Everything Wrong With M Ississippi: Protectors Of The Southern Way Of Life

2869 words - 11 pages

The Citizens Council
Following Judge Brady’s lead, Robert B. Patterson and other segregationists organize the Citizens’ Council in response to increased activities of NAACP and the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL). The Citizens’ Council campaign; legitimize the ideology of its members being ‘Protectors of the Southern Way of Life’ and publicly affirming segregation as a means of preventing the Nation from the mongrelization forced upon them. Councils espoused nullification and interposition as ‘legitimate’ methods of opposition. Nullification meant that ‘Southern law-abiding citizens’ were not compelled in any way to adhere to any federal legislation that they saw to be unjust. While interposition, interpreted as Southern states should interfere with the implementation of federal legislation by any possible means (Vaught, 2003 , p. 4 ).
The establishment of the Association of Citizens’ Councils of Mississippi (ACCM) assembled, one month later, to stimulate ‘the cause’ for segregation through legal means without the advocacy of violence. FBI documents showed, The ACCM Annual Report: August 1955 claimed over 60,000 members strong with 253 Councils within Mississippi (p.17).
“Southern Manifesto” March 12, 1956, nineteen Senators and seventy-seven members of the House of Representatives sign the "Southern Manifesto” a resolution condemning the 1954 Supreme
Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, declaring:
“We regard the decision of the Supreme Court in the school cases as clear abuse of judicial power. It climaxes a trend in the Federal judiciary undertaking to legislate, in derogation of the authority of Congress, and to encroach upon the reserved rights of the states and the people” and preceded to the state, “The original Constitutional does not mention education. Does neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor any other amendment. The debates preceding the submission of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly show that there was no intent that it should affect the systems of education maintained by the states” (Southern Manifesto on Integration , 1956 ).

The Manifesto, encouraged states to resist implementing its mandate. Mississippi public officials, legislative and judicial, crossed lines of ordinary criticism to blatant, destructive attacks with purpose of threats and deliberate defiance, to ‘set the stage’ for a massive resistant movement.
Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission
No Southern state was more resistant to segregation than Mississippi. Initiating a ‘southern respectable’ resistance, Mississippi set out to create a permanent authority for the maintenance of racial segregation, fully staffed and state funded. On May 29, 1956, Mississippi state legislators passed House Bill 880 establishing the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission (MSSC) as part of the...

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