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In September of 1962 James Meredith, a 28 Year old Air Force veteran, and proud black man, enrolled in the segregated University of Mississippi. All hell literally broke loose. In David Talbot’s great look at the Kennedy years, aptly entitled Brothers ( 2007 ), we see how JFK and RFK had to deal with a revise of a Civil War era insurrection. He reports that whites from all over the country ascended upon Oxford, Mississippi to violently reject Meredith’s right to a college education. A group of perhaps a few hundred federal marshals and hastily deputized prison guards, border patrolmen and ATF agents were under siege in the Lyceum, and old administration building. They were under physical threat by 2500 white students, Klansmen, squirrel hunters and even off duty cops, armed with bricks, metal pipes, gas filled Coke bottles and shotguns. The tear gas the marshals had was running out, and things got ominous. Death was in the air. Marshalls and other deputies were shot at, beaten and left for dead. One marshal said ” It’s like the Alamo!” Talbot relates how the US Army proved to be so incompetent in getting federal troops to the rescue. Finally, the rescue succeeded, with an army of broken and bloody bodies.

When RFK ordered an investigation into this disgraceful replay of ‘ The war between the states’ , he was aghast at what was reported. There had been leaflets flooding the area , as Talbot states, of ‘ Underlying sexual panic behind the Anti Meredith furor- the fear that incoming male black students would defile the pure white magnolia of Southern womanhood’. Leaflets showed cartoons of fresh scrubbed blonde coeds in the arms of grossly caricatured black ‘ coons’. A student newspaper, The Rebel Underground, attacked the Kennedy brothers as the ‘ KKK- Kennedy Koon Keepers’. A new book had come out a few months earlier, Seven Days in May, which told of a fictitious planned Coup de tat by far right wing players, because the president was ‘ Too soft on the communist Soviet Union. Well, the book may have been fiction ( or a pretext to November, 1963) but in 1962 large swatches of this country were filled with such rhetoric. Leaflets given out to white soldiers at the campus stated ” Do not be tricked into fighting your fellow Americans… Kennedy is out to destroy America because he is sick, sick Communist… together with all other good Americans we will remove RED JACK KENNEDY and all the other Communist Party politicians from office, and go on from there to wipe the Hell- Spawned Filth of Communism from the face of the earth!!”

Is all of the above any different from that infamous Charlottesville white supremacist march in August of 2017? You know, the one that had those fine and decent mostly young students and friends carrying torches and exclaiming ‘ Blood and Soil’ and ‘ Jews will NOT replace us!’ The president of the United States, and all the Jewish people in his administration, and of course Israel’s Netanyahu and followers, did not flood the airwaves with shouts of disgust. No, Trump et all used the fact that Anti Fascist demonstrators mixed it up with the white supremacists the following day (with one Anti Fascist demonstrator being run over and killed), saying ‘ There are fine people on both sides’ . The tone was set. One year or so later, in October of 2018, a crazed gunman shot and murdered eleven worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Can anyone ‘ connect the dots’ as to a president and his Jewish supporters who do not come down hard on such truly Anti Semitic rhetoric and actions in August of 2017? Folks, we are living , sad to say, in a totally ‘ Dumbed Down ‘ nation… for generations! Too many of our fellow citizens, like those Germans in the late 1920s- early 30s, just choose to ignore the coming ‘ Pandemic of evil’ . Well, when the ‘ Shit hits the fan’, as in Germany circa 1932, you get just that: Fascism disguised as Nationalism or Nazism. It is coming, perhaps as a sequel to this virus pandemic, but it is coming children!!

Philip Farruggio
May 5, 2020