EXTRA! - Riot in Honolulu!!! - EXTRA!
Three Dead - Scores Injured - Damages Total in Millions
Impossible? They also said it wouldn't happen in New Haven -- that small city which seemed the pinnacle of enlightened constructive effort to reach the heart of urban discontent. New Haven has so disproportionately and for so long bagged Federal dollars in the cause of remaking itself that it has become known among bureaucrats as Fund City. On a per capita basis, it leaves all other cities in embarrassment. A pallid second to New Haven's $790 per citizen is Newark with $286. Third, with $268, is Boston. New York is 18th among sizeable cities with $42 per person of federally subsidized renewal.
New Haven has more to show for renewal than shiny new buildings. In tearing down old slum walls, New Haven found it did not relieve the real problems of the poor; it merely revealed them. So five years ago New Haven applied to the Ford Foundation for $2,5 million to try what no other city had attempted: a many-pronged project in human renewal, bringing new opportunities for education, work and self-dependence to the poor. A riot in New Haven? Impossible! Well, they had one on August 19, 1967.
After the riot reporters swarmed through the now-quiet ghetto probing for analytical wisdom that few seemed ready to offer. They asked "WHY?" and people shook their heads.
The week of July 23, 1967, with all of its violence and civic disturbance in Detroit and other Michigan cities is now history. It was a shocking, incredible week. Michigan and Detroit have an enviable record in human relationships. Once again, 'WHY?"
We live 3,000 miles away from the nearest riot and Honolulu lacks the "bitterness and polarization one feels all over the Mainland." Thus we have had a head start in establishing programs to meet the needs of the culturally and economically deprived. Concerned leaders in our community are bringing together representatives from business, labor, the professions, churches, government and residents of communities to study and establish goals and to put into operation workable and effective solutions. So we may feel that the Honolulu League really has no role. Not so! The crisis in our cities is a national problem and of direct interest to all citizens. The representatives of these areas in state legislatures and in Congress have great power to affect the course our country
takes in finding permanent and meaningful solutions to the crisis of the city. Therefore, every League member and every community can have influence on public policy, even if there are no ghettos and no unemployment in their immediate areas. Attitudes of Leaguers and League members, and of members of the community, are of vital importance.
Read the NATIONAL VOTER, October 1967, for the official League statement on this issue.
Read the following article, from the Washington Daily News, Sept. 11, 1967, by Whitney Young, Executive Director of the Urban League. It shows the various angles from which the problem of unemployment opportunities can be approached.
INSTITUTIONS UNDERSTAFFED ***** By Whitney N. Young, Jr.
The Urban Coalition, at its recent meeting here, called for the creation of one million new jobs to end the disastrous unemployment in big city ghettos. Since the Urban Coalition is made up of the cream of the nation's leadership in business, civic affairs, city governments, and civil rights, its call for jobs is a significant new development.
There are a number of ways these jobs could be created. First and perhaps most important is public service employment. Our schools, hospitals, parks and other public institutions are badly understaffed. By creating new jobs like teacher's aides, nurse's aides and other positions, the unemployed could get meaningful jobs which would enable professional
staffs of these institutions to do their own jobs more effectively.
The important thing about such jobs is that they aren't "makework" projects. They are desperately needed if the essential services all Americans depend upon are to function effectively. Last year, the National Commission on Technology, Automation and Economic Progress, on which I served, found that the nation could create over 5 million such jobs in public services ranging from urban development to rural conservation.
Another way in which minority groups could move into better jobs is for industry to re. examine its hiring practices. Many businesses hire people who are over-qualified for the available job. Many office jobs require college diplomas when a high school education will do just as well.
Shortly after the Arab-Israeli war, I saw a special television program analyzing the conflict. The TV reporter said that Israel won because of the skill of her air force, then he pointed out that Israel requires only a high school education for its pilots,
while the US Air Force demand a college degree. He asked the program's expert guest, General S.L.A. Marshall, why the U.S. has such a requirement for its pilots. The General just shrugged and said he's been trying to figure that out for years.
Small countries like Israel can't afford absurdly high requirements because they just don't have that many college graduates. Well, we don't either. We aren't going to end poverty and find jobs for the millions of poor-whites and Negroes until employers take a more realistic attitude in their hiring standards,
Courtland S. Gross, director and chairman of the financial committee of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, told the National Urban League's annual conference last month: "...perhaps business should be thinking in some areas of job simplification to provide opportunity of entry to many who cannot now avail themselves of it because we demand too much. Perhaps we should take another look at our job requirements, at what we really mean by a "qualified" person. Do we really need a college graduate - or even a high school graduate - or five or ten years of experience?
One of the surprising things we are learning is that there is a world of ability and talent among the underprivileged - ability that lies dormant because of low training or low motivation, or, perhaps more accurately expressed, no opportunity to develop it.
This is the kind of sophisticated thinking which many of our top business leaders are doing today. They are aware of industry's responsibility to create work for all, and they are trying to strip away the tangle of discriminatory practices which keep Negroes and other minorities from an equal chance at good jobs.
They have their work cut out. It isn't easy to reverse 100 years of discrimination, but this summer proved that it has to be done, Business will have to redefine its hiring standards, develop new and more accurate tests which don't screen out minority workers, and expand training efforts to help people qualify for skilled jobs.
Wright, Nathan. BLACK POWER AND URBAN UNREST: CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES. 1967. Hawthorn Books, paperback, $1.95. A positive interpretation of Black Power.
Gladwin, Thomas. POVERTY U.S.A. 1967. Little, Brown. $4.75. Appraisal of war on poverty; discussion of welfare reform and income proposals.
Terkel, Studs. DIVISION STREET AMERICA, 1967. Pantheon. $5.95. First-person accounts of 70 Chicago people - what they think and feel about themselves and their lives.
Lowe, Jeanne R. CITIES IN A RACE WITH TIME. Random House. 1967. $10.00. Discussion of major problems of urban America - New York, New Haven, Pittsburgh, Philly, Wash.
THE REPORTER magazine, Sept, 7, 1967. "Meaningful Jobs for the Jobless." Three articles on unemployment.
PLEASE READ THIS SUGGESTED BIBLIOGRAPHY.