Re: "SPIKES" ...on their combat boots...
The "Mississippi Times "
June 24th 1962
Federal versus State laws
by Bernie Cote
Governor Barnett may blare forth about States' rights, in his token effort to keep the black activist, James Meredith , from enrolling in the currently all-white University of Mississippi, but it is a mere sop to the sizeable minority - unusually, and unhappily, containing quite a segment of young students, who, instead of being traditionally radical and forward -looking are reacting like a bloc of stodgy old conservatives - within this State of clinging to the notion that "Them uppity niggas have gotta keep their place", but the Democrat governor, who is a much better man than the role he's playing right now to placate that ugly minority, knows full well that the Federal law must prevail, ultimately.
And the law, as during this month was handed down by the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals, is that Meredith, as an American citizen, should be so enrolled.
Ross Barnett in his shadow-boxing over the issue, is up against two heavyweights as sparring-partners, the Attorney-General, and the President of these United States, no less, the Kennedy brothers.
They are going easy on their outmatched opponent, they are not, from their bully-pulpit ordering Barnett to comply with the law, but are negotiating with sweet reasons for the Governor, giving him every opportunity for him to withdraw gracefully from the arena to save face with his turbulent constituency, the White supremacists in this State. If Mr Barnett undertook to maintain law and order, they promised, they would not unleash the military upon the tense situation.
The governor, however, has dug his heels in, and given a speech defying the ruling handed down by the Court, and James Meredith is still an outsider. Whereupon, the Kennedys, following the Constitution, seized control of the Mississippi National Guard, and sent in federal marshals to escort Mr Maredith into the University.
After the stick of law, the President offered the carrot of consolation to white Southerners, the majority of whom were his fellow Democrats anyway. Kennedy said in a televised address, that he recognized "...The present period of transition and adjustment is a hard one for many people" , , but added that all this upheaval was going on with all of America and the whole world watching, so he urged the governor, and especially the outraged white students at the University to simmer down and let social evolution follow its enlightened course.
Whether the President's excellent diplomacy will soothe the angry minority, remains to be seen.
"Whate'er should be our Zodiac's star
We all are born to make or mar.
To each is gi'en a bag of tools
Some mentors, and a set of rules:
And each must carve, ere life has flown,
A stumbling block, or a stepping-stone"
"Spikes" The cleats on baseball boots
"Spikes" On which newspaper editors impale copy for future reference, or ultimate destruction.