"I feel there are other methods that are better suited for this. We should stay and focus national attention on what is going on. News releases could pour out of here everyday, we could...."
"Ron," interrupted Ernie Warlick, "did it do any good when the Negroes on your team protested their treatment in Atlanta? No, it didn't. A definite action must be made."
"Yes, but what good is going to come of it. It's not going to change the emotions of...."
"Look," said Art Powell, "we know we aren't going to change these people. But neither are they going to change us. We must act as our conscience dictates."
"O.K., Art, what about the thousands of Negroes that can not leave this place? I think that is a bad example for men in your position to set. The place stinks—so you leave."
"I suppose it would be better to stay here,' " Art said, "and by doing so, imply that we accept such treatment for ourselves and our people? Do you want us to condone it?"
I had ignited a fuse. If I had any intention of making progress I would have to change my direction.
"Men, I think you're all acting in good faith. This whole mess is rotten. I just want you to ask yourselves what effect your action will have on the civil rights cause in the long run. Sure, promises are cheap, but progress is being made. In this very city, too. That we have the game here indicates this."
"That's another point," said Clem. "The promoters for this game assured us that there would be no problems. 'Bring your wives and children,' they said. 'We're also having a golf tournament.' It sounded like a big picnic."
Through all this I noted that Cookie Gilchrist sat bored. He reminded me of a warlord who couldn't be bothered with the foolish talk of some unaware, uninvolved advisor. His composure suggested that there's a battle being fought, man; what do you know about it?