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Tom Hayden

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Transcription

McKiernan Interviews
Interview with: Tom Hayden
Interviewed by: Stephen McKiernan
Transcriber: Carrie Blabac-Myers
Date of interview: 14 November 2003
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(Start of Interview)

0:02
TH: Hold it.

0:06
SM: By it is already there.

0:08
TH: But I need to play.

0:11
SM: It is recording right now.

0:12
TH: Are you sure? Yeah. All right, fine.

0:15
SM: When you think of the (19)60s, a lot of these questions are basic and general, when you think of the (19)60s, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

0:33
TH: Well, I guess I think of the (19)60s as the cradle of my identity.

0:45
SM: Could you explain a little further on that?

0:47
TH: Well, you can think of it in different ways. I always get asked about the (19)60s so it is kind of a reference point and as a subject of reflection or study. I could probably give a course on the (19)60s in my sleep and there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered and inconclusive about the (19)60s. But if I think about it, in terms of my experience, I think everybody's identity is formed when they are young. And I was, I was formed by the (19)60s I was. I grew up in the suburban apathy of Royal Oak, Michigan and was simply traveling along in this suffocating, apathetic state and then the (19)60s began in an instant and it was, it was like an electrical charge that just went right through me and a lot of other people of my generation. So, the whole experience of the decade was the experience of my twenties. And the cradle of my identity. I do not know how else to explain it.

1:47
SM: The boomer generation has been criticized by a lot of pundits in the last ten, fifteen, twenty years, as being the reason why looking at the boomer generation, and some of the things they did is the reason why our society has gone downhill in many ways. And when I say in many ways, the disrespect for authority, the drug culture, those kinds of things, what are your comments on individuals who criticize that generation as the reason why we have problems today in our society?

3:13
TH: First of all, I do not like the term 'boomer generation', it is derogatory. It makes the generation seem silly. And it has. It has no other political content. When you think of the (19)60s, yes there was; there were a variety of events that happened, you know, the journey to the moon, the election of Nixon, that happened in the (19)60s, but the core experience of the (19)60s makes people think of the assassination of Dr. King and the two Kennedy's and the Civil Rights marches, and the Vietnam War and the counterculture, that is the core. And when you say boomer, you do not really capture Martin Luther King. As far as things having gone downhill, you know, I do not know of any particular evidence of things having gone downhill in the 1960s. I mean, to the extent there was any economic problem it was the expenditures for Vietnam outpacing tax revenues, and the country going off the gold standard for the first time in history, but would that have nothing to do with the protests that had to do with the folly of the war. I think things went downhill for the country in one obvious sense, and that was the assassinations of so many of our natural, popular, elected leaders and who can say where the blame lies for that? As for drugs, I do not really understand the charge. It has to come from people who think drugs are the bane of all evil. For me, you know, I was a virtual alcoholic, my father was an alcoholic. My problem and America's problem is very much around the legalization, celebration, and promotion of alcohol, which is a drug that is associated with violence, it is associated with car crashes. It is a proven association. I do not happen to have had much experience with drugs in the 1960s. But certainly, my experience with marijuana and my observation is that marijuana is not associated with violence. It is not associated with anything antisocial unless you are a Puritan, and you believe you should work 24/7. I do not think people having used marijuana adversely impacted the country and I have always thought marijuana should be legal if alcohol is, or we need to review all of our addictive industries. The other drugs I think you want to take them one at a time and put them subject to some kind of Public Health Commission and find a way to move away from policies that criminalize to policies that legalize and control and by that I do not mean, like we do alcohol. Alcohol in some states, I do not know about Pennsylvania, but you still have alcohol outlets that are state regulated. To me, after you classify drugs based on scientific findings and epidemiological findings, you should legalize, regulate, tax, utilize the tax revenues to promote treatment, you should prohibit advertising and you should prohibit any campaign contributions whatsoever. And it is my feeling based on the research I have done on prohibition of alcohol in the (19)20s and (19)30s that the violence associated with drugs, which is a real problem, would go down drastically if an alternative policy was followed. So, the tradeoff I would make would be to legalize and regulate in exchange for the reduction of violence that I think would happen.

8:40
SM: When you look at the, I will not use the term boomer again-

8:44
TH: You can use it, I just-

8:44
SM: But when you look at the use of the boomers or the youth of the (19)60s, what were their strengths, and what were their weaknesses?

9:02
TH: It is sort of, it is hard to sort it out for everybody because you had a great variety. But I think that the strength that I would recall is the capacity to idealize the capacity to dream which is essential to regenerate a society. And the weaknesses, I think were the considerable lack of a strong legacy to stand on. The feeling that we had not received much of a heritage from our parents or our society, and that it was necessary to almost begin all over again or carry the load of all these movements and causes when we were younger than we should have been.

10:32
SM: How important were the students in the antiwar movement in terms of ending the war? I preface the statement, because a lot of people state that the war really ended or people started going really against the war when body bags came for the people who lived in the Midwest, you read this in history books. And in some sense that denigrates some of the things that students are doing on university campuses around the country, the protests. I just want your thoughts on how important were student protests in ending the Vietnam War.

11:10
TH: That needs to be studied further. That is really sort of a Rorschach question, in that the answers depend largely on what you felt, but I do not think it has been studied. The idea that people only started to care when the body bags came home has some truth to it but it is obviously you know, oversimplified. I think for instance, when students started resisting the draft, that certainly made the implementation of the war more problematic. When students started to rock campuses, that reverberated among administrators and trustees who were usually in the local or regional power structures of the political parties and the business class. And that anti-draft sentiment and anti-war sentiment constituted I think a real problem for carrying out the war among people in the establishment who valued the support of the younger generation. I think students also were pivotal in dumping Lyndon Johnson in the sense that they were the dominant troops in the Eugene McCarthy campaign in New Hampshire. So, in all those ways, students played a role as students, I think, but I do not know if I would be able to compare the weight of different factors in how it ended.

13:28
SM: When you think of the (19)60s is there a clear-cut movement that stands out above in other words, or is it a combination?

13:36
TH: I think the (19)60s are remembered as a period of upheaval and questioning and nonconformity, and revolt and then it breaks down according to where you were or what you prefer. A lot of the times, people that disparage the (19)60s leave the civil rights movement out, you notice it becomes the psychedelic experience because you know, that and that was part of it. But the Beatles, but the (19)60s was different movements and yet at the same time, the whole was greater than its parts.

14:24
SM: One of the things that comes out a lot of Boomers feel is this whole issue of trust. We all know that historic events of that period of the Gulf of Tonkin, which as history has shown was really something that shouldn't have caused the beginning of a war number one, and then lies that we are often told to the American public, by political leaders. I want to ask you, to my basic question is, do you feel that the (19)60s have really affected our nation with respect to trust? Trust in leaders?

15:08
TH: Oh, absolutely.

15:11
SM: At every level.

15:07
TH: Oh, absolutely, you have to put it in the context of what came before. Whether it was entirely true or not, people had a lot of satisfaction with Eisenhower, Truman and Roosevelt in terms of, you know, confidence in leaders and feeling that they were getting the whole story. And that is obviously not true. It is obviously a historical exaggeration. But it was the experience of people like my father who believed that the government would tell the truth with respect to issues where young Americans were going to be put in harm’s way. And what came between me and my father and so many people and their families was the inability of the elders to embrace the idea that the government was lying. It took a while. I mean, by the end of the decade, there was a consensus that the government lies but the turning points throughout the (19)60s usually had to do with parents refusing to believe that their children was right, children were right, and the government was lying and was wrong.

15:23
SM: Do you think that the children of the (19)60s or the boomers passes this on to their children so that they also do not trust? Or have they seen again? Have they come to their own conclusions based on the leaders of today?

17:04
TH: I think that a majority of Americans would not be surprised to find that in any given situation, the government was lying. And not simply the president, but it is government practice to lie or to distort. That is a big change in skepticism. Whether it is greater among children of (19)60s people, I do not know.

17:34
SM: In the area of healing. We all know that the Vietnam Memorial that was built in 1982 was supposed to be a non-political entity. Still going, is not it?

17:46
TH: Yeah. You are alright.

17:47
SM: And it is done a great deal with respect to healing vets. But I would like to ask you the general question again, on the healing of America. Have we healed as a nation since the (19)60s based on the unbelievable divisions that took place in that particular time? Have we healed?

18:10
TH: No, but I think we have healed, we have healed more than perhaps other countries might. It is, it is impressive, given the past divisions, it is made somewhat easier I think, because of the common recognition that Vietnam was at a minimum a mistake and at maximum, a huge lie that manipulated the whole generation, whether one fought in Vietnam or resisted Vietnam, we have the common experience of having been manipulated by the government and deceived. I do not know if it is a part of American pragmatism that leads people to shrug off what happened yesterday and move forward. You know, Bill Clinton had that campaign song, "Yesterday is Gone" and this is a useful part of American pragmatism. It also has a superficial quality to it. And so, I cannot say healing on a deep level has occurred for the nation, where it might have occurred for countless individuals or families. Because in a superficial sense, people try to forget about it. Get on with it as if you can get on with the missing leg or a father who insisted that his son go to Vietnam, where his son was killed can somehow get on with it, you know, by forgetting. So, there is a, there is an awful lot of pain and division beneath the surface of this healing in medical terms, the wound, I wish I had the phraseology, but the wound is still there, and the treatment may have been superficial. But you know, I think you see what I mean. And the failure, the failure to the extent that the failure to deeply heal exists. It means that the Vietnam syndrome perpetuates itself over and over again, and that syndrome began before Vietnam. I might add if we, if we had a deeper memory of our own history, we might not have gone into Vietnam. Vietnam was the Philippines all over again, it was Spain all over again. It was the American Indians all over again, if you think I am exaggerating, the other day as we speak now, this is November, about ten days ago, a US helicopter was shot down in Iraq. And sixteen people at this point have been determined to have been killed and others wounded. And then there was a service on the battlefield for the dead Americans and what I noticed about the service was that the American troops had bugles and they'd put on the hats and other battle garb of their predecessors in the Air Cavalry who had fought against the Indians. They had on Indian Wars outfits and if you notice the helicopter that went down, it was named a Chinook. An Indian name. You have Blackhawk helicopters; you have Apache helicopters. We have internalized the Indian Wars and trying to like to take away the strong medicine of the Indian and conferred on ourselves by naming our helicopters, you know, after the Indians and we do not even think about it. But sometimes it is the things that you do not think about that are the most serious and, and it is this. But we have never really engaged ourselves deeply in what happened in the formation of this country against the Indians. Because apparently, that would be too much for people to handle. But it also means we have a superficial sense of our own history. We have a superficial sense of why other people in the world hate us. And we pass that along from generation to generation and we repeat what we have not learned to avoid, and I think we were doing it in Iraq. We say well, Iraq, vast country of tribes, you know, and the image invoked there is that there is a lot of little gangster clans.

24:14
SM: Right.

24:16
TH: There may be some truth to that, but North America was a vast continent of tribes. And it is just assumed that tribes are backward and thuggish and bad and most of all, you know, have to get out of history's way because of Manifest Destiny. They are anachronistic groups. So, we have been fighting tribes from the very inception of the country, and if you think about that, it gives you a sensitivity to, a different sensitivity I think which was gained in the (19)60s, that people had a newfound admiration for the American Indian. They read the most profoundly altering book I read was "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown.

25:13
SM: Dee Brown.

25:14
TH: Exactly around 1968, (19)69, maybe (19)70 and what was moving about it was not just the way it was written of course, but it was the first book I had ever read on the subject, and I was already twenty-eight years old. And I think it was because there were not any books on the subject. He made it popular and there was a niche for Indian books. Now, if you go to any college bookstore, at least you will find the one hundred books on Indians and you have the Alcatraz uprising, where the Indians took back Alcatraz Island. That was part of the (19)60s. That was a profound experience. You have the formation of the American Indian Movement. In other words, the Indians reclaimed their existence, not only from the outer society but from the amnesia in which it had been buried. That to me is the heart of the (19)60s, is the recovery of all this real history.

26:18
SM: In your book "Reunion" there, submit your review with Bobby Muller. And, yes, Bobby Muller. Could you explain that first time that you went to the Wall, yourself and just your feelings.

26:34
TH: I was very, I was very moved by the wall. I approached it with some trepidation, I had to have armed guards. So, I took Bobby Muller, a wounded Vietnam veteran in a wheelchair and we decided to venture down there, at least that is what I recall. You might have been with me the first or second time, but I always went with Vietnam vet in case some argument erupted. But it is a great story I have seen the documentary on it, and I think it is so unbelievable that a Vietnamese woman would have been the design architect. Not that, not only that she was Vietnamese, but that she was a woman. I forget her name, Maya Lin.


27:24
SM: Maya Lin.

27:24
TH: But that, it is there is a God, the God placed this person on earth for this purpose. It is almost too uncanny to quite believe. And I really do not know her story. I have seen her, and I have been fascinated watching her in interviews, but she mostly talks as an architect and not as an Asian. Anyway, the whole idea of it being a scar on the ground was a genuine, artistic, original artistic inspiration. So different from monuments that are phallic or monuments that are grandiose above the ground that makes the witness seems small, kind of in the shadow of the great man who is memorialized in the statue. That it is a scar, that it is a black scar that is like it is like a wound that does not heal. Like if you have a cut, and it is still infected, it turns black. I do not know if they thought of all these things, or it is my projection, but just the entry into a scar. That is also a grave. Like it is like a grave, it is a hole in the ground. And it is like a grave in that it looks like a gravestone. All of those things are, I think they make it the most inspired monument in the country. It is so, it is an amazing, wonderful place.

29:30
SM: When history books are written about the (19)60s, the boomer generation, and usually the best history books are written 50 years after World War II books are out now. What do you think the lasting legacy would be?

29:48
TH: I do not know because I do not trust the history books. I have been trained that they may be wonderful books. But they were written by people who were not there. And then who bring their own agenda to the table. And I have not seen any books on the (19)60s that go beyond the fragments of the truth. So, I fear for what historians will say. Yeah, and I strongly believe that, that people who were there need to fight for their version of the truth, need to keep their diaries, need to do interviews, need to contribute. This should be a participatory history project. The you know, like in the (19)30s, the government sent out unemployed artists and writers in the WPA, that Works Progress Administration, and they interviewed Southern sharecroppers whose voices never would have been heard. And until recently, there were enterprising historians who developed what they call oral histories of slaves, former slaves, who are all now dead. And a lot of the history is pursued a little too late. So, with what was left of my life, I am trying to encourage what I call a participatory history. The not simply the writing and video documentaries, but the archiving of everyone's experience, because we have the technology to do that. But the will and the funding are not necessarily there for it.

31:55
SM: When you look at your life, your personal life, to me, I am biased and nothing's wrong. It is one of the most admirable lives in America, because it is a life fighting for others, but as yourself look at your life, all those major events, protests, speaking up, you are involved with the Port Huron Statement. Do you feel fulfilled? When you go to the Wall, do you feel that maybe I should have done a little bit more? Or could have done more? Just your thoughts.

32:35
TH: Well, I am a restless person, and I am sure I am besieged by all kinds of demons. What if I had done this, should I have done that. But you only get one life to live, you know, and it is not over. For all I know. There will be another (19)60s before I am done. So, I feel lucky to have been a part of something great. A lot of people have gone through many decades without, you know, much happening. And a lot has happened in the time that I have been blessed to be alive. So, in that sense, I think I am fulfilled, but the frustrations I have and the longings I have are still very raw. And I am not fulfilled. Yeah, no, not International. I am not fulfilled living under this American Empire, and never will be. It is going.

34:17
SM: Oh, it is?

34:17
TH: Yeah.

34:18
SM: As far as personalities, who are the people that you worked with, and that you admired the most during that period of the (19)60s and (19)70s people you looked up to or that were your inspirations?

34:35
TH: Well, Bob Moses in SNCC, had an overwhelming influence not only on myself and, but on many others. For his, his moral commitment and his technique, and I mean technique like a manipulator, I mean, his approach to relationships, to organizing, and he always stands out, even though it is not, it is not appropriate to single out people as being themselves you know, superior to others they may be just luckier than others. So, among movement activists, I would say, Moses, among international figures would say, my friend Jerry Adams in Ireland, who has gone through the whole thing, you know, the youth rebellions of the (19)60s, the armed struggle against the British presence in Northern Ireland's the transformation to the peace process and to political struggle and survived it all. I mean, it is he is just an extraordinary person to have managed this whole life when you think of what it was like in 1968, and what- it is like now? I do not know.

36:26
SM: My last question is, when you look at the youth of that era, I will say the boomer generation again, is there one event that you think had the greatest impact on their lives?

36:48
TH: I would say, without a survey, we do not know there should be a survey, I keep coming back to the need for our generation to speak for itself. I would, I would think that if you are black, you would say civil rights in some sense. Beyond that, you would say Vietnam. And some myself in particular, would say the assassinations were the pivotal events in the (19)60s.

37:24
SM: Where does Kent State fall in this?

37:28
TH: The assassinations as a category that would include Kent State would include Orangeburg would include People's Park would include individuals. But the constant interruption of the natural flow of history by these, these deaths, particularly the deaths of leaders. It made the (19)60s turn out the way it did. And a friend of mine, Jack Newfield put it very well he said, "Now you know, instead of being has been, we were all might have been. We became might have been"

38:51
SM: Testing 123 testing. Okay, here is my first question. And I have written them all out here. Your life has been one continuous adventure where activism is the adjective that I feel best describes your life. Number one, do you agree with this assessment? And number two, do you remember your very first time were created to speak up where courage was expressed by yourself when you were young?

39:22
TH: Well, I have been around so long my life is like an archeological dig. So, activism is one level, but I probably became most engaged as a reader and student and now late in life, that is what I do. Mainly I research, reflect, write, teach, talk. I would not say activism is entirely in the background at all, but it is not. It is not what I do. It is not what I do with my time now. As for the second question, it is hard to answer. But I will put it this way. I think, number one, when you are young, you have a certain adrenaline that gets you through dangerous situations. Just like the soldier in a war. You may also, you know, not have much of an emphasis on death, because it seems so far away when you are twenty. And also, a big factor for me was that I would never use the word courageous about myself. Maybe risk taking, because I saw people who were doing things that scared me to death, you know, that black people, black students in the south standing up to sheriffs, and that sort of thing.

41:25
SM: Could you briefly describe your upbringing? I know it is in your book Reunion and in depth but the people that are going to be reading lists are going to be reading 200 different oral histories, and they will have not read Reunion, they will be encouraged to.

41:38
TH: What is the question?

41:40
SM: Briefly, describe your upbringing. And how did you end up in Michigan? Where dd you live? Were you in any way linked to the students who talked to John Kennedy about the Peace Corps?

41:52
TH: Well, only child grew up in Royal Oak summers in Wisconsin. Father and Mother both from Wisconsin, lower middle class, first in my family to go to university, University of Michigan. My parents got divorced, which was relatively unusual in those days when I was about 10 or 11 years old. And that was quite hard on me. My father worked at Chrysler and my mother was a film librarian in Royal Oak. I did well in high school, I was sports editor and editor of the paper and got into the University of Michigan thinking I would maybe play some tennis and read a lot of books. And I got lured into the Michigan daily, which really kind of focused my life and gave me a mission and a purpose that you know, I had not had until getting to the university, and I have stayed with that. Also, you know, it was an accident of the times I do not know what I would have been like, if I was ten years older. But in 1957, when I graduated high school, Jack Kerouac was publishing On the Road, and the Beat Generation had already arisen in San Francisco. The Little Rock school integration crisis, with Eisenhower sending the troops there, all happened my senior year in high school, it must have influenced me, the climate around me, although I did not have much sense of it at the moment. But then when, you know, the students started demonstrating in the south when I was a senior at university, and I went down to see what they were willing to do about their lives and their futures. I was very moved by that. I think probably the election of Kennedy in (19)60 was also important for all of us and if you will be legitimizing in the idea that young people can take action that makes a difference.

44:27
SM: For one thing, your parents in this, over your entire career as an activist, what did your parents think of you? As you became not only one of the leaders of SDS, but as you grew older and were involved in so many things. How did your mom and dad respond to it?

44:47
TH: My parents were not happy about it all and I was not alone in this family tension. My father was a Marine who was based in San Diego, he did not go into the world wars, Second World War, he was a Republican. He came from the generation that believes that the government does no wrong and tells no lies. And he was completely unable at first to understand or respect anything that I was doing. Like I think he believed that you know that it was about him and that he was he considered himself a failure, because he had not raised a son who went higher up the pecking order. He came to change his mind but was really not till about 1970 and we enjoyed a fairly close relationship until he died in 82. And my mom was one of those Irish Catholic women who thinks the neighbors are always fine. And who knows, maybe they are but I mean she was made extremely paranoid and ashamed by the attention I was getting. And the labels that were thrown at me. The difference between them is that my father basically abandoned me for a period of about sixteen years, and he had another family and did not tell the daughter he raised that she even had a brother.

46:54
SM: Wow.

46:55
TH: My mom stuck with me, but you know, she was always acting, you know, profoundly disturbed. And she could not understand she could not follow what was going on, she kept calling Indochina, Indonesia.

47:18
SM: Wow. Yeah. What a generation gap.

47:22
TH: Typical suburban life. [Laughs]

47:24
SM: The generation gap, obviously, was your experience was the experience of so many, even in my family. But I want to get back to this business about the generation gap when the current senator of Virginia, Jim Webb, back in 1980, I believe in a symposium with Bobby Muller and Phil Caputo, was asked the question about the generation gap. He said, the generation gap to him was more within the generation as opposed to between generations. And his commentary was saying that we all get caught up in this idea that the young people in the (19)60s, you know, listen to John Kennedy "ask not what your country can do for us, but you can do for your country", yet he felt that service was serving your country, and when, when you were called to go to war, so that he would never label the (19)60s generation or the boomer generation, as a generation geared towards service. And he was very critical. And he says the divisions of a generation gap to him was between those who served and those who did not. Your thoughts on that?

48:40
TH: Well, you know, he is a, he is a rather bombastic fellow, Jim Webb erupts a lot. And he is a good writer, he is a good Irish historian, a good military historian. And I have no doubt that he was traumatized by his service in the military and is still dealing with it. And I was also traumatized without having been in the military because it is traumatic to oppose your country's war. It is traumatic to refuse to be drafted into a war that you do not believe in. Traumatic to be beaten up and to be put in jail. It is traumatic to lose your parents' support, and so on, but we could go on and on listing our comparative traumas. The fact is that the whole generation including those who went to Vietnam, and those to opposed it were deceived, and suffered a common deception by lying politicians in the Oval Office, Republican and Democrat, and spineless politicians who let it go on far too long until millions of people died, including 58,000 Americans. Now, on this specific point, you know, I think it is true that the historical recognition of the (19)60s will always be about a period of progressive social change, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the peace movement, the environmental movement, the youth culture, and so on. And what is left out of that story is the counter movement on the right. And that would be the Young Americans for Freedom. And those who followed the National Review and, you know, became the core of the Republican Party during the Goldwater movement. And I have always felt that they nurse a grudge about the (19)60s, because they really did not get recognition. And that has left them with a resentment and a hostility, which still plays out, you know, you can still hear them complaining about Clinton or permissiveness or, you know, one thing or another. That goes back to the lack of recognition, I think there was a movement and a counter movement. I am not sure that it was those who went to Vietnam versus those who did not. You know, I am not sure that anybody holds that view except Jim Webb and a few others, they are entitled to it, it was certainly a divide within our age cohort our generation. But the divide was really between SDS and Young Americans for Freedom, I think. Because if you, if you put it in Webb's terms, he continues the, the omission, because if you put his way, his framework, there is no room for Vietnam veterans against the war. There is no room for a black resistance inside the military. There is no room for those who went to serve but wound up in Briggs. There is no room for those who even shot at their officers. So, there were certainly differences within the military, within those who went to serve, that reflected the differences I am talking about in the larger society.

53:12
SM: I know that these were comments he made in (19)80 - (19)81 one at a symposium. And maybe he has changed his feelings. But another person was Colonel Summers, Harry Summers, who passed away several years back, I think it was about 10 years ago. And he came to our campus, and he said, you know, what is amazing about how the (19)60s in Vietnam is taught is the military is never presented by history teachers. And so, he said, he made an effort before he passed away, to make sure that the military perspective of the Vietnam War was taught. So that might be similar to what Jim Webb might have been saying. Any comments on Colonel Summers?

53:56
TH: So, it is another take on the same problem of perception from where you stand. I mean, obviously, for a long time, they had the megaphone at the White House, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, the Armed Services Committee, in both houses, the editors of all the newspapers who supported the war in Vietnam, their voice was heard. Then, when things went badly, and we lost the war, a whole new movement started. People like Lewis Sorely come to mind and others who are in denial and who say we did not lose the war. It was somehow lost politically at home. And so, the war is still being played out as a kind of psychodrama. And an historical debate.

55:03
SM: Yeah, of course, you mentioned very-

55:04
TH: That is true also of the American Civil War, which many in the south refused to call the Civil War. I mean, I did not realize that until I spent some time living in the south with these, these arguments go on, especially among those who have a difficult time coping with the fact that, you know, that they did not win so they, they continue to go on and on about the causes as if they have just been misunderstood for fifty years. I would like to believe we can get beyond that. But I do not actually think we will, given the fact that it is 150 years since the Civil War, and is still debated annually in elections, including the most recent one.

56:01
SM: Yeah, well, I interviewed Jeff Wheeler III and of course, he is one of the, he graduated from West Point, he was one of the men that talked about long grey lines in the book. And he mentioned it was a great interview, and he talked about Ronald Reagan's speech at the Vietnam Memorial in 1984. And it was a great speech, because that was where he mentioned, the noble cause that you bring up in your book, that it was a noble cause. But I found it very interesting, and he did not reiterate any further. But President Reagan could have come in 1982 when the wall opened, but he said he was advised not to, because for political reasons, but was okay in 1984. So, I thought that that is interesting.

56:48
TH: It was okay. To call the war a noble cause. I mean, he never specified what exactly he meant. To die in battle is a tragedy in the first place, a human tragedy. And a lot of people, you know, define tragedy as itself noble. There is a noble quality to it. But I think Reagan meant that to perpetuate the idea that the Vietnam War in itself was right. It was the right thing to do, it was the right policy. And so, he was re-raising the divide. As for 1982, I do not remember the detail, but it does seem to me that many, many Republicans, including some veterans’ groups, and perhaps Reagan was among them, did not like the memorial. Because the Vietnam Memorial reflects exactly this theme of tragedy. It does not reflect a theme of victory. It does not say that it was ignoble, not at all. That does not, it does not use terminology like noble, because is that? I think the designer, who herself is Vietnamese was grappling with the magnitude of the human loss. Millions of people in a cause that was never clear and never, never winnable to begin with.

58:55
SM: You were in the south in the early (19)60s, very early (19)60s. And you worked with SNCC and SNCC had this participatory democracy in everything that they did. And of course, your work is very admirable down there. I am not going to ask you the first one because I think you have already responded about the courage to go south so young, and the dangers but I want to know if your Irish heritage and understanding the history of the Irish, even as a young person and how they were treated in America and how they were treated even between England and Ireland had anything to do with your sensitivity towards bad treatment toward African Americans and women and people who were minorities and people who are economically deprived. Did your heritage early on have anything to do with some of your future actions?

59:56
TH: I pondered that, and I have written a whole book about it.

59:59
SM: Yeah, I read that book too.

1:00:00
TH: Do not look to the short answer is maybe on an unconscious level, but at the time and we are talking about the narrow window of 1960 to (19)63. I was oblivious to any Irish heritage even when the subject came up. So, I was a finished product of the assimilation process. That was (19)60 was the year that John Kennedy went to the Baptists and told them that he could be president without bowing to the Pope and narrowly squeaked through. And it was a very important watershed in the history of the American Irish. But I viewed the Kennedy election as young versus old. I did not I did not relate to the Irish dimension so sealed off was I from the past. Now, over the course of the (19)60s it became clear to me by the end of the decade, when I was reevaluating my identity, who I was it appeared to me that one way to view the (19)60s was as, as an Irish Civil War. Because, you know, on my side would be priests, like the Berrigans. On the military side would be priests like father, Cardinal Spellman, Father Coglin, whose church I was raised in, Bobby Kennedy and Jack Kennedy on my side. And the most of the most of the FBI agents who tells me were on the other side, most of the cops in Chicago were Irish, and so on, it became much more apparent to me, but this is because assimilation was breaking down and wearing off and I was more open to the question of where I came from, and where did these instincts of mine you know, first emerge in my past. I am named Thomas Emmet Hayden and I did not know who Thomas Emmet was. And my mom and dad, they did not know who Thomas Emmet was, they just thought it was a good name. And somebody else in my family had been named Thomas Emmet Hayden the first, second, third and much most of your readers and listeners have no idea who Thomas Emmet was but he was a survivor of the brutal suppression of the Irish national uprising. In 1798. His brother was beheaded. Thomas Emmet came to New York is an Irish refugee. It was only possible because of Thomas Jefferson policies and Thomas Emmet then became the leader of the Irish American immigrant community in New York City. Knowing that story, of course, obviously makes you more empathetic towards today's Catholic immigrants from Central America, Mexico-

1:01:21
SM: Right.

1:01:56
TH: And immigrants in general and blacks who were forced migrants through slavery and forced immigration inside the United States, but that all came to me later. The (19)60s made me Irish.

1:03:58
SM: Now it is interesting. That was also the time when Bernadette Devlin, we all saw her on the news.

1:04:03
TH: I knew a little about her, I did not meet her on her visit here, I met her later in Northern Ireland, but not, not here in the States.

1:04:14
SM: Right, yeah. And then, of course, Thomas Merton was a very close friend.

1:04:21
TH: Yes, and I did not know Thomas Merton. I read his book from a theological standpoint.

1:04:33
SM: In your in your in your feelings. Now I know we are going to get a question. Do you do not like the term the boomer generation? That is my next question after this one.

1:04:41
TH: I never heard anyone call themselves a boomer ever.

1:04:46
SM: Let us go right to that question and then I will come to the other question, do you like to term Boomer and I think you gave a great description in your book that I had never thought of. Of course, boomers are those born between (19)46 and (19)64 and in fact, do you like even the other terms, the Greatest Generation, Generation X, Millennials, do you like these kinds of-

1:05:10
TH: I do not line any of those terms, but I have come to realize that labeling is somehow a cognitive requirement.

1:05:20
SM: Right.

1:05:21
TH: But the problem with boomers, first of all, you have to ask yourself, what does the labeling and if nobody in my generation ever walked around saying I am a boomer, you have to wonder what the purpose of the labeling cannot be authentic. It has to be externally imposed. And it has two connotations that are not helpful. One, boom connotes violence.

1:05:53
SM: Yes.

1:05:54
TH: And two, Boomer connotes democratic statistics, so we were reduced to whether you were born in a particular year. And both are very objectionable.

1:06:10
SM: Well, I have heard that you know, I interviewed Richie Havens and in fact I was just sending a letter to Father Hesburgh. I am thinking I am going to have an interview with Father Hesburgh sometime in the next month, and Richie said something that I thought was unbelievable in his interview with me and Richie said that, you know, I am born in 1941. But I am a boomer and Todd Gatlin said to me, he actually said this to me, if you mentioned the word Boomer one more time in this interview, I am going to end the interview. It is because of the fact-

1:06:43
TH: Temperamental.

1:06:44
SM: Yeah, they do not like it, they and many do not like it, every single political entity does not like it and for a lot of reasons because it is about spirit. And Richie said, I do not mind being identified with the boomers based on a certain timeframe. But I am more boomer than anybody, because I believe in the spirit of the (19)60s, and that is who I am.

1:07:11
TH: So?

1:07:12
SM: So that is what Richie feels. So, you just do not like that term.

1:07:18
TH: I never heard it used. It is a label.

1:07:25
SM: Higher education is responsible for this because they have to have labels on everything.

1:07:31
TH: No, I do not think so. Now, it is the human desire to stereotype and especially stereotypes that carry a coded hidden meaning they are not overt stereotype, like calling an Irish person a "spick." But a boomer is inherently derogatory, and dismissive. It is not neutral. It is an external label applied to people. Always applied by people who were not there.

1:08:13
SM: What would be a better term? If we were to? The people born prior to World War II, during the war, and say, ten to fifteen years after who really experienced the (19)50s (19)60s and (19)70s. Was there a term that you can?

1:08:30
TH: I do not know why we need terms, but that seems to be the correct term would be the, the (19)60s social movement generation, (19)60s social movements, (19)60s protest generation, any of those labels would be more fair, if you say the (19)60s generation then you have a problem with the right because they were excluded.

1:08:58
SM: Right? Yes.

1:08:59
TH: So, I do not say that (19)60s generation, very much at all anymore. But the (19)60s movement is what we called ourselves. Actually, that is not even true. We call ourselves The Movement. Because nobody was going around. nobody in their right mind was going around saying: hey, we are the (19)60s generation never heard anybody say that. That was later.

1:09:26
SM: When you talk about-

1:09:28
TH: I am in SDS or I am in SNCC or I am in a commune or you know, I if you go back and you read the papers of Jack Kerouac he cannot stand the label Beat Generation. He wrote beat as part of you know, his writing or beatific or beat down he used the word but it was New York Times or Time magazine that labeled them the Beat Generation after their words became famous or well known.

1:10:14
SM: You bring up in one of several sections of your new book. And you have also talked about in some of your own books, too, but the critics of the (19)60s are that group of people. But David, I have some names here of people that well, you mentioned David Horowitz, of course Newt Gingrich in (19)94, his commentaries. Currently, Mike Huckabee, on this TV show George Will, throughout the years on his articles, and in his books, Harvey Mansfield, who I well know, Glenn Beck, who seems to try to be trying to become a cultural phenomenon right now. And even John McCain, during the campaign, made some commentary toward Hillary Clinton about her links to the (19)60s. What was it? I have a two-part question. What was it that made the young people and older people who inspired the young like Dave Dellinger, you know, Dalton Lin, people like that, that made them so special that the (19)50s and (19)60s and then at the same time why are people who did so much movement-wise, so reviled today by their opponents on the right?

1:11:39
TH: Two or three reasons, one, radicals and reformers won the battles of the (19)60s and so the first reason for continued resentment, even hatred, is the grievance of having lost. I am talking about the people who lived rather well, in the comforts of the white segregationist south talking about the generals in Vietnam. I am talking about the people that went to work for industry and found themselves staring at 20 million people during Earth Day. Those men who had to feel the, you know, the reversal of the relationship with the women individually and collectively as women gained power, women gained voice. It is easy to see what the argument is. Because when it is when all is said and done and when movements come and go and when society has been changed, I would say for the better, the people on the other side, never stop trying to take it all back through counter movements. And, you know, that, that gave a lot of the energy to the anti-Obama movement certainly animates McCain, who was in Vietnam, Palin who was not even there, but you know, you started to see in Palin it is quite interesting, she is now trying to co-opt the label of feminist because she is feisty. And she blames the feminist movement for having twisted and distorted the label.

1:14:05
SM: Right.

1:14:06
TH: That is what she said, literally. Beck you know, I do not believe in a million years that Beck was unaware that he was trying to appropriate the symbol of the civil rights movement by standing at the Lincoln Memorial, and carrying on what I think is a thinly disguised resentment of Martin Luther King. I could go on but

1:14:38
SM: Do you also believe-

1:14:41
TH: It'll never end. Remember, in the 1960s somebody said, "a new movement is beginning" and I said, I think so too, why do you think so he says, the last Civil War vet just died.

1:14:54
SM: Hmm. Oh my gosh.

1:15:00
TH: Until we are all dead of natural causes, I think.

SM: Yeah Tom, I think-

TH: Even Obama, he was not there, he is only forty-nine years old. He spent the whole campaign talking about the (19)60s, going to the Selma bridge to prove a civil rights credentials, reminding people he was only five years old. You know, when there was when there were relevant bombings, and getting accused of palling around was all these (19)60s people that are that are like twenty-five years older than him, even his minister, his minister is only understandable as a figure out of black liberation theology. Well, the black liberation theology school is an angry school of prophecy and coming out of the (19)60s in the black community, they built big church congregations. There's nothing unusual for Obama and many other people, far less political to be members of that church in Chicago, but the, the right could not get over it is thinking that, you know, he was the same as his minister, when he was a generation, after and he finally had to break away from his own church and from his own minister, in order to declare his independence.

1:16:29
SM: I think-

1:16:31
TH: It would be like if Kennedy in 1960, quit the Catholic Church and became a Baptist, in order to prove to the Baptists that he was legitimate. I am laughing about it, but it was very painful for people, horribly painful. And I have no doubt that this will go on until we are all dead.

1:16:49
SM: I think if there is one other quality here, too, and your thoughts on this, then jealousy. I have always been taught by my parents and from others that sometimes people who admire what others have done, who dislike people who have done things, oftentimes think, jeez, I wish I could have done that, or I had the freedom to do that because I did not have the freedom to do that, or the initiative or drive, you know that I am going to attack them. You think that there is a jealousy conflict here within the other side, too, you already talked about the Young Americans for Freedom.

1:17:22
TH: I do not think it can be psychoanalyzed that way, but certainly, there is a grievance, as I have said, it is a loser grievance number one, and I know even in saying that I will antagonize people further but let us be frank about it. It has all the characteristics of know, the grievance of the losing side and, and a resentment that becomes fuel and motivation to fight back. To recover ground after you know you have lost. Some in the south never ended the Civil War, some say it still is not over, they do not even call it the Civil War. So that is a little different than what you are describing, I think. I do not think they want to be like us at all, I think that they think they are better than us and they are, they have, you know, a lot of capacity to blame everybody starting with the media for they are not being understood. And it is strange, because even when they have the White House and majority in the Supreme Court, they still have the mentality of Young Americans for Freedom fifty years ago, who felt that they were they were the real Americans, and they were being bypassed by the emergence of the student movement, and kind of written out of the history of the (19)60s and I am not exaggerating, I mean, these people go back that far. Karl Rove was a president of Young Republicans, I believe, in (19)68 - (19)70, somewhere in that era, and was ranting about SDS and myself, even in those days and was they are very involved with Young Americans for Freedom, which became the Goldwater movement, which became the modern republican party so their grievance goes back it is nothing seems to soothes it and I expect it to go on until you know, we all are pulled into our graves.

1:17:26
SM: Here is a couple of quotes.

1:19:57
TH: By the way, I do not spend much time on this subject.

1:20:01
SM: I know you are involved in a lot of other things; you have got your book.

1:20:05
TH: I live my life, but it is the nature of this interview its locking me into a discussion of the (19)60s and it is not new terrain for me. But I just want to remind you, I do not spend much of my time write about the past, I am interested in how the (19)60s influences the perceptions of people in the present.

1:20:35
SM: There is two quotes-

1:20:36
TH: Its long lasting the (19)60s, continues to be.

1:20:42
SM: Two quotes here, I want to put it in the record from your book, The Long (19)60s and that is, there is so many of them, but "The paradox is that what is won in real history can be lost in later telling." And the second one is, "It is no accident that the fight over memory began with the challenge to the dominant curriculum in the schools and colleges in the (19)60s and continued as a so-called culture wars up to the present more than forty years later." And being a college administrator for my whole life; you are right on there.

1:21:17
TH: Yeah, I know I think that is true. Yep.

1:21:20
SM: And I think one thing you talk about here, you already mentioned about the counter movement. And you so we do not talk about that again. But you talk also about the complacency of former radicals and reformers now in their twilight period. Have you been disappointed in some of the other activists who, as they have aged, have just gone on to make money? Is that what you are saying?

1:21:44
TH: I think I overgeneralized there. I do not mean complacency in the sense of, you know, consciously changing their beliefs or selling out or something like that. I mean, there is an inevitability to complacency as you become older, and you have families and, and other obligations and your, your, your time becomes your time for new ideas or new ventures becomes limited. For example, no one in their right mind would want their kid to go to a bad school. Most people I am talking about now had kids, for example. And you see, in this generation, just as saw in the past, and we will see in the future, that people can if they can afford it, to put their kid into a private school, because they think and they may be right that with spending money, they can get little educational advantage for their kid, and I have not met any parents that would not do everything for that purpose. So that, you know, they find themselves as you know, in effect, making a choice to abandon public schools, as far as their own children are concerned. And in order to offset that bill, if they are liberals, they will support taxes for schools, for other people. It is similar with public hospitals, if they can help it, they are not going to give it to the public hospital. It is similar with in any other ways, our society is already stratified or segregated. We find ourselves you know, caught up in the system that once we would have, you know, try to avoid at any cost see what I mean?

1:24:20
SM: The convention in Chicago in 1968 is very historic and a lot of my questions are geared toward when young, the boomer generation or the I do not like the term either, so when they were young, but the Chicago convention in 1968, what did those days in Chicago say about America, in your view? And secondly, the trial itself. What did the trial say about the American justice system?

1:24:49
TH: Here is another example of perception versus historical realities, the right will have a grievance forever and somehow, this motley group of revolutionaries were put on trial, and one and became famous as a result. You know, we are, we are the ones that got away and I am not kidding these people, and I have met with them have civil relationships and they think to this day that we are guilty, and they have a deep grudge about our, our having gotten off the charges and they will not stop. And on the other hand, filmmakers like Spielberg and countless others, who were teenagers then, still tell the story they want to tell the story. They think it is the perfect showcase drama of our generation and I have seen four or five versions on stage and on television and film, and each of them is different in its own way and I suspect that the transcripts of the Chicago trial will be played theatrically again and again, decade after decade. Why? God knows. Maybe it was an understandable morality play with all the forces of freedom versus law and order dramatized and individuals, kind of a historian or journalists or screenwriter’s dream. Others will say, no, it is genuinely captured. The time and I do not go farther than that, I will just say that it is going to be, the trial is going to be replayed over and over for decades. And what it was actually about is hard to discern from the drama.

1:27:14
SM: Could you comment on what this is something that not too many people talk about. I have not gotten a whole lot of feedback on this question from some of the people I have interviewed, I do not ask everybody this question. But please comment on what activists in the movement in all the movements of that period, had to go through as a price for their beliefs. We hear the horror stories and COINTELPRO, the infiltration within groups where spies came in. Do you have any anecdotes or stories of efforts to destroy life simply for speaking up? You probably had many, but-

1:27:55
TH: The truth is we do not know enough. We do not know what happened in a lot of incidents that occurred overseas in Vietnam. We do not know what happened with those young people that were killed in Mexico City at about the same time as the Chicago demonstration in (19)68. In many cities, and in many countries, records have been declassified, disclosed. And some of them even in this country, are still kept secret. So, it is a big subject, and I am not quite sure. From what point of view, you think the question should be answered.

1:28:46
SM: But I am interested in the effort to destroy the lives after, you know, they can infiltrate a group like SDS but the ongoing desire to destroy lives and future careers, just because you spoke up.

1:29:06
TH: I do not know if anybody goes around, consciously wanting to destroy somebody's life. There is all kinds of filters and defenses, you know that you might think, instead that we brought it on ourselves if you behave differently, it would not be necessary to apply the screws as tightly and so on. So, I think that there are many distinctions to be made here and we do not have infinite time to make them but one of the most important is between targeted individuals or groups like the, the shooting of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark of the Black Panther Party Chicago chapter, December 1969. There are a number of cases like that where somebody was shot and killed or wounded or, or put away for no understandable reason and so on, then there is you know, the kind of collateral damage, which is usually excused as you know, shit happens, you know, it is accidental sorry. But it really never is. I am thinking of Kent State in Jackson State. There it is hard; it is hard to deny that the shooting by the guards’ troopers was not deliberate. And they had live ammunition. But you see who is killed and wounded. These were individuals chosen by faith. They were, they were random. Nearly all of them, for example, were shot in the back. Some of them were going to meet their boyfriend and were killed are, if you look at the people, person who was killed in People's Park in Berkeley accused of I do not know being a rioter. But in actuality he is sitting on a rooftop, and he got hit with live ammunition and fell off the roof and the guy sitting next to him, who I know, was blinded. And they were just sitting there or in Newark, twenty-six people were killed. And I did a case-by-case study of how they died and shot for the way they looked or shot because they were carrying a six back of beer out of a store. Shot because they are looking out a window. Shot because you are crossing the street just most of the people who were shot and killed by police in the urban disorders or riots or rebellions, whatever you may want to call them. It had to be in the hundreds and hundreds of people were shot at random. And so that is another category.

1:33:21
SM: Right. Right.

1:33:24
TH: And then the final category that I would include for your examination is well, I have two more. One is people who were singled out to have their, you know, careers destroyed. For no good human reason. What is his name? The disabled Ron Covid? No, you are going to include him no, the fellow in Georgia who was in the United States Senate.

1:34:11
SM: Max Cleland.

1:34:11
TH: Max. Good man. Came back from a war with limbs missing and taken out, not by Vietcong bullets but by Republican hate mail arguing that he was not a patriot. That is what I mean by-

1:34:44
SM: Right.

1:34:45
TH: Conscious attempts to destroy somebody's reputation. And then I think the final thing is in any conflict, like the (19)60s There are casualties, where it is very difficult to define a line of causality. You know, I am just talking about all the people whose lives were lessened or wasted or diminished. Because burnout, or because of incarceration, or because of mental illness that they would not have suffered, if it were not for traumas, they went through people who endure serious sacrifices and losses, who will never be compensated or recognized, but they were all part of the, you know, the great collision that occurred. Certainly, like this all the time, you know, because I am, you know, an open public figure, and people like me do not like me, they email me all the time I run into somebody every day with a story. So, I think I get, I do not get all of it, nobody can, but I get a lot of it.

1:36:32
SM: I do not think a book has ever been written about the number of college presidents who lost their jobs because of the student protests and actually the number of college presidents and administrators who actually died of heart attack and all other kinds of things, during this.

1:36:45
TH: Oh yeah, I would love to know, know the numbers at least.

1:36:49
SM: How did you survive financially in the (19)60s and (19)70s?

1:36:53
TH: I do not know! Let us just say the standard of living was very cheap. And the lesson learned was the best way to prevent social protest, or containment is to through unemployment and inflation of college fees and housing and rents and the rest of it. I mean, University of Michigan was one hundred bucks as semesters I recall.

1:37:26
SM: You know, I am a Buckeye.

1:37:27
TH: It was probably one hundred bucks at Ohio State. Rent was, I do not know, one hundred bucks a month if you had six or eight roommates. Food was cheap and plentiful, at least as I recall. So, this first question that comes to a lot of people's minds, either because they themselves, you know, we are seeking affluence as a primary goal in life. Or they look through the filter of today's world and they just cannot imagine where the money came from. No, it came from all over the place from parents from odd jobs from part time jobs, but basically there was enough money to pay for everything if you believed in living with dignity.

1:38:43
SM: Hold on one second. Tom. One of the things that by the way, I did meet you and Jane Fonda at Kent State. I think when you came to West Chester, I was there when you came there at the fourth remembrance.

1:39:04
TH: It was (19)74 but I would be, I could be wrong.

1:39:06
SM: Yeah, it was (19)74. Julian Bond was there, and Dean Kahler obviously, that is when he was a lot younger.

1:39:12
TH: I have seen Dean since.

1:39:11
SM: And Holly Near performed.

1:39:13
TH: Yeah, I see her.

1:39:17
SM: Yeah, but it was great. We were in that room with you and Jane, you went into a you were there, and you went into a room and that was a time, and you were there for about an hour, hour and a half just talking with us. And it was fantastic. The room was packed. You had been married to some very powerful females. Some very powerful female activists in Casey Hayden and Jane Fonda. What made them special in your eyes and how will history treat them legacy wise?

1:39:54
TH: You know, they are almost opposites because Casey who I am in reasonably close touch with is living in Arizona. And she is like an invisible heroine of the (19)60s protest generation. People read her writings, they tell stories about her, they ask about her. You know, in her own right, she claimed to have, you know, started the women's liberation movement, not that anybody actually does any of these things. But her writings with Mary King, circulating around the South electric effect going around the country when women were forming small consciousness, raising groups, and so on. So, she is kind of adored. And at the same time, invisible in most histories, not all. Whereas Jane is visible, if she scratches her ear, you know. She gets credit and blame for things that she had nothing to do with. She is one of the most well-known people in the world and cannot live a private life, does not live a private life. So, it is not that we can choose these things, but you know, start to measure how, I mean, evaluate how either of them would be remembered or evaluate or where they would fit into things depends on who tells the story. And I think a lot of (19)60s people are telling their own stories now in this kind of alternative narrative that has developed, triggered by our old friend Howard Zinn's writings, but everybody's writing their memoirs and blogging, and I was at a SNCC reunion this year was fiftieth reunion.

1:42:29
SM: Yeah, I wanted to go to that.

1:42:31
TH: There were a thousand people there and they were fit and healthy and ready to go.

1:42:36
SM: Wow.

1:42:37
TH: Interesting.

1:42:38
SM: Yeah, Julian was a master of ceremonies, was not he? Or something like that?

1:42:41
TH: For one of them, uh huh.

SM: 1:42:45
What is interesting about is I saw Phil Donahue interview Jane Fonda well, you have probably seen this too, when she came back from Europe. And she was on the Donahue show, you can see it on YouTube, and I think it is the best thing that people that do not like Jane should watch this. Because I think you understand her more because she really felt that she was away from what was happening in the world. And she came back to the United States. And I think what is great about it is, it was the time that the women's movement was becoming strong. And that she did not want to always be looked upon as some pretty woman she wanted to be. She had a mind too. And I wish more people would understand that about her. My gosh.

1:43:34
TH: Well, the intersection of the personal and historical you know, the moment that you come of age is extremely important. I will give you one story and then we can move on but in the early to mid (19)60s, when she was the budding actress, daughter of Henry Fonda living in Los Angeles. The Civil Rights Movement was breaking out in the south Netcat offices around the country that were mainly fundraising, and Jane was inspired by the early movement, and she went down to the SNCC office knocked the door nobody was there, of course, and she left a letter in an envelope under the door, volunteering to join that cause. She never heard back. So, you can imagine what might have happened if somebody had opened the letter and seeing the name and made a phone call and set up an appointment. Organizers beware! Do not lose emails! Keep all the cards that you collect. One of the things I have learned over fifty years is how hard it is, for sociological reasons, organizational sociological reasons for people to actually join groups, because the tendency once a group is viable, and it is humming along, for it to be content with its size and its dynamic, and it becomes a little fluffy on the inside and newcomers are not. It is not so easy for newcomers to break the circle. Hold on a second. Yeah. Hello. Okay. Yeah.

1:46:11
SM: Okay. I actually am going to be interviewing Casey. And then sometime in the next hopefully month-

1:46:20
TH: Good for you.

1:46:21
SM: And, of course, I had tried to get hold of Jane a long time ago, but I know he is not doing interviews on this. But I know that Jerry Lemke just written a book on her I do not know if you have seen it.

1:46:32
TH: I have.

1:46:32
SM: Yeah. And actually, she was up at Harvard. And she called Jerry to talk to him about some of the commentaries in the book. And I interviewed Jerry up at Harvard, about a month ago.

1:46:46
TH: I encouraged her to talk to him. It is pretty good, I think it is a little sensationalistic, and she does not need it. But the evidence he compiled about the mythology of splitting, I thought was one of the more important historical discoveries or confirmations, about the (19)60s that I have ever seen. Because that had everybody completely brainwashed. And I still run into it, but the value of doing very hard, hard core systemic research. I can do without the psycho analytic construction of her as a feminist movie star, but I liked the research, and I liked the data.

1:47:45
SM: No, I think I read her book. And I think more people need to understand her more in the area of why she became who she became. And she is not just an entertainer and I hope more people try to understand her better as time goes on.

1:48:06
TH: Well, she has the means to communicate. There is no question about that.

1:48:09
SM: Right? Around the time of Kent State, African American students and white students were splitting this is around 1970 one concentrating on racism and black power and the other white students on the Vietnam War. What are your thoughts on the split? Did it hurt the civil rights movement or especially, or just, you know, the antiwar movement because you know, Kent State was really a barometer normal expected that to happen there? But at Ohio State and other universities, there was a big strong split going on between those two groups.

1:48:48
TH: It began in the mid (19)60s, after the perceived failure of the Mississippi Freedom Summer. And this was, as the years go by, I have to look on it more as a sociologist and historian, like since it happened, and it happened everywhere. It happened locally. There is a sense in which it was inevitable. Maybe inevitable in the Shakespearean way but inevitable. There is no going back or undoing it or reversing it. A lot of people think this was a mistake, that was a mistake, but what has done is done and you know, I think what to generalize. White America's power structure was not ready, or willing to mobilize for desegregation and equal opportunity rapidly enough. And to make matters worse, they invaded Vietnam and escalated a war that they promised they would not enter into in the 1964 election, but by (19)65, they were in so to me, those things kind of guaranteed that, that black and white would be driven down different paths, because there was a reinforcement of the stratification, you know, whites were just generally always going to be better off. And in, you know, without any particular qualification to lead movement of black people, which, which it was in the early (19)60s, there could be co-equal leadership of a struggle that became apparent to all. And I know, there been a long history of white people trying to lead other people's causes.

1:51:28
SM: Right.

1:51:29
TH: God bless them. But, but at a certain point, it just became completely unworkable. I headed up a project in Newark, that was mainly white community organizers in a black community. We did not know what we were getting into, we thought that there were there was there were the prospects for an interracial organizing project in Newark, but the white, black disparity and antagonism was so great, that was impossible. But we did very well from (19)64, (19)65, (19)66. But you know, you can just feel it coming, that by the time Black Power emerged. It did not, it just made less and less sense for us to be heading up an organization composed of black people in the ghetto. I am not saying it was immoral. Just since society was heading into deeper and deeper division, as the Kerner Report pointed out. We were like relics of the early optimism of the (19)60s, at a time when that optimism, you know, had a declining basis.

1:52:59
SM: It is interesting when I read James Mitchner's book Kent State and I know the students that can state that we are like Allen and others, they, they do not like they hate the book. But there is one, there is one area that is truthful in the book and that is that what I talked about here that he made a commentary about African American students were not supposed to be seen on the quad or anyplace and there was one student that was out there in the summer, and one of the other African American students took him away. And I thought it is ironic. You look at the pictures, you do not see African American students yet the president of student government at Kent State at that time was African American.

1:53:41
TH: Oh no there was a very active Black Student Union or BSA, BSU.

1:53:46
SM: Right.

1:53:47
TH: Very active, sort of marginalized in history. But if you look at the footage of the documentary that is out about can state it completes the story is quite fast. And the same with Colombia. There is a very strong Black Student Union, if you look at the Columbia footage, you suddenly get a rebalancing of the image of the reality of what was going on.

1:54:17
SM: James said.

1:54:18
TH: I see that as a reflection of what they call institutional racism that is, in every way we live in a stratified world and it also includes our own brains wiring our consciousness, and it takes a very dedicated and trained person to be mindful of this at all times. For example, very few people I know practice affirmative action in life. In other words, I do not go to any, you know, party in the west side of LA and it is always all white people. You go to a dinner; it is all white people. I have been to dinners, birthday parties, for people who have been through all these movements, all white people. But you could say I am not having a party unless it is, it is mixed. And you know, make a list of friends, if you do not have enough friends of all backgrounds, you should learn to make those friends. It is not so difficult. As what I was saying earlier about how you get caught up in the silos of stratification, and it becomes extremely difficult to, to integrate any room on the natural. It has to be a commitment. It has to be willed, and that is, that is not common.

1:55:59
SM: James Thal I interviewed him, the writer.

1:56:02
TH: Who?

1:56:03
SM: James Thal.

1:56:05
TH: Yup, Yeah, yeah.

1:56:06
SM: He gave me a great interview. And he mentioned that when he was at Harvard, that he evaded the draft, like many of the students that were at Harvard, yet he at the very, within a year's time, or within a short period of time, wrote a piece where he criticized himself. Yeah. And he criticizes fellow students, because he said, if you really were against the draft, you should protest against the draft, he did not just should not evade the draft. So, he was very critical of those who evaded the draft. Your thoughts on that?

1:56:44
TH: Well, I think Jim is a good man, and an old friend. And I think he is a bit obsessed with this point. Because you know, in any situation only a few will stand up to the powers that be where, you know, the risk is that you go to jail and also have your reputation damaged and done. And you know, there is different degrees of evasion. You can, you can evade because he did not want to spend time in jail, you can evade and still belong to the antiwar movement. You can evade and help create an underground railroad for more evaders. You can live your life consciously knowing that as evasion grows, it is definitely an obstruction to the continuation of the war. I mean, there were 50,000 people went to Canada, a lot of them to British Columbia where my wife is from and, you know, I see them all the time. Naomi Klein's dad. Does Jim think that Naomi's Naomi Klein's dad, you know, is morally weak because he refused to go to Vietnam and refuse to go to jail? That is just rhetoric. But I mean, when I say these people, I say to myself, who is you know, who is the judge? That it is, it is, it is not a bad thing, that many people feel a certain moral ambiguity about having gotten out of the draft, out of the army, by whatever means getting a deferment, which meant, inevitably, that somebody with fewer connections would serve and possibly die or be wounded. Oh, that is a, that is something that a lot of people should carry on their conscience. But not so heavily as not so heavily as he seems to your conscience. That means for the rest of your life, you try to do little things to you know, to make a difference to prevent future wars, for example.

1:59:55
SM: Yeah, I think he has moved on from it. Because I was, he was also in that symposium that I mentioned that add one that had so many things. And he was really against those who did not protest he feel if you are really going to evade then you get up there and protest too. People admire you for your lifetime of activism, and your writing and all the other things you have done. And of course, we have your critics too. But who do you admire for their longevity and staying the course like you? I mean, who were the writers? I know, you have Howard Zinn is someone we all love.

2:00:35
TH: Howard, I knew back in 1960, I mean, he and Roz had actually made a commitment that I never would have imagined least as far as I can imagine, now, to go on a venture of reverse integration. In other words, they were white couple that joined the community at a historically black college in Atlanta during a time of segregation. So that is an indicator of a person who is very strong willed, and very, very confident that he can make a life by going against the wind, Scott Lind met him at the same time, same, same thing. But I think we have enough heroes. And I am, I am sort of antihero, but it is, it is just, I think it is the wrong way to look at things. Everybody has some little heroism in themselves and that should be cultivated. Everybody has a little nonconformity that should be cultivated, to be appreciated, should be congratulated. And to see since the test since the (19)60s, I think, because of the assassinations and because of the wreckage of many movement organizations, we do not we do not see people hero-worshipping as a method of building a social movement anymore. Sure, during the Obama campaign, there was a resurgence of it and electoral politics lends itself to a worshipful attitude towards an individual. But for the most part, you know, the movements that are happening today. They are not leaderless; they are not anarchistic. They are not unorganized, but they seem to have learned from the past, that building the social movement is the essential thing. And that leadership may be tactically necessary. For instance, somebody has to speak at a press conference, but I think people are wary of it, and they prefer leadership that is accountable. And that is rotational. And some of this is because of the defense mechanisms that grow when you see so many people get killed or go astray. and everything in between some of it is just a learning experience that becomes greater with the development of the online technology that you know; the, the idea of a participatory democratic method becomes more attainable. And leadership can quickly evolve into celebrity culture you write with little result of it. Now, Glenn Beck would not agree with that. But you know, I do not think Glenn Beck has far to go. He will run into the contradictions on the right. Whatever happened to Jerry Falwell bless his soul, but I mean, he was an early Glenn Beck, Pat Robertson, I mean, there are these Sarah Palin now is flying high, but I would not want to be her, and her family facing the, the stuff that they have already had to take and the more her celebrity increases, the more she will be attacked. And it'll become more and more about her. And you raise where is the movement? I might ask,

2:05:14
SM: Tom-

2:05:14
TH: A lot of little Palin-ites palling around with Palin, it does not do it for me.

2:05:24
SM: Yeah. Dr. King used to always say when he gave his sermons that it is about we are not me or I, and I think you would be very sensitive today about Martin Luther King Day. He certainly earned it. But-

2:05:36
TH: I am not sure I am not sure that he could, I am not sure that there could be a Martin Luther King today.

2:05:41
SM: You are probably right. But he always talked about the fact that he looked out in his congregation, he was said you can all be will not do the things that I am doing me. It is the young unheralded people that who lived and died, who were involved in that movement, people will never know.

2:05:57
TH: Well, he was quite eloquent about that. But still, the organization that he headed, was built around the promotion of his identity and fame and power. And others resented it and maybe because they had egos too. And it is after his assassination it foundered and splintered, and you know, many other leaders from Andy Young to Jesse Jackson, you know, came out of it and built their own organizations but, you know, it is not. I do not know if it is a model that we want to adhere to.

2:06:47
SM: I know was Vietnam speech in (19)67, drew criticism from within the ranks of the church, but he was going global. He was not just local, as they say.

2:06:59
TH: Well, no, that was a great speech. And we all appreciate it. But God, I mean, it was. It was very strange that the media and the power structure paid so much attention to so much emphasis on that speech, and how important it was, and how negative it was. And some said it was positive. But the reason he gave the speech is because he was responding to the disproportionate number of voiceless African Americans who were being drafted, dying on the front lines in Vietnam. You have to give the speech because of the constituency. It is like what Gandhi said, “They are going my people, I have to, I have to lead them.”

2:08:03
SM: What?

2:08:04
TH: So, I do not know that it is a model.

2:08:07
SM: Very good. What did it mean to you to work within the system as a California State politician? Since early on, you were perceived as a person who attacked the system, or the system did not work, as an activist? Was this move more about growing and evolving as a person? Or did you see that being outside of the system takes more effort, with fewer, positive results?

2:08:37
TH: No, none of that the (19)60s had ended and we had succeeded beyond what some of us expected. And so, a number of us who were old friends sat down to try to figure out our future by now we were all in our early (19)30s. And I remember, some people said they wanted to go into the labor movement, and they wanted to organize working women, office workers, clerical workers, immigrants, etc. Other people were kind of interested in the consumer and environmental movements that Ralph Nader, speaking of other celebrities, got sparked and they wanted to build what was known as citizen action organizations. Others wanted to go into solidarity work with movements in Central America who were opposing United States intervention. And there was a fourth category, which was electoral politics, and very few people who were deeply involved in the social movement, the way I was, chose that path because it was so antithetical to the way we believe that social change should take place. However, there was a perception that we had sort of banged on the door and broken the system open. And it would be somewhat folly to not try to go through the door. Knowing full well, that would, it would lead us into temptation into opportunism, and so on. And that might actually be a dead end for movement building. But the alternative would be to, to reject the space that we had created. Right? So, for some of us, was an experimental venture. And that is why I ran for a big office, the US Senate as opposed to city council, because we wanted to build a movement, there was a base in California, we wanted to mobilize thousands and thousands of people and win or lose and frankly, you know, we knew that the chance of winning was, was, was highly doubtful, we would build chapters around the state networks around the state and out of it would come and ongoing movement that had used the political process, to bring in a whole new generation of activists, not leaving movements behind, but bringing a movement presence into politics. And I think we were very, very successful for five or ten years. But, you know, the limits began to be reached, because you had the Reagan counter revolution against the (19)60s. And, you know, a trough not much going on in the period (19)79, (19)89, (19)99 and those were the years I spent eighteen years in California Legislature. Sixteen of those years under Republican governors. And I am not saying that the two years under a democratic governor were any better. But I found that, you know, I do not think people out there in America know this. It is not a small thing to California Legislature later, it is full time year-round. I had a staff budget of six or seven hundred thousand dollars, I had offices in Santa Monica and in Sacramento, I chaired committees that were very important to the welfare of the state, the Labor Committee, the environmental committee, the Higher Education Committee. And there was an opportunity to bring protest and outsider consciousness into the inside. And I recommended but I do not think I was very unusual because I had this twenty-year background of really hardcore radical activism and you know, I had a following, I had plenty of enemies too, but sometimes your enemies help contribute to the cause by, by bringing more of a spotlight on what you are actually proposing. So, it is not for everybody. And I can understand how few people you know, John Lewis, comes to mind a few people went into electoral politics because it is so unnatural to come from a social movement background.

2:14:06
SM: Bobby Rush is another one. Bobby Rush.

2:14:10
TH: Bobby Rush? Yes. The numbers are so small that if you can draw your own conclusion, it is pretty obvious.

2:14:17
SM: You know, when I used to read about you and your work in Sacramento, the first thing that I remember reading was that you were respected across the aisle. And that does not happen a whole lot to a lot of people. So, my next question is really about higher education. Listen to this for a minute and then when done your response, I would like your thoughts on today's universities and what they learned from the students of the (19)60s and (19)70s. My perception, this is me, is that universities today frown on the term activism because it brings back memories of one real student power to student demands that cannot be met three, participation in a major decision-making process of where funds go and what funds are accepted in the university in other words, money's not going to our war effort. Number four, the disruption of classes and number five, the constant fear by leaders, by leaders of being let go. I mentioned earlier about so many presidents who were fired. That is what I am going to interview Father Hesburgh about due to protests and the teach-ins on the tough issues of the day. And finally, the strong faculty-student alliances, the challenge administrations at the time, including the no ROTCs on campus. What I am basically saying is that the activism at that time seemed to be 24/7 on the parts of many of the students. Yet today. volunteerism is very important and a term that is accepted, but activism is not. And because it is not 24 to 7 is a great quality, but it is required by many of the departments, many of the schools, and many of the student organizations that people belong to. And today's youth does not seem to have that activist mentality, and the challenging attitudes that the students of the (19)60s and (19)70s had. And finally, my commentary here is that colleges are run by boomers today, who experienced the (19)60s and then some of the Generation X people that followed the boomers who were the up-and-coming leaders of universities oftentimes did not get along with boomers. So, what I am saying is and I'd like your thoughts, is that the universities today are really afraid of even using the term activism.

2:16:58
TH: I hear you.

2:16:59
SM: Volunteerism is okay.

2:17:02
TH: You are reading from your remarks.

2:17:04
SM: Yeah, well, yeah, but what is interesting is that when you came to the University as part of our series, we had Daniel Barrigan we had Philip Barrigan. We had you, Tori Osborn we had to end the series because they said that that is not really what our students want. It is not what our campuses have. So-

2:17:25
TH: There is a lot there to unpack. Some I agree with, some I do not. I do not even know what the question is.

2:17:33
SM: The question is, are universities afraid of activism? Did they learn anything from the (19)60s and (19)70s?

2:17:43
TH: You know, I think I think SDS was prophetic in the sense that, you know, many prophets do not even realize that they are being prophetic. They are almost channeling. And the prophecy of the Port Huron Statement was that, unlike other progressive eras, the university itself would be a pivot for the transformation of American society that is in coalition with other forces. And the mistake that was made, which often happens with prophecy, is that you know, we did not think of the university as a permanent institution, similar to all other institutions in the sense that Max Faber described. We were confusing our ranks, student hood and faculty, with the university as an institution. But what was prophetic was the carrying out the idea that 1960 was the dawn of a youth movement that would face increasingly an economy that was high tech and based on information that is based on the stuff of intellectualism. I remember a fellow in 1964 showed me my first computer, and it was in a room that was the size of not a warehouse but a very large room. It was this gigantic IBM machine that spit on all these cards, the very cards that students at Berkeley objected to being compared to, and he said, Tom someday, you know, pointing to his wristwatch, they are going to be computers this size. And I did not take it seriously because I was unable to my mind could not wrap around this thought. But it was people like that that created the web. And so, the students were the forerunners of the, the C.E.R.F not surf or CERFing surfs in the information economy, you know, whether you were working class, middle class, upper you. That was the discovery. The Port Huron Statement was kind of like discovering gold in California, it was an accident and then people said Eureka! You know, this is a sudden insight. And that is always stayed with me. So that is still the case. Now I think where we were not wrong, but you know, utopian in the belief that we could transform the university, to make it an institution that would be an institution of resistance against the matrix of other institutions in our society, military industrial complex, corporate finance and law, etc. That we could not do. But we swiftly understood that because by the late (19)60s, there was, there was a huge rush of materials about how universities like Columbia, viewed from their board of trustees, were actually part of the system that we were opposed to, and would never reform without some combination of serious confrontation on the outside and inside, which is what happened, you know, parallel to the eighteen-year-old vote. Suddenly students could read Noam Chomsky without getting kicked out of school. Suddenly, African Americans, Latinos, women, found themselves recognized in the curriculum. Suddenly, there was a whole new field of environmental studies that simply did not exist, except as biology until Earth Day came along. And those reforms were very real, and they were won through painful confrontation. And they opened the door of the university, to a flood of a more diverse student body who the same time came to believe that social change was easier than it had been for Abbie Hoffman, or Bobby Seale. That it could be done from within. Some say that generation was co-opted. I think it is the same as my running for elected office. If you bang on the door, and the door gets knocked down, or opened up, or you are invited in, you know, it would be bizarre to say no thanks, we did not intend to do that anyway. So, the left may not understand this, although I think to some extent, they do but certainly the right does and there has been a torrential countercurrent of abuse and attack on eggheads, intellectuals, universities. You know, it is almost, you know, a strike against you if you are running for office and you have been to one of these places. They still have not defeated the universities threat as they, as they perceive it. And I do not think that they will. I think that what you will have is a standoff with the university divided between the you know, the fundraising apparatus, the representative of finance capital, like Larry Summers at Harvard, the representatives of the Pentagon who need the information technology. And on the other hand, you know, departments that are filled with women and people of color who never were employed before. I do not think it is over. I think it is at a stalemate.

2:25:27
SM: It is interesting, because when I interviewed Arthur Chickering, the great educator who wrote Education Identity. At the very end, I asked him one final question, because he is into Student Development Theory. And the question was whether-

2:25:41
TH: He is a college guy.

2:25:42
SM: Does he have any criticism of the university today? And he says, yes, the corporations have taken over again. And I thought that was a very prophetic comment because when you think of Mario Savio, you bring his name on many times in your books and, you know, his challenge, and his words were the universities about ideas, the university students come to a university because it is a place where ideas and flow, not only in the classroom, but outside the classroom. And yet we are not just some corporate cogs. And yet, you hear Arthur Chickering say that, you know, he is disappointed today that the universities are the bottom line is what is important. He may be even over ideas.

2:26:27
TH: So, I think it goes in waves and particles, I think anybody is wrong who thinks that the battle is ever over and if you look at my book, my model would predict this temporary outcome.

2:26:41
SM: Right.

2:26:44
TH: What you know, the university is not safe from dissent, it cannot be preserved from protest. It is true that administrators, by the very nature of being administrators of an institution, inherit an institutional memory of protests, and so they invent ways to prepare for it, to contain it to channel that, as you said into service, but not protest. And students are always turning over so there is always a new group of, you know, eighteen-year-old on the incoming who have to have to learn what they can by doing by improvising. But you know I speak everywhere at universities, and I think I have a much more complicated view of students then, you know, than the stereotype I think, any campus you go to, you can find a percentage who are in the forerunners of social change a lot about sweatshops, you can find an extraordinary base of environmentalism and so on.

2:28:02
SM: We are down to our final three questions, actually, there is four here so I may have to choose a tape here in a minute. What do the following quotes from the (19)60s and (19)70s mean to you just in a few words, you do not have to get into much detail.

2:28:15
TH: Yeah, no, you are not going to get much of a response on this but go ahead.

2:28:18
SM: As an activist, when you hear of the "I Have a Dream" of Martin Luther King, what does that, what does that mean to you?

2:28:30
TH: Well, that is almost the holy incantation because I was there.

2:28:37
SM: You witnessed it?

2:28:39
TH: I was standing there. Yeah.

2:28:40
SM: Oh, wow.

2:28:41
TH: Yeah. So, I put it in another category. I actually, you know, was there, I was standing under a tree.

2:28:52
SM: John Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you as what you can do for your country."

2:28:58
TH: I watched that on television and I immediately; it sent me into a scramble to try to deconstruct it. It did not know if that was good for us or not that. I did not know what he was saying.

2:29:14
SM: How about the National Organization for Women and when they started, they were prophetic in their statement "The personal is political."

2:29:25
TH: Yeah, I found that very challenging.

2:29:33
SM: Malcolm X, "By any means necessary."

2:29:41
TH: Another challenge.

2:29:45
SM: Timothy Leary's, "Tune in, turn on and drop out."

2:29:51
TH: My response to that?

2:29:52
SM: Yes.

2:29:52
TH: Uh oh.

2:29:56
SM: Very good. Martin Luther King also had another one, "Judge not by the color of one's skin, but by the content of one's character."

2:30:15
TH: I thought it was, at the time, a little utopian. I understood where he was coming from. And I think it anticipated and foreshadowed the appeal of Obama, who then was five we have to remind ourselves.

2:30:38
SM: Right. Bobby Muller is pretty well known for, well other people said this too, but he was very much in the forefront when he came back from Vietnam and went through the experience. "I realized for the first time that the US is not always a good guy."

2:30:58
TH: Yeah, well, that was the experience of a whole generation.

2:31:02
SM: And then Kim Phuc, the girl in the picture from the Vietnam War, I actually know her. I am actually going to interview her in a couple of weeks. We had her on campus. And just a simple thing. "I forgive."

2:31:22
TH: Powerful.

2:31:23
SM: Yeah. One of the questions here I have about the Port Huron Statement. How long did it take to write it? I know you co-wrote it with another person because I believe his name, Richard Flax.

2:31:43
TH: This is the last question.

2:31:47
SM: Oh, okay. What was anyway? Basically, how long did it take? Do you remember the experience of starting it? And

2:31:59
TH: Yeah, I can give you a very specific answer. In steps. I was, I was in jail on my birthday in 1961, in Albany, Georgia and I knew that I was going to a meeting of SDS in the north quite soon and I sent a letter from jail saying that we had to, we had to formally organize this group SDS with a vision that was based on the Direct-Action Movement among students in the south. So, then I went to Ann Arbor, very soon after, long meeting fifty-sixty people and they said, we are going to have this founding conference and you know, Sharon Jeffrey's going to try to get her mom to get us a UAW Center to have the meeting in. It is going to be. When is it going to be? It is going to be in June when school's out, and what are we going to do there? We are going to formally adopt organizational rules and we have to have this vision statement. So, I was delegated to write the vision statement. There were very few parameters or details. I went to, I forget the exact details, but it was in the south and then I went to New York, and I holed myself up in an apartment in New York City with books and it seemed like months, it must have been weeks but I you know I pounded out this long statement that was ten times longer than what anybody had in mind. I think it was sixty or sixty-five pages single spaced and mimeographed it. I do not know if you know, if you remember mimeographs. And off it went in manila envelopes and boxes to people that were coming to the conference, and they just got it in time for the conference. And the first reaction is, you know, throw it out this, we cannot deal with this. And it was kind of a force of will, on my part, insisted that people deal with it. I was sorry that it was so late and so long. But there was a lot at stake here and we could not just go home with it was nothing and somewhere along the way Dick Flax who was a graduate student friend of mine in Ann Arbor, got into the writing, he'll have to tell you when I do not I do not remember, but we broke into small groups that dealt with each section like the economy and foreign policy and civil rights, and everybody in a small group would read the draft, and then they would discuss whether they agreed with it in substance, if they did, that was fine, if they did not, that had to be debated and voted on and then they discussed smaller changes, technical changes, stylistic changes. And then each of these groups, which were, you know, functioned as committees, having met 2,3 or 4 days, I do not remember’ would come back to the body as a whole, report their recommendations, and people would vote yes or not to accept it. And it actually got done! And it had this participatory element to it, like people were involved in birthing their own creation, not only of the structure of the organization but the actual founding document, and then I was delegated at the end, to go back with all of the suggestions, recommendations, and rewrite the whole thing in one clean writing. And then to get around the question of, how would it ever be fully approved, since we were all going home, we agreed, this interesting formulation, that it was to be seen as a living document, a provisional document open to changes in the future. And it was issued as kind of a statement to our generation of activists, which is quite different from the usual political platform or Manifesto, you know, that goes through formal adoption and so on. Off we went, in the summer of (19)62, we stopped in June of (19)62. We had no idea what you know what the reception would be and the thought that we would be discussing it 50 years later was beyond our-

2:37:14
SM: I have two original copies.

2:37:16
TH: Yeah, I got a couple also, and it has been reprinted a couple of times, if you want to copy, I can resend it to you. You could spend a whole semester or weekend talking about this, and you never quite understand where this came from and how it came about. It is one of those mysteries of social change.

2:37:45
SM: Well, I think it is a great document. And I just have one more question if it is okay.

2:37:54
TH: No.

(End of Interview)

Date of Interview

11/14/03

Interviewer

Stephen McKiernan

Interviewee

Hayden, Tom

Biographical Text

Thomas Hayden (1939-2016) was a social and political activist, author and politician who was best known for his major role as an anti-war, civil rights, and radical intellectual activist. He was the author of the manifesto Port Huron Statement and stood trial in the Chicago Seven case. Hayden won seats on both the California Assembly and the California Senate. He was also the director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center in Los Angeles County. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.

Duration

2:37:57

Language

English

Digital Publisher

Binghamton University Libraries

Digital Format

audio/mp4

Material Type

Sound

Interview Format

Audio

Subject LCSH

Political activists--United States;
Civil rights workers;
Legislators—United States;
Radicals--United States;
Chicago Seven Trial, Chicago, Ill., 1969-1970;
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements;
Hayden, Tom--Interviews

Rights Statement

This audio file and digital image may only be used for educational purposes. Please cite as: McKiernan Interviews, Special Collections, Binghamton University Libraries, Binghamton University, State University of New York. For usage beyond fair use please contact the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections for more information.

Keywords

The nineteen sixties; marijuana; Anti-war Movement; Anti-draft; Baby boom generation; Civil Rights Movement; Rorschach; Vietnam War; Draft resistance; Eugene McCarthy; Lyndon Johnson; Division;  "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee"; Dee Brown; The Wall; Port Huron Statement; SNCC; Bob Moses; Jerry Adams; Kent State; Orangeburg; Integration; People’s Park; SDS; Jim Webb; Young Americans for Freedom; Jack Kerouac; Goldwater Movement; Fred Hampton; Mark Clark; Kent State; Jackson State; 1967 Newark riots; Max Cleland; Martin Luther King ; Max Faber ; COINTELPRO; Daniel Barrigan; Philip Barrigan; Direct Action Movement; Beat Generation.

Files

mckiernanphotos - Hayden - Tom.jpg

Citation

“Tom Hayden,” Digital Collections, accessed January 16, 2022, https://omeka.binghamton.edu/omeka/items/show/1180.