Interview with Dillard Munford

If you had been mayor how would you have handled it?


I'd have done exactly the same thing. There was no way to change this city from White to Black with no help except do what he did. Ah, had a business background, I believe I could have delegated some responsibility and got some of the top business leaders, telephone at least, told them I was thinking about 'em. But, he ignored that. And, ah, but, I think he had a job to do. It was to change the business climate, the governmental climate from ah, White to Black. And, I don't know how else he could have done it. Ah, with no help. I think he meant well. And, ah, but, he, he just didn't get the job done as far as communications are concerned. And, left a lot of people unhappy. Because, you know, the business people are accustomed to when they make a phone call, they usually get a response--particularly if you're a bank president, or head of a utility, or something of that nature. But, they got no answer, no response. And, this left them, "Well, where do I go from here?" There are no places to go, because that was the top job in the city and they could not respond, so things were just at a standstill for a good while, and the longer they waited and didn't hear from Maynard, the madder they got. So, I have to answer your question: I don't know how he could have done it. There was no way to slip in the side door of the, of the mayor's office. He could have asked for some White help. He asked for no White help. He could have gotten some top White business people who would, didn't want a job--head of banks and utilities, something like that--ah, to come in and advise him. But, being young and brash, ah, he evidently wanted to do it all himself. And, he didn't get the job done. He made a lot of people unhappy. And, of course it affected his whole tenure as mayor, that, ah, the people were very unhappy, that he just ignored them, they're not accustomed to being ignored. I mean people would have thousand and thousands of stock-holders, and thousands and thousands employees, they're not accustomed to anybody, just ignoring them. And, this built up a resentment, which was very, very severe.


OK. Cut? Or, are we rolling?