The monuments to the framers of The Southern Manifesto of 1956
As Confederate flags come down, so should the monuments that honor the Democrat politicians who overwhelmingly supported The Southern Manifesto of 1956.
The Southern Manifesto – officially entitled The Decision of the Supreme Court in the School Cases Declaration of Constitutional Principles – was signed by 101 members of the U.S. Congress, including 19 senators and 82 members of the House of Representatives. Ninety-nine of them were Democrats.
All 19 Senate signatories were Democrats: Walter F. George, Richard B. Russell, John Stennis, Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Strom Thurmond, Harry F. Byrd, A. Willis Robertson, John L. McClellan, Allen J. Ellender, Russell B. Long, Lister Hill, James O. Eastland, W. Kerr Scott, John Sparkman, Olin D. Johnston, Price Daniel, J.W. Fulbright, George A. Smathers, Spessard L. Holland.
The Manifesto was entered into the Congressional Record, 84th Congress, Second Session, Vol. 102, Part 4, on March 12, 1956, as a response to the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.
It included this language:
This unwarranted exercise of power by the Court, contrary to the Constitution, is creating chaos and confusion in the States principally affected. It is destroying the amicable relations between the white and Negro races that have been created through 90 years of patient effort by the good people of both races. It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding.
The effort underway today to shame the display of the Confederate flag should be rightly accompanied by a removal of the monuments to those national politicians who, 60 years ago, claimed that “amicable relations between the white and Negro races” was being perpetuated by separate but equal educational opportunities.
Those monuments include statues of Senator J. William Fulbright (who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award from President William Jefferson Clinton)...
...West Virginia senator (and former Ku Klux Klansman) Robert C. Byrd...
...South Carolina senator Sam Irwin...
...South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond, drafter of the original version of the Manifesto...
...and Louisiana senator Russell B. Long, son of Louisiana governor and U.S. senator Huey Long.
If there is no honor in the memories evoked by the Confederate flag, then there is even less to be found in the statues depicting those prominent politicians who fought for segregation well into the 20th century.