93 ture of the urgency of the situation."

In document Political movements : three case studies of protest (Page 173-175)

Reaction

Public reaction.- As the civil rights movement grew, more white people

of liberal persuasion had become involved. By the time that the demon­ strations spread to the North, influential organizations had become

attracted to the movement. But such groups as Freedom House, the American Jewish Congress, and the Americans for Democratic Action had been attracted to the movement when it was at a stage of development where legal segre­ gation was being attacked. As the movement spread to the North, many of these white organizations became hostile to some of the new demands being raised and some of the new tactics being advanced. For many Negroes in the civil rights movement, the term "white liberal" became one of derision, just as in 1954 the terra "moderate" had been similarly transformed. Young, never noted for his rejection of white support,said:

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- 168 - B ut one t h i n g , i f n o th in g e l s e , 1963 d id f o r u s - i t ta u g h t u s t h a t no lo n g e r can we g e n e r a l i z e a b o u t o u r f r i e n d s and o u r e n e m i e s . . . . As lo n g as some o f th o s e f a i r w e a th e r f r i e n d s c o u ld e x p r e s s l i b e r a l i s m i n te rm s o f i n d i g n a t i o n a b o u t a ly n c h in g i n M i s s i s s i p p i , t h i s i s one t h i n g ; when i t comes to h a v in g somebody move n e x t d o o r to them , t h i s i s

so m e th in g e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t . 94 The te rm " w h ite b a c k la s h " was in t r o d u c e d i n t o t h e p u b l i c ja r g o n to e x p l a i n th e a l l e g e d l y grow ing w h ite r e j e c t i o n o f c i v i l r i g h t s o b je c ­ t i v e s and c i v i l r i g h t s s u p p o r t e r s . B ut b e c a u se o f t h e d i v e r s e number o f i s s u e s on w hich th e 1964 p r e s i d e n t i a l c o n t e s t b etw een Jo h n so n and G old- w a te r was r u n , i t was d i f f i c u l t t o a s s e s s t h e p r e c i s e r o l e w hich th e " w h ite b a c k la s h " a g a i n s t t h e c i v i l r i g h t s movement p la y e d .

T h ere i s no q u e s ti o n t h a t t h e n o r t h e r n d e m o n s tr a tio n s a ro u s e d o p p o s i t i o n . To c i t e one e x am p le: I n March 1 9 6 4 , ta k in g t h e i r c a s e i n t o th e s t r e e t s f o r th e f i r s t tim e , more th a n t e n th o u s a n d w h ite p a r e n t s m arched on New Y ork’ s C ity H a ll in p r o t e s t o v e r s c h o o l " p a i r i n g " and th e

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" b u s in g " o f c h i l d r e n o u t o f n e ig h b o u rh o o d s c h o o l s . E n g in e e re d by a lo o s e l y k n i t f e d e r a t i o n r e p r e s e n t i n g a w ide v a r i e t y o f i n t e r e s t s , th e d e m o n s tr a to r s w ere bound by t h e i r c o lo u r and t h e i r o p p o s i t i o n t o any p la n s w hich c a l l e d f o r th e i n v o l u n t a r y t r a n s f e r o f c h i l d r e n from n eig h b o u rh o o d s c h o o ls . The l a r g e s t o f t h e s e g r o u p s , P a re n ts * and T ax p a y ers (PAT),

Q uoted i n W arren , opa i t . , p p . 1 6 2 -6 3 .

NYTß M ar. 1 3 , 19 6 4 , p . 1 . E a r l i e r , a s t a t e c o u r t r u l e d t h a t th e Board o f E d u c a tio n h ad th e r i g h t t o r e z o n e s c h o o ls t o p ro m o te i n t e g r a t i o n b u t u p h e ld , a s w e l l , th e r i g h t o f p u p i l s t o a t t e n d t h e s c h o o ls n e a r e s t t o t h e i r hom es. T h is l e f t open th e q u e s ti o n a s t o th e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i t y o f a s c h o o l b o a r d 's a c q u ie s c e n c e i n de f a c t o

s e g r e g a t i o n . See i b i d . 9 J a n . 1 1 , 1 9 6 4 , p . 1 . F o r o t h e r c a s e s , s e e Balaban vRubin9 r e p o r t e d i n IX CLD 26 ( 1 9 6 3 ) ; IX CLD 64 (1 9 6 4 ).

organized a boycott, in protest over the Board of Education's programme on limited pairing of schools, which successfully cut attendances by 175,000 above normal.9** This was followed by sit-ins in the disputed

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In document Political movements : three case studies of protest (Page 173-175)