Interview with Bayard Rustin


Bayard Rustin:

Well, the only thing I would like to say is that I think that it is very imperative now—as we face the future—that blacks begin to be responsible, and not to do those things which are going to make problems between us and the people we need. We cannot accomplish anything that we need in the United States, without the working people in the trade unions, and without Jews and Catholics. And it is mostly [ir-]responsible for young blacks now to stir up trouble so that they separate our alliance by doing those things which antagonize Jews. Now, quite frankly, there are differences between blacks and Jews, on questions sometimes of affirmative action, et cetera. But we ought not to let that create the kind of problems where we are separating ourselves from the Jewish community, which is absolutely as essential now as it was in helping Dr. King. Two of whose lawyers were Jews, when I was collecting money from Dr. King, at least a third of it came from Jewish people. Two Jewish boys were murdered in Mississippi along with a black; rabbis were brutalized and beaten. And we must do nothing at all that will separate us from our Jewish brothers. And that to me is vitally important.