Previous | Next
253254255256257258259260261262263264265266267268269270271272273274275276277278279280281282283284285286287288289290291292293294295296297298299300301302303304305306307308309 of 763
accusation that Hoover made, you know, that Martin was the biggest
fraud perpetrated on the American people, that he was a scoundrel
and what not, and he just went on.
We met for a whole day, in the offices of the Legal Defense (Fund)
-- I've probably told you this before. I think it was Columbus Day.
It was some holiday, on which we were planning what to do in response,
and the issue before us was: should Martin go down and make his peace
with Mr. Hoover? Or should he defy Hoover to do his damnedest?
Well, there were two of us who were taking the hard line,
Clarence Jones and myself, but all the others -- I don't remember
whether Andy was there or not that day. I know that (Ralph) Abernathy
was there, and I know that Jesse Jackson was there. I remember them
very clearly. There were about four or five others, whose main
argument was that to defy Hoover would be self-destructive; that
Martin couldn't win. Like in a pissing contest with a skunk, you
can't possibly win. They didn't use that language. That it would
have damaged Martin's image if these things were/public. And third,
that Martin could use this as a practical demonstration of his
philosophy --you know, “love and embrace your oppressor,” etc.
And I lost my temper again and shouted out, “Damn it, Martin,
you might be Christ-like but you're not Christ!”
Which everybody laughed about-- and that kind of made me aggry
too, because they thought it was funny, and I wasn't being funny
at all. I just thought that there comes a time when you put away,
you know, any pretense of understanding or what not, and put on
the brass knuckles. And I thought we should have done that,
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help