Firing Line With William F. Buckley: Leander Perez- ‘The Wallace Crusade (1968)’


Source:Firing Line With William F. Buckley– Judge Leander Perez ( D. LA ) on Firing Line in 1968.

Source:The New Democrat

“Episode 095, Recorded on April 15, 1968

Guest: Leander Perez.”

From Firing Line With William F. Buckley

I never heard of Leander Perez from Louisiana before I saw this video. But apparently he was both Governor of Louisiana and a judge in Louisiana and this interview was done in 1968. And they were talking segregation and the civil rights laws. And the Governor telling Bill Buckley that he’s not a racist even though he says Negros (which is what African-Americans back then were called) are morally inferior to Caucasian-Americans. And Perez saying that he’s being honest and that is the truth: “why hide it”? With Buckley replying: “so you are an honest bigot”.

This video is called The Wallace Movement, but very little if any mention at least in this short video of Governor George Wallace of Alabama. Who was a Dixiecrat, a right-wing (at least on social cultural issues) Nationalist who was basically still fighting the Civil War and wanting to lead Confederates in that war. Not ready to perhaps even see African-Americans as people, let alone as Americans deserving of the same rights and protections, as well as responsibilities as European-Americans. Bill Buckley was a Conservative. And one of the conservative values is treating individuals as exactly that. And not treating people as members of groups. Worst or better simply because of their race.

The so-called Wallace Movement of the South of the 1960s and 1970s, was different. And more of a racially based nationalistic movement of Southern Caucasians, predominantly Protestant and perhaps even Anglo-Saxon. Who felt having African-Americans in their community was some type of an invasion. When the fact was and still is that Africans are just as American as Europeans and as such deserving of the same rights as European-Americans and every other race in America. The Wallace Movement simply saw African-Americans as inferior. And not deserving of the same rights and protections.

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