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Continued white resistance to civil rights advances

Melvin B. Miller
Continued white resistance to civil rights advances
“The police will quiet down those annoying demonstrators.”

The historical record is clear — blacks have been discriminated against since their arrival in America. Yet whites have objected to every form of non-violent protest as blacks have sought their civil rights.

First there was slavery, then segregation. Voting restrictions were common. Blacks in the South opposing racial segregation could often end up among the 4,400 lynching victims between 1877 and 1950. Despite this horrendous oppression, Gallup polls in 1961 found that 61 percent disapproved of Freedom Riders and 57 percent thought that lunch counter sit-ins would be harmful to desegregation, and 60 percent found in a 1963 Gallup poll that demonstrations would harm chances for racial equality.

In more recent times, blacks have organized a group to oppose police violence against blacks — Black Lives Matter. Despite the great number of such fatalities, opposition to protests against the violation of black civil rights has not changed. Newsweek reports that a Harvard Harris survey in Aug. 2017 found that 57 percent of respondents are unfavorable to Black Lives Matter. Similarly in a CNN poll in Sept. 2017, 59 percent of whites are against the professional football players taking a knee to protest police violence.

It appears that blacks are expected to accept stoically whatever violations of their constitutional rights are imposed. Is that what whites would do?

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