Interview with Thomas R. Waring
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

WE'LL JUST… JUST START AS SOON AS WE GO ON. LET HIM GET HIMSELF A LITTLE SETTLED, HERE AND I'LL JUST, I'LL JUST ASK YOU… TO DESCRIBE THIS.

Thomas R. Waring:

Well, the separation of the races, either by law or by custom, is a very broad and complex subject, and difficult to summarize in… in a brief space of time. But, but the schools… uh, school situation is very important, of course, because it takes the children at a formative time. And many white southerners did not want their children to be brought up, uh, with what it was – in the middle of what is a different culture, in the close quarters, and permanency of a, a public school education. They felt that, the felt – the white southerners felt that they had been running their own affairs through states' rights, for many, many years, and that they were better capable of handling these things than people from elsewhere. And they therefore resented the movement to change the laws which had been part of the country from the founding of the republic to take a different way of handling such important matters as education. There were many other aspects of seg – segregation which, of course, it was time to make changes, particularly in the field of public service, uh, uh, in restaurants, hotels, public transportation. Uh, it was time to get rid of the back-of-the-bus mentality and accept a new step in race relations. But the white southerners as a whole were unwilling, however, to, at this time – at that time, at any rate, to include the schools in the changes. They thought that the time had not yet reached the point where the uh, races had sufficiently uh, compatible lifestyles to put the children together.