Interview with John Conyers

I want to ask you one other question because we're running out of film. As the riots were ending, did you see any evidence or hear any stories about Congressional White backlash, cutting back on giving aid, to cities and cutting back from getting involved in Black communities. Did you see Congressional White backlash as a result of the riot?


Well many of the, ah, poverty programs in the, ah, ah, Office of Economic Opportunity, ah, the CETA programs which had their built-in critics within the federal government and in the Congress particularly, ah, many, ah, ironically, ah, were senators and congressmen from the South. Ah, they, they used the Detroit and Watts and Newark, ah, as examples of why these programs could not possibly work and, and why they were in some instances counterproductive, that, that, that they may have, they may have been the underlying reasons for some of the unrest that was, was, ah, that was brought about because people were expecting to get something for nothing. They were expecting to get government help and they were expressing a frustration that it was so little and so late or never came at all. So, ah, there was a, ah, a political, a negative political dimension to the riots, absolutely.


OK, Cut.