The Southern Revolt

By Carter, Hodding,, III | Nieman Reports, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

The Southern Revolt


Carter, Hodding,, III, Nieman Reports


As a personal preface to these comments, I would like to point out at they have been delayed because of my absence from Greenville on a speaking trip which was largely devoted to explaining and defending the Southern reaction to President Truman's civil rights proposals. For the benefit of those irresponsibles who continue to brand me as "Anti-Southern" and an "outsider" I might add that such defense isn't being made altogether to Southern audiences, which would be pretty easy; and that in making it, I have tried not to lose either a sense of balance or a sense of humor.

So much for a maverick's preface.

Four of the President's proposals have particularly aroused the majority of white Southerners. They are the recommendations for federal legislation to eliminate the poll tax in national elections, to create a Fair Employment Practices Commission, to end segregation in interstate public conveyances in the South, and to make lynchings a federal offense.

For the record, I'd like to restate my own convictions as to the four controversial points. I would like to see the remaining seven Southern states abolish the poll tax by state action as five have already done. But I am unalterably opposed to federal action. The states have the constitutional right to set their own suffrage qualifications as long as they do not specifically eliminate any racial or other group in the population. The poll tax in itself is no more of a bar to Negro voting than it is to a white man's voting, and is no longer a basic factor in the prevention of Negro suffrage. In both the poll tax and no-poll tax states in the South, Negroes are voting in increasing numbers. I have said before that this process is inevitable, and the South must concern itself with the education of the Negro for citizenship. Repeal of the poll tax by the federal government does not contribute to such education. It must come on the state and local level if it is to come sanely.

The recommendation for Fair Employment Practices legislation is unreal and, as The New York Times puts it, an attempt to enforce tolerance with a policeman's billy.

As for federal anti-lynching legislation, I cannot see why there should be such great opposition to any law that might protect a man's life more fully. On the other hand, lynching is the only crime that has decreased in the past 20 years, despite the fact that it is also the crime for which it is apparently impossible to obtain a conviction in the South. The striking reduction of lynching has been accomplished by public sentiment in the South, and that sentiment may eventually result in the conviction of lynchers themselves. If a federal anti-lynch law would hasten the day of punishment for lynchers, we'd be for it. But Southern citizens would still form the juries, and it is their hearts rather than the legal jurisdiction that must be changed. The law seems utterly useless.

The demand for an end to segregation in public interstate transportation is somewhat bewildering. I had thought that the Supreme Court had already held such segregation to be unlawful; and if this is true, the President seems to be gilding the political lily.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Southern Revolt
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.