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was the "inadequate investigation by the police authorities, once a complaint is made against a policeman. . . .""
Not only were the channels of communication to police authorities unclear in Cleveland, but Negroes who did present grievances were discouraged from pursuing them. District commanders had discretion to determine how they would handle complaints. Gerald Rademaker, commanding officer of the police district encompassing Hough, testified at the Cleveland hearing that when somebody "makes a complaint which on its face is facetious, doesn't appear to have any ground at all," " he tells the complainant:
Look, investigating complaints takes quite a bit of time
The inspector told a Commission staff investigator, and confirmed at the hearing, that "this practice usually resolved the matter.'
The main problem is money
That is our main problem,
money. . . . But even with my working, the money I get from
Mrs. Alyce Friels, a resident of Gary, was identifying what she thought was the principal problem of ghetto residents in that city. The problem of money is a general one in slum areas. A substantial percentage of nonwhite families have an annual income of less than $3,000.2 In Cleveland's Central West area, one-half of the nonwhite families reported incomes below $3,000. In Boston, about 31 percent of nonwhite families had incomes below this amount.*
In November 1966, the Department of Labor surveyed slum areas in eight major cities of the United States in order to obtain a more detailed picture of employment and poverty problems. The Department's report showed that almost half of the families surveyed received income solely from sources such as welfare or AFDC, unemployment compensation, or other nonemployment sources.
The Labor Department's study took into account not only persons who are unemployed and looking for work but also persons not counted in the standard unemployment statistics-people working part-time but seeking full-time work, heads of households under 65 years of age employed full-time but earning less than $60 per week, persons who are not heads of households employed full-time but earning less than $56 per week, and unemployed males of working age not looking for work. In the predominantly Negro Bayside district of Oakland, the study found that the subemployment rate-based on all these categories-was at least 30 percent." Twenty-four percent of Bayside families reported annual incomes of less than $3,000 and 10 percent of Bayside men 35 to 44 years of age had just given up-they were neither working nor looking for work.
Many older Negro men have been displaced by automation because Negroes tend to hold unskilled jobs which are made unnecessary by machines. Dr. Carlton Goodlett, a physician, newspaper publisher and former President of the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP, discussed this problem:
[T]he machines are replacing the least technical workers and where you have hundreds of people who formerly operated elevators, and many people who were janitors, machines [are] doing these types of work now, and the Negroes who have acquired jobs in this industry that are being automated are the first to be fired because they lack seniority... and a tremendous number of people are in the mid-passage years between 42 and 65. They are too old to compete in an automated society, but yet too young to go on social security, and this is the helpless generation.... The hope is very bleak for them.
Unemployment among teenagers is an even more serious problem in slum areas.10 In the Bayside district, 41 percent of all teenagers were unemployed;" in the Fillmore-Mission (predominantly Negro and Spanish surname) district of San Francisco, the rate was 35.7 percent." An unemployed teenager in a slum ghetto-unlike an unemployed white middle-class youth-is likely to have no family to support him. On the contrary, he is apt to feel responsible for providing support for his family-among them the mother, brothers and sisters of whom James Richards spoke.
Mark Comfort, who worked for more than two years with Negro youth in Oakland, told the Commission that Federal programs were providing jobs for only a small fraction of those who needed employment:
this year you will have anywhere from between twenty and twenty-five thousand black youth on the streets of Oakland, not to speak of the Mexican, not to speak of the poor whites that live in the Flatland areas that will be seeking employment, and that out of a million and some eight hundred thousand dollars that the Central Labor Council gets from the Federal Government we can only place 500 people on these jobs among the youth from sixteen to twenty-one.
Mr. Comfort also thought that jobs made available through the antipoverty program did not pay a decent salary-"$1.25 an hour, $1.30, perhaps $1.35 this year."
ev. Paul Younger, a minister in the Hough area of Cleveland, fied:
... most people want jobs at a living wage. Some of our
Orville Luster told the Commission that these young men did not it "dead end" jobs:
Our whole attitude and idea about a man's worth is where
Mr. Luster was asked how the young people in his group-70 to 80 percent unemployed-subsisted. He said:
... I think that some of the young people who do get
Living on Welfare
For children in families with an absent or handicapped father, for women who must support their children, for the aged and the disabled, public assistance often is the principal means of support.18 In Hough, for example, one-fifth of the nonwhite population was supported by payments under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (known as AFDC or ADC).19 AFDC is financed jointly by the States and the Federal Government. All States have established monetary standards which they regard as the minimum necessary for a family to live in health and decency. In 42 States welfare payments fail to meet the States' own standards.20
In 1966, the Ohio Department of Public Welfare considered a cash payment of $224 a month to be necessary to provide a mother and three children with a minimum standard of health and decency based
on 1959 prices. But in 1966 the maximum payment that could be made to a family of four under State law was only $170.21 This amount included the maximum rent allowance of $90, a sliding allowance fixed according to the rent actually paid. Evidence at the Cleveland hearing, however, established that this was not enough to obtain decent housing.
Mrs. Allie Anderson, who received AFDC payments, was asked why she kept trying to find a better apartment. She testified:
I don't see any sense in paying $80 to $90 a month for
Assuming that an AFDC recipient in Cleveland paid a rent no higher than the $90 maximum rent allowance, $80 remained-an amount insufficient to buy food, clothing, soap, school supplies and other items required to support three children and their mother.24
The Indiana Public Welfare Department estimated that a mother with three children needed $237 a month. But the maximum payable to such a family under Indiana law was $126.25
Mrs. Jacqueline Taylor, appearing at an open meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee in Gary, was asked to comment on the statement often made that "ADC mothers have it pretty easy." She replied: I have heard people say it lots of times. They think we have it so easy. I would like to see anyone, anyone, to step forward, to change his good job for my position, his nice home, you know, just his nice position.
In other words, if he wants my place, let him take it for
Mrs. Taylor spoke of the difficulties she had in getting nourishing food for her children with her welfare check:
It's very difficult to get food for this small amount of