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J.L. Chestnut, Civil Rights activist, on
Wallace's change of heart

J.L. Chestnut Q:Do you think that George Wallace changed?

A: No. I think that George Wallace regrets that he had to go to the extent that he did go in order to consolidate and perpetuate himself in power. I don't think he was ever a Ku Klux Klan type racist. I do think he was and remains a racist to the extent that the culture is. As I have often said, I don't think that he, then or now, is the type of person who'd wish black folks ill and all of that. I think, thirty years ago, he felt that black folks should live a separate and segregated life, but that they should have opportunities within that. They should know their place and as long as they did that, they should be protected by white people. I think he probably now will accept an integrated society. But, I think when he sees a black person, like most Americans, certain stereotypes come up in his mind. I think the stereotypes which come to his mind may be even different than most Southerners because he has had a lot of dealings with black folks that many white Southerners have not. I don't think that he has had any great change of the spirit and all of that. I think he believes it. Wallace is a great rationalizer. And I don't think he now knows what the truth is. I don't think he knows what the reality is.

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