Interview with Diane Nash
QUESTION 20
INTERVIEWER:

SPEAKING ABOUT GOVERNMENT, AND GOVERNMENT'S INVOLVEMENT, GOING BACK TO SIT-INS, HERE YOU DON'T HAVE DISTINCT LAWS THAT SAY A PERSON HAS TO OPEN THEIR STORE TO YOU OR ALLOW YOU TO SIT NEXT TO ANOTHER PERSON AT THAT COUNTER. WAS THERE ANY WAY THAT YOU FELT THAT YOU COULD ENGAGE LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR LAW, TO AID YOU AT THAT POINT. WAS THAT A PART OF YOUR STRATEGY?

Diane Nash:

Now, the laws I was referring to had to do particularly with Kennedy's Civil Rights Act. And in fact Gloria Richardson and I sat down at a meeting that Kennedy had called women from across the country to support, and we circled the loophole in every section of that bill, which really weakened it. Now, interestingly enough, the, the law and the reality of action, is, is, has an interesting relationship. For example, in Nashville, in 1960, and later, there were laws on the books that said it was illegal for blacks and whites to eat together in public accommodations. Well, we desegregated the lunch counters, and those laws stayed on the books for some years. I presume that they are no longer there, but it was in practice while there were in fact laws that forbade it. There were injunctions issued throughout the movement. And if thousands of people disobeyed the injunction, the injunctions were forgotten about. So, laws that are immoral, I think people have to realize, that there do in fact exist higher laws, and that they shouldn't tolerate, or, or obey those laws.