Black Rights Activists Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Black Rights Activists. Here they are! All 66 of them:

Anyone leading a violent rebellion must be prepared to make an honest assessment regarding the possible casualties to a minority population confronting a well-armed, wealthy majority with a fanatical right wing that would delight in exterminating thousands of black men, women and children.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (The King Legacy))
We middles see the world in shades of grey rather than in the clear blacks and whites of committed animal activists and their equally vociferous opponents
Hal Herzog (Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals)
People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them." Civil Rights activist, author, and critic James Baldwin was born on#ThisDayinHistory 1924
James Baldwin
Barry Goldwater, in his 1964 presidential campaign, aggressively exploited the riots and fears of black crime, laying the foundation for the “get tough on crime” movement that would emerge years later. In a widely quoted speech, Goldwater warned voters, “Choose the way of [the Johnson] Administration and you have the way of mobs in the street.”41 Civil rights activists who argued that the uprisings were directly related to widespread police harassment and abuse were dismissed by conservatives out of hand. “If [blacks] conduct themselves in an orderly way, they will not have to worry about police brutality,” argued West Virginia senator Robert Byrd.42
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Civil rights activists who argued that the uprisings were directly related to widespread police harassment and abuse were dismissed by conservatives out of hand. “If [blacks] conduct themselves in an orderly way, they will not have to worry about police brutality,” argued West Virginia senator Robert Byrd.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Civil rights activists who argued that the uprisings were directly related to widespread police harassment and abuse were dismissed by conservatives out of hand. “If [blacks] conduct themselves in an orderly way, they will not have to worry about police brutality,” argued West Virginia senator Robert Byrd.42
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
It was an accepted fact among black people that the leaders who were most revered and respected were men. Black activists defined freedom as gaining the right to participate as full citizens in American culture; they were not rejecting the value system of that culture. Consequently, they did not question the rightness of patriarchy.
bell hooks (Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism)
Many people assumed that phrase began with Weinstein. But the Me Too campaign had been around for over a decade. It was originated by black civil rights activist Tarana Burke, in 2006. None of this was new. It was just that nobody paid much attention, until now.
Kelsey Miller (I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends)
In the opening essay of his 2005 book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Thomas Sowell neatly summarized some of these findings: The cultural values and social patterns prevalent among Southern whites included an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery. This oratorical style carried over into the political oratory of the region in both the Jim Crow era and the civil rights era, and has continued on into our own times among black politicians, preachers, and activists.26 Most whites have of course abandoned this behavior, and have risen socioeconomically as a result. How ironic that so many blacks cling to these practices in an effort to avoid “acting white.” And how tragic that so many liberals choose to put an intellectual gloss on black cultural traits that deserve disdain. The civil rights movement, properly understood, was about equal opportunity. But a group must be culturally equipped to seize it. Blacks today on balance remain ill equipped, and the problem isn’t white people.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
Full voting rights for American citizens, funding and additional resources for quality schools, and policing and court systems in which racial bias is not sanctioned by law—all these are well within our grasp. Visionaries, activists, judges, and politicians before us saw what America could be and fought hard for that kind of nation. This is the moment now when all of us—black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian American—must step out of the shadow of white rage, deny its power, understand its unseemly goals, and refuse to be seduced by its buzzwords, dog whistles, and sophistry. This is when we choose a different future.
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
Yet even as women are the majority in most black churches and even though black women’s oppressions, especially with regard to sexual assault, have been the impetus for the Civil Rights movement,264 the black church has failed on any significant scale to be an activist for gender inclusivity and sexual orientation.
Mitzi J. Smith (I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader)
Themselves the leading slave traders of the eighteenth century, Europeans nevertheless became, in the nineteenth century, the destroyers of slavery around the world—not just in European societies or European offshoot societies overseas, but in non-European societies as well, over the bitter opposition of Africans,Arabs, Asians, and others. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principal impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists—people who would today be called “the religious right.” Clearly, this story is not “politically correct” in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.
Thomas Sowell (Black Rednecks & White Liberals)
Black civil rights activists in the South were among the first to resist the draft. SNCC’s Bob Moses joined historian Staughton Lynd and veteran pacifist Dave Dellinger to march in Washington against the war, and Life Magazine had a dramatic photo of the three of them walking abreast, being splattered with red paint by angry super-patriots.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
You may come or not to walk beside me, I won't stand still in silence while the oceans burn and the sun turns dark - I will either right the wrongs or perish in the attempt - and even if I burn to ashes in trying to humanize my surroundings, those ashes of mine will still smoke inclusion, equality and humaneness - I am not born a human to crawl as an indifferent vermin, I am born a human to embrace death for the values, the principles, the virtues that ought to be the foundation of human civilization - I am sleepless and I will stay sleepless till all the children of earth can sleep in peace with a full stomach and a happy heart, without worrying about guns and bombs, without worrying about prejudice and phobia, without worrying about discrimination and deportation - I will stay sleepless till the whole world becomes a family, not in theory, not in philosophy, not in argument, not even in futuristic vision, but in reality and practice.
Abhijit Naskar (Sleepless for Society)
(Charles Morgan, Jr., Southern Director of the ACLU in 1966, upon seeing conditions in the Jefferson County jail): ...I knew that [Southern whites] would have annihilated blacks had they been more literate and less useful. In Hitler's Germany armbands identified Jews. Those with black skin could have been annihilated more easily. But they were the labor pool with which to break strikes. They served as the pickers of cotton, the diggers of ditches. They emptied bedpans and cleaned the outhouses of our lives. Uneducated, property-less, disenfranchised, and excluded from justice, except as defendants, they were no threat to whites. While they remained useful and didn't get 'out of line,' their lives were assured, for no matter how worthless lower-class white folks said blacks were, the rich, well born, and able upper-class whites knew that they and black folks were really the only people indispensably required by Our Southern Way of Life. (188)
Wayne Greenhaw (Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama)
Where did the idea that interracial relationships are incompatible with the fight for equality come from? My white husband doesn’t make me any less black, or any less dedicated to the fight for racial justice—just as being married to a man doesn’t make me any less of a feminist or passionate about women’s issues. Perhaps some forget that interracial marriage was at one time, not so long ago, a civil rights issue; it was illegal in many states until 1967, when the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia determined that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional
Franchesca Ramsey (Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist)
Barry Goldwater, in his 1964 presidential campaign, aggressively exploited the riots and fears of black crime, laying the foundation for the “get tough on crime” movement that would emerge years later. In a widely quoted speech, Goldwater warned voters, “Choose the way of [the Johnson] Administration and you have the way of mobs in the street.”41 Civil rights activists who argued that the uprisings were directly related to widespread police harassment and abuse were dismissed by conservatives out of hand. “If [blacks] conduct themselves in an orderly way, they will not have to worry about police brutality,” argued West Virginia senator Robert Byrd.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Meanwhile, real African American heroes—blacks who fought and won the battles for civil rights—don’t figure largely in Zinn’s account. The significant achievements of black labor and civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph, for example, are obscured by Zinn—perhaps because Randolph was an anti-communist who quit the National Negro Congress in 1940 because it “had fallen under the control” of Communist Party allies.32 There are only three mentions of Randolph in A People’s History—two of them quotations that have no bearing on what Randolph accomplished and are adduced simply to support Zinn’s picture of the black population “in the streets” and spoiling for a socialist revolution.
Mary Grabar (Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America)
MAN AS “NIGGER”? In the early years of the women’s movement, an article in Psychology Today called “Women as Nigger” quickly led to feminist activists (myself included) making parallels between the oppression of women and blacks.29 Men were characterized as the oppressors, the “master,” the “slaveholders.” Black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s statement that she faced far more discrimination as a woman than as a black was widely quoted. The parallel allowed the hard-earned rights of the civil rights movement to be applied to women. The parallels themselves had more than a germ of truth. But what none of us realized was how each sex was the other’s slave in different ways and therefore neither sex was the other’s “nigger” (“nigger” implies a one-sided oppressiveness). If “masculists” had made such a comparison, they would have had every bit as strong a case as feminists. The comparison is useful because it is not until we understand how men were also women’s servants that we get a clear picture of the sexual division of labor and therefore the fallacy of comparing either sex to “nigger.” For starters . . . Blacks were forced, via slavery, to risk their lives in cotton fields so that whites might benefit economically while blacks died prematurely. Men were forced, via the draft, to risk their lives on battlefields so that everyone else might benefit economically while men died prematurely. The disproportionate numbers of blacks and males in war increases both blacks’ and males’ likelihood of experiencing posttraumatic stress, of becoming killers in postwar civilian life as well, and of dying earlier. Both slaves and men died to make the world safe for freedom—someone else’s.
Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power)
With extraordinary bravery, civil rights leaders, activists, and progressive clergy launched boycotts, marches, and sit-ins protesting the Jim Crow system. They endured fire hoses, police dogs, bombings, and beatings by white mobs, as well as by the police. Once again, federal troops were sent to the South to provide protection for blacks attempting to exercise their civil rights, and the violent reaction of white racists was met with horror in the North. The dramatic high point of the Civil Rights Movement occurred in 1963. The Southern struggle had grown from a modest group of black students demonstrating peacefully at one lunch counter to the largest mass movement for racial reform and civil rights in the twentieth century. Between autumn 1961 and the spring of 1963, twenty thousand men, women, and children had been arrested. In 1963 alone, another fifteen thousand were imprisoned, and one thousand desegregation protests occurred across the region, in more than one hundred cities.32
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Equal protection under the law is not a hard principle to convince Americans of. The difficulty comes in persuading them that it has been violated in particular cases, and of the need to redress the wrong. Prejudice and indifference run deep. Education, social reform, and political action can persuade some. But most people will not feel the sufferings of others unless they feel, even in an abstract way, that 'it could have been me or someone close to me'. Consider the astonishingly rapid transformation of American attitudes toward homosexuality and even gay marriage over the past decades. Gay activism brought these issues to public attention but attitudes were changed during tearful conversations over dinner tables across American when children came out to their parents (and, sometimes, parents came out to their children). Once parents began to accept their children, extended families did too, and today same-sex marriages are celebrated across the country with all the pomp and joy and absurd overspending of traditional American marriages. Race is a wholly different matter. Given the segregation in American society white families have little chance of seeing and therefore understanding the lives of black Americans. I am not black male motorist and never will be. All the more reason, then, that I need some way to identify with one if I am going to be affected by his experience. And citizenship is the only thing I know we share. The more differences between us are emphasized, the less likely I will be to feel outrage at his mistreatment. Black Lives Matter is a textbook example of how not to build solidarity. There is no denying that by publicizing and protesting police mistreatment of African-Americans the movement mobilized supporters and delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. But there is also no denying that the movement's decision to use this mistreatment to build a general indictment of American society, and its law enforcement institutions, and to use Mau-Mau tactics to put down dissent and demand a confession of sins and public penitence (most spectacularly in a public confrontation with Hillary Clinton, of all people), played into the hands of the Republican right. As soon as you cast an issue exclusively in terms of identity you invite your adversary to do the same. Those who play one race card should be prepared to be trumped by another, as we saw subtly and not so subtly in the 2016 presidential election. And it just gives that adversary an additional excuse to be indifferent to you. There is a reason why the leaders of the civil rights movement did not talk about identity the way black activists do today, and it was not cowardice or a failure to be "woke". The movement shamed America into action by consciously appealing to what we share, so that it became harder for white Americans to keep two sets of books, psychologically speaking: one for "Americans" and one for "Negroes". That those leaders did not achieve complete success does not mean that they failed, nor does it prove that a different approach is now necessary. No other approach is likely to succeed. Certainly not one that demands that white Americans agree in every case on what constitutes discrimination or racism today. In democratic politics it is suicidal to set the bar for agreement higher than necessary for winning adherents and elections.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
To great effect, Reagan echoed white frustration in race-neutral terms through implicit racial appeals. His 'color-blind' rhetoric on crime, welfare, taxes, and states' rights was clearly understood by white (and black) voters as having a racial dimension, though claims to that effect were impossible to prove. The absence of explicitly racist rhetoric afforded the racial nature of his coded appeals a certain plausible deniability. For example, when Reagan kicked off his presidential campaign at the annual Neshoba County Fair near Philadelphia, Mississippi - the town where three civil rights activists were murdered in 1964 - he assured the crowd 'I believe in states' rights,' and promised to restore to states and local governments the power that properly belonged to them. His critics promptly alleged that he was signaling a racial message to his audience, suggesting allegiance with those who resisted desegregation, but Reagan firmly denied it, forcing liberals into a position that would soon become familiar - arguing that something is racist but finding it impossible to prove in the absence of explicitly racist language.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
we have much to learn from the struggles in Alabama and Mississippi in the early 1960s. In the spring of 1963 the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by Dr. King launched a “fill the jails” campaign to desegregate downtown department stores and schools in Birmingham. But few local blacks were coming forward. Black adults were afraid of losing their jobs, local black preachers were reluctant to accept the leadership of an “Outsider,” and city police commissioner Bull Connor had everyone intimidated. Facing a major defeat, King was persuaded by his aide, James Bevel, to allow any child old enough to belong to a church to march. So on D-day, May 2, before the eyes of the whole nation, thousands of schoolchildren, many of them first graders, joined the movement and were beaten, fire-hosed, attacked by police dogs, and herded off to jail in paddy wagons and school buses. The result was what has been called the “Children’s Miracle.” Inspired and shamed into action, thousands of adults rushed to join the movement. All over the country rallies were called to express outrage against Bull Connor’s brutality. Locally, the power structure was forced to desegregate lunch counters and dressing rooms in downtown stores, hire blacks to work downtown, and begin desegregating the schools. Nationally, the Kennedy administration, which had been trying not to alienate white Dixiecrat voters, was forced to begin drafting civil rights legislation as the only way to forestall more Birminghams. The next year as part of Mississippi Freedom Summer, activists created Freedom Schools because the existing school system (like ours today) had been organized to produce subjects, not citizens. People in the community, both children and adults, needed to be empowered to exercise their civil and voting rights. A mental revolution was needed. To bring it about, reading, writing, and speaking skills were taught through discussions of black history, the power structure, and building a movement. Everyone took this revolutionary civics course, then chose from more academic subjects such as algebra and chemistry. All over Mississippi, in church basements and parish halls, on shady lawns and in abandoned buildings, volunteer teachers empowered thousands of children and adults through this community curriculum. The Freedom Schools of 1964 demonstrated that when Education involves young people in making community changes that matter to them, when it gives meaning to their lives in the present instead of preparing them only to make a living in the future, young people begin to believe in themselves and to dream of the future.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
If we truly seek to understand segregationists—not to excuse or absolve them, but to understand them—then we must first understand how they understood themselves. Until now, because of the tendency to focus on the reactionary leaders of massive resistance, segregationists have largely been understood simply as the opposition to the civil rights movement. They have been framed as a group focused solely on suppressing the rights of others, whether that be the larger cause of “civil rights” or any number of individual entitlements, such as the rights of blacks to vote, assemble, speak, protest, or own property. Segregationists, of course, did stand against those things, and often with bloody and brutal consequences. But, like all people, they did not think of themselves in terms of what they opposed but rather in terms of what they supported. The conventional wisdom has held that they were only fighting against the rights of others. But, in their own minds, segregationists were instead fighting for rights of their own—such as the “right” to select their neighbors, their employees, and their children’s classmates, the “right” to do as they pleased with their private property and personal businesses, and, perhaps most important, the “right” to remain free from what they saw as dangerous encroachments by the federal government. To be sure, all of these positive “rights” were grounded in a negative system of discrimination and racism. In the minds of segregationists, however, such rights existed all the same. Indeed, from their perspective, it was clearly they who defended individual freedom, while the “so-called civil rights activists” aligned themselves with a powerful central state, demanded increased governmental regulation of local affairs, and waged a sustained assault on the individual economic, social, and political prerogatives of others. The true goal of desegregation, these white southerners insisted, was not to end the system of racial oppression in the South, but to install a new system that oppressed them instead. As this study demonstrates, southern whites fundamentally understood their support of segregation as a defense of their own liberties, rather than a denial of others’.
Kevin M. Kruse (White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism)
As it happens, the term “white skin privilege” was first popularized in the 1970s by the SDS radicals of “Weatherman,” who were carrying on a terrorist war against “Amerikkka,” a spelling designed to stigmatize the United States as a nation of Klansmen. Led by presidential friends, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, the Weather terrorists called on other whites to renounce their privilege and join a global race war already in progress. Although their methods and style kept the Weather radicals on the political fringe, their views on race reflected those held by the broad ranks of the political left. In the following years, the concept of “white skin privilege” continued to spread until it became an article of faith among all progressives, a concept that accounted for everything that was racially wrong in America beginning with its constitutional founding. As Pax Christi USA, a Catholic organization, explained: “Law in the U.S. protects white skin privilege because white male landowners created the laws to protect their rights, their culture and their wealth.” This is the theme of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, the most popular book ever written on the subject, and of university curricula across the nation. Eventually, the concept of white skin privilege was embraced even by liberals who had initially resisted it as slander against a nation that had just concluded a historically unprecedented civil rights revolution. This was because the concept of white skin privilege provided an explanation for the fact that the recent Civil Rights Acts had not led to an equality of results, and that racial disparities persisted even as overt racists and institutional barriers were vanishing from public life. The inconvenient triumph of American tolerance presented an existential problem for civil rights activists, whom it threatened to put out of work. “White skin privilege” offered a solution. As the Southern Poverty Law Center explained: “white skin privilege is not something that white people necessarily do, create or enjoy on purpose,” but is rather an unavoidable consequence of the “transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society.” In other words, even if white Americans were no longer racists, they were.
David Horowitz (Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream)
In 1920, Mary McLeod Bethune, an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil-rights activist traveled through her home state of Florida to encourage women to vote, facing tremendous obstacles at every step along the route. The night before Election Day in November 1920, white-robed Klansmen marched into Bethune’s girls’ school to intimidate the women who had gathered there to get ready to vote, aiming to prevent them from voting even though they had managed to get their names on the voter rolls. Newspapers in Wilmington, Delaware, reported that the numbers of Black women who wanted to register to vote were “unusually large,” but they were turned away for their alleged failure to “comply with Constitutional tests” without any specification of what these tests were. The Birmingham Black newspaper Voice of the People noted that only half a dozen Black women had been registered to vote because the state had applied the same restrictive rules for voting to colored women that they applied to colored men.
Rafia Zakaria (Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption)
Obama spoke of being inspired by the courage of Black civil rights activists and freedom riders, who faced dog attacks, fire hoses, and police brutality, and “who risked everything to advance democracy.” Yet under his watch, private security working on behalf of DAPL unleashed attack dogs on unarmed Water Protectors who were attempting to stop bulldozers form destroying a burial ground; Morton County sheriff’s deputies sprayed Water Protectors with water cannons in freezing temperatures, injuring hundreds; and police officers and private security guards brutalized hundreds of unarmed protestors. All of this violence was part of an effort to put a pipeline through Indigenous lands.
Nick Estes (Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance)
Throughout her life, she was often slotted into subcategories as writers wrote about her: A black writer. A civil rights activist. A women’s leader. Maybe that was the only way people could wrap their heads around who she was. In truth, she transcended all labels. There is, however, one that does stick. She could have been born anywhere in the world, but only in America could she have become who she did. Our country’s triumphs and progress over the past century are written all over her life. More than that—she helped write them. We’re a better country today because of her. She urged, demanded, and inspired millions of Americans to live kinder, braver, more honorable lives.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience)
The idea for the Green New Deal began with a group called the Sunrise Movement, started by recent college graduate environmental activists who drew inspiration from Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. Some even say their roots can be traced back to Saul Alinsky, the gift to the right who keeps on giving. Alinsky, as you might remember, wrote a book back in 1971 called Rules for Radicals in which he cited Lucifer as the father of the radical movement. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both idolized Alinsky.
Donald Trump Jr. (Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us)
Quoting page 85: The OCR [Office for Civil Rights] in the early 1970s in effect experienced an internal capture shift. The black agenda activists who had dominated the office between 1965 and 1970 were joined and to some extend displaced by a new cadre of Latino activists. Not content with the transitional model of bilingual education, which used native-language instruction as a bridge to English language proficiency, the Latino nationalists called for Spanish-based cultural maintenance programs of indefinite duration. La Raza Unida’s 1967 founding statement captured the Chicano spirit of cultural nationalism and linguistic ethnocentrism: “The time of subjugation, exploitation, and abuse of human rights of La Raza in the United States is hereby ended forever,” the manifesto proclaimed. “[We] affirm the magnificence of La Raza, the greatness of our heritage, our history, our language, our traditions, our contributions to humanity and culture.
Hugh Davis Graham (Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America)
Dusk had fallen on December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks, a tailor’s assistant, finished her long day’s work in a large department store in Montgomery, the capital of Alabama and the first capital of the Confederacy. While heading for the bus stop across Court Square, which had once been a center of slave auctions, she observed the dangling Christmas lights and a bright banner reading “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.” After paying her bus fare she settled down in a row between the “whites only” section and the rear seats, according to the custom that blacks could sit in the middle section if the back was filled. When a white man boarded the bus, the driver ordered Rosa Parks and three other black passengers to the rear so that the man could sit. The three other blacks stood up; Parks did not budge. Then the threats, the summoning of the police, the arrest, the quick conviction, incarceration. Through it all Rosa Parks felt little fear. She had had enough. “The time had just come when I had been pushed as far as I could stand to be pushed,” she said later. “I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen.” Besides, her feet hurt. The time had come … Rosa Parks’s was a heroic act of defiance, an individual act of leadership. But it was not wholly spontaneous, nor did she act alone. Long active in the civil rights effort, she had taken part in an integration workshop in Tennessee at the Highlander Folk School, an important training center for southern community activists and labor organizers. There Parks “found out for the first time in my adult life that this could be a unified society.” There she had gained strength “to persevere in my work for freedom.” Later she had served for years as a leader in the Montgomery and Alabama NAACP. Her bus arrest was by no means her first brush with authority; indeed, a decade earlier this same driver had ejected her for refusing to enter through the back door. Rosa Parks’s support group quickly mobilized. E. D. Nixon, long a militant leader of the local NAACP and the regional Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, rushed to the jail to bail her out. Nixon had been waiting for just such a test case to challenge the constitutionality of the bus segregation law. Three Montgomery women had been arrested for similar “crimes” in the past year, but the city, in order to avoid just such a challenge, had not pursued the charge. With Rosa Parks the city blundered, and from Nixon’s point of view, she was the ideal victim—no one commanded more respect in the black community.
James MacGregor Burns (The American Experiment: The Vineyard of Liberty, The Workshop of Democracy, and The Crosswinds of Freedom)
Boehner had apparently emphasized how “angry” I was during our discussions—a useful fiction that I’d told my team not to dispute in the interest of keeping the deal on track. For his members, there was no greater selling point. In fact, more and more, I’d noticed how the mood we’d first witnessed in the fading days of Sarah Palin’s campaign rallies and on through the Tea Party summer had migrated from the fringe of GOP politics to the center—an emotional, almost visceral, reaction to my presidency, distinct from any differences in policy or ideology. It was as if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a sense that the natural order had been disrupted. Which is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started peddling assertions that I had not been born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president. For millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial anxiety. The suggestion that I hadn’t been born in the United States wasn’t new. At least one conservative crank had pushed the theory as far back as my Senate race in Illinois. During the primary campaign for president, some disgruntled Hillary supporters had recirculated the claim, and while her campaign strongly disavowed it, conservative bloggers and talk radio personalities had picked it up, setting off feverish email chains among right-wing activists. By the time the Tea Party seized on it during my first year in office, the tale had blossomed into a full-blown conspiracy theory: I hadn’t just been born in Kenya, the story went, but I was also a secret Muslim socialist, a Manchurian candidate who’d been groomed from childhood—and planted in the United States using falsified documents—to infiltrate the highest reaches of the American government.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Growing numbers of black activists began organizing against police violence during this period, and some organizations, including the Black Panther Party (originally called the Black Panther Party for Self Defense), boldly asserted the right of black people to arm themselves in order to defend their communities against police brutality.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
You are preaching black conscious now ? Where was your black conscious, when you raped and murdered another black person. Where was your black conscious, when you abused and assaulted another black person. Where was your black conscious, when you lied and accused another black person. Where was your black conscious when you shamelessly stole and looted money from black people . Where was your black conscious, when you deceived and manipulated black people. When your actions are being questioned. You say they are targeting you, meanwhile you are the one who is targeting black people. To break , extort and to enslave them.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
You are preaching black conscious now ? Where was your black conscious, when you raped and murdered another black person. Where was your black conscious, when you abused and assaulted another black person. Where was your black conscious, when you lied and accused another black person. Where was your black conscious when you shamelessly stole and looted money from black people . Where was your black conscious, when you deceived and manipulated black people. When your actions are been question. You say they are targeting you, meanwhile you are the one who is targeting black people. To break , extort and to enslave them.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
It was started in 1909 by the Negro writer and civil rights activist, W.E.B. Dubois, two white suffragettes and a white lawyer from Boston.  Injustice to black Americans is everyone’s problem, Patience, not just the Negro’s.  It’s important for both races to be involved.
Patricia Harman (A Midwife's Song: Oh, Freedom! (A Hope River Novel Book 4))
As a matter of principle, I didn’t believe a president should ever publicly whine about criticism from voters—it’s what you signed up for in taking the job—and I was quick to remind both reporters and friends that my white predecessors had all endured their share of vicious personal attacks and obstructionism. More practically, I saw no way to sort out people’s motives, especially given that racial attitudes were woven into every aspect of our nation’s history. Did that Tea Party member support “states’ rights” because he genuinely thought it was the best way to promote liberty, or because he continued to resent how federal intervention had led to an end to Jim Crow, desegregation, and rising Black political power in the South? Did that conservative activist oppose any expansion of the social welfare state because she believed it sapped individual initiative, or because she was convinced that it would benefit only brown people who’d just crossed the border? Whatever my instincts might tell me, whatever truths the history books might suggest, I knew I wasn’t going to win over any voters by labeling my opponents racist.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Trump barely won the election, but his victory felt like he had split the land in two, and whatever was released from below sucked up most of the oxygen. For many, the far right had taken hold of the reins of government. Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. Tried to ban Muslims from entering the country. Turned on “enemies” within and without. He embraced draconian immigration policies—separating children from their parents and building tent cities to hold them—and declared the so-called caravan of refugees at the southern border a carrier of contagion (leprosy) and a threat to the security of the nation. Contrary to what he declared during his inaugural address, Trump did not stop the “American carnage.” He unleashed it. As the country lurched to the far right and reasserted the lie, Black Lives Matter went relatively silent, or it was no longer heard. Activists scattered. Many had suffered the
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own)
A week later fifty-four sit-ins were under way in fifteen cities in nine states in the South.60 It was obvious from the way that the spark of protest jumped from place to place that black resentments, which had somehow failed to ignite other sit-ins between 1957 and 1959, had exploded. The sit-ins of 1960 arose, as did the civil rights movement in later years, from the collective efforts of unsung local activists: they sprang from the bottom up. Many later leaders, unknown in 1960, jumped into action.
James T. Patterson (Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (Oxford History of the United States Book 10))
No individual or single organization can speak for nonwhite people, women, the world's colonized populations, workers, or any demographic category as a whole--although nonwhite, female and queer, and labor activists from the Global North routinely and arrogantly claim this right. Black liberation, civil rights, feminist, labor, and decolonization struggles clearly reveal that if resistance is even slightly effective, THE PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE ARE IN DANGER. The choice is not between danger and safety but rather between the uncertain dangers of revolt and the certainty of a world with no future. Original pamphlet: Who is Oakland. April 2012. Quoted in: Dangerous Allies. Taking Sides.
Tipu's Tiger
A good example of the difference between today's Right and today's Left can be seen in their reaction to murder. People on the Right, no matter how strongly opposed to abortion they are, nearly all recognize that antiabortion activists who kill doctors are wrong. Contrast that with the Left's lionization of black men who kill whites, and especially white police officers.
Tammy Bruce (The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values)
Some former Bush officials, however, believed that the Justice Department's failure to pursue the New Black Panther Party case resulted from top Obama administration officials' ideological belief that civil rights laws only apply to protect members of minority groups from discrimination by whites. Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler denied any such motives. She asserted that "the department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits, not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved". But an anonymous Justice Department official told the Washington Post that "the Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor [a white police commissioner] were hitting people like John Lewis [a black civil rights activist], not the other way around". The Post concluded that the New Black Panther Party case "tapped into deep divisions within the Justice Department that persist today over whether the agency should focus on protecting historically oppressed minorities or enforce laws without regard to race". The Office of Professional Responsibility's report on the case found that several former and current DOJ attorneys told investigators under oath that some lawyers in the Civil Rights Division don't believe that the DOJ should bring cases involving white victims of racial discrimination. The report also found that Voting Section lawyers believed that their boss, appointed by President Obama, wanted them to bring only cases protecting members of American minority groups. She phrased this as having the section pursue only "traditional" civil rights enforcement cases. Her employees understood that by "traditional" she meant only cases involving minority victims.
David E. Bernstein (Lawless: The Obama Administration's Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law)
To make matters worse, riots erupted in the summer of 1964 in Harlem and Rochester, followed by a series of uprisings that swept the nation following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The racial imagery associated with the riots gave fuel to the argument that civil rights for blacks led to rampant crime. Cities like Philadelphia and Rochester were described as being victims of their own generosity. Conservatives argued that, having welcomed blacks migrating from the South, these cities “were repaid with crime-ridden slums and black discontent.”40 Barry Goldwater, in his 1964 presidential campaign, aggressively exploited the riots and fears of black crime, laying the foundation for the “get tough on crime” movement that would emerge years later. In a widely quoted speech, Goldwater warned voters, “Choose the way of [the Johnson] Administration and you have the way of mobs in the street.”41 Civil rights activists who argued that the uprisings were directly related to widespread police harassment and abuse were dismissed by conservatives out of hand. “If [blacks] conduct themselves in an orderly way, they will not have to worry about police brutality,” argued West Virginia senator Robert Byrd.42 While many civil rights advocates in this period
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
her imperative to “think dialectically”—a maxim drawn from her study of the philosopher G. W. F. Hegel. Because reality is constantly changing, we must constantly detect and analyze the emerging contradictions that are driving this change. And if reality is changing around us, we cannot expect good ideas to hatch within an ivory tower. They instead emerge and develop through daily life and struggle, through collective study and debate among diverse entities, and through trial and error within multiple contexts. Grace often attributes her “having been born female and Chinese” to her sense of being an outsider to mainstream society. Over the past decade she has sharpened this analysis considerably. Reflecting on the limits of her prior encounters with radicalism, Grace fully embraces the feminist critique not only of gender discrimination and inequality but also of the masculinist tendencies that too often come to define a certain brand of movement organizing—one driven by militant posturing, a charismatic form of hierarchical leadership, and a static notion of power seen as a scarce commodity to be acquired and possessed. Grace has struck up a whole new dialogue and built relationships with Asian American activists and intellectuals since the 1998 release of her autobiography, Living for Change. Her reflections on these encounters have reinforced her repeated observation that marginalization serves as a form of liberation. Thus, she has come away impressed with the particular ability of movement-oriented Asian Americans to dissect U.S. society in new ways that transcend the mind-sets of blacks and whites, to draw on their transnational experiences to rethink the nature of the global order, and to enact new propositions free of the constraints and baggage weighing down those embedded in the status quo. Still, Grace’s practical connection to a constantly changing reality for most of her adult life has stemmed from an intimate relationship with the African American community—so much so that informants from the Cointelpro days surmised she was probably Afro-Chinese.3 This connection to black America (and to a lesser degree the pan-African world) has made her a source of intrigue for younger generations grappling with the rising complexities of race and diversity. It has been sustained through both political commitments and personal relationships. Living in Detroit for more than a half century, Grace has developed a stature as one of Motown’s most cherished citizens: penning a weekly column for the city’s largest-circulation black community newspaper; regularly profiled in the mainstream and independent media; frequently receiving awards and honors through no solicitation of her own; constantly visited by students, intellectuals, and activists from around the world; and even speaking on behalf of her friend Rosa Parks after the civil rights icon became too frail for public appearances.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
Disability justice” is a term coined by the Black, brown, queer, and trans members of the original Disability Justice Collective, founded in 2005 by Patty Berne, Mia Mingus, Stacey Milbern, Leroy Moore, Eli Clare, and Sebastian Margaret. Disabled queer and trans Black, Asian, and white activists and artists, they dreamed up a movement-building framework that would center the lives, needs, and organizing strategies of disabled queer and trans and/or Black and brown people marginalized from mainstream disability rights organizing’s white-dominated, single-issue focus.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice)
Many abled Black and brown activists I know remain ignorant of the fact that sick and disabled Black and brown people are doing critical organizing and cultural work on issues from protesting the police murders of Black and brown disabled people to not being killed off by eugenics, killer cops, and medical neglect, from fighting the end of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Americans with Disabilities Act to claiming the right to exist as we are.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice)
The only Black bookstore in Detroit, Vaughn's Bookstore-a frequent gathering place for young activists-was intentionally destroyed by police, witnesses reported. Police firebombed the building, mutilated the artwork, damaged many photographs, and left the water running, ruining the vast majority of books.
Jeanne Theoharis (A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History)
16 John Lewis, the 1960s civil rights activist who would later become a congressman, suggested that Washington deserved to be “ridiculed and vilified by his own people for working so closely with white America.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
Jimmy and his activist friends were there to tell Bobby about the suffering that had scarred each black person in that room; that had scarred or killed people they loved; that had buried their communities in poverty; that had withheld their right to vote; that had lynched their grandfathers, raped their grandmothers, set the dogs on their children, called them “nigger” for daring to sit at a lunch counter; that had tried to deprive their children of education, their mothers of dignity in domestic labor, their fathers the dignity of being called “sir” and not “boy” at the age of 60. Bobby did not want the responsibility of bearing witness to their pain and their rage. Witness often exposes the unspoken claims of whiteness—its privilege to hide, its ability to deflect black suffering into comparatively sterile discussions of policy that take the heat off of “me” and put it on “that.
Michael Eric Dyson (What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America)
I marched in the sixties.” Someone who tells me that they marched in the 1960s—like the person who tells me they know people of color—is telling me that they see racism as a simple matter of racial intolerance (which clearly they don’t have or they could not have tolerated marching alongside black people during the civil rights movement). They are also telling me that they believe that racism is uncomplicated and unchanging. Yet in the 1960s, we thought race was biological. We used terms like Oriental and colored. Nevertheless, in the light of an action they took more than fifty years ago, they see their racial learning as finished for life. Their action certifies them as free of racism, and there is no more discussion or reflection required. It also assumes that absolutely no racism—even unconsciously—was perpetrated toward blacks by well-meaning whites during the civil rights movement. Yet the testimony of black civil rights activists tells us otherwise. How many white people who marched in the 1960s had authentic cross-racial relationships with African Americans?
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Meeting with black feminists every month was not unlike the old-school feminist activist method of consciousness-raising. Consciousness-raising was first used by New York Radical Women in the mid-1960s, who in turn took the tactic from America’s civil rights movement. In black feminists, we would talk about whatever was happening in our lives. When we met, we began to learn from each other, and I began to realise that other women were experiencing the same things I was. Together we asked why. We took what we thought were isolated incidents, and linked them into a broader context of race and gender.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
I did not, and could not, know when writing this book that our nation would soon awaken violently from its brief colorblind slumber. In the final chapter, I did predict that uprisings were in our future, and I wondered aloud what the fire would look like this time. What actually occurred in the years that followed was, to paraphrase James Baldwin, more terrible and more beautiful than I could have imagined. We now have white nationalist movements operating openly online and in many of our communities; they’re celebrating mass killings and recruiting thousands into their ranks. We have a president who routinely unleashes hostile tirades against black and brown people—calling Mexican migrants “murderers,” “rapists,” and “bad people,” referring to developing African nations as “shithole countries,” and smearing the majority-black city of Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Millions of Americans are cheering, or at least tolerating, these racial hostilities. And yet, in the midst of all of this, we also have vibrant racial justice movements led by new generations of activists who are working courageously at the intersections of our systems of control, as well as growing movements against criminal injustice led by those who are directly impacted by mass incarceration. Many of these movements aim to redefine the meaning of justice in America. A decade ago, much of this progress seemed nearly unimaginable. When this book was first released, there was relatively little racial justice organizing, and “mass incarceration” was not a widely used term. Back then, the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as most civil rights organizations, did not include criminal justice issues among its top priorities. Little funding could be found for work challenging the enormous punishment bureaucracy
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Carmichael also criticized the student peace movement and argued that if peace activists wanted to be relevant to most people, they needed to start organizing to resist the draft: The peace movement has been a failure because it hasn’t gotten off the college campuses where everybody has a 2S [draft deferment] and is not afraid of being drafted anyway. The problem is how you can move out of that into the white ghettos of this country and articulate a position for those white youth who do not want to go. . . . [SNCC is] the most militant organization for peace or civil rights or human rights against the war in Vietnam in this country today. There isn’t one organization that has begun to meet our stand on the war in Vietnam. We not only say we are against the war in Vietnam; we are against the draft. . . . There is a higher law than the law of a racist named [Secretary of Defense] McNamara; there is a higher law than the law of a fool named [Secretary of State] Rusk; there is a higher law than the law of a buffoon named Johnson. It’s the law of each of us. We will not allow them to make us hired killers. We will not kill anybody that they say kill. And if we decide to kill, we are going to decide who to kill.89
Joshua Bloom (Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (The George Gund Foundation Imprint in African American Studies))
An important example is the debate around Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and All Lives Matter. Can you believe that black lives matter and also care deeply about the well-being of police officers? Of course. Can you care about the well-being of police officers and at the same time be concerned about abuses of power and systemic racism in law enforcement and the criminal justice system? Yes. I have relatives who are police officers—I can’t tell you how deeply I care about their safety and well-being. I do almost all of my pro bono work with the military and public servants like the police—I care. And when we care, we should all want just systems that reflect the honor and dignity of the people who serve in those systems. But then, if it’s the case that we can care about citizens and the police, shouldn’t the rallying cry just be All Lives Matter? No. Because the humanity wasn’t stripped from all lives the way it was stripped from the lives of black citizens. In order for slavery to work, in order for us to buy, sell, beat, and trade people like animals, Americans had to completely dehumanize slaves. And whether we directly participated in that or were simply a member of a culture that at one time normalized that behavior, it shaped us. We can’t undo that level of dehumanizing in one or two generations. I believe Black Lives Matter is a movement to rehumanize black citizens in the hearts of those of us who have consciously or unconsciously bought into the insidious, rampant, and ongoing devaluation of black lives. All lives matter, but not all lives need to be pulled back into moral inclusion. Not all people were subjected to the psychological process of demonizing and being made less than human so we could justify the inhumane practice of slavery. Is there tension and vulnerability in supporting both the police and the activists? Hell, yes. It’s the wilderness. But most of the criticism comes from people who are intent on forcing these false either/or dichotomies and shaming us for not hating the right people. It’s definitely messier taking a nuanced stance, but it’s also critically important to true belonging.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Mapping the Margins,” Crenshaw critiques two ways of understanding society: (universal) liberalism and (high-deconstructive) postmodernism. Mainstream liberal discourse around discrimination, Crenshaw felt, was inadequate to understand the ways in which structures of power perpetuated discrimination against people with more than one category of marginalized identity. Because liberalism sought to remove social expectations from identity categories—black people being expected to do menial jobs, women being expected to prioritize domestic and parenting roles, and so on—and make all rights, freedoms, and opportunities available to all people regardless of their identity, there was a strong focus on the individual and the universal and a deprioritization of identity categories. This was, to Crenshaw, unacceptable.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
lists), activists have been considered threats, rather than citizens exercising core constitutional rights. Political dissent is a routine target for surveillance by the FBI.
Frank Pasquale (The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information)
OSF was also the first major foundation to get behind same-sex marriage. From 2000 to 2005, a pivotal period in the marriage equality fight, OSF invested millions in LGBT rights organizations. This early money, some of which went to back state-level fights, like a 2005 legal challenge in Iowa, was arguably more important than the bigger money that came in from other funders later on. OSF grants also went to frontline activist groups fighting for immigrants and, later, to Black Lives Matter.
David Callahan (The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age)
Jimmy may well have read the front-page banner in late August exhorting readers to “Go and Register.” The accompanying article extolled the dual power of the franchise: “When we register and go to the polls in large numbers … we not only perform thereby a duty which is obligatory upon good citizens, but our votes make public officials more obligated to give us the recognition and consideration to which we are entitled.” 109 This paper and others sought to whip up excitement about the recent passage of a civil rights bill championed by Democratic state senator Charles C. Diggs. Declaring with some hyperbole that the bill would be the “New Emancipation,” the black Democratic organization Michigan Federated Democratic Clubs sought to use the bill to both galvanize the community and shore up support for Diggs with the “First Annual Emancipation Picnic and Dance” in his honor on August 1, 1937. Attendees received “a small pocket-size souvenir-copy of Senator Diggs Civil Rights Bill” along with “a statement of what to do if the Bill is violated.” 110 More than a decade later, Jimmy would be among a group of activists associated with the Detroit NAACP and the United Auto Workers (UAW) who mounted an effort to enforce this law by “breaking down” restaurants that discriminated against African Americans. By that time, black Detroiters had made important inroads into the UAW, and a strong coalition emerged between labor and civil rights organizations.
Stephen M. Ward (In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs (Justice, Power, and Politics))
The increasingly racialist nature of post-Soviet Russian society19 excludes the feasibility of engaging primarily with Black, Asian or Latin American politicians or activists from particular Third-World regimes who could potentially push anti-Western arguments. Only white Europeans and/or Americans can be seen as those whose views will be deemed as fully legitimate by Russian society. Therefore, the Russian media had to continue to rely on an ever-decreasing pool of Western mainstream politicians who would hold pro-Kremlin views or be interested in providing the required commentary. At the same time, they had to turn to white Europeans or Americans who would expose illiberal and/or anti-Western views, and, thus, corroborate the ‘West is bad’ argument.
Anton Shekhovtsov (Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir (Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right))
While dramatic progress was apparent in the political and social realms, civil rights activists became increasingly concerned that, without major economic reforms, the vast majority of blacks would remain locked in poverty. Thus
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
In a widely quoted speech, Goldwater warned voters, “Choose the way of [the Johnson] Administration and you have the way of mobs in the street.”41 Civil rights activists who argued that the uprisings were directly related to widespread police harassment and abuse were dismissed by conservatives out of hand. “If [blacks] conduct themselves in an orderly way, they will not have to worry about police brutality,” argued West Virginia senator Robert Byrd.42
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
The intelligence professional’s passion to collect everything possible is nicely illustrated in an NYPD report under the rubric “Secret,” and beneath a blacked-out box that may have contained notes from an infiltrator. The censored document declares ominously in large type: “LOCAL ACTIVIST GROUP TO USE ART MURALS IN ORDER TO SPREAD PEACE MESSAGE; GROUP MAY USE DIRECT ACTION METHODS IN CONJUNCTION WITH STREET THEATRE.” It describes the organization as “a collective of artists dedicated to using artwork to spread the word of peace.” It uses “murals, banners, posters, and street theatre during its actions.
David K. Shipler (Rights at Risk: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America (Vintage))
This was the clarion cry taken up by the GOP in the aftermath of the Civil War. Virtually all the black leaders who emerged from that era were Republicans who supported the GOP’s call to remove race as the basis of government policy and social action. Historian Eric Foner writes that black activists of the antebellum era embraced “an affirmation of Americanism that insisted blacks were entitled to the same rights and opportunities that white citizens enjoyed.”3
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Barry Goldwater, in his 1964 presidential campaign, aggressively exploited the riots and fears of black crime, laying the foundation for the “get tough on crime” movement that would emerge years later. In a widely quoted speech, Goldwater warned voters, “Choose the way of [the Johnson] Administration and you have the way of mobs in the street.”41 Civil rights activists who argued that the uprisings were directly related to widespread police harassment and abuse were dismissed by conservatives out of hand. “If [blacks] conduct themselves in an orderly way, they will not have to worry about police brutality,” argued West Virginia senator Robert Byrd.42 While
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
He was also a more astute politician than even his admirers realized. During his rise to power, he constructed his own base as an independent candidate not beholden to the oil interests in Southern California. For party loyalty, he substituted personal connections to the state’s two most important (and quite conservative) publishers—Joe Knowland in Oakland, and Harry Chandler in Los Angeles. At the very least, these friendships helped neutralize papers that might otherwise have rejected his increasingly liberal agenda. He was a distinguished governor of California. The state was growing by as many as ten thousand new residents a week, and the pressures on the state’s schools, roads, and its water resources were enormous. Facing that challenge had made him tough-minded and pragmatic about government, its limits, and how best it could benefit ordinary people. He was both an optimist and an activist: If he did not exactly bring an ideology to the Court, then he brought the faith of someone who had seen personally what government could and should do to ameliorate the lives of ordinary people. That the great figures on the bench had so much more judicial experience—Black with sixteen years of service on the Court, Frankfurter and Douglas with fourteen each, and Jackson with twelve—did not daunt him. As he saw it, they knew more about the law, but he knew more about the consequences of the law and its effect on ordinary citizens. His law clerk, Earl Pollock, said years later that there were three things that mattered to Earl Warren: The first was the concept of equality; the second was education; and the third was the right of young people to a decent life. He had spent a lifetime refining his view of the role of government, and
David Halberstam (The Fifties)
He was also a more astute politician than even his admirers realized. During his rise to power, he constructed his own base as an independent candidate not beholden to the oil interests in Southern California. For party loyalty, he substituted personal connections to the state’s two most important (and quite conservative) publishers—Joe Knowland in Oakland, and Harry Chandler in Los Angeles. At the very least, these friendships helped neutralize papers that might otherwise have rejected his increasingly liberal agenda. He was a distinguished governor of California. The state was growing by as many as ten thousand new residents a week, and the pressures on the state’s schools, roads, and its water resources were enormous. Facing that challenge had made him tough-minded and pragmatic about government, its limits, and how best it could benefit ordinary people. He was both an optimist and an activist: If he did not exactly bring an ideology to the Court, then he brought the faith of someone who had seen personally what government could and should do to ameliorate the lives of ordinary people. That the great figures on the bench had so much more judicial experience—Black with sixteen years of service on the Court, Frankfurter and Douglas with fourteen each, and Jackson with twelve—did not daunt him. As he saw it, they knew more about the law, but he knew more about the consequences of the law and its effect on ordinary citizens. His law clerk, Earl Pollock, said years later that there were three things that mattered to Earl Warren: The first was the concept of equality; the second was education; and the third was the right of young people to a decent life. He had spent a lifetime refining his view of the role of government, and he came to the Court ready to implement it.
David Halberstam (The Fifties)