Friday, August 7, 2015

"Ill-timed" civil rights demonstrations

Shortly after, at ten-thirty, the President greeted the civil rights leaders. He was legitimately concerned that the March on Washington would give fence-sitters in Congress a "not at gunpoint" excuse to vote against his—their—civil rights bill. King agreed that the march might seem "ill-timed." But he had never engaged in a direct-action movement that did not seem ill-timed. "Some people thought Birmingham was ill-timed," he said.

"Including the attorney general," the President said, and added, "I don't think you should be totally harsh on Bull Connor. After all, he has done more for civil rights than almot anybody else."
Diane McWhorter, Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution (2001, with 2012 Afterword), pp. 449-50.

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