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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: A sea of white supremacy (130 comments)

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  •  Actually, the main thrust of the white citizens (1+ / 0-)
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    The Lone Apple

    councils was directed at white people who might be inclined not to exclude black people and whose egalitarian impulses might actually be significant.  Poor whites were not a target.  Poor whites were given to understand that they should be grateful that no social stigma attached to them.

    Note that the concept of "citizen" was central.  Citizens, after all, are empowered and entitled to rule.  The prime objective of white citizens councils was to insure that non-whites did not access the right to rule -- i.e. civil rights.  That "mongrelization" was to be prevented was just an argument that was easy to visualize.  The real issue was the power to participate in governing.  Then when the voting rights acts were passed and could no longer be avoided, the agenda became to make the ballot box as meaningless as possible by putting up idiot candidates, discouraging voter participation, making elections a popularity contest (like "queen for a day" or "father of the year") restricting the registration, and, if nothing else worked, jiggling the counting of the ballots.

    From the perspective of the authoritarian or dictatorial ruler, democratic elections are preferable to other ways of selecting rulers (heredity, military conquest, religious appointment) because any Tom, Dick or Harry has a chance to ascend to the throne, sooner rather than later because of limited terms.  In other words, the democratically elected dictator is limited as to the amount of time he gets to be top dog.  That's what "limited government" means to conservatives.  That's why democracy is better than the alternative, hereditary rule.  It's a matter of time.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Fri Dec 24, 2010 at 03:26:56 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It was a lot simpler (3+ / 0-)

      The purpose of Citizens Councils was to put a veneer of civilization in front of beating and lynching and bombing.

      One might call it an "ugly smile".

      I wasn't alive then, but I grew up in the South, and know that thing was not so abstract and conceptual. Behind everything was the threat of violence or violence, loss of jobs and homes, everyday humiliation. The real issues were simple things like being able to walk down the street without being stopped by the police, enter a cafeteria and eat food, and use the bathroom on the way out. Or just not to be cursed at.

      There's still work to do, more in some parts, like Mississippi.

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