Carl Chaney was a wealth of political wisdom when I was in college. He was a veteran with the ills of Cleveland State, University and I will never forget walking in the Black Studies Cultural Center seeing him and others in the back room playing all types of card games. But when it was time, studying was done and he and most of the people in the center were serious about all things concerning blacks succeeding at CSU. Carl was never cut from the same cloth when it came to opinions…that is what I respected the most about him…then and now. You can follow Carl on Twitter.
1. Before the protest were you actively involved in social/political/civil organizations?
2. Why did you decide to participate? Did you stay the course? If not why?
I was not for the protest as it was planned. However I felt I needed to support the action. I did not stick around a lot because of my unit’s preperation for possible deployment for the 1st Gulf War.
3. Was the protest what you expected?
4. What was your high and low points during the sit-in?
High point: Sitting behind the University President’s desk talking on the Joel Rose Show.
Low Point: (A) The folks not being mature enough to urge Raymond Winbush to accept the 4 of July weekend settlement. (B) The leadership not heeding my advice to hitting hard and fast. Then get out before they get their act together and the media moves on to another story.
5. After the sit-in did you become or continue to be active in social/political/civic organizations? What bout present day?
I worked on a few campaigns and advise others. I am retired.
6. What lessons, if any, did you learn during the sit-in? How has that effected you the past 20 years with personal/career/family etc.
- The black political leadership in Cleveland is all a bunch of toothless dog show dogs.
- It was time for me to go in a different direction. This decision to this day has cost me a fulfilling career, business opportunities and lots of friends.
- Dr. Winbush did not take the time to build a constituency within the university as well as the community. He did not have the support of the black faulty and staff. This taught me to take the time to bring people along together. Change does not happen overnight and when it does, it can change back overnight.
- The day the sit in started, it was going to be a 1 day action. When we were going to leave, a Cleveland Plain Dealer photographer kept saying” why you are leaving? your crazy to leave now. You all should stay.” Then it was decided that everyone would stay. Today, when I see certain things in the media, I now wonder how much of it is caused by the media.
7. You were a part of little known history. How do you preserve the memory of your participation of the protest in present day?
All my pictures and articles from the event are lost. Therefore I have to go by what I remembered.