Interview with Mary Frances Berry

--um, what's your personal philosophy of struggle in moral authority?


I believe that once you understand that an injustice is taking place, you have a responsibility to act. And you have a responsibility to analyze it, but you should not engage in so much analysis that you simply become paralyzed by the thinking that, "Boy there's so much to do, and since there's so much to do, and I can't do it all, then I guess I won't do anything." That there's a need to do something to help. And that also you, one should think in terms of a multi-faceted approach to achieving a goal, and not simply one strategy. But, in trying to explain to the public what you're doing when you take action, you should always keep it simple. Figure out what it is, what your goal is, what it is you're attacking, you may use litigation, and that's entirely proper, and it's effective in certain circumstances, you may le- use voting for people, or running for office, or trying to influence people who are in office to make change, and that's entirely appropriate to do. You may even use spiritual appeals to people to do something. And you may engage in direct action, and you have to be willing to engage in direct action, civil disobedience, when it is necessary, and you have to be willing to suffer the consequences. So, I think it's necessary to act against injustice. And I also believe that it's necessary never to compromise with injustice.