Within a week of the ratification of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Ku Klux
Klan was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee. The founder was former Confederate general Nathan B. Forrest, who also led the Fort Pillow Massacre. After Forrest secured a truce with Union troops, he slaughtered 238 Black soldiers at Fort Pillow.
With the KKK leading America’s first war on terrorism, slave power was transferred from private ownership to states’ rights. The local custodians for newly emancipated Blacks were local sheriffs. Courthouses were the local headquarters for white supremacy. Black Codes would supplant the slave codes.
Nearly 100 years later, the legal structure of the South remains unaltered. James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman found it out the hard way. The local sheriff and a posse of Klansmen intercepted them on June 21,1964.Their bodies were later found near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Sheriffs in Mississippi were, invariably, members of the KKK.
On March 17, 1886, Blacks had assembled at the Carroll County, Mississippi, courthouse to support or to give testimony on behalf of two brothers who had been charged with assaulting a white lawyer with intent to kill. The white lawyer had assaulted Ed Brown. A gunfight ensued, with gunshot wounds to the lawyer, James Liddell. Ed and Charley Brown were vigorously prosecuted in Carroll County.
While Sheriff T.T. Hamilton was conveniently at home,a white mob entered the Carroll County Courthouse and proceeded to murder 23 defenseless Blacks. A grand jury would later fault the Black victims for their own demise. Even after the ratification of the 14th Amendment, Blacks enjoyed no right of self-defense.
Every white official in the state, including Sen. John McCain’s great-grandfather, applauded the massacre. Sen.Blanche K.Bruce and Cong. John R. Lynch of Mississippi went to the White House to protest the Carrolton Courthouse Massacre to President Grover Cleveland, who would cite to them the Supreme Court ruling in Cruikshank v.United States.
In February 1886, Sheriff Hamilton had already given the keys to the jail at the courthouse to a white mob. Will McKinney had been convicted of killing Charlie Broadway. The mob dragged McKinney out of the jail, shot and lynched him on the courthouse square.The courthouse had also served as the county’s auction block and all slave records were housed in it.
Sen. John McCain co-authored “Faith of My Fathers.” It is mostly about Sen. McCain, his father and his grandfather. However, he described his anonymous, great-grandfather in the book as “inspiring his sons, my grandfather and great-uncle, to pursue careers as professional officers.”
McCain’s father and grandfather became admirals. McCain had a career in the Navy, but opted out for politics and became a carpetbagger. He chose Arizona as his political home. Arizona had been a territory of the Confederate States of America.
Interestingly, McCain failed to reveal the name of his great-grandfather in the book and for good reason. He was an arch white supremacist. In four other books written about Sen. McCain, none of them even mentioned his great-grandfather.
By inference, Sen.McCain admitted that this racial patriarch and mentor wanted to fight for the Confederate States of America to uphold white supremacy, white Christianity and states’ rights, but he was only 14 years of age. He upped his age to 18,but to no avail.
His great-grandfather was not only a prominent slaveholder in Carroll County, but he was also an influential local politician and eventually its sheriff. He took over the county’s law enforcement reins in 1891 soon after the Carrolton Courthouse Massacre.
Sheriff McCain’s reign of terror started during the height of the Colored Farmers’ Alliance, which had organized 1,250,000 Black farmers by 1891 and would rival the all-white Southern Farmers’ Alliance. Interestingly, the Colored Bar of Mississippi was also formed in 1891. This started the “Greenville Movement” to form bar associations in other states.
In 1891,this Black alliance had called for a cotton pickers strike and had supported the Federal Elections Bill. These demands, if successful, would have overthrown sharecropping and would have put Blacks on an equal par with white farmers.
Local sheriffs initiated another wave of white terrorism. The KKK furnished the manpower. Judges donned Black robes over their Halloween costumes. Since the South had won the Civil War, philosophically, states’ rights would trump federalism. The Supreme Court said its hands were tied to stop white terrorism.
This exercise of First Amendment rights by persons of African ancestry to achieve political and economic power angered white supremacists. Local sheriffs were on their posts. Organized Blacks, seeking political goals, were a threat to white supremacy. This was a bloody period and it wrought Plessy v. Ferguson.
The house organ of the Colored Farmers’ Alliance, the Colored Farmers’ Alliance Advocate, was published in Carroll County. State-sponsored terrorism, and particularly in Carroll County, Mississippi, would eventually undermine the Colored Alliance movement.
In 1902,when McCain’s grandfather was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy, it was institutionally racist and anti-Semitic. While Henry O. Flipper became the first Black graduate of West Point in 1877, the first
Black graduate of the U.S.Naval Academy, Wesley A. Brown, had to wait until 1949. The Navy fitted the McCains like “the glove” fitted O.J. Simpson’s hand.
In “Faith of my Fathers” McCain said his great-
grandfather “had expressed his patriotism by serving as sheriff of Carroll County, Mississippi” to suppress Black resistance. Sen. McCain uses the same term to describe those white supremacists who have heckled
Sen. Barack Obama’s name at McCain’s political rallies. In this country, a racist is, obviously, a patriot.
By the way, the full name of Sen. McCain’s great- grandfather was John Sidney McCain. Three generations of McCains have embraced his white supremacist philosophy. White terrorism continued in Carroll County throughout the 1960s. History explains Sen. McCain. Hopefully, the Jefferson Davis side of Sen.
Obama’s family will not captivate him.
October 29–Min. Joseph Carswell will be the keynote speaker at UAM’s weekly forum at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman Avenue (Fulton Street), near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. His topic is “G-7 and the Third World.” Admission is free.
November 2–Alton Maddox and Carlos Russell will keynote a pre-Black Solidarity Day program at Boys and Girls High School, 1700 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, at 3 p.m.
See: www.reinstatealtonmaddox.net for “Bloomberg’s New York: White As Snow,” “CBC Folds Under Pelosi’s Pressure” and “NYPD Using Military Weapons.”