Interviewee: Dwight Cargile
IWY SC 627
Interviewer: Kathie Carter
Date: June 11, 1977
Dwight Cargile, from West Columbia, South Carolina, attended the state IWY conference because of his interest in state politics. Issues important to Cargile included fair coverage of the conference proceedings, women’s career opportunities, discrimination against women, and how the conference funds were dispersed. Interview includes discussion of his interests in politics broadly, the pro-and-anti ERA factions at the conference, and Cargile’s hope that the coverage of the IWY conference would be even-handed.
Kathie Carter: I’d like your name and your address.
Dwight Cargile: Ok, it’s Dwight Cargile. They have (unintelligible at 0:06) my name as Dwight Cargile. And I’m from West Columbia, South Carolina.
(Break in recording at 0:10)
KC: Dwight . . .?
KC: And what’s your address?
DC: One fifty-nine… Post Office Box 1474 West Columbia, South Carolina.
KC: West Columbia.
KC: What brought you to the meeting today?
DC: Well, I’ve been following a lot of politics in this state. And I wanted to see, you know, just how this was progress . . . I’ve heard a lot about it. And I’ve read a lot about it. And I’ve heard a lot around campus, and all the different papers. I try to get papers from Columbia, and Greenville, and Charleston, and everything, and read them.
KC: Why is it . . . what is the political aspect of this particular thing you’re interested in?
DC: Well, there are many issues, you know, at stake. And I like to, uh . . . I’ve been following a lot about state development. And I’d like to see what’s going to be done for women, you know, career-wise. I want to see how things are going to go, and how this state’s act will be acting for women. In addition, I’d like to know what stands they’re taking – whether it’s, uh, too conservative, or too liberal. Ok? I want to know whether, you know, we’ve got too much of a radicalism either way.
KC: Too much of a radicalism either way?
DC: Ok. Right. Either right or left. It’s a . . .
KC: What do you consider things that you . . . you said that you have concerns about women.
KC: And certain career aspects.
KC: How has that pinged [sic] your attention?
DC: Well, I think . . . first of all, I’m concerned that . . . I don’t want to see any woman discriminated against. I don’t think that’s right. But I’m also concerned that, uh, that there’s nothing done for women, you know, career women. So I think . . . I want to see the potentials of all women developed, where they can, uh . . . they can go about jobs, you know, any kind of career they might be interested in without having to worry about any kind of discrimination. And, whether they’d be done by adding laws or even the one’s we have. We could certainly . . . that. I don’t know right now, and I don’t think anyone knows, exactly what’s perfect. But I just want to make sure that I stay informed, so I can vote to the best movement. (Laughs)
KC: That’s very interesting. How, as a man, did you come to be this interested? Did you take the energy and time to come?
DC: Well, I felt a little bit awkward at first, when I came in, understand, so we’re in the same . . . . But, uh, I think it’s only, when we talk about discrimination, it is to involve everybody. And, first of all, I got interested because, as an administrator, I’d be involved with all the sexes and races. And I would like to make sure, you know . . . if I was ignorant of the stances taken here, and the support that we would get in our state, and how the feeling is there, and a couple of my own convictions, I’d be less informed and I would rather be sure that, uh, you know, I’m informed of what is happening.
KC: You said being informed would be useful in your job. And what is it you do, or plan to do?
DC: Ok, well, my position . . . I have options with the state and federal government. And I have several good offers waiting right now.
KC: For school?
DC: No, for my permanent career. Ok, and, um, well, right now, I just keep records for some firms in the state of South Carolina. But, uh, actually, uh, as far as you said getting informed, well, um, I’ve had to work with a lot in personnel already, I’ve had a bit of experience with personnel, and I’ve seen some of the problems they’ve had, you know. Um, even when they’re being discriminated against. You know, in (unintelligible at 3:40) where any race may not be taken care of. But, uh, I’m strictly opposed to anything too radical, either ultra-conservative or ultra-liberal. And I guess I might be more identified as moderate, so . . .
DC: Right. (Laughs)
KC: But this came to you in your work?
DC: Right. Well, that and . . .
KC: . . . problems in discrimination.
DC: And also in my reading.
KC: What is it you’ve been reading?
DC: Well, uh, of course I follow the newspapers. And all the articles in various magazines. But also, uh, I came across a lot of it in college literature and informational literature.
KC: Have you happened to have read a book called A Male Guide to Women’s Liberation?
DC: No, ma’am, I haven’t. I’ve heard some people talk about it, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard, you know very much coming . . .
KC: Do you have a woman friend? Or a wife?
DC: Well, uh, I’m curious as to why you’re asking that.
KC: I’m curious about why you’re so interested.
KC: And you’re saying it’s all because of your job, and I’m wondering if there’s not another component.
DC: Well, uh, no, I’ll give an example of my personal experience has been, um, I saw a state employee that was, uh, handled improperly. I won’t discuss information . . .
KC: A woman?
DC: And she was handled improperly. And I felt it was strictly because the laws that weren’t on the records weren’t properly enforced, in her behalf. And another thing was because of discrimination at work against her. But, uh, and I saw two forces, and both of them going in the wrong way to come to her aid. One of them went in too much of an ultra-conservative way, and the other went too much an ultra-liberal. And I’ve seen it happen, you know, not only in work out at the time. I won’t disclose the name, because . . .
DC: . . . uh, for obvious reasons. But, I’ve seen it in several places. And I . . . that’s the main reason I wanted to . . .
KC: And as a white male, person in administrative position, you have seen this.
KC: And I get the feeling that you have feelings about that.
DC: I do. (Laughs)
KC: Human rights.
KC: Ok. Do you have anything else you’d like to add? For the record.
DC: Well, I think most important of all, my opinion that… I hope that, whatever comes to this meeting, I hope it reflects people’s… these, the local people in the state (unintelligible at 6:07) of the state. Uh, that they will . . . that they’ll try to be representative of all the people.
KC: Have you seen . . . excuse me, I shouldn’t interrupt.
DC: Sure, that’s all right. Go ahead.
KC: …anything occurring yet that made you think that this meeting was not something that was trying to, tried to meet the needs of a wide spectrum of people?
DC: I see conflicting forces in it. I don’t . . . I don’t think anything violent in that. But I think I’ve seen, uh, I’m sure you’ve noticed, as most people have, that they have been pro-ERA and anti-ERA stickers here, too. And, uh, I think that both of those factions should have aborted that, because, in the history of our state, particularly here in Columbia, it’s a little bit of antagonism. And I think people ought to be mature about it, regardless of what position they are in, I think they should both strive to do what good things can be accomplished here. And . . .
KC: Do you see this as coming from a commission itself? Or just from most of the people who came here to the meeting?
DC: Uh, ok, I would say it’s a combination. I wouldn’t say it’s so much either way. But I, um, I think that, uh, that all people that are involved – and I’m talking about the real, notable, the very notable people in both sections, and I think they should, you know, try to drop the animosity. (Unintelligible at 7:27)
KC: Do you think the program is too much one way or another way? Ultra-conservative or ultra-liberal?
DC: Well, if I said that, um, that I felt one way or the other, because of my feelings in it, even though it might be incorrectly, it might be discriminatory, or at least prejudice somebody against the cause, I think that it’s obvious that certain, uh, peoples here are stacked one way, you know.
But I think it would be better if, if they don’t let it show. I believe here there’s, uh, obviously . . . I think commission might be a little bit, more one way than other people would think. I’ve put it this way, to clarify, to make it sound a little more, uh, understood. I think it’d be better if the, uh, commission and all the nominees were better-balanced. And I don’t think it’s very nice.
KC: Would you say this is an appropriate “spinage” you’ve put on it?
DC: No, I don’t. I think, I think it’s been, uh . . . I think it’s been grossly mishandled.
DC: And, obviously, I, to be candid about it, I don’t think they’ve, um, the way the funds were allocated . . . I don’t think it’s been properly handled. I think even though they might use all the funds, I don’t think it was properly handled. And I could give a good insight into that. I won’t, but I think that the funds, the way they came down, and the way it’s handled was so abrupt, it wasn’t properly planned. And I’m not alone in those opinions.
KC: Is there anything else you’d like to add? For the record?
DC: Ok. I think it’s good that, uh, that, uh . . . I’m going to ask you a question, if I may. (Laughs) This is the reverse, improper, probably not even proper, but, um . . . I feel that the coverage is going to be good of this. It has a lot of attention. And I think this is what’s needed, not only for our state but I hope it is done all over. I’ve seen a lot of people from the press, and all, here. From not only Charleston, Greenville, Columbia, different places. And a lot of representatives of the state. And I think that, um, that it’s good it’s covered. But I hope that all the coverage that’s going won’t be, you know, biased the wrong way. Because I know that it can be misquoted. I hope that it won’t be biased.
KC: You were going ask me a question, but I am trying to interview a wide spectrum of people here.
DC: No, I think you’re doing excellent at it. But, um, my wish is just hope that anybody that gets, relays, you know, the happenings here, that it will be done fairly, you know, as all good coverage should be, with . . . . That’s all.
KC: Thank you very much.
DC: You’re welcome. But I think it’s good that I’m . . .
End of Interview