Interview with John Conyers

The Kennedy and Johnson administrations are generally seen as allies of the Civil Rights Movement. What changes when Nixon comes in?


With Richard Nixon we, we had an ascendancy of the philosophy of, ah, there's too much government, ah, handouts are bad for character, ah, welfare is not the way out. All of the, the Democratic programs, ah, CETA, OEO, ah, even, ah, some of the, ah, Medicare programs were all, ah, put under a new scrutiny, especially in view of the fact that the Vietnam War was escalating and the ferment was really out there. President Nixon developed, ah, from, from the earliest part a sort of a bunker mentality, ah, of them/us, ah, which was, was constrained somewhat because of the, the great number of Democrats that were in the Congress.


I'd like to hear a little bit more of--