Interview with Bob Mants

I want to shift a little bit and go into the Jonathan Daniels' murder. And I know this was something that was real big in the media and to America. But now how did SNCC feel about the murder of Jonathan Daniels?


Well, with Jon, it was a murder. And we've, and that's how I think our position on it was. It was a blatant, outright murder of Jonathan Daniels and the shooting of Father Mor- who was, Father Richard Morrisroe. There were some people who had been working with SNCC who was involved around that whole episode ah that still, it was a murder. During that time, ah, the races in Alabama were so polarized that, ah, ah, almost, I know very, for the first nine months that I was in Alabama I went to a funeral or memorial service every month. Ah, the violence that took place, ah, and it had to do with the state of Alabama which is unlike Mississippi and Alabama, ah, Mississippi and Georgia for example. In Alabama, 1966, when the governor's wife ran for, ah, for the governor, state of Mis- of Alabama. He could have ran his yard dog and his yard dog would have ra- won as governor of Alabama. The allegiance was to the state. It was much more organized as it was i- in Mississippi and in, in Georgia. The allegiance was to the state. So what you had at the state, at the helm of the state, was the last vestige of the old south as I like to call it. And that was civilized by George Wallace, ah, to the extent that George Wallace could get on the television. And then the news media, and say, "We have these outsiders in the state stirring up trouble," and we knew that somebody was going to die in Alabama that night. Or that day. It was just, it was that the, the, the, the tension, the racial polarization and the violence was that, ah, ah, pronounced in Ala- in Alabama during that time.