Tom Wright Audio Recordings
In these recordings, KCAC’s Bill Compton interviews Ted Mote of the Arizona branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Professor Morris Starsky. Topics of discussion include freedom of speech and expression and the suppression thereof, particularly on college campuses; prisons, treatment of prisoners, the perceived rising crime rate, and the use of police forces as tools of oppression and/or repression; the Arizona branch of the ACLU, including how they decide what cases to take, which cases they are currently working on, and public perception of the ACLU’s effectiveness; social movements in the United States and the need for mass movements to counter injustice and authoritarianism; the Morris Starsky case; the Vietnam War; and the freedom, intimidation, and manipulation of the press.
In this interview, Compton and Starsky discuss Starsky's prediction that movements for social change will produce new leaders and his belief that massive social change is underway in the United States; Starsky's faith that the American people will act justly and rise up to oppose unethical actions taken by their leaders, including repudiating the Vietnam War and curbing authoritarian measures; the American government's use of lies and obfuscation to facilitate prosecuting the Vietnam War despite overwhelming opposition, including American exploitation of foreign countries; the "brainwashing" of the American people, the need for them to question what they are encouraged to believe, and the need for mass mobilization to fight repression and injustice; media condemnation of Starsky and its perceived accuracy and motivation.
They also address Starsky's interpretation of the myths necessary to maintain American society and the use of force to subdue those who question them, which he summarizes as "if they can't con you, they'll try to buy you; if they can't buy you, they'll hit you over the head" and the use of police forces as tools of oppression and/or repression. Starsky criticizes the use of the Arizona Board of Regents to maintain existing power structures in Arizona's universities and silence the people who work and study at them, including the actions taken against Starsky and their consequences; student activism on university campuses; the need for people to seize the government's "death machinery" and rebuild it as "life machinery"; and Starsky's belief that his is a "trivial kind of victimization" and that the "private victimization" inflicted on those without access to such resources as the press and social status, including poor and Black people, is substantially more serious. Compton closes the interview by reading the statement Starsky composed for release to the press.