1964

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Non-Violence Can Get You Killed

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

It's Freedom Summer, the project to register black Mississippi voters. It is led by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC or "Snick"). One might think that a determined black person might find a way to vote, but until a couple of years ago Mrs. Hamer didn't realize she COULD vote. When she tries to register, she loses her job, her home, she is jailed and beaten. "Snick" sets up Freedom Schools to teach the Constitution and register black voters. A young black man named Andrew Goodman joins "Snick" to "fight for freedom" in Mississippi, but when he arrives with his two friends, Deputy Sheriff Price chases them down a lonely road. After they stop, they are shot, taken to a nearby dam, and buried using a bulldozer. Andrew, is still alive, but they bury him anyway. A paid informant tips off the FBI and the suspects are rounded up, but Mississippi officials refuse to prosecute. The Feds have no choice but to indict the suspects for violating Andrew's and his friend's civil rights. (There is no Federal murder statute at this time.) Most of the conspirators will be convicted including Deputy Sheriff Price, but all they will get is 6 years. The Baptist minister who organized the lynching will walk because a single juror could "never convict a preacher." He will finally be convicted of manslaughter in 2005. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... now you know why the Feds feel justified in intervening with local police on civil rights issues. In the beginning it made sense. (It always does.) Now it makes no sense because black people are running many police departments, but like Broadway musicals, government is not required to make sense as long as everyone keeps singing along. When the TV miniseries "Roots" came out it was amazingly popular if not very good history. After Deputy Price saw the miniseries he realized the KKK had lost. His boss, the sheriff, was acquitted because he had been at the hospital with his wife during the murders. Nevertheless, he lost his reelection bid, and never worked in law enforcement again. (I'm calling that a good thing on general principle. He should have known.) Hollywood made a movie about the murders entitled "Mississippi Burning." It stars Gene Hackman, and it covers the murders in the first 5 minutes. What they do after that is pure fiction as far as I can tell. [6] [7]

The Creation of Deacons for Defense: The side of the Civil Rights Movement You Never Heard About

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

Originally called the "Justice and Defense Club", this organization was formed in Jonesboro, Louisiana to protect a freedoms house run by Congress of Racial Equality that was being threatened by the KKK. The guards would carry concealed guns during the day and openly during the night to dissuade the Klan from attempting anything against the house. According to one former Deacon, in a song lyric, "the term 'deacons' was selected to beguile local whites by portraying the organization as an innocent church group...."[8] The Deacons were used by non-violent groups such as the NAACP and CORE as low-key armed guards, allowing them to keep their appearance as non-violent while still being ably to defend themselves, should the need arise and the police not intervene. One such example was in early 1965 when some black students picketing a high school were confronted by police and fire trucks. A car of Deacons appeared and started peacefully loading their shotguns, causing the fire trucks to withdraw. They also caused the Louisiana governor John McKeithen to intervene in Jonesboro's civil rights crisis, which was the first victory over a Deep South governor by the civil rights movement. [9]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
When looking at how the Deacons conducted themselves, as far as I have read, seem to have been a great example of how to use force to help make change. They were able to not escalate situations, and their presence made anyone considering attacking protesters think twice before starting a conflict. Their presence helped allow peaceful protests to remain peaceful and for places that were supporting the civil rights movement to avoid being vandalized or destroyed by the KKK. The Deacons had lost prominence, and gave way to the Black Panther Party [1] by 1968, who took the Deacons agenda and added an extremist and racist twist to it. This can also be seen as more proof that a revolution rarely, if ever, leads to further freedoms. While not truly a revolution, these groups are a interesting microcosm of how revolutionary groups go from moderate to extreme and end up as bad, or worse, than what they are replacing.

The Fight for Civil Rights Dominates

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

In the next few years the fight for civil rights for minorities will dominate. Assassination, murder, and general mayhem are on the agenda. The politicians opposing civil rights are generally the Democrats, but their leadership is trying desperately to change that. At this time the Republicans have taken their traditional role as the defenders of blacks and other minorities. How this came to be switched around in the mind of the public must have George Orwell spinning in his grave. (Please read his book 1984.) But this is why Condoleezza Rice will become a Republican and not a Democrat. President LBJ is a bigot, but he can see the political handwriting on the wall. He begins his War on Poverty which will expand on Kennedy's successful (but limited) social welfare programs. The USA will spend trillions to get exactly the same number of impoverished that it had before... which will be the excuse to spend even more, and anyone who says "NAY" will be called a racist. [10] [11]

Notable Births

  • Jeff Bezos: CEO of Amazon.com and 5th richest person in the world. [12]
  • Robert Duncan McNeill: Lt. Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager. [12]
  • Michelle Obama: First Lady of the United States. (I hope she is proud of America now.--alexshrugged) [12]
  • Anthony Weiner: Congressman (D) who tweets pics of his manhood. (There is a rumor that his wife, Huma, and Hillary are in the clutch, so maybe Mr. Weiner is lonely.--alexshrugged) [12]
  • -- In talk: Adam Curry, Laura Ingram, Glenn Beck, and Adam Carolla. [12]
  • -- In comedy: Stephen Colbert, David Spade and Chris Farley (died 1997, age 33 from a drug overdose). [12]
  • -- In music: Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna Judd. [12]
  • -- In movies: Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage and Keanu Reeves (Neo in The Matrix). [12]

This Year in Film

  • Disney's Mary Poppins : Starring Julie Andrews. (Saving Mr. Banks is also good.--alexshrugged) [13]
  • A Fistful of Dollars: Clint Eastwood's first spaghetti western. (Made for an Italian audience.) [13] [14]
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Stop-action puppet animation. (They had no idea it would become so popular.--alexshrugged) [13]

This Year in Music

  • The Beatles are dominating: I Want to Hold Your Hand, I Feel Fine, and A Hard Day's Night (with a movie). [15]
  • House of the Rising Sun: The Animals. [15]
  • Oh, Pretty Woman: Roy Orbison. [15]

In Other News

  • Bourbon is recognized as a distinctive product of the United States: This means that only US produced bourbon whiskey can be legally called "bourbon whiskey" in the United States. [16]
  • Massachusetts has 3 Senators: Robert Kennedy moves to New York to run for the US Senate because Massachusetts is full up. He is called Massachusetts' 3rd Senator. [16] [17] [18]
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed: It ends segregation and discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin both in public facilities and the workplace, and equalizes voter registration requirements. [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1964, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Rubin, Susan Goldman. Freedom Summer : the 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Holiday House, Inc.. “"I had never heard, until 1962, that black people could register and vote," she said. "I'd never heard that that was in the Constitution." Mrs. Hamer attended a civil rights meeting with a friend and learned that if she had a chance to vote she could vote out "hateful policemen" who had terrorized her community. Twice she tried to register to vote in Sunower County, Mississippi. As a result she lost her home and her job. Even worse, she was jailed and beaten, and her life was threatened.” 
  2. "Congressional honor sought for Freedom Summer martyrs", USA Today, February 3, 2014. Retrieved on 9 March 2017. “The jury convicted seven, including Klan 'Imperial Wizard' Sam Bowers, but reputed Klan leader Edgar Ray 'Preacher' Killen walked free after the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of his guilt. Jurors said the lone holdout told them she could 'never convict a preacher.'” 
  3. Mississippi civil rights workers' murders - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 March 2017. “In June 1964 in Neshoba County, Mississippi, three civil rights workers were abducted and murdered in an act of racial violence. The victims were Andrew Goodman and Michael 'Mickey' Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi. All three were associated with the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and its member organization the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). They had been working with the 'Freedom Summer' campaign by attempting to register African Americans in the southern states to vote.”
  4. Murder in Mississippi . Freedom Summer . WGBH American Experience - PBS (2017). Retrieved on 9 March 2017. “Over the course of the summer of 1964, members of the Klan burned 20 black Mississippi churches. On June 16, Klan members targeted Neshoba County's Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where Schwerner had spent time working. Before burning the church, the Klan severely beat several people who had been attending a meeting there.”
  5. Mississippi Burning: a civil rights story of good intentions and suspect politics - Film - The Guardian (10 April 2013). Retrieved on 9 March 2017. “Rather than resorting to the vigilante tactics used by Anderson in the film, the FBI allegedly paid cash for information to crack the case. Seven men (out of 18 accused) were convicted on relatively minor conspiracy charges. The only man convicted of the manslaughter of the three activists was Edgar Ray Killen, who was finally prosecuted in 2005.”
  6. Mississippi Burning - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 March 2017. “Following its release, Mississippi Burning became embroiled in controversy over its fictionalization of events; it was heavily criticized by black activists who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement (1954–68), as well as the families of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner. Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., boycotted the film, stating, 'How long will we have to wait before Hollywood finds the courage and the integrity to tell the stories of some of the many thousands of black men, women and children who put their lives on the line for equality?'”
  7. Mississippi Burning trailer - YouTube. youtube.com (2017). Retrieved on 9 March 2017.
  8. Hill, Lance E. (2004). The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807828472. 
  9. Deacons for Defense and Justice - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 March 2017.
  10. Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. Penguin. ISBN 0140009728. 
  11. Murray, Charles A.. Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. Basic Books. ISBN 0465042317. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 1964 Births - Wikipedia (2017).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 1964 in film - Wikipedia (2017).
  14. A Fistful of Dollars - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 7 March 2017. “A Fistful of Dollars was at first intended by Leone to reinvent the western genre in Italy. In his opinion, the American westerns of the mid- to late-1950s had become stagnant, overly preachy and not believable. Despite the fact that even Hollywood began to gear down production of such films, Leone knew that there was still a significant market in Europe for westerns. He observed that Italian audiences laughed at the stock conventions of both American westerns and the pastiche work of Italian directors working behind pseudonyms. His approach was to take the grammar of Italian film and to transpose it into a western setting.”
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 1964 in music - Wikipedia (2017).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 1964 - Wikipedia (2017).
  17. Pinker, Steven. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. New York: HarperPerennial. 2007. ISBN 9780062032522. (BOOK) Quote: "Consider Ronald Reagan. He used to be the governor of California, but he was born in Tampico, Illinois. When he was in office, he could have been referred to as the governor of California from Illinois (role-player, then modifier). It would have sounded odd to refer to him as the governor from Illinois of California (modifier, then role-player). More pointedly, in 1964 Robert F. Kennedy's senatorial ambitions ran up against the inconvenient fact that both Massachusetts seats were already occupied (one by his younger brother Edward). So he simply took up residence in New York and ran for the U.S. Senate from there, soon becoming the senator from New York from Massachusetts. Not the senator from Massachusetts from New York--though that does come close to the joke that Bay Staters used to tell at the time, that they lived in the only state entitled to three senators."
  18. Robert F. Kennedy - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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