Interview with Casey Hayden
QUESTION 32
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT ABOUT THE FACT THAT UM, SOME SAY THAT THE KILLING OF GOODMAN AND SCHWERNER REPRESENTED THE NEW ACTION BY THE RESISTANCE BECAUSE UP TO THAT POINT BASICALLY ONLY BLACK LIVES HAD BEEN TAKEN, UM, UH, IN MISSISSIPPI ANYWAY. UM, DID YOU, DID, DID PEOPLE SEE THAT AS AN ESCALATAION, THE FACT THAT, AND… THERE'S A LOT OF CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE RESPONSE BECAUSE NOW, NOW THAT TWO WHITES WERE DEAD, THE WHOLE NATION HAD GOT CONCERNED ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL. WHAT ABOUT THAT WHOLE QUESTION?

Casey Hayden:

Well part of the thinking, um, part of our thinking in doing the project was that uh, the white press didn't consider black deaths as deaths. I mean, you know, when a black person died it wasn't exactly a death, it just wasn't, um, it wasn't as significant as a white death, that's the way the press was. That's one of the major changes that's come out of the movement, is that when a black person dies now it's a death, the same way it is when a white person dies. Uh, so, you know, part of our thinking was well if we get a lot of white kids down here who have connections, personal and impersonal, to the white press, the coverage will be different, um, and in fact that was the case. And uh, it sounds cold blooded but that's the way it was, and if those had been just black Mississippians who had been killed it would not have attracted that kind of attention, it wouldn't have led to the kind of social change it led to. So, um, just we had anticipated some of this before it happened.