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J.L. Chestnut, Civil Rights activist, on
Wallace's legacy

J.L. Chestnut Q:Do you feel Wallace has a big legacy?

A: Wallace has a huge legacy. Negative and, in some ways, positive. But I think he will never rise above standing in the schoolhouse door. Whenever history remembers him, it's more likely to remember him in that farce than anything else. That's unfortunate. He did do some other things. Even now, you can't walk too far in Alabama, unless you bump into a trade school or a junior college, more often than not, it's named George Wallace. They're all over this state. As a matter of fact, the argument is that there's too many of them now. You can't get around the fact that there are free textbooks now in the public schools. George Wallace did that. Teachers make a lot more money now than they ever made, and George Wallace set that in motion. So there are some positive things about George Wallace. But it's all, I think, overweighed by the negative -- this insane pursuit of power and the exploitation of race to produce all sorts of ill winds, bloodshed, and just nightmares.

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