Interview with Judge John Minor Wisdom
QUESTION 4
INTERVIEWER:

IN TERMS OF THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE DECISION, THE BROWN DECISION CAME DOWN, WHAT KIND OF CHANGES DID YOU SEE IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS.

Judge John Minor Wisdom:

New Orleans is — I live in New Orleans, and the question is, what kind of decisions, what kind of reaction did I anticipate? New Orleans is a fairly tolerant city. It may be the Latin leavening influence, or it may be that it's a city where people are more casual. But I anticipated no great problem. It so happened that the Brown decision came down on my birthday. And my wife was having a dinner for me at the time. My friends on the whole, in New Orleans, are — I would have to classify as conservative. Well, hardly a one raised his eyebrow, and we were – we all felt that New Orleans, at least in New Orleans, we would be able to make the transition without violence. But I — I can easily understand how that reaction might be just the reverse, in a small town. In say, Alabama, or even Louisiana. So — so that my answer to the question, what did I anticipate, is mixed. On the whole, I think that the south — I thought that the south would handle it without any great violence, and would do a better job than the north. And I think eventually, that is what happened. And all you have to do is to compare New Orleans with Boston.