From the Vault
October 9th, 1962.
Strange isn’t it that the Civil War, which really was fought over the black man (all the other things or causes historians list grew out of or arose from the basic fact), took place a hundred years ago. The black man’s rights as a citizen; secession and defiance of the Federal government, etc., were all supposed to have been settled by that war, one of the saddest and bloodiest of all history. But 100 years later, mobs of students sing Confederate songs; wave the Confederate flag; officials act crazy; the whole bit that the Civil War was to have ended. Blood has again been shed and lives lost. And for my money the “damned spots” will never “out” from Barnett’s hands. And all because of one colored man entering a college?
What is involved, of course, is more than one man. The one will be two; then four and more and segregation will be dead, that is really what Barnett et al. fear in “their finest hour.” What’s involved is another “Wall of Shame.”
Written by F. Hornstein
July 21st, 2015
Looking through Hornstein’s article, I am able to see a correlation between a historical figure and me.
Hornstein mentioned a crazy official. By his writing I’m guessing he meant Ross Barnett, the governor of Mississippi from 1960-1964. Barnett heavily supported racial segregation. He would even go as far as imprison the Freedom Riders in 1961. He had them strip-searched and humiliated. He allowed them to be brutalized while in prison. Let’s mention a quote from him, when he started to talk about the large population of African Americans in Mississippi. “They love our way of life here, and that way is segregation”. This is almost ridiculous to hear. Who in their right minds would love to be oppressed in this way? African Americans, when first released from being slaves, had little money. Traveling costs money, so most African Americans were only able to stay in the south. So once people set down their roots, they didn’t feel like leaving. It’s as simple as that. Segregation was everywhere, north and south. Why trade your home and what you know for another battle with it?
Barnett was a large figure in the Meredith Case. The Meredith Case involved an African American man named James Meredith. He applied multiple times to Ole Miss – a prominent college in Mississippi – and they refused him each time. Meredith then took the college to court, claiming they wouldn’t allow him in because of his race. He won the court case. The court system forced Ole Miss to allow him to enter the schools system. Riots ensued, and Barnett helped edge on these riots. He encouraged 2,000 students to blockade James from entering the school. In the end over 31,000 federal troops were sent in to put an end to the riots. These riots left two dead and hundreds injured. James was enrolled October 1st, 1962.
Now imagine you’re just like me and applying for college, feeding colleges information such as your race, what leadership positions you’ve achieved, and where your parents have gone for college. Imagine if it was the past, and one little piece of information can discourage all colleges from even looking through your achievements. What if, just by typing in that I’m Polish/Scottish, I would be banned from going to half of the country’s schools. Some of the best would be considered off-limits, and I’d be forced to go to a second-rate school, or not able to go at all. Just because my heritage wasn’t someone’s cup of tea. At least my worst fear is not being accepted to college, while Meredith’s fear was being lynched.
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