Interview with Nicholas Katzenbach
QUESTION 49
INTERVIEWER:

YOU WERE INVOLVED IN MANY THINGS HERE I MEAN YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT SOME OF THE UM, UH SELMA EVENTS, YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT TUSCALOOSA, YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT JAMES MEREDITH, WHAT, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE, THE GAINS WERE, ALL THE YEARS THAT YOU WERE IN SERVICE AT THAT TIME, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE GAINS WERE. TO '65, WHAT HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?

Nicholas Katzenbach:

I think what existed and had existed in the South really as a result of slavery was a caste system that was effectively enforced by state law and by state officials. I think that system was broken by the 1964 and 1965 uh, Civil Rights Acts. So that I think that was broken and broken forever. Uh, so you didn't have any more state enforced segregation. Now the fact that you don't have state enforced segregation doesn't solve the problems of discrimination, it doesn't solve the problems of people's feelings, it doesn't solve the problems of education, it doesn't give blacks who have been denied an education don't automatically become well educated and well qualified uh, to do things. And those problems have remained. And while I think a good deal of progress has been made with respect to those problems, uh, in my judgment, they aren't solved yet today, but I do think the problem of state enforced segregation has effectively been resolved and that you can't turn the clock back on that.