1969 - Fed of Souther Co-ops
NOT AN EXACT TEXT
Before I begin, let me say I am grateful to the
staff of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives for their
help in preparing this address; without them I could not present it'
to you today; without them, I might add, thousands of Southern
rural black people would be starving today.
Poverty, American style, has its geographical roots in rural America.
The last two years have shown an upsurge in interest in recognizing
that there are millions of poor Americans, a disproportionate share
of them black.
We declared war against their condition in 1964. Unlike
the war in Vietnam, this war was debated in Congress. Unlike the
war in Vietnam, this war had difficulty getting funds. But like the
war in Vietnam, our generals told us we were winning this war while
all along we should have known we were losing and the enemy, like in the
war in Vietnam, has been winning.
As in Biafra, it must have been the sight of the hungry, starving
children which caught this nation's attention. It was horrifying for
Americans to see the swelled bellies, listless eyes of starving children
in a country with 60 billion automobiles and 70 million television sets.
It was shocking to discover:
- this country spends as much for chewing gum as for Model
- we spend as much for hair dye as for grants to urban mass
- we spend as much for pet food as we do on food stamps for
- we spend as much or more for tabacco than the government
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