What must be done; Summary and Review
Hello my name is Percy Sutton. I'm the president of the bow of Manhattan in the city of New York. For the next 30 minutes I'll be moderating a different kind of panel program. It is run of a series called What must be done. The title of these programs what must be done has two meanings. First it poses a demand for urgent solutions to America's greatest problem the crisis of their urban ghetto and the black community. But it also refers to what can be done and what must be done by you the listener because nothing stimulates action as effectively as the demand of an Arabist population. This series of programs takes as a point of departure. The award winning issue of Newsweek magazine published last November the 20th on the Negro in America today our subject is the national commitment that members of our panel all of the Honorable John B Lindsay mayor of the city of New York Mr. Whitney Young Jr. executive director of the National Urban League Mr. Floyd McKissic national director of corps are now on leave and the odds but yet the
editor of Newsweek magazine merely to see what if I may turn to you first because I think you know personally Mary there. Has received such right full of praise for knowing of the problems of the city as you have. We've been talking of these last weeks with regard to education housing employment. We've done some in-depth study of these problems. I just wondered if we could get from you whether or not you believe that there is simply a national commitment on the part of the current was a human who stays on the part of America as a whole to cure the problems of the ghetto to handle the problems of the city. I don't believe that the commitment is there. And I don't think that Congress has fully gotten the message of the urban crisis. I'm not sure that. The Congress has fully understood the significance of urban pressures. I don't
I don't think that the Congress has fully adjusted or fully appreciated the report of the President's Commission on Civil disorders. And therefore one has to come to the conclusion that maybe the country is not fully aware of the dimensions of the urban problem which means the problem of poverty and segregation that exists in the center cities of the Center City areas of urban America. Maybe I should amend that a little bit by saying that I've got a sneaking suspicion that perhaps the people are a little bit ahead of legislative bodies both state legislatures and the National Congress. There's been too in some ways between 3 and 4 million copies in the paperback edition of the national of the of the commission report on civil disorders sold at a dollar and a quarter a copy to Americans in every part of the country.
And that to me is indicative of some kind of a movement. I also beginning to see the stirrings of. Interest in the urban problem and questioning of self and questioning of. The nature of the bomb going on among suburban people which is a very healthy sign to see. So all is not best mystic. When you haven't yet in writing a gathering we are because it appeared in Newsweek last November the 20th. You got to know. If anybody could say any in depth in depth the man or the problems. Now you have been a part of this series you've been on each of the programs you've heard their solutions are for it. But to the listener and others tell me what are the possibilities to the problems actually being soft. Well I think that I would agree with the mayor in his evaluation
of Congress's seemingly laggard approach to this. I would add to that some distress on my own part as to the reception that the civil disorder the report was awarded in the White House. But I do think that there is some hope of awakening to this vastly complex problem I was thinking the other day after we done one of our shows on this theme. That reliving this problem by a problem just reemphasize to me just how difficult it is and how complicated it is. And once more suggested to me the necessity for what we called for in Newsweek last November which was a total national commitment at every level to the solution of these very complicated and deep set problems and by a total national commitment we're talking about federal state local governments we're talking about the private sector we're talking about
churches we're talking about social agencies and the whole of American society. I do think that there are some hopeful signs. More particularly in the private sector and big business I would say that this kind of approaches is being undertaken. But in the case a lot of the Presidential Commission report which first we have here the vice chairman the Honorable John NMC a part of it discussed many too many to get white Americans towards black Americans and I think that's an attitude of black Americans to white Americans as well. This you feel that there's a possibility in the immediate future of any change of attitude on the part of White America so as to bring black America into the mainstream. I've got a problem with that. I think everybody can recognize that we've got a problem. And this underlies a question of latitude but I don't really
think we want to really define that from them and admit what we find and what's we go into that definitive study of the problem. I think that. The real problem is the president's commission report did come away that we've never been before. I think that was a start. But I think once again that the Republic made a statement that we are now we're moving towards two societies. And then after saying that we lean towards two societies it says that and what we want to do is to continue to work for an integrated society. I think that that may be the underlying fact integration is a path to take to get to a status of true equality not the girl itself. All things being equal. E quality will come about in the minds of black people and in the minds of white people when they define a problem. And once again
if you if we assume that integration is legal we know that it's been a fruitless battle the whole thing is yes. And if that is the case immigration has lost. So maybe we need to look and determine what people want for themselves and look at the question are self-determination not ours. One second point to this the second point of it is it's already a fact that we're living in two societies. We have a black society that is we have a Black Harlem we have a black Bedford-Stuyvesant and we have a black section of Roxbury. What black people are saying let's don't really ever talk about power in the sky anymore. We know what our turf is we know what the geographical terrain is recognizing that. Let us start solving our problems from basic facts and quit trying to get on the dream level and see who get out dream the other. We've got to deal with some realities. Harlem is like it is. We are talking about integration and class houses and we are talking about separatism in the last analysis. We're talking about
inequality. This is the real thing and I think we get confused on names and words and we're only able to define the problem. And in the meantime the white man is still operating on the gingerbread theory. That is he owns a whole pan of gingerbread and he still just cut off one inch square asking to black people as they holler and demand not see and let us share the big gingerbread that we've got now. Whitney Young for many years the Urban League was directed towards solving the problem but in very recent years you've taken the Urban League into the streets and you have been very vocal would be any good in addressing yourself to the problem and suggesting solutions to the problem. Do you differ with Freud McKissic in any way with regard to his belief that integration is not the goal. No I don't disagree with that point I think the real goal of the black American as an open society where people have the freedom of choice of options of all other Americans have the
freedom to buy a house and to go to an esthetician where they choose if they choose to live in a contained segregated community as other ethnic groups have doing a period of time. They should also have the freedom to do that without inferior services and facilities. I think I may be a little more hopeful optimistic unflawed and history may prove that he's about a prophet. I have had as you know to a close. Pact with the corporate establishment of America and I think that if there is one significant encouraging sign that stands out at this moment in time since Newsweek did its ex-nun review is that there has been an increasing concern and interest awareness on the part of America's top corporate leaders of the seriousness of this problem and the role they must
play. There are still two weaknesses in that. One is that I'm not sure that it is always filtered down that new conviction on their part in terms of equal opportunity has filtered down to the middle management and to the fellows out in the hinterlands in the smaller cities of their corporate holdings. And two I'm not yet sure that the corporate leaders understand that they have a role to be on. Equal opportunity in employment and I'm not sure that they yet see the rover that they have as it relates to housing and to education to health and welfare and recreation that all of these are part of the same thing and being for equality of opportunity is a meaningless thing unless we are equally concerned about the amount of education people receive the kind of health and welfare and recreational opportunities they have at this
point. There been a after many years of talk about equality of opportunity in our present position is we concerned about equality of results. It isn't enough to open the doors after 400 years and to declare to a handicapped citizen that now the race of life is all stardom even if it is uneven and the have to be a period of compensation. Better schools better teachers better facilities in order to catch up. And this is a kind of national commitment that I think mandolins is talking about and incidentally Yeah I want to recognize this. I think one of the greatest mayors this country has had and one who sees better this problem than any other media. This complaint Satori education compensatory jobs I used to have a client whose name was Malcolm X. And Malcolm X used to describe it he said
Prexy they talk about giving us an even break now. He said just giving us an even break won't do it. The back wheels of the car turned at the same rate as the front wheel. The back wheels can never catch up and we are always the back wheel. I believe what you're talking about is changing the tires on the car now bringing the back wheels up to the front are put into just a little ahead so they can catch up is that it precisely. There's no way today that you can into a manned run in the 100 yard dash in the Olympics who had been a victim of polio and expect him to take all his bases and compete with another person who has had good health and isn't good shape and unless you are assuming that we need the back American is a period that white Americans need 400 years die. And head start in order to compete with black Americans I don't believe this I am not a superior races one way or the
other. Where then say you have been one who has constantly been in recognition of what I believe we are talking about is compensatory education computer storage opportunities catching up helping people catch up. And of course you go to the giants of industry you go to the giants of government and you ask for this help and it's so very often you've been rejected in getting that help. Do you find the changing attitude on the part of the captains of industry captains of government. Are they responding more to you now. Well I think that the private sector which includes business and industry and the professions and the captains of those institutions which are the high and mighty folk who are the presidents and generals of the boards of these organizations I think that they've done something very important in the last year and a half which is that step turning their backs on the urban
problem which is. The problem of poverty the intersection of poverty and segregation and and racial attitudes. Whites against blacks live under I think underlay all of the the walls that have been built around the ghetto areas to keep people in trapped inside of them instead of turning their backs on this problem which they were really content to do it now spun around 180 degrees and are looking at now that's a big jump and a big step. Most of them don't know what to do. And they looked at it. They say well what do we do now. You know and they have any idea and they need an awful lot of guidance and a lot of help. And of course here is the rub because they can't do anything unless other institutional life mainly government which is an institution a formal institution that is that is a probably larger than most of the private empires that these
gentlemen run lead they have. Hook up in some kind of a partnership arrangement that will give guidance to these newcomers to the field. And that's very difficult. I don't know anything is more difficult than to find ways and means for a productive arrangement or partnership between government and non-governmental institutions. They always have a way of getting into trouble if something else goes wrong. Let me have it. They don't minutes seem to have the same difficulty when it comes to say establishing an airplane industry in the country highway industry. There are many places where government has historically provided the seed money the assurances against Lowell's they do in the space program. They have done it in most areas in housing through the FHA. They seem running to be difficult when it comes to this area that I think this is the area of poverty and of the poor and of
race relations. I think it's often important to remand the Americans today as so many of them are now. Are doing alright line generation themselves removed from welfare who are in many cases one generation in the country who have themselves benefited from FBI in NY and CCC and the BPA who themselves were given land and given Farm agents and given all kind of along arrangements and are now being paid not even produce that they need to have existed. At the help of the government. One of the problems I don't know exactly how to put this maybe what I asked Mr Elliot. How industry could really be re-educated one of the greatest problems that I have found as a militant and dealing with the big corporate concerns is how you can really educate them to the problems of today. I think that you talk to a man he's not talking
in terms he's talking in terms of the 1940s or the 1950s as it regards black thinking in this country. He's still using the word Negro. He doesn't understand the cultural ties with Africa. He doesn't understand so much that is going on and I can understand why children have such a major problem in their families and middle class families because really it is hard to really talk with them. You can talk while I talk with a group of industrialists for somewhere around six hours and after talking with them six hours explaining what was meant by black power and the move towards nationalism now and talking to them he says. But I can understand I want to ask you one question before you go. Please explain to me Dr. The new girl is not happy. Then I realized that this man hadn't really heard anything. Doing a six hour dialogue of what we were talking about and I'm wondering what kind of programs or what methods we can develop for educating the larger
industrial complex in this society. I never pass some concerns that we are working with now that have got a commitment that have really seen the light and not attempting to move then as a second part leaving the education. The second part is what they have seen the light the far back into the same doing business as usual. The process of making decisions which are less on drawn out procrastinating procedures before acting. And so often I have seen communities explode just on film you have people who decide OK let's solve the problem when the problem could have been solved for say thirty thousand dollars and I use this as a real practical example. And that problem became of to one million dollar problem. Seven days later because they didn't have the ability to deal with it when it was a $4000 I don't care if you were talking about educating in the ghetto we have found the man to man. Education is good we take it.
And I go to teach a child on a person to person basis. Amir Manzi of course has access to many people in the Congress structure and government so he may be able to educate more than one at a time. But I think a lot of educating is occurring now I'm reminded of something that occurred in an urban league entered. I was I got there late and I was sitting next to a gentleman that I didn't know but I thought I recognized his picture from him from pictures. Whitney Young leaned over and said I want to introduce you to him before and I told most of what I heard Mr. Ford speak and I said Mr. Ford I'm very glad to meet you I understand that you've given $100000 to the Urban League and we're happy about this. But please don't steal Stokley Carmichael speeches listening to the speech which he had delivered that night showed an awareness of the problem. But I think I'm going to need you to stop me comical has in a way I think that you can find certain individuals and perhaps quite a large number
in industrial America who have woken up as Mr Ford may have cited. Certainly in Detroit there has been a very active group working in the new new Detroit Committee. I'm sure at the same time that this group has not provided yet what Detroit needs I think they have actually turned up 40000 jobs. And I'm not sure at all that it is a matter only of private industry and I think that when we were talking a minute ago about a partnership between the private sector and the public sector which may be in the process of being provided by the urban coalition the urban coalition it's my impression that that was somewhat dormant for a while and perhaps now with Mr. Gardner in control and running things. It's going to get up on its feet again and start running. Whitney Perhaps you Mr.
Young have my views on that. Yeah. I feel very strongly that we are not going to get the kind of major commitment that we've talked about in the country industry or anybody else in town and we recognize that this. Vast sum of money and it's going to have to be spent is not in fact an expenditure but an investment. I think we think too much what we will initially spend and too little of what the present social calls isn't what the future social costs will be of not spending it. Until we can see a domestic Marshall Plan which the Urban League has advocated for some four years in the same light that we saw the G.I. bill as a way of providing people with the resources to be produces goods and not of violence the consumer of products and not of
taxes and how we can see the great potential that is now going down the drain until we can mount and I'm going to be meeting under the auspices. Very major media a Newsweek magazine that because I think until there is a massive campaign. Not to brainwash America but to convince the larger number of Americans that diversity is a healthy thing that that letting the city become poorer and blacker only results in a tragic Tax drain on the city. It only produces violence until they can begin to see that the adult community the ideal institution is an integrated one not not one that's just a light not a man one feel the same as out of greed. When diversity comes creativity and that's what we really got to push we've got to have the kind of mass educational
program that's going to take this man confound union members. The people who just move to the suburbs. The fearful white people and let them know that there's nothing to fear from integration. This is positive and this is good for the country and it's got to be done we've got to sell this just like nice old country you know own loving Russia for a while hating them and now loving them again. Let me cut in for just a moment and give a couple of because I have to run along such an airplane merely two points I would make one I think that the urban coalition as I was born Elliott pointed out is just showing signs of new life. Under the leadership of John Gardner the former secretary of Health Education and Welfare. It's beginning to move I think it's got a long long distance to go. But it's it's I think it's showing some very positive signs the mere fact that the New York urban coalition in New York has now raised three and a half million dollars in
private money from the private sector to further its task forces work on jobs and job training and education housing and other areas where it's where it's. Trembling on the edge of some kind of movement that have really gone deep but they're committed to taking away any. I think in the area of edge of job training and equity ownership by blacks in the center city areas of businesses and professions. They're creating new structures and for the first time you see in The New Yorker been coalition a real attempt to try to work with neighborhoods too. This is not something that the business community wish to impose from a distance. So to me it's a very it's a very good thing to see this second point of optimism that I have is when you
examine what's happening with the young people. Of the country in their teens and early 20s now the chief problem that most of us who are now engaged in institutional established life is the name of this table who isn't part of some kind of the stablish but now is just let me say that well if you're going to hear about that. Sure you'd like to show that it's important for you do. To insist that you're not part of any establishment that is established but you never know what 16 or 15 year old boy girl may say well there's Lloyd accusing he's one of the old guard and Hadron are going to push a. The way what I see is gorse is it institutional life of every kind as kind of as bypassed or somehow missed hasn't touched the young man and the young women of the ghettos particularly they don't relate to churches to either the families or to school systems or to governments or even the poverty program has bypassed them somehow.
Now that's something that is a challenge to every person who is over 30 in this country and it's it's an it's a it's a challenge for the for the whole business. But the other thing I notice is that among young people blacks and whites that they're finding an identity between each other. You see the agitation on the campuses and affluent suburban parents find that their teenage and early 20 year old sons and daughters. Are behaving to them in a very strange way and these youngsters are finding with each other. Blacks and whites together something very important and very special. And it's a whole new generation coming along which more than any other time in our history takes integration for granted. They wanted that way and they like it that way. So that is one big step. Second step however is this is for these other
steps of equality as you put it Floyd a moment a goal that immigration may not necessarily be the goal in and of itself. The point is equality right around. And I begin to see some trends happening among the very young that the old folks around haven't haven't been delivered on and haven't even recognize that is happening among the youngsters. Quite anybody good sign I think they sent gentlemen this concludes today's edition of WHAT MUST BE DONE. Our panelists are the honorable John Lindsay mayor of the city of New York. Mr. Whitney Young Jr. executive director of the National Urban League. Mr. Floyd McKissic national director of corps now on leave. And Mr. Ogden Elliot the editor of Newsweek magazine. Please listen for the next program in this series when we will again discuss America's urban crisis and what must be done to stop it. What must be done was created and produced by Sam chase. But Debbie I like the radio in New York with the cooperation of
Newsweek magazine. I am Percy Sutton saying thank you for this program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
- What must be done
- Summary and Review
- Producing Organization
- WLIB (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- For series info, see Item 3635. This prog.: Summary and Review. John V. Lindsay, Mayor, New York City; John Gardner, director, National Urban Coalition; Dr. Kenneth Clark, Metropolitan Applied Research Center; Osborn Elliott
- Social Issues
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Producing Organization: WLIB (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
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University of Maryland
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- APA: What must be done; Summary and Review. 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-z02z7m8w