Interview with Bayard Rustin
QUESTION 51
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD HAVE HAPPENED, IN AMERICA, IF INSTEAD OF NONVIOLENCE, WE HAD CHOSEN A DIRECT, AGGRESSIVE, HOSTILE—

Bayard Rustin:

Well, there would have been police action taken against us. No minority can use violence against the majority and get away with it for very long. They would have thrown us all into jail. And the people—the important point is that all the Catholics, white, Protestants, white, Jews, white, trade union leaders, white, who joined our struggle, and who helped us win it, would never have been able to have joined it if we had been preaching violence. They simply wouldn't have joined.