(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Heather Shannon. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
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Male: Yes, testing one two. Motherfucker.
Male 2: Testing one two three four five.
0:15-2:17 Incidental conversation in preparation for press conference
Moderator: Our press conference is going to start now. Uh, the first person to speak will be Reverend Cecil Williams, and I think all of you press people recognize the individuals here: Assemblyman Willie Brown, Reverend Jim Jones and Will Holder of the Prisoners Union. We’ll have the statements consecutively, and after everyone’s made statements, then we’ll be open to questions. We don’t want any questions as speakers make their statements.
Woman: Okay, we’re going to ask that you move your microphone (unintelligible).
Moderator: Are speakers (unintelligible)
Unidentified male: Are they good enough to just be turned?
Two people: Yes.
Unidentified male: All right. (unintelligible) Everybody ready?
Moderator: Everybody ready? All right. Go.
Cecil Williams: Eldridge Cleaver came home voluntarily. He came home because he felt very strongly that he could get a fair trial. Now, since his return, we have seen some evidence uh, of a fair trial certainly not taking place. The important thing is that Eldridge Cleaver should be released on bail at this particular time. There are those of us in the community that are very concerned about the fact that he has not been released on bail, and we are making an appeal to all people to make sure that Eldridge Cleaver gets a fair trial. It means, however, that certainly he must be released on bail at this particular time. And so, therefore, it seems to me that the fact that, uh, other people have been released time after time who have not even served the time that Eldridge Cleaver has, on parole, he ought to be given the opportunity. Finally, just this: Is it likely that there are those of the Adult Authority that are afraid of this man? That are threatened? Because he’s going– the likelihood of him being released? I would say to you that the important thing is that whether they’re threatened or afraid or whatever the case might be, he should be released. And we’re here to support his release of bail at this time.
Willie Brown: What may indicate to you that, uh, uh– First, to thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to address the public, and then secondly, indicate to you that, uh, Eldridge Cleaver is, uh, imprisoned in the state of California currently, uh, without having had any kind of a hearing on a probation or a parole revocation. There are many other persons similarly situated. Why do we call attention to this issue now, is because E– Eldridge obviously is a personality, and he is a person who can, in fact, command the attention of the media and of a whole lot of us in terms of his plight. But his plight is simply representative of many other persons similarly situated, and I think the gentlemen from the Prisons Union would echo that fact. It is a fact in this state that you can be a parolee and languish in jail for two, three or four years while awaiting a disposition of a new charge before anyone makes a decision as to whether or not your parole should be reinstated or revoked. If your parole is reinstated, you have been in prison for that period of time without any kind of compensation and what-have-you.
No one is asking at this time that a decision be made to simply terminate Eldridge Cleaver’s parole or any of those proceedings. What Eldridge is asking for, and what those of us who represent some of the conscience of the community is asking for, is that he be given bail, the same kind of privilege that every other American is entitled to before any kind of conviction has occurred, with reference to any particular new offense for revocation purposes. It seems to me that’s a minimum that this state ought to provide to every citizen, and certainly including Eldridge Cleaver. There have been cases where people have been similarly situated, and they have been permitted to bail. It seems as if special attention is being given to Eldridge Cleaver, as well as some other individuals, but certainly special attention is being given to Eldridge, and therefore he requires special attention from those of us with community concerns. And all we’re asking is that the public address itself to that issue and the Adult Authority lift the hold so Eldridge Cleaver will be eligible for the one hundred thousand dollars bail which has been already set by the judge. (Pause)
Jim Jones: Peoples Temple h– has helped– We’ve assisted several hundreds of people. And again I reiterate what Mr. Brown said. He is– Mr. Cleaver’s condition is as representative of too many people of minority backgrounds. Different members are contributing a few thousand dollars to his defense fund, I can say absolutely that Mr. Cleaver’s certainly not funded. There is a misnomer going about that he is an agent. If he is an agent, he’s certainly getting very bad treatment. I cannot uh, believe this and do not accept it. It’s also strange to me that when Mr. Cleaver is saying some very good things about America, pointing out some of its good points, that there is no one coming to his assistance at this particular time, except the people that you see here and some other, uh, a few friends. Uh, I– I feel that, uh, Mr. Cleaver certainly could be trusted, uh, I don’t know the process of the law, but it would seem to me that on his own recognizance, when he comes all the way from France and voluntarily surrenders himself. He’s also surrounded by conditions, having visited the prison. He’s surrounded by some very strange conditions. He’s been moved into a– an area where he’s surrounded by uh, white– uh, white racists uh, and members of the Hell’s Angels. And he was speaking to me in some concern, not for his own life but for his own children, that he could be able to rear them, that uh, one of the people that was serving him food had been involved in some prison violence. I think these are deplorable conditions, and I’m no more concerned about Mr. Cleaver than I would anyone else that is not represented in the American mainstream. He has a right to his hearing, he has a rightto bail, he’s been there now many months going on a year, and it’s high time that Eldridge Cleaver gets his fair day in court.
(chairs moving, footsteps)
Will Holder: I’m here today because I’m an ex-convict and because I am one of the uh, members of the same class that Eldridge Cleaver is, the convicted class. Uh, this to me is just another example of the high-handed lawlessness of the Adult Authority that exercises their discretion and selectivity as to who, uh, will receive hearings uh, under uh, the mandate of the law. Uh, Eldridge Cleaver is, uh– meets all the criteria for a Rodriguez hearing. Uh, this is being denied to him, although it’s been given to many others, uh, under similar situations. Uh, there’s no doubt in my mind, being of the convicted class and being– having been subjected to similar things — not to the intensity or the degree that– that Eldridge has — uh, but this process of selectivity, uh, uh, eats away people’s life, this the people’s lives. And Eldridge is being subjected to it, and uh, I don’t think there’s any doubt in anyone’s mind that uh, this is, uh– that this, uh, is the reason that the Adult Authority is denying, uh, Eldridge the right to a Rodriguez hearing. The Prisoners Union uh, as– as one of its commitments, uh, uniformity in inequity in sentencing people to prison. And this uniformity in inequity is not applied– not being applied to Eldridge Cleaver, uh, who is one of many people that it’s not being applied to. If your name gets in the press, you’re dead and stinkin’, you know. So, the thing to do in order to get a Rodriguez hearing is never to speak up for what you think about the system. If you speak out about what you think about the system, while you’re in jail or outside of jail, and then get in jail, you’re through. You’re dead and stinkin’, if they– if the Adult Authority has any controls over you whatsoever.
Male: You’re free to ask any questions that you may think of.
Female reporter: (chair moving in the background) Uh, you know here that the hearing on this matter will be held tomorrow. Are you saying the hearing on the probability of bail will be held tomorrow, or a hearing on the issues that we (unintelligible).
Male: Well, Mrs. Cleaver will have to answer that question. I don’t think either one of us are privy to what the legal process is (chair moving, unintelligible)
Kathleen Cleaver: The hearing is on a petition for release from jail. It’s against the– the (unintelligible) on the refusal on the part of the Adult Authority to grant him a release from jail. So the attorneys are asking the court to order his release from jail on the grounds of very solid law, the fact that if a Rodriguez hearing had been held, which the Adult Authority refuses, he would have easy– easily had been discharged in the sense that for a crime in 1958, for which he was convicted, the average time running from five to maximum nine years, he’s done almost twelve. They have no reason to hold him, and so if the hearing– if the petition is granted, then he’ll be able to make bail. At present time, you can’t– you’re not allowed to make bail.
Holder: Let me amplify on what Mrs. Cleaver has said. Uh, the law some months ago in the Rodriguez case said, in effect, that persons who are incarcerated, if in fact the combination of the time that they have served and the time on parole had gone beyond the mean level of time, or the average amount of time that people spend for that particular crime, then they were literally entitled to an immediate release. If, in fact, Eldridge Cleaver was similarly situated and had been treated as if he was a Rodriguez, in the Rodriguez category, under that theory, which is the theory of the case that’s going before Judge [Spurgeon] Avakian tomorrow, Eldridge Cleaver would have been discharged from parole and therefore not subject to anything except posting the one hundred thousand dollars bail pending the trial of the new matter stemming out of shooting in 1968 in Alameda County.
Reporter 1: Mrs. Cleaver, I– as I understand that (unintelligible) the attorney of record. (unintelligible) Do you have an attorney for the trial?
Cleaver: Not yet, not yet.
Reporter 1: (unintelligible) Are you going the Public Defender route, or what–
Cleaver: We’ll have it August second.
Reporter 1: August second.
Reporter 2: Can I ask uh, what kind of community support there is for Eldridge Cleaver? I know there was a lot of resentment, uh, about his situation (unintelligible).
Holder: Well, you’ll be getting to see it now, Mel, (chuckles) there’s no doubt about it. Uh, I think that there’re those of us here, who work with a lot of people in the community, uh, who, uh, relate to a lot of people in the community. Uh, when the defense fund first began, uh, over in Berkeley, uh, some of us were there working with about three hundred people as– as it began like about two months ago or three months ago. And, uh, so the groundswell has begun because there are those of us who are convinced that it’s important that Eldridge get a fair trial. Uh, if you’ve got money, you get a fair trial. If you don’t have money, you don’t get a fair trial. If you got community support and a little money, you may get a fair trial. (Laughs) So the important thing is that here’s a man who has to have a fair trial. The community– You’re right, there’s been a lot of resentment, because a lot of things surrounding Eldridge Cleaver were misunderstood, misrepresented and even, whatever the case might be– wh– whether the facts were right or wrong, the important thing is that– that the man has come back, and he is saying now, I’m– I’ve voluntarily come back, I want to have uh, uh, an equitable situation. And so he– he comes back to do that, and it’s– it’s incumbent upon us to make sure that it takes place.
Male: How much money have you raised?
Cleaver: Uh, we’ve raised, uh, about fifteen thousand dollars.
Male: What’s it gonna take?
Cleaver: Money. (Pause)
Holder: And that’s why we’d like for it to be known, that those who are interested and concerned and who want to make sure that Eldridge gets a fair trial, that they, uh, respond by sending that money to– where, Kathleen?
Cleaver: 2490 Channing Way–
Male: 2490 Channing Way, Berkeley, California. A– and it’s for the, uh, Eldridge Cleaver Defense Fund.
Holder: Uh, Mel, you asked about the community, you know. I think, uh, you know, just last night I was listening to the news on Channel 5.
(overlapping chatter and laughter)
Holder: I also listen to Channel 7 as well. I– I listen to all the channels, uh, but specifically I have– I have a gripe about Channel 5. It’s over the kidnapping of these 26 children that they’re in– in the news (unintelligible). It’s been so confusing as to what has been going on there for the past, uh, uh, few days as reported by specifically Channel 5, I’m talking about now. (Stumbles over words) just two of ‘em, and you know they’ve got people convicted that, that, that, as– uh, uh, coming out of San Quentin, they– it’s so confused. So, uh, God, I– I really uh, doubt that, uh, Eldridge can get a fair trial until there is some, you know, some, uh– uh, some semblance of investigation as to determine what uh– just actually, what is going on. It’s– it’s confusing as hell, and– and the press has been playing a big part in this. They played– play– play one big part. And, uh, last night, in watching uh– watching that– that news, uh, God, uh, you don’t know who it is or what it is, and– and– and all of a sudden, uh, the press is becoming the police department, you know. I, I agree with the– with the– with the, uh, uh, uh, I guess it was the chief of police or somebody from Oakland that’s, uh, uh, you know, and what he had to say last night. And this is– this is the whole thing. We don’t know him. Who knows what. Man, all I know is that Eldridge Cleaver is an ex-convict and that– of that class, you know, you’re in trouble if you open your mouth.
Brown: Can I just say this? There’s one thing that’s very important. Remember, not too long ago in San Francisco, one of the big fights in the public schools was the fact of whether or not Soul on Ice was gonna be read by students in the public school system. Now you know that that, uh, his writings have had a great deal of influence on a lot of people, uh, through the years and uh, maybe this is one reason why they– you know, Eldridge probably could do a little writin’ in– in prison, but he could probably do a lot better writing if he were out of prison. So, maybe, you know, he’s he could be somewhat of a threat at this particular point. The man wants to live a life. He wants to live his life. And he wants to live it with his family– That, that’s vitally important.
Male: If you were defending Eldridge, would you ask for a change of venue?
Brown: Uh, George, uh, uh, I really don’t think so. I think I would, uh, want Eldridge on bail, and that’s as far– uh, for a starter. And then I think I would want to be tried, uh, in the San Francisco Bay Area. I really think Eldridge’s peers are in the San Francisco Bay Area, if they’re anyplace. And uh–
George: Well, I guess I was addressing my question to– to uh, (unintelligible) he couldn’t get a fair trial.
Brown: Well, uh, let me say that I think, uh, Eldridge will be able to secure, uh, a trial that will meet with his definition of fairness and my definition of fairness, if he is permitted to go on bail and proceed to participate in his– unencumbered, in his own defense. I think that’s awfully important. If you think about the number of what so-called “movement” trials that’ve been held in the San Francisco Bay Area, including, uh, uh, San Jose, you will note that there have been almost zero convictions, uh, where there has been total and dedicated preparation and where the matter has gone on an unencumbered basis over a long period of time, starting with uh, the Los Siete trial here in San Francisco, tried by Michael Kennedy and Charlie Garry and those people up through and including, uh, a lack of convictions so far in the San Quentin Six matter. And it seems to me that those matters were handled in that way in which they were handled because first, they had excellent lawyers representing those people. Secondly, they had great community awareness. They had a considerable amount of media attention that did not take away from their possibility of getting a fair trial, simply because the media got the facts and got a posture from the standpoint of the defense. As of now, the media cannot get a posture in– from the standpoint of the defense, because Eldridge is not available on a daily basis to deal with those kind of issues and to do that kind of work. Kathleen is doing an excellent job in, you know, getting us together, but she cannot do what Eldridge could do on a gut level in terms of pursuing his own defense. As a lawyer, I would want Eldridge on the streets, I would want the matter tried among Eldridge’s peers and my peers. And that, of course, would be San Francisco County.
Jones: Thing rather amazes me is that, uh, Eldridge even enlightened my mind. I’ve seen many faults in our society. And when I was there this last time for an hour and a half, hearing him say things that are painfully not acceptable by most of the progressive community. It’s amazing to me that the conservative and moderate community does not respond to him when he’s extolling many of the virtues of American society. I could hardly believe that the Adult Authority and the sheriff’s department represents the left. But it’s– it’s, uh, extremely strange to me that he is not given a forum for his ideas. And he had some very, uh, challenging thoughts, thoughts I didn’t want to hear, in comparing our nation with other nations, uh, you– one always likes to think there are panaceas. And he enlightened me, I must say, and it seems rather strange that this man is not given an opportunity of all these months that he’s wasted away there. It– it seems that it’s high time that people who say they are concerned about America’s– America’s well-being that– that they would respond to this man. And I see no evidence of any support from the conservative or moderate community at all. It seems that we who are considered the progressive community are the ones that are backing Eldridge’s right to a fair trial. (Pause)
Voices: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Chatter, chairs moving
(21:35) Tape edit.
Radio broadcast noise.
Jones: Defense funds, thank you. I– I was distracting. Defense funds that we’ve, we’ve herald, you know, Cleaver to AIM, to various people, Angel, what uh, that the uh– I think we got a good swing in the uh– the bond thing, we actualize the Bill of Rights. We don’t care what a person’s political view is, we don’t want people to be discriminated against because of being a minority. And then tell the kind of activist programs, adoption, children (unintelligible) that– that– swing that in, but m– meatier than I saw them. Tell [Richard] Tropp to give it his best polish, too. If we can get that son-of-a-bitch committed while things are not breaking too bad for us.
Jones: Congratulations. (Pause) Not Cecil. I don’t mean Cecil really. Sometimes they look– seem like twins, but not really. Willie, I think, has got more character in him than Cecil has, oddly enough.
Man: Cecil wasn’t saying anything.
Man: He has more content of than anything. (unintelligible) far heavier than Cecil Williams.
(papers rustling, unintelligible)
Jones: Cecil’s such a goddamn liar. I talked to him. He lied to me (unintelligible), in some situations (unintelligible)
Jones: So, so the board was a little concerned, and I want you to know this ain’t a thing they do, they probably won’t– but I got, I got it all– I said it was my fault. So in the future, (unintelligible) you know, there may be other conferences, there may be other things happening. Say that I would suggest in the future that you have Jim, uh– because he didn’t even realize how some of ‘em felt. He feels that they’re not makin’– they make it too, Uh, this’ll appeal to her. He– uh, he did feel this, that uh– and our board, uh, felt this too, that the appeal is to get the fact that, uh, uh, that Eldridge is extollingAmerica’s virtues while also pointing out in the areas of need for change. He extols American virtues. And that needs to be heard. There might be some sleeping conservatives and moderates that respond. Well, they won’t. But the point is that will appeal to her uh, self-interest.
Mike Prokes: Yeah, I– I had said that to her.
Jones: They say they felt– now his, his words didn’t get, uh– because uh, knowing the process, they take down the first two. She can tell me this process over and over again, and I wouldn’t remember the process. I don’t recall ever hearing, uh, the process, but vaguely I do remember that you said uh, the technique. I don’t know that you explained it so elaborately as you did there. They have their technique. They take so many. And that’s it. Fuck you. (Inhales) I think you have made that point, but, uh, I was not given the opinion that, uh– I thought she– See, all I knew about –
Jones: She just comes up and tells me I don’t have Cecil Williams and (makes babbling noises). She has certain remarks. I mean, she was– she was acting like she was commanding what the hell she wanted. (unintelligible word) She’d have resisted this. You be the third speaker. And she told me that.
Prokes: That thi– thi– uh, (unintelligible) when I talked to you.
Jones: No, no, you did–
Prokes: All right. If I’da known that, yeah, you didn’t want to be–
Jones: No, son, you didn’t tell me the third speaker. The first I heard of it– I know when– my memory’s faulty, but when I know I’ve heard a new thing, I know it. You jolted me (unintelligible), uh, you, you presumptuous bitch, put me in the (unintelligible). I didn’t want to hassle with her over the phone. And you weren’t hassling with her, so I– I just uh– I relent.
Male: She’s got some reason to feel uppity, you know. I mean, that she– that she can do that.
Jones: No, he– he gave me the reason, he thought he gave me the reason. So we’ll have to undo that reason. Give her some logical reason why he would allow her to put Cecil Williams in front of me. That says, Cecil Williams has more clout in the community than Jim Jones has.
Male: Mm-hm [Yes].
Jones: –and that’s very likely true. He don’t produce more, but he’s got more image in the community. He ain’t got shit, his image wouldn’t buy shit, either. I– I’ll take our position any day because we can get things done. Clout. But uh, I know we’ve got more clout. But as far as (unintelligible name), they’ll use him, they’ll– they’ll quote him more. And uh, I don’t think she needs to have that impression, that we’re more popular. And you might say that was a mistake because the board said uh, Jim Jones is– is more popular with a number of ministers in a large denomination than Cecil is. But Jim will go along with Cecil being first because he likes Cecil. Get some of the shit that I’m sayin’?
Jones: Make you realize that I am the power. Though I’m not. Cecil sure ain’t got any impression of ministers, either they– he just got (clears throat) (Pause) But he’s got a cross– a cross– section of support. Jim Jones has got respect in all corners of the community. Not just liberal, but conservatives, and a– and a remark made to him because they respect him for he– he– he lives his convictions and uh, he– if he had been quoted something the way I may be able to tell– tell people (unintelligible word) come. So you might call– tell her to call to try to get some of the quotes– the quotes in the conservative– She can call, bitch. See, because that appeal by him will get some people in the conservative community react. And her talking to the press to write it down might cause him to do it. (long pause) Just might.
Jones: I’m being uh, a– a newsman, I know the effect it’ll have. I just know Jim’s hu– humility, and I couldn’t waive a total effect of what was gonna be said. He doesn’t like me to push forward. That’s why I didn’t say anything. But the more that I have to concede, the more it makes some excellent points, so the members of the board and the press. I don’t need a (unintelligible word). (whispering) The old fat bitch. I don’t like her. What she asked of me in the uh, gathering.
Male: Oh, yes, (unintelligible)
Jones: It wasn’t her. Whoever this bitch was, totally ignored us.
Male: Yeah. She’s with channel 4.
Jones: (coughs) What’d she ask? Anything of any significance?
Jones: Jim Jones said it on the TV. (unintelligible) He feels like the church ought to– for here’s a man who’s extollingAmerican virtues and saying it’s the greatest nation on earth. And he languishes in jail. What encouragement is there anyone– to anyone who may be militant and seeing the error of their ways and not making change? As he said this very morning on channel 4, channel 9 (unintelligible) at a press conference at the Unitarian Church so that it would not just be garbage, you know, and uh, and all the newspapers were present. KBIA, Chronicle, and so forth. (Pause) Did the Chronicle write, the first time I spoke?
Prokes: Uh, I doubt if they did.
Male: It would be nice if we can get the, uh– the program on Channel 9 that has to do with Cecil Williams vivacious. It’d be nice if you could get a program on there like that. That’d be uh, uh, you know, it’d be a capsule-type thing, and it would come across well.
Jones: It really would, and if you guys mind s– sell it uh, to someone, maybe we could get it done. I don’t know what the hell it’d cost. Even if we had to pay for the sonofabitch for a while, it would be uh– It’s so terribly expensive. What’d you said it was?
Male: And I’m– I don’t know.
Jones: It’d be 9. You didn’t say 9? Did you say 9?
Male: Yes, I did.
Jones: I don’t think you can get 9, for fuck’s sake, I don’t think they’ll give it to you. They won’t sell any time–
Jones: You know what I’m saying?
Prokes: I don’t think so–
Male: You were– You were talking about reaching, uh, a certain liberal, white community.
Jones: Uh, yeah. I’m not– and I’m not particularly concerned about reaching them motherfuckers. But there’s where the uh– the ageny’s gonna watch (unintelligible). Do you know what the fuck is going on in the– in the– in the left, and the progressive– They’ll– they’ll keep a tap on that– that media. I don’t know how much we’ll reach through (unintelligible). There nothing like a liberal. They’re– they’re more– they’re more, uh, sicker than– they’re really dangerously sick. And– and the conservatives, you know, the motherfucker conversatives, (unintelligible) You’d never predict them. They’re crazy, they’re schizophrenic. One time they’re for something, and then (unintelligible). I met so many of them, take an issue with them–
Jones: They won’t support it. They got businesses that’ll even support it (unintelligible) If the cost isn’t too much. What would it cost for a week? 15 minutes every week, or half an hour?
Prokes: On what station?
Jones: I don’t know. Shit.
Prokes: I mean, that’s– that’s– 7 I think is a possibility.
Jones: All right. Talk to them.
Jones: You gotta be highly motivated. You don’t need to make a big to-do.
Male: That’s how, that’s how Cecil–
Jones: If you get me on principle– if you get me on principle, I can really raise a bunch of hell. But you can’t get on principle without wrecking the ship. Cecil can be flamboyant and say nothin’.
Male: Right, right.
Prokes: Like today.
Male: That’s wh– He does it all the time. And that’s what he– he–he gets across. He’s– he’s flamboyant and he wears– wears a style. (Laughs) That’s about it. If he started dressing down, and even if he was (unintelligible)– if he was flamboyant and dressed down, he wouldn’t– he wouldn’t be worth two cen– Except he ain’t. He’s not worth two cents now. (Pause) I haven’t seen the other with their high-heeled sneakers. In the style.
Prokes: I guess Carlton [Goodlett] has a picture of him when he first came. I haven’t seen it.
Male: (unintelligible) in his office.
Prokes: Oh, yeah?
Male: Yeah. He had his collar on, and he had little horn-rimmed glasses and–
Prokes: And he looks straight.
Male: Oh, very straight. (unintelligible)
Jones: Yeah, he was straight, I saw it. Seems like I saw it.
Male: Yeah, we saw it in his office, one time when we came (unintelligible)
Jones: –We get hassled on a number of issues and some of them, they want to hassle our workers, causing that– that picket line there. Anyway, you could drop off the papers at a certain spot, tell them the spot, say we could drop off the papers. Some of the times so we don’t have to– so our orders don’t– ‘cause some of our workers don’t take that hassle as well, you know, not as diplomatically as others. Say, when we believe something’s right and we think your paper’s important to be heard. And we think the last place to strike, get over the top, to get hold of (unintelligible). So we’d be the last place in the world, our– our minister said, that should be struck is your place. And you– you’ve got to be heard. And (unintelligible word) some of our people would get– and some of our journalists will just volunteer their time to help you, help uh, a paper such as yours. ‘Cause obviously an alternative press can’t pay the kind of wages uh, that the established press does, ‘cause of the controversial things you say. But he– he don’t mind it. But he isn’t free, he said, he crossed the line himself every time, he’s not– he’s– he tries and speaks here and there and travels between our churches. So, just wondered if anybody– do you have anyone who could just drop ‘em off at such– at such and such a time, we’d be– we could pick ‘ewm up. He want to make it such and such a time, ‘cause some son-of-a-bitch try to come through here, they’d be– then we’d have more diplomatic problem. But don’t take my judgment on anything. Everything come up, uh, alone, weigh it, because you (unintelligible), number one, no inspiration. And that sometimes that inspiration were against us, because you can. We have– Uh, I have offset the tide on occasion. (unintelligible) right wing shit, in– internal revenue. I– I just sorta got an attitude, well, it’s coming, it’s coming. But it can’t accept that attitude. So you people are gonna have to think, and get your brains together and think. ‘Cause, uh, my brain is very tired. And so many years of it. Yesterday I was just went at a fast pace and pushing myself and diplomatic, and my heart got– I got really, really strange. I called a bunch of motherfuckers I knew I should call, because they never call, only when they want something. So I made the point to contact the bishop and the heads of these various agencies that we call on (unintelligible word). In a sort of a casual basis, offering, we’ll, how’s things going, do you want– can we do to help you. And I mean, I’m just– I’m not– I don’t have enough motivation to shit. which I need to shit right now.
[Three minute balance of segment low voices, mostly unintelligible]
Jones: Two– two times I can remember. One was with the mayor’s uh, aide and the other time– (unintelligible)
Kay: Well, I–
(talk over each other)
Kay: I don’t even demand that. I think that– I mean, my personal feeling is what I told Mike, and it– and I told Janet. And it– I don’t know how it came off as a criticism, but I said that even with the movie thingy, even though I had gone with somebody else, I think that people have to have this to maintain their sanity. I mean, they can’t just go on and on and on and on working and never have a–
Jones: What was the kick about the movie, I don’t recall.
Kay: Well, I– I– I just happened to– to mention that I had gone to, uh– (Huffs) I hadn’t gone to a movie for about three and a half years, and then all of a sudden one weekend, Ava asked me if I wanted to go to a movie. And I didn’t even know if people were going to movies. And I– I went. And I was saying how I had felt about when I was– you know, I mean, I was really uptight about going because I thought it’d been said that, you know, you weren’t supposed to waste money. Not that I don’t think people should go, I think that they should go.
Jones: I guess. I don’t get anything out of it when I do go. When I’ve gone with the kids, it’s all (yawns) it– it all depends upon what your threshold of pain, and I always help myself by looking at that black woman, as I told you and say, well, she– she don’t even eat, much less go to any pleasure, and then I– frankly, I don’t get anything out of the TV box or the movie, but I don’t criticize you people for that. Uh, the thing that concerns me sometimes is that, uh, uh, Debbie Harvey was extremely critical of you, and Arthur both critical of you, that you would be defending them, uh. That– that was tough thing to happen–
Kay: I didn’t defend them. I defended the situation. Not them as people.
Jones: Yeah, but you see–
Kay: –but the incident–
Jones: –you’ve got to know the ramifications of what people in school who are counterproductive, and then the idea that I would send Johnny Brown. This just blew my mind. I thought, well, I might as well just make my own uh, stand and be– feel clean, even though it’ll be abrupt, uh, be clean and be honorable, if you would think that I would have no more love for you, that I would send somebody in there to make, uh, a stupid, uh, presentation if you did what you described. But to get your job. Uh– That was uh, to me the uh– that was too much.
Kay: Well, I just– I mean, I don’t– I can’t explain to you how overwhelming it was. I was just in shock. I had not seen Johnny act like that in– I don’t know, I just couldn’t believe–
Jones: (yawning) Excuse me, I have had so little sleep, I’m yawning. Uh, uh, Johnny, if he was trying to impress, and they said– their opinion was maybe he was trying to impress uh, some guy you mentioned (unintelligible)
Jones: Darrel. If that’s the case, then Johnny needs uh– that’s why, that’s why we have PC [Planning Commission]. That’s why we have PC. He sure needs to take a look at himself if he did that.
Kay: And then to turn around and tell her that he was a minister of the Los Angeles Temple.
Jones: Very, very stupid.
Kay: I, I d– I mean, I– It was totally illogical. I couldn’t deal–
Jones: Well, (unintelligible word) you know, I got more love for you or should feel it to– to do that to you. Why would I want your job for? And uh, there’s more behind this school dropout than you know. Debbie didn’t tell you the truth on there. And, uh, Arthur quitting. W– let he have to quit? Uh– He didn’t have to quit school. That’s another lie. You just don’t know the whole story, you see. You only get half the story. One way you get all the story is to stay in long, long meetings to get them all, I guess. You do what– to get all, the long meetings, just to get over all the story. I could tell you, both Debbie and Arthur sure uh– particularly Arthur, he was just totally (unintelligible)
Kay: Well, I– you know, I– I don’t know. I just know that he came to me and asked me, uh, didn’t I approve him to go to school, and I said yes. And he said to me that because he was trying to study or whatever, that, uh, Jack had told him to quit school.
Jones: He– he’s nuts. He’s nuts. He– he told more crap– probably the crap he told on you guys, uh, several of you, you and some others. I wouldna lied to you.
Kay: Well, I was confronted with it. You know, and–
Jones: No, you weren’t (unintelligible word) all this shit, ‘cause I didn’t believe it.
Kay: Well, I didn’t even like the idea or the fact that he– I mean, I do believe that it was– that he was probed to get it. Now, I believe that. I don’t believe that you had anything to do with it. But I believe that he was.
Jones: Naw, no, he didn’t. Noooooooo, he didn’t get probed to give me what he gave me. I didn’t probe him, because I didn’t want (unintelligible)
Kay: Oh, no, I know you didn’t. I know you didn’t do that.
Jones: No, he gave me stuff voluntarily. I don’t– I couldn’t give you every little detail. But he– he–uh, he like to sow confusion. Kid’s going to have to learn a few things out there. He’s just going to have to learn a few things. He likes confusion. He likes trouble.
Kay: Oh, I know. I know that. I wasn’t defending. I– I know Arthur, I live with him. I know what he’s like. I know what he’s like, and I wasn’t defending that at all. What I was saying is that I don’t think– I just have my own personal feeling about black people being able to go to school. And I mean, I feel that way. I know that the reason why I couldn’t go was because my mother couldn’t afford– afford it at the time. But I’m saying it, now I think that if they can go they should be able to go, and that was what I was saying and–
Jones: (Yawning) Yeah, I– I agree. And he was denied– We want him in there– in– in school. Rascal. But there’s more to it– there’s more to it. I don’t want to get into his personal life. But he knows better than this.
Kay: And well, no. I– I don’t either. I– I mean, I just, I just wanna–
Jones: Well, I do, even if there’s more to it.
Kay: Clarify my position, was not to defend Arthur in doing anything.
Jones: The thing you can do for me, you certainly. I’d give my life for you (fades out) Give me, uh– write me up– I suspect what’s happening to you, you have written longer, uh, uh, narratives than some– so some people have tried to uh, give synopsises, and they probably have missed– So I’ll read a narrative if necessary to come to an understanding, because coming to an understanding in important decisions I have to make. So, you just write me up all things. Thus far, I’ve got an answer for everything you’ve said. And I don’t mean a pat answer, I just can’t talk too freely over a telephone. And I know you feel less comfortable on the phone, everybody feels less– less comfortable. But you sure don’t know the kind of love I have for you (unintelligible) and the trust. Because to think that you’d be uh– (unintelligible) Of course, not– I don’t know what– then I begin to wonder about– maybe you– that’s the kind of trust you have in me, if you think I’d come in and take you. That shows where your head is about me.
Kay: Well, I didn’t think it had anything to do with me, on a personal level. I just thought that every– I just thought that was general procedure.
Jones: No. No. No.
Kay: And I didn’t have any feelings about it one way or the other. I thought I made that clear.
Jones: –how your youngsters need training. And if you hadn’t been able to provide it, I’da had it there. I would’ve seen that uh, the situation provided because I have seen too many things like Debbie Evans having (unintelligible), just too many things.
Kay: I didn’t mention that, but I was disturbed about that too.
Jones: Well, I’m– I’m sure.
Kay: I just– I– it’s just– I don’t know. I mean, I just– for whatever you stand for, I just get so upset that other people do not deal with it in that manner. I mean, that they do not take into consideration people’s personal state of mind and people’s feelings and how certain situations and statements affect them as individuals. I don’t understand why. I don’t–
Jones: Now here’s what you got to do. If you– in– into the leadership of this thing, night and day, in this center here, you’d see how, if you don’t let some things go, you wouldn’t have any sanity. I mean, I mean, you, (stumbles over words) possibly took care of everything perfectly, you wouldn’t get it done.
Kay: I know, I understand that. I understand that when they do get around to it, to show some human concern.
Jones: Well, I– I just say that everybody’s lucky if they got a friend like I. Because when the count’s down, I’ll be there, like I was this afternoon for a woman. Framed. Uh– Little likelihood that that could happen to her, but it did. You never know what’s coming to me. You or somebody close to you. Somebody dear. This is a very cruel society. But what I’m saying is, you got to look at the overall, Kay. You really do have to look at the overall. And– and then look out there, what there is out there. What the hell is there out there? Everybody uses everybody. Tonight, we had a case on the church floor, a young man and woman, thought they was in love, and then comes up, the young man’s messing around with another woman, and then, all of a sudden, before we can do it, she’s uh– she’s on top of him like a tigress, uh, fightin’ like a– she– she– I don’t know what she’da done if we hadn’t intervened. Uh, but love. It’s evil spelled backwards. Uh, people– You know, everybody just uses people in the world, and when they’ve sucked all the blood they want, they go to the next one. And that’s what I’d like for you to do, is to project your future (unintelligible) different than any other woman. The way life ends up for people, and then what gives the most satisfaction, standing for principle, or doing our thing. And I, uh, for a number of years, have enough sense to see the overall good. And I’d just like for you to analyze some of the things you’re saying. But I– I’m still open enough that I want to hear what you have to say on the subject, so write it up and give it to me, if you will.
Kay: I will.
Jones: And I will study it with meticulous concern, and I think what happens is that you do write very thoroughly and narratively, and somebody has tried to give synopses, but you wouldn’t. You never can get from synopsis what uh, a person writes. And they’ve done that with the best intent, because a number of our people write heavily and repeat themselves over and over again. Or when people try to get synopses, it’s sometimes difficult. I think as I recall, that maybe what’s happened (unintelligible) reports have been very uh, thorough. Very extensive. And uh, if I recall, sometimes people try to synopsisize and that, uh– there’s always some loss, like the two, with the best of intent, uh, they uh– they can’t possibly get everything across that you have on your mind.
Kay: Well, no. I– I understand that, and I appreciate the fact– and I know that Teri [Buford] works extremely hard. And I don’t, I have any–
Jones: No, Teri isn’t the one that uses synopses. (unintelligible) Sharon [Amos] I think synopsisizes mostly. She’s usually pretty thorough, but uh, uh, Teri is damn thorough. But there’s so much on her.
Kay: I know, and–
Jones: Teri has a great deal of regard for you and, uh, sometimes you’re mistaken about though. (unintelligible) doessn’t like you, not that that is too relevant to you, but it’s still– It shows that you’re capable there.
Kay: Well, I don’t really care about her. I mean, I don’t care about her liking me. But I do have a lot of respect for her.
Jones: (unintelligible) respect for you.
Kay: I usually– When I want something told directly the way that I can–
Jones: You’re safe.
Kay: –I give to her.
Jones: That’s the safest place to do it. Well, it helped to talk to you, and I will– I certainly will weigh everything you say, and I’m trying to make my decisions in the long run. I wanna give your kids– and that’s what’s most important. We’ve lived our lives, and we know, that there’s nothing out there. Nothing to it at all. Uh– Although I must say, the last three days I spent over there, I felt myself enjoying the happiness of others to a degree I never thought I could do it. But I want– I want to give kids like yours the chance at not ending up in– in a damn jail or broken by society. And if you’ll stop to look at it over all, we may have every catharsis and things come down pretty heavy, but the– the net result is that our people are stronger. We’ve got strong black men and women (unintelligible). Uh, but I will try to clarify some of these things, to uh, Janet and uh– and I think Mike understood you even better, really, that uh– ‘cause he had his own personal feeling toward you in the past. He had an emotional feeling towards you. So, that may be subjective thing help him to understand you more. But he, uh– he interpreted you uh, pretty good light. She didn’t do anything negatively about you, but I was just thinking, (unintelligible word) better grasp of thing.
Kay: Yeah, well, I– (sighs) I try to be. Uh, I mean, I think I was very honest in– in my– I mean, I don’t know if it– I’m not saying that it’s all right. I’m just saying that I just told it the way I felt it. And I thought that that was necessary because I’m– I’ve been holding back.
Jones: Well, I just wish you hadn’t. With your mind, I need your mind, I’ve told you a dozen times, I coulda used it in so many areas, even though I use it plenty. Got out there in force, and still worked that out, that you could do that because you’ve got a keen mind. I just wish you’d face life a little more realistically, then you wouldn’t get your knot so much. You’d say, well, it’s nkot to life. If you didn’t have a cause, it’d be an even bigger knot. Uh, but the tiredness, I do empathize with that, getting up. That’s why you were one of those responsible for that, getting it shortened. Then I even shortened it beyond that. Hell, last Wednesday night meeting was two and uh– Saturday was midnight. I have been pushing business no end, I said, let’s get on business business business, and I’ve tried to deal with some of these people privately, but it’s– it– it (unintelligible word) it’s a miracle. Really it’s proof that I’m a miracle worker, ‘cause I stay alive, because I’ve been trying to take some of these privately what you people have had to deal with publicly. And that’s not easy.
Kay: Well, I guess– Yeah, I– I understand that, and I–
Jones: And I got five people waitin’ for me downstairs, but I wanna go upstairs, ‘cause I don’t want anybody to hear this, uh– and uh– ‘cause I didn’t want to put your uh, position out, not that you– I– I’m trying to protect your image, because I’m not feelin’ the pressure for you to worry about your image, and other people are not gonna be affected by your decision that– to that degree. I just want to be fair with you. And I want to be principled to the collective. Now I’ve got to know that you are intelligent understand the truth. This is the truth. And I– that’s why I’ve had some problems, you don’t understand some of the rationale for these things.
Kay: I understand that. I just, uh– I know I’ve been working straight through for about four years, and I haven’t had any real vacation–
Jones: That, that can– That can mean any difference, that can mean any difference,–
Kay: And that continues staying up and staying up and nine people to be responsible for, and all of ‘em crazy as hell–
Kay: A– a– I just–
Jones: I’m not laughing at that, I’m–
Kay: I just felt like I was just going crazy. You know, I j– I just feel like I was going crazy.
Jones: Well, I remember your statement uh, about Mother (unintelligible) and said I wasn’t laughing at it, I felt the pain of it. Uh, I (unintelligible) And he said– He says, it’s not funny. Indeed, it’s not funny. Sometimes I laugh to make other people just relax a little. But it’s sure not funny to me either.
Kay: Well, I– I think it does get so extreme, that it’s– it’s– it’s from one extreme to the other. It’s either funny or just totally just nutted out, you know?
Jones: Yeah. Well, once again. Try to keep the analogy in your mind of a boat. Bound to have some holes with some of the nuts we have. (unintelligible) But that boat is afloat, and it’s got a lot of powerful connections. We had the mayor move today on s– some more jobs. Uh– that’s– that’s uh– it’s a tremendous security to you, and if you don’t care about yourself and your child and your mother and anybody else that’s gonna be victimized like when she was with her– her house, you know, (unintelligible), put some pressure to move her, there’s nothin’ like a group, Kay, there is nothing like a group for the people you love.
Kay: Yes, I understand that.
Jones: So just weigh that. In the service, give me a– a write up on all this and I’ll weigh it. I want to take time to deliberate and weigh it and I’ll– I’ll avoid any confrontation, I won’t even mention where you’re at, because I haven’t said a word to anybody where your mind’s at. I don’t– well, you say how I protected uh, Grace, and I am (unintelligible). I have a great deal more faith in you than (unintelligible). But you see I am trying to protect her (unintelligible). But I’ve got to find out, if people can understand the reason and principle, then I’ve got to make decisions as to what I’m gonna do. That’s why I wanted to call you, and I’m sorry to have to call you at this hour.
Kay: (unintelligible) That’s perfectly all right.
Jones: Thanks for talking, darling. I do love you very much.
Kay: Thank you for calling.
End of tape