Title Slate: The Eleventh Hour - #223, White Hate, Rec: 9/20/89, Dir. Andrew Wilk
Reel opens to clip of a gray haired official speaking to the press stating "he needs to come out of the side door because of the press..."
Host Robert Lipsyte narrates over a clip of Bernhard Goetz, newspaper articles: "Goetz given 1 year in subway shooting"; Black and whites drift apart over Goetz case"
Bernhard Goetz getting out of car, surrounded by media and cameramen
clips (dark footage) of police helping injured man lying on the ground
The Eleventh Hour graphic.
Funding for the show by announcer and overlay the Eleventh Hour graphic.
Show graphics and opener.
Host Robert Lipsyte welcomes viewers to the show and introduces himself.
Host Lipsyte talking about topic for tonight's program, White Fear and Hatred due to the several recent shootings (killings) by "white gunman" vigilantes. Lipsyte announces his upcoming guests.
Title card for scene of the play, "Aven'u Boys by Frank Pugliese
Clip of a scene from the controversial play "Aven'u Boys".
Back to Host Robert Lipsyte, he announces the opening of the play at "The Space" on west 17th street and tells viewers the play is based on the killing of a black man 8 years ago (1981) in Brooklyn but evokes the recent sights and sounds in Bensonhurst.
Cutaway to montage of recent clips (circa 1989) of happenings in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn: African American people marching arm in arm down the streets accompanied by police on motorcycle, angry white mob, group of police officers walking together, newspaper headlines: "Angry crowd taunts 300 marchers in Bensonhurst", "A Victim of Racism"; a crowd of angry white people chanting
close up pair of African American hands clasped, long pink fingernails
African American male official speaking into megaphone.
Angry young mob of white folk yelling, "go home, go home"
Group of white boys, arm in arm shouting "we just don't like black people"
Group of angry African Americans waving flag and chanting.
Angry mob of white folk chanting "USA USA" as group of African Americans marching down the street
Large crowd of angry shouting people, whites vs. blacks, pushing, shoving in Brooklyn neighborhood
Pan lineup on the street of police officers in helmets, motorcycle police going down the street
White protestors carrying huge sign, "Bensonhurst is Ours"
Another sign carried by protestors in Brooklyn, "We are all Gods Children, Death Hurts All..."
Older white women marching slowly down the street followed by other protestors
Two very emotional young white women standing closely together, both in tears, speaking with unseen reporter, they say "there's no reason why a 15 year old boy should be killed because he's black". Comments on the killing of Yusef (Yusuf) Hawkins in August 1989.
White man holding child at protest march "I think its a tragedy; I also think the woman in Central Park was a tragedy" comments on race relations, 1989 Central Park jogger rape case and the killing of Yusef (Yusuf) Hawkins in August 1989.
montage people demonstrating, marching down Brooklyn streets holding flags - separately, blacks vs. whites.
Older white woman speaking with unseen reporter into mic pointed at her states, "I'm sure all mothers feel the way I do, he's a human being there's no reason to have this"
Comment on the killing of Yusef (Yusuf) Hawkins in August 1989.
Angry Black man surrounded by other black people speaking into several mic pointed at him states, "My son, will never turn this corner again..." "Only because this (pointing downward), the pigment of his skin"..."this is what America must learn, that we are no longer going to take this"...
Fade out to the Eleventh Hour studio. Host Robert Lipsyte introduces his first guest, The Reverend Herbert Daughtry, Assemblyman Mike Barbaro, Gabe Talese Author, Frank Pugliese, Playwright.
Frank, is that what Avenue boys was telling us?
Frank Pugliese 10:17
Well, the whole play the whole plays essentially the whole plays about these guys but and again, it's only three three isolated people out of the whole Bensonhurst in the play also is about how I mean it the whole Bensonhurst is not all about these three guys. I mean, these are like bullies, and everybody's scared about bullies. And I was trying to get at what makes bullies Bullies. Why is their vocabulary of violence? why they're not enough jobs? I mean, there's a lot of social issues that that that these guys have to deal with. And I think you have to solve those to get those guys somewhere close to where they can interact in a human way with each other. I mean, I get I get upset when everybody calls me every stop calling everybody animals and stuff. I mean, I mean, I want to make it clear because I don't want to spend the whole time defending these three men that I don't at all try to portray Bensonhurst as these three guys. That is not the point of the play at all.
Robert Lipsyte 10:59
When Reverend Giorgio when you walk through Bensonhurst, what did you feel? And what did you see? Did you see those three guys? And did you see other guys?
Rev Herbert Daughtry 11:06
Oh, surely I saw those that element. But I saw another element of which I've spoken on a number of occasions, I saw the element two young kids with whom I Converse, as I marched and who followed us amid some of the jeers, I saw people in the windows who gave me the thumbs up sign of victory signs. I saw people carrying Italian, the signs talion support the demonstrators. So there's clearly a mixture in Bensonhurst and an eye for one and I don't know of any other leaders that I know have ever tried to depict Bensonhurst as a monolithic racist community.
Robert Lipsyte 11:46
Gay in terms of the larger Italian American community is something going on there that breeds the kind of violence that Frank portrayed.
Gay Talese 11:59
I don't think it's a particular unique kind of violence that's endemic in the Italian community. I as a observer of this beginning of your show, Bob, I found myself offended by that segment, however, isolated the playwright may feel it is and I as a First Amendment absolutist would do nothing to change his right to say that but I also as an individual was personally offended perhaps if I were Jewish and you had your problems with with this with the question of the Israelis on your channel 13 you found not you but elements within this organization were responsive to and sensitive to Jewish or Israeli attitudes with the Italians by and large are not well represented in media I know this because I am one of the few that ever ever made a position for himself within the community of communications in this country. So we do not have where our feelings which mine were offended as I can't tell you too often here by that Oh, by the show beginning that way, because I felt that that we as as the sons and daughters of immigrants I am and from the same area with the Calabrian area which Mr. fama is now the villain of of this particular episode, and I feel that that Italians too frequently with the Scorsese's and playwrights this may be a very talented new Scorsese are always focusing on that very, very small dramatic, I think unrepresentative Italian if they're not gangsters. Thanks to Mr. Coppola. Then through Scorsese, it's the main streets type of person, which you will find in the in the in the in the Irish in the in the Jewish and they Polish in any ethnic element. However, media, communications, novelists, playwrights Gay Talese in Honor My father, although that was not a book about crime was more about sociology, I might add, but we are too often. And I find this too often in this community in this country, in fact, represented as this show represented us and I, for one did not find it very compatible with my own sense of what Italians are American Italians are
Robert Lipsyte 14:07
also dealing though with a piece of journalism and the fact that this murder did occur in Bensonhurst, and the killer allegedly is somebody of Italian
Gay Talese 14:17
I just want to argue as a communicator and I respect you very much as you know on your show, I like very much if you had people in this country who are from Jewish backgrounds represented as thugs pushing I suggest they're every bit as racist as Italians actually I don't think there's any lock hold on being racist because this is a very racist country. I don't for a moment think that we've made gains since the 1960s and Solman when Dr. King first brought his message to our land. Well, worse now than we were I say that's true
Robert Lipsyte 14:48
I remember you as a Times reporter covered it. You've covered Oh, yes, um, Frank, Frank, these these are your constituents, investors, and you were outraged too
Frank Barbaro 14:57
Yeah, I was and am upset with the clips that you had in the beginning of the show? Because see the the threshold question here is what is the responsibility? What is responsible reporting? And and I think the responsibility of reporting is to go below the surface. In other words, you presented Italians in a way that we've been depicted ever since we first came here. And we Italians are in a position that we need to defend ourselves. I'm an attorney. I'm a representative of the state assembly. I've been a good attorney, a good legislator, and I still have to deal with people using the the inferences of underworld connections. This is something that we Italian Americans are very sensitive to. So when you depict the avenue U boys in the way you did, I understand what you're doing.
Robert Lipsyte 15:54
just a minute because I mean, in terms of this, you need no defense. We have on this panel, one of the leading nonfiction writers in America, budding young playwright and an important New York politician. I mean, there's no there's no anti fighting connotation. But what happened in Bensonhurst.
Frank Barbaro 16:10
I will get to that if you permit me. You see, what the play did was show that small segment of our community that has fallen victim to the discrimination against Italian Americans in this country, to the isolation in the sense of not providing services to the Italian American community, and as a result, as Mr. Pugliese points out, you find these people that resort to violence. Now, getting to Bensonhurst. The media really hasn't covered that magnificent development in Bensonhurst during one of the marches. When the people of Bensonhurst said we're going to take the high ground, we are not going to allow the media to close in on those people who really don't represent us. And what was the message of the Italians in Bensonhurst that Reverend Daughtry talks about that message was we shouldn't be fighting among ourselves, we have problems just as the afro American community has problems. We have the third highest dropout rate in the state we have in Bensonhurst a 20% increase in crime, I'm sorry, a 30% increase in crime and a 20% decrease in police protection. So the issue here is this kind of a show, it seems to me needs to set the framework as you've done, but I suggest it was just too much. And what it does is it prevents us from articulating what is the dynamic? How do the people in Bensonhurst begin to reach out to the people in the afro American community who have to say
Reverend Daughtry you sense the beginning of that reaching out, but what's your feeling about this depiction and the racism against Italian Americans? I mean, that's not why were you marching in in Bensonhurst,
Rev Herbert Daughtry 17:54
or you raise up a question but the first one I I completely identify with the depiction, perhaps we more than anyone else ought to identify with that because we've been victimized by it, perhaps more than anybody else. So So I support the feeling and and I support criticism, now I marched in Bensonhurst because as I've marched for the last 30 years, where there is an injustice because a brutal act was done, and it's one of the avenues which is afforded us by the Constitution as a means of redress. So you march to to dramatize your march to sometime challenge you march to to gather allies. But most of all, I think you march to say, we've got to put an end to this kind of violence to Violence, and particularly in a new year
Robert Lipsyte 18:45
when he was talking about that kind of violence was that violence perpetrate in your mind you think that violence was perpetrated by Bensonhurst by Italian Americans by white America who or just some bad dumb kids?
Rev Herbert Daughtry 18:57
Well, I did that well. Interesting enough, that's something that I tried to deal with. And a piece that I did the op ed piece is we are we can't get around it we are we inherit a legacy. The End within the USA, the legacy that we inherit is one of racism, that in order to justify a slave situation, Africans were depicted as non human, which then became institutionalized, not our children surely imbibe some of this, more or less. So you can't dismiss that factor either. But I think in Bensonhurst, and what play did suggest to me and this was done eight years ago around another killing named Willie Willie Turks is that there is an element which we've got to deal with that, that that, that the Italian community along with all of us have to deal with that element, that they are those who who attack who hurt from a criminal standpoint, we have an awful lot of that in our community. However, there is an element that attack on racial lines, and we've got to come to grips with that element. So I could not help but raise the question in my mind. As I've been raising all along. Now I've Bensonhurst that now and Howard Beach all over the place. I like Dr. King's words, the tragedy of Birmingham wasn't what bad people did, but that good people did nothing. And if in fact, and maybe that's what my friend is trying to do in the play. Is that where, at least part of what he's trying to where do good people stand? What were the good people?
Frank Pugliese 20:29
That's what the play is about. You just cannot. You always hear about people. I didn't do enough. I just stood around. I didn't do anything. It wasn't my fault. But I don't think violence is acceptable in any way.
Gay Talese 20:42
In Bensonhurst, about which I know next to nothing, except what I read, which is, I guess what's wrong? What I read, I believe it gives a point of view that I don't feel as an Italian American, I want to identify what to say nothing about perhaps cannot. I have, however, a friend who's a journalist, and I respect him enormously and his name is Nick Pileggi. It's actually a relative I might be open about this, and he teaches in Bensonhurst in a school called new utrich. And he told me that he teaches and he sees in the lunch rooms of this high school, teaches English and journalism there one One day, a month or maybe more often, but he's a respected man who knows New York like few journalists, I believe. He says that there has always been since he's been there for a year or two, a closeness between black people and Italians and other residents of this Bensonhurst neighborhood. And they sit together at lunch, and they have a social integration, and they are. And so I don't believe that, that I've I haven't read that anywhere. I do trust Nick Pileggi's, insight and accuracy. But that certainly is not that we're hearing about your content.
Robert Lipsyte 21:49
Based on that, who do you think killed Yusef Hawkins? Who were they?
Gay Talese 21:55
I think they all recognize that among the lower element of this society. I mean, not ethnically Italian or any other. I mean, there is the South that is depicted by Faulkner the South the verse can call Well, just like the southerners who are poor, these Italians that you're dealing with are all from the deep south of Italy, and their mountain people in many of them have not had the advantages of intercultural relationships because they're isolated in isolation is very much insularity is very much the theme of Bensonhurst. And so you have these people from the isolated hills who have never been part of nationalism never had a government and immigrated in the 1880s 100 years ago, as a result of being rather a disenfranchised group, unlike not unlike your West Virginians, or your southerners from the deep south who you know a lot about from your
Frank Barbaro 22:44
I have to strongly disagree with that because if you're talking about crime, you know, if you look around in different states, you'll find that there are non Italians, where crime is going through the roof about that. So what I'm really saying is, I think, again, we're just touching the sun, your friends, you know, roughly what is the question of racism? How did racism began, it came to justify slavery, it was used to prevent the organization of unions to have white supremacist policies, which prevented white and black workers from coming together. So we need to understand it. And please let me finish we need to examine the historical perspective of racism. And what is racism mean to the Italian American? What does it mean to the afro American community? It means a deprivation of services. That's what we're talking about, keep the afro American community and the Italian American community apart, and then we don't struggle together. So we don't see housing. We don't see jobs. We don't see education. We don't see social services
Robert Lipsyte 23:42
You think somebody the media, whatever is manipulating two communities against each other
Frank Barbaro 23:48
No, I don't see it as that as oil. I see it as for instance, a paper like the new york times when they knew very well that Nixon was bombing Cambodia, and didn't say anything about it. I'm not talking about being said right now. What I'm saying is that I think we need to examine the fact, as Reverend Daughtry pointed out we need to get to the essence of it. Why are black people so upset over the murder of Yusef Hawkins? Well, if your your experience in America is one of lynchings ever since the Civil War and slavery before when you said Hawkins is is shot down in the minds of black people? That's a lynching and we have to come to terms with that
Robert Lipsyte 24:25
is that the first thing that you think that the afro American community flashed on? This was a lynching This was
Rev Herbert Daughtry 24:31
oh yeah, and all that that means, but I would like to just add this caveat. I think that Assemblyman Barbara was touching on the cost of the racist dimension that also come to play a class dimension, so that people who ought to be working together, this the same kind of the same kind of alienation that Italian youths experienced black youths experience, Latino youths experience, so however race, so often has been a kind of manipulative device that keep us separated so that we can't recognize it as Senator Barbaro indicated that something must be wrong with the school system if we have I was to turn I have 50% dropout or more than the hand and those kinds ofYeah. And rather than now being together trying to believe in the school system
Robert Lipsyte 25:19
Thank you so very much. Assemblyman Barbaro Frank Pugliese.
Interview concludes, Host Lipsyte thanks his guests and sets up for next segment.
Pan out from scene of high schoolers gathered outside John Dewey High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn - bike rack in foreground, kids mingling outside the school.
Talking head young African American teen addresses his classroom at the Council for Unity discussing the problems of being the new kid on the block and a Black kid at same time.
Audience of mixed race teens in classroom laughing.
close ups on var teens of different races in classroom passionately addressing the racial issue with their classmates
Teen Black male close up, looking pensive, listening, fingers in mouth.
Teenage Korean girl in classroom, talking about her racial issues, being called "Chinese" because she's oriental. she gets a hug from the boy sitting next to her.
Host Robert Lipsyte announces the show and introduces himself. Show Ends.
Show credits over show graphics.
Funding for the program by announcers and overlay the Eleventh Hour graphic,.
Description: The Eleventh Hour - Show # Title: White Hate Guests: Frank Pugliese, Playwright; Gabe Talese, Author; Assemblyman Frank Barbaro, Bensonhurst; Rev. Herbert Daughtry, House of the Lord Church. Rec: 9/20/89 Original Broadcast Date: 9-20-89
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