McMinn county was no pro desegregation powerhouse and east TN though Republican off and on is not the least bit socially "progressive" except around colleges.
This was a fight about being heard and having your slate elected to boards that mattered.
For instance back then often the sheriff in the south was the tax collector too.
The place is less than 5% black and never was exactly a cauldron of race heroics or misdeeds.
It is a mountainous/hilly area of small farms.
Btw...I've known this story all my life. Maybe academia is not interested and kids who post Wiki don't care but I'm not sure it's a conspiracy.
Like it or not, blacks in the south..even the few in McMinn county were ultimately given their vote (and all that BS pandering that sadly came too) from local white mostly Democrat at the time voting citizens who had had enough...bolstered by liberal GOP in DC and most Democrats in DC voting for all those acts etc.
I was there ..I saw it. Decent folks while not desiring their daughters to marry blacks (still don't mostly) did in fact want the turmoil to end, blacks be allowed to vote and thought the Klan was low class.
This McMinn thing was just about cronyism...little to do with much beyond that and is no milestone in black Civil Rights.
it's this thinking that leads folks here to crow that all those civil rights acts were so great and MLK was a conservative
pure fantasy from conservatives for whom the truth is too complicated and messy
In the Deep South by the time of Reagan, most of those former White Southern Democrats were running as fast as they could into the new more socially conservative GOP of the silent-moral-majority...a Great Trek that had been in the making since Barry....even some southerners like my dad were Eisenhower men.
Excellent post, wardaddy (and not a bad rant, either).
There you go again, wrecking a perfectly good story with facts.
Next you’ll be telling us that Republicans like Rockefeller and Javits and Percy and Hatfield weren’t conservatives, and that Democrats like Harry Byrd and John Stennis and Strom Thurmond were. You are without a doubt going to fail Revisionism 101.