Thursday, October 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: October 2009

The miniseries King follows the life of Martin Luther King from his first recruitment into the civil rights struggle all the way to his death at a motel in Memphis. Browne is only in one scene but, as always, he steals it. King's first trip to the White House is as part of a group of Civil Rights leaders, the most vocal of which is Philip Harrison (played by Browne). The end of the scene has Harrison and Robert F. Kennedy (Cliff De Young) going back and forth until Harrison finally challenges RFK to confront the one man that has all the information:

Philip Harrison: "I've been in this office many times, and I have talked with many men sitting in that chair. The best of them was Roosevelt, and I had to threaten him with a mass march on the Capitol before he would issue decrees prohibiting job discrimination in the war industries on the basis of color. Just so he would do –"

Robert F. Kennedy: "Yes, that's all very well, but you see, I am the Attorney General of the United States, and right now, at this very moment, there is a group of your freedom riders in a church in Montgomery, surrounded by a mob that wants to kill them! How am I going to get them out of there?!"

Philip Harrison: "Let them kill them." (pause as everyone looks at him) "Let them kill them!" (pause) "Churches have been bombed. A minister's been beaten to death because he wanted to give support to black people. Children have been on the verge of starvation. What do you give a damn about those people in that church for? Because some newspaper stories have been written about them?"

Robert F. Kennedy: "Well, why don't you get proof for me, and then we can prosecute. Because we can't prosecute without proof."

Philip Harrison: "The FBI gets proof every day of beatings, rapes, and, yes, murders! But those reports are suppressed- or destroyed. There hasn't been one single conviction! But you won't do anything about that, will you? And I'll tell you why. Because you don't want to have a confrontation with J. Edgar Hoover! Do you?!"

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