Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Transcript of Conference Call with Stanley D. Levison,
Harry Wachtel, Andrew J. Young, and Walter Fauntroy."
August 12, 1967.
Date Issued: August 12, 1967
Date Declassified: December 12, 1983
Length: 9 pages
Time Initial IC
OG Activity Recorded
3:25 PM IC (R1372 Cut 57)
ANDY YOUNG to STANLEY LEVISON.
AY: Martin asked me to give you a call to see if you could
jot down some questions that you think he might be asked on
Meet The Press tomorrow. And we could have a conference call
about 9:00. Is that alright?
AY: Will you call Harry and ask him to do the same thing?
SL: Yes. (END)
3:26 PM OG (R1372 Cut 58)
STANLEY LEVISON to HARRY WACHTEL at 516 583 8571 (tape).
SL: Andy just called. Martin is going to be on Meet The
Press tomorrow. He wants us to try to anticipate questions
they might put to him and at 9:00 tonight he's going to put
in a conference call and we can tell him what we think.
SL says he hopes that King will be able to appear on radio
stations that are not strictly Negro. SL and HW agree to
talk about this later. (END)
8:58 PM IC No answer.
White 5021- 1.
9:15 PM IC Young, King Wachtel, REV Andy YOung and Fontroy
King: I don't Want to Go an network programs like Meet the
press unless we discuss the questions that might be raised.
There might be questions that you all might think of. I would
like to get your thinking on some of the question.
First The Riots in General.
SL: That will be the principal thing.
King; Then the rantings of STOKLEY CHARMICLE
and the gurilla fighting. Someone said he had gone to Russia.
King: Why don't we start with Statements that have
already been attributed to me and end up with My signature
with Randolph and Whitney.
Wachtel: I would say Martin if I were some of those [illegible] like
they are they would start you off with STOKLEY and
WITH RAPP BROWN. I would probably start you off with this COLONAL
IN Viet nam that did not agree with STOKLEY.
KING: Well STOKLEY is not the problem the problem is
the White people and their attitude.
STANLEY LEVISON: Well MARTIN THAT IS TRUE but I think
you have to disagree with STOKLEY at this point you
cant be abridged with a fellow who goes to HAVANA
and brandishes a rifle as connected with the movement.
What you say is good but STOKLEYS evolution has gone to a
point where he would cease to be any kind
of leader at all.
WACHTEL; I agree that MARTIN can say that STOKLEY and RAPP
Brown are irrelevant. Martin can take the position that
Stokley and they have abandoned non violence.
MARTIN can say that I have to now take the view that
the position that they now hold is wrong.
THE PART that he is not a valid leader is a dangerous part.
FONTROY: I think that STOKLEYS connection with Communism
will be a question and it is clear now more than it has been
last year. I think you can get off the point
by saying that STOKLEY did not create the conditions that
exist the Slums etc.
WACHTEL I think that STOKLEY is making it easy to hide
the issues of the Slums.
SL: I think it is a good point.
STOKLEY is now being use to hide and confuse the
real issues. If STOKLEY is not a CIA Agent he is acting as
WACHTEL. I think MARTIN that you should say that
STOKLEYS position is wondering away from the issues
and as a leader of Non Violence you are disappointed.
ANDY YOUNG: I think the whole tex [sic] of leadership should
be let alone. I don't know if this is the time to criticize
STOKLEY because to a lot of Middle Class Negroes he is a
MOSHE DYAN Hero.
SL: Something like POWELL.
YOUNG: Yes. So MAYbe MARTIN should not Blast STOKLEY
because that would get to be the issue. They would then ask
him if STOKLEY is a threat to his leadership and Non Violence
FONTROY: I think MARTIN has answered that question by saying
that if everyone went to Violence he would not.
Fontroy: We got the Parshel Plan not for
starving people but because to stop Communism.
I think we will get more from the Congress because of the
threat of Communism in South America than anything else
It's not the Threat of negros burning their homes but
the fact that people are listening to STOKLEY.
Not that I would be Violent but that the Whites have failed to
WACHTEL: Is that a fair statement.
I don't think it is.
WF: Well I am not Violent.
KING: I think that the time has come to aggressively
take STOKLEY and RAPP BROWN on. Not as a Blast but a
WACHTEL. You are giving him the J. Edgar Hoover Treatment
that he is being used and he is becoming less relevant to
the real problems here the Getto, The Rats That Congress is
growing More Rasist and He is feeding the Fires we want to
YOUNG: I have no reluctance to Criticise STOKLEY but
it is a question of Martins Leadership.
WACHTEL: I feel the ability to carry out a Non Violent Program
are being interferred with by the position of Rapp
Brown and Stokley.
YOUNG: No that's not true the truth is that the Congress would
not do anything even if President would ask them.
KING: Many people who would otherwise be ashamed of
their anti Negro feeling have now and excuse.
SL: There is a difference with even MALCOLM X and the positioni
A YOUNG: Now I don't want to Defend STOKLEY: But If all
his statements were said and If something doesn't happen,
then that is true: The problem is that the Press
is calling for a planned rebellion.
SL: Yes and he is calling for it now and not in the future
KING: He has also said that the US Must be destroyed.
Andy do you mean that I have to agree with that.
YOUNG: No martin but you have said that if the US doesn't change
Its ways then it would be destroyed.
KING: But that isn't calling for the destruction of the
WACHTEL: I think that MARTIN should answer that STOKLEY is
making it difficult to cope with the real issues.
YOUNG: What I am saying that is can't you deal with Violence
and go into detail.
KING: I have to deal with my convictions as number one and
then jump with the point that these men do not constitute the
WACHTEL: And that gives you the transmission to the letter in
the Times that one should confuse a man who strikes out who
has been hurt with a STOKLEY or RAPP BROWN
SL: Yes and Stokley has declared that MAO is a great
leader and they may come up with that.
KING: I think I should condemn STOKLEYS call to Violence.
Then move on to STOKLEYS association with Communism.
Maybe I should get into the act that young people today
many of them are in a revolution of the system they live
in that America has lost the revolution feeling and they have
to turn elsewhere to get it.
KING: Now what about he question that "Does not the
trend reveal that your leadership is being rejected".
YOUNG: You talk in numbers that you have more people involve
in voter registration than in riots in Cleveland and
more involved in the Breadbasket work.
SL: That's good Andy but MARTIN should say that on the
Basis of Polls that Martin is 89 or 90% like the HARRIS Poll
WACHTEL: I don't think it is becoming of you even if you
are number one that you should prove, it.
You are not a consensus leader that is what you have said.
SL: But Harry that is begging the question, and while it
is uncomfortable to talk about your leadership what is
KING: Couldn't I say that I never discuss my leadership
because that is vain too much to even go into it.
WACHTEL: Well I heard you say that you are supported in my
SL: That is very feeble Harry
YOUNG: I think you should reply in the Non Violence Movement
as WALTER FONTROY has suggested. Most of the people who
are talking violence now were Violent when we were Non Violence
WACHTEL: I don't think one should assume that the Riots
have placed a death bell on the Non Violence issue.
SL: Isn't true that in India you had both Non Violence and
Violence at the same time and yet in the end Non Violence
WACHTEL: the question of the President appointing a Mayor
of DC and why if you can get in your licks as a Negro
WALT FONTROY (A mayor for DC)
KING: I notice that JOE ROWE did Not name you Walt
and that Disappointed me.
WACHTEL: That is one of the concrete steps the President
has to take to put some meat in his words.
KING: I should say that Washington Power is far from what it
should be that DC does not have Home rule and they should
as soon as possible and then I can go onto say that the Mayor
should be a Negro etc.
WACHTEL: Now the next point you Presidential Candidacy
and your speaking at the New Policy Convention.
YOUNG: YOU can say that both Political parties are top heavy
on policy making or maybe not go into that. But that you
talk about the people at the grass level the people
interested in Peace and Civil Rights.
WACHTEL: And then you favor a New Political Party DR KING.
KING: Yes that question would come up.
YOUNG: Well NEW POLITICS does not consider itself a
SL: I don't think you should be staying
hooked on Third Party but there is also a ticket.
I think Martin Doesn't have to answer the question of if he is
for a 3rd party or ticket He is for grass root people
becoming interested in Party and Political life.
KING: Sure your have the NY Reformed Democrats etc.
I think we could say that there is a continued
co-existence of the Right Winged Republicans and the Southern
DixiCrats makes it impossible to get a straight policy
and that there need to be a new approach.
YOUNG: I think the question is "Where can Negro People Turn
there has to be some kind of Independent Politics.
SL: That's good statement WAchtel agrees.
WACHTEL: I would not support a new party but a Candidate
for Peace and Independent Politics.
Fulbring has Linked the War and The Negro. I think you MARTIN
has to be politically strong.
WACHTEL: Now the Presidential Commission on Riots.
YOUNG: A waste of time.
WACHTEL Now MARTIN the fact that you
are not on it they might discuss it as not handling
the problem that we need more to cope with the problem.
That the President did not discharge the responsibility in
dealing with the crisis.
KING: We need now is the Commission should have
developed an emergency program to deal with the problem.
WACHTEL the president has to come up with proposed legislation
He had to call upon congress to cope with the emergency like
called on them to cope with the strike of the RR.
SL: I think that it is splitting hairs Harry I think the
purpose of the Commission is wrong and that should have been
the point to get across.
WACHTEL: I only have two or three more points:
We get to the War in Viet Naum and the Viet Naum Election
the Statements of Bishop Sheen and Gavin.
That these statement are exposing the Transparency of our
position in Viet Naum. The Javits today calling for a
total reappraisal of our position there.
KING: I am coming to a more and More point of withdrawing
from Viet Naum alltogether. And I think if Bishop SHEEN can say
that we should withdraw I should come out with that statement.
SL: But Martin All of us were For Immediate Withdrawal
from the first day because we are against war in General but
your position is not that of BISHOP SHEEN. The point is not
your position but your concern of people to adopting the
KING: I do know that when I was in Algeria there were many
people that were against our position in Viet N0aum.
WACHTEL: There are new reasons why Withdrawal are important
because what has happened this summer and as Fulbright said
we are loosing both wars and all persons are becoming sick
of the war.
SL: Yes Harry we know a majority of the people want to
see the end of the Viet Naum War but have enough people moved over
to that side.
WACHTEL: The answer is that The only way the War at home will
be over with is to finish that war over there.
KING: Does this completely separate me from the campaign
Wachtel: In part martin, You say you are for Withdrawal
but you don't think it is practical now, that you are for
withdrawal in your heart and you are encouraged by the State
ments of SHEEN, GAVIN' Kennedy and Javits and it is time
for a fundamental reappraisal etc. It is important to
Get the BISHOP SHEEN statement to the Public It has been hidden pretty well.
SL: I don't trust Sheen Harry; He can change his statement
or clarify it the next day.
Wachtel: I don't care He can drop the statement and get it
KING: I think we have to take this position that the Majority
of the people of America are against the war in Viet Naum.
WACHTEL: Well I have to go so Martin I will see you on [Monday]
KING: I have to go I have to catch a plane:
YOUNG: Let me get some information about the Poverty Program;
They don't like to have the Poverty Program being blamed
for the Riots and they want something said about the People
of the Poverty program keeping the People quiet.
KING I could say something about that.
SL: The question of the Job program Martin since you started
it you should push that.
KING: Yes the notion of Jobs now and Training Later.
FONTROY. Yes the same thing as putting people to work
during the depression.
SL: Now the leadership thing. Andy was developing something
I like. First that the Existance of Non Violence does
not wipe out violence. I think at this point you might
discuss Civil Disobedience as a Higher stage for
the Northern Gettos.
YOUNG: It won't work because when you do it on a big sale
it isn't recognized as such.
KING: That I think Non Violence has to be stepped up on a
larger scale to be escalated so it's impact would
be greater than Violence.
SL: We have never used Sit in at Factory Gates and in [factories]
and stop production. I think you have to get in the escalating of Non Violence to
a greater stage.
YOUNG: We haven't done anything since Birmingham and we have to
get up to where we were.
SL: For the Cities we have to get higher ANDY.
FONTROY: Don't you think that Rapp Brown and Stokley has
set back the Negro cause.
SL: Yes they will ask that: I would say you don't agree with
KING: I think they have pulled the rug from under the Non Violence
leaders by not responding
ANDY: But Martin NObody gives away power. SL: That sounds
like Whitney Young.
YOUNG: We got nothing:
KING yes we did andy:
Young and King argue about not getting anything.
KING: If you have a riot you get things
YOUNG: I don't think that is right, the problem is the Non
violent movement has asked for changes that cost Millions
and you cant Get that by asking or by Violence that is the
FONTROY: The question as to have the Riots hurt the Negro
I would say yes it has created Fear in the midds of the whites
SL: Yes walter there has been fear but there has been some
SL: I don't think there have been any concessions.
Where have there been any significant changes?
SL: How about Watts?
YOUNG: There have been none.
KING: How about have they hurt us?
YOUNG: I think they make people retreat.
FONTROY: I would say it remains to be seen, and If
American moves to the right then America has been hurt
but if there is a Massive Active Concern then History.
will say there is a help. I think it remains to be seen.
I think you can say you hope it brings American to it's
SL: I think that the Whites are Sensitive about the Negro
like the NY Times that the Urban Crisis intersects the Negro
Crisis because they can't let the Cities go down the drain.
KING: You got to add that People moving into the Cities have
to adjust to City Life and to Segregation
YOUNG: I think you can compare it with the farmer
You gave Him Land. A Land College to Get Education, A Farm
agent to help him Farm and then you paid him not to farm and
these are the peoples who are asking the Negro to Pull himself
up by his own boot straps. and Look what we did for the Curan
Element a subsidy of $80.00 per month. SL: That's good
KING: He talks about STOKLEY going to Cuba again and want's to
get his answer on this problem straight.
FONTROY: The whole Question is will the Negro go Communist.
I think a Drowning man will grab on to anything. That we are
treating our Negros so badly that we may see a revolution
SL: I think that it isn't will Negros will be attracted to
it but the Conditions make people go to Communism.
KING: I could quote KENNEDY when we get on the question
on Violence: "Those who make peacefull revolution possible make
Violent Revolution Possible.
SL: That is good: But about Negros going Communist.
I don't think that Martin has to say I am not a communist.
KING: Isn't it true that this is not a basic question because
Negros have been in poverty so long and they haven't turned to
communist at this point that they will not now.
SL: I think that the negro was not a militant before.
YOUNG: No I think that the Negro Loves America and he does not
want to go to Russia or China he wants to stay here. The "Nigger
[ain't] turning anywhere".
SL: Andy to say that the Negro Loves america just doesn't sit
ANDY YOUNG: Negros will not tear up the City for Communism but
for Hunger and Conditions, and the police that Most of
these Riots are Police Roots. The Crisis Has nothing
to do with Idology but with Hunger and that the Negro is
determine to have a decent life in America and if he is
denied that life then go into that Quote of Kennedys.
What time do you get in Martin?
I get in at 1:40 AM in Baltimore and I'm staying at the Washington
Hilton and the Broadcast is at 1 PM Tomorrow.