Civil Rights And Lunch Counters

Talk about brothers under the skin!

When Constitutional Carry Activists in Wisconsin decided to meet at a local eatery in Madison two weeks ago they hardly realized they would re-enact a legendary protest from America’s not-so-recent past.

In some ways the response of Authorities to a challenge of the status quo is eerily unaffected by the change of time or location or subject. In some other ways the contemporary response is a drastic abandonment of American jurisprudence ideals (innocent until proven guilty for those who keep score.)

A casual observer might be forgiven if he concluded the opposite to be true- the response of the past would be more aggressive and the response of the present would be more, uh, Constitutional.

Here are two statements from two community leaders-one white, one black-in response to a protest in their respective jurisdictions fifty years apart.

In spite of the civil disobedience separated by time and distance, the authoritarians-in-charge have essentially the same thing on their ruling class oligarchical minds: control of the populace–principles and law be damned.

Compare and contrast these two statements from the Mayor ( the legitimate civil authority!) of a major southern city faced with an uprising fifty years ago and the Police Chief ( the supposedly subservient enforcement authority) of a contemporary Wisconsin City faced with a much more insignificant challenge to customary habits of thought and behavior.

Ask yourself what would have happened if the Mayor from fifty years past had adopted the confrontational attitude of the Police Chief from the present. (Does Madison,Wisconsin even have a Mayor? He/she has sure been publicly AWOL on this subject)

See if you can identify the fifty year old incident based on the slightly redacted quotes and decide what has changed in the interim :

Mayor(From 1960):

The first point I wish to make is that peace and good order are essential to the personal civil rights of any citizen and peace and good order will be preserved throughout our city.

Second, I call upon the leadership of the students and the business concerns involved to place the public interest above personal considerations, even to the extent of foregoing, for a while, individual rights and financial interests.

Third, I call upon the citizens who are not directly involved in this situation to maintain a calm support of their community leaders, and in return, I pledge to both sides the full exercise of all powers of our city government seeking a just and honorable resolution of this problem.


Police Chief (Madison, Wisconsin):

The situation of finding the best way of protecting public safety

Number Two Protecting Constitutional Rights

And Citizens understanding what they should do when they have a question about something.



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