Q982 Transcript

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(This tape was transcribed by Nightrissa Crosby. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

Jones: (Slow deliberate tone, likely reading from a comment card submitted to him) They worked the hardest in myexperience and were the most conscientious in their care and treatment of all patients alike. It’s very difficult to wake some people up every hour and get them to drink water and have their temperatures taken. But Cheryl and Dianne got the job done very effectively and without losing their composure. It showed to me such a high degree of socialist character and commitment. They are excellent examples– excellent examples for others to follow. Cheryl also worked through the night, getting little, if any, rest. Thank you for making the people who are ill feel secure in the care they were given.

Crowd: Delayed applause.

Tape edit

Jones: –for us to realize that conscientiousness. (Pause) But it will require world famine to wipe out the United States before our people are spared, or nuclear holocaust. Will you be so demanding that the United States has to disappear before you’ll be happy here? Will you be so insistent in your attitudes tha there’s something you’re missing in what you think. Your missing goes away even perhaps before our people are free. And they will have to go down with it? Is that what your attitudes are doing? (Pause) I don’t even know why I’m saying this, because I didn’t have any intention of saying it. (Pause) I hope there’s nothing prophetic in that. You better really look at this matter of gratitude. You better look at being an alien on a foreign planet, and that’s what we are: aliens, unwanted aliens. We are considered lower than anything that even [Adolf] Hitler looked upon, and he murdered the Jews. You only kid yourself in believing that you’re separate from the total problem that we have to confront. We’ve found the one and only place that we can fight for survival, and do it, and make it.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: Say, well, I like better odds. Life doesn’t give you all the odds that you want. You’ve got the best possibility of surviving of any place. No mechanized army standing around you. City that couldn’t resist a minute if there was an attempt to do something to us. They have more power and more support and more of an arsenal than perhaps some people are aware. But this community spirit that we can bargain with, more security than you ever had at any time in your life, doesn’t mean anything until it’s you. Tonight in Vincent Lopez, they’re so low down they don’t want him back, so they say he’s in violation of his uh, juvenile status. Oh, we’ll win it. We’ll win it. That won’t mean a thing to you. That’s how low down Grace and Walter Jones are. They don’t want him, so they want to get him in trouble, saying that he violated his guardianship. And they abandoned him, but they’re trying to make it appear that he has uh, run off on their guardianship and thus trying to make him again a ward of the court, make the court come in and do something about uh, his situation. Those are low-down miserable people. Say, well, they’re different. No, no, (short laugh) no, no, no, no. They’re just like every American. We just had a case to get to know them better.

Voices in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: They’re like every person that doesn’t share a socialist commitment. We just happen to see, them because they want to cut us down. When tensions rise and situations get worse, you’ll see 200 million like them who like to prey on people for no other reason than that they’re unhappy, and they’re afraid we found some meaning to our lives. Happiness as some of you have never really known, but they know they would be happy if they were in this same situation, because their lives are miserable. So they curse us by day and by night, and try to trouble us every minute, to keep us from enjoying any semblance of happiness, while others bellyache and practice elitism. (Pause)

Elitism is a terrible situation. Usually those who recognize elitism are other elitists, but whoever recognizes it, for that we are grateful. We who are not absorbed in the process of life, but are interested in the struggle of liberation, will not notice whether somebody else is getting a little bit more than another, ‘cause we are preoccupied with only one thing, and that’s a desire to live more fully and perhaps more gallantly, maybe at times, but at least express our desire to defeat the enemy, if by n– if by– if by chance laying down our life, because we know that that’s one place that no hoax could be played on us. We can then weigh our results. But elitists notice others who are elitist, and elitism does appear. Some never lift their hand to physical work, some never volunteer themselves, and only then if I happen to be able to get out. And once a week, I’ll be able to get out to water some plants, and you can get out there and uh, say you’ve done something too. I don’t know why you don’t take over the radio, so I can set a good example. I don’t know why you don’t deal with the Vincent cases or the case of the uh, ugly Medlocks [Wade and Mabel], and then the– all the little groups (stumbles over words) getting around them, the ones that whip them up, the Olivers [Howard and Beverly] and all the rest of them that are in the mess. I’d like for you just to take that radio from me for an hour. Then perhaps I would set an example. But I wonder if I really worked in the field every day, if there would be some of you that still did not avoid it. (Pause) I hear many things, I read many things. (Clears throat) I can’t deal with them all at one time. Sooner or later I will get to them. It’s not possible to dis– to enter into an internal disruption every minute when you face external enemies. It’s a tragedy that anybody would take advantage when we’re in that cycle. It’s a tragedy that when somebody sees somebody come in with something that they’re not supposed to have, they’ll take it and use it themselves.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: That’s criminal.

Crowd: Calls.

Jones: That’s abominable.

Crowd: Calls.

Jones: That somebody can take something from somebody else and use it for themselves. That’s why I went on that pledge of no-eating once. And I’ll probably do that again because I’m building up to that, ‘cause people do tragicallycapitalistic things around here. But still it’s the purest society I’ve ever seen. (Pause) It’s the only alternative for children, the only hope for seniors to have a little peace in their lasting days. Where else could Lela Murphy be sent to a specialist and have it paid for, when no insurance in the world would provide it. (Pause) (Firm loud voice) Son, you better wake up, or I’ll– I’ll take it to you.

Voice in Crowd: (unintelligible)

Jones: Stand up. Don’t shout, I’ll stop in my meeting. Put your hands in your sleeve, just like everybody else.

Voice in Crowd: (unintelligible)

Jones: I know there are those who take privilege and those who point out that they take privilege have taken privilege. I never had anybody yet point out to me any error of correction– any area of correction that have not themselves taken that prerogative themselves. (Pause) I hope someday it’ll be so, that a common good dedicated, (voice rises) but a common good dedicated worker does not care how many people are revisionist, as long as the leader’s right. They don’t mind how many revisionists there may be around, as long as the leader’s doing the best he can with the situation. Those deviationists can be taken care of at one moment in time, and the true dedicated worker knows that. (Pause) But I would like for you to search yourselves to what goes on around here. I’m bringing in thirty pigs this week, so there’ll be meat that we cannot afford. Even though I run a protein loss all the time, I cannot and will not involve myself with even taking what I need protein wise. I will not, when I see what goes on with just a few. You make exceptions for yourself, and kitchen personnel at certain hours make exceptions, not the supervisors. And people are told to make exceptions for (voice rises) others by order, but never admits from me.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: It’s never cleared by me. There are people here who run their schedules to suit themselves, because they think they have some distance of closeness to me or someone else that’s in leadership.

Crowd: (Murmurs)

Jones: And you dreadfully are the seeds of the destruction of a movement.

Voices in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: (pause) What to do with you? A classical communist would not even deal with the subject. He’d wait till some moment he had a time and shoot you. A classical communist would not discuss it, he would eliminate it. But I’m not a classical communist, I’m an idealist as well as a communist. And I recognize that in myself. Somewhere I think you oughtta be able to reason justice in people’s minds. You oughtta also be able to see that all the people are not fools.

Voices in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: That people know your game any time you play a game. People know when you take things and take privileges. And make exceptions at work. And slide by. They know it, no matter who you are. You’re not– you’re not wise enough to fool all the people. And you can’t even be good enough to convince all the people. So you sure can’t convince them when you’re not doing right. Because I cannot convince till I die in some heroic way. No, not until I die, will somebody ever appreciate what I was. A lot of people will never– never have any meaning. Then out of necessity, many of you will then be concerned, not out of any character, but your world will go to hell. And you won’t know what has struck you, and the cyclonic effect of it will cause you then to be affected by my coming and my going. Not out of any great love. So I don’t realize how you think that you can get by trying to fool the people. No matter who you are, whether you’re a leader or whatever your capacity, whether you be in security or whether you be at some important post in the Steering Committee or coordination, it makes no difference who you are. Why do you think you can get by fooling people? You’re not– you’re not that bright. You’re not intelligent enough to fool all the people. Because even when you were good as you can be, you can’t convince people. You don’t do your stunts – surely do you – to try to impress people? I thought we made our stands and made our demonstrations and took this stint of life because it was right. I’m a communist tonight, whether any of you like it. I’m a communist tonight, whether any of you know it. I’m a communist if you please, I’m a communist if you don’t please.

Crowd: Sustained applause.

Tape edit

Jones: Anybody have any questions (tape edit) what might I be talking about or would I be talking about you, or would you be smart enough to deceive me? No, you’re not smart enough to deceive me. You’re not clever enough. You can beat me in looks. You may be able to do lots of things º dance better, talk better and sing better – but you’re not yet so clever that you can outsmart me.

Crowd: That’s right. (Applause)

Tape edit

Jones: Neither are you good enough to take my place.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: So by necessity, I am here.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: And if anybody wants to deal with anybody’s counter revolutionary activity, and if you’re holding the bag for somebody else’s counter revolutionary activity, then I would– I’d faze it up. Because there are questions of grave nature that have arisen. If I don’t deal with it tonight, it’s soon to be. The floor is open to any criticism, no matter who it touches. (long pause) Does anybody have anything to say? (long pause) Everybody’s happy with everybody? That’s strange. That somewhat belies all of these mass of notes I have, that I have to read. Everybody’s happy with everything that’s going on? Well, then, what bothers you? (pause) (tape edit) Walking around every day, because I don’t have that privilege to go down. I’d love to’ve been taken care of. I guess not, really not, ‘cause it would’ve taken away from somebody else. And I never like to take away from anyone else. So I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. But like the observer [Mike] Prokes, I would’ve like to have observed the tender loving care of some of our nurses, that’s one day will be important to you, because you will be sick one day. Sure as hell some of you are bent on being sick. (voice rises) So if you are doing something that is counterrevolutionary, if you’re covering for your child or your wife or your husband, and you’re doing it because you think they cannot be dealt with, then it’s your duty then to get yourself out in the open. ‘Cause there’s shit going on in here.

Voice in Crowd: All right now.

Jones: That’s seeming. And I can take anything. I don’t give a shit. You can take my food and eat it. I’d rather starvethan to be bothered with it. ‘Cause I know I’ll make final use of my life in a most proper way, and it will be consistent with the revolution. But if you see anything you don’t like, now is the time to talk. And I can tell you already, some people have talked. And even if they won’t have the courage to talk now, they’re watching you, and if you’re not doing things for ulterior reasons, you better explain yourself, ‘cause folk do watch what you’re doing. Yes. Restroom. (pause) (tape edit) –you live anymore under the hell of it. That’s one of the notes that was given me while I was talking about a life-or-death physical case in the front of the nursing– uh, nursing office. I’m sure the sister wish she hadn’t gone away. Now that– that you pass me a note from the kitchen.

Voice in Crowd: (unintelligible)

Jones: I’ve asked for everybody that has any problems. If you don’t like anything tonight, I’ve ask you to lay it out. If you question anybody high or low. If it’s one of my children, no matter who, I say, lay it out tonight. I’m sick of padding. (pause) In fact, I’m more resentful when a sanctified thief comes my way. (pause) Well, we’ll– we’ll keep looking. So, I want you to know, dear heart, you better stop this thievery. We have to intensify and make it a internal security matter, and we’re almost become like a security city, then we’ll do that, to find out who would be so brazen as to steal when we have enough. We have enough.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right, that’s right, that’s right.

Jones: But they’ve stole off of me in that radio room, so I know what they’ll do. Some of them’ll do it. (pause) Stole my pants. (sighs) People’ll just– will steal. They’re almost conditioned to steal, and they’ll steal out of nothing else to do. Out of boredom, I guess, because they haven’t got involved with the revolution. If they took on the problems of Vincent Lopez today, and Yvette Muldrow an hour before that, he’d be involved in the revolution. You’d lose your life in something that was worthwhile. (chuckles) But some people, they– they pass through. Yes, I look one woman who’s got blood pressure, high blood pressure, terribly high blood pressure. I wonder what in the hell is the reason she’s got such a high blood pressure. Said she got sick today of the crisis, just sitting in here listening. You haven’t faced death, honey, when you do and your name’s not Jones. But it begins with the same letter and ends. No, it doesn’t. It’s Johnson. When you get your attitude right, and don’t fear death, your blood pressure’ll go down. You all in a stew about nothing. Some of you getting blood pressures too, ‘cause you get worried. You worry each other. Companions worry each other, companions kill each other.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: Relax, child, ain’t nothing worth getting that upset about. Shit, it’s too nice a weather go out and sleep under one of the dorms. Hmm?

Crowd: (Responds)

Jones: Some of you never have a sick day, if you got away from who you were married too.

Crowd: (Stirs, some laughter)

Jones: (long pause) Oh, you look happy, but you haven’t talked to your companion. I see one over there sitting like a Cheshire cat, but you haven’t heard your companion. I have. I got all these pages, and you’re on it. And she says you’re a prick. (Pause) And I don’t mind you being a prick. If you can do it in the corner and don’t bother her and cause her some health problems. Oh, just let it wander. Say, there’s only one prick? No, no, I haven’t had anybody here that one of their partners practically hasn’t complained about the other. Either to try to impress me of their goodness or to manipulate something. (Pause) Hm-mm [Yes]. Just want you to know the old man’s mind is not dim, and his memory is not short. His hand of mercy will reach far, but he’s used to your bullshit. You can’t play your games fast enough. You’ve been at them so long, you– you trick your wife and you trick your husband, but honey, you can’t trick me.

Crowd: (Calls out)

Jones: You fuck your wife over and you fuck your husband over, but don’t fuck that game with me, because I can see through it when it even gets six foot away from me. When you approach, I know your game.

Crowd: Stirs.

Tape edit

Jones: Then go why in the hell didn’t they ask long ago? (voice low) Found a letter, Tim’s [Stoen] talking about Grace’s unfitness and I told him for weeks that it was there. (Pause) He just writing in his notebook one day, talking about how mean a woman she was. So now he’s– out of fear a little– a couple of years in jail, he’s willing to kill everybody. You know he’s gone get more than two years. And he’s gone get worse than two years at hard labor. Hm-hmm, hm-hm-hm-hm-hm [Uh-oh]. You don’t pull all of this shit. After a while, justice does come down.

Crowd: Stirs.

Jones: Comes thundering down upon you.

Crowd: Responds.

Jones: These people trying to get all the folks stirred up and get old people upset. Telling people are dead, when they’re not dead. You don’t know the half, what goes through that radio, the shit they tell. You don’t know. And then try to get some little child picked up or get him in trouble with juvenile authorities. Huh-uh [No], you don’t know. He shoulda taken that two years in jail. Then he could come out to peace. ‘Cause he ain’t never going to have no peace. Five times today that we met him on different corners. And by the time they met him the last– when the last one, they met him was Terri Buford, he was shaking like he had malaria fever on Market Avenue.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: And he’ll continue to shake, ‘cause every time he looks up, Tim Stoen’s gonna find one of my people looking at his son-of-a-bitching eyeballs.

Crowd: Applause and calls.

Jones: (Calls) There ain’t no crime in looking. No crime for looking. And then he better hope that my mission project takes me (Stretches out word) long while. He just better hope that I got a (Stretches out word) long time, till the last heroic member of the faith is here. He better hope. Never in his life should he hope more. He just should hope and meditate and pray to Jesus or whoever he’s looking to now, ‘cause Jesus won’t help him. But it might give him– it might give him a little peace of mind to think he was kidding himself and Jesus, ‘cause that sucker has done crossed the line.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: Yes, what’s– you’re up. What’s your problem, dear?

Naomi Johnson: Yes, Dad, I wrote you this– I wrote you this note today. I want to know why uh, Linda [Arterberry] will pass by me, she will not speak. I have uh, suffered this guilt for about 11 years, and I want to know what’s her reason for it. She has called me all kind of bitches. She tells anybody, I’m not her mom. I want to know what’s her reason for this?

Jones: Other complaints about you too. I praised you, and sometimes we take that as a blanket approval, I guess. Looks like I can’t open my mouth. I praise you, and then you misuse that praise. There’s other complaints about you too. Ain’t nobody too high or too low today to come down, honey. This is what you call clean-up night. So everybody that walks up here. Don’t make a difference who they take in on– I ain’t gonna– I don’t– Shit. I’ve been three times ready to die in the last few weeks. I don’t give a fuck. I don’t give a continental fuck. If you can’t live just, then die just. That’s my opinion. If you can’t live justly, let’s die justly.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: We damn near did that last week.

Voice in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: And we seem to do that better – some of us, some of the most difficult eggheads, and even some of the leaders – they die well. But they don’t live well. So I’d rather see us all die justly. Hmm?

Voices in Crowd: That’s right.

Jones: (softly) She asked you a question, child.

Linda: I’ve been holding this grudge against her, and I know I should go on ahead and forget about it, but I just can’t.

Jones: What’s your grudge against [Martha] Ellen Klingman? But I don’t see her here, I was reading about it, though. (Pause) I’ll pull you out tonight now. (Pause)

Linda: I wrote before and uh, in one of my reports that uh, she has some good baking ideas, and I wish she would share ‘em with me, but it seems like she just keeps them to herself and just goes off and do her thing so I go off into mine too.

Jones: It’s what?

Linda: She has some good baking uh, ideas, and I just wish she would share ‘em with me. She won’t so– she just keep ‘em to herself so I just go off into this thing.

Jones: (Stumbles over words) You don’t– don’t do anything wrong at all.

Linda: Yeah, I do.

Jones: What do you do wrong?

Linda: I hold– I hold a grudge against her.

Jones: And why do you feel you can hold a grudge?

Linda: Because she won’t share her ideas with me.

Jones: No, no, no, no, no. Let’s go back. You’re not one that’s getting– that’s working in my office, so you must be– you– you feel like you’re close to the coordinator’s wife or the coordinator’s son?

Linda: No, Dad.

Jones: Ohh, don’t tell this old man. Everybody that act shitty, everybody that act shitty, always does it because they think they got so much mileage with somebody. And if they don’t think it’s mileage with me, it’ll be mileage with somebody close to me. Ah, I don’t care if it’s broke up. She think that she’s got some mileage.

Female: When– you– when I first came here, you said, I can get anything I want out of Joyce.

Jones: Oh, she said she can get anything out of Joyce. Hmm?

Female: That’s what she told me.

Jones: That’s typical, that’s typical. People use people. Hmm? It’s getting quiet now. Because now we know– now we’re getting down where the problems lie, ‘cause you’re out there using somebody too, some of you.

Crowd: Stirs.

Jones: Now we’re getting out there. Or you think you’re using them, or you’re trying to use them. (Pause) That’s not a very nice thing to say, (pause) was it?

Linda: (softly) No, it wasn’t, Dad.

Jones: Is that what she meant to you, her friend– her friendship meant– what you could get out of her?

Linda: No, Dad.

Jones: Oh, yes it did. Tell us the truth, and I’ll like you better. And that’s why you’ve been– shit– shit– shit– shit– and then showing your uh, edginess. You wouldna done that if you didn’t think you had mileage to do it. How do others get by, they have to be nice and speak and be kind. How do you treat her, 11 years, you going to– what– what is this you can’t– You don’t speak to the woman? What has she done that you don’t speak to her? She’s a human being. The past now. Whatever in the hell she did then. She may have done terrible things, but she’s in uh, the socialist community. She’s in this family. I don’t know. What is your uh, gripe with her?

Linda: What she did to me when I was living with her.

Jones: Well, what did she do? I understand, you don’t show much interest in yours. Now (unintelligible word) tonight don’t get up here. Don’t fuck with me tonight, don’t get up here, or you’re in trouble. You’ll get nothing, but the truth. (voice rises) See, I know this all the time, but tonight you’ll get nothing but the truth. Because I’d rather die, than to die– live unjustly. I’d rather die anyway. If someone were to give me three months, that I could get eat shit and get a free pass to exit to oblivion, so I wouldn’t have to feel and care anymore, when there’s nobody– not enough– uh, any– not enough people to help me. And if they said you can eat that shit for three months every day, and I hate shit. I don’t like the smell of shit. That’s why I wanted to get the shit away from you. ‘Cause back there while people were singing, I didn’t think that was the thing to do, I knew the musician wouldna mind being interrupted, and I thought the thing to do is to get that shit moved, because you would not stand by– by there smelling it. Maybe some of you weren’t, but others were. It was too much. But if I could eat shit for three months and be guaranteed that nobody be hurt when I was gone. They’d say you get to go to oblivion in obscurity. You get to die in three months, I’d eat three months of shit. And I’d eat it just as mu– lavishly as you eat ice cream, ‘cause I am tired of having to be the only person that feels all the way. All the way. Everybody else got their distance, they draw it. I have to feel it all the way. I gotta carry the burden all the way. And I’m ti– I mean everybody. I’m not going to put any free from it. Everybody lay somebody’s problem down. I can’t lay anybody’s problem down. If I lay one person’s problem down, somebody’s done. And I– I’d take– I’d take uh, anything to have– I’m tired of it. When you love people as they– they– if you love, then you– you feel like I do. And if you love, you won’t do a thing but try and keep yourself well, so you can continue not to disappoint people. People say I don’t think that you ought to familiarize them how– how much you love death. Well then, fuck ‘em. They’ll never grow up. Because [if] you love people like you ought to, you naturally would prefer anything. You’re using people. That’s why you– you don’t feel it. Say, I don’t feel that way. Well, you don’t love. When you love and want to care and help and uh, meet people’s need – restroom, darling – when you want to meet people’s needs, you’re going to be mighty upset, because you can’t protect them as much as you want to, and you’d prefer anything than that love that you feel being un– not– not able to fulfill it. You like to love them, but when you love fully, you know it’s impossible. You can’t meet the needs. You become certain of one thing, you can never say I love you, because when I say I love you, I mean I protect you. I can say I can protect you up to a certain degree, but there’s always some little point which you won’t even let me protect you. ‘Cause you won’t organize yourself as a group, you won’t do to– you won’t fa–practice teamwork. This is filled with people who goof off on the crew, talk on the crew, lie to the nurse, say they’re sick and don’t go to the medical office say they got diarrhea and stand four hours (wags tongue) and don’t shit. You haven’t got diarrhea, ‘cuz I know. I got it so bad, it’s gone down my legs in that radio room today. (Pause) (Stumbles over words) When you get the diarrhea, you don’t go four hours without shitting.

Voices in Crows: That’s right.

Jones: And if that applies to you, you oughtta be on this floor tonight before midnight. (Pause) Say, if everybody’d do their part, I could really– When I say I love you over there, I mean it more than anybody ever meant it in the world. But I cannot do it perfectly, because of human conditions. As it is, though, when you get sick, where else can you get somebody to wake you up every hour and see that your fever don’t rise? How many of you would’ve been dead or how many of you would’ve been injured for life? Or how many of you would’ve been in jail tonight? How many? No, I’m not asking for hands shown. You can’t convince some folk anyway. They don’t want to be convinced, because they don’t want to pay the price. They don’t want to love like I do, so they never want to believe. So you’ll never make them believe, no matter how much you say to them. (Pause) They’re skeptics out of convenience. Hmm? If you don’t get it all, I’d make notes, so you can go home and think about it. Okay. (Pause) Go ahead. I don’t know where I was. You’re only one of the many problems here tonight.

Linda: I don’t know what else I’d done.

(Long Pause)

Jones: Have you been such a perfect mother, my love, that you could be impossible and not speak to her.

Linda: No, Dad.

Jones: Then why are you doing it? (Pause)

Linda: I don’t really have a reason for doing it.

Jones: Hmm?

Linda: I don’t really have a reason to.

Jones: Why did you do it? Why is it, that you’re not going down the pathway and speaking to people and being kind to people like some people. That, I say, and I won’t even argue with you, because you think you have a position with me, because I praised you or with Joyce because you just said you can get anything out of Joyce. You think you had some margin to do this. I wouldn’t think anybody would dream of going– going through this community thinking they couldn’t speak to somebody.

Crowd: Stirs

Jones: If they do it every day, sister, point it out. I don’t want to hear anything talked about unless it’s pointed out.Point it out. (Pause) Um-mm [Yes]. Continue.

Naomi: Why did you do it– Why did you do it, Linda? I want to know, because I suffered this over 11 years. (Pause)

Voice in Crowd: (unintelligible)

Jones: Go ahead.

Linda: Okay, I’m still holding a grudge against her. Uh, I did it too. Uh, but she– she beat me.

Jones: What?

Linda: When she tied me to the bed and beat me, and you know what, I did the same thing in [with] my child too.

Jones: You tied your child and beat– That’s often the truth, dear. A battered child is the victim of a battered child, and she was probably the victim of a bat– being the battered child. (Pause) That’s a psychological fact. We live up to the conditioning of the parent that’s set before us. I don’t know why we do this. I don’t know why we’re not creatures of thought more than we are, of what we see, but we are very much that way. This person after a while would say, I don’t like my mother, I don’t like my mother, but they’ll copy their mother. I don’t like my dad, I don’t like my dad, but they’ll copy their dad. Rather than copy a socialist example, they’ll copy their dad. ‘Cause they’ll think that they’re no better, they can’t do any better. But I can tell you one thing, you don’t have to be like your dad, you don’t have to be like your mom. She doesn’t– and I’m not talking about her case, ‘cause she’s been a good worker, there’ve been no complaints about her work, why would you judge her by her past? Did you ever ask her if she’d been beaten on?

Linda: (mic cuts in) –Dad.

Jones: Who beat on all of us? Who is it who’s beating on us? The system. Why judge her? Are you as mad at capitalism? Do you have any capitalistic patterns? Do you take anything that don’t belong to you at times, do you take more food or rights than you should have. You should hate the system that created our violence, that creates our desire to strike back. (Pause) That’s what you should– that’s what you should do. (Pause) Don’t you think? Don’t you think that’s where you should be? Hmm?

Linda: Yes, Dad.

Jones: Are you a perfect socialist?

Linda: No, Dad.

Jones: This has been a long to hold a grudge to this woman, I think. (Pause) I called somebody a while ago, ‘cause my mother [Lynetta Jones] asked me to do it. She’d been a socialist to save you, and I would’ve rather called anybody in the world but her. I called and offered her a place, ‘cause Mother wanted it done. She’d even done harmto me at one time, great harm to me, but I felt that was one thing she could– she could ask. She asked very little of me. She gave a lot and asked very little, she have you all, she gave you everything she had. So it made no difference to me if that person had done me some harm – tried to harm me physically – I called, and they can testify to you, I talked very sweetly, very lovingly to that person, ‘cause that was m– that was mom– one of mom’s dying wishes. I didn’t agree with her dying wish, but she gave so much to this place. She gave all of her money, she stood up against the FBI for all those hours, lost her job, discredited, in the McCarthy Era. She’da caused all of those people who were with me then pain, all of my children woulda been in real trouble, if she hadn’t’ve stood up, ‘cause just for being with Paul Robeson, being in that communist that– not a communist meeting, a progressive rally. It would’ve been the end. It would’ve been perfect grounds for me to’ve been prosecuted, and she would not tell them. ‘Cause she was the only one that could tell them. (Long pause) You know the story. You ought to know it. I– I got away from the situation and jumped off of the paddy wagon, there was no way (unintelligible) anybody could know me. No way, except for a phone call, one lone phone call, but the phone call couldn’t be used as state’s evidence in those days. She had to give a testimony. She had to testify that I was at that meeting. I was the person. And she wouldn’t do it. They thought a little ol’ working class woman, they could bend her over to suit their size, but she wouldn’t do it. So I– I– it was very difficult for me to talk to this woman and be sweet to her and be warm to her, to hear her talk about the Lord and all that nonsense, but I did, because that’s what I felt duty required, and I would think that duty would– would call you to uh, be kind, and forget. Judge her by her present, not by her past. (Pause)

Woman: (very low) –go and tell things about me and that hurt her. She didn’t like it and she told me.

Jones: Shift, shift.

Woman: I told him.

Jones: Well, because people have the right to think upon themselves what they think is right, to do what they want to do. Spend our night discussing bananas. And not the– not the half and they they’re bi– and not the half or up here for the stolen things. Not even the half. (Pause)

Woman: Uh, Dad, someone taking two of my sheets so uh, she told me (laughs) to mind– (voice rises) Someone taking two of my sheets, so a sheet come to the dorm, and didn’t have no name on it, and I needed a sheet to put between my blanket, so I just took the sheet. I still have it.

Jones: Well uh– sheets are but– were blessings. Pulls the trigger. (Pause) And every time somebody steps up that’s black, there’s that kind of agony behind them. Some never– that’s deal with that they never deal with it– (sudden shouts) Don’t deal with it now, you pricks. (Pause) (Calms) Don’t deal with it. Don’t want to deal with it, ‘cause it’s too much. (long pause) Some young blacks stand over there and calls her a racist. If she is, she’s justified (unintelligible word). You’ve never had that done to you, ‘cause you’re late to work. There’s nobody on earth can know what that is, except it happens to them. Just shows that every time you lose your temper, you strike out at someone – it’s happened to me, it’s happened to you invariably many times – you’ll strike at the very wor– worst situation and the wrong place, the wrong time. Who’s always looking around here trying to be defiant? If anyone deserves a patient answer, she deserves it. She works– I never see her stop. Though she shouldna said I would rather be back in the States, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But the fact is, that she works all the time. I never see her idle. Always going, going, going. So her pain– any– any part would want to go back there. (long pause) Can you make a nigger out of a white man? (Pause) I’m not speaking to you personally.

Woman: Dad, I didn’t say it was– (Jones interrupts)

Jones: There’s a difference in tiredness and the patterns of lack of concern is being shown here, because they’re encroached upon their little (through gritted teeth) fucking goddamn schedules encroached upon. They may have to stay up a little bit. They don’t feel this, though. So they don’t feel this.

Woman: Dad, (unintelligible) just like that young lady. She heard so much she was half sleep, she wrote this from– So she told me to read this, lose her, well that you (unintelligible) to talk to? I said yes it was she said you should write that, Dad.

Jones: She wrote it up.

Woman: I said I can’t write.

Jones: She wrote it up, he wrote himself up, and she wrote– wrote him up too, and said he was despicable.

Woman: Yes. So I told him back there. I said you hurt me. I said you remind me of that (voice breaking) man in the States, uh, when I went in the cotton field that morning at seven o’clock. I said he cussed me for a black son-of-a-bitch, he told me to no never come to the goddamn field this goddamn late no more. And I told him, well, I had my little children to take care of, and uh, I had to put clothes on and feed them. He said you black son-of-a-bitch, don’t you never come to this goddamn field this late no more. To him it’s just a flick right in my face and I looked down to (unintelligible word), and my husband just throw his hands up and he just– had legs like this cause he knew he shot me. If he woulda said anything, he woulda blowed his brains out, and mine too. See? And that hurt me and he (sobbing) and he cussed at me more like dirt. As hard as I work. I started work– I worked from seven o’clock to nine o’clock at night.

Jones: Yes, she does– she does every day of the world. You may not know that, but those of us who go that way know it. (long pause) I’m sorry for all those of light skin have done to people like you. And what I’m amazed is, Mother, is you continue to work trying to make a better world.

Woman: Uh, Saturday night trying to make– trying to beautify this place and make it heaven here on earth.

Jones: All the time. All the time.

Woman: Yes, I do.

Jones: I can’t dispute that. Yes. Who else needs to say something?

Woman2: Dad, uh, (unintelligible name) have it bad. He came out down the garden when I was watering one day and he– uh, he– (cries out) you get out of here, get out of here. I said, listen, you get out of my face,and don’t try to drive me out of here. I said– (tape edit)

Jones: (unintelligible) That’s right, Earl. (laughs) You just torment me tonight, Earl, I know that. (laughs) (long pause) (laughs) I think he’s got something good going. (laughs) He’s sweet. Okay, I– but I– I– I look at myself tonight, and I’ve gotten into some (unintelligible word) physically because no matter what people are doing to me, no matter how much they won’t appreciate what I’m trying to get them to live, not appreciate me, but I allow hostility to weigh on me and gnaw on me today. Terribly. And I feel a lot better. I thought time was going to collapse tonight, because I was very close to collapsing. And I willed not to do that, but the best thing you can do is to get your mind off yourself. (Pause) And that I would recommend to a lot of you. Then your elitism will stop. Then your special privileges will stop. When you get your mind off yourself. What you think you have a right to do when you take from the people, steal from the people, do things that are gross to the people, be nasty and harsh and hellish, not just one day, as we have a brother here, but every day. It’s because– it’s because you’re thinking so much of yourself, or you don’t keep a regular schedule, won’t do anything that you’re supposed to do, won’t bear your fair share, and know that it’s affecting others. Stephen can’t be surely the only one that weighs the effect of that. You doaffect others. You do. And you know you do. Okay, I– I’ve said all I had to say on the subject. I’m touched by what you said on, I’m touched by what you said, I’m touched by what you said, and uh, guilty, I’m so late. Yes?

Woman3: I just want to bring up one point that came up to– with uh, some of the young guys today. I was talking to them about uh, someone that pushed someone over somebody’s back, you know the old trick of going up behind somebody and one guy and the other guy throwing him backwards. And the child almost got seriously injured, and (clears throat) I was speaking to these young guys about not doing that, and uh, that there’s too much physical contact which they call playing. Uh, to me, it is not playing because somebody generally gets hurt and it’s generally very hostile. I told them that they should use these kinds of tactics for the enemy and that possibly they could be trained in some of these tactics in a controlled situation, not to use them on the playground. They said to me that– (Jones interrupts)

Jones: Who’s they?

Woman3: Uh, one of them was Larry, and there’s a couple of other guys I know who they are, I don’t know them by name. Uh, he said that uh, what about the older guys? They do it all the time. And I said, we’ll have to do something about that then, and at least let them know about the situation, that you guys are seeing it and they are copying you. They mentioned Albert [Touchette] particularly. He said Albert does it all the time, and uh, those guys, they said. So whoever you hang out with then, you know, rassle with, whatever. Anyway, they said that they thought that nobody would confront– front you guys– confront you guys about it, you know that everybody was afraid to do it.

Jones: Hostility can show through in many, many ways. It really does. I had occasion today– it’s today somebody was talking about something, I don’t even want to get into it, (unintelligible word) a reflection on me but they were talking about something, and I– I thought when I teased that person on the radio, and they were on the radio on– on– in Georgetown. And I thought why are you doing that? And I looked. I think it was really diversion, but it was the most cruel thing to joke that way. But I’m telling you, all of us need– I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, but I almost did it. I almost said something, it would’ve been dreadful, ‘cause life’s too short. You never know when you’re going to see each other again. You didn’t know whether that person was going to see the other person they were talking to again. (pause) There wasn’t even hostility because of a sick relationship or anything of that sort, although I think I sense that it was just a diversion. I want to get away from the enormity of seriousness. But it isn’t right for me to get away from the enormity of seriousness by making anyone else the brunt of a joke. And I’ll tell you, if you’re ever through your physical uh, playing around cause injury to one thing– You can be grateful that when I was very young, a little animal suffered because of the carelessness of a group that I was in. You better be (Stretches out word) very grateful that I developed that guilt in the midst of my poverty, in that little dog laying there, because of a ball. I can see it often flashing– it must be subconscious now deep– deep in my subconscious. Little flash there and then I see a little dog licking my hand. And I knew better than to play around this little puppy with balls. I didn’t hit him particularly, but I was in the group that did. And I had to see him lay and lay and lay. Nobody take care of him but me. But something about that little dog taught me as much, I suspect, in my subconscious as many humans. He always was grateful for everything I did. He’d lick my hand. Hot day, terrible summer that Indiana’s had. It’s an unusual dog. And I’m grateful that I developed guilt to what degree I did. Otherwise I’da been a stinking mess of humanity on this planet. And all of you that engaged in your hostilities, you’re allowing that stinking mess of humanity to come out. If we fill one day tomorrow – just one day – with the kind of gratitude that we oughta have, the kind of guilt that we should assume, wonder what kind of day it’d be around here tomorrow. Hmph. Like to see such a day. Just try it tomorrow. I’m a cynic. Let’s try it. Let’s see if we’ll think about the Lula Ruben’s and Helen Snell’s loved one hanging in the tree, and then his parents made the indignity. And I’ve heard that story in one form or another from one black after another. They had to march by him, didn’t dare say a word, or the Klan would do the same thing to them. And sometimes it wasn’t even the Klan. It was out right open, public display of hate. (long pause) I wouldn’t be too– too irritated about that gentleman tonight. You don’t have enough understanding for blackness. I’m the one that would be irritated tonight. You– I’m the one that had to speak. You’re not bothering me. (long pause) It be interesting to see if we can do it. And everyone that doesn’t assume guilt or is hostile tomorrow, we should report to them. If we report to them and report to the– the office. And I agree too, Earl. All of us, every hostile act tomorrow, every hostile mischief hit, every hostile joke. What a difference it would make. (Pause) We’ve practiced long enough, when the Soviets come, they– we might uh, cause them to see a ge– a revolution that would can have more effect than just what we’re doing up here. (voice rises) Promise not tomorrow to think about yourlife. (pause) You do it, I do it. Everybody thinks they got more reason to do it than the– the next person. But none of us got any reason. If you can’t re– uh, re– reach out to Lula, it’s easier for me to do it, ‘cause I see her work there like a trooper every goddamn day, moving. I mean she moves. If everybody in this organization moved like she did this place woulda been doubled trebled quadrupled in production. Then think of O’Bliko’s [Steve Biko] son or daughter, six years old. I don’t think I’m pronouncing it right. I keep saying that, but God, the story is just as true as it can be. It was on the front pages of our US newspapers, just a few weeks ago. Where his daughter is made to take a wire and pull off his private parts, and then beat to death after that before his eyes, and he’s left to lay. At least she didn’t have the horror of the guilt. In a way I’m glad she never had to grow up.

I hope we can feel guilty tomorrow. A course in guilt some have never, never, never– you’ve never taken the trip. You never take the trip. I watch you. I wish I had the li– I wish this was only the beginning of the night. You never take the trip. Guilt is a word that you won’t allow to come your way. You don’t want to deal with it. You can be hostile and move around with an air, a nasty air. You show you’re not guilty about anything.

Okay, I don’t have any more to say on that. I think she made her point. We’re not going to pick him out for punishment, we’re not going to pick these children out for punishment, because all of us has something to bear there. All of you adults as a coordinator that sets uh, any kind of example, you know that they’re going to follow this. When we become men, we must put away childish things. And I wonder how you do this. I’ve had to compete too many times over that table, as I did Sunday for lives. I’ve had to compete on that radio and match wits against wits. I don’t want any game where there’s win or lose. And anybody here that still likes games where win or lose, you better take a look. Hmm? Hmm? Take a look. We’ve been playing too many real life games for win and lose. Cooperation, yeah, yeah, challenge to the mind, but if you get caught up in it, engrossed in it, watch it. Go spend your time reading and learning more about socialism, or discussing and getting it to heart of us. We ought to get off in the individual groups and we oughtta sit down and plough away at each other, so we can strip off all this goddamn sham. A lot of sham here that shoulda been gone in such a society by now. Say it again, or I will. Thank you. Hope we can see it. Okay. Nothing more to say. You wanna say something, dear?

Tape Ends

 

Originally posted on May 14th, 2022.

Last modified on May 16th, 2022.
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