Interview with Gordon Carey


Gordon Carey:

Oh, sorry about that. Nonviolence was particularly appropriate to the Southern civil rights movement because you were facing a potentially violent opponent who was very stubborn. And the opponent in this case, the legal forces of these Southern states and cities were ready to put you in jail for trying to do a simple act like eat in a restaurant, or worse they might be willing to simply stand by and turn the, turn their eyes away when someone attacked these kids, or adults, whoever they might be. So that what you've got to do is, you've got to come up with some strategy that your opponent doesn't understand. You've got to come up with some kind of a, of a flanking operation, and that's what nonviolent direct action really is. It's simply a very soft spoken but very aggressive means of getting your point across. And by refusing to fight back you deny the opponent the basic means that he thinks he can use to overwhelm you. You take that weapon away from him. He says he'll send you to jail, and you say fine. He says he'll beat you up and you say, well, I'm here, I'm still here, go ahead, do what you want. It takes all the fun out of hitting him.