the Indians. Now I as an Indian want part of that money. They all want and used to say that it's it's grabbing their pocketbook it's grabbing it's grabbing what they consider their God which is money. Why did they say that the center was housing activists. There are a number of incidents that happened two years ago. The center had a workshop. The center sponsored this workshop and run mainly southwestern Indians and these Indians that were there decided what they would do is pick a Graham Holmes's office
and so they went down and picket his office. Another incident that was cited is the dispute between the ceremonial Association and now a whole students business center was also involved in that I participated in distributing these leaflets called when our grandfathers carry guns essentially the leaflet said the Indians are happy people they sing and dance and they have all these festivities. And aren't they nice festivities. Everybody knows us to stay sticks about about the union's plight I mean down here it's an old story. The fansite says don't let don't let the ceremonials make you forget that the Indian has the highest birth rate and the highest malnutrition problems and things like that and this too I mean these now who are students and you when you went to the ceremonial grounds during one of the last minutes of the performance and we distributed this
leaflet. I wasn't confronted by ceremonial officials and neither was the guy that was with me who sees me. You let these other two Navajo students who were members of the previous year's workshop at the center distributed these things on a certain morning and they were confronted by so many officials and soon officials told them to leave. These the people these people that took the leaflets thought that they could just go out there and abuse the Indians like they have done with other Indians by taking their leaflets without due process of law. They could have done that in order to do all right they could have gotten an injunction or something to stop these students from doing it but they didn't think that was necessary. They didn't think the Indians would come back in and sort of slap them in the face and say here Ron you shouldn't do that. I asked stand up for my rights and what I think because some of these Indians don't do that
here they just accept except what the white man says. So they so they went back and got this lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge Louisiana the United givers fund has cut off the local legal aid society. It took the action after the previously passive legal aid group went into federal court charging the city with police brutality. The police chief. And all of the city council made defendants in the SO. There was not until this class action. That the problems which the Legal Aid is now having with its funding appeared from the United givers board attorney Donald Thomas chairman of the board of directors of the Baton Rouge Legal Aid Society. He says that suit had to be filed and it was just after a police officer had shot and killed a black burglary suspect. There had been approximately two burglary suspects both black previously shot and there was
quite a bit of demonstrating going on at the time and the racial tension was very great. The governor had told the National Guard to the alert stage and the. Legal Aid Society felt that it was better to file a suit to seek relief in the courts than to have it settled in the streets. This was the primary purpose and the sleeping five. And we failed that it did have a very beneficial effect on the race relations here in Baton Rouge at the time. Because of people who were questioning the establishment's practices were reassured that they would have their day in court that they would get to present their evidence have their case heard and that there was no need to bar and demonstrate outside the law for they had a remedy within the law. This program was produced by the Children's Foundation in Washington D.C. by John.
This is Jeff Gannon speaking. This is the national educational radio network.
- Four documentaries
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-8-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- MLA: “Four documentaries; 4; No Charity for the Poor -- How relevant are the United Funds? .” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 29, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-td9n797z>.
- APA: Four documentaries; 4; No Charity for the Poor -- How relevant are the United Funds? . 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-td9n797z