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Little Rock Violence Called 'Rational Act' In Soc. Rel. Speech


Thomas Pettigrew, assistant professor of Social Psychology, stated last night that violence over integration was a rational act.

In a meeting of the Social Relations Society, Pettigrew said that the findings of his three week field trip to Little Rock indicated that violence arose only when the possibility of definite action to prevent integration might be taken. He asserted that Governor Faubus had given the people hope that such definite steps could be taken. Violence based upon definite expectation is a rational act.

Two Types of Segregationists

Pettigrew recognized two active types of segregationists--the "violence if necessary" and the "business as usual". He found that the first group, composed of the lower class, would resort to violence because they had neither reputation nor property to lose. The second group would not resort to violence because coming from the upper class, they could lose both.

Campbell discussed specific cases of pro-integration ministers, faced with the problem of expressing their views before segregationist congregations.

When asked what he considered the most important thing learned from the field trip, Pettigrew responded, "There is strong support behind the groups that are participating in mob violence. The Northern press ignores this".

Commenting on the future of the Central High School controversy, he said, "There is no sign of organization within Little Rock to take local initiative for integration when the troops leave".

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