The weekly column from Clark Judge:
Rioting in Ferguson – A Disheartening Rejection of the Civil Rights Movement
By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute
The most disheartening fact about the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, is that the rioters reject due process of law. Yet these same rioters are among the Americans who should be most invested in protecting the law’s protections. They are, after all, some of the chief beneficiaries of the nearly two-century struggle to achieve the very rights they now so violently want to wipe away.
The struggle to make protection of rights universal in America – that is, to extend it to African-Americans — began in the Revolutionary years with the banning of slavery in Vermont in 1777, in Pennsylvania (albeit by stages) in 1780 and in Massachusetts in 1783. It continued with exclusion of slavery from the Northwest Territories in 1787, the subsequent ending of slavery within their borders by all states north of the Mason-Dixon line and the Ohio River, the Civil War, the 13th Amendment, and Reconstruction. It languished after Union troops left the South in 1877 and in the decades that followed as the various legislative struggles between pro-civil rights Republicans and pro-segregation Democrats generally ended with no action. It returned to life with the Democratic Party’s split over civil rights at its 1948 national convention. In the following decade and a half a new civil rights movement gained steam among both a new alliance of Republicans and northern Democrats on one hand and increasingly vocal and brilliantly led African-Americans on the other. It ultimately carried the day in a series of victories – legislative and otherwise — stretching from the middle ‘60s to the middle ‘70s. Continue Reading