Interview with Rev. Andrew Young
QUESTION 30
INTERVIEWER:

OK, NOT VERY MANY PEOPLE KNEW A COMPROMISE HAD BEEN MADE, AND THAT ANGERED SOME PEOPLE WHEN YOU ACTUALLY DID TURN AROUND.

Rev. Andrew Young:

Well, I don't think any compromise had been made with the judge. I think it was just our thinking through it ourselves and deciding that this is what we wanted to do, ah, that this was the only thing that we could legitimately do. And you… I mean the truth of it was that there was nothing much else to do. I mean here were policemen standing up there. We'd been ordered by a judge not to go any further. If we had run into that police line, they would have beaten us up with court approval.** You know? And so we… we… we knew we didn't want that to happen. And I think that… that again our problem was the people who came down there wanting to experience some kind of confrontation felt shortchanged. They didn't feel the danger and the excitement that they were looking for, ah, but that was one of the… the illusions that led to the death of the Reverend James Reeb. They didn't realize how hostile that situation really was, because it seemed like such a peaceful town. So that when Reverend Reeb, in fact there were three Unitarian clergy that left the restaurant, and if they had turned left instead of right, they would have been all right. They turned to the right and they went by a… a bar of… and people just came out and beat them up, ah, and that could have happened anytime, anywhere in Selma, not knowing your way around. But it… it ah, and I think once that happened, they realized that they—people realized—that they were in danger, and ah, they were sort of grateful that we didn't force a confrontation.