A fortnight before George C. Wallace visited Fort Wayne, Indiana, for a rally in his pursuit of the Presidency, there was looting in the city’s Negro areas. Several hundred youths roamed the streets, breaking the windows of white-owned stores and throwing rocks at policemen. The outburst was still on the minds of Fort Wayne’s citizens when Wallace came to town on August 17; especially on the minds, and the lips, of his supporters.
As it happened, the first two Fort Wayners I had occasion to talk with—a young clerk at the airport motel and the cab driver who took me to the evening rally—were Wallace fans, and both, with just a little prompting, gave “the racial thing” as the main reason for their support. The motel clerk, who was getting ready to enter the University of Indiana in the fall, was a mild youth, who could not bring himself to use the word Negro; it was always “they”: “Wallace doesn’t want to do anything bad to t...
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