Etherley, Derrald: Moscone and White
Derrald Etherley: Not only that. The money folks told him [Dan White] to keep his butt there too, the Shorensteins and all that because if you look at his contributor list the same people who contributed to Willie Brown and all the rest of them contributed to him too. They sayin’ “You better stay there and protect our interests.” Yes, I do agree with you that the police department wanted to keep their man, particularly in the Officers for Justice, they wanted to keep their man in the fold, but they didn’t realize that Dan White and George Moscone got along really, really well. They really got along. That’s why George made that commitment of reappointing him to that position until they got to him and told him not to because of that one vote could change the makeup of the Board [of Supervisors]. That one vote. But Dan had voted with him in certain areas which people thought he would never do. A lot of people don’t talk about this neither, when he [George Moscone] said he was gonna reappoint Dan White and I think George had all the good intentions of doing it, but then there was a rally in front of City Hall. It wasn’t nobody from POA [Police Officers Association], it wasn’t nobody from downtown, it was a rally from people in the neighborhood. And I’d seen that rally, and the people who was rally saying that he should be reappointed was [Goldie] who was out of Visitation Valley, and I’m gonna be frank about it she had a dope habit, heroine, and all the people she had down there holdin’ signs because I was there. I knew most of them because I worked the communities. I knew mostly all of them. She didn’t have the regular people from Visitation Valley that southeast sector of town to say “No, I don’t want Dan White.” That was not true. So here it is Dan White sees this goin’ on, and then that was used as an excuse of not reappointing this man because the community doesn’t want him, but the community not only carried Sunnydale, Visitation Valley where Goldie was from, it carried the [Silver Terrace] area which is a huge block of votes. Sunnydale was just one little pocket. I could even see people from public housing wasn’t even out there protesting. They were all dope-fiends. I’m gonna say that openly because that’s what it was, and then all of a sudden George says the excuse is made that the community doesn’t want him reappointed. Jon Rubin: So did you know Dan White? Derrald Etherley: Yeah. Jon Rubin: So what did you think about him? Derrald Etherley: He was a nice cat. Dan White, yeah. I knew him before he was even supervisor. He was from [Silver Terrace] area. I went to Portland Junior High School, went to Woodrow. Yeah. Boys Club was over there. Yeah, I knew Dan White. Matter of fact I had seen him the day before this happened. But the thing about it – maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I’mma say it anyway – I’mma tell you somethin’. George was somewhat over his head, and a lot of people don’t want to mention this because not only with Dan White, he told other people that he was gonna appoint them to like the [ ], a good friend of mine, [Italian], who became Secretary of the Libraries. He said he was gonna appoint him, and then he sees George at a function on Nob Hill where the firehose statue is at, and George appointed somebody else. He appointed somebody else. He had did this several times. I told my mentor at that time [Derrold] Howard out of the Hunter’s Point, he was like 77 years old and he was like a father to all of us out there. I said “[Derrold], somebody is gonna do something to him.” And the day after that was when he was assassinated, and that’s the truth.
The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.
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Rubin, Jon and Etherley, Derrald, "Etherley, Derrald: Moscone and White" (2011). Moscone Oral Histories. 64.