Reasons for staying out of politics
The SRC stayed out of the political arena not just to maintain credibility, but also to keep public grant money flowing in. He sees a real difference between the SRC's work and the political activism of the period.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Marion Wright, March 8, 1978. Interview B-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- JACQUELYN HALL:
It wasn't that you yourself were worried about Communist
influence in these organizations, but that you didn't want
to be too closely associated with them when they were being attacked on
- MARION WRIGHT:
That's right. No, I never thought any of them were Communists at all. But
there were practical reasons, in addition. If you're getting grants from
foundations on the theory that we were not participating in politics . .
. As we put it, we were an educational group. Our applications all
stressed the fact that our main forte was to educate people. We might
well have put ourselves in jeopardy with foundations if we abandoned
that role and took on the additional role of political activitsts. When
you get out on the street and parade with a banner saying "Vote
for John Smith," you're in politics. So that was really a very
practical reason with us; we could no longer have the support of
foundations You might say, "Well, you should have stood by your
principles," but if you don't have support, it's not much good
to stand there.