Huntley: ‘War has just started’

Horace Huntley

Mike Malter

Horace Huntley

by Keith Kellogg

Is the agreement ending last weekâÄôs occupation of Morrill Hall a victory for the Afro-American Action Committee (AAAC)?

âÄúNo, the victory wonâÄôt come until we see these programs implemented. ItâÄôs the winning of one battle, but the war has just started.âÄù

DESPITE his words, Horace Huntley, 26 a leader of the occupation, seems like a peaceful man. He speaks cautiously and calmly, but most of all softly âÄì at least in an interview he gave this week in AAACâÄôs Union office.

Huntley emphasized that âÄúto make progress you often must struggleâÄù and that âÄúif weâÄôre brainwashed into feeling that now weâÄôve made more progress than ever before, this is where progress ceases.âÄù

Might, then, there be a repeat of the occupation in the future?

âÄúWE DONâÄôT know,âÄù Huntley said, throwing his hands out at his sides. âÄúWe would do whatever is necessary for the liberation of black people.âÄù

Huntley, a CLA sophomore who is chairman of the planned Black Conference in February, was asked whether he had expected the police to be sent in.

âÄúRight,âÄù he replied. âÄúWell, letâÄôs just say we donâÄôt know what to expect but we were preparing for the worstâĦWeâÄôve always prepared for the worst because we know how white people react to a challenge to their power.âÄù

HUNTLEY ADDED that the demonstration was handled much the same as similar ones have been handled at other colleges, except that Moos was âÄúcooler.âÄù âÄúIt was definitely a challenge to power. But as Malcolm Moos as said, he would have used police if we werenâÄôt out by Wednesday.âÄù

Huntley said that if police had been called in âÄúthey would have had to remove us bodily. You canâÄôt really defend yourself against guns and tear gas unless you have some weapons yourself. And we donâÄôt have any. We had Vaseline for Mace burns and water for tear gas.âÄù

Huntley said the morale of the demonstrators was high.

AS FOR the people outside Morrill, however, âÄúsome of them were young Nazis and were shouting, âÄòDown with niggers and JewsâÄô and other obscene things.

âÄúAnd the people who were not Nazis and were saying this was their building and they had been locked out âÄì they were locked out for one day. Maybe now they can see how we felt. IâÄôm referring in a general way to how weâÄôve been locked out ever since weâÄôve been in America.âÄù

Huntley was born in Birmingham, Ala., and graduated from high school there. In 1961 he enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in North Dakota.

HUNTLEY CAME to Minnesota after leaving the Air Force in 1965. In 1967 he started at the University, where he now is majoring in history.

The black man in college faces two special problems, Huntley said. âÄúFirst he has to problem of staying here âÄì he has to get up to the white educational standards so to speak. Second, he has to fight racism.

âÄúYou have to sit in class and hear the man call you âÄòNegroâÄô and hear him say youâÄôve always been a slave and jive like that. If you speak out, youâÄôre getting out of our place and jeopardizing your grade.âÄù

ASKED IF he believes that most University administrators are racists, Huntley replied:

âÄúI think the system they are upholding is racist. I donâÄôt deal in individuals because they donâÄôt deal in individuals.âÄù

What about students?

âÄúI think itâÄôs like in slavery times. People seem to acquiesce. Maybe they donâÄôt do anything to hurt me, but they donâÄôt help me either.âÄù

ONE GOAL AAAC will be working toward, Huntley said, is a greater voice for black students in college decision-making.

If immediate concern to AAAC âÄì which, Huntley says, with 150 members represents the general views of black students on campus âÄì is action by the University on the three-point agreement reached last week. The agreement provides for support of a B.A. degree in studies relating to black people, for partial funding of the black conference in February, and for reorganization of the board controlling the Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship fund.

Meanwhile, if the University suspends those who took over Morrill, âÄúweâÄôd have to deal with that when it comes about,âÄù Huntley said. âÄúNow youâÄôre trying to have me tell you our tactics.âÄù