Interview with Renault Robinson

Now, later that night all of you folk gathered at Lu Palmer's basement, according to him. What went down. Tell me from your perspective what happened.


Well, at first, Lu had called a meeting of a number of close people that he felt were both involved in the movement and both knew Harold to talk about what we were going to do about Harold's reluctance to run, Harold's reluctance to campaign for mayor, Harold's reluctance to declare that he was in it. I was there with of course the point of view that Harold had because I supported it and thought it was right. The others felt that they needed a crutch, my words, "We need somebody that we can pin our hopes and hang our ambitions on." They felt we couldn't get people to register without a candidate. I felt we could. Harold felt we had to. The thing was degenerating into, "Well, we're going to have to find another candidate," and a whole lot of other garbage. I felt we should call Harold and get Harold over to the meeting. Harold, of course, did not want to come to the meeting because he was absolutely angry at Lu because he thought Lu was trying to put him in a position which would cause him one, to possibly lose the congressional race and two, to not be in a position to get the registration figures that we were looking for, by basing it on personality, that too many people wouldn't participate. Too many people didn't even know who Harold was. So consequently, Harold finally came to the meeting, after again, more coaxing, but said that if an argument started, he would walk out and that would be the end of it. Well, Lu Palmer promised and swore that there would be no argument and no badgering of Harold. But as soon as Harold hit the door, two seconds later, Lu was badgering him. It erupted into a brawl. Harold became visibly angry at what was going on and said he wasn't running for anything and that was that and started to walk out. We were able to sit Harold back down and say, "If you were to run, what would it take to show you that people were really serious?" And this was of course part of a prearranged proposition. He said, "Fifty thousand, ah, new registrants and a hundred thousand dollars." "Fine," then we let Harold go. I stayed and worked through how we were going to accomplish that**. The rest is history.