Interview with John Doar
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

YOU KNOW, I WONDER IF WE SHOULD HAVE YOU DESCRIBE THAT SYSTEM, PARTICULARLY OUR YOUNGER VIEWERS ARE NOT GOING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT SOUTHERN CASTE SYSTEM MEANT. WHAT WERE THE OBSTACLES, WHAT WERE THE, THE, THE WEAPONS THAT, THAT THE WHITE SOCIETY HAD?

John Doar:

Well it wasn't, uh, d…, first of all y—, describing the system is not so much talking about the weapons or the, or the obstacles, it's the situation, and black citizens were second-class from cradle til grave. They went to segregated schools. They used segregated bathrooms. They sat in the back of segregated buses. They were buried—they had different color birth certificates. They were buried in different cemeteries. Everything was second-class. They couldn't vote; they couldn't have the same freedom that white people did, a-and, it's a, it's a terrible system, a caste system, and it was a, you know it was a monumental disgrace for the country. And, uh, the weapons that, that the southern white people used were to keep the blacks from voting. And once the Justice department and the Civil Rights organizations began an effort to force the white officials, state officials to permit blacks to voting, then is when the intimidation occurred, or when it started to build up. And our objective was to try to keep the intimidation at a minimum, and to stop it if we could while we built up uh, the registration and voting of blacks.