Interview with Bernard Lafayette

OK, now, can you tell me, when you, when you were marching in, in Marquette Park, is the issue, is this just race?


Many people saw the marches in Marquette Park as really racial in the sense that White people, you know, didn't like Black folks and they responded, but that was not the case at all. I think to a certain extent on the surface people could see this and it tur--you know, it can interpret it that way, but at the bottom, if Blacks, um, coming into Gage Park would have meant that the property values would go up, I think Blacks, Whites would have second thoughts as to whether or not they wanted to keep Blacks out, but because of the myth that was perpetuated, and because they were Blacks, they were easily identifiable. And so therefore whenever you have an identifiable group, then they can be targeted as the problem. But the problem was not the Blacks, the problems was the economics of the situation that was controlled by real estate agents, and both the Blacks and the Whites were exploited in the situation because of color. Color had a lot to do with it, but it was a, an element that was exploited.