It is common practice among Southern spokesmen to refer to the "Southern point of view." Our capitol in Atlanta resounds with speeches which say that all Georgians agree. And it is always stated or implied that what they all agree on is that our present system of a legally racially segregated society is best.
With the threat of closed public schools, it has now become "realistic" to admit that, though there may still be doubt as to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court over the state of Georgia, ' we should act as though the jurisdiction were legal rather than shut down all our schools. It has become "courageous" to accept token integration rather than have our children denied schools. All this realism and this courage, it is made quite clear, go against the Southern point of view. I am a Southerner. From my point of view, not only does the U.S. Supreme Court have jurisdiction over Georgia, but the school decision was a correct one. Our schools are separate but not equal, and even if they were, legal racial segregation has no place in a democracy. It is a hangover from slavery. Historically it can be explained in the South, but it cannot be justified from my Southern point of view.
I am tired of justification by comparison. "But it is really so much worse in the North. Look at Chicago. And what about South Africa?" I do not set my standards of morality by what others do, in the North or in Chicago or in South Africa. I set them by what I believe in my heart, and I do believe in my heart that segregation is a disease that infects all parts of a being, human or political. It is a germ from which I should like to protect my children as much as possible, regardless of its virulence in other places.