National Review on Brown v. Board of Education and Desegregation
July 19, 2013 § 2 Comments
The National Review is one of the United States’ longest-standing conservative voices. It is also usually a reasoned, steady voice. But, well, as I read a bizarre rant about George Zimmerman in its pages full of thinly veiled racism, I find myself recalling National Review’s response to Brown v. Board of Education and government-mandated desegregation in the South in the late 1950s.
Writing in 1957 (the 24 August edition, to be exact), the editors of National Review had this to say:
The central question that emerges — and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalogue of the rights of American citizens, born Equal — is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes [italics in original] — the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.
Yup. And for an added bonus, here is James J. Kilpatrick, who was then the editor of the Richmond News-Leader in Virginia. He was of the opinion that Brown and forced desegregation would “risk, twenty or thirty years hence, a widespread racial amalgamation and debasement of the society [of the South] as a whole.”