Robert Welch, candy maker

Great quote from Robert Welch, the candy manufacturer who founded the John Birch Society. He wrote the following:
“… the constant indoctrination of young and old alike, through our educational system, and through our communications and entertainment media, in a preference for “welfare” and “security” against responsibility and opportunity; making an ever larger and larger percentage of American industry, commerce, agriculture, education, and individuals accustomed to receiving and dependent on, government checks; a constant increase in legislation, taxation, and bureaucracy, leading directly towards one hundred percent government;… the creation of riots and the semblance of revolution under the guise and excuse of promoting “civil rights”;… [and] destroying the power of local police forces to preserve law and order.”

Written in 1966, this could be the mantra of today’s conservative/Republican movement conservatism. Unlike the conservative Bundy family in their civil disobedience, the Civil Rights Movement activists who broke the segregation laws simply held out their wrists to be handcuffed b/c that is the essence of civil disobedience: you pay the penalty for violating an unjust law until the people rise up against the law. In the 60s we saw over and over how those opposed to rights for African-Americans like William F. Buckley used their deliberate law-breaking to label civil rights activists scoff laws and to conflate their activities with urban riots, just like the conservative media still conflate the unlawful activities of looters and gang-bangers taking advantage of unrest with the entirely lawful activities of protesters. IOW, conservatives are hypocrites b/c they have no intention of correcting abuses in places like Ferguson and, in fact, encourage such abuses as evidence of their power over the lives of “lesser” people. The use of code words like “personal responsibility” find their place in Romney’s 47% remark. Too bad the Wall Street financiers who broke our economy did not take some “personal responsibility”.
Ian Haney Lopez, from whose book, Dog Whistle Politics this quote is taken, lays it out nicely. But I don’t need that b/c I talked to the JBS members who came into the store I worked in to buy Welch’s and others’ books blaming the Civil Rights Movement on Communism. Just recently, a member of the GOP invited our Democratic club to hear a speaker on the dangers of Communism! They are still flogging that in any effort to stem the tide of change. And it is not just old White people in retirement communities, just look at Trump’s rallies: lots of young people. Just the other day I saw a truck with “Police Lives Matter” across the back window and a Confederate flag decal on the same window; the message is the same as Welch’s: Black rights = danger to America. Please don’t bother me with protestations of innocence, the link between anti-Black sentiment and conservative thought has been thoroughly made many times over.

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