Interview with Roger Wilkins

So the question is, as a northerner, did you think the non-violent movement would have any success in Chicago?


I couldn't really believe that the non-violent movement would be very successful in Chicago. Daley was a bigot. Um, he had a bigoted machine, he ran a bigoted city. Um, besides, the problems were too vast and too broad. Ah, you needed massive investments in education. You needed massive job training, and you had to have the understanding that it was not just a multi-decade problem you're dealing with, it was a multi-generational problem. And, Daley's whole thing was just to absorb King and absorb the non-violent movement, and keep on doing what he did anyway. And of course, he'd diffuse responsibilities to, say, police, schools, real estate people. And nothing happens. And Daley would say, "Well, we tried." That's exactly what happened.