Interview with Robert Kiley

But now you said that it was very difficult to be rational on this issue. Um, could you speak to what the, the climate of, of leadership was in respect to this?


Well, when I say it became difficult to be rational on the issue, when it became more and more clear that the judge was going to make a finding that would cause school desegregation to occur, that indeed the school was in fact segregated, that a lot of decisions about resources and assignments had been made on a racial grounds, when that became clear, and there was no mystery about this, then to be opposed what the judge ultimat- to be opposed to what the judge ultimately was going to do, no longer became reasonable or rational. It had to become emotional, and you would hear arguments like, "Well, the reason why we can't have racial mixing in the school is that there'll be fights and there'll be violence and there'll be all kinds of awful things that will happen." These are Catch-22 sorts of propositions, because in order for statements like that to be credible, the conditions already have to exist which are emotional and irrational, and that's the situation we had by the time of the early '70s in Boston.