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Defiance and Compliance

Defiance and Compliance

The Breakdown of Freedom of Choice in the South’s Schools

(p.81) 4 Defiance and Compliance
After the Dream
Timothy J. MinchinJohn A. Salmond
University Press of Kentucky

Roland Crabbe, Trussville, Alabama's mayor, wrote to President Nixon in February 1970, regarding the federal orders concerning the integration of schools. Crabbe explained how he had observed that people were upset regarding school desegregation policies that they often found to be unjust since this system was being forced upon them during the Reconstruction period. He asserted that the “only democratic way” was to enable southerners with freedom of choice. Nixon received several other letters that expressed similar sentiments in his first two years as president. In addition many senators in the South received similar letters. Such measures revealed that the whites fostered a deep opposition towards complete school integration, and that their rights were not being properly utilized. Several different schools, as documented by both the SRC and the National Education Association (NEA), saw several fights, deaths, and bomb threats in relation to such issues.

Keywords:   integration, NEA, SRC, freedom of choice, rights, white opposition, desegregation policies

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