Republicanism and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

martin-luther-kingSince we are celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday in the United States, today would be an appropriate occasion to remind everyone here why the Civil Rights Movement emerged victorious in the 1960s.

The Civil Rights Movement triumphed over Southern segregationists like Bull Connor and Gov. George Wallace because they were able to make a successful moral appeal to the “American Creed” of equal rights. They successfully won over the hearts and minds of  White Northerners watching the Civil Rights Movement unfold on network television by using direct action tactics in Birmingham and Selma that created sympathy for their crusade by framing it in terms of America’s republican values.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. tugged at the liberal conscience and prodded our republican system to bend in the direction it was already predisposed to go … toward ever greater extremes of freedom and equality. In the 1970s, second-wave feminism and the homosexual liberation movement adopted the MLK strategy. Both of those leveling movements eventually triumphed in mainstream American culture because their opponents could be so easily portrayed as “un-American.”

It’s worth noting here that the vestigial remains of Southern culture has always had the effect of putting the brakes on these “trends toward inclusion.” The South resists this march toward republican extremes because it can still draw upon non-republican sources of strength, whether racial or religious, in its cultural DNA.

About Hunter Wallace 9526 Articles
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7 Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s an innate republican ideal. I think it’s a perversion. Regardless, like most rational people, southern whites are willing to eject a political ideology that shows itself unwilling or able to sustain the ethnic/spiritual ties of the people.

  2. Your central point is valid–“The Civil Rights Movement triumphed … because they were able to make a successful moral appeal to the ‘American Creed’ of equal rights.”

    The Civil Rights Movement (CRM) understood how to make an agitprop issue out of equal rights. Of course, the CRM itself did not believe in equal rights per se, nor does it today. It was and remains a movement about power. Since the 1960s, the CRM has pushed for every manner of legal and social privilege for blacks: affirmative action, blacks-only contracts and scholarships, suppression of Confederate symbols and monuments (i.e., censorship), black studies programs (radical agitprop fronts on campus), the CRM narrative becoming the national myth, white obeisance to black demogogs (MLK, Mandela), etc., ad nauseam.

    The events of Ferguson are one example of CRM power: blacks and allied leftists (whether string pullers or useful idiots) have rioted in various American cities without the kind of retribution that once might have followed upon such rampaging. Being able to burn down entire neighborhoods, disrupt traffic, assault law abiding citizens while the media cheerleads you on and the cops hold back the dogs is power, people, real power.

    But here’s the thing for Southern and White Nationalists: can some lessons be learned here?

    A couple things sank Wallace, Connor and the 1950s segregationists. One was the failure to understand the power of the new medium of television. The other was a lack of a viable political line. Trying to hold up white supremacy didn’t work given the prevailing egalitarian zeitgeist, as you note. And without the political foundation, white resistance on the front lines of Selma and Birmingham was undermined and neutralized.

    Given that blacks, radical feminists, and et alia have exploited egalitarianism, could Southern/White Nationalists do the same?

    Could the tactics of the CRM be turned around? Supposing you had several hundred Southern Nationalists march onto a campus carrying Confederate battleflags and demanding an end to affirmative action (as it discriminates against white people), and demanding a white studies program (to glorify and support white struggles). And then exploit the reaction.

    The campus administration might ban the demonstrators, while blacks and leftists engaged in mob violence. But you capture the reaction on video. Use the tactics of civil disobedience and hold sit-ins. Force the other side to become the aggressor. Make yourself look like the victim of repression. Turn the incident into a struggle for freedom and equality.

    Right now in Europe, various nationalists movements are using similar tactics to take on their own hostile elites. There are plenty of lessons to be learned. And there is a great opportunity to network with European and White Nationalists globally.

  3. One thing we have going for us is the benefit of the doubt. It is now sixty years since the victories of the Civil Rights era and the dire and hysterical warning of the segregationists have come true with a vengeance! Integration has destroyed the schools, led to massive white flight, and the death knell of hundreds of Southern communities.Crime is up, test scores are down and in the South every time a public school is shown is is almost always majority black now. The glorious egalitarian paradise predicted has not come true and they cannot blame it on racism now. That was their argument; if we could just overcome white intolerance we can have a glorious, productive, and happy society. It reminds me of the time in which Clinton visited Central High in Little Rock to celebrate the anniversary (The 50th I think) of its integration. Cameras flashed, speeches were given, it went nationwide. After he left a massive black on black fight happened in which the State Police had to be called. Guess what event did not make the news. Central High, by the way, is majority black now.

  4. Other than philosophical consistency, I think Shep Smith had two practical political motives for saying what he said:

    This is a two-pronged political strategy on the part of LGBTQMIAPDLOLPLPLTH and their allies.

    1. It’s an attempt to discombobulate white conservatives, that is, of the sort who would rather die a death of a thousand knife cuts than be called or thought of as racist.

    2. It’s an attempt to paper over the divide within blue city between LGBTQMIAPDLOLPLPLTH and black preachers, or maybe even trying to shut the black preachers up, or maybe even getting them to convert.

  5. “The Civil Rights Movement triumphed over Southern segregationists like Bull Connor and Gov. George Wallace because they were able to make a successful moral appeal to the “American Creed” of equal rights. ”

    From what I understand there was strong White resistance, until a church with little black kiddies in it was blown up. After that White resistance collapsed. The case was pretty weird too. You should investigate it, Hunter.

  6. It’s my opinion that communists blew up that church during Sunday school when only kids and teachers were present. That church was a big powerful church. The parishioners were the black leadership of a major city.

    Any reasonable person who wanted to destroy the black elite and leadership would have blown up the church during the service when adults were present.

    I believe that communists killed Michael King their own agent. It is called destabilization and is a well known tactic to create problems before an invasion.
    I was young at the time but my first thought was that if the eeeeeeviiiiiil segregationists wanted to kill the soviet agent they would have killed him back in 1954/

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