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I guess they knew we couldn't buy them. A few get the commodities but you have to answer a whole lot of questions.
Some of the folders are that thick and we still don't qualify because we have a little land over here, the Government says you have a little property, maybe an acre or something like that, you are not qualified for a handout.
I did not come out for this handout. I am a proud Indian. We are proud of our heritage in America. I come here to seek jobs and ask for whatever you have to give to us as extra.
That is all I am asking for. Again I want to mention the space program. If God wanted people out in space to live on the moon he would have put people there.
You are fooling yourselves to think you are going to get up there and live. You had better use that money and give it back to us so that we can live while we are here on earth.
Thank you for your time.
Reverend ABERNATHY. We will hear now briefly, because we don't want to run late anymore, from Denver, Colo., at this time. I introduce Rudolpho Gonzalez.
STATEMENT OF RUDOLPHO GONZALEZ, DENVER, COLO.
Mr. GONZALEZ. My name is Rudolpho Gonzalez. I am chairman of the Crusade for Justice, a Mexican-American civil rights organization based in Denver, Colo.
I would like to make some comments about the different programs that this administration and the Labor Department seem to be so proud about.
I would like to make this statement that most of your stereotype, Anglo stereotype programs are a flop and a farce. Your MDTA programs which are supposed to provide training for our people are usually training for positions as cooks and cleanup women.
Your on-the-job training programs have been used by private industry to be able to pay less to the employees and then drop them before they become experienced enough to take a job, so that they can hire more of them, getting this Government money to be able to operate without having to pay out of their own pockets.
Many of them who work in the OJÎ programs get up in positions where they can become union people but they are dropped before this period of time when they are experienced and trained enough to do the job.
Your pilot programs are merely another method of helping municipalities hire people to wash and clean their floor, clean their windows and pick the weeds and papers. This is no kind of training to take our people out of the nontraditional jobs.
I think many of your programs are strictly what we call the name game. You have so many agencies that use the same name to justify their own existence and to fatten their bureaucratic expenditures.
You control the administration, you control the political world, therefore, there is no democracy for the minorities. If we have some program, work-training program of any kind, it must become part of the manpower-training board. So we have one out of 30 in a discriminating racist State like Colorado, New Mexico, or Texas or California, and the minority person cannot make any effective changes.
In fact, he then becomes just "window dressing” for the establishment.
The programs that you do put into effect have nothing to do with the culture or identification and the ethnic identification that is needed to make it productive and make it a positive and worthwhile program. Most of it is controlled by the politicians who have no feeling for the people and have only feeling for their own fat pocketbook.
The people are sick and tired of being used in a game to promote bureaucracy. To give you one fast example, in the State employment office, for instance, in Colorado, where I come from, the director, who is entrenched into politics and the Civil Service, says there is no discrimination.
Yet he keeps asking for Government money to build a $142 million youth opportunity center to hire 55 employees and all 55 of them could not talk their way out of a phone booth and do nothing to promote new jobs.
The State employment office acts as the main body of employment, yet only 20 percent of the people in our total working force across this country gain employment through our State employment offices.
The new agencies that are set up in work-training programs supposedly are nothing but satellite employment offices to sort of cool and calm the people down and to give a couple of "window dressing” people some big salaries. And again it is controlled by the MDTA boards, the OEO boards, community action program boards, so that nothing effectively is done for the people.
If one person asks for a job he is referred by the State employment office to one of these existing OJT programs. If there is nothing available they then refer him to an OEO action council there who also work for the employment office.
He also refers him to a title V program who then refers him to Labor Department agency who then refers him back to the employment office.
There are six or seven such agencies. If one man is hired all seven of them justify their existence for this one man hired. This is called the name game.
We have piles of brown envelopes coming from your offices, civil rights offices, civil service offices, with qualifications that cannot be met by our people.
The barriers that are set up become the educational barriers, the work experience barriers. The young people across the Nation do not have this experience.
It is simply a farce to drive our poor people, our economically depressed people, our minority people, into the Armed Forces.
There is no problem for our young people to pass a test for the Army and Navy and Marine Corps but it is sure a hard, difficult matter for them to pass a career service test, a civil service test and many of these employment tests set up by the racist private industries who really don't want to hire us and want to use this as a barrier to make us think we can't do the job.
We know we can do the work. Your people didn't have the experience either but they are working. We know that the fact is who you know and who your friends are. We are sick and tired of being spoonfed, of being misled, of being what we would call in our community jive and shut, and we are no longer going to put up with it.
If there is any employment program it is going to deal with the minorities in our area particularly.
It is going to be that the decisions and the policy is going to be made by our people to affect our people. We are sick and tired of the great Anglo ingenuity that makes money off the poor by setting up studies, programs and agencies.
We are sick and tired of the fact that welfare perpetuates welfare in order to provide an employment field for people who run the program.
We finally evaluated the situation and we realize that every kind of agency, every kind of program is simply another pork barrel to fatten up the bureaucracy. We want the programs, and we want the employment doors open down at the bottom.
We want to be able to gain the dignity that we can also learn. I would say in the Southwest where I am from, the Mexican-American who is a semi-indigenous person, being Indian and Spanish, has been overly neglected.
For instance, you use none of the human resources of the Southwest. There is no unemployment problem for the people coming from the East who are Anglos or come from Oklahoma or Texas or coming from even the Deep South, and work in the Southwest.
Industries that move to the Southwest bring their eastern contractors who bring their own people. There should be a law set up to make sure that the human natural resources in those areas be utilized.
We are not part of the 2.5 or 3 unemployment percentage. We are part of the 8 to 24 percent of the unemployment percentage.
We demand now that this be changed. We demand also that our education system quit counseling our kids to go to the war, to lose their blood when they can't gain some kind of economic comfort, a guaranteed income, clean clothes.
Senator Clark. Will you suspend for just a minute.
I understand that Dr. Abernathy and Mr. Young have an appointment at 11:30. Now you want to be on time today. So, I would suggest that unless members of the subcommittee have questions they would like to direct to Dr. Abernathy and Mr. Young, that they be permitted to leave and then I will be able to stay here and listen to the representatives of the poor who wish to be heard.
Do members of the subcommittee have any questions to ask Dr. Young or Dr. Abernathy?
Reverend ABERNATHY. Mr. Chairman, could we stay about 15 more minutes ?
Senator CLARK. You can stay all day, Doctor, if you want to.
Reverend ABERNATHY. Then I think we can still make the appointment if we make our statements as brief is possible. I would like to hear as many of my colleagues speak before leaving as possible.
Senator CLARK. Fine. If a few members of the subcommittee wich to interrupt to ask Dr. Abernathy and Dr. Young questions now they may.
Senator Javits. I think Senator Prouty's suggestion is desirable. After all, we have tried very hard, that has been very clear, and the idea is to arouse something of deep interest in this matter.
I think that the poor themselves who are testifying certainly are the best advocates. I would personally like to hear them.
I would suggest, Dr. Abernathy, that you do allocate your time because you would not want one section or one particular point of view to take all the time.
Senator CLARK. I am going to make a suggestion and see if you agree with this, Dr. Abernathy. We let the gentleman finish his statement and then we impose the 5-minute rule on each of your colleagues with the understanding if they can't get through in that time we will give them more time later.
Is that agreeable ?
Mr. GONZALEZ. I will be glad to relinquish my time for you to hear the honest experienced statements of the other people who are here. I think that I have covered most of the programs and I feel that what they have to say will be of utmost importance.
Senator CLARK. Thank you very much.
Reverend ABERNATHY. Yes, we would like for Mr. Robert Fulcher who represents the poor white of this country to speak now.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT FULCHER, STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
Mr. FULCHER. Mr. Chairman, I am from an area that we call colonies instead of States, which is the Appalachia area, particularly West Virginia.
The programs that are being sent out by our Government into these areas are put into the hands of the wrong people in the first place.
The programs and the money have completely vanished by the time it gets to the poor for their use in the first place.
We in West Virginia are not asking for a handout. I know a lot of people would think that it is a matter of West Virginia, but we think it is a matter of this great Senate of ours. Because in West Virginia, as you know, automation has completely cut the employment rate in the mining area to nothing and any time there is any program set up for training it has to be for people under 35.
Now I gave my life to the coal mines, I am a disabled coal miner. I went in when I was 15 and I got hurt 10 years ago. But I do know what the best labor in the coal mines runs from 35 to 55. This is for true.
West Virginia happens to be the 12th wealthiest State in the Nation in natural resources for its size and what it puts into the economy,
but so much unemployment, so many poor people live in the Appalachia area, now that resources are taken out in the raw form, moved to other areas, and this way being processed and distributed in the market as the product to be distributed over the country.
Now we in West Virginia would like to take the natural resources and process them in West Virginia, put the West Virginians back to work.
Then we would not have to ask for handouts. We would then have sufficient labor for all our people in West Virginia.
Our natural resources are being taken from us with nothing in return, just like the colonies were in the old days.
There is no severance tax on any type of our natural resources. This is being taken from us and we are contributing to the economy of the United States and we have people in West Virginia who are starving when there is absolutely no need for it with all of the wealth that we have.
You talk about the wealth of the Nation. To be a small State, as West Virginia-as I said a minute ago, it rates No. 12 in wealth of the United States—why should there be starvation in West Virginia ?
Why should there not be jobs for people in West Virginia when there is plenty to be had there if it was used right?
We would like you to take that very much in consideration. Also in Kentucky there is very, very little consideration given to the poor concerning the strip mining there. They do not have a strip mining law that protects the poor in Kentucky:
The man who owns the mineral rights in Kentucky can bulldoze your house over and take it without any recourse whatsoever.
The people in Kentucky need some type of protection from this thing.
The people have to live on the ground after they take what is under the ground
out. Now coal mining, as I said, is no easy thing. It is a hard labor, it is a labor that a man devotes almost his life to once he starts into it.
He has no time to stop to get an education. No time to do anything because he is in that dark hole. He is in there most of the time.
He very seldom ever sees daylight due to the fact that he works overtime a lot of times. Many a time I have spent 20 and 21 hours in those holes. Many times I worked 7 days a week in those holes trying to get a piece of machinery ready to mine coal.
Önce you are disabled or become of age you are like some animal, you are turned loose with no recourse whatsoever. I say this: One piece of machinery in a coal mine that employs eight men now where it used to employ 80 men-if these companies made money at that time when the 80 men were working, what are they doing now with eight men working?
Why can't there be some type of insurance or some type of protection set up for these coal miners?
From this and from the automation, if the automation is going to replace the people, what in Heaven's name is doing to happen to us? Just like in the Deep South, on the farms, automation has replaced the people on the farm.
Now there is no recourse whatsoever for a living. Are we going to let machines replace human beings and turn human beings loose as if they were nothing ?
It is time that this be taken in consideration. I speak of the coal industry. As of right now these people are making tremendous amounts of money. You have these miners who have devoted their lives to these people. Most of them have silicosis today and can't even breathe. They can't even walk up steps.
This thing should be considered. A man should be refunded or taken care of to where he could hold his head up in dignity, not in shame,