Interview with Andrew Young


Oh, yeah. In the discussions that Martin Luther King had in the lea--leadership conference on civil rights, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young, particularly, were convinced that Lyndon Johnson was the best friend that the Black community had ever had, and that we really needed to support Lyndon Johnson on the war because he had supported us so well on civil rights. And I remember one night, we were sitting around talking, it was pretty late, 10:30, 11:00, after he had been somewhere preaching, and he was arguing with us, our staff was divided. Some of us felt that we couldn't do anything until we ended the war; some felt that the only way to end the war was to consolidate our political base in the South and in the northern cities to elect senators and congressmen who were more peaceable. So there was a raging debate in which he launched into a, a long lecture on what was happening in Vietnam. And he talked about, just sort of off the top of his head, but he was so immersed in, in this material, he talked about the mistake we made in not recognizing Ho Chi Minh's declaration of freedom from 1945. You have to remember, we tend to forget, Ho Chi Minh was a student at Boston University and worked in the Parker House as a, as a baker while he was in school. In 1945, there was no Communist China, and the principals of, on which Ho Chi Minh wrote the declaration of freedom from colonialism with France was probably more influenced by his experience at Boston and the American Revolution than the Russian Revolution at that stage. And Harry Truman and people in the State Department really didn't even know where Vietnam was.