Edmund Pettus, southern Christian Confederate icon and the devilry of deleted history

Historian Heather Cox Richardson commemorates the anniversary of the famous clash on an Alabama bridge during the fight for voting rights, a fight that was set back fifty years by John Roberts and four other Federalist Society “originalists” who, in 2013, overruled a 98-0 Senate vote and the approving signature of the conservative Republican president who signed the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.  (Sickening details of that unappealable polite, hack decision here [1])

March 7, 1965 was called “Bloody Sunday” because of the spilled blood of beaten protesters peacefully seeking the right to vote that is guaranteed in the Constitution.  That blood was shed by Alabama state troopers and policemen, who turned massive violence on a peaceful crowd, making a goddamned point about the superiority of the white race and the inferiority of Blacks.

Here’s a snapshot, from Heather’s piece last night.   The whole thing is a great, thought-provoking read, like all of her Letters from an American, unless you are offended by the notion of so-called cause and effect and the incendiary idea of history itself.

On March 7, 1965, the marchers set out. As they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a Confederate brigadier general, Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, and U.S. senator who stood against Black rights, state troopers and other law enforcement officers met the unarmed marchers with billy clubs, bull whips, and tear gas. They fractured the skull of young activist John Lewis, and beat Amelia Boynton unconscious. A newspaper photograph of the 54-year-old Boynton, seemingly dead in the arms of another marcher, illustrated the depravity of those determined to stop Black voting.


[1] a little snapshot of how the clock gets turned back by a tiny, powerful, determined elite:

Only when you read Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent (another magnificent piece of clear, precise legal and moral logic) do you realize the audacity of the Roberts majority’s legal sleight of hand. You learn that the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act was passed, after 21 hearings and 15,000 pages of evidence of ongoing discrimination in the states under preclearance, by a vote of 390-33 in the House and, after further debate, 98 to 0 in the Senate. Reading the John Roberts decision you’d have no reason to suspect that President George W. Bush signed the reauthorization into law a week later, as Ginsburg writes:

recognizing the need for “further work . . . in the fight against injustice,” and calling the reauthorization “an example of our continued commitment to a united America where every person is valued and treated with dignity and respect.” 

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