Interview with Joseph Rauh


Joseph Rauh:

Well, the next morning um, we'd uh… the thing was really over. But at the post-mortum the next morning in the church where we had our meetings of the Freedom Democratic Party, a lot of people spoke for the uh, acceptance, sort of a retroactive acceptance from the night before, because the night before, the Credentials Committee, the Credentials Committee report had been approved. But this was sort of, we might try to reopen it or something. Martin Luther King spoke for the acceptance. Uh, Wayne Morris, the great civil rights senator spoke for it. Jim Farmer spoke for it. Uh, Bayard Rustin spoke for it. Uh, I spoke for it. But uh, there wasn't uh, any real possibility of doing that. At one stage there was a real movement to go ahead and get a different two. You see, uh, they had made a terrible blunder, Ruther, and the President and the others, when they gave us that compromise. They chose our two. In a group, a participatory democracy you don't let somebody choose the two that that are going to be. And they choosed two intellectuals: Aaron Henry, a professional pharmacist, and Ed King, a pr—white professor. They left the sharecroppers who were the bulk of the delegation, out, and that of course, they left uh, Fannie Lou Hamer out. And Fannie Lou Hamer wa—was the fire in this thing. If they'd have said, Aaron Henry and Fannie Lou Hamer it might have been different. So they came to me and said, "Could you get this?" I said, "I will try to get this even now, if you vote or tell me you're certain it can be approved. But I can't go and get Humphrey to get Johnson to make this shift unless I know I can get it back here." Aaron and Ed King went around the room talking to a few people and they came back and said, forget it. Uh, this crowd now is angry. They came to get more, and you're just not going to be able to… to make anymore. Why don't we just do what we did, which was uh, we didn't take the deal. But the results of that were just as great as if we'd had taken it.