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Massive ResistanceSouthern Opposition to the Second Reconstruction$
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Clive Webb

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177862.001.0001

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White South, Red Nation: Massive Resistance and the Cold War

White South, Red Nation: Massive Resistance and the Cold War

(p.117) Six White South, Red Nation: Massive Resistance and the Cold War
Massive Resistance

George Lewis

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how segregationists also attempted to manipulate Cold War tensions to their own political advantage. It discusses that the parochial self-interest of segregationists seemed to their political opponents “un-American,” since it destabilized the United States at a time when the country was already faced with unprecedented foreign threat. It notes that segregationists attempted to reclaim their political legitimacy by arguing that civil rights activism was a communist conspiracy to destroy the social fabric of the nation. It adds that this exploitation of Cold War rhetoric transformed the struggle to preserve Jim Crow into a patriotic crusade. It explains that the irony lost on segregationists was their supposed protection of American traditions and ideals made it permissible for them to disobey their own democratically elected government.

Keywords:   Cold War, United States, Jim Crow, civil rights, foreign threat

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