Interview with Marian Wright Edelman

Did you expect the country to respond?


Listen, I always expect the country to do what is right but I always work to, to get up, ah, when they don't. I never understood then and I don't understand now why it was so hard, ah, to get hungry people fed in rich America. And why the needs of poor children are always superseded by politics. I suppose you have to remember in the middle of an election campaign, ah, Robert Kennedy was by this time challenging Lyndon Baines Johnson. We were in the middle of the war in Vietnam. People were beginning to realize we couldn't, or to say we couldn't have guns and butter. And so the poor were kind of an annoyance over here, ah, and, ah, and something that, that the country wanted to forget, ah, and so it was just real hard and I never get used to how hard it is, ah, and how, you know, people can listen to, ah, the voices of need from, from Indian Reservations or about hungry children anywhere and still find excuses for not acting.