Interviewer:
Do you think that prejudice is a greater influence sometimes than self-interest?
Rev. William Finlator:
Yes...a greater influence than self-interest?
Interviewer:
Or exerts more influence over the voters sometimes than their own self-interest?
Rev. William Finlator:
Well, yea, although self-interest is not what the capitalists call "enlightened self-interest." The leaders of our state have always known (and it's true of the South) that poor whites--when push comes to shove--can always be brought over and changed by the introduction of the race issue. They have preferred their poverty to any kind of cooperation with black people. And we've always been able to defeat Populist movements on this basis, so that yes we don't know our own self-interest when it comes to this issue. This has been exploited time and again in the South and in North Carolina.

- Rev. William Finlator, civil rights advocate

Interview with Rev. William Finlator by Jay Jenkins, April 19, 1985, Interview C-0007, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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