Previous | Next
310311312313314315316317318319320321322323324325326327328329330331332333334335336337338339340341342343344345346347348349350351352353354355356 of 763
constricted, confined by the color of peoples' skin. And gave a lot of rationalizations
and double talk. He admitted tremendous admiration....
It was pathetic. Now, my problem, I guess, is that I find American racism particularly
nonsensical and idiotic. It would have been to the benefit of the Democratic Party for Ray
Jones to have been the chairman of the New York County Democratic Party, and to be the --
I mean, he was the one who really knocked (Carmine) De Sapio out, when De Sapio came with
my friend Art (Arthur) Levitt as the alternative to Wagner. Everyone else was conceding
that that was the end of Wagner, you know, and that De Sapio was the Boss, etc., -- except
Ray. Ray said, “To hell with that, “and Ray convinced Wagner that
they could beat De Sapio, and they did. And even after that, there was this stupidity
about whether he should be chairman of the county or not.
Well, you know, as Thurgood Marshall said, how much time do you spend trying to not only
save people's souls, but to get them to do something that is to their self-interest, if
they're being blinded by the color of your skin?
That's the problem, you know. I am more disturbed at the stupidity of American racism, I
think, than I am -- I'm not sure. I was going to say, “than I am by the
cruelty.” No, I just can't say I'm more disturbed by the
stupidity; I am as much disturbed by the stupidity ol American
Racism as I am by the cruelty of it.
It is stupid in that it is, in so many ways, self-defeating.
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help