Interview with George Clements

Do you have other recollections of that service? What were the things you did with the children? What were you trying to bring them?


Well, what I was really trying to bring them to was a realization that you cannot really get through in this nation unless you use creativity, ingenuity, unless you refuse to be ignored. I was trying to let them see that you cannot use the ordinary conventional methods in our nation and really make an impact. And I, I remember comparing, ah, Fred with, ah, Dr. King. And I said, "Now Dr. King had his way, and it was an effective way because it struck at the guilt of White people. And, and it just kind of hit them in that corner of their hearts where they just felt, 'well, I really should stop oppressing these people because, here they are espousing the Christian message of non-violence, and I'm, I'm supposed to be a Christian, and maybe I ought to, ah, really see if I can change some of my, my ways.' So it was, he was effective." But I said to these youngsters that "You're going to need all kinds. You're going to need the Fred Hamptons also, who, while you got Dr. King preaching non-violence, you got somebody like Fred Hampton, who was saying, 'OK, since the non-violence isn't working, I'm ready to kick butt.' And, and, and we need all of that." And that was, those were some of the things I was trying to get, get across to the children.