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Interview with Dr. Robert D. Meads
(WDBJ Television, Roanoke, VA)

Dr. Meads considered the January 9, 1956 referendum on Section 141 of the Virginia Constitution a waste of time and energy and potentially enormously disruptive to Virginia schools and "our good race relations." He called the tuition plan "unconstitutional." Meads alluded to a "recent tip" from a Department of Justice official that the U.S. Supreme Court would consider the plan unconstitutional and immediately dismiss it. Meads was also concerned that Virginia might lose $16 million in federal education funding. Worried about "fly by night" schools and the hemmoraging of teachers from schools, Meads argued clearly that the disruption to the public education system would jeapordize business and the future of the Commonwealth. Meads also criticized the Virginia brief to the Supreme Court in the school cases which called the black race "immoral and diseased." Meads stated that such categorical descriptions were ungentlemanly and wrong. "We are all Americans," Meads said, "We are all equal in the sight of the Lord." Meads did not believe that "the average Virginian" wanted to denigrate blacks with sweeping racist statements. Meads replied directly to Dr. Dabney Lancaster, "the director of the information center for the Gray Amendment forces." Meads responded to Lancaster's comments (December 19th) that school buildings might be sold in the privatization of local education. Meads considered this a fire sale of the state's most valuable resources and argued that it would "bankrupt" the Commonwealth.
About the film
  • Date: January 7, 1956
  • Sound: Yes
  • Duration: 04:55
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