Interview with Robert Williams
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

OK. WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE OF THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF THE NAACP TO YOUR UH, MEN BEARING ARMS?

Robert Williams:

Well, they were opposed to it, but they really didn't get worked up until some time later, actually in uh, I think it was in uh, for about, ‘58 or ‘59, that uh, three black women had been assaulted. One was a woman who, a mother who was eight months pregnant, and a white man attempted to uh, to rape her, and he beat her. And she along with her white neighbor, went to town to try to get a warrant, they lived in a rural community, for the white man. And they uh, refused to give her a warrant, so we had to intervene with NAACP. Then there was another black woman who was uh, working in the hotel, a hotel maid, and they claimed she made too much noise in the hallway when she was cleaning, and a railroad worker came out of his room in his underwear and kicked her down a flight of stairs into the lobby of the hotel, so she couldn't, couldn't get a warrant, that nothing was, was done about this. So also there had been some other, other problems with whites. So actually when this uh, black woman had this attempted rape made on her, that the men in the community in the rifle club asked me for permission to go by and shoot in his house, and uh, I told him no, that we couldn't do this. And then they said, well wouldn't it be all right if we kinda lightly sprinkled a few machine gun shots into his house, and I said, no. And they said well couldn't we drop a stick of dynamite on his porch. And I told him no, that we couldn't uh, resort to that type of thing, because we were operating legally, and operating under the law. So I said that we were going to prosecute this man. And so there was a white woman lawyer who—Jacqueline Fince—who volunteered to give us services from New York and came down to help prosecute him. And they didn't even allow her to take the floor. The thing was over before she even knew it. And uh, the only—

[unintelligible background conversation][tone]

Robert Williams:

So, on the day of the trial of Louis Medlin who was the white man who had made the attempt on the—Mrs. Lilly May—