Interview with Tom Hayden


Tom Hayden:

Well I think in any kind of uh, social revolution like this you get people who have all kinds of motivations. Uh, uh, not all of them pure, and certainly none of them simple. Uh, I think there was some uh, romanticism on the part of white students who wanted to come down. I think there was probably some guilt at work. Uh, but I'm not a psychologist I don't look at motives, I try to look at behavior and what are the consequences. And for all the, the uh, problems that the students might have borne with them, uh, uh, after all they were, uh, trying to deal with responsibilities that the adult generation had failed to deal with for a hundred years. I think that the results were, historically, very, very significant. That is in a short period of time, we didn't solve all the problems of America but we did away with the system of legalized segregation that had prevented millions of people from being able to think of themselves as human beings, citizens with the right to vote. And, uh, I think that was one of the great achievements of the 20th century, and it was these students, with all of our frailties, with all of our uh, inexperience, there were in the forefront of, of making that happen, and that's something that I think uh, that generation can rightly be proud of for all time.