Prelude to Confrontation
Norfolk and especially its established business and political leaders began to harden into a stronghold of Massive Resistance for a number of reasons--in spite of the apparent success of the Mayor's redevelopment program in preventing school desegregation. For several years since the Brown decision, the local chapter of the statewide Massive Resistance support group--the Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties--had labored to establish a respected political force that could be counted on to endorse the Byrd Organization when it advanced ardent segregationists, but also to oppose it when it backed more moderate local-option resisters. In spite of its penchant for lost causes, such as support for the Separatist Party candidate for President in 1956, the local Defenders had carved for themselves a minor following among the city's small businessmen, the major component of their statewide effort. In the past it had been pushed dangerously close to the fringe of accepted political behavior, but it had always fought its way back to the core of this small constituency.
The logic of the Defenders' argument was powerfully convincing for most of Norfolk's white citizens: They felt that the Supreme
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Pride and Prejudice:School Desegregation and Urban Renewal in Norfolk, 1950-1959. Contributors: Forrest R. White - Author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 151.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.