Interview with Robert Moses
QUESTION 28
INTERVIEWER:

NOW, ITS DURING THAT SUMMER WAS THE TIME WHEN THE THREE WORKERS WERE FOUND THAT YOU ANNOUNCED THEIR FINDING TO A GROUP AT THE SAME TIME YOU SPEAK ABOUT VIETNAM. TALK AND GIVE ME SOME SENSE OF HOW THEY BOTH, WHAT THEY BOTH MEANT IN TERMS OF THE STRUGGLE THAT YOU WERE INVOLVED IN, WITH IT, VIETNAM, MISSISSIPPI—

Robert Moses:

What I used to think of, what struck me when they found the bodies of Schwerner and Goodman and Chaney and when put on the front cover the pictures of the Sheriff Rainey and his core, as though it was all a big joke. They had a picture of them kind of eating in the courtroom and laughing and so forth, and what we were confronted with was what I came to call the murderer's jury. Because they could not actually bring an indictment for murder in Neshoba county and they haven't brought one to this day because the person that handled the jury was the sheriff. And unless the sheriff impaneled whatever they call it to reach a verdict about bringing an indictment for murder, they couldn't do it. So, what I call it was the case of the murderer's jury. How is it when you're the murderer, is the sheriff, how are you going to get any kind of justice? All right. And I thought of the same thing of the United States, vis-a-vis Vietnam, that we were here now involved in, on a larger scale of the same case where now the president has engaged us in a war which congress has not declared. And how in this country are we going to get together any semblance of kind of protest or understanding to combat that. Where do we go, because our legal institution which is entitled to declare war has opted out, has rested silence. So then the next summer in 1965 we had our citizens congress there in Washington to protest really what we felt was the abdication of congress, of its responsibility.