Can Southern Civil Rights Era Be Climate Change Lesson for America?

12 01 2011

Do violent words cause violence? Lessons from the civil rights era

Wallace resuscitated his career by becoming a staunch opponent of integration and the “integratin’, scalawaggin’, carpetbaggin’ liars” that favored change. His message: When it came to the federal government, “resist them to the hilt” in defending the Southern way of life. . .

On the stump, Mr. Wallace always had a ready answer for the murder epidemic that hit Alabama after his election. He personally did not condone violence. But as civil rights leaders pointed out, that begged the question of the impact Mr. Wallace’s rhetorical violence had on the gross and simple minds of back-alley racists.

. . .[and] gave moral permission for thugs to use their pistols, lead pipes and dynamite. Mr. Wallace responded to such preachments with what Dan Carter correctly labeled a “reckless disregard” for the impact of his words on public safety in Alabama.

Dr. King was especially adamant that Wallace and other Southern politicians who inflamed racist sentiments were complicit in the era’s trail of blood. On September 16, 1963 — the day after four African-American girls were killed in a church bombing in Birmingham — King wrote:

The governor said things and did things which caused these people to feel that they were aided and abetted by the highest officer in the state. The murders of yesterday stand as blood on the hands of Governor Wallace.

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2 responses

12 01 2011
JJ

This is from December 30, before the assassination/murders in Arizona:

Charleston SC: Deadly to President Obama?

I think the president might be in danger if he came to came to this historically loaded city on that emotionally loaded date. [April 12, 2011, the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter, marking the start of the War Between the States.]

. . .Am I being dramatic? Perhaps, but this is a town that loves drama and acts it out in bizarre and inappropriate ways. Exhibit A: the Secession Ball held at Gaillard Auditorium last month, in which several hundred white people donned hoop skirts and Confederate uniforms to celebrate the dissolution of the Union. Exhibit B: state Senate Pro Tem Glenn McConnell of Charleston, who loves to parade around in his Confederate uniform. Last fall he appeared before a gathering of Republican women in Columbia, along with other period reenactors, including a black couple dressed as slaves. Exhibit C: the angry and irrational letters to area newspapers, denouncing “northern aggression” and calling Abraham Lincoln a tyrant and a murderer.

Moredock goes on to say that assassinating Obama would take only “one misguided person with a gun.”

“I suspect there are many misguided people in Charleston and in South Carolina.
I know there are many guns,” he adds.

Four U.S. presidents – Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy – have been killed by assassins. At least twenty attempts have been made on the lives of U.S presidents, most recently the unsuccessful March 1981 attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan.

Obama hasn’t visited South Carolina since he was sworn in two years ago.

13 01 2011
JJ

Speaking of lessons from the South: Sarah Palin to Play Scarlett O’Hara?”

As a big Scarlett fan and a lifelong Southern woman myself, I say . . . her story is shallow, pampered, selfish in every way. She was healthy, headstrong, unrefined, a minimally educated young woman with a very sharp tongue, getting by with her natural resources — breathtaking beauty and carefully cultivated feminine wiles. Scarlett produced several beautiful children not because she had any real choice or felt called to “actual” mothering as her own life purpose, but because it was inevitable in her society.

Lucky for her and her ruthless pursuit of money and power and control out in the business world among men, then, that in that old-fashioned life, she had ample family and social resources at her disposal through which she could avoid bearing many “actual responsibilities” of active motherhood herself.

Living large the unexamined life, as it wreaks havoc on everyone else’s life.
Fiddle-dee-dee. She was the still most popular girl in three counties.

Scarlett was fictional but that doesn’t mean her story is a lie.

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