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James Carville on Civil Rights

 


Grew up in segregated Louisiana, then realized it was wrong

Washington bureaucrats also came up with the idea that black children should be able to go to school with white children. Integration was THE searing issue when I was a kid. After the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, people in Carville, which was 85% black, stopped talking about football and the weather. All they wanted to do was scream about race. Like most whites, I took segregation for granted and wished the blacks just didn't push so damn hard to change it.

But when I was 16 years old I read "To Kill a Mockingbird," and that novel changed everything. I couldn't put it down. I stuck it inside another book and read it under my desk during school. When I got to the last page, I closed it and said, "They're right and we're wrong." The issue was literally black and white, and we were absolutely, positively on the wrong side. I've never forgotten which side the federal government was on.

Source: We're Right, They're Wrong, by James Carville, p. xiv , Feb 20, 1996

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Page last updated: Mar 15, 2014