Interview with Richard Hatcher
QUESTION 21
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Why not?

RICHARD HATCHER:

Well, I think again it was this idea, ah, that the democratic, "Give the Democratic Party one more chance. Give them one more chance to prove, ah, that they can be fair. Ah, that they can treat Blacks in a just way." Ah, so that was sort of the argument. Now there are other, more fundamental reasons. Ah, there were many people at that convention who had a real stake in not seeing a third party form. Ah, some of them were employed, ah, in one way or another by the Democratic Party. Ah, ah, some of them were very active and had relationships in that party that they did not want to sever. And, ah, as a consequence, you know, were, were opposed. There were many reasons. Ah, I do not want to in any way suggest that, ah, these were not legitimate reasons. But there were just many different reasons why people did not see this as the right time. There were some people who simply felt that in a, in a sense it would be committing political suicide. In fact, you would be out with a third party, the history of third parties in our country not having been very successful, and that you'd been in a third party while the real, ah, transactions, ah, the real influence was being wielded in either the Democrat or the Republican Party. And we'd sort of just be outside, and not have anything to say about anything. And so there were all these reasons on the one side, and then there were the counter arguments on the other side. That, ah, we had not been treated well be either of the parties. That, ah, if we form a third party at the very least, ah, we could have our own nominees for president and so forth. Ah, we would be establishing our independence of the, ah, Democratic Party. It would be a little like declaring, ah, a, a, a new emancipation proclamation. That we were free of the Democratic Party. Ah, you know, that had sort of held us captive for, ah, since 1932. Ah, all of those arguments were going on ,on the floor and behind the scenes. Ah, as these resolutions were coming up, ah, for a final vote. Ah, many of the speakers, ah, as I said, ah, ah, place themselves on one side or another of this issue. Ah, ah, Rev. Jackson, ah, as I said, said, you know, "I think we ought to stop talking about it and go ahead and do it." I mean, it was almost that, that blunt.

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Yes, that's great.