Interview with Dr. Robert Ellis
QUESTION 33
INTERVIEWER:

WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY DO YOU THINK THAT RIOT WAS? WAS IT THE GOVERNOR'S? WAS IT THE STUDENTS? WAS IT THE PRESIDENT'S? WAS IT THE, THE SOCIAL SYSTEM? WHOSE FAULT WAS IT?

Dr. Robert Ellis:

I think it was the, the um, governor of the state and the President of the United States. They were so busy protecting the interests of the Democratic Party that they were willing to sit there and negotiate with each other while the forces were building up to the point where a riot was inevitable. If the, if the federal government had told Governor Barnett we're coming in and we're going to maintain order and we're going to register Meredith, they would have had my complete respect and cooperation. They didn't do that. And by the same token the governor was so obsessed with the idea of maintaining our way of life, that that was the ultimate objective. And with those two, uh, points of view and with the two political leaders trying to make each other look as good as they could, uh, the situation just got out of hand.**