Interview with William Rutherford
QUESTION 17
INTERVIEWER:

Toward the last two months of his life he was under a lot of pressure. There was opposition from friends. There was some opposition from SCLC. Did he ever consider giving up the Poor People's Campaign?

WILLIAM RUTHERFORD:

Well, the short answer is no. Ah, a bit longer answer is that certainly--

INTERVIEWER:

Can I stop here one second. I thought you were going to say that. Could you give the statement of incorporating the question. When I say, did he consider giving up the campaign. Did he consider giving up the Poor People's Campaign?

WILLIAM RUTHERFORD:

Well I think, if one asks oneself whether Dr. King ever considered really giving up the Poor People's Campaign, the short answer is no. Ah, but being a thoughtful reflective person, of course he considered alternatives, the options, other directions to go because of the, ah, opposition and disagreement he found on all sides of him, on all sides of himself. However, being a person of very strong convictions, once he decided that was the logical, reasonable, ah, I should say, correct thing to do, there was, there was no alternative. He couldn't have done anything else. He knew that after achieving the Voters' Rights Act that allowed people to vote, after achieving a public accommodations law that allowed people to participate in public accommodations, that the economic issue was the great and key issue.

INTERVIEWER:

Great. Cut. That was great.