Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America

By John George; Laird Wilcox | Go to book overview
Save to active project

15 Revolutionary Action Movement

Robert F. Williams was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956 and returned to his home in Monroe, North Carolina, where he became leader of the local NAACP. Soon after assuming that position, he confronted the city powers-that-be with what now seems a modest request: allow blacks to use the local swimming pool one day per week. The city fathers vetoed this on grounds that they simply did not have the money to drain and refill the pool after each use by the "Nigras." No doubt exercising considerable self-control in containing their rage, the local NAACP people, with Williams as spokesman, called for total integration of the facility--a request that was, of course, not granted. 1

This is but one illustration of the intransigence of that and other communities throughout the South and Southwest during the mid-1950s and 1960s. Throughout this time period, the Ku Klux Klan was active in the Monroe area and did its best to intimidate the black population, who could hardly turn for help to local law enforcement officials, because many police officers were themselves Klan members. Due in great part to this distressing situation, Williams organized segments of the black community into "self-defense units." 2

In 1959, after a white jury acquitted a white of a brutal attack on a black, Williams told a reporter that violence should be met with violence. This resulted in his six-month suspension as head of the Monroe NAACP. All this turned out to be more than Williams could take, and he began to look outward, toward Marxist-Leninist states.

Journeying to Cuba a number of times in 1960, and disseminating favorable information about Fidel Castro and his government, Williams became even more unpopular with American black leaders than previously. He even went so far as to telegram Cuban foreign minister Raul Roa at the U.N. The contents of this missive were read by Roa during a debate about the U.S.-backed 1961 invasion of Cuba known as the Bay of Pigs. The telegram stated:

Now that the United States has proclaimed military support for people willing to rebel against oppression. . . . Negroes in the South urgently request tanks, artillery, arms, money, use of American airfields and white mercenaries to crush the racist tyrants who have betrayed the American Revolution and the Civil War. We also request prayers for this noble undertaking.

Thus Williams attracted the attention of the revolutionary left. So impressed was Milton Rosen, a Communist party functionary who later founded the Pro

-177-

Notes for this page

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.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

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

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

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?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 530

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.

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.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?