Interview with Tom Hayden
QUESTION 25
INTERVIEWER:

UM, I WANT, GETTING BACK TO, TO THE SUMMER PROJECT I WAS TALKING ABOUT BEFORE TOO, UM, THE IDEA OF STUDENTS, WHITE STUDENTS COMING IN MISSISSIPPI EN MASSE LIKE THAT, UM, WHAT DID YOU THINK IT, HOW DID, HOW DID THAT AFFECT THE COUNTRY, HOW DID IT AFFECT UM, UM, WHAT, WHAT IMPACT DID YOU THINK IT WAS GOING TO HAVE ON THE MOVEMENT AND …

Tom Hayden:

Well I was in Mississippi when there were very few white students or northern whites there at all. And I remember the thinking was, uh, if this simply remains a black thing, where the white official violence is visited upon uh, black sharecroppers or black civil rights workers, uh, how will a country that is significantly prejudiced respond? What's gonna make them interested? And the conclusion was uh, that for all the problems in it, it, it would be necessary to bring down the white sons and daughters of the country's middle class from the liberal north by the hundreds, by the thousands if possible, to uh, experience uh, whether—-the true nature of southern segregation. And that out of that clash, uh, there'd be a stronger message to the North. The idea of being that if you mobilize the North, it was kind of like a political civil war, if you mobilize the North, that then pressure would be put on Congress and on the administration, and then they would finally do something about these uh, strongholds of segregation in the South. And the—-I think that there was some truth to that strategy.