Previous | Next
293294295296297298299300301302303304305306307308309310311312 of 592
trouble. She knew nobody else would. So when I came back it was a
fait accomplit -- it was done, and no matter what I screamed about, he
was on staff.” He said, “The only criteria she used for hiring staff was
loyalty. She was not interested in ability.” That's why I think I've
mentioned in the past that she had a habit of picking people who were
not very competent.
Then he pointed out the other thing. He said, “You guys didn't know
what she was doing. She was very cleverly and very carefully building
a base for herself. Every time there was a vacancy in a board position,
like the Hearing and Appeals Board,” he said, “You guys didn't care
who was elected! You made a recommendation but if someone else
ran and was elected, you didn't care who it was. She was very careful
every time there was a vacancy to have somebody else nominated, no
matter who we put forward. That person invariably was elected. This
was true in many positions in the union. Every time there was a
vacancy in the delegate assembly, she made sure that the person who
filled that vacancy was a person loyal to her. She was building her
base -- you guys didn't even know it.”
Why did you allow her to --
We really didn't know. The first thing, the building of the base
and not knowing that -- why did we allow it? I don't think we paid any
attention. We didn't think that people were doing that kind of thing.
The question of the other thing, of not confronting her, I think is a
subtle form of racism -- or maybe an unsubtle form. Blacks can't do
any wrong. Don't challenge blacks when they don't live up to the same
standards. You don't want to create trouble. Be quiet on it, that kind of
thing. He said it was a laughing stock among blacks that Doris could
get away with anything.
Did she play it like a violin?
She played it very very well. Very very well. See I know that I
personally had never had a relationship with Doris -- never. I was
always in conflict with Doris. On small things, on big things -- on
anything. I would make a proposal at a staff meeting, or an officers'
meeting, that we were going to follow this thing and everybody would
follow -- except Doris. I would go to Davis and say, “You can't do this
thing.” He said, “What are you worried about? Don't worry about it.” I
think that what happens is that in a case like that when a person
realizes that you're getting away with it, you just up the ante and keep
going further and further, and you know that that's what you can do.
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help