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July 05, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-07-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Purely Commentary

Problem of PreserVing Our

By Philip
Slomovitz

Neighborhoods, Protecting
Schools, Eliminating Racism

The Newly-Developing Neighborhood Crises
affection syndrome, Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young,
"There is a moral problem in
At this late date, at a time when our community is changing very
A.
Philip Randolph, the liberals, the Jews, the Labor leaders who lifted abandoning the fight against in-
rapidly, when large numbers of people are joining the ranks of those almost
two million Negroes out of the lumpenproletariat into the work-
justice merely because less than 2
who have moved to suburban areas, there have emerged new attempts ing classes, are all bastards now.
to preserve the inner community as an integrated area and to assure
per cent of the Negroes in this
"The point is that if Jews are under attack by the extreme left country are engaging in anti-Semit-
the retention of some of the existing community structures to serve the
in the Negro community, they are in the same basket with Negro ism. It is a problem which Isaiah
needs of those who remian within the city's limits.
The tempo of those who are showing renewed concern over the leaders and even the most progressive political leadership. Jews are and Jeremiah would be the first
developing situations is revealed in communications in which the au- not likely to feel better simply because others are also under attack, to point out—and it may even be
there ought to be an understanding of what the problem a dirty cop out for those Jews who
thors plead with their neighbors not to sell their homes and thereby to nevertheless
really is.
have other reasons for wanting to
refuse to contribute towards a situation that would lead to the depletion
"In the anatomy of frustration, the long-time leadership is rejected. abandon the struggle. I urge Jews
of the community of its white citizens.
Not only because it is a bit late, but also because both the Negro The tactics of the frustrated, or the anatomy of frustration, are that to be aware of that and at the
as well as the white communities share guilt in what had happened in the only thing left to do, since society is not viable and program is same time to remember that the
unrealistic, is to give everybody hell, to denounce everybody and to issue never was, and never can
all of our large cities—the fact being that there have been undue pres- call
for revolt.
be, simply a problem of Jew and
sures that have forced the mobility of citizens—the new movement has
"Consider the question of the Jew in the ghetto. If you happen Gentile or black and white. The
been weakened by actual conditions.
What had happened is that families with small children already to be an uneducated, poorly trained Negro living by your wits selling problem is man's inhumanity to
have, in the main, moved from the inner city homes and for a number numbers, selling dope, engaging in prostitution, then you only see man and must be fought from that
of years now only families of elders remained in their established city four kinds of white people. One is the policeman, the second is the basic principle regardless of race
homes. Now the few families with children are also beginning to aban- businessman, the third is the teacher and the fourth is the welfare or creed.
"Jews ought not to fall into a
don their homes because of the state of affairs in our school system, worker. In many cities, three of those four are predominantly Jewish.
because of the spread of panic that has made our fears the dominant Except for the policeman, the majority of the businessmen, the majority trap. They have The Book. They've
deterrent to peaceful co-existence, and because there have developed of the teachers, the majority of the welfare workers are Jewish. Here had the books. There is no more
stirring story anywhere in the
the inevitable property values considerations that so tragically afflict again is the love-hate syndrome.
"Ninety per cent of the crime that Negroes commit is against other world no more important philo-
human relations.
A report on the status of our high schools issued last week branded Negroes in the ghetto. Negroes, therefore, both hate and depend on sophv'in history, than can be found
policemen. To have to depend on someone you dislike and who often in Judaism. Everything is tl-
them as "disgraceful." There have been judgments of despair regarding brutalizes
you is ghastly.
but it must be read.
the elementary schools in our community. The results were obvious:
"What is truly at stake is wl-
"Then
comes .the businessman. Many ghetto Negroes know nothing
• parents either sent their children to private schools—the expansion of
our Day Schools is attributable to this as much as the urge for a progres- about capitalization. The fact is, if you walk up 125th Street you will er we can band together in a g__
sive and positive Jewish educational system—or they moved to the see what they say you will see—a television set that sells in department oolitical movement beyond -Darla,
suburbs where they believed their children could get a better education stores for $79.50 costs $132 in Harlem. But the ghetto dweller does not to bring about the socialization of
calculate that the department store is able to sell the TV set at $79.50 this nation where it needs to be
and would be safer.
*
because he has made a considerable down payment and is required socialized, or whether we are go-
*
*
On the question of being safer it is urgent that the emphasis should to finish payments within one year; while in the ghetto he is often ing to permit the nation which
be placed upon the established fact that crimes are not to be attributed given with no down payment three or four years in which to pay. He we love to be torn asunder in a
to a single group, that whites share blame for the crime wave as much often does not understand that as the length of time for payment is race war in which people who
as the blacks. But in an era and an area of prejudice it is difficult to increased the interest is increased. He does not always understand don't want to be on either side
that only such long-term capitalization makes it possible for him to have may be forced to take sides. That
refute rumors, and rumors usually rule over reason.
a TV set at all.
is our challenge. And I hope that
What we are dealing with here is the nation's tragedy, the era of
the
Jewish people, who have been
"Many
people
are
kept
alive
for
three
and
four
weeks
at
a
time
panic, the fright and the flight—and in the process of this sad occur-
rence we have seen institutions moving into the suburbs, synagogues by local businessmen who let them pile up the debt until they hit the among the staunchest I i e r a 1
being sold, a new mortar-and-brick obligation upon memberships in numbers and can pay for what they bought. But if you hit the numbers forces in this society, will continue
once in a year and have to give most of the money to the groceryman to be a part of the coalition of
congregations and a variety of educational and other agencies.
necessary to meet this chal-
Even in the instances of synagogues there was a minimal tendency for things you have already eaten, when there are still more things you forces
you hate him for taking your money even though you know lenge."
to retain both the old and the new buildings, in order to serve a large need,
* * *
it belongs to him.
segment of remaining Jews who choose to worship where they had been
What
Bayard
Rustin does here
"Next
comes
the
teacher,
she's
Jewish
In
the
ghetto
one
does
in the habit of attending services. The situation is vastly different with
a school building. The financial community structure is already so not analyze that the Board of Education and the whole system is is to appeal to elimination of panic
and to reach an understanding
overburdened that one must take that into consideration in planning corrupt, that no matter how much -that teacher wants to teach she with basic facts. We must take the
cannot
teach
in
those
conditions.
One
does
not
bother
to
analyze
that
the retention of classes. But when a school provides the basic needs
and is willing to transport other children to areas where they can be it is not the teacher's fault that the child had no breakfast, and may not words of this eminent Negro lead-
provided for in available teaching facilities e there is an obligation to have lunch, that he may have to go to the poolroom to bum money for er very seriously and strive with
work harmoniously and to strive for the perfection of our over-all potato chips and an orange soda and that that may be all he eats that him to prevent racism at all costs.
In that process, we must also
school precedures. That is why we are convinced that the Hebrew day. How can you teach that child? How can you teach children when strive not to create conflicts with-
school system of Detroit is facing the issue pragmatically and that you have forty in a class and two disruptive children who need psychia- in
our own community. Neighbor-
tric care? To the ghetto mother, there is the teacher and she is Jewish.
there should be an avoidance of conflict.
hood changes did not begin today
And
she
'doesn't
think
the
Jewish
teacher
cares
whether
her
child
gets
If and when a neighborhood can be sustained, every effort should to learn or not.
and if we are 'helpless in efforts
be made to assure it. We must pray and hope that in Detroit, where
to stop it, let us at least try to
"Then
you
come
to
the
welfare
worker.
If
you
know
anything
more than 35 per cent of the Jews of the Metropolitan Detroit area
curb or reduce it. But let it not
still reside, the Jewish areas still will be retained. In other cities, about welfare you know that spying is part of the system. To sneak be done in a spirit of handicapping
around
on
weekends
to
find
out
if
there
are
men's
shoes
or
pants
hang-
notably Cleveland, the movement to the suburbs was more rapid.
existing; agencies. If we seek toler-
There still are many synagogues here that can be retained, if the ing in the closets, whether a man has been in the house for the weekend, ance let us be tolerant to ourselves.
is
part
of
the
job.
One
method
by
which
the
relief
rolls
are
decreased
neighborhoods can be retained. A battle against a stream whose flow is on the basis of finding a man in the house . .
Let there be restraint in charging
has been speeded by both colored and white residents, one entering
"I am all in favor of Jewish businessmen doing what they can unfairness. There is sufficient sin-
and the other exiting, often becomes not only difficult but impossible.
to find a job here and there for the Negro. But if the choice were cerity to lead us to understanding.
We pleaded against extension of panic for many years. We did not between putting energy into finding a job here or there for a Negro This is applicable in our relations
foresee the trends on time. The arguments offered even today against as against putting the weight of the affluent Jewish businessman behind with our non-Jewish neighbors as
evacuations are valid, but that does not make them workable.
fundamental social change in which the government becomes the em- well as in handling inner Jewish
*
*
*
problems.
On the Amercan arena we have the serious obligation to prevent ployer of first and last resorts for the hard-core poor, then I would
* * *
propose
the
latter
choice.
The
problem
is
that
neither
individuals
nor
the spread of racism, to strive for good will, to help create harmony.
The fact is that much is yet
the
private
sector
of
the
economy
have
or
can
take
the
responsibility
A distinguished Negro leader, Bayard Rustin, who directs the
for full employment in American society. This is the responsibility of all to be proven: for instance, the
A. Philip Randolph Institute, analyzed the situation vis-a-vis the Jews segments
claim that only 2 per cent of the
of the society and thus, the government . . . .
and his people in proper light in a statement on "The Anatomy of
Negroes are anti-Semitic.
"Here
are
some
of
the
things
we
are
going
to
have
to
do
in
order
Frustration", made to the Bnai Brith Anti-Defamation League. In it
This claim is made in all sin-
he presented the basic facts relating to the existing situation, declaring to deal with white fear and Negro frustration. We're going to have a
cerity — we admit it and we pray
$2 minimum wage in this country . .
that only 2 per cent of Negroes are anti-Semitic. His analyses are so
"We are going to have to have public works to put these people for its accurateness.
vital that we present them here in great measure:
But there are 'many factors to
"I am not one who goes about apologizing for or explaining away back to work and to do it without a lot of talk about pre-training.
take into consideration. In some
These
people
don't
have
to
be
pre-trained
.
.
.
.
Negro anti-Semitism. It is here, it is dangerous, it must be rooted
"These programs will cost us $18.5 billion a year beyond the pres- classes that Jewish teacher who is
out . . . What we can and had better do is to understand it if we are
ent level of expenditure and that money can come from the Gross Na- helpless often finds herself abused,
in fact to deal with it.
by pupils and parents. It's a tragic
"The first thing about those who are frustrated is that their tional Product. But I want to assure businessmen again—these people role for many of them who teach
frustration causes them to adopt a psychology, an economics, and a are not going to sit on the money when they get it. They're going either
in the slums or in the ele-
sociology which are frustrated. It goes like this. The United States to go out and buy all the junk that is advertised, thereby raising the mentary schools that are mainly
GNP,
raising
the
economic
production
and
growth
of
the
country,
and
is no longer viable. All institutions must be destroyed and new ones
populated by Negroes.
fundamentally adding to the economic stability of the nation.
established. Negroes are never going to get their rights.
Then there is the problem of
"The way things are now, we are twice damned. We are paying $15
"Secondly, if the society is not viable, then no program needs to
be projected because to project a program is to fool the masses of billion a year for the support and misdeeds of those who cannot find the businessman who is being put
Negroes. Thirdly, if the nation is not viable, and no program is needed, work and end up in prison or on welfare. If they are provided with out of a neighborhood he has
then all those people who have worked over the years for civil rights, work and improve the economy, then we have additional growth plus the served for many, many years.
It's a tragedy — and it is be-
and are still working for integration in this society, become the enemy. $15 billion we are now paying for keeping them on welfare and in jail.
ing
aggravated' by an inner con-
"For
the
things
which
must
be
done,
I
request
the
understanding,
Not the Ku Klux Klan, not the John Birch Society, but those closest to
the cooperation, and the aid of Jews. I do so knowing that there is flict in which Jews are makir
you.
"This is what Jews need to understand: that in the list of whom Negro anti-Semitism and knowing how Jews must feel when they hear demands and are now striving
you attack, those you love come first. You attack those you expected some Negro extremists talk. To hear these young Negroes spouting have a neighborhood stay in
grated while panic spreads un-
something from. You attack those who have in fact carried the banner. material directly from 'Mein Kampf' must bring up terrible memories, checked.
So before Martin Luther King's death, King and his non-violence were shocking inner turmoil. But in times of confusion, I recommend to Jews
We need the common sense and
the first enemy of Negro extremists precisely because he had done what I do for myself in times of confusion. I go back and read the
Jewish prophets, fundamentally Isaiah and Jeremiah. And I want you the fair judgment of all elements
the most .. . .
"Next in the list of enemies of the frustrated come Roy Wilkins, to know that if every Jew in the United States — not just a small in our community. The problem
Whitney Young, A. Philip Randolph. They are now the traitors to minority of extremists — called me a black nigger and said we don't should be well understood by this
need you to speak out against anti-Semitism in Poland, we can handle time. May it be faced with courage
the cause.
too, are the liberal community which has fought side it ourselves, I would not stop speaking out against anti-Semitism in so that the sick society in which
by side with us and the Jews who made greater contributions then Poland. I would continue to speak because I could do no other, because we live should be cured speedily.
Isaiah and Jeremiah have taught me to be against injustice wherever
anybody else in the liberal community. Because of this reverse hate- it
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
is, and first of all in myself.

,

2—Friday, July S, 1968

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