Skip to comments.This Year In History:Judicial Power (Little Rock and Old Miss)
Posted on 08/12/2007 6:01:58 AM PDT by Nextrush
Racial integration in the early part of the last century was very much a personal moral decision that involved no rules or laws to force it.
If one chose to be in the company of other races it was a personal decision because legally speaking segregation was the "law of the land" at least in the mind of those who accept "stare indecisis" as their principle.
When one chose to integrate it was very much a personal moral decision with laws not coming into play.
Ronald Reagan related a story in his writings of his mother bringing a black basketball player into the family home since the local hotel wouldn't allow him to stay overnight. Reagan's mother was a devout Christian.
When Jackie Robinson was brought into Major League Baseball in 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey made a moral decision. (Among other things Rickey was involved in founding the Fellowship of Christian Athletes).
Segregation was enshrined in the law as a precedent with one example being the U.S. Supreme Court's Plessy vs. Ferguson decision that said public accomodations like buses and railroads could be segregated. It established a "separate but equal" doctrine that was applied in other areas, like education.
In the early 1950's lawyers for the NAACP sued in several different places over the segregation of public schools. The end result was the Brown vs. Board of Education case that reulted in the historic May 17, 1954 decision.
(A decision that turned "stare indecisis" on its head and a very good counterpoint for those who think it should apply to Roe vs, Wade)
Now the "law of the land" was suddenly integration of public schools.
The decision created change. Change that came quickly in many areas and less quickly in others.
For example, in York, Pennsylvania the all black elementary schools were closed in 1955.
But in other places particularly the Southern states where segregation was enshrined as a way of life, the change came more slowly.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, school officials decided on a gradual integration plan that would begin with one high school in 1957 and end with the elementary schools in 1963.
The plan was challenged by the NAACP for being too slow after 23 black students tried to enroll in Little Rock schools in January 1956.
Federal District Judge John E. Miller dismissed the NAACP lawsuit in August 1956 saying that Little Rock school officials were acting in good faith to integrate.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal.
Meanwhile in May of 1955 the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled again that school integration must proceed "with all deliberate speed" but set no deadlines. (Brown II decision).
Resistance to school integration picked up in the South with states enacting their own laws to oppose it.
In the spring of 1957 Arkansas enacted laws to authorize school funds to be used to fight court cases opposing integration, allow parents to refuse to send their children to integrated schools, and force the NAACP to disclose its membership and financial records.
As the date for Little Rock integration drew near in the summer of 1957, a newspaper ad appeared calling for Governor Orval Faubus to order school segregation. The ad said "since a soverign state is immune to federal court orders and since the governor as the head of the soverign state is also immune to federal court orders.".......
Just make sure you keep your
facts straight. There are people on this
list that lived it and are not just writing about it.
You can start by having the mod
correct the spelling in the title.
Ole Miss not old miss.
If the blacks ever find out where
the term “Ole Miss” comes from
that will have to be change to.
I’m working on creating some balance and perspective that would be missing from the standard liberal rehash of “the civil rights movement, etc.”
These cases were legal cases fought in courts separate from the activities of MLK and the conflicts in Birmingham, Albany, GA, Selma, AL.
But they led to violence and conflict in their own right.
Politicians also played games in these conflicts, too.
That’s something I want to bring out.
That would a be unique and refreshing concept. :>)
Maybe the writer will show how the Boston population embraced desegregation readily and were a prime example of racial love and happiness being Yankees and all....
a candid essay on how forced integration has killed the public school system almost everywhere there were folks forced to integrate would be fun too
and yes I lived that....as part of a distinctly pro-civil rights family on my father’s side and I like several here knew many of the known players on the civil rights side
I believe Jackson Miss and Charlotte NC were both the very first with court designed gerrymandered forced busing maps which were implemented by emergency decree during an extended Christmas break in 69-70.
The result was pandemonium and it’s been downhill since.
it’s all been for naught.......shoulda stopped with enforcing the right of blacks to vote and left it at that....and I mean that emphateically.
the volumes of enforced privilege and redress that has come after that has about ruined many of them and harmed all of us as a whole.......no more freedom of association for just one.
the whole concept of civil rights has become a joke and it infects everything ....
and the news is that white folks who live in areas with small black populations will never understand.....never
i am very bitter about all this. it has turned out just like my father and grandfather feared even though both took risks to help blacks...blacks who back then were very gracious and apprecaitive and who I was proud to know....damn, it sucks just to write about how much worse the big picture is now. It’s an infection that germinated in this very issue and now like a cancer will likely destroy my culture.
I feel sorta like a South African....many of whom ironically live here now...plenty in Nashville who had to flee there homeland for doing the “right thing”.
Sometimes the “right thing” is suicidal.
But I bet you don’t understand that do you? It sounds harsh with racist undertones right?
It’s reality down here for many. Good intentions won’t make it go away.
I’d reckon 90% of freepers do not really understand this problem.
As is the wont of employees of the media today they also revelled in game playing during those days.
Or was it just plain laziness in the case of reporting Edwin Walker's presence at the University of Mississippi? Whichever, the reporting was the basis for Attorney General Robert Kennedy ordering Walker's arrest on the charges of seditious conspiracy, insurrection, and rebellion.
Walker sued and won. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed however saying that there was no reckless disregard for truth. It was the chaos of the riot while under deadline pressure that made the media employee screw up. Now ain't that special! The media employees cherish breaks that they absolutely refuse to give U.S. combat forces in fire fights. I just had to throw that in given today's media shenanigans.
A few years before that Edwin Walker was commander of the Arkansas Military District in Little Rock, he was in charge of the integration of Little Rock High School. Not sure of his rank (brigadier general?) but in 1959 Major General Walker became the commander of the Twenty-fourth Infantry Division in Europe.
As a young officer in W.W.II he commanded the First Special Service Force unit, in the Italian Campaign, that was the forerunner of the Green Berets. In the Korean War he was an artillery commander.
As I remember the events, U.S. combat forces were in Europe to thwart those pesky communism forces' threat to overrun Europe. But, you see, Major General Walker was too anti enemy for a combat commander so the Kennedy Administration relieved him of his command and prepared additional punishment.
General Walker instructed his troops on the nature of Communism using just about the only material available for the popular culture in the days when the elite class was busy destroying the likes of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, i.e., he used John Birch Society material. Thus this military man was anathematized by our elite. Not much has changed has it?
Walker resigned his commission and became active in trying to fix the damage done by the 1950's and beyond CP/USA-led "McCarthyism" frenzy.
Oddly, Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to kill Walker. The FBI matched the bullet found at Walker's residence with fragments recovered in the Kennedy assassination. Oswald had made known his intent to kill Walker and apparently had used the same rifle that he used in Dallas.
Strange, apparently Oswald believed as the Kennedys that Walker was a "dangerous fascist" who should be stopped before he became politically powerful. Apparently others of our anointed class felt the same, Walker was the model for the right-wing military demagogue in the book Seven Days in May (later a movie).
Sorry for the long post but it'd be so easy to accept the liberals' book on Walker, et al.
Walker, Goldwater, et al believed in government closest to the people is the best government. But it became accepted that to believe in "states rights" automatically classified one as a racist (or even a "dangerous fascist") by much of the media in those days.
Hell, even saying that you believe in law and order made you suspect. The left claimed that these were "code words" and often mocked them with "law'n order."
One of the things that I admired Maj. Gen. Walker for is that he resigned, he did not retire. Some dispute this but I believed at the time that it was true and I recall reading where Congress granted him a pension years later when he was near death.
In the small town I grew up in, in my fifth-grade class we had one black, and he was the only black in the whole school. He was the son of the principal at the black school in town, and his father sent him to the white school. He came in with an attitude and was greeted by plenty of attitudes in return.
In the summer before the sixth grade, the authorities had decided to put a bunch of white kids in the black school, and the whole town was in utter turmoil, including a dramatic upswing in violence in what had always been a sleepy, peaceful small town. White parents reacted and moved their children into private schools en masse.
We were dirt poor and I went to live with a relative where the schools were still peaceful. After a year and a half of this, I was so homesick that I talked my parents into letting me come home and give our hometown school a chance. I was harassed, cursed at, you name it, and I was told that if I came back the next day they would cut my guts out. I was terrified.
It’s also worth mentioning that in the seventh grade, they were working on material I had learned years before. Who Christopher Columbus was, things like that. In math, they were learning addition and subtraction of 2-digit numbers, 22 + 33, etc.
I did not go back.
MM (in TX)
I can also say that there will be few who will respond to you on this, we all who lived it are glad to see it gone and it was a bad time in our history of this great state.
Resignation was certainly the high road to take for Walker,
He didn’t act like any of the military characters that were stereotyped in movies like “Seven Days In May,” “Dr. Strangelove” and many more to follow.
By the way Burt Lancaster, the evil General Scott
of “Seven Days In May,” was one of the Hollywood supporters of MLK’s march in 1963.
History may have been different if talk radio and the internet existed back then, but we can’t go back and change it.
It happened the way it did and the media was dominated by liberals with axes to grind and left-wing activists they sympathized with.
I figured you’d know the story and get the facts right — but I just like to mention Gen. Walker every chance I get.
That story came around 1970 or so I believe, but it was an extension of the judicial power displayed here.
Population shifts to the suburbs accelerated after Brown vs. Board of Education including my home town of York, PA.
Here some people created a public school district in the mid 50’s that embraced the suburban neighborhoods with covenants that prohibited non-whites from living there.
The housing laws were changed in the late 60’s but federal judges emboldened in the Warren era mandated busing of school children back into the cities deliberately to implement what people were trying to avoid in the 1950’s.
By this time the issue went past any racial considerations to the violence that was on the streets. People wanted to get out of cities and escape to the suburbs. Forcing anyone to go back ignited anger.
All those people who loved the Kennedy’s got a slap in the face that changed their minds about some liberal ideas pretty quick.
Its easy to be a liberal when its someone else that’s involved.
I appreciate your insights and I (47 years old) am writing about some events I have no memory of directly.
These two things (Little Rock and Ole Miss) happened because of the NAACP lawsuits and weren’t directly part of the MLK movement (which deserves a fresh history replete with “non-violence” being the “entree to violence”).
When one disobeys the law (even if its bad) one is unleashing forces that lead to more disobeying of the law.
That disobedience turns violent even if it didn’t start out that way.
The legacy of the 1960’s lives on today in the crime on our streets and the excuses for it, not to mention other racially tinged issues like “reparations” and “racial profiling,” etc.
“Diversity” is the new slogan today and it follows the
“tradition” of the “Civil Rights Movement” increasing government power and reducing individual freedom.
nice post...my only quibble would be that at times...hopefully seldom....it is just to use violence against one’s government
You still live in the Delta? Spent the first 25 years of my life there.
I’ve traveled all over this country and can honestly say that Mississippi is one of the LEAST racist states I know. Oddly enough, because of the history and the inaccurate continuing reputation, whenever a Mississippian ventures into other areas, it’s not uncommon for people to start venting their own feelings on race. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same and know exactly what I mean.
MM (in TX)
Can we PLEASE correct the error in the title? It’s OLE MISS, not old miss.
MM (in TX)
“That would a be unique and refreshing concept. :>)”
Wouldn’t that be something else? ;o)
I don’t know that I can add much to the thread, but will tell you that in my town, we didn’t have riots.
IIRC, we had one march, but that was about it.
You are right, wardaddy...it was during Christmas break in 69/70 that the black school systems were shut down.
And, you are right in saying there was pandemonium.
There were some very angry black children, and rightfully so, IMO.
I was told by some that they were proud of their schools, and angered that they couldn’t finish school there.
There’s one thing that I rarely see mentioned.
My school was already integrated, and we got along just fine.
The only problems I remember was when two black girls fought over the cute black football player.
They used bricks, so I would call that a “problem.”
About that football player...our football team was ranked #2 by SI.
He was one of the standouts on the team, but was in a bit of trouble in Spanish class.
The senor who taught us would always look down at his desk during our recitations.
We wanted him to get the best scholarship possible, so we sat in back, and held up flash cards for him.
He passed Spanish, and was offered scholarships from major colleges all over the country.
He passed on those, and chose Mississippi State.
Almost all of the seniors received scholarship offers, but it was rare that they went to another state.
I’m still appalled that he chose State, though. ;o)