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You’ve got to get ready to spit: ah-ptoo, right at them. What they need running this is a guy who’s hungry, whether he’s white, black, green, or brown.” Negroes who were at the meeting described Kelley’s performance as “grassrooting.” O’Conner explained the term: “When a white cat eliminates his white diction, he’s grassrootin’.” They said that Kelley had spent $8 on beer \(“It wasn’t his guage he had substituted for white diction had been rather too coarse for use before the ladies who were present. From the Negro point of view, the meeting had not been a success; it was viewed as a beadsto-the-natives venture. ALTHOUGH, by this writing, neither of Houston’s dailies had made the matter public, the regional Office of Economic Opportunity in Austin is considering a request from Kelley’s group for $5.3 million in federal funds for the year ahead, and this sum is aside from the $1.9 million asked to run Project Head Start in Houston this summer. When the Economic Opportunity Act became law in 1964, Mayor Welch dispatched aides to Washington to talk things over. The city’s first plan was to redevelop the Acres Homes area outside the city limits. This work was to be done by private contractors utilizing workers whose salaries would be paid by the 0E0 in exchange for on-the-job training. The federal government said no. The matter of poverty planning was dropped until the winter of 1965, when Welch declined to join Elliott in naming a city-wide planning committee because he viewed the EOA as “a mass of utter confusion. Perhaps the confusion is due to a lack of communication, but whatever it is, it’s there.” Finally, the committee was set up with lawyer Leon Jaworski appointed as its head. That committee of 60 proposed to spend $1.3 milion over a ten-month period on development, research, small business development, rehabilitation of families receiving aid to dependent children, day care centers for 175 children of needy mothers, and to fund the Houston Council on Human Relations, an independent group still in operation, in training volunteers for service projects to the poor. The proposal was rejected by the Austin regional office of the OEO, which said that the poor didn’t have enough voice in the planning and that the program did not establish cooperation between the social agencies involved. Jaworski was displeased. The Houston Post ran an editorial cartoon depicting an Austin OEO administrator as an ape rejecting Houston’s request because the little figure of John Q. Public before his desk was wearing a clean shirt. Mayor Welch said he had no intention of naming a new committee, but two days later, he added the names of 14 representatives of poor neighborhoods, and eight Negroes were on the list. The plan which this group has drawn seeks $2.2 million for conduct and administration of programs, $1.3 milion for year 4 The Texas Observer round child development, $1.2 million for child day care, and $751,982 for legal services to the poor to be administered through the Houston Legal Foundation, the group of lawyers which asked for money only when it seemed that another group, headed by the Negro dean of TSU’s law school, was about to get the funds. The OEO defends the Houston program’s heavy schedule of child-help projects by explaining that the development and daycare plans will offer health help for the families of the children enrolled. Mrs. Perry said that she has found in her studies that Negroes are much more mindful of their children’s progress than the white leaders believe and that this is why school segregation, more than any other problem, has captured the interest of Negroes who might have remained aloof from organized dissent. Fr. Stevens, O’Conner, and one or two others who told the Observer they wanted their names left out have viewed the plan’s emphasis on children as stemming from the relative success of Project Head Start there last summer, as a way of providing the boost to Negro education which the school board has been reluctant to supply as a matter of course, `What they need running this is a guy who’s hungry’ and, in a most critical interpretation, to supply baby-sitters for domestic help. Additionally, the Observer has learned that a separate and ambitious job-training program may be opened in Houston this year, but the matter is not public, and is being considered in the secrecy oddly characteristic of those who wish to help the Negroes of the Houston ghetto. FINALLY, what is the difference between the third and fifth wards of Houston and the cluster of Negro neighborhoods in Los Angeles which turned into an arena of incendiary Negro nationalism? Mayor Welch disagrees with those who say trouble is close in Houston, although last September he reportedly placed the National Guard on ten-minute alert and cancelled all policemen’s leaves against the prospect of some sort of major trouble over the Labor Day weekend. Two months ago Welch saw for himself the ruins of last August’s Los Angeles riots and, upon returning to Houston, remarked, “This is not a slum area. It had substantial, well-kept single family residences. It didn’t look like and ghetto I’ve ever seen. It was not like Harlem or Lyons Avenue [in Houston’s Fifth Ward].” In fact, although Welch did not say so, it almost certainly looked like the Third Ward, where Houston’s race problem seems to be deepest and most troublesome. “After talking to a lot of people out there, I have a distinct feeling that nobody knows what caused last August’s trouble,” he said. “But it was complete anarchy. There does not appear to be any movement in that direction in our community.” Welch cited high unemployment in Watts as a major cause of riots there and pointed out that Houston’s unemployment rate is relatively low. Was he right in saying that no one knew what caused Watts? What is the psychic distance between Alameda Boulevard in Los Angeles and Almeda Avenue in Houston? Racing against a 100-day deadline imposed by political circumstances, John McCone’s commission on the Watts riots decided that three things were responsible, mostly, for the Watts outbreak: unemployment and idleness, cultural and educational backwardness of Negro children, and bad relations between police and Negroes. It was, of course, the arrest of a Negro by white highway patrolmen which had catalyzed the Watts situation. Although Houston claims a low unemployment rate, the work Negroes must take is mostly a matter of sweeping and lifting. A particular sore spot is ‘industry which locates in the ghettoes for tax benefits and then erects a barrier between itself and the deprivation across the street. An example which concerns Negro militants is a chemical company on Houston’s east side. The plant has built an attractive park with a “Dixie Little League” ballfield for the use of white boys playing under the company’s sponsorship. Driving past the handsome park, you can look across the street to Negro boys kicking rocks as a game. Through the poverty committee appointed by Welch, the city has expressed its concern for the backwardness of Negro children which the McCone commision cited in its report, but, ‘aside from Head Start, Houston has no large-scale program to remedy the situation. In fact, the city’s school board has, according to a liberal member of the panel, Mrs. ‘Howard Barnstone, chosen to turn down $2 million a year in federal aid for use in schools white and black. This money could be used to lower the price of school lunches \(to two or three cents instead of seven for language, history, math, geography, civics, and reading classroom equipment; to build new vocational training facilities for the teen-aged students getting ready to enter the job market without skills; and to improve, through the schools instead of through separate programs, the education of the poor. Other factors which the McCone Commission ignored or did not discover are brought up in an article by Robert Blauner, a sociologist at the University of California at Berkeley, in the March-April issue of Trans action, ‘Washington University’s journal of social science. Blauner, who advised the McCone commission, wrote that the rioters were not only nationalists bent on destroying “whitey’s” property, although that happened, but included the “average” Negro whom the city of Los Angeles, as the city of Houston, had counted upon to remain quiescent. Blauner viewed -the uprising as an expression of community identity, a revolt against a form of urban colonialism in which the white power structure attempted to control the Negro community through “native” leaders who