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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewed by: Marilyn Taylor
Typed by: Sally A. White
T: My name is Marilyn Taylor. I'm recording for the Doris Duke Foundation,
The American Indian Oral Studies Program, under the auspices of the University
of Florida. I am at the Pembroke State University campus in the office of
Mr. Victor Wolf. Mr. Wolf, would you tell fs what you do here at Pembroke
and your.position, and so on?
W: I'm the chairman of the department'of economics.
T: And how long have you lived in Pembroke?
W: I've lived in Pembroke ten years.
T: And where did you live prior to this?
W: In Virginia. And prior to that, I'm a native of Norway.
T: So, do you, Norway is your home, or where do you call. home?
W: Norway is, Norway is my home, and I didn't come here until 1955. I've
lived in -Virginia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Florida, and then here.
T: So, you've been in quiet a few states. Uh, how did you happen to come upon
Pembroke? It's not a very big place, you know.
W; Through a teacher's agency.
T: Uh, this is the way you obtained the job you
W: Yeah, right.
T: How many classes do you have, a day?
W: It varies. One to two classes, every day. Ih other words, I'm teaching
nine semester hours.
T: And let's see, of these classes, how, how many would you say, that you have,
uh, how many Lumbee Indians in your classes?
W: I think on the average, around 5% in.-my class. 45 fo /10 7o,
T: If you could compare it or contrast it, uh, however you might try to, uh,
how does the, how do the, Lumbees, uh, gradewise, academic-wise, because
we know that they, their schools have not always been standard, and that's
W: You mean, how do the indian students, uh, perform relative to other non-
T: Yes. That's what I wanted to say. I'd like to hear comments on that as you
W: Generally speaking, a little bit lower, but there are exceptions, among
the Indians, some of them, are, I would say perhaps, one percent of the
Indian group, are doing exceptionally well, by any standards. Uh, the
rest of the group, are performing, probably a little bit below average.
W: I think that this is exclusively due to several factors. Uh, first of
all, their schools, their primary schools and secondary schools, in some
cases the secondary schools are not even accredited, and they are
suffering from a handicap, there. Which I don't think is racial, it's
simply financial. It's an economic basis for it, since primary and secondary
schools are financed, locally, through the county. And Robeson county is
an extremely poor county. Uh, the schools are poorly equipped, physically,
and, perhaps also poorly equipped, as far as teaching staff is concerned,
and by that I mean, 'that the Indian teaching staff, uh, is suffering, also,
as they stay in the county, going through the schools, and coming back as
teachers are suffering from, uh, low standard, uh, perhaps, uh, lower, uh
by comparison to the nation, by and large in richer counties. And,
therefore, is entrenched in a circle, a vicious circle that's hard to
break out of. So, I think that because-.of this, and also because of the
fact that we have a primarily farming community, around here, and this
is primarily a commuting college, many of the students, including the
Indians, specifically, are holding jobs. And many of the Indian students
also have to have off seasonably on the farm, besides coming to school.
And this also handicaps their performance. So this is what I think
are the reasons, but the fact still remains that their performance
lies a little below, in my opinion, than the average.
T: Well, I believe, living in these different places, you've taught also,
in different places.
W: Yes, I've taught in Norway and I've taught in South Carolina, University
of South Carolina, and there's no question about the fact that compared
to, for instance, University of South Carolina, the Indian students, if
you were to separate them as a group, are well average. But it is also
true that our student body, in general, quite apart from the Indians,
the non-Indian students also is a little below the performance, say, at
the University of South Carolina.
T: So this is, you look at it as comparitive study, more or less. Now, I'd
like to know what position this places the professor in, because you do
have to take these things into account, now, when, uh, grading and this
kind of thing. You look at a person's record, you see they've worked, or
they get someone who has all the time in the world, so to speak,
W: It's very difficult, you would like to consider this, but it is extremely
to consider it, or to take it into consideration, gradewise,
simply because we have certain to go by, and certain guarantees that we
have anyway behind the degree, once it is
conferred, conferred upon the student. And since, they also, presumably,
later on, when you have been to graduate school, we should pre-
pare them for this and other places. For this reason, it is difficult to
give any sharp consideration, except, perhaps, in the sense of remedial
courses and extra-instructional consideration but not gradewise. In
other words, we must try to build them up that way, by giving extra instruction,
extra remedial work and remedial courses. This is the best we can do.
T: Is this left, primarily, up to the professor, to give this remedial......
W: No, there are, primarily, I would say, yes, but there are remedial
courses on campus in:basic areas like english and mathematics, uh, that
is designed for the so-called
W: I would like to point out that I don't think that the Lumbee Indians are
lacking in native intelligence but, just simply lacking in background,
cultural and educational background. This is what I think handicaps them.
Once that is overcome, they perform equally well, and perhaps sometimes
even above average, whatever average means. This is done by comparison
with other institutions.
T: I know you have probably seen this cultural background, the lack of it,
or, uh, lack of experience and so on, overcome. How do you see this?
How do they, uh.............
W; I see they can overcome it simply by, and by cultural, lack of cultural
economic, background, I'm referring to, uh, the students we have coming
homes. uh, rather poor by economic standards, and poor culturally, also,
because the parents had very little opportunity, in this area, to go to
school, uh for reasons, that's too much to go into, here. But they are,
in most cases, they, the rate of illiteracy is very high among the
parents of the present students, therefore they have, not very much
encouragement, and, and stimulation from the home, as far as motivation
for education is concerned. Yet, in spite of that, many of them have
taken the opportunity that is here in Pembroke to get to college and
get a degree, and thereby breaking out of it, thereby being able to
establishes more culturally inclined homes, with greater motivation, with
a greater amount of books, reference works, uh, dictionaries, etc, at
home, and thereby slowly breaking out of this.
T: Well, I believe you said you lived in Pembroke, you live right here in
the immediate area.
W: I did live in this immediate area, for ten years. I currently live in
Lumberton, which is ten miles away.
T: Uh, is there a comparison, I know you see some comparison in the difference
in living in Pembroke, and in Lumberton, besides the commuting, of course.
W: Well, I don't know what you would be referring to, here, specifically. I
would, of course, point out that Pembroke is a very, very small place,
whereas Lumberton is a little bit larger. That means we have facilities
like a library, uh, but other than that, uh, .......
T: And how many children do you have, now?
T: School age, or what age?
W: Uh, high school.
T: So, this is important, perhaps to the family, to move to Lumberton.....
W: Are you, if you're trying to ask if I moved to Lumberton because of the
school situation, for my child, in particular, then that would be only
part of the reason. But it would be a reason, yes. Even though the
improvement, as far as standard is concerned ten miles away, in Lumberton,
it's not all that dramatic. There is an improvement. Uh, so that would
be part of the reason why, but by no means the whole one.
T: You mentioned that you were head of the economics, did I say that right?
W: Economics department.
T: Economics department, uh, is this a requirement, uh, how many subjects
is within this department, or how many courses,..............
W: Well, we are teaching, uh, exclusively economics and economic theory,
which is in itself, divided into macro-economics, micro-economics, and
several disciplines within.
T: Could you explain that, just a little bit, the micro, and the............
I think you were gonna explain the, the different disciplines of.......
W: Yeah, back to economics. We start off the course with princ--, a one-
year principle course, which is divided, usually into macro-economics
and micro-economics. Micro-economics is price theory and theory of
the fund, to put it very shortly. And macro-economics has to do with
the aggregate income employment price level output for the whole nation,
as such. What we do, later, then is to go into the some of these areas,
specifically, in the in-depth study. Micro-economic theory is, uh,
intermediate micro-economic theory is achi r course, but we go into
aggregate economic theory analysis, national income analysis, uh, fiscal
policy, and, uh, performance in general. Then, we have a course in money
and banking, what deal, which deals with that aspect of the economy, the
monetary aspects of it. We have an intermediate micro-economic theory
where we are more in depth, as far as far as price theory is concerned.
We have a course in, uh, development of economic thought, which is the
history of evolution of economic theory. We have a course in labor
economics, which deals with the labor factor of the economy, collective
bargaining and the economics of that. We have a course in econometrics,
which is, uh, economic theory, mathematically speaking. Then, we have
a course, in comparitive systems, for instance, where we are comparing
the American economic system, with other systems, like socialism,
communism, uh, various degrees of deviations fromthe capitalistic
system, as you'll find them in West Germany and other places. And this
is an example, then, of what we are doing in the department of economics.
T: And how many do you have on your staff, here, in this department?
W: Currently, in the department of economics, there's just two [people,
Dr. Emmanuel and myself.
T: um-hmm, both of you have a pretty good:load
W: The teaching load is, about, it would average out to about 12 semester hours.
T: Do you find that the students respond to the course, I mean, that they sign
up for them? Are your classes large, small, medium, how would you term
W: Well, the average size of our classes is about 27 students.
T: That's about as many as you want, isn't it? Or more......
W: That is considered the load, yes. Then, in the more advanced
courses, we have fewer students, and in the principle courses, we have
T: Well, now, if a person is majoring in business, are they required to take
most of the courses in your department? No, they are required only to take
nine semester hours, which consists of the two principle courses, one semester
each and money and banking.
T: Do we have a major, here, you can major in economics?
W: Yes, indeed. You can major in economics, which requires 36 semester hours
T: And what would be a person's job possibilities, once they major, where, perhaps
name some of the........
W: Well, the job opportunities has opened up very much in the last ten years.
Obviously, government, for one thing, is a distinct possibility, uh, banks
is another distinct possibility, including the federal reserve system
the central bank, but also, industry is now, more, hiring economists, so
you have that whole spectrum.
T: Do you see that the, uh, indians, who go out of this area, and, uh,
possibly you have a chance to talk to them as they come back, uh, that
they find it hard to adjust, uh, from, uh, economically, or educationally,
or, what is the situation here, that you might know about, that you
can comment on?
W: Well, my impression is that most of those Indians that are leaving this
area, either with a college degree, or with a part of a degree, uh, to
seek employment in other areas, are seeking, predominantly, areas where
there already are Lumbee indians established. And most people are in such
areas like Detroit, and Baltimore, specifically, in Washington. These are
the areas, traditionally, they have gone to, because, if I may say so, they
have and there are Lumbee Indians in this area,
already. When they go to these areas, they are usually doing well, there,
socially, I must guess that they are happy. Uh, economically, some, what
I hear, uh, they are doing also, better than they would have done, here.
In other words, their income is larger than it would be, here. Here, in
the last five years, more and more of the Indians have, uh, sought other
places. That spread uh, into other areas besides the ones that I've
mentioned, geographically, now, uh, would be a fairly even spread through
the country. But this is happening to a larger extent, and I can only
guess that this is the result of, uh, the civil rights movement coming
T: Uh, you mentioned the Robeson County, uh, being on the, low on the totem
pole, economically speaking.
W: It's 'probably one of the very lowest, per capital income county in the
T: Well, as an economic teacher, or professor of economics, uh, what do you
see, or what could be the solution, and I know this is a loaded question
and very broad and general, but, uh, is is coming from the government,
or is it the people have got to come up and make a stand for themselves.
W: If you're speaking about an economic improvement......
W: .....increasing the jer capital income.....
T: ....in this area....
W: .... in this area, then I will surmise that more industry, in other words,
we must seek a higher employment rate. We have a larger unemployment rate
than the national average, by far, also. And we must seek more industry
in the most diverse employment opportunity for the population, here. Which
traditionally, has been a farming area, and with an extensive use of, uh,
tenant farming,system.,. With, uh, industrial employment, in a diverse way,
then we could insure better money income, uh, more steady employment.
In other words, we'd use .the unemployment. And we'd higher money incomes,
get away from the tenant farm system, and thereby insuring, in other words,
a better scale of living, for the population, the economic security that
goes with a steady income.
T: Um-hmm. I believe, uh, B. F. Goodrich was the first, uh,.....
W: I don't know that it was the first industry, but it was one of the first
T: To recognize the Indians, employ, or to give them a chance.
W: Well, to move in here, uh, and there by giving an opportunity for the
Indian population, as well as non-Indian population for employment.
T: Uh-huh. I noticed they changed hands sometime last year to Converse...
W: Yes, Converse has trusts that have taken over.
T: Now, as a person who teaches- of economics, and versed in this, how, what
happens, here, the B. F. Goodrich, uh.......
W: Simply could not compete with Converse, in that particular area. Goodrich
went into the production of shoes, uh, canvas and rubber shoes, uh, and
found, this is what I understand, found that they couldn't compete with
the already well-established and large Converse producers in this area.
And after awhile, uh, sold out to Converse.
T: Uh-huh. So it was a matter,-here, of economics again.
W: Well, yes, uh, Goodrich simply went into an area, where they could not
break in, a market area where they could not break in, and simply stopped
producing shoes all together. And, uh, presumably, are concentrating on
tires and other rubber materials.
T: I know that perhaps you've talked with labor unions and this kind of thing,
and it comes in A industry. Uh, in your classes, if you do discuss this,
I assume you do, is this right?
W: Yes, we do discuss, of course, what's inevitable in economics, we discuss
labor economics, as well, and -the existence of unions.
T: Well, how do you see the, uh, labor unions affect retain merchandizing,
when we were talking about shoes, or anything, for that matter.
W: Are you talking about the prices, or........
T: how is this.....
W: In other words, I assume that you are now asking if the prices of the
merchandise produced by unionized industries will be higher than non-
W: Uh, ah, I and particularly in this area. It's very difficult to say,
because and, for example, using the Converse Industry as an example, their
prices are national prices. Their market is the entire Unites States.
And whether or not there is a union in o f their many plants, or not,
it's not going to influence their adni. ices. If this was their
only plant, that they had, then the question of union and non-union
probably would have an effect on prices. A better question, perhaps,
would be, are the average paid to the workers, uh, higher where there
is a union, than where there is not a union? That, I think, is fairly
well established that their salaries and wages are higher where there
T: But what I'm saying, is it is higher, then do they have to put their
retail, uh mark their product up in order to offset the salaries?
W: That is a very difficult question. Most economists will probably, uh,
tell you, as I would, that most likely, uh, an introduction of a union,
with consequently higher wages paid to the worker, will nearly in all
cases be transferred directly into higher, uh, retail prices for the
products, in question. There are exceptions to this, and that would
happen in cases where the competition is very keen, where the elasticity
of the demand for the product is such, meaning particularly a very
inelastic demand, that it is not possible for the industry to raise
their prices without losing a considerable amount of their market.
In which, then, increased wages and salaries would have to be absorbed
by reducing the profit margin of the industry itself. Uh, these cases
do exist, but in most cases, what we have seen empirically, the prices
will go up as wages go up.
T: Well, let me ask you this, assume, hypothetically, that I was a former
student of yours, and I wanted to know whether to join a union, or not.
Of course, you know that if you're part of management, you don't belong
to unions. But, uh, you do have the choice of whether to belong to the
union, or not. Uh, ireey would you advise, in other words.? And I know
again, that there's many variables.
W: I, uh, quite frankly I.......
T: Have any Lumbees asked this question?
W: Well, if you had a position in an industry, in an economic enterprise, and
the question of joining a union came up to you, and, in turn, you asked me
for advice, I would not give it to you. That is, uh, of course, a
controversial issue, so controversial that I would not be in the position,
as a professor, to give you any advice on it. I could not give you any
advice on it.
T: Would know the ins and outs of that particular industry.
W: I would have my opinion, of course, but I could not express my opinion
to you in the -position I'm in. That is too controversial.
T: Well, it's always been controversial, hasn't it?
W: Very. When you look back into.....
T: It's a political issue as well, and I think it goes from year to year,
W: It's a tug of war between two segments, uh, of the elements involved in
production, mainly the management and, specifically, the resource owners,
and that component that is always necessary for production which is labor.
You have, essentially, three components, and that's the capital, labor,
and what they call land, uh, that goes into production. And this is
essentially a tug of war between two segments, the resource owners,
represented by the management, and the labor, the work, the workers.
That segment is called labor. As to who gets what share of the total
income that has been produced during a given period of time. An(
economist can tell you what can happen, uh, when wages and salaries
go up. An economist can tell you what will happen, and what alternatives
is available for the management, as far as, shall we say, making up
for this increase in cost. But as it passes on to the consumer, absorb
it themselves, or doing a little bit of both. But as to what ought to
be, uh, sure any economist would have an opinion, a personal opinion on
it, but, uh, you are here talking about a value judgement.
T: Uh-huh. Right. And this is where, uh, so many of our people, I'm sure
the Lumbees get confused. You find alot of suspicion, alot of mistrust,
uh, particularly if you are Lumbee, actively, the
boss with the whip, so to speak, and recall one Lumbee telling me his
boss wouldn't even let him get off And this is where
there is a rule, that they, you know, have given so much time
and this kind of thing.
W: I don't.....
T: He was wondering if he belonged to a union, he could, uh, this kind of
thing he wouldn't have to, to, uh, be subject, subjected
W: Unions have traditional, uh, around in the country, managed that and
other questions, uh, so that the workers will have, of course, the time to
go and vote, and perform other civic duties. Uh, that is part of the
program that unions traditionally have. And, not only wages themselves,
but also working conditions, all the time insurance, uh, education,
kindergartens, is part of what unions are trying to do. And traditionally
around in the country, this, uh, question you about time out
for voting, has been part of that, that unions have worked for, and
usually, of course, with success. Uh, whether workers can take off
T: Then,AI don't want, I realize this is _question, and I, I
try not -to mess with those. I don't like for to sound. Uh,
politically, and economically, how do you see the correlation, here?
In certain areas........
W: The correlation between what? f :
T: Politics and economics.
W: Well, economics is a science which deals with the analysis of what
forces, how we, confronted with when it comes through the generation
of income in the society, how this income is distributed, in other
words, production, consumption and distribution. Different political
parties will have different priorities. For instance, one political
party can as a top priority employment, perhaps
at the ; expense of some price stability. An economist can not, of
course, certainly not in the classroom, and any other official capacity
as an economist, take, uh, a stand on this. That is a value judgement.
An economist can usually tell you what will happen if you do this, and
what will happen if you do that. He can like up the alternatives
available for you in a given situation. Like if you want to deal with
the national unemployment problem, we can suggest various ways of
dealing with it. All of them giving a result. Uh, but usually,
also some undesired effect. So, it becomes up to the politician and
the political leaders to make a choice between various methods of
for instance, achieving ___ employment. Another party may give
priority to, uh, price stability, perhaps at the expense of, or as a
trade of against unemployment. Uh, that becomes anything that
the politicians- deal with. And the economists are really serving as,
uh, simply4an advisory capacity. Naturally, economists are human beings,
too, and they are citizens, too, and they have their opinions, and they
make their own value judgements. But that's not something that they-can
express officially, uh, certainly not in the position of being
T: the economists most recent, uh, upheaval that bein ood,
mainly meat. Meat and what else,uh,.............
what has happened here?
W: Well, again, here, you're gonna get ......
T: The Lumbee is, as well as all of us.
W: Yes, that concerns the entire nation, naturally, and the economy here, is
here. Asking economists, officially simply is to point out
the reasons for the increase in cost of beef, specially, increase and
cost of living in general __ By finding the reason for it, we can
point out various remedies that is available within the economy., to deal
with it. The choice of one of these remedies, of several will again,
become the choice of the politician. Naturally-..........
T: Does the economist, uh, role more or less to advise.
W: Well, it depends on what position you are in. The president.......
T: The government _.
T: Yes, the president has access to a council of economic advisors, also,
and it is advisory organization, just like you would go to an automobile
mechanic to ask what's wrong with your automobile if it doesn't perform,
or you would go to a physician, if you don't perform, uh, yourself, like
you ought to. And the physician can diagnose it for you, but he can not
force you to take a treatment against your will. Whereas, of course,
the physician, use that as an also would have an opinion,
definitely, as to what he would do in your case, and what he would advise
to do, but he can not force you, to do it. And again, an economist will
also have his own personal, his role as a citizen, he will have his value
judgement, he will have his preferences. But the classroom and the office
is not the place to air those. You simply can come up with answers as to
what is wrong, what happens, or what is happening, and what remedies are
available. As far as, as far as, advocating one, uh, above the other,
T: To encourage the situation, in Robeson County, how do you see education
plays a part in it? And I'm talking about the economics, again.
W: Fundamental. Education is fundamental in improvement because if your inner
life causes the unemployment, you will very shortly, and others
seem to find, in the, in the you'll find that the
reason for hard-core unemployment and long-term unemployment, uh, in other
words, I'm talking about the basic problem, hard problem, is usually lack
of education, and/or training, and by education, here, I mean in the broad-
est sense. Not only formal academic training, but any kind of training,
any kind of education. Uh, the illiteracy rate is very high, and the level
of training among the unemployed is very, very low. And that is, in it-
self, a problem, so education, in all it's forms, is vital for the solution
of unemployment, and for the desired effect of achieving a higher per capital
T: Where do you see skills, in classes uh, as an education
of a type?
W: Of course it is.
T: But, uh, do you think it's gonna necessarily require a college education?
T: as much as we........
W: No, I'm, uh, I would like to stress, again, that by education, I mean
education in the broadest sense. Uh, .of cour..,obviously, you can't take
a given population, and say that all of them are going through an academic
problem, which the college is, an academic problem. The economy is in need
of every kind of craft vocational skill, if you please, of any sort. And I
think we ought to provide, a diversified educational system that takes in
not only academic pursuits, but all kinds of vocational pursuits. The
whole spectrum, if you please. Some attempts have been made in this di-
rection now that we have community colleges, and technical institutes,
which is a step in the right direction. Now, if we can channel'people
in, with a given spread among these institutions, and that will be the
solution. In other words, provide enough diversified training, or education,
if you please. It is wrong to identify or equate education with an academic
pursuit. Education consists of so much more than that.
T: Do you have many girls in your class? Or is it mostly, predominantly male?
W: The distribution among male and female in the classes, uh, is about 50-50.
T: So, it's, uh, used to be considered, I think, more or less,
a stereotype of the male field. Do you see more women going into economics?
I mean, are you seeing it as you, uh, .........
W: Well, I don't think.......
T: .....teaching up before the classes, perhaps.
T: I was cold.
W: Uh, I don't think there is a difference between male and female students
as far as performance in economics is concerned. I do think that among the,
Lumbee Indian group, I would be inclined to say, offhand, without
proof for this, but I would be inclined to say, uh, offhand, that the female
Lumbee Indians have been more eager to seek and complete their education,
than the men. At least in the past. It's my impression that they stay
longer in school, more of them finish, than of the males. Uh, now whether
or not I can prove that specifically, is, is another matter, but that's my
T: Well, as the impression, why would think this would be true?
It it is?
W: Now, that's a question of sociology, and that phenomena I cannot explain
because, really, this is not only true among the Lumbees.
T: Well, I was leading up to the women's lib, do you think that has any
W: No, I don't think it has anything, particularly to do with this question
that we are talking about, because I may say that in general, uh, my
impression is, among all students, not only, uh, Lumbee Indians, but
among all students, uh, on campus, that the women, and this I have
confirmed from many other faculty members, too, that the female students
are more consistent in their performance. They are more conscientious.
They work harder, than the males do. This is my impression, and I share
that with many other faculty members.
T: Could it be that they don't, perhaps, have jobs, that's maybe required of
the male students?
W: Well, I do think that the male students, as a matter of fact, a larger
number of them are holding down jobs, and there fore, perhaps that may
be the reason why they are performing less evenly and less consistently.
Uh, now why more males would hole jobs, parttime jobs than the female
students, wha, the reason for that, I wouldn't know.
T: You wouldn't have the slightest idea?
W: Let me say it this way, I wouldn't venture to guess, uh, in this
action. It, it has, obviously some sociological explanation.
I would guess, perhaps I could guess, that it would have something to
do with th age group we are talking about, students, college students,
the boys traditionally inviting the girls out whent comes to social
life, and therefore finds it necessary to have money, whereas the girls
always are invited out, their social life is paid for by the boys. This
may be the reason, but I'm of course, mainly guessing because I'm out of
T: Out of your field to talk about girls?
T: Well, talking about girls, we can probably categorize that most
W: Not being a female, myself, I would only guess, any way. It's a question,
I would assume, everything that is involved in sociology, uh, psychology,
philosophy, and often in life, past sociological structures. I really
wouldn't know. That's out of my field. Would believe even Freud gave up
T: Well, that was a long time ago, but let's wait..................
END OF SIDE 1.
Interviewed by: Marilyn Taylor
Typed'by: Sally A. White
T: Well, speaking of women's lib, uh, I think I was the one that was doing the
speaking, I don't think you much with that, certainly we have, we
are interested in the males point of view. What is your opinion? Do you
think women should get equal pay, if she's, uh, I know there's some way
out, you know....
W: Well, what I say here, will, of course, be strictly my personal opinion.
T: This is not a professional opinion. I'm asking you as a, as a person, as
Mr. Victor, what does the W stand for in your name?
W: William. 4L.4e William. Uh, what I'm saying here, my comments on this
is strictly my personal view, and of course......
T: This is wha. we want.
W: .....do with my official position......
W: Uh, I __ the subject matter.
T: I want to explain that to you. It's not all together official. We want the
W: ...personal views,
W: Well, my personal view is that......
T: Everybody's unique.
W: My personal view is that, of course, I do think that women should be paid an
equal amount of salary for the same work. I think that is, I, I've always
held that opinion, I don't see any reason why that should not be the case.
However, I know that has not, has not in fact been the case. I hope to see
an improvement here. I hope to see this situation corrected.
T: Well, that's at least an encouraging note. What about some of the other
things, uh, ......
W: Specifically what?
T: I was thinking about, would you consider it beneath your dignity to wash
dishes, perhaps, if your wife is not feeling up to par or.....
W: Well, if you are referring to, in other words, if the husband and the wife
both are working, should the husband participate in the house chores at
W: My wife has worked and ggain I'm using a personal reference, because it is
T: Well, this is what we want you to do.
W: ....and I have always held the opinion that, in that case, uh, the husband
may also share in the household, but at the same-time, I do not share the
opinion that if the husband and wife both works, that the wifes salary should
be held for her, alone, and should be held for her to use personally. I
would see that the husband should share in the household chores, chores, uh,
but also, that the two incomes must be pooled for the benefit of the entire
family. Yes, definitely.
T: What is your opinion of discipline, in your, take it in your own
perhaps, of your own child? Of course, you say he's high school age, now,
and it seems that sometimes this is (laughs) display of discipline is
required most, uh, at least, the most anyway. Uh, is the father
the most, uh, dominant one, to be the......
T: Yeah, the father, or is it the mother?
W: I think that depends on the sex......
W: I, it depends on the sex of the child, uh, why, I don't know. But I think
that the, the mother, the wife would be more effective in disciplining, uh,
female children, and that the male would probably he more effective with,
uh, male children, at least, if we are talking about age groups of children,
twelve years on up. Uh, maybe that has something to do with the, uh,
communication, uh, I don't know, but I rather intuitively think that this
is the case. As far as, uh, discipline is concerned, uh, I am not one of
these overly permissive parents, but at the same time, as I try to be a little
restrictive, I always put a great deal of emphasis of trying to make the
child understand why there are restrictions. I always try to make them under-
stand, ip, in the language that they can understand, with examples that they
can understand, that there is a reason for being restrictive, and I try
to get that across, while I am being somewhat more restrictive than the
vague concept of the average family.
T: How do you see the drug scene? Would you be in favor of seeing marijuana,
uh, legalized, or even more liberal, because you know, studies have been
made at Harvard, and different places, and research reports on one hand,
'course you get all sorts of stories. It's not so bad. Not as bad as
alcohol, anyway. Uh, you see college students, and you've come in contact
with, I'm sure in capacity, again, back to marijuana, would you
be favor, in favor of seeing it legalized?
W: Like alcoholic drinks.
T: Perhaps, and that, that.......
W: No, my answer is no, to that, even though I know, obviously I am being very
inconsistent, when I would, at least, passively approve of a situation
that already exists in connection with alcohol. And prohibition doesn't
work, there. And you maysay, why -doesn't it work in other places,
well, I think that, uh, I would not like to see marijuana legalized on
the basis of the following. Any time people, uh, a person is using what
amounts to a drug, as a crutch, even though it may not be physically, uh,
habit-forming, uh, it is a psychological crutch, an escape, and I do
believe, that I'm totally convinced, here, personally, that I, I would like
not to see anything like this happen. Whether ilts pragmatically feasible
to outlaw drugs, like it was not the case with alcohol, we went through a
period of prohibition, and it did not work. Now, just exactly what kind
of we should use, in avoiding the use of marijuana and other
drugs, I don't know. I'm at a loss, but I certainly would not like to see
T: In your opinion, do you think much on this campus? I'm told it's all over,
but, uh, this would be opinion, of course.
W: Well, here, I must confess total ignorance. I don't know what the extent
of the use of marijuana is, on this campus. I, have no way of knowing.
There has been some students arrested for possession of marijuana, you know.
W: But how widespread this is, I simply don't know.
T: There was one other question I wanted to ask you, uh, I don't mean it to
be offensive, but, you mentioned your home, how often do you get home?
It's a few miles from here, how long does it take?
W: Well, from here it takes about fifteen.....
T: Now, I'm talking about, originally home.
W: To Norway?
W: I, since I came here in 1955, I have been home twice. Once in 1962, for
a few months, and once in 1965, for a whole year.
T: Do you ever have _homesickness?
W: Occasionally, yes.
T: How do you deal with it?
W: Simply looking forward to the next opportunity of going home. I, I do
like, uh, my life, here in the United States. I'm very pleased. If I
had been unhappy with it, I would not have stayed, but I am happy, and
the homesickness is purely an emotional, nostalgic sort of a thing.
T: It seems foreign relations.
W: Yeah. And, and it really isn't very hard to deal with. It doesn't effect
me in a very bad way.
T: Is your wife from Norway ?
W: No, she is an American.
T: Uh, what part of America?
W: She's from New York state.
T: Perhaps, uh, you:might have a someone
W: Well, basically, my view is that home is wherever you have your work and
your family, you're near your family. And, uh, you have to make a home.
That could be true whether you live in your country of origin, or any other
place. So, as I said, the homesickness is notAvery bad situation.
T; In your past here, have you ever been made felt that you were a
W: No, I must say no to that.
W: I have never been, in any way, ostracized, uh, in any way, for being foreign.
Here, or any or any other place.
T: Well, I didn't mean to call you a foreigner, but we want to know, we want to
know this, we know that there's people who look at other people this way,
and, uh, we want to know if the problem exists with you.
W: No, I have never, in any of the places I have been in the United States,
visited or lived, in any way, been ostracized, uh, for being a foreigner, or
an immigrant, if you please, which is really what I am. And, it has.never
been a disadvantage to me, at all, in any form that I can think of. On the
contrary, I've always been welcomed, uh......
T: We seem to actively, uh, wan o get to know you better because of the
intrigue and mystery about it, a foreign country, and a person
from that country.
W: Oh, I think that would be true in any country. If you, as an American, went
to Norway, then there.would be a curiosity about you, of course. Uh, a
friendly curiosity, and naturally, I think it's natural for everybody to,
uh, to want to find out about life, and aspects of life, and social aspects
of other countries. Yes, that is true,.here, but even in seeking positions,
jobs, uh, in any aspect of life, I have never found that being a foreigner
is, in any way, a disadvantage.
T; Have you ever felt any of your students, particularly the Lumbees, have an
inferiority complex because they felt, or have you ever had this voiced to
you like, "you don't know what it's like to be an Indian," I
get this statement quite alot, or something similar to this.
W: Yes, occasionally, in private, uh, when I socialize with, uh, Indians,
Lumbee Indians, uh, there have been remarks that I would interpret as
being a feeling of frustration, non-acceptance, yes, that has come to
the surface, occasionally. But my impression is, distincly, that as, as
a group of people, they have tremendous pride. And would not come out,
directly and say, uh, any form that occasionally remarks that I might
interpret in that direction.
T: What aspirations does your, I believe you said you have a son? Didn't you,
of high school age? What aspirations, or goals, or,.would you have with
this boy, ;then? Would you like alot changed from day to day? Or has he
W: He, of course, wants to finish college, but what he is going to major in,
and what he will do, after then, he has not expressed any opinion, as yet.
T: Does daddy have any ideas of what he'd like him to do?
W: I figured that question would come up, but, no, I have distinctly, tried not
to influence him in a choice, uh, in any way. I have conscientiously tried
to avoid that, and I have conscientiously, also tried, at the same time, to
help him and answer, as fully as..I can, all questions that he may have,
about various possible occupations in life, but I've never, certainly tried
never, to influence him, as far as a choice is concerned.
T: The young people that come along, now, do you to be realistic, do you see
them smarter than we were, of our generation? Some people say that they are,
others have other comments. What do you think about this?
W: If you're talking about native intelligence, I don't think there is any
difference. If you're talking about information, are they better informed,
generally, I think the answer is yes. Which stands to reason, I think,
with the colossal amount of instant communications that we have today,
in the form, uh, of course, the television and the radio,
and they stay longer in school than they did before, so I think they are
better informed, yes. Are they more concerned with social issues, yes.
I think so, for the same reason. This being pressed uponthem through the
massmedia. And .Ilthink they reflect more, they are better informed,
and, a-oa?'e concerned. But as far as native intelligence
is concerned, uh, no I don't think so. But if you mean, by smarter, better
informed, yes, then I agree with you.
T: I want to ask you some of your plans for the future, but I don't want to
get too personal. We hope to have you at Pembroke, right on, and we're
glad that you're happy here, and I appreciate you giving me this interview.
It will be a contribution to the Lumbees, to Pembroke State University,
and perhaps even your son's son. or daughter, maybe one day to go in and
plug in and hear her grandaddy, uh Victor Wolf, give his views about
economics and education. Is there anything else you'd like to say that I
haven't touched on, or that you have strong feelings about, because it's
almost impossible to remember everything. Of course, sometimes I think I
miss- the very essence of what a person is. I like to get them on tape.
You've had such a short time.
W: I think you've covered a. pretty widei.field, here. No, I would just like to
emphasize, again, that, uh, on some of these questions, perhaps most of them,
uh, in the latter part of the interview, anyway, has been, of course, my
personal opinion on it.
T: This is what we hope to get from everyone, you know, we can get canned
opinions, right on down, as you said, everything's been written, just
about. Just that it's been rewritten in a different way, so uniqueness
in social opinions is what we're getting at.
W: Well, you got 'em, for what it's worth.
T: Well, it's worth a great deal to us, and we're very grateful to you, uh,
on the behalf of the Doris Duke Foundation and myself, and I consulted
Lew Barton, we thank you, Mr. Victor Wolf.