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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Charles M. Lowe, March 20, 1975. Interview B-0069. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Charlotte residents are entering a state of apathy after a period of progress

Lowe worries that Charlotte residents are entering a state of apathy after a period of progress in race relations and education. He takes an even-tempered approach to this disturbing trend, however, and is content to wait until voters rediscover their energy

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Charles M. Lowe, March 20, 1975. Interview B-0069. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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MOYE:
Along that same line, in a lot of the referenda on the various bond issues concerning, perhaps, urban renewal, civic center, the sales tax, not really the sales tax, in some school board elections and whatnot seems to be a fairly strong bloe, at least on occasions, of Southeastern precincts and black precincts. Was one idea behind consolidation to extend this voting strength to the county level in any way? Not only, in other words, were a lot of whites moving into the suburbs, but there were a lot of white areas that had opposed the civic center, had opposed the sales tax, had opposed liquor-by-the-drink. They were raising hell about the public housing. In other words, to some extent, challenging the leadership programs.
LOWE:
No question about it. You have seen a change. I remember in '62, '63, '64 county and city government had good relations. Had the good will of the majority of the people, white or black. We were making progress in race relations. We were making progress in schools. We were making progress economically. People did kind of look up to the government and business leadership and go along with it. They thought this was right. Then, it became more into a state of apathy, and then it became a state of almost armed revolt, and then it came into a state of "Damn you, if we can't go out in the streets and beat you, we can sure as hell vote you out." We have seen this change. I feel in time the pendulum will begin to swing back the other way. You think, sometimes, that the thing just keeps on going and going and going. It's just like the rainy weather we've gone through, but the sun always comes out. You do have warm days. You do have pleasant nights. You do this in an economy. People thought things would be good forever, and now they've gotten bad, and they think "Hell, it's going to be bad forever." But, they're not. It'll swing back. I think it's just a cycle we're going through. I think the long-run trend is always up whether it's business or politics or confidence of people or what. It's just part of the cycle. The pendulum's just been swinging the other way. We have to admit it and face up to it. But, it sure is rough while it's happening.