Skip to main content

tv   Watts - Riot or Revolt  CSPAN  August 22, 2015 8:00am-8:54am EDT

8:00 am
not only in southeast asia, but wherever they may be asked to serve in freedom's cause. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> each week, american history tv's "reel america" brings you archival films that help tell the story of the 20th century. "watts -- riot or documents the events of august 11 through 171965, when widespread looting, arson, and violence in los angeles resulted in 34 deaths, over 1000 injuries, over 3000 arrests, and the involvement of several thousand california army national guard's men. the hour-long cbs news program investigates the many reasons
8:01 am
behind the rights, commissioned by governor pat brown, which concludes high unemployment, poor schools and living conditions and police abuses were the main colleges -- the main causes of community unrest. ♪ >> get your hands up high. you can list them higher than that. the first one drops their hands is dead. [gunshot] >> absolutely incredible scene. gunbattle in the middle of broadway. in the streets of los angeles. [explosion] a small army of policeman , most of them carrying shotguns. national guardsmen riding jeeps. bodies of several negroes who have been shot already in this battle stretched out beside the curb. acres and acres of looking glass.
8:02 am
burned and looted stores. and now, this hunt, like something out of a bad war movie, a western perhaps. policeman on the rooftops. the streets. they think now they have found the man they are after. >> that was part of the civil war fought on the streets of los angeles one night of this summer. violence set off by a history of ancient laws. >> i think it started 400 years ago. they kept telling us we were nothing. >> get tired of being pushed around by you whites, that is all. >> you could not talk to anybody writes. the only way to ever get anybody at any time to listen to us is
8:03 am
to start a riot. >> governor, i hand you the report prepared by your commission. we cannot, governor, tell you any one particular reason why took place in august or why they took place in los angeles. >> tonight's cbs reports examines of the question of watts. was it a local riot or the beginning of a national revolt? what started it, what stopped it? will there be another watts? they presented governor brown the report seeking the answers to just such questions. these findings are an integral part of what happened. physicalort into the causes and problems of the nightmare of watts. ♪
8:04 am
>> international business machines. ibm presents cbs reports. "watts - riot or revolt?" here is cbs news correspondent bill stout, who has covered the story since the moment of the rioting began. >> three months ago on the street in los angeles, bible -- in los angeles, california violence produced all this. , and local riot or a revolt? part of a national social revolution? food loan lawlessness? or the product of a festering social illness? most of all, if it was a riot, why did it happen here, in the community thought to be least caught up in racial tensions. us some insight. he said the evils which can be
8:05 am
and do it with patience as long as they are inevitable seen intolerable as soon as i hope can be entertained of escaping them. in the past 25 years, more than 3000 negroes from other parts of the united states have come to los angeles in the hopes of escaping the evils there have endured with patients. but on the night of august the wednesday, 11th, that patience ran out. >> get the white man. >> get the white man. >> it was the most widespread, racial violence in american history. white people driving through the area were considered fair game, whether young or old, men or women. the cars were battered, the drivers stoned, kicked, and beaten. the mobs might grown in disappointment when a white got
8:06 am
away and then cheer like a football crowd when a car went up in flames. the burning and looting, the shooting and beating went on for nearly a week. 34 persons were killed, all but five of them negroes. more than 1000 persons injured or wounded. more than 200 business places destroyed by fire. 700 more smashed, looted, and damaged. negro merchants sought to protect themselves with hurriedly scrawled appeals. the cost in dollars, even now, hard to estimate. perhaps $50 million or more. nearly 4000 persons arrested. >> get out of the car with your
8:07 am
hands up. all of you. one in the back seat, too. get up. get your hands up, i said. drop that person and get your hands up. get them up. >> get your hands up. let's go. come on. right this way. onnegro leaders landed social elements. poverty, poor schools, and bad housing, which add up to discrimination. most of all, said the negro spokesperson, police brutality. the mobs agreed. but the police were not the only targets. firemen rushing about the city trying to control dozens of blazes at once were showered with rocks and bottles and sometimes found themselves under heavy gunfire.
8:08 am
12 --trol >> the mobs hated authority. but more generally, they hated all whites. and before the mobs finished, before they spent themselves, by the time the rioting had run its course, the police had been forced to thought their action over 54 square miles in the middle of the nation's third-largest city. 54 square miles. more than twice the size of the entire island of manhattan. indeed, harlem, or south chicago -- ere tenements seems the most likely to produce those northern explosions that were predicted and white america's anxiety. no one expected the flashpoint of discontent to be in this 400 square miles of los angeles. yet that did happen there, in an area holding 1/6 of the counties
8:09 am
-- county's negroes. watts is not a slum. streets of trim, lower middle class homes. and there are squalid areas of condemned houses with people living in them. two thirds of the adults have less than a high school education. one in eight is illiterate. of every 10 homes, nine were built before 1949. one in five has deteriorated. watts has the lowest average income rate in los angeles county. $4000 per year. compared with more than $8,000 per year for the white community. almost 60% of watts families receive some sort of welfare against an unemployment rates , that holds around 30%. one out of every three teenagers comes from a broken home. the school dropout rate is more than twice that of the city overall. newcomers,nts are who joined the modern gold rush to california over the past 25 years. mostof our those from the
8:10 am
backward parts of the deep south. they have no desire for classroom learning. not even the knowledge of how to live in urban surroundings. even not even the knowledge of how to use plumbing. they crowd together, a thousand new ones every month. they find in the land of golden promise, there are still white businessman, property owners. it began right here at this quarter. in this case two young negroes , were stopped by california highway patrolman and charged with drunk driving. there was a scuffle and a crowd gathered. the mother of the 2 -- they are brothers -- joined in. she and another women thought problem -- she and another woman thought pregnant were pushed and shoved.
8:11 am
commission duck thoroughly into the event. they found no basis for criticizing the conduct or judgment of officers on the scene. but no one questions this was the incident. nothing more. the spark that lighted the flues -- that lighted the fuse. in the background is a long chronicle of defeat and disappointment, of grievances, a pure hate for the white man. there was, for instance, in the spring of a gunbattle between 1952, negroes and police, outside los angeles mosque of the muslims. a sect that believed all whites were evil. gunfight, one negro was killed, 14 wounded. citizensangeles believed the muslim shooting so crystallized negro feelings that from that point in april 1962, big trouble was inevitable. there were other humiliations,
8:12 am
distantly noted by whites, but resounded in watts like a slap to the face. negro catholics prayed as the head of the catholic archdiocese mcintyre, declaring negroes to be better treated in los angeles than anywhere in the united states, lay down for his clergy that racial problems were to be treated as political rather than moral issues. a young priest challenge the race discinsisting termination is immoral and therefore a direct concern of the church. negroes watch while the clergyman dispatched a rebellious appeal to the pope in rome. >> all of us concerned with giving our negro convocation positive leadership in their yearning for full protection under the law, equal opportunities for education, jobs, and housing, cannot reconcile the clear teachings of christ and the church with the
8:13 am
restrictive and nullifying policies of the cardinal. i urge you, therefore, to remove cardinal mcintyre from office. >> negroes watched through the long political campaign of 1964 inn the major issue california, even than the johnson-goldwater contest was , fair housing. state housing -- state law allowing housing to anyone of any color was attacked. people collected signatures to repeal the law. martin luther king came to watch and spell out the meaning of the referendum battle. but the majority of california rejected nondiscrimination housing, the majority telling negroes to stay put. the mccone commission sites that as a major factor adding to negro resentment. there were other factors, too. >> they may have a tv and see things in other parts of the city.
8:14 am
they are tired, they are hungry. they know what is going on in the world. they see millions of dollars to be soldckets overseas to other countries. in our country, they are hungry and out of a job. >> finally there was haggling , over the poverty program. the very day the riots began, this was the headline in the "los angeles times." harlem, moneyn was put into the negro areas. but in los angeles not one cent , was put into the negro area. los angeles's long history of freedom from racial strife, plus that it had weathered the summer of 1964 that the faculty, had created a false sense of well-being. so that when the violence did europe, it impact seemed many erupt, it impact
8:15 am
seemed many times magnified. known forof police, his integrity and the blackness of his opinions, and thus, after the first night of violence, and there is, perhaps, and understandably edgy, chief parker faced newsman. >> what do you want the policeman to do? put everybody down or not? >> i am sibley asking you to explain what the thinking of the police is. >> the thinking of the police is they have a city to protect. they cannot turn all the men into watts and allow the rest of the 450 square miles be open season to every criminal and burglar in town. when you have someone like dr. martin luther king -- >> dr. king does not put out all the fires. there are local leaders here in these situations. we assume there would be have some influence on them, or they
8:16 am
would not be representatives. i urge them to go down and talk to these people and say this is indoor dortmund and they should not continue. >> that afternoon, the reverend h h things with other politicians called a piece meeting at a neighborhood playground. >> i submit to you that we should not see a harlem or rochester or new york. it is get time. we can solve it. >> brookings and others found that they themselves did not understand the intensity of their people, did not know the intensity of their rage, and ofld not form the depth their hate. >> whether you like it or not. listen. week, the negro people down here, have gone completely fed up. they are not going to fight anymore. they are after the white people. they are going to contradict.
8:17 am
they are going to carry a man out on eagle would. going to do the white man in tonight. [applause] >> silence. continue to try to meet violence with violence is the wrong way. that is all. pure and simple. i believe that while we talk about people staying off the street, every citizen has a right to walk the street. but he must walk it in dignity and respect. on the other hand, there is not to be any concentration of police power in this community tonight. >> after that meeting, the kings and someone from the human council commission -- the county human relations commission, a group with a record of success took the recommendations that there be less obvious policing of the area thursday night to
8:18 am
deputy police chief roger murdock. >> the police department indicated to us that they're going to run the city their own way and they would prove who runs the city of los angeles. mr. murdoch's attitude is i one would suspect from jim clark in alabama. we are not in alabama. we want to work with the police, with elected officials, not against them. when we return to 118th street after speaking with officer murder, we had to report what we found. it was like lighting a fuse. they immediately said we told you that your leadership did not amount to much. you see what they think about you. now let us do it our own way. at this time, about six police cars moved in, blowing sirens was about 500 people lining the streets. it was just like an explosion. everything went haywire. >> the frustration of the reverend and his associations go watts explain the why of as well as the how. from the quarrel over the
8:19 am
performance of negro leadership was beginning to emerge one of the unpalatable truths of the riots. there were it and are groups in the negro community for whom nobody spoke. most of a negroes who held elected office in los angeles stayed out of the area. area resident of the riot was there constantly. and he spoke the truth no one wanted to hear. >> shall i relate to you and incident? about 4:00 p.m. friday morning, i went up to a group that was throwing bottles, and i said listen, baby, let's cool it. he said where do you live? and i said i live on avalon. i said i am with the people. he said, if you're with us here, , throw it. he handed me the bottle. i am for peace. he said you were with the man, in this case the white man or the police.
8:20 am
he said we do not want to hear you, we don't want to hear martin luther king, we do not want to hear from brookings, we just want to talk to the man ourselves. affairs by white officials was less than distinguished. as words of the shouted threat to do the white man in spread by word-of-mouth from the playground piece meeting, whites began to cry the gunshot -- c rowd the gun shops to get guns to protect themselves. -- flew to another such date in san francisco after a friday morning conference with parker, at which it was decided to call the heart is the -- call the guard if the riot worsened. >> they have hundreds of reservations.
8:21 am
there is not anything especially i can do in the next few i will hours. go up and do my commitment, but i would not go. >> the commission does not criticize the mayor. it simply quotes the reason he gave for his absence from the city. as the mayor left for his luncheon date in san francisco, chief parker, the man in charge and the man on the spot from the beginning, now had hard words for the peacemakers he had earlier encouraged. >> i am not going to play games with well-meaning people who lack expertise. the difficulty is the people getting hurt here are police and incident citizens and the riot ers are prevailing. concerns deepened when the character of the rioting changed. at 10:00 major looting became a.m., general. in one shopping area, thousands of negroes stole everything they could carry and then burned what was left. what had been skirmishing before between police and hit run negro
8:22 am
groups became a wholesale andcise in stealing burning, with evidence of organized efforts in the manufacture and use of molotov cocktails. the police estimate was that 3000 people filled the streets. walking through it then, remembering it now that estimate , seems conservative indeed. on one point, chief parker was firm throughout. he was determined to ask for the national guard and his men found the negro explosion too much to handle. governorreed with brown before machinery to do just that. but the guard had been called before only once in california history. in aircraft strike during world war ii. no one in office wanted to be the man who turned units against the people. at 10:50 a.m., declaring the situation out of control, parker asked for the national guard. afternoon 5:00 friday
8:23 am
when the lieutenant governor signed the proclamation. as the commission points out, friday's delay in calling the guard proved costly and property damage and perhaps lives as well. the acting commissioner hesitated -- the commission says parker hesitated when he should have acted. further escalation could have been avoided if a group of guardsmen only a few miles away had only been deployed by midafternoon friday. then the guard came in. the first units mobilized and on their way at 7:00 p.m., the same was the first rioter killed. a curfew was ordered. everyone off the streets by 8:00 p.m. and the brute force of 14,000 armed men finally broke the back of the riot. as the smoke listed above watts and the shooting died down the , soul-searching and blame shifting began. martin luther king did not cut short his vacation in puerto
8:24 am
rico, but went to watch after the rioting and found the atmosphere less friendly than he would have expected. >> you all know i believe firmly in nonviolence. maybe some of you do not agree with it but i want you to be , willing to say that. >> sure, we like to be nonviolent. our negro community leaders, where are they? they are not here, and they are not coming down. they are failing us again. we are tired of being sold as slaves. >> wait a minute. >> we want a job. we get jobs, we don't bother nobody. we do not get no jobs, we woke ticket to los angeles. >> what do you think about the police situation? >> the police, we will burn them
8:25 am
too. >> governor brown, hurrying back from the grease and heating the urging of negro leaders, perhaps, found residents waiting for him. >> what does your husband do? >> i don't have a husband. we are separated. >> you have to raise the four children by yourself? >> how much do you get from the children's program? >> $234 a month. >> are there any places we could get a job? >> if i could go to work, i would be proud to go to work and i could take enough maybe for someone to watch my babies. take it we are hungry all the time. two or three days before this happened, people were just about starving to death, waiting until they got the first of their paycheck. >> this is a continuing situation? >> all the time. >> don't they get the money from welfare? >> they need jobs. that is what they need. creation of jobs depended
8:26 am
on settlement of the city dispute with the federal government over administration of the property program. one of the city, one of the negro officials absent during the riot, hit hard at the party angle. that we,lso ashamed including eye, squabbled and poverty program, which is almost scandalous. >> mayor denied he or anyone else in los angeles had hung up the program. he blamed washington. >> i have tried for months, as you know to end the senseless , controversy. and so far as i know, this is the only large city were the office of economic opportunity actually use strong-arm tactics by cutting off funds and
8:27 am
publicizing the fact. unless we met their changing dictates that they would cut off the funds. they certainly helped sue insights people in the property area by these tactics. >> in washington, a sergeant replied in kind. 520 three cities, towns, and counties in the state of the union have already organized effective anti-poverty programs. los angeles, unfortunately, is the only major city in united states which has failed to do this. ♪ was to blame, the political shuffling of the poverty program was only one factor. the larger causes of the watch explosion we will examine in just a moment. line ♪e picket reports "watts -- riot or
8:28 am
revolt" continues. boy which side are you on, which side are you on ♪ >> as the tension continues, we asked the muslim leader if more violence was a prospect. >> i certainly believe it will happen again unless some steps are taken to avoid it. the reason this is voiced throughout the community is what has changed? nothing has been done. every grievance that has been had from the people who started or took part, there has been nothing done to solve it. the only thing done was that massive forces was brought in to theress the forces, but has been nothing done to solve this. >> governor brown announced the eight-man commission to investigate the causes of the disaster. john mccone, former head of the
8:29 am
central intelligence agency, was named chairman. the committee hearings have not been public, but the principal witnesses are known, and so are some of their views. chief of police william parker. >> you write of the kurds of these riot -- write of the courage of these rioters. and the attempt of the police to accommodate the situation that give the sense we have these people on the run now. defensive are in a position. in addition, you have what i call this political pandering. they are constantly trying to reach these groups or political balance of power by catering to their emotions. you are dislocated. you are abused because of your color. your progenitors were oppressed. you have not been given the share of materialistic things you are entitled to.
8:30 am
you are trying to convince them i want to do something for you. i am going to raise you out of this position of post-slavery to a position of economic of fluency. of course, many people in our present system, are not in the position to become affluent unless someone just hands it to them. many negro leaders agree with me that los angeles is the finest place in the world for the negro , because he has the greatest opportunity here on a broad basis, then he will anywhere else in the world. you have this paradox where things are the best were the worst riotings are. i think you have to go back to civil disobedience. you don't have to obey the law if you think it is unjust. in other words, you say a certain law is unjust because it is a jim crow law. i is the law unjust because want a pair of shoes in that store but i do not have the money to go by them, so i go steal them?
8:31 am
so then you have people asking why were these people shot? they were only stealing. so, they rationalize this. so, civil disobedience, which erodes respect for all law -- that has been proved in this nation by now. if we have not learned the lesson by now, we never will. >> do you think it was a criminal manifestation of disrespect for the law or dca as something associated to the economic striving of the negro? those factors are involved. i think the most important recognition we must give to the situation is of the 600,000 negroes who reside in the metropolitan area of los angeles, the watts riot represented less than 1%. it is a mistake to group all these people together. they do not deserve it and it is inaccurate. >> where was the failure? on the part of the city, county,
8:32 am
schools? the difficulty in meeting this is we are trying to find the failure other than in the people themselves. this is a dangerous moves because it serves to signify their acts. on the basis of you did something because of something we failed to do. a great number of these people came from areas of the country where they were much more seriously dislocated than they are here. they came in and flooded a community that was not prepared to meet them. despite the fact that we have all this release men going in there, we did not ask of these people to come here. and certainly, you need the community to adjust itself to a small segment that suddenly came in and take over a section. i think that this is unreasonable. i think we are almost sadistic in the way we are trying to punish ourselves over this thing without realizing what we a sense ofyed is responsibility for our own actions. we have developed a
8:33 am
mid-tail a stick society in where everybody is a victim of their environment and therefore not to be held responsible for anything. and if you can continue to live in that society, good luck to you. >> parker's anger is shared by many, if not most whites. his stand is supported by many of them, nearly 120,000 of whom have addressed letters and telegrams to him 99% favorable. parker believes disrespect for the law imperils the nation. but who says the negros community can respect law that is unjust? >> during this entire incident, we have heard constant references to respect for law and order, and more particularly, what they mean is respect for law enforcement. to really understand the problems of these people, you have to understand what law enforcement has meant to them for 100 years. we are talking about the white man's law enforcement that is
8:34 am
responsible for many of their parents being chased out of the south in one pretext or another. the white man's law enforcement that has resulted in no one being actually prosecuted or convicted in the murder of medgar evers, the murder of mrs. lisle. under these conditions you can , understand the people are not going to be reverent about law enforcement and the men who enforce the law. >> over and over, negros repeat the charge of police brutality. one who is addressed a number of brutality complaints and one of the most successful attorneys in los angeles, is a negro leo , branton. we asked him about the charges that police brutality charges are fully and fairly investigated. >> in theory, there are avenues of complaint or but there are no meaningful avenues to richard s -- redress the grievances of
8:35 am
these people. i have tried them all. and i can say to you, there is no question that under the present machinery as it exists and as is being operated today, a complaint of police brutality by any negro citizen goes almost completely unheeded. because the instances of attention given to these complaints are laughable. now, it has been said that people can bring complaints to the police commission. and the police commission is the boss of the police chief and the entire police department. this is not so. i do not think that people would be agitating for an independent police review board if the existing police commission carried out the functions that it was intended to carry out. in the first place, you make a complaint before the police commission. who investigates it on behalf of the police commissioner? police officers. >> to this repeated complaint of
8:36 am
the negro committee, the macomb report responded by saying the police commission be overhauled to strengthen its power over the department. it rejected the idea of a civilian board, but did recommend the creation of a new post of inspector general. outside the regular channels of the department. to investigate citizen complaints of police directlyent and report to the chief. the report also recommends a vastly expanded community relations program to close the admitted breach between negroes and police. robert richardson was a messenger for the "los angeles -- "los angeles times" when the riot began. he got the job as the times' first negro reporter. >> let me clear something up for you. when we say police brutality, we do not mean officers beating people as they do in the south with whips or cattle prods. we mean brutality to a man's dignity.
8:37 am
we mean the derogatory terms that are used, directed to a person. when police cannot tell a housewife from a prostitute. when you are walking down the street with your girl and a policeman comes along and has you stand against a wall with your feet apart and checks you out and calls down on you and asks what you are doing out so late at night. you have to have an explanation for everything. this is what we mean by police brutality. people who come here from the south in town problem even more serious than police brutality. and job opportunity and things like this. this is a problem of the resentment of the middle class negro, of the poor southerner who comes out here. the middle class negro believes that these people lower their standards bring down their , educational standards, lower their reflection as a race completely. so, it's one large vicious circle.
8:38 am
the poor southern negro is moving into this area. the middle class negro is moving into a predominantly white neighborhood. and the whites in that neighborhood are moving farther out. in other words, it is going around and around, and where it is going to end, i really don't know. >> "watts - riot or revolt?" with more findings of the mccone commission, will continue after this message. ♪ cbs reports "watts - riot or revolt?" continues. say, ae is, they different world about which white americans have bothered to learn very little. the first thorough study of negroes and how they live in this country was completed only a few months ago. our government, which conducts detailed surveys of everything from sugar beets in colorado to social habits in cambodia, had never before taking a close look at the 21 million negroes of america.
8:39 am
daniel moynihan, assistant secretary of labor, was in charge of the study and was staggered by it. moynihan says the negro family structure is collapsing, and we asked him the reasons. >> the first is, remember that american slavery is the worst slavery the world has ever known. we can't get that into our heads, because the standard of the living of the slaves was high, perhaps. we do not see how awful it was. we deprived them of the sacraments of christians. we deprived them of any institutions of family life. we deprived them of any rights as human beings. it's a very long and complicated history, but we did. there is no other slavery like it in history. and there is no negro family at all in the slave world. secondly, segregation and the great humility should of jim crow was a little -- a brutal assault on the personal integrity of the negro male. he was the man who took the
8:40 am
brunt of it. thirdly, a urbanization. they poured into the cities. do not forget, the negro, because they are americans, we do not see them as immigrants. wereegros in watts immigrants, just as much as the italians and iris and whoever poured into the cities in the 19th century. it was not a pretty sight in new york in the 1870's either. families break up one day lead countrysides, rural and peasant life, and get dumped into slums. we have had 35 years of disastrous unemployment for the negro male. he has never gotten over the depression. he had 4 fair to middling years in the second world war, maybe a good here in the korean war, but that is it. but by and large, it has been going on beyond the imagination of the white world. the rates of unemployment -- teenage unemployment in the negro world is almost 25%.
8:41 am
can you imagine that? that is a social crime. that is an outrage. there is not a society in the world that would let 25% of their teenagers go unemployed. about a quarter of negro families are headed by women. the divorce rate is two and a half times what it is. and the number of fatherless children keeps growing. all of these things are getting worse, not better, in recent years. it is not a matter of a bad situation that does not improve, but rather a bad situation that worsens. we've got to get that clear. it is getting worse. how did you learn how to behave? from your father, your mother, your older sisters, and the people around you. supposing there is no father. or if he is a father, he does not work. where there is no education no , sense of getting ahead. where children are just brought up without any of that support which a family gives them. what do you end up with?
8:42 am
a cycle reproducing itself. >> a ucla study published within the last two weeks examine the background of young negroes arrested during the riots. it established the typical rioter as a 17-year-old boy, a school dropout from a fatherless home, living on a typical family -- on a total family income of $300 per month. one such walking statistic is this young man, who was cruel world is kept that way with occasional bouts with liquor and drugs. on the nights of the riot, revenge was an evident ingredient. though he denied any part and the looting and rioting, he took me on a tour of some of the places he said he helped to burn, as casual as a stroll in the park. what this young man had to say reflected a common attitude among the youthful rioters. >> i threw the firebomb right in the front window. a friend of mine went in the store towards the back and threw a firebomb in the back. the place went up in flames.
8:43 am
it was pretty well emptied. by the leaders. >> there is not much left, is there? >> there isn't. there are things that could have been gotten, used. >> but most things were taken out before you burned? >> as much as we could possibly give. and the cry in the streets was burn, baby, burn. >> why would you burned a place like this? >> we decided to burn the store because we felt this guy was gaming is anyway. >> when you say this guy was you, doou or gypping you know that for a fact? >> him and every other jew around here. >> y d say over and over "jews around here"? it would be fair to say our hate all whites, point blank.
8:44 am
what else -- >> what else happened in this block? >> after we got as much as we asld and stashed it, we took much as we could after we came back. we decided to go to this shop where this white guy works who gyp's people. as a matter of fact, he gypped me. he gave me seven dollars, but he wanted to give me five dollars. >> do you think that is why most people took part in the looting and the burning? because of one grievance sometimes in the past? in the one grievance past. whether it relates to a pawnshop or going through the store somebody wanted to get even, , such as. i call myself even by going into the store and taking out what i could. and i got some pretty wonderful things out of this place. pretty wonderful things. and i liked it. >> and it was sunday, when you
8:45 am
were arrested, right near here? >> yes. i was on the way to a friend of mine's house. and a police car circled this corner here. and the officers got out of their car and approached us at gunpoint and told us to put our hands up. they've immediately this. up,he time they held us they held us at gunpoint continuously. and the white police officer approached me and say hey, black -- when will you let us kill you? youaid i am not going to let kill me, because i am not a sniper or nothing. i'm not trying to put myself in that position. i knew these white people were mad. they took me to the jailhouse. i asked what was i going to be booked on? they could not tell me. they said burglary and looting. i was arrested in a residential area. as you can see right here, there
8:46 am
is nothing but houses. >> how long were you in jail? >> i was in jail for a month, a solid month. i had to wait for bail. >> you are bailed out? >> i was not bailed out. i beat my case. all the charges were thrown out. >> do you think it is i do -- you think it will happen again? >> yes, i do. but it will be a different situation. it will be be better organized. it will be a surprise attack. unless the white man himself changes. if he changes, shows some type of other response, the way he treats us around here, there will not be any riots. these people around here are willing to accept anything good. anything negative or bad, they will respond to it. because this is what they are taught around here. teenager and on up, people have been in gangs. 29-year-old who have been in gangs and they have developed attitudes behind the way they have came up. and i feel definitely that this
8:47 am
most utterly will break out again. >> if this young man is a living product of the ravaged negro family institution described by daniel moynihan stanley , represents the opposite. as father recently retired as truck driver, raised his family in the watch area. stanley, his sister, and his brother, one of whom was an olympic heavyweight boxing champion, were born in this house. a rhodes scholar, the third negro ever so honored, he was at your law school but he was at , home during the riots. >> what made the difference between you and most of the other young men? >> i think the most important difference was in my own life. my familynces from and the special attention i got in high school. in my family, we are always encouraged to go on to university. we were always taught to compete on any level with anybody.
8:48 am
>> what is your feeling about the people who took part particularly the young men? ,a lot of them must have been menu new. why did they do it, and what did they say about why they were doing it? >> i think that my particular age group, negro, male, between 24, iss of 18 and probably the one most distressed in the united states. certainly in the watts area here in los angeles. they are most likely to be unemployed in this particular area. they are either high school dropouts or high school graduates with very little skills, very few skills. and i think also there is the business of south vietnam and how this affects the draft and economic means. i think all of these combine to
8:49 am
produce a frustration on the part of the young men in this particular area of the city. >> the thinking of the entire nation must be changed as the goals of the negro community move from liberty to equality, says daniel moynihan. >> no group in our society is satisfied if, for many, many years, for generations, the competitions for the quality of life, they always end up the losers. as aity is not the same flat level of existence. what is the same is that given one group of people, if you distribute success and failure and distinction and anonymity and affluence and poverty about the same way as distributed in other groups. you've got to get men to work. a man cannot run his family without him having a job.
8:50 am
it starts there. is there any secret to that? do you need sociologist to tell that? no. creating jobs, there is no secret about it. we know how to do it. we just have to get it clear in our minds. we either have to do what or we are going to spoil this beautiful country of ours, and that means spoiling the pretty white suburbs just as much as those nasty and ugly places like watts. moynihan speaks of the situation affecting our nation. the mccone commission seek to answers questions about watts. was the riot planned? the commission found no evidence to support that conclusion nor any evidence of communist activity. did police brutality play a part in the outbreak? >> yes. some real incidents and some imagined are at the roots of the deep distrust between police and negroes. did negro provocation play a role in the riots and the mood that led to them? yes, says the commission, and the little organization that fed the flames was led by gangs of
8:51 am
angry young negroes. was it a revolt, not just a riot? yes, in the sense that it was a formless, hopeless striking out against current conditions in the community. and can it happen again? was --ous and explosion explosive was this situation says the commission, that the , august riots may only be a curtain raiser on what could blow up in the future. it is that very fact which accounts for the disappointment among some responsible negro leaders. dramatic proposals and immediate measures are needed, they feel, negroesthose rioting for whom no one spoke. job training is needed for thousands of negroes. a crash program of schooling for youngsters may guarantee the future, they say. but the need is desperate and , the need is now. sayssis in our country, the mccone commission, and
8:52 am
government alone can not give a cure all. help from private employers, labor unions, negroes themselves is essential in this emergency. we would conclude this report with these final lines from the commission. what shall it avail our nation if we can place a man on the moon, but cannot cure the sickness in our cities? this is bill stout for cbs report in los angeles. good night. ♪ >> cbs reports has been brought to you by international business machine, ibm. ♪ >> cbs reports "watts -- riot or revolt?" has been filled and staffed by cbs reports under the supervision and control of cbs news.
8:53 am
♪ >> next tuesday night, a cbs special report. where we stand in vietnam? an assessment of the impact of the mounting american commitment in vietnam, combining the reporting and analysis of six cbs news correspondent and the results of the special cbs national public opinion survey. that is "where we stand in vietnam?" a special report next tuesday night at 10:00, 9:00 central time. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] c-span weekend on the networks, politics, books, and american history. on c-span today, live coverage of presidential


3 Favorites

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on