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people who led the critical approach to union leadership were doing it
in consultation with Doris. They were, for the most part, Telbert King
and Eddie Bragg, who was then in the drug division and now dead.
Left, or fired from the staff, and went to work for Local 144. Turned
towards the church and -- he died, at any rate.
It was largely complaints against the white leadership of the union. I
remember a major complaint was that decisions were being made in
car rides from Queens, that the blacks were being kept out of decision
making. What I remember also, because Dave White in his
conversations the other day reminded me of it -- and I think there's a
lot, with much of it I will not quarrel -- he said that we, Davis and we,
the white leaders, built Doris Turner. That early on Davis decided that
she was going to be the next president of the union. I think it was a
foregone conclusion in Davis' and everyone's mind that the next
president would have to be a black person.
That would be Doris Turner, and we proceeded to build her inside the
union, and outside. He (Dave White) said we got her on every
conceivable committee on the outside, all kinds of awards we arranged
to give to her, and inside she was always being featured as the
speaker for different events, as the person, and it was quite clear what
was happening here. What he says is that what we failed to realize
that, number one -- and we knew, but not the question of realizing --
he said everybody knew that Doris had major weaknesses. Very very
severe weaknesses. That she was administratively very very very
poor. Also that she didn't have too much on the ball in terms of
knowledge and understanding of issues, beyond the exact day to day
issues on the job -- nor did she care to become interested in anything
else. Of course it was a cornerstone in our union that you had to be
interested in everything and knowledgeable in everything.
What he says was happening is that Doris Turner was very carefully
building a machine for herself. In that -- he made these points. He
said Davis never confronted her. No matter what she did, never
criticized her. He says, in the guild division, Jesse would lay off staff
because they were not competent. Doris would immediately hire them.
What he's saying is that if the person's not competent and another
person puts them on, and the president of the union doesn't say a
word about it, just glosses it over, it's an admission that either the first
person was guilty of making an incorrect decision or you were just
afraid of her. Anything she does she can do. He sighted one example.
He said, “She even did it with me. I fired Glenston Clark from my staff
in the guild. She hired him, but she waited until I went on vacation to
hire him because she knew that I, Dave White, would make big
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