Appendix B: Mayor’s Man with Bankers’ Plan? Barry Gottehrer, the Invention of the New Left, and the “Eastern Establishment” Plot to Retake New York OR How John Lindsay First Met Allah
< Appendix A: Tripping With ESSO: Chicago, SDS, Abbie Hoffman, and the Motherfuckers | HIAB | CHAPTER THREE: Bad Marx and the “Mouse Crap Revolution”: The Teachers’ Strike, the FBI, and the Labor Committee’s “Expulsion” from SDS >
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In late October 1968 the N. Y. SDS Labor Committee issued a statement entitled "'Police Socialism' in New York" that asked:
What is the actual composition of the "community control" movement in this city? An analysis of some obvious facts gives insight into the way in which the CIA-style counterinsurgency works abroad as well as in the U.S. itself.
The vanguard of this movement is supplied by the largest "radical" organization in New York City: not the CP, or the SWP or SDS, but the government-created and controlled "poverty" movement, with the largest number of full-time paid "radical" organizers ever turned loose in one area in political history. This movement is composed of two layers of activists. The first is made up of the full-time black and white "radical" poverty organizers working on behalf of local control in the seemingly infinite variety of "poverty" projects sponsored by foundations and government. The second is made up from the dozen or so local "activists" organized by each organizer. Recent demonstrations suggest that this movement amounts to about 2000 "activists" of both types throughout the city.
This sort of "radical" organization has a name in the history books. That name is "police socialism," signifying the sort of mass "radical" movements organized by various secret police agencies in previous European history. The most frequently-cited examples are the movements organized under the Czar by Okhrana agents Colonel Zubatov and Father Gapon. It should be noted that Hitler got his start in "radical" politics as a secret agent for the German Army and that Mussolini's fascist movement rose to power as a government-subsidized movement of anarchist strike-breakers.
Beginning with the Kennedy Administration, U.S. Imperialists have thoroughly co-opted Tom Hayden's ERAP community-organizing chimera, with the result that virtually the entire organized movement within the ghetto, except for tiny independent groups like SNCC and the Panthers, are controlled, lock-stock-and-barrel by government agencies.
CORE, for example, has become in effect a branch of the domestic CIA. During recent years no ghetto leader could produce any "marketable" commodity, that is, a sizable following, without being offered a lucrative job and a pork-barrel for his friends on some "poverty" program. Substantial numbers of white "radical" organizers have sold their political souls in the same way.
The result has been that any independent radical group considering united action with an available organized force has had to deal with foundations or government paid organizers. Consequently, outside the anti-war movement proper, government intervention in the radical movement has put "local control" as a political ideology on the order of the day, successfully corrupting most of the independent groupings of the New Left. It's one of the slickest pieces of co-option ever attempted and pulled off by a capitalist government.
Was all this yet another case of left-wing paranoia?
Few readers have ever heard of a former top aide to New York's Mayor John Lindsay named Barry Gottehrer; his fifteen minutes of fame ended in 1969 after he left politics to work as a senior executive at Madison Square Garden. He then joined an enormously wealthy insurance company, MassMutual, and spent the rest of his career as a MassMutual lobbyist in Washington, D.C. In 1975, however, Gottehrer published a memoir entitled The Mayor's Man that offers an invaluable glimpse into the secret history of New York City in the late 1960s.1
Educated at Brown and Columbia's School of Journalism, Gottehrer first made his mark as a sports writer and in the early 1960s he wrote for the New York Herald Tribune. In late January 1965, around the time Lindsay began to campaign for mayor, Gottehrer supervised a Herald-Tribune series entitled "New York City in Crisis: A Study in the Depth of Urban Sickness."2 The articles raised the frightening specter of a city on the brink of financial crisis even as some 70,000 mostly black and Puerto Rican youth roamed the streets with little chance of employment. A searing indictment of Democratic Party Tammany Hall-style politics, the series was widely credited with helping Lindsay's election. After Handsome John took office in January 1966, Gottehrer first ran the Mayor's Commission on Youth and Physical Fitness and then the Urban Action Task Force (UATF). In The Mayor's Man, Gottehrer described his UATF role this way:
during those feverish days of the 1960s and early 1970s when hundreds of our cities went up in flames, when rebellion and disorder swept through our streets, our public schools, our college campuses . . . when the very fabric of our country seemed ready to shred, I was the Mayor's Man at the brink of this revolution – a white in a world of black and brown, a moderate in a world of revolutionaries, trying to bring change where change seemed needed most, trying to buy time until the change would come.
Stated less poetically, Barry Gottehrer ran the UATF as a semi-covert intelligence gathering operation that, among other things, both spied on and bought off black militants and student radicals. In his 16 March 1975 New York Times review of Mayor's Man, Steve Weisman called the book "one of the most remarkable personal stories ever written by anyone who worked in city government" and then asked:
And yet what was Barry Gottehrer really accomplishing in those years? How much did he really help the blacks – and how much did he exploit them? Did he perform a service? Assuming he did keep the city cool – his actions offer a more plausible explanation for the prevailing peace than the Lindsay walks – what did it cost the city in the long run? Was he Lindsay's Henry Kissinger to the ghettos – or his Gordon Liddy?
Weisman's reference to Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy echoes Labor Committee claims about a "domestic CIA." To explore this question, I will divide this chapter into two parts. Part one offers a brief overview of the liberal nexus that helped launch the "New Left" while in part two I take a closer look at Gottehrer and the UATF.3
The idée fixe that the "Liberal Establishment" manipulated and subverted the radical movement proved crucial for the Labor Committee analysis of both Columbia and the UFT strike. The Marcusites argued that the federal government – in alliance with leading "ruling class" organizations like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations – ran sophisticated "counter-insurgency" operations in the nation's ghettos. These Social Register families funded anti-white "Black Power" sects in a deliberate "divide and conquer" tactic meant to escalate ethnic tensions and prevent a racially united radical movement from emerging out of a deeper social crisis rooted in long-term economic decline. This "domestic CIA" even covertly fanned social and racial tensions so that they could later publicly intervene in the very crises they had helped artificially create in the first place in order to "socially engineer" a politically desired outcome.
A different view would place the events in late 1960s New York in a deeper historical context. Going back to the fight between Hamilton and Jefferson, there had been a deep split in New York between the Whig/Republican WASP business and religious elite and the "Boss Tweed" Tammany Hall Democratic political machine largely rooted in the political and economic power of non-WASP ethnic immigrant groups. In the late 1890s, for example, Teddy Roosevelt became New York's Police Commissioner and spent a few futile years trying to break Tammany Hall's stranglehold on the city. Roosevelt later helped inspire the national Progressive Era movement to try to clean up corrupt city patronage machines and, in the process, return old WASP elite families to positions of political power.
Shaped by a mix of enlightened Protestant Christianity, philosophical pragmatism, and ruthless self-interest, more sophisticated members of the WASP elite appealed to Progressive Era radical movements and the "muckraking press" to help achieve their reformist goals. These same families' "best and brightest" sons graduated from elite schools and then shuttled between jobs in city government, the State Department, Wall Street banks, white-shoe law firms, wealthy foundations, and organizations like the Office of Strategic Services (dubbed "O-So-Social" for its many upper-class members) and the CIA. Unlike a typical Cardinal Spellman Catholic, they didn't automatically recoil in horror at the word "radical." Instead, they saw some radicals as potential allies. Viewed from a different perspective, one could argue that they tried to "co-opt" select radicals "into the system."
KENNEDY'S KIDS AND THE BIRTH OF THE "NEW LEFT"
In the early 1960s, the new Kennedy Administration – spearheaded by U.S. Attorney General Robert F. ("Bobby") Kennedy – launched a major attempt to remake American cities. Both Kennedy brothers believed that accelerating technological modernization would soon lead to major changes in both the work force and the composition of major cities, changes that the Triple Revolution Committee associated with the Kennedy "left" extensively publicized in elite circles. The Kennedys further realized that if they just poured money into the old Democratic Party-dominated urban patronage machines little would get done. Using "juvenile delinquency" as a wedge issue, they sought to create a new force of professionally-trained organizers to mobilize targeted communities to realize needed changes by aggressively challenging entrenched city bureaucracies and urban political patronage machine politics. Under the banner of "Community Action":
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy's "New Frontier" included new programs to prevent juvenile delinquency. The focal point was the President's Council on Juvenile Delinquency . . . chaired by U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy. In New York City, the President's Council funded Mobilization for Youth (MfY) as did the Ford Foundation and the City of New York. MfY organized and coordinated neighborhood councils composed of local officials, service providers, and neighbors to develop plans to correct conditions that led to juvenile delinquency. It also enlisted the aid of the school board and city council members to implement those plans.
It was called COMMUNITY ACTION, and it looked like an effective and inexpensive way to solve problems for youth.
The Ford Foundation was also funding other "gray areas projects," including one in New Haven, Connecticut, that recruited people from all sectors of the community to come together to plan and implement programs to help low-income people. The core idea in the New Haven project was the concept of the whole community working together. This idea came from the "program of community action" that had been developed by the "Chicago School" of sociologists in the 1930's. They sought to create new social systems by linking the sectors of the community together to help youth connect with the world of work and integrate into the mainstream of society. MfY and the New Haven "gray areas project" are often cited as the "models" for a community action agency.4
During this same period, the Northern Student Movement (NSM) now formed with generous funding from wealthy Eastern Establishment foundations.5 As for SDS, it emerged out of the Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID), the student wing of the League for Industrial Democracy (LID). Early SDS also received funding from the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the AFL-CIO. Far from being a "communist conspiracy," early SDS was underwritten by left-liberal labor unions and the fiercely anti-communist Second International-allied LID. Although SDS achieved notoriety for its later revolutionary pratfalls, Old Left groups like the Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party contemptuously viewed early SDS members as reformist liberals at best.
The most militant youth organization in America in the early 1960s arguably may have been the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a group created by William F. Buckley, a former CIA Covert Division operative, right-wing Catholic, and National Review founder. LID's decision to back SDS may have been inspired both by the need to challenge a group like YAF and to provide a viable alternative to groups like the CP and the SWP, both of whom were becoming increasingly active in the fight for civil rights and in organizations such as Fair Play for Cuba (FPFC).6
The broader hunt for a new kind of radical politics was evident in the first SDS national convention held at New York's Barbizon Plaza hotel in 1960. The featured speaker was New Yorker writer Dwight Macdonald and his topic was "The Relevance of Anarchism." A former Trotskyist, in the late 1940s Macdonald founded the magazine politics (the lower case "p" was deliberate) to help liberate American radicalism from the straightjacket of Moscow-made Marxism.7 Michael Harrington's 1962 book The Other America first became famous following a New Yorker review by Macdonald entitled "Our Invisible Poor." The Kennedy Administration embraced the book's revelations of deep pockets of poverty in post-war America, even though Harrington was a Second-International-allied socialist and a former leader of the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL).
MOBILIZATION FOR YOUTH: WAR IN THE "BLACKBOARD JUNGLE"
Seizing upon media-hyped images of switchblade-toting youth and the spreading scourge of juvenile delinquency, the Kennedy Administration poured millions of dollars into new social programs aimed at creating a kind of urban Peace Corps "with an edge." Newly energized young social workers working arm-in-arm with newly-minted "local community leaders" would now fight for social change block by block.8 But what if, for example, the "community" wanted to remove an old-time Tammany "pol"? The problem ran deep as old-school pols all too often maintained close ties to the police on the one hand and organized crime on the other.9 Saul Alinsky-style organizers were now called upon to invent unorthodox and innovative ways to challenge the entrenched powers-that-be.10 This time, however, these same radicals would be bankrolled by the federal government and private foundations such as the Ford Foundation.
New York's key pilot program, Mobilization for Youth (MfY), targeted 67 blocks in the Lower East Side starting at East 14th Street and extending down to the Brooklyn Bridge. All told, MfY received some $35 million from federal and local government agencies and foundations. The federal government's Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) chose two Columbia School of Social Work professors named Lloyd Ohlin and Richard Cloward to help design MfY. Olin directed the School of Social Work's Research Center while Cloward would later become famous for his work in the welfare rights movement.11 In 1960 the two men wrote Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs that recommended them for the project.12 In Delinquency and Opportunity, Ohlin and Cloward incorporated ideas associated with Chicago School of Sociology. The Chicago School, in turn, drew on the writings of the famous 19th century French sociologist Emile Durkheim, who popularized concepts like "social solidarity" and "anomie."
One bridge between Durkheim and the New Left was the "young Marx," whose writings were just then becoming available in English translation. Reading Marx through the prism of Durkheim, a new idea of alienated man's existential plight and sense of powerlessness in modern society now emerged that could be broadly applied to "industrial civilization" as a whole. In one early New Left interpretation, the "real" Marx was the soulful young Marx before he tumbled into the pit of economic determinism and the pendulum of the "Labor Metaphysic." But even if one felt that Marx's later mature works brilliantly illuminated the tooth-and-claw world of early industrial capitalism, in a post-industrial world now dominated by "consumer capitalism," the newly rediscovered texts of the early Marx felt far more relevant, especially when read in combination with thinkers like Durkheim and Max Weber.
By 1962 MfY had hired some 300 community organizers and social workers to work with the group's flagship organization, the Lower East Side Neighborhood Association. MfY organizers quickly enraged the Democratic Party establishment. Hearings on MfY were launched in the New York City Council amid scandalous charges that "Communists" and other disreputable "radicals" were being bankrolled by federal government eggheads to wreck social havoc. The grim claims echoed on the pages of the right-wing New York Daily News. MfY's community development programs that encouraged tenants to conduct rent strikes, boycott poorly run schools, and hold public protest demonstrations provoked the greatest outrage. MfY's leadership now came under attack for alleged misuse of government funds. The FBI began wire-tapping the group and sending in undercover agents. Under such intense pressure, MfY was forced to cut back on its community development projects, especially as the city was still being run by Robert Wagner, a classic old-time Democratic mayor. Needless to say, all that would change in January 1966 when liberal "Rockefeller Republican" John Lindsay assumed the reins of power.
THE UATF INTELLIGENCE NETWORK
In the summer of 1967 Barry Gottehrer launched the Summer Task Force, a hybrid "intelligence unit"/social services patronage machine designed to prevent ghetto riots and other social disturbances. It was funded in part by the blue-blood Citizens Summer Committee headed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Thomas Hoving and supported by Blue Chip corporate donors like Union Carbide, Chemical Bank, Chase Manhattan, Mobile Oil, and Metropolitan Life. After the Summer Task Force was renamed the Urban Action Task Force (UATF) that September, it continued to receive outside funding. In his 2001 book The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York, historian Vincent Cannato bluntly states that the UATF's main purpose "was riot prevention."13
Operating with virtual carte blanche from City Hall, Gottehrer and another top Lindsay aide named Sid Davidoff showed little hesitation in challenging the police department's bureaucracy on a number of highly sensitive issues. Gottehrer coordinated a major effort to combine intelligence gathering, the cultivation of extensive informant networks, and specially targeted social service programs to keep the city calm. Every day he produced "the Crisis Calendar," a document on potential trouble spots so secret that it was read by only three people. His effort was supported by the NYPD's "Red Squad" known as BOSSI (the Bureau of Special Services and Investigations).
In The Mayor's Man, Gottehrer writes that "the local task forces were passing on more information than we had staff to handle, the police and BOSSE [sic] (the Bureau of Special Services, the undercover police unit) were providing even more . . ." Gottehrer reports that the U.S. Justice Department ran its own extensive intelligence operation in Harlem as well:
Some of the people we talked to probably were informers – paid not by us but by the federal government. The Johnson administration had set up the Community Relations Service in the Department of Justice; it was their version of an early warning system for racial disturbances. Although there were some similarities in goal with what we were trying in New York, they failed because they had no resources to improve city services, provide jobs, or even send kids on a bus trip; their system was set up solely to buy information.14
Gottehrer now engaged in a good deal of "unabashed trafficking with people he knew were hoodlums and criminals, never once tipping off the police," Steven Weisman notes in his New York Times review of The Mayor's Man. In a 22 September 1968 profile of Gottehrer for the New York Times, journalist Nicolas Pileggi also comments on Gottehrer's complex relationship with the cops:
The participation of the Task Force in areas which have been traditionally considered the province of the police has brought charges that Gottehrer and another mayoral assistant, Sid Davidoff, have interfered with the Police Department. The charges have often come from Democratic City Council President Frank D. O'Connor and Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President John J. Cassese. The charges have been strenuously denied by both Gottehrer and Davidoff, as well as the Mayor and Police Commissioner Howard R. Leary.
While Gottehrer's alleged interference with the police may be real, the resentment of thousands of patrolmen most certainly is. In the paramilitary world of police protocol, the sight of a mayoral assistant – or any civilian for that matter – seen talking to a chief inspector is guaranteed to breed suspicion of interference. For that reason, Gottehrer is almost paranoiac about his relationship with police officials. At disorders, for instance, he rarely talks to officials in view of their men, and he never parks his city car in areas designated for top police officials.
KEEPING COLUMBIA COOL
In April 1968, Gottehrer, Sid Davidoff, and another top young Lindsay aide named Jay Kriegel played important behind-the-scenes roles at Columbia where they met with SDS leaders. At one point they advised Columbia's administration to evict Tony Papert's Low Library occupiers before the strike could spread but Columbia declined to act decisively.
The strike suffered its first critical setback when successful negotiations between Columbia and the Student Afro-American Society (SAS) helped prevent the protest from spreading into Harlem. During the negotiations, Dr. Kenneth Clark, a leading black psychology professor at CCNY and head of the Metropolitan Applied Research Center (MARC), was photographed going to a meeting at the SAS-occupied Hamilton Hall with Gottehrer and other negotiators. In his history of the Columbia Strike published in the 20 January 1971 New Solidarity, Tony Papert writes:
Dr. Kenneth Clark was addressing the black demonstrators as follows: "We blacks have to look out for ourselves. University discipline has a different meaning for us from what it has for the white students. If Whitey has to leave school for a while, he can pick up a draft deferment and go to work for this father's firm – but there's nothing for us but the army and a demeaning menial job. It would mean the end of your career."
Papert comments: "Clark succeeded in keeping Hamilton [Hall] from taking its Strike Committee seat, and leading it into separate negotiations with the administration."
In Mayor's Man, Gottehrer alludes to his information network when he says that he told Columbia officials that though he had no direct evidence of guns in Hamilton, "some pretty revolutionary people" who frequently carried guns had been in the building but that most of them had left by Wednesday morning. Gottehrer also told Columbia officials that the "community support" threatened by the black students was a myth and would never materialize. Gottehrer's role at Columbia further surfaced in a curious conversation he had with Sonny Carson from Brooklyn CORE. From Mayor's Man:
"Don't believe every rumor you hear," I went on. "Get a load of what they had on me. They thought I was a national officer of the Black Panther Party." And I then told Carson the story.
To my surprise, when I finished, he didn't even crack a smile. "Maybe you can shit them," he said seriously, "but you can't shit me. I know what you really are. We're on to you. You're really a national officer for SDS."
"What the hell are you talking about?" I asked.
"Every black knows it's true. That's why those white students got off so easy in the Columbia riots."
I gave up on that one and went home to bed.15 (226-27)
THE "X" FACTOR
Mayor's Man suggest that the UATF network played a significant role in making sure that "community support" didn't materialize to aid the Columbia protesters precisely because the UATF and other local police and federal intelligence agencies had so many "Black Power community activists" on their respective payrolls.
Take, for example, the complicated case of Charles 37X Kenyatta (a/k/a Charles Morris); a federal informant on multiple payrolls, the Labor Committee viewed Kenyatta as an obvious police agent. A former bodyguard to Malcolm X, Kenyatta was best known as an anti-whitey Harlem street corner agitator.16 With his tiny coterie of "Harlem Mau Maus," Kenyatta regularly appeared at demonstrations wearing a helmet and carrying a machete. In the midst of April 1968 crisis, Kenyatta even marched his Mau Maus across Columbia's campus. In Mayor's Man, Gottehrer recalls how he first became interested in Kenyatta:
The informers ended up hustling the U.S. government. Charles Kenyatta, maybe [James] Lawson [a Harlem street agitator, Garveyite, and someone so close to the numbers racket that he ran a group called "Community Control for Numbers" – HH], maybe quite a few others, would tell the federal people on Friday that things were very tight in New York going into the weekend, but they would do their best out in the streets to keep things cool. They would hang out over the weekend, shoot craps, go to a bar, and pass the time as they usually did, in their usual places. On Monday they would report, "It was a pretty tough weekend. We just squeaked through." They would get money for that. An informer system, as opposed to an undercover police system, or, better still, a community-oriented system like ours, can hardly avoid this problem. With the exception of a few zealots, none of them black, informers take the job solely for the money. They are informers only so long as there is some information to pass along, and so it is in their best interest to create information. . . .
Through the years, I would be alternatively praised or condemned for buying off militants, with a great many people both inside and outside government convinced that I had a satchel of money that I used to buy peace on our streets. To this day, some of my closest friends still believe this to be true despite my denials. I had learned from the experience of HARYOU, the Harlem anti-poverty program, that people who can be bought for money alone rarely stay bought for long. All it takes is someone with a few dollars more and your friend is suddenly your enemy. I believed then – and I believe now – that we had to offer something more than simply a paycheck – a job with some kind of future, a street academy for teenagers, a series of bus trips, almost anything that would start off a relationship with trust and would offer some sense of community. If the FBI or our police department chose to buy information and people, that was their business. I was determined to operate differently and it was with this attitude that I set off in the summer of 1967 to set up dialogues with the people our police believed had the potential to turn New York into another Watts.17
Charles 37X Kenyatta became one of Gottehrer's top Harlem informants although it took a little while:
I set out to meet another man with a terrible reputation, Charles Morris, also known as Charles 37X Kenyatta. He headed a group called the Harlem Mau Mau. The police and the press, which gave him a considerable coverage, assumed that a group with a name like that was preparing a massacre. . . . I was more skeptical of police judgment, but even so it was hard to gauge Kenyatta's following. I guessed he had a great many sympathizers, but the active membership may have numbered no more than ten. What that active membership was prepared to do I had no idea, but Kenyatta's power came less from the Mau Maus than from his skillful use of the media. He would get on the 6 p.m. news and declare that the Mau Mau were going to head down Park Avenue, and white people would panic. In a potential riot situation, strength in the media could be as damaging as if he had some shock troops trained and hidden north of Ninety-Sixth Street.18
After Gottehrer met Kenyatta, he decided that although he was not crazy:
His thinking had led him to believe in more conspiracy theories at any one time that most people dream up in a lifetime. He had the white establishment, the Mafia, Margaret Sanger, Nelson Rockefeller, the federal government, the Chase Manhattan Bank, and John Lindsay collaborating in a hundred schemes to oppress the black man; it took a good many drinks and long conversations before John Lindsay was taken provisionally off the list.19
. . . [Kenyatta's] theories, those brilliantly intertwined conspiracies that linked Governor Rockefeller, Uncle Tom black militants, anti-poverty programs, HARYOU-ACT, and certain corrupt politicians to black oppression, were rooted in a political analysis that was, at a certain level, logical and coherent. I could never figure out how he himself fit into his analysis. His source of income was unknown to me – his police record said that years before he had been a pimp. He might have been shaking down those drug people on 116th Street, moving his campaign to another block in exchange for a pay off. And yet he might have been perfectly sincere in his war against pushers.
A gentle, soft-spoken man, he led his band of Mau Maus around Harlem in buff military dress, armed with machetes. When Martin Luther King had last spoken in a Harlem church, Kenyatta had skewered a Bible and a copy of the [Kerner] Riot Commission report on his long knife and with his followers had guarded the door of the church. King had had to slip in a back way to avoid a confrontation.
Although they looked terrifying, the Mau Maus were few in number and had no power at all. At least one of them, Gene Roberts, was an undercover cop. (He quit the Mau Maus in disgust, for he figured Kenyatta could never pull off a revolution. Seeking a more threatening group, he joined the Black Panthers, and surfaced during their trial [the New York 21] to testify against them.)20
Kenyatta was a dapper man in his late forties, and he was capable of a good hustle. He went down to King's funeral as Rockefeller's guest, and rode in his private plane.21(230)
Shortly after one of his meetings, Gottehrer learned that Kenyatta had been shot gangland style and was near death:
I was so upset I was almost in tears. They took him to surgery at last, and two hours later they had drained the blood from his lungs and chest cavity, and they thought he might live.
. . . . It might have been a drug pusher, it might have been the Mafia, it might have been someone he owed money to. Some more militant group might have resented his moderate attitude toward the mayor and other white politicians. In the back of my mind, I wondered whether his friendship with me had anything to do with it. I felt half guilty, and couldn't stop thinking about it.
During the week, my caller from the Bronx chose to call me up in the middle of the night. It was all I needed. He said, "Listen, the micks and the guineas of Arthur Avenue have taken care of your friend Kenyatta. Come on up here. You're next."
We had been worried about Kenyatta's safety at Fordham Hospital and had him moved to a private room with a guard outside the door. When a call came to the hospital suggesting that the would-be killers were going to try again, we decided, with his consent, to transfer him to Bellevue's prison ward, where he might be safe behind several locked doors.22 (231-33)
ALLAH AND "THE FIVE PERCENTER" SOLUTION
As part of his UATF operation, Gottehrer became a "bag man" of sorts to a Harlem-headquartered sect known as the Five Percenters. The Five Percenters, to put it mildly, is a difficult organization to describe but the group may be seen as something like a cross between a teenage gang and a New Religious Movement. Although on the surface it appears cult like, it is difficult to label the group as a cult given its remarkably decentralized nature and constantly evolving and contradictory beliefs, a fact that makes it especially difficult to identify any fixed dogma.23 Although Five Percenters labeled Harlem "Mecca," Brooklyn "Medina," and Queens "the Desert," it was not Muslim and had nothing in common with orthodox Muslim beliefs from either the Shia or Sunni traditions. Highly synchronistic, the group drew its beliefs from many different sources: Noble Drew Ali's Moorish Science Temple, some of the teachings and iconography of Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam, passages from the Qur'an, and various numerological beliefs popularized by Ira "Allah El" Johnson, who ran his own Harlem sect.24
As for the name "Five Percenters," it came from the belief that 85% of the black population lived in ignorance because it had been cruelly deceived by a ruling elite of some 10% of the black community led by the black churches. This left just 5% of the enlightened to carry the message that God was black and that black men, the first men on earth, needed to understand their divine nature. However, the Five Percenters strongly rejected the idea of a "mystery god" and the related idea that they were a religion in any conventional sense of the term.
The organization centered on its founder, a Korean War vet and former Black Muslim named Clarence 13X Smith who later renamed himself "Allah." On his path to enlightenment, Allah spent time as an inmate at the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, a notorious hell hole.25 Although it is almost impossible to offer a precise date as to when the Five Percenters first began, the group clearly picked up steam after Allah's release from Matteawan on 6 March 1967.
Somewhat incredibly, Gottehrer spent both city money and private funds to help Allah expand his hold over ghetto youth. He even financed free bus trips to the beach and plane rides over the city for select Five Percenters and he convinced the Urban League to create a Fiver Percenter "street academy" in the heart of Harlem that doubled as the group's clubhouse. For their part, the Five Percenters allegedly helped suppress riots in Harlem after the assassination of Doctor Martin Luther King. Although this claim has been repeated ad nauseam, I have not seen any proof that the Five Percenters served as John Lindsay's Tonton Macoutes and somehow stopped the riots. What is true is that the riots that took place in Harlem following Doctor King's murder were not nearly as extensive as in many other cities. Yet it seems hard to believe that the Five Percenters – basically a bunch of teenagers led by a man whom many thought mad – prevented Harlem from going up in flames.
Be that as it may, a leading historian of the Five Percenters named Michael Muhammad Knight reports that after King's murder:
In New York, Allah received public commendation for his efforts and his followers were praised as peacemakers, despite one television report that identified looters as Five Percenters. "The Five Percenters," says Sid Davidoff, were "as important as anyone" involved with preventing riots that night. A photo of Allah and Lindsay hung in the street academy's window, signed by the mayor: "to Allah, thanks a lot." Allah signed a duplicate print that would later hang in Gottehrer's City Hall office: "to the greatest mayor that ever been in New York City." At a memorial ceremony for King in Central Park, Mayor Lindsay, Percy Sutton, and Charles Kenyatta were among those looking on as Allah was embraced by Governor Nelson Rockefeller.26
Allah's photo even graced the cover of the 22 April 1968 issue New York Magazine for an article by Gloria Steinem and Lloyd Weaver entitled "Special Report: The City on the Eve of Destruction."27
On 12 June 1969, Allah – a well-known gambler – was gunned down in a Harlem tenement building at 21 West 112th Street. Knight reports that
Though Allah had just won at craps, police found no cash on him; his wallet contained only receipts indicating that he had been on the city's payroll ("Tension Reduction Fund"). At 9:45 p.m., the NYO [New York Office of the FBI] sent a teletype marked "urgent" to J. Edgar Hoover, informing him that "the leader of the Five Percenters, a Negro youth group" and "recent aide to Mayor John Lindsay" had been gunned down.28
Given that Allah had made so many enemies – including countless fellow gamblers whom he had alienated – it is impossible to know for sure who shot him and why. Just a few days earlier, however, Charles 37X Kenyatta was nearly killed in an assassination attempt and it seems not unreasonable to wonder whether or not both hits may have been connected to their ties to Gottehrer.29
After Allah's death, Mayor Lindsay visited the Five Percenter headquarters and informed the assembled mourners, "Brothers, I hope you know the sadness in my heart at Allah's death." Lindsay told them that Allah's "contribution was an important one in these last few years, most especially in the world of education." Was Lindsay referring specifically to Allah's numerous numerological interpretations of reality? Gottehrer, who attended Allah's funeral, aptly remarks that "Allah was a hard act to follow."30
THE U.S. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Gottehrer kept in close touch with a number of Brooklyn-based black nationalists, including Sonny Carson from the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). CORE's national leader Roy Innis, however, was another story:
By spring we were getting along with almost every significant militant leader in the city. Roy Innis of CORE was one of the only holdouts. He considered himself a national leader, although he was lucky to pull out fifty people on a given day. Innis had been after the mayor for a private meeting from the day he took office, and we weren't about to give it to him.31
Although Innis used his Harlem CORE network to physically threaten Gottehrer, his most effective tactic proved to be his threat to publicly expose the UATF.32 Innis had teamed up with Bill Haddad, the white editor of a weekly paper called The Manhattan Tribune, and on 28 June 1969 Innis attacked Gottehrer in his Tribune column. Innis wrote that Gottehrer was
indirectly or not, implicated in Kenyatta's shooting and the death of Allah. The column ended with a list of questions:
"What is Barry Gottehrer's true role in Harlem?
"What are Lindsay's plans for Harlem?
"Whose interest is served by this plan?
"In what ways has Gottehrer contributed to an attitude which led to black against black situations?
"Who is on the Gottehrer-Lindsay payroll? How much public and private money is being used to finance this payroll?"33
Gottehrer later recalled: "That column was a crusher. It raised all kinds of havoc for me emotionally. I knew I wasn't doing any of those things, but there was obviously a sense in some people's minds that I was, and that hurt. A misperception of my role could be almost as harmful as if the stories were true, if indeed people were willing to take action on the basis of those misperceptions."34 Gottehrer was so devastated by the story that he agreed to meet personally with Innis, who gave him a list of demands that included money to CORE, the appointment of one of his supporters to the Health and Hospitals Corporation, and a personal meeting with Mayor Lindsay. Faced with a potential expose of his UATF operation, Gottehrer says "I gave in" and that Innis got all his demands met.
But who was The Manhattan Tribune's Bill Haddad?
On 28 November 1968, Nora Ephron wrote an expose on Haddad for New York Magazine entitled "Oh Haddad, Poor Haddad." She reported that Haddad first made his mark as an investigative reporter for the then-left-liberal New York Post, where some of his stories took on Robert Moses. Haddad had his own WASP connections, having married a daughter of one of New York's leading "Blue Bloods" named John Hay Whitney. In 1961, Haddad became an associate director of the Peace Corps; he then worked in the Office of Economic Opportunity as part of the "War on Poverty." When he returned to New York, Haddad became active in the Reform Democratic movement. A supporter of "school decentralization," Haddad also had a seat on the Board of Education.
In the mid-1960s Haddad founded the West Side News. When he expanded its circulation to include Harlem, he renamed it The Manhattan Tribune; in 1968 he appointed Roy Innis as the paper's co-director. Tribune writers included two important Robert F. Kennedy supporters, the journalist Jack Newfield and the political operator Dick Tuck, both of whom wrote for the paper using their real names. Journalists David Halberstam and Andrew Kopkind, however, employed pseudonyms when they wrote for Haddad.35
In 1965 Haddad and his business partner Bob Clampitt founded the U.S. Research and Development Corporation (USRD). A former Wall Street lawyer, Clampitt had worked for the Peace Corps, Head Start, Jobs Corps, VISTA, and other government agencies. The USRD's agenda was somewhat murky but by 1968 it occupied a whole floor of the Chrysler Building and that same year Haddad pocketed $100,000 in profits from the firm. The company specialized in consulting and administering "poverty programs" for both the government and the private sector; it also hired out its operatives for political campaigns.
Roy Innis worked with Haddad in part because both men said they hoped to create a new journalism school for black and Puerto Rican youth. Innis demanded that at least one week of the training program be devoted to preaching the merits of Black Power. The project was to be financed to the tune of $100,000 by the inevitable Ford Foundation grant. The grant helped train new reporters to work on Haddad's paper for free since Ford picked up all the bills. Innis had other connection as well. In 1967, for example, he became the First Resident Fellow at Kenneth Clark's Metropolitan Applied Research Center (MARC).36 Given all these ties, it seems clear that when Bill Haddad's paper threatened to go after him, Gottehrer had to take the threat very seriously.
TAKING ON THE HARLEM MACHINE
In Mayor's Man, Gottehrer argues that his approach to keeping the peace was far more sophisticated than anything that the federal government had designed. He also makes no secret of the fact that the Lindsay administration viewed the local black political establishment in Harlem with contempt; Gottehrer tried to circumvent it as much as possible by building new connections with the "street." As Gottehrer writes:
Percy Sutton, Manhattan borough president and the most prominent black in city government, was put out that we weren't turning to him to act as broker between the Lindsay administration and the black community. . . . I wasn't so sure that these [black establishment] leaders would come out to help us. I made up my mind not to risk such a meeting again, but to concentrate on neighborhoods and bypass the traditional power brokers.37
Harlem's top political power brokers, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and Percy Sutton, ran the Harlem stop on the Tammany line. Through his switchboard of personal and political connections, Powell had his close ally Livingston Wingate appointed head of the Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited-Associated Community Teams (HARYOU-ACT), yet another federally-funded poverty program. Gottehrer recalls:
Many of the people that were to give us trouble in the next few years were street-corner speakers and most . . . also had some connection with HARYOU-ACT, the black antipoverty program. Adam Clayton Powell had pushed the poverty legislation through his House Education and Labor Committee and then sought to control its biggest single program – HARYOU-ACT – by bringing in Livingston Wingate, whose ties with Powell ran back over years, named as its executive director. Powell used HARYOU as a source of patronage, and, before long, it became his own sprawling political bureaucracy above Ninety-Sixth Street.38 (63)
HARYOU-ACT merged Kenneth Clark's original HARYOU organization with Powell's Associated Community Teams. Clark founded HARYOU in 1962 and the project received some $110 million from both the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. In the summer of 1965, HARYOU-ACT and the Urban League received a tsunami of federal money for "Project Uplift" to prevent riots in Harlem that summer.39 Once Livingston Wingate took over the project, however, he quickly forced Clark out of the program.40
One of Barry Gottehrer's most murky connections involved the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM).41 In his 1969 campaign against John Lindsay, Democratic candidate Mario Procaccino – who famously coined the term "limousine liberal" – claimed that the Lindsay administration put men with criminal records on the city's payroll. As it so happened, some of these men were tied to RAM, a black radical group accused of plotting to blow up the Statue of Liberty. From Vincent Cannato's The Ungovernable City:
Procaccino's charge was based on an internal police department memo that named seven young men who operated the Malcolm X Cultural Center in Corona, Queens, where they worked "with the hard core youths of the area in an attempt to make them useful citizens." Six of the men received $100 a week and the director received $150 a week. The memo charged that the money, as well as the rent for the storefront, came from a city program and was administered by mayoral aides Barry Gottehrer and Sid Davidoff. One of the youths, Fred Fernandez, was a member of the Revolutionary Action Movement and had been arrested in 1967 on charges of planning to assassinate moderate civil rights leaders.42
On 21 June 1967, sixteen members of RAM were arrested for reportedly plotting to assassinate the NAACP's Roy Wilkins and the Urban League's Whitney Young. They were reportedly found with some 30 weapons, including one machine gun, three carbines, a dozen rifles, a machete, 1,000 rounds of ammo, police riot helmets, walkie-talkies, and 275 pounds of heroin. The alleged ringleader, Herman Ferguson, doubled as an assistant principal in a Queens' high school.43 Once again, the group had been infiltrated by a black BOSSI agent.
As for the Corona Center, Cannato writes:
The Center was one of fourteen "satellite storefronts" throughout the city affiliated with the city's Youth Services Agency, a division of the Human Resources Administration. The program also received private funding from the Urban Coalition and local businesses. During the summer of 1967, Parks Department funds paid the salaries of Fernandez and an associate. In the summer of 1968, the New York Times Foundation contributed $25,000 to the Urban Coalition for funding these programs. In the fiscal year 1968-69, the Youth Services Agency spent $1.2 million on these storefronts. In June 1969, when the storefront centers were brought permanently under HRA, the Malcolm X Center was not included.
The reason, according to Gottehrer, was because of "the personnel on the payroll." Gottehrer denied that the mayor's office had anything to do with the Malcolm X Center: "All checks for the salaries and rent for this program have come from the Youth Board Research Institute and are signed by somebody at the Youth Services Agency," wrote Gottehrer.44 Still, the city had been, in some manner, funding the Malcolm X Center and the other satellite programs.45
In The Mayor's Man, Barry Gottehrer mentions RAM leader Robert Collier, the accused ring-leader of the Statue of Liberty plot who may have been on the UATF payroll:
Bob Collier was alternatively one of our most successful community organizers and one of our biggest worries. He was in between his arrest for plotting to blow up the Statue of Liberty and his trial as one of the Panther 21. Most recently, he was arrested on the Lower East Side for concealing a small arsenal in his apartment. I never knew how one man could be in so many places at once. These were the days when everybody in the streets was caught up in the paranoia of conspiracy of one kind or another and everybody thought everybody was ripping everybody else off. . . . So when I heard rumors that Bob Collier was working for the FBI or the CIA, it seemed possible, although no one ever confirmed it.46 (Emphasis added)
Was Collier a revolutionary or some kind of CIA agent/provocateur? Or was he merely insane? From a 1967 HUAC investigation:
[BOSSI] Detective [Raymond] Wood told of meeting, on December 14, 1964, Robert Collier, an ex-member of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM). The witness revealed a conversation with Collier pertaining to the need to obtain a list of technical books for Major Ernesto "Che" Guevara, then a member of Castro's Cuban U.N. delegation. Mr. Wood agreed to help Collier obtain the books.
Robert Collier told the witness that he was interested in forming a "Black Liberation Front." The former RAM member described how to use mortars on a police station and disclosed a plan to obtain arms from New York State armories. Collier also had a plan for an alliance with "French Liberation forces," a Canadian activist group, to obtain "plastique" explosives. The former RAM member also hoped to persuade the leadership of the all-Negro Freedom Now Party to become a "front organization for the Black Liberation Front."
Mr. Wood detailed Collier's plan to blow up docks along the New York City waterfront and the Statue of Liberty. Plans were also discussed among members of the RAM to blow up the Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument. The witness stated that Robert Collier, Walter Bowe, and Khaleel Sayyed were all convicted in the conspiracy, as a fourth member, Michelle Duclos, turned "state's evidence" and was subsequently deported to Canada.
The police detective concluded his testimony by saying that Robert Collier had formulated his plans to blow up the docks and national monuments in order to help create a situation of guerrilla warfare in the United States by showing young Negroes who wished to fight that somebody was prepared to take positive violent action. Collier hoped that these young Negroes could be recruited for guerrilla warfare or for future riot activity.47
Former RAM leader Muhammad Ahmad, unfortunately, does not mention Collier in his history of RAM. Instead, Ahmad cryptically writes:
Early in February, Kaliel Said [sic}, a member of RAM who had been sent into Malcolm's organization to develop a security wing, was arrested in the Statue of Liberty bomb plot. Inside the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and OAAU, Kaliel's actions upset Malcolm's internal security. It also set the public climate the intelligence forces wanted for conspiracy.48
Reading Mayor's Man, it's hard not to wonder about the parts of the story Gottehrer left out.
When the UFT strike broke out in September 1968, the Lindsay administration exploded with anger. In Mayor's Man, Gottehrer called Shanker "a terrible, terrible person" while Lindsay – who later praised Allah's contributions to education – labeled Shanker "an evil man." Given the intensity of Lindsay's fight with the UFT, I think it highly likely that Gottehrer mobilized his network of paid "activists" to decry the UFT's "racism" and to try to mobilize the larger black community against the teachers.
For the Labor Committee, there was a clear straight line between the Ford Foundation's McGeorge Bundy and the Five Percenter's Allah. They were both part of a sophisticated "counter-insurgency" "divide and conquer" plot run by the most astute wing of the capitalist ruling class to consciously create fake radical movements ("police socialism" or what the Labor Committee later labeled "counter-gangs") to balkanize and divide any potential radical opposition movement along racial and ethnic lines.
A more benign interpretation might be that in the early 1960s some very sophisticated corporations, foundations, and academic high mandarins launched a massive "social engineering" experiment – one fully endorsed by the Kennedy Administration – to develop a new model for liberalism. Whatever the true intent, be it benign or malign, the experiment blew up in their faces as the 1960s spun out of control. Faced with looming disaster, some programs which may have been initially designed as activist experiments in social reform almost inevitably took on some aspect of "counter-insurgency." Our task here, however, is not to grapple with these larger questions. I only suggest that Mayor's Man shows that without some deeper examination of the complex "parapolitical" dimension of American politics in this extraordinary period, some key historical questions will remain not just unanswered but unanswerable. But perhaps one day we will know more, insha'allah inshallah of course.
1 Barry Gottehrer, The Mayor's Man (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975).
2 The series was reissued as a paperback book that same year.
3 As I have examined Gottehrer's unusual ties to Abbie Hoffman in a separate appendix (Tripping with ESSO at http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.HIABChapter2Appendix1UAW-MFHoffman), I will concentrate more on Gottehrer's operations inside the ghettos of New York.
5 For more on the Northern Student Movement, see chapter 4 "Bomb Plot!!!"
6 Following the 1956 revelations about Stalin's crimes at the 20th CPSU Congress, the CP and SWP slowly began to work together in larger coalitions.
7 Macdonald wrote a 1946 book-length essay in politics called The Root is Man outlining his views. That essay helped inspire non-Communist groups of anarchists and others to try to find a "third way" between the capitalist West and the Stalinist East. See Dwight Macdonald, The Root is Man (New York: Autonomedia, 1995).
8 The new strategy also looked to challenge the long-established "social work" model best represented in the Lower East Side of New York by the Henry Street Settlement.
9 For example, large sections of Greenwich Village, the heart of liberal "Bohemia," were dominated by mob-connected businesses. This entire area was politically controlled by a famous Tammany Hall politician named Carmine DeSapio, who maintained a long personal friendship with the Mafia's Frank Costello. DeSapio claimed that the two men never talked politics. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmine_DeSapio.
10 On Alinsky, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky.
11 For more on Cloward, see chapter one of How It All Began as well as the separate appendix on CIPA.
12 See http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/cloward.htm. This article suggests that Ohlin and Cloward wrote their book on juvenile delinquency while they were working to design MfY.
13 Vincent Cannato, The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 131. In spite of the title, the book is often critical of Lindsay. The New York City Police Intelligence Files (BOSSI, the Bureau of Special Services and Investigations) have now been recovered and they will eventually become available for future research. On this remarkable development, see http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/nyregion/old-new-york-police-surveillance-is-found-forcing-big-brother-out-of-hiding.html?hpw&rref=nyregion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0.
14 Gottehrer, 65.
15 Ibid., 226-27. On Gottehrer and the New Left, see my appendix Tripping with ESSO at http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.HIABChapter2Appendix1UAW-MFHoffman.
16 Kenyatta's street cred came from his previous relationship with Malcolm X, who personally assigned Kenyatta to guard his wife Betty Shabazz when Malcolm X was on tour and the family was being threatened by the Nation of Islam. Kenyatta is suspected of having had an affair with her.
17 Gottehrer, 65-68.
18 Ibid., 105.
19 Ibid., 105.
20 One of BOSSI's top black agents, Gene Roberts, served as one of Malcolm X's bodyguards. Roberts can be seen in a famous photograph trying to resuscitate Malcolm X after the Audubon Ballroom shooting.
21 Gottehrer, 230.
22 Ibid., 231-33.
23 For example, it is apparently impossible to say definitively whether or not one can be white and still be a Five Percenter. The answer largely seems to depend on whom you ask. One would think the answer would have to be "no" but Allah recruited a white member when they were both at Matteawan State Hospital and he remains active inside the organization today. The Five Percenters also developed an esoteric understanding of words like "Allah" and "Islam." The Five Percenters interpreted Allah as "Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm, Head" and Islam as "I, Self Lord, And Master." So the word "Allah," for example, also meant that ever black man was a God. The Five Percenters called male members "Gods" and female members "Earths."
24 Allah El, in turn, seems to have been inspired by Charles Mosley Bey, author of quasi- astrological volumes explaining what he called "The Clock of Destiny." The works of the Jehovah Witnesses founder Charles Taze Russel and various Rosicrucian texts further shaped this tradition. For more on the Five Percenters' doctrine and history, see Michael Muhammad Knight, The Five Percenters: Islam, Hip-Hop and the Gods of New York (Oxford: One World Publishers, 2007). Knight's book is an invaluable study no matter how much one might question certain aspects of his approach.
25 Knight rejects the notion that Allah was crazy; he views him as a genuine prophet who was sent to a mental asylum/hellhole to keep him off the street. Knight argues more generally that Five Percenter "mythological literature" and beliefs are the "work of a schizotype, not clinical schizophrenia by any stretch, and not even deliberate fabrication, but lives navigated with magical thinking." (252)
26 Knight, 109.
27 This cover is reprinted in Knight who also reprints a picture of Allah with Gottehrer.
28 Knight, 120.
29 Knight, who interviewed Gottehrer, has no idea who killed Allah.
30 See the 17 June 1969 New York Times.
31 Gottehrer, 227.
32 As I show in my appendix "Tripping with ESSO," Abbie Hoffman made a similar threat.
33 Gottehrer, 243.
35 While Jack Newfield was working for Haddad, he may have arranged for Tom Hayden to meet with Bobby Kennedy. From a research report for CBS news at the time of the Chicago Democratic convention:
JACK NEWFIELD: An assistant editor of the Village Voice, author of A Prophetic Minority, a chronicle and analysis of the New Left. A former activist with Michael Harrington in the Young People's Socialist League, he was in recent years a resident radical in the Kennedy entourage. It was Newfield who arranged several meetings between Tom Hayden and Kennedy where the two developed a strong affinity. Newfield helped publish the Manhattan Tribune (sponsored by Bill Haddad and Roy Innes [sic]) at the GOP Convention and will do the same here in Chicago. He's staying at the La Salle Hotel.
See the blog http://mikeyno.blogspot.com/.
37 Gottehrer, 66.
38 Ibid., 63.
39 HARYOU-ACT/Project Uplift famously employed LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) to run its "Black Power"-themed arts program, the Black Arts Repertory Theater. See Amiri Baraka, The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1984). Also see my appendix on Baraka and the Newark teachers' strike at http://laroucheplanet.info/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Library.HIABChapter6Appendix3Newark-Baraka.
40 After Clark was removed from HARYOU-ACT, in 1967 with Field and Ford Foundation money, he created the Metropolitan Applied Research Center (MARC). MARC promoted the "decentralization" and "community control" ideas that Clark believed at the time would help inner city kids develop a new sense of pride and enthusiasm for learning.
41 On RAM, see Muhammad Ahmad (Maxwell Stanford, Jr.), We Will Return in the Whirlwind, Black Radical Organizations 1960-1975 (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2007).
42 Cannato, 429.
43 On Ferguson, see Herman and Iyalula Ferguson, An Unlikely Warrior, Herman Ferguson: Evolution of a Black Nationalist Revolutionary (Ferguson-Swan Publications, 2011). I have not read this book.
44 The Youth Board Research Institute was the research division of the Youth Services Agency. It specialized in issues related to "juvenile delinquency." In 1964 the Institute was headquartered at 79 Madison Avenue. In 1968, Abbie Hoffman listed himself as a consultant to the "New York City Youth Research Institute" at 15 Cooper Square. It seems quite possible this was the same agency since Hoffman listed his connection in relationship to a Gottehrer-Youth Services Agency project to create a "Free Store." See my appendix on ESSO and Hoffman for more.
45 Cannato, 429-30.
46 Gottehrer, 148-49.
47 See http://www.aavw.org/protest/subversive_huac_abstract04_excerpt.html. The Five Percenters had been linked in the local press in 1965 to "Chinese or Cuban Communists and a group that had plotted to dynamite the Stature of Liberty." (Knight, 77) Clearly this group was RAM. As for Allah, he held strongly anti-communist views and openly supported the war in Vietnam. (Knight, 113-15.)
48 Ahmad, 129.