Newark NJ is a ghetto

: Negro uprising in Newark


Read on one side

It is true that the great civil rights laws passed by Congress in 1964 promised equal rights and equal opportunities to the black American after decades of humiliation. But to this day they still offer him little more than a glimpse of a distant golden future.

Doesn't the dying of thirst get mad when he thinks he sees an oasis in the desert, doesn't the starving break the window of a grocery store when he knows that there is no one to fall into his arms? This is the situation of the twenty million people in a black ghetto, of whom only a tiny minority finds connection with the materially upper class of the Americans, of whom only a few succeed in making the leap into the established class of recognized people, of whom only then and when someone is accepted as a senator, as a diplomat, as a federal judge or as a minister, as a fig leaf for the bad conscience of the white ruling class.

The ruling order was using the same tools in Newark as it had used to put down Negro riots in dozens of cities over the past three summers. Governor Richard Hughes mobilized the National Guard and ordered three thousand heavily armed soldiers to march into the city, plus 375 uniformed officers from the New Jersey State Police. The reports from Newark on the television screens made it difficult to tell whether the scenes took place in Vietnam or in an American industrial city. Jeeps with mounted machine guns, storming soldiers with mounted bayonets, armored cars on standby, barricades and barbed wire, looters who are being led away. A ten-year-old boy who was shot by his mother to throw a bag of rubbish in the trash can and who was called by his mother was shot. Large fires raged through Broad Street or Springfield Avenue on those nights. The police report reported 25 dead, 1,100 injured and 1,300 arrested.

The white ruling class clings to the fact that the Newark riot, like that in other cities, is the work of a criminal, radicalized minority. She believes that she only has to be opposed to brutal violence, and she thinks that all of this is a problem that can be solved by police means. She fights the rebellion of the black ghetto with that feeling of revenge and hatred that is reflected in the shouts of white passers-by from Newark to the advancing National Guard: "Shoot the niggers", or in the words of an officer: "If I give the order then it reads: Shoot to kill. " Housing Secretary Weaver, black cabinet member of the Johnson administration, told a Senate committee a day later: "The Newark incidents are the result of decades of neglect and indifference. It will take a gigantic effort to change that."

But bourgeois white America does not want to make this very effort. Materially it would be able to do so, but there is no will to integrate the black American socially, to accept him as a member of American society. He remains isolated, he lives in a superficially humanized apartheid. His moderate leadership is losing influence because its attempt to negotiate equality with the white American has failed. The ghetto is increasingly joining an anarchist minority, the currents of "black power", which can only discharge itself in blind turmoil because it is powerless in the face of the power of the whites.

Three long and bloody summers in America have shown that the reality of black and white antagonism cannot be overcome by law. Countless reports and studies by experts show that, despite the need to integrate schools, segregation is greater than ever. The income statistics make it clear: Despite the rise of some colored people into skilled occupations, the gap between the prosperity of whites and the poverty of colored people is widening. A look into the streets and neighborhoods of American cities reveals more drastic than any scholarly investigation: white and black remain separate from one another.

The administration headed by Lyndon Johnson, despite well-intentioned resolutions, has neither the courage nor the will to confront the American people with the real consequences of this latent civil war. The American Negro, the American Mexican and the American Indian, they are all too weak as a minority to assert their claims. But even as minorities they are too strong to be ignored by the nation and to be thrown on the social garbage heap.