Polemics & Exchanges

Self-Sufficient Faction

I much enjoyed Prof. Gottfried’s response in the January issue, “Was Civil Rights Right?”, in which he wrote, “Although I am happy that racial segregation has ended, I am far less pleased with other changes that have come about because of social engineering, pushed by the government and courts and cheer-led by our media and educational establishments.”

As most Chronicles readers are aware, the civil rights movement was not monolithic, at least initially, but starkly divided.

One of the main factions consisted of blacks, led by black businessmen S. B. Fuller and T. R. M. Howard, who stressed self-sufficiency and capitalism, and largely eschewed the “white man’s government.” The other, led and financed by white leftists behind the scenes, sought continual revolution and grievance, and heavy-handed government to achieve their aims. Both groups courted a certain dynamic young preacher. Guess who won?

—Mark Slater
Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Prof. Gottfried replies:

I am fully aware of the distinction you have made. In fact, I was friendly with the late Elizabeth Wright, who among her other accomplishments, produced an admiring biography of Fuller. Unfortunately public administrators, social engineers, race hustlers, and the mainstream media took over the legitimate struggle...

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