Interview with Renault Robinson

It's the Byrne demonstration and insults are starting. Tell me about it.


Well, everything was tumultuous. Day after day different kinds of things were happening between the CHA, the School Board and etcetera. One day, Jane called me into her office and said, "Renault, you are attacking the guy at CHA, Swibel, and I need him. Back away, leave him alone." I said, "I can't." I said, "This guy is causing the Black community and you one helluva of a problem." I said, "I'm going to go forward. That was our deal." But she said, "But I want to change our deal." I said, "I'm sorry, Jane, I can't change it." I said, "I'm going forward. Swibel's got to go." She said, "Renault, you're going to cause me any amount of difficulty if you don't back away from Swibel. I need him to run this city." I said, "Jane, he's bad for the city and he's bad for my people. I'm sorry." So we continued to force Swibel out of his chair. She tried to stack the board with White appointees to outvote me, to keep me from being able to force him out because the chairman was chosen by the membership. She tried stacking the School Board because of the same type of situation. She tried all kinds of things and they all backfired in her face. She had to hold on to the people who ran the city, the machine, and at the same time she wanted to try and pacify the Black community, the people who voted her into office, figuring that she had plenty of time to be able to get them back, obviously it didn't work.