Monday, July 7, 2014

53 years ago today, Rep. John Lewis (D - Georgia) was released from Parchman

On July 7, 1961, a young man named John Lewis was released from the Parchman State Penitentiary for using a "whites-only" restroom here in Jackson.  Here's his mug shot:

And here he is today in his Congressional photo, wearing his Presidential Medal of Freedom that he earned through his work in the Civil Rights Movement:

I can't help but wonder what those who arrested Rep. Lewis back then think of him now.  (I guess I could always go to a local GOP meeting and ask, couldn't I?)


Anonymous said...

When he was arrested what party led the government in Mississippi Matt?

Matt Eichelberger said...

The pre-VRA Mississippi Democratic Party, who would come to be known as the "regulars". The "regulars" went on to support segregationist George Wallace in his presidential bid in 1968, and then subsequently went to the GOP in the wake of the Southern Strategy.

Here's a brief explanation of the GOP's Southern Strategy, in case you haven't heard of it:

Of particular note, the national GOP issued an official apology in 2005 for the Southern Strategy. (That doesn't mean they stopped employing it, however.)

Anonymous said...

As you will note, in the wikipedia article, Nixon used the *racist* kind of Southern Strategy.

Reagan did *not* do so. He ran on lower taxes, strong defense, and less government. The tea-party is also fundamentally about those things: less spending, less government, more Constitution. (Reagan also promised to invert the deficit in his inaugural address ... but failed on that one, leaving it to us.)

Dems like Childers, who are sometimes known as ConservaDems, actually do not think that balancing the federal budget is inherently racist, right? Those are the kinds of dems that became Reagan Democrats: people who wanted to increase individual liberty, and wanted to stop spending beyond our means.

There is another category of the party, however, the estab-repubs, most notably GHWB -- who was both the main competitor for Reagan, and then his VPOTUS (plus got elected on Reagan-coattails in 1988 before failing to get re-elected on his own merit in 1992.) Estab-repubs are the Nixon-repubs: in favor of policing the world, in favor of public-private porkerships, and often talk the Reagan talk... but fail to walk it.

McDaniel is NOT a racist-southern-strategy person: he is a standard Reaganite type, who runs on the idea of less tax&spend, more liberty&freedom, less government, and more Constitution (to fully include all the amendments thereto!) Whether individual voters in MS believe that less government is a *good* thing, or not, is of course up to them. There are plenty of reasons to vote against McDaniel, if you don't want to see the budget balanced in our lifetimes.

The folks on team Cochran were estab-repubs, no doubt about it. They were employing the reverse-Southern-Strategy, as I see it. The original Nixon-S-S was, in a nutshell, get whites to vote for Nixon by inciting hatred against blacks. That is the apology that came out in 2005: it was deserved in full, and very late, I might add. The strategy used by team Cochran in June 2014 was, get blacks to vote for Cochran by inciting hatred against people in the tea party. It is the same strategy; only the direction of the slings and arrows have changed.

The people who used to be estab-dems, are now estab-repubs. The problem is not which party they belong to: the problem is using hatred as a "get-out-the-vote" tactic. Especially when false.

Anonymous said...

p.s. The folks in the Democratic party *did* have a branch that was of the classical liberal stripe; see the presidential nominees in 1904 and 1892 and 1888 and 1884, which Wikipedia describes as the Bourbon Democrats. (Ron Paul, who campaigned with McDaniel, had a picture of the 1884 guy on his office wall... for good reason.)