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OK: So This Might be my Final Statement re: "Freedom Riders"

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Author Topic: OK: So This Might be my Final Statement re: "Freedom Riders"  (Read 149 times)
Bad Penny
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« on: May 18, 2011, 03:42:26 am »

One thing I must say is that, were I President during the Freedom Rider period of US history, I would have recognized the refusal of Alabama officials to enforce federal law as open rebellion against federal authority, necessitating the imposition of martial law and the introduction of US troops and federal marshals.  But Bobby Kennedy's solution was far superior to this tactic, in that he, to the extent possible, made the state of Alabama conduct its own enforcement, depriving Governor Patterson and his minions the spectacle of federal authority being exercised in the streets to the greatest extent possible, as well as exposing Governor Patterson's perfidy in withdrawing police protection from the Freedom Riders during their period in Montgomery.

Another thing I must say is that I have a great deal of sympathy with the young white woman at the beginning of the film who says that you can't just impose change that takes time upon a people all at once.  I entirely agree with her: gradualism is certainly the way to go.  The problem is that the year 1961 was a full century after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and, for more than half a century prior to 1961, each southern state had enacted legislation, not to lead their societies into progress, but to maintain the status quo, in theory by means of unconstitutional laws, in practice by means of the officially sanctioned brute-force lawlessness exposed by the Freedom Riders, which exposure forced the federal government to enforce federal law over the whole of US territory.

Please remember that I have no faith in the US government, and that I realize the whole episode as presenting the American people with a hobson's choice of toleration of hideous local tyranny versus the federal government acting as the creator, rather than as the creature, of the several states.  My point is that we sneaked through that crisis, so let's peacefully surge through the current crisis that our rulers are creating for us, and attain the final victory of free humanity over the New World Order.
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