Rather than resorting to terrorism, the “town leaders” of the Citizens Councils used more genteel methods to punish African Americans who dared demand civil rights. When black parents in Yazoo filed petitions to desegregate county schools, the Citizens Council took out a full-page newspaper add with their names and addresses. The same information, Dittmer writes, was posted on placards in every store in town. All the signatories with white employers lost their jobs. The self-employed were subject to punishing boycotts: One grocer, for example, left the state after distributors destroyed his business by refusing to sell to him.The last is the kind of thing that drove my family out of Levy County in the '60s. It may be why I tend to be suspicious of any attempt to silence anyone for their beliefs, no matter how much I disagree with them.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Haley Barbour’s Praise of Citizen Councils Stirs Debate About Racism - The Daily Beast