Interview with Craig Rains


Craig Rains:

Well, it's a weird thing, I think. You wonder if anything good ever comes out of being given a task such as raising the flag, but I think that gave me an opportunity I would not have had otherwise, because I had the opportunity to see what was going on outside the school, to see the anger, and feel the sense – you could cut it with a knife, the tension outside the school, with these people who had come in from other parts of the state, other states. There were license plates from all other states that were there, the people who had come in and were outside our school.** Very few people from Little Rock were there causing these problems, that I could see. But it was just an ugly attitude. And it — it — especially I have a picture of — of when Elizabeth Eckford came to try to get into school. And the crowd began to heckle her, and cheer and shout, as she walked along. I was just dumbfounded. I ran up with – I had my camera at the time — I ran up and took a picture of it. And then as she went on I thought, well, I can't believe people would actually be this way to other people. And seeing all of this hate really began to make me realize that all the world is not rosy. In fact, there are some people out there that are persecuted. There are some people that don't get a fair shake. And there are people that are ugly, that don't understand, and are not open-minded. And I began to change from being somebody who was — I considered myself a moderate, who, if I had my way, would have said, let's don't integrate, because it's the state's right to decide, to someone who felt a real sense of compassion for these students, and felt like they deserved something that I had, and I also developed a real dislike for the people that were out there that were causing problems. It was very unsettling to me.**