Interview with John McDermott
QUESTION 7
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Did you- was he not at all sincere? When Mayor Daley announced his program to end slums by '67, did any part of you believe it?

JOHN McDERMOTT:

It was rhetoric. I don't believe that Daley was an evil man. I think he felt that the city was making progress and it, wh- what people had to do, including what Black people had to do, was cooperate with the system, work through the Democratic party, ah, and all things would be well. I think he was quite sincere about that. I think he was reluctant to face the fact that we did have--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

I'm sorry. Can you start that last sentence again, the--

JOHN McDERMOTT:

I'm sorry. I don't know what the last sentence was. I think Mayor Daley, ah, was sincere in his belief that what you, what Black people should do is not join the Civil Rights Movement, but work through the system and the system was the regular Democratic organization. And you joined it and you worked from the bottom to the top, or you worked from the bottom up and you received certain benefits or prerequisites. I think he felt that that was the path to follow and he refused, or was reluctant to face the fact that there were terrible injustices in this city, that there were terrible slums and horrible living conditions and that these were not, hadn't gone away and were still around and that they, there was ample justification for the Civil Rights Movement to protest the inadequacy of the status quo.