Series
NET Journal
Episode Number
165
Episode
Where is Prejudice?
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/75-70zpcht4
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Description
This hour-long documentary studies the biases underlying the 'enlightened' attitudes of many Americans-- in this case, 12 college students, reputedly lacking in prejudices, who have volunteered for a week-long workshop at Gloucester Harbor, Mass. The students, of different races and faiths, are under the guidance of Dr. Max Birnbaum, director of the Human Relations Laboratory at Boston U. But as the week progresses, any guise of a calm academic exercise is cast off, as the participants confront their underlying feelings-- and each other.
This summer, NET conducted an experiment in group dynamics, aimed at one of society's deadliest underlying attitudes -- prejudice. It brought together college students of different faiths and races for a week-long workshop in an idyllic setting at Gloucester Harbor on Massachusetts' Cape Ann. The group was headed by Dr. Max Birnbaum, director of the Human Relations Laboratory at Boston U.; it included Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Negroes, and Orientals, all young people united under the guise of rationality. But the group included its catalytic agents -- an interracial couple and a Jewish boy who became the increasing targets of an admittedly bigoted Catholic boy; a militant young Negro and his racial opposite, a Negro girl who had repressed any feelings of "Negro-ness"; and a pink-cheeked Protestant, who moved from the stereotype of "Joe college" to a self-righteous evangelist as the week progressed. The film condenses into one hour of confrontation what is in fact a week's peeling away of guarded attitudes. Almost all of the action takes place within the framework of sessions -- conducted in a living room, on the lawn, around the barbecue pit, or by the sea. The week begins with prejudice as a conversational subject -- a Negro boy telling how he's "on display" at Brandeis University; a Chinese youth admitting his "open hostility" to Negroes; a Jewish boy deploring the fact that he is often "thought of first of all as a Jew. " Into this conversation, Birnbaum interjects the challenge: "Would you like to know how prejudiced you are?" Soon, hostility has been generated. Tom, the Catholic boy, provokes Dennis, who is Jewish, noting that Jews like him have "cornered the market on prejudice" with their "six million Jews bit." There are angry words and a near fight. Then Tom turns to the interracial couple, "this is my country, these are our girls," he says, contesting the right of a Negro to marry a white girl. Other antagonisms flare up. Gil, the Brandeis student, is attacked for his anti-white stand. And Sandy, the Negro girl, admits "Gil represents a big threat for me. He wants to put me into a society because I'm black." And Tom, who has done most of the provoking at the workshop, begins to tremble under its strain. Others become increasingly honest, with a minister's daughter from Gloucester implying her prejudice by discouraging the group from worshipping at her father's church; and Sandy wondering if she has been "deluded" in her feeling of racelessness. The film climaxes with Wayne, the amiable Protestant, trying to convert Dennis from Judaism, and ranting: "I'm scared. You people are going to run this world in circles just like it's been run for hundreds of years... Man is selfish. I'm right and you're all going to eternal condemnation and this world is going with you." "People like you cause wars," Gil says in angry rebuttal, as a week-long workshop ends with a hot edge of shocking anger. "NET Journal -- Where is Prejudice?" is a production of National Educational Television. This hour-long piece, recorded on videotape, aired as NET Journal episode 165 on December 11, 1967 and as NET Journal episode 187 on May 13, 1968. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast
1967-12-11
Asset type
Episode
Genres
Documentary
Topics
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
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Credits
Editor: Albertson, Eric
Executive Producer: Perlmutter, Alvin H.
Producer: McCutchen, Dick
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Speaker: Birnbaum, Max
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_7458 (WNET Archive)
Format: Betacam: SP
Generation: Master
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
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Citations
Chicago: “NET Journal; 165; Where is Prejudice?,” 1967-12-11, Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 21, 2020, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-70zpcht4.
MLA: “NET Journal; 165; Where is Prejudice?.” 1967-12-11. Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 21, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-70zpcht4>.
APA: NET Journal; 165; Where is Prejudice?. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-70zpcht4