Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 763

three times the rate for blacks, you know, minorities. And I guess they block it off--say, well, you know, “Too bad, we can't concentrate on this.”

Almost everyone knows that for minority teenagers, the normative unemployment rate is about 50 percent. What generally is not associated is that the crime rate is directly related to this normative excessive unemployment rate among minority teenagers.

You know, when I go into a MacDonald's or some of these fast food places, and I see almost all white teenagers behind there and rarely a black teenager, I look at it, and I, honestly, I must say to you, I laugh. I laugh and I cry inside and I say, “Tomorrow I'll see in the papers: ‘Muggers, and we just do something to make our streets safe, etc.' and nobody to my knowledge will associate making the streets safe with changing this pattern of discriminatory employment of young people.”

But, you know, what the hell. I just sometimes have a feeling that America and American society have a vested interest in a kind of institutionalized stupidity. It wants to remain ignorant of some very obvious social, racial relationships.

But, OK --....... I've got to go.


When you mentioned another clinical approach, did I draw the correct inference, that you were trying to instruct these children that they should not accept these poor living, educational conditions; that they should not try to adjust to that? Which reminds me of something Martin Luther King would say -- “If not adjusting to these conditions means being maladjusted, then I want to be maladjusted.”

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help