Harold Jackson remembers growing up black in Birmingham, Alabama, during the demonstrations, and has this moment of deja vu (emphasis added).
Hundreds of teenagers and younger children filed out of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where they were greeted by Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor and his storm troopers, who treated adult and child alike. The marchers were beaten and knocked from their feet by powerful water cannons operated by city firefighters and then taken to jail.
The resulting bad publicity after the world press reported the story in articles, photographs, and film was too much for a city that once had hopes of competing with Atlanta to become the commerce center of the South. City officials signed what Connor called the “lyingest, face-saving” document he had ever seen – an agreement to remove “Whites Only” signs, integrate lunch counters, and hire black clerks at department stores.
Those modest gains were too much for segregationists who, like some people today when it comes to gun control, saw any concession as the first step down the slippery slope to total surrender. The agreement was signed May 10, 1963. That night, bombs were set off at the home of King’s brother, A.D. King, and at the black-owned Gaston Motel, where King had stayed during the Birmingham campaign.
Read the rest, especially if you are too young to remember those days.
You do realize, of course, that there is significant overlap between the populations of the “segregationists” (as they were known then) and the gun nuts.