Imágenes de páginas

the better, not because we love all our fellow human beings as we do ourselves—that is too much to expect—but because enlightened selfinterest requires that we solve the so-called minority problem permanently—and there is no other way to do it. Finally, I offer a suggestion. While we are working out our problems, let us get rid of our national inferiority complex. Government should cease its preoccupation with introspection and feelings of guilt and should stop espousing the idea that society is at fault for riots. This self-pity syndrome is extremely dangerous. Let us stop worrying about what the Russians and Chinese Communists will say about us. Let us say to the world: “Sure, we have problems—we have problems because our citizens, including Negro citizens, enjoy a higher degree of freedom than has been enjoyed in any other country in the history of the world. When we have trouble with a minority, we don't exterminate the minority. We try to solve the problem. Öur system of government isn't perfect. It's just the best ever devised by man" Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me the chance to appear. (At this point, Mr. Ichord entered the hearing room.) Mr. TUCK. We thank you very much for taking the time to come here today. I would like to apologize for the committee for these several interruptions. When we invited you here, we could not foresee that. Mr. YoUNGER. Not at all, Mr. Chairman. As a taxpayer, I am glad to see the conscientious manner in which our Congressmen operate. Mr. TUCK. We try to get ourselves recorded as much as we can, particularly on important matters such as we have on the floor today. Thank you for your expert testimony here on the subject of how riots may be oi I believe you brought us a very sensible answer as to how riots may be stopped, that is, by firm adherence to the enforcement of law and to require strict obedience of the law on the part of all persons, irrespective of positions in society or official life, local or national, they may occupy. have been a strong adherent to that view. I have had responsibilities along that line in law enforcement in the past. I have insisted on it, and we have law enforcement in our State most of the time. I believe, as you indicate you do here in your statement, that law enforcement can be maintained at the local and State level. The difficulty in some areas is that outsiders, those representing outside organizations, the Federal Government, even, have sent men in there who seem to have the effect of impeding or hampering the police or harassing them. ; believe that the citizens in the localities and States in our Nation o competent to enforce the law, if given free rein and encouraged to O SO. I was rather astonished, however, to hear you state that none of the riots had been caused by any outside influence, that they just happened. I am not an authority on that subject, but we have had some disturbances not too far away from my home. According to the press, as I understood it, in Cambridge, Maryland, some woman came over there and agitated those people and started one of the riots. Then they had a second riot in Cambridge, started by Stokely Carmichael. I have the feeling that while conditions may be ripe for riots in

certain cities, certain areas of the country, the riots frequently, or most always, are caused by some outside agitator.

Mr. YOUNGER. I do not think that has happened in the major riots so far, sir. I think outside agitators have moved in as fast as they could. I have described the categories, that certainly Stokely Carmichael would fit my description as a racist and as a hater, and the Communists and criminals, they will move in fast.

I also said they could start a riot. I could start riot. If I had a television camera and crew, I could start a riot in any city in the country, given these conditions.

A small group of dedicated Communists could start a riot, but it just has not been necessary so far. As I say, we have enough riots accidentally to keep any of those people well satisfied.

Mr. Tuck. We have not had many of them in the past. We went through the worst depression known in history in the 1930's. People all over the country, all races, suffered financial distress and some deprivation. We did not have any rioting.

Mr. Younger. You mean during the depression
Mr. Tuck. Sir?
Mr. YOUNGER. I did not hear all that.

Mr. Tuck. During the depression of the 1930's, which was probably the worst depression this country ever experienced.

Mr. YOUNGER. On the contrary, you can get some authorities who say not only riots, but crime generally, was at the lowest level of our history during the course of the great depression.

There are all sorts of explanations for this. One is that people were out of jobs, they stayed home, and the family unit spent more time together and were more of a unit than ever since. There were fewer families where the father and mother were working. For whatever reason, the fact is that crime was very low during the depression.

Mr. Tuck. I commend you also for your statement in regard to your undertaking to solve all these problems by the appropriations of public money. That amounts, in my judgment, to what appears to be blackmail. “If you don't give us so much money, we will have a riot."

Mr. YOUNGER. I agree completely.
Mr. Tuck. Do you have any questions, Mr. Watson?
Mr. Watson. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

I want to thank Mr. Younger for coming over and giving us his very forthright testimony. Certainly he has had experience in an area where they have suffered a very devastating riot.

Watts is in your district ?

Mr. WATSON. I share the sentiments of the chairman of the subcommittee in calling for a firm and effective law enforcement policy and respect for the law, period, without the buts, ifs, ands, and the equivocations.

I see from your testimony, and as I listened to it, you attached a lot of blame to the TV medium for either instigating the riot or at least prolonging it or aggravating it.

Was that the situation in Watts?

Mr. WATSON. Since you have made that statement, I will not argue this matter, but I notice a lot of conjecture in here as to what might

be done to start a riot. Let us get down to the facts. I agree with you that you could start one, as you have outlined. hat precipitated it in Watts? Was it the TV, or what was it? Mr. YorsgBR. No, I don't think television, and I respectfully suggest that if you check my statement again you will find, rather than a criticism of television, a concern that television is so powerful that the ". for doing great damage during the riot is there. The Watts riot was in no way caused or prolonged by television, in my, opinion. The thing that triggered it was this thing I said, the incident involving the woman. The conditions were all there: the hot, humid weather, the area in town which was depressed; and in that connection it is interesting to note, if you have been to Watts, it is not that bad. Watts, for example, compared to Harlem, looks pretty good. This is another thing we learned during the Watts riots. People in Harlem don't compare themselves to people in the Congo. People in Watts don't compare themselves with people in Harlem. The people in Watts compare themselves with people in Bel Air. That is where the dissatisfaction comes. All those elements existed. Then you had a woman, a female barber, a Negro woman who had a smock on. She looked o: The police officers were engaged in arresting two young men for driving under the influence of liquor. In the course of the arrests, the crowd gathered. They were insulting and booing the police, and so forth. Somebody, as the police were leaving with these two young men under arrest, somebody in the crowd spit on one of the policemen. The policeman thought it was this WOman. Just to show you how ironic it can be, she was not the one that spit on the policeman. They grabbed her. They tried to pull her out of the crowd. A tug of war ensued. The rumor got started back in the crowd—they could not see what was going on—somebody said, “They are beating up a pregnant woman.” The story spread. It was at that moment that they started throwing stones at the police car. Mr. WATson. Mr. Younger, prior to that, had you noticed any agitation, and so forth, which would give rise to conditions that would permit the triggering of such a massive riotous condition? Do you mean to tell me that you and the officers were unaware of any agitation by any group or any individual in the Watts area Mr. YoUNGER. Certainly there is always, and there has been for years, and I am afraid there will be for years to come, agitators in every large city. Some agitate on the basis of race. Some have other causes. There was the normal activity along those lines. There were the junior-grade Stokely Carmichaels, and so forth, that were expressing dissatisfaction over various things. But if you mean was there any increased amount of agitation, any program of fomenting violence, something that should #. warned us that a riot was going to occur, I will say “no.” I will concede that a great many people in our community, after the Watts riots, said they knew the riots were going to occur, but I never heard them say that before the riots.

Mr. WATsoN. In other words, you never observed or had presented to you any evidence of leaflets or pamphlets or anything else being circulated by any organization or any individual in the Watts area, trying to capitalize on this explosive situation ? Mr. YoUNGER. As I say, you will always get a certain amount of that, but there was no increased or stepped-up activity along those lines just prior to the Watts riots. Mr. WATson. We are not concerned, necessarily—at least I am not— about stepped-up activity. Are you aware of any organization that was engaging in any activity in this regard prior to the riot? If so, could you name that organization ? Such as RAM, the Black Panthers, or the Communist Party, U.S.A.: Do they have an office, the U.S. Communist Party, Marxist-Leninist group ! Mr. YoUNGER. They have an office of sorts, I guess, that moves around from time to time. I don't know where it is currently located. We certainly have that information in our files. I am sure they were distributing pamphlets prior to the Watts riots, just as they probably are doing today out there, but on a very small scale. It would be a mistake, I think, because they were distributing pamphlets. They have been distributing pamphlets since I got out of high school, and it would be a mistake, I think, to assume that because they were distributing pamphlets that that had anything to do with the Watts riots. There were no political overtones at all to that crowd that gathered around the officers when they were trying to arrest these two boys for drunk driving. That group had started the riots, started them spontaneously, because they thought the police were beating a pregnant Negro woman. There were no political overtones or implications in it at that time. It would be simple if there were. I wish that I had evidence, and it would be a nice thing if we could blame all the riots on the Communists, the black nationalists, or something like that. Then we could all go out and round them up and solve our problems. But it is not that easy. Mr. WATsoN. In other words, you do not consider the activity of o ommunit group or any other group of any consequence out there \!. You NgER. Not in the Watts riot or the major riots we have had SO far. o that they could start a riot in any major city. Right now they COll I (1. Mr. WATson. Then if they could, Mr. District Attorney, would not a part of the process of inciting to riot be the distribution of inflammatory leaflets and pamphlets? You would not tell us that they have not done that in your area, would you? Mr. YoUNGER. I say as long as I can remember there have been Communists and other political agitators distributing leaflets and pamphlets. That is certainly true. Mr. WATson. Mr. D.A., I don't want to interrupt you. Perhaps we have taken this activity too lightly and that has given rise over the course of years to the explosion we had last summer back in Watts. Would that not be a reasonable conclusion 2

Mr. YoUNGER. You mean taken too lightly the distribution of the leaflets? Mr. WATsos. I mean the effect this distribution might have upon the people during a hot period, when you have, I assume, additional young people out of school, and so forth, the effect this inflammatory material might have on them. Mr. ‘. I suppose, it is a personal thing, I suppose I have been somewhat more concerned than maybe the average person. I don't think that so far as I am personally concerned I have been unmindful of the effect that these leaflets, and so forth, might have on people. I don't know if the community generally has taken it too lightly. . Mr. WATson. A group of people who are distressed and denied various opportunities, as you say they have been, would they not be more susceptible to inflammatory leaflets of this nature? Mr. YoUNGER. I believe so. Mr. WATson. As a consequence, should we not be more concerned about the possible effect? I have '. some people say, well, there are only a handful of people. I can go out myself and get me a printing press and print up a hundred thousand leaflets, and if I put them in the right hands, although I am one individual, I believe it would have a rather adverse effect, so far as fomenting dissidence and discord. Would that not be a fair observation? Mr. YoUNGER. I think that is so. I think there is no question but what this would be an effect. I also think that there is a built-in dissatisfaction and discord in many cities in the country for a variety of reasons so that it really is not necessary for the Communists to create discord, because it already exists in ample degree in many communities. Mr. WATson. But they would exploit it and take advantage of it; would they not, sir? Mr. YoUNGER. No question about it. Mr. WATson. That is where we do have some degree of serious concern, or should we not ? Mr. YoUNGER. I agree. As I said before, I think the only reason we have not had some Communists or, rather, extremists start a riot is for the very simple reason that—I am not being facetious when I say there has been enough to keep them satisfied. We have had enou i. riots to satisfy every Communist in the country. If that were not #. case, I think the Communists could start a riot in any major city in the United States. Mr. WATson. Perhaps you and I might differ on that score. I don't think the Communists are ever satisfied. I believe it is their intention to break down our system of government. I don't believe they will be satisfied until it is completed. Mr. YoUNGER. If we have a few more summers like last summer, that could happen. That is what I meant when I said that I think even the most extreme should reasonably have been satisfied with the trouble we had in our Nation last summer. Certainly we could not tolerate that every summer. That is obvious. Mr. WATson. On page 11 of your testimony you state as a fact, “The fact is, all the recent riots have started accidentally, triggered by some explainable incident.”

« AnteriorContinuar »