At a taxi stand here, Everett Smith, a white Reagan supporter, sat in his cab waiting for the next customer to call. Through the open window he gave his opinion of the Democratic convention, part of which he watched on television:
''I think it was all a big party. Why have elections (primaries) if you're going to send delegates out'' to a convention to choose a candidate?
A few yards away, another cab driver, Lenwood Dean, a black Jackson supporter , offered a similar view. The delegates ''don't really get anything done,'' he said, suggesting that candidate selection be left to the primaries. And he says a smaller group of delegates could thrash out the party platform.
He was disappointed to see the party not adopt a plank against runoff primaries. And, he said: ''I think the Democratic Party overall has let minorities down. I'm not talking about welfare, but education and removing some of the job barriers.''
For some people, the convention had little effect; they didn't watch the TV coverage. A black milkman here, for example, says he studies religious materials at night (he is a Jehovah's Witness) and didn't watch the convention. Neither did a white locksmith working nearby. Street cleaner Johnnie W. Hooks, a black, did watch, but he does not vote for personal religious reasons, he says. ''I don't really believe in politics. I believe in one King - God.''
Robert Huckshorn, president of the Southern Political Science Association, says the convention appears to have left blacks feeling ''somewhat left out.'' Mr. Mondale will have to work hard, with Mr. Jackson, to get them to the polls, he says.