Interview with Tom Hayden
QUESTION 16
INTERVIEWER:

AND LET'S FIR—TALK ABOUT THE IDEA OF THE FACT THAT THEY SHOULD BE PROTECTED HOW? WHAT, WHO, WHO'S RESPONSIBLE? WHERE'S THE RESPONSIBILITY? OK, UM, YOU READY? OK TALK ABOUT WHAT YOUR EXPECTATIONS SAY OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN TO PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS WORKERS.

Tom Hayden:

My expectation of what my federal government uh, should have been doing was the protection of civil rights workers and the enactment of legislation to protect the right to vote, uh, both of them. And, and I think that we were, many of us were shocked by the uh, slowness, if, if uh, for lack of another word, with which the federal government moved. Although there were competent uh, federal officials in many areas, uh, it was also true that the FBI under, uh, J. Edgar Hoover, uh, had no great sympathy with this cause, many of their agents were on cozy terms with uh, Southern state officials. Uh, many of them were uh, absent at the scene of the action, or if they were there uh, they filed uh, completely uh, innocuous reports or sometimes uh, blaming the victims for the, for the uh violence. So we came to feel that the uh, arm of the federal government simply didn't reach to the South, uh, that some political arrangement superseded the Constitution, that political arrangement uh, respected the power of the Southern segregationists uh, in, in uh, Washington.