Title: Interview with Victor Wolf (April 16, 1973)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007083/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Victor Wolf (April 16, 1973)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: April 16, 1973
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007083
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 96A

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Full Text


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and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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Victor Wolf
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

how they.......

W: You mean, how do the indian students, uh, perform relative to other non-

Indian students?

T: Yes. That's what I wanted to say. I'd like to hear comments on that as you

see it:

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.

T: Uh-huh.

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,

now, how........

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

T: Um-hmm.

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?

W: One.

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............

(Phone Rings)

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

more students.

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

in economics.

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

into effect.

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......

T: Right.

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

large industries.......

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-

unionized industries.

T: Uh-huh.

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

are unions.

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,

every 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

to it.

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,

that's political.

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?

W: No.

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.

W: ._____

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

my field.

T: Out of your field to talk about girls?

W: Sociology.

T: Well, talking about girls, we can probably categorize that most

any way.

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

on that.

T: Well, that was a long time ago, but let's wait..................


Victor Wolf
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......

T: Right.

W: Uh, I __ the subject matter.

T: I want to explain that to you. It's not all together official. We want the

personal views.

W: ...personal views,

T: Right.

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

home, yes.

T: Right.

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......

W: Disciplinarian?

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

it legalized.

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.

T: Um-hmm.

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?

T: Right.

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.

T: Never?

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.

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