Interview with Judge Robert Carter
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

WERE YOU SURPRISED WHEN YOU WON THE BIG VICTORY? THE UNANIMOUS DECISION?

Judge Robert Carter:

I don't think surprised. I think exhilarated, I suppose, is a better—is the term. Because I think we were, we felt actually that we had won the war but we hadn't, unfortunately. But our view was that if we had won that decision on—about segregation that we had licked the race problem. What we didn't realize then—that the real race problem is not in segregation itself, that segregation was a symptom of it—now what the real problem was white supremacy. And that until that was eliminated, you weren't going to have equality. But we didn't realize that in 1954. We thought that by doing this everything would be, would be over. We had been advised as a matter of fact to obey the law. I remember I was in the army and I used to have hard times with my superiors because I was really against the segregation, and they would tell me, well, you have to obey the law, and so you did. But when it—the shoe went to the other, other side, and there was a law that said segregation was was unconstitutional, you had a great deal of difficulty with the white in accepting that, and the obligations to obey the law. That was a—that was a disappointment.