(Online Participant) Speech on the failures of the Nixon Administration, November 1969

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JULIAN BOND

NOW THAT THE NATION HAS CHANGED LEADERS AND THE NEW SET HAS HAD A CHANCE TO OPERATE FOR SOME MONTHS, ONE HAS HAD TIME TO CONSIDER EXACTLY WHAT WILL BE THE ATTITUDE OF THE NEW FACES IN WASHINGTON TOWARD TIRED OLD FACES OF THE POOR, THE HUNGRY, AND THE BLACK.

IT DOES NOT PRESENT A PRETTY PICTURE.

THE LONG FINGERS OF AMERICAN MIGHT ARE STILL STICKING IN OTHER PEOPLE'S PIES. MORE THAN 500,000 AMERICAN SOLDIERS ARE STILL ENGAGED IN TRYING TO TELL THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE WHAT KIND OF GOVERNMENT THEY CAN HAVE AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES.

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ON THE CAMPUS, ATTEMPTS AT REFORM ARE REBUFFED, AND ATTEMPTS AT REVOLUTION ARE SUPRESSED. YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE DISCOVERED THAT OUR FINEST UNIVERSITIES HOLD INVESTMENTS IN SLAVE MINES, OR RESEARCH THE BEST WAYS TO DEFOLIATE JUNGLES AND PEOPLE.

ALL AMERICANS HAVE LEARNED OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS THAT THE MACHINERY THAT WE ARE TOLD WAS BUILD TO PROTECT US COLLEGE DEANS AND THEIR MACHINERY, COUNTY SHERIFFS AND THEIR MACHINERY, POLITICAL PARTIES AND THEIR MACHINERY, AMERICAN PRESIDENTS AND THEIR MACHINERY - WERE IN FACT BENT ON SUPRESSING THOSE WITH WHOM THEY DEALT.

WE REPUDIATED last november A POTENTIAL PRESIDENT OF THE TYPE WHO PREACHED PEACE AND PRACTICED WAR. WE ELECTED ON WHO HAS YET TO DEMONSTRATE HE HAS ANY CONCERN FOR THE POOR AND THE BLACK.

FOR SOME AMERICANS last year, POLITICS FAILED COMPLETELY.

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ONE POTENTIAL CANDIDATE FELL VICTIM TO AN ASSASIN'S BULLET; ANOTHER WAS STILLED BY PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY.

BUT SOME LESSONS DIDN'T HAVE TO BE LEARNED.

IT DIDN'T TAKE A KERNER REPORT FOR BLACK PEOPLE TO DISCOVER THAT WHITE PEOPLE WERE OUR PROBLEM, AND NOT WE THEIRS.

IT DIDN'T TAKE EUGENE MCCARTHY FOR SOME AMERICANS TO SEE THAT WAR AGAINST LIBERATION AND PEOPLE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WAS WRONG, AND IT TOOK ONLY A FEW HOURS LAST AUGUST, IN CHICAGO AND PRAGUE, TO SEE THAT MACHINES WILL CRUSH LIBERTY WHEREVER IT APPEARS.

BUT OVERALL, that WAS A LEARNING YEAR. YOUNG WHITES LEARNED .. AND ARE STILL LEARNING.. THEIR LESSONS AGAINST TRUSTEES AND REGENTS AND DEANS. OLDER PEOPLE LEARNED IT AGAINST THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN AND THE WARD BOSS. BLACKS LEARNED IT AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE.

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THE LESSONS LEARNED WERE SIMPLE. AN OLD BLACK ABOLITIONIST, FREDERICK DOUGLASS, STATED IT WELL WHEN HE SAID: "POWER CONCEDES NOTHING WITHOUT A DEMAND; IT NEVER HAS AND NEVER WILL. FIND OUT JUST WHAT ANY PEOPLE WILL QUIETLY SUBMIT TO, AND YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THE EXACT MEASURE OF INJUSTICE AND WRONG WHICH WILL BE IMPOSED UPON THEM, AND THESE WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THEY ARE RESISTED WITH EITHER WORDS, OR BLOWS, OR BOTH. THE LIMITS OF TYRANTS ARE PRESCRIBED BY THE ENDURANCE OF THOSE WHOM THEY OPPRESS."

WE MUST FIGHT THE BATTLES STILL TO BE FOUGHT AND WON. THE CONTINUING BATTLE AGAINST FASCISM WILL BE MOST DIFFICULT. THE POLICE STATE TACTICS WHICH BEGAN IN THE SOUTH AGAINST BLACKS, WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE CAMPUS FOR USE AGAINST STUDENTS, INTO THE STREETS OF CHICAGO FOR USE AGAINST EVERYONE, AND WHICH ARE NOW BEING

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AIMED AT MILITANT GROUPS LIKE THE PANTHERS MUST BE HALTED.

THE USE OF THE COURTS AND LAW AND ORDER AS AN INSTRUMENT OF REPRESSION CAN BE SEEN NOWHERE AS CLEARLY AS IN THE PERSECUTION OF DR. SPOCK AND IN THE CURIOUS CASE NOW GOING ON IN CHICAGO, IN WHICH EIGHT PEOPLE ARE CHARGED WITH THE UNLIKELY OFFENSE OF CONSPIRING TO INCITE THE CHICAGO POLICE TO RIOT.

ANOTHER STRUGGLE WHICH HAS TO BE SUPPORTED IS THE BATTLE TO HALT WELFARE PROGRAMS FOR RICH PEOPLE. THIS MUST BE THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHICH RUNS ITS ECONOMY ON CAPITALISM FOR POOR PEOPLE AND SOCIALISM FOR RICH PEOPLE.

WE ANNUALLY SPEND MORE MONEY ON PET FOOD THAN WE DO ON FOOD STAMPS. WE POUR VAST FEDERAL SUBSIDIES INTO THE OIL INDUSTRY AND THE COTTON INDUSTRY. WE GAVE GENTLEMAN FARMER SENATOR JAMES O. EASTLAND $140,000 IN FARM SUBSIDIES, IN EFFECT PAYING HIM FOR DOING NOTHING. BUT NO ONE SAYS THAT EASTLAND IS LAZY, AND SHIFTLESS AND A WELFARE BUM. SOME WEEKS AGO, THE UNITED STATES HOUSE

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