Interview with Harry McPherson

What happened to the old, what about the old civil rights leaders? Where were the White people? Where was the White liberal and, what happened to him by 1966?


By 1966 the, ah, ah, the White liberals were still very much in favor of good things. Who could be against education and health care and the rest? Precisely how to achieve them, whether through the community action agencies of the poverty program or through Head Start or how, exactly, to achieve something, particularly as we're talking now in, in time frames of decades, to make big changes. Ah, that's very difficult and it's not really, ah, ah, the kind of thing that most people, even well meaning White liberals, have the, the tenacity to do. They have run a long race. They've achieved the Civil Rights Acts of '64 and '65 and now, it's not that they want to rest, it's just that they don't know quite how to focus on a new thing, that is of, of equal significance. At the same time, another thing is entering the, ah, the arena. Another thing is entering the political arena and diverting the attention of White liberals from the Civil Rights Movement and that is Vietnam.