Mervin Dymally, California State Representative of the Watts ghetto, last night criticized the Black Power movement for not participating in the electoral process.
"They talk about political power but it is an apolitical movement. You can't paint your living room by standing on the roof," he said at a speech in Emerson Hall. He admitted that politics has failed to solve the problems of the black people, but "not in every issue." He did not mention the issues in which politics had succeeded.
Dymally called for a coalition of Blacks, Mexican-Americans, and students to press for legislation aiding Blacks and other minorities. He said that Jesse Unruh, Speaker of the House in the California Assembly, shifted to the left when he recognized the success of this coalition in that state.
Asked whether Watts has seen economic improvement, Dymally replied that there have been "some visible changes, but no substantive changes." He added that private enterprise has stimulated some economic improvement, but it has done little to erase Watt's deficiencies in housing, health, and education. He denounced President-elect Nixon's proposal of "black capitalism" in the ghetto, saying that it would only provide money for a few "black bourgeois" but "it won't help the masses of people."