Now that we have examined our present terrain, we may look to a notorious past campaign of White resistance. Though still afflicted with egalitarian dogma, the most balanced examination of Southern “massive resistance” to the Civil Rights movement that I have thus far encountered is George Lewis’s Massive Resistance.[i] Because history is written by the victors, books about White resistance almost exclusively focus on Black actors and merely caricature, demonize, and marginalize the White advocates involved. Lewis takes them seriously. I recommend it to all White advocates, as we may learn much from the resisters’ successes and ultimate failures.
In 1954, the Supreme Court fundamentally transformed the United States with Brown v. Board of Education. By targeting our children and their education, much of the groundwork for the current regime was laid. The truth of how the ruling was preordained and engineered has been recounted by Jared Taylor. Because Plessy v. Ferguson and the segregation that it underpinned were entirely and indisputably constitutional, Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP (and later, our first of several affirmative action Justices) employed the fraudulent sociology of Kenneth Clark’s laughable, poorly-designed doll studies (and suppressed contradictory evidence) to argue a the theory that Blacks had poor self-esteem because of White racism. Meanwhile, Leftist Justice Felix Frankfurter was involved in backroom collusion with his former clerk, and then-current staffer in the Solicitor General’s office (handling the government’s argument), Philip Elman. This, coupled with the death of Chief Justice Vinson (who was replaced with the robed activist Earl Warren), the heart attack of Justice Jackson (who agreed to the ruling in his weakened health), and the peer pressure applied to Justice Reed, ensured the unanimous ruling. Though ostensibly based on the Fourteenth Amendment[ii] (itself never actually legitimately ratified, and written only to apply to newly emancipated slaves), the decision was reached absent any coherent legal argument.
White Resistance to Civil Rights and Racial Integration. In February 1956, Virginian Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr. proclaimed that “if we can organize the Southern States for massive resistance to this order, I think that in time the rest of the country will realize that racial integration is not going to be accepted in the South.” He, along with fellow stalwarts Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Richard Russell of Georgia, drafted the Southern Manifesto, signed by one hundred and one Congressmen, announcing the unified resistance of a Solid South. Prominent political operatives who had been deeply involved in the 1948 Dixiecrat revolt (in which States’ Rights Democrat candidate Strom Thurmond carried four states) helped to organize grassroots supporters into the Citizens’ Councils and other organizations; they quickly developed an extremely sophisticated propaganda dissemination campaign. Literature, radio ads, and television spots were churned out at breakneck pace; we must emulate this propaganda campaign, but it can only be effected if we can raise the requisite funds.
Eight states created special legislative bodies to counteract Brown; the former states of the Confederacy passed 136 different legislative items in under three years. Mississippi Senator James Eastland, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that “you are not required to obey any court which passes out such a ruling. In fact, you are obligated to defy it.” North Carolina devolved integration to local option assignment plans to ensure that local school boards would have to be individually challenged, while Virginia proposed state-funded tuition grants for Whites to attend private schools, as well as empowered the legislature to close schools under direct desegregation orders. State legislatures targeted Jewish-funded and -staffed leftist front groups such as the NAACP, exposing their membership rolls to the public until the Supreme Court forbade it in 1958. Arkansas Governor Faubus and South Carolina Governor Hollings demanded that the Kennedy Administration investigate the sources of the protesters. Agitators were blacklisted by local businesses and utilities providers. Leftist sit-in protestors were arrested for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct until 1963, when the Supreme Court inexplicably ruled that sit-in protesters were not trespassers if their target was segregated by ordinance. District Court Judge J. Skelly Wright made legal history by enjoining the entire Louisiana state legislature with a restraining order to prevent them from further pushing back against Brown. By the start of the 1964–5 school year, five states had succeeded in their minimum compliance strategy, with less than one percent of Black students “integrated” into White schools. Successful combinations of grassroots activists and sympathetic local and state officials halted desegregation at several schools. Where desegregation was achieved, such as at the University of Alabama, the victory was often pyrrhic.
Ultimately, though, the enemy won. In 1957, President Eisenhower, in a move uncomfortably redolent of the worst excesses of Reconstruction, federalized the National Guard and ordered a thousand soldiers from the 101st Airborne, along with a phalanx of FBI agents, into Little Rock, Arkansas, to integrate Little Rock Central High School at gunpoint. As Florida Senator George Smathers remarked, “Surely all of us should have learned by this time that neither courts, nor troops, nor decisions, nor force, can make one group of our citizens wish to associate with another.” In the words of LSU professor Peter Carmichael, “Ignoring the primordial fact of White repugnance [at forced integration] and resorting to coercion is the opposite of a solution- it is the generation of more and harder problems.”
In 1961, another showdown occurred at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi; Senator James Eastland noted that the outcome would “determine whether a judicial tyranny as Black and hideous as any in history exists in the US.” Amidst the waving of Confederate flags and the singing of Dixie, Governor Ross Barnett led the Ole Miss-Kentucky halftime crowd in chanting, “I love Mississippi! I love her people! I love her customs!” Unbeknownst to the crowd, Barnett was in backchannel negotiations with Attorney General Robert Kennedy. When Kennedy threatened to reveal their conversations, Barnett backed down after firing this parting shot: “Gentlemen, you are tramping on the sovereignty of this great State and depriving it of every vestige of honor and respect as a member of the union of states. You are destroying the Constitution of this great Nation. May God have mercy on your souls.” The resultant mass violence in Oxford had to be quelled by forces from Memphis.
Even Alabama Governor George C. Wallace (who had declared in his 1963 inaugural address that “in the name of the greatest people that have ever trod the earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say: Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”) stood down from the schoolhouse door that very June.
The indispensably prescient Wallace merits further examination as a clear link between the Old Right and the Dissident Right. A natural populist, Wallace courted the White working-class, North and South, standing for traditionalism, communitarianism, family values, anticommunism, cultural nostalgia, and state sovereignty against the inexorable growth of the federal Leviathan. His national conservative populism, over four presidential campaigns and four terms as Governor, clearly presaged our current movement. Running in the Democrat primary of 1964, he said, “I know I can’t win … [but this will] give me a chance to let the people know … the dangers they face from the encroachments of their own government.” In 1966, he famously and aptly remarked that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrat and Republican parties.” Running under the aegis of the American Independent Party in 1968, his slogan was the beautiful “Stand up for America.” His 1972 Democrat primary campaign was cut short by the bullet of a would-be assassin, paralyzing Wallace from the waist down.
The rhetorical strategy of massive resistance was two-pronged. One prong focused on the White working-class, while the other focused on a more highbrow “respectable” approach. Upton Blevins explained the expected consequences of integration; it would induce our children “at a tender and impressionable age, through close contact, heavy pressure and continuous propaganda to lose all racial pride and restraint, to ignore their parents and to sink in delinquency, degradation, filth, total sin and the early destruction of the White race in the South through the pollution of their blood streams and total mongrelization.” Thomas Waring of the Charleston News and Courier expressed commonly held anxieties over venereal disease, illegitimacy, promiscuity, crime, and the effect of the Black intellectual gap on White students: “Which would you really put first: your theory of racial justice, or justice to your own child?”
Fears of miscegenation and the mainstreaming of Black culture have been utterly validated by our present state of affairs. Many of our public schools have been destroyed. White children now form the minority nationally; those schools which have fallen are often beset with regular violence, ubiquitous truancy, rampant substance abuse and promiscuity, with test scores several years behind grade level. The violence seems likely to accelerate as Whites dwindle. Starting this year, the state of California will no longer suspend disruptive students—overwhelmingly non-White, citing the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Our public-school system routinely graduates students who are functionally illiterate. Children lose their virginity at an earlier age with each passing year. As we slouch toward Idiocracy, up to one-third of the US population cannot name a single branch of the government; only about one-quarter can name all three. The music our children grind to is Black, a debased glorification of dissipation, murder, rape, and deviant sexuality. Many young White women live in degeneracy, dressing like prostitutes, becoming ever-more sexually adventurous, and adopting the Black lexicon of “booties,” “hoes,” and “bitches.” Many young White men embrace Black fashion and drug culture.
The Intellectual Basis of Resistance to Integration. The intellectual approach to forced integration focused on the aforementioned constitutional doctrine of interposition according to which the federal government, particularly the judiciary, was deemed to have encroached upon the sovereignty of the states. This doctrine argued that it was the duty of state to interpose themselves between federal tyranny and their citizens. Seven states drafted resolutions explicitly committing themselves to nullification. Alabama, for example, passed a resolution declaring Brown “null, void, and of no effect. … This State is not bound to abide by them.” The Virginia-based Commission on Constitutional Government flourished, attracting Pennsylvania Republicans W. Stuart Helm and Albert W. Johnson with its constitutional principles. In 1963, the CCG launched a campaign to pass ‘the silent amendments’ via the National Legislative Conference. These amendments would have allowed state legislatures to propose amendments by two-thirds of the states, remove reapportionment from federal jurisdiction, and establish a Super Court” made up of the fifty state Chief Justices, with power to overrule the Supreme Court on constitutional issues. They were supported by fourteen states.
These more highbrow proponents of resistance demonstrated the vitally important task of appealing to the Founders; it is imperative that we continue to expose and talk ceaselessly about the explicit White racial consciousness inseparable from the American Founding. In a recent piece, I argued that “Americans do not have a White racial consciousness because we never needed one.” By this, I did not mean that we have literally never had White racial consciousness, but rather that the ever-present White identity was implicit and taken for granted. It was simply understood that this nation was created of, by, and for Whites. The more that Americans understand this, the more they will become receptive to White advocacy. These appeals to history and the Constitution are crucial; we must be careful not to appear too heavy-handed, while at the same time staying aggressive, assertive, and true to our position. We must refrain from vulgarity and retain the moral high ground, but we must still be wary of abstraction, for men do not love esoteric legal theories. We have to try to strike the proper balance between abstraction and concrete proposals; and we have to adopt a dignified, confident demeanor. Blacks won the high ground of “respectability” by persistently dressing their activists in their Sunday best and affecting a “quiet dignity.”
Whites, who like order and abhor chaos, quickly grew uncomfortable with segregationist violence. When, however, this violence occurred, it was often engineered by the opposition. Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor, Montgomery Police Commissioner L.B. Sullivan, and Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clark were goaded into violence by the leaders of the NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and other activist organizations. The Freedom Rides were planned for the sole purpose of generating violence. After Clark roughly arrested a woman in Selma, the Civil Rights coordinators “went back to the church that night and voted him an honorary member…and from then on they played him just like an expert playing a violin.” As Hosea Williams of SCLC said, “We must pray that we are attacked, for if the sheriff does nothing to stop us, …then we have lost. … We must pray, in God’s name, for the White man to commit violence, and we must not fight back.” Police Chief Laurie Pritchett of Albany, Georgia, studied Gandhian tactics in order to formulate the best strategy for countering ostensibly nonviolent protesters. Understanding that police violence was the key to the success of the enemy, he planned extensively to avoid it; for example, he imprisoned protesters in diffused concentric circles to deny activists and journalists a central focal point.
As Senator Byrd announced, “I deplore the violence which has occurred in [Alabama], but it must be realized that it was deliberately provoked by a mixed group of outsiders who went to Alabama to influence the people for propaganda benefits.” Sensationalized coverage of Southern violence (for a more recent example, see the film Mississippi Burning) was instrumental in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. The violence also solidified criticism of resistance from the business community; as one member of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce remarked, “If we’re going to have good business in Birmingham, we better change our way of living.” One infamous photo from Birmingham, showing a police K9 lunging at a Black protestor, had particular impact; little did the public know, the Black man was carrying a concealed knife. The 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing certainly did not help matters. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till provided an ever-present martyr to worship; as with all martyred Leftists, there is more to the story of the circumstances surrounding Till’s death. The enemy had won the propaganda battle, “casting themselves as non-violent Christians wanting no more than the rights that had been guaranteed to them by the Founding Fathers.” By coopting Christianity and engineering staged set-pieces for national and international media, Leftist operatives won the narrative war.
The Jewish Representative Emanuel Celler (author of the 1965 Hart-Celler Act that completed the Jewish coup and what may be soon regarded as the death warrant of the United States of America) introduced the Civil Rights Act. Virginian Howard Smith bottled up the bill in the House Rules Committee, and Senator Byrd studied arcane rules of procedure to do the same in the Senate. President Johnson gave Byrd “the treatment,” and he relented. Georgian Richard Russell attacked the Communists blatantly involved in the Civil Rights campaign and enlisted the other senior Southern Senators (including South Carolinian Thurmond, who had in 1957 set the still-reigning record for the longest filibuster, speaking for twenty-four hours and eighteen minutes in opposition to a civil rights bill) for a collective filibuster from March 9 to June 10, 1963. North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin proposed a double jeopardy amendment that would have ruled out a second federal trial for those cleared by a state court for the same offense, thus defanging the Act by robbing the federal judiciary of the opportunity to go after segregationists who had been acquitted at home. Ervin’s amendment actually won by a single vote, but the vote was overturned on a technicality.
There was no massive resistance in response to the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965). Since, unlike Brown, these were pieces of legislation that had gone through the legislative process, many of the most vociferous segregationists hung up their hats. Many political leaders perceived that resistance was no longer expedient for their careers. No minds or hearts were changed, but the will to overtly resist as they had was finally worn down; resistance was forced to turn from being proactive to reactive, from vanguard to rearguard. Many Southern states enacted complicated vote dilution schemes to blunt Black votes, including the gerrymandering and annexation of electoral wards, along with full-slate and ‘at large’ elections. Explicit calls for enforced segregation morphed into arguments for freedom of association, from communitarian racial ideology to individual liberty. Gradually, racially grounded arguments disappeared from the American political scene. Even in response to the forced busing ushered in by Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, nothing like massive resistance reared its head. Whites typically reacted quietly and individually, rather than collectively, though parents’ anger was belied by statements such as these: “I served in Korea. I served in Vietnam. I’ll serve in Charlotte if I need to.” There was no response to the 1981 division of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals into the Eleventh Circuit which further weakened the South,
Though it was united insofar as it was arrayed against a common enemy (akin to the few decades of American “conservative” unity against Communism), massive resistance suffered from disunity and tonal uncertainty. The South was caught in a vise, contending with internal pressure from the business progressives of the Sunbelt of the New South, whose only allegiance was to profit, and overwhelming external pressure from the federal government; resisters could not decide on a unified methodology for achieving their common goals. The Citizens’ Councils and other affiliates were coordinated on the local and state level, but the response was rarely synchronized across state lines. Organizations were only loosely connected under the auspices of a phantom umbrella; this often resulted in something like a boat with each rower paddling in a different direction. Though massive resistance benefitted greatly from the involvement of powerful politicians, those same politicians’ personal ambitions and calculations certainly contributed to the relatively sudden death of resistance. Crucially, unlike during the secession in 1860, the churches afforded no organizational direction to their congregations; the Southern Baptist Convention almost immediately endorsed Brown. The parallel cancers of Zionist and Leftist theology had poisoned nearly every branch of the Christian tree; White advocates should not take this to mean that Christianity is irredeemable. The root is still pure.
My reading of Massive Resistance left me with many questions worth pondering: Was desegregation inevitable? Did our more explicit resistance play into the enemy’s hands, or did we not put up enough of a fight? Did the movement make a mistake by gradually turning aside from racial argumentation? Did the resisters underestimate the power arrayed against them? How do we strike the right balance between telling the unvarnished, brutal truth without alienating potential supporters? In other words, how far will subtlety actually carry us? If a potential supporter would be alienated by what we have to say, do we even want their support? Aren’t they just deadweight? Are we only capable of success at the local and state level, or is a national campaign possible? Why did massive resistance lose its steam? How do we reach wider audiences so that we are not only preaching to the choir? Is money the only solution? How far are we willing to go to fight for our civilization and our people? How much are we willing to sacrifice? How can we overcome insufficient commitment? How do we come to terms with the creeping probability that we may never get a majority of Whites to join us?
There is, of course, another possibility. This is the gnawing fear that perhaps we will not fight, that perhaps there already are not enough of us, that we may in fact lay down our arms as so many of our European brethren have. But what people even deserve to survive who refuse to protect their own children? Maybe there will be no Last Stand. No Thermopylae. No Alamo. No Pickett’s Charge. No Rorke’s Drift. But even in the depths of this despair, we must still gird our loins to fight on. Sisyphus kept pushing, rather than let the boulder crush him. We have rebounded before, though our current crisis may be the worst that the West has ever faced. After the fall of Rome, the West did not die, but rather massively contracted; the Dark Ages were not so dark. As long as we monastically keep the flame and preserve the texts, our civilization will persist, a foundation from which, as Ferdinand Bardamu recently wrote, we “may be able to give future Whites the opportunity to rebuild a society of their very own upon the ashes of post-Western degeneracy.” Where even a few of us remain, so too does the West. But is that the best that we now can hope for?