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Civil Rights Politics

Ben Carson’s Mississippi Campaign Chair Opposed Civil Rights And Supported Jim Crow

Ben Carson may want to be a bit more careful in the future about who he decides to associate with. Then again, it may be far too late for that.

Friday, Dr. Carson announced the new Mississippi campaign chairman of his bid for the 2016 GOP nomination: Former federal judge Charles W. Pickering. At the announcement, Pickering said Carson has the:

“Integrity and moral authority to lead and bring America together.”

But what in the hell would Charles Pickering know about integrity or moral authority? Pickering opposed the 1965 Civil Rights Act and was an ardent supporter of Jim Crow laws in the Deep South. Matter of fact, Pickering even left the Democratic Party in 1964 because of their support for civil rights legislation.

When George W. Bush appointed this hateful sack of excrement to the federal bench in 2004, Democrats tried unsuccessfully to block the nomination.

Here’s proof of how Pickering feels about the issue of equal rights for all: Papers belonging to Pickering’s former law partner, J. Carroll Gartin, reveal that the former federal judge is nothing short of a George Wallace clone:

“The new evidence, housed at the University of Mississippi Library, shows that Pickering’s decision to defect to the Republicans — a key turning point in his public career — came at the strong urging of Gartin, who as lieutenant governor from 1956 to 1960 and again from 1964 until his sudden death in 1966 was a leading member of Mississippi’s notoriously racist Sovereignty Commission. Gartin’s papers — including his personal letters and other private documents, plus memos, press releases and news clippings from the time — also confirm, in more detail than ever before, that Pickering became a Republican in 1964 to protest the national Democratic Party’s support for civil rights and its attacks on segregation — a motive the judge refused to acknowledge in his testimony last year.”

The papers also show that Pickering was vehemently opposed to any civil rights legislation:

“Instead of ‘trying to establish better race relations’ in the 1960s, Pickering worked to support segregation, attack civil rights advocates who sought to end Jim Crow, and back those who opposed national civil rights legislation, above all the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or, in the words of a public statement he signed in 1967, Pickering wanted to preserve ‘our southern way of life,’ and he bitterly blamed civil rights workers for stirring up ‘turmoil and racial hatred’ in the South.”

And yet this man is now the Mississippi campaign chair for Ben Carson, a black man. Does neither of them see the irony and hypocrisy in the whole situation?

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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