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he admits, but that was a very, very, very terrible mistake that the
union suffered from because of it. He never wanted to take on Doris
The mistake was simply in the selection of her as a successor.
The selection and the treatment of her as a --
What about the treatment?
Well, I think he treated her like she could do no wrong. He
would make speeches saying that, “She's more like the members than
I will ever be. She represents you.” And whenever she did anything
that was -- for example, they worked out a plan where Doris would
meet with Davis weekly to discuss events, things, you know. She
stopped coming. Davis never said anything. Jesse Olson --
Jesse Olson, the executive vice president.
He always mistrusted Doris for this reason, and it was a
symbol, symptomatic of the problems. He would fire staff members
who he thought were ineffective and didn't work.
The next day they were hired by Doris. Davis never said
anything, but it was undermining Jesse. It meant that people he
thought that were incompetent were ending up as organizers, and they
became her strongest allies. So she was cleverly building that. There
was an election for members of the election board. We didn't give
attention to that. Whoever won won. She planted somebody who she
wanted to win. That person won. In various committees, so when
issues came up that we didn't expect would ever come up, she had the
votes there. She had carefully built this up, and we had helped her do
it, Davis had. But I think it stems from the way we worked at that time
and our outlook.
Was there anything about the approach that represented a
patronizing or condescending tone that might have turned Doris
against Davis at any point, assuming that she [cross talk]
Well, there are certain ways Davis worked to show her. Davis
was not the most skilled person in dealing with like black women. Now,
when he decided it was Doris, it was Doris, you know, always speaking
affectionately about her and “Will you do this and do that?” You know,
to many of us it sounded very, very patronizing.
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