How the FBI Tried to Block Martin Luther King’s Commencement Speech

Just four days later, Southern senators launched what would prove to be an epic 10-week filibuster of the bill. Georgia’s Richard Russell publicly proclaimed, “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our states.”

.. According to Baumgardner, the FBI had learned that both Springfield and Yale were considering King for honorary degrees. He said the Bureau was “initiating appropriate checks as to the availability of such established and reliable sources at these institutions which would permit the heading off of the conferring of honorary degrees to King.” The strategy had already “prevented King from getting an honorary degree from Marquette University.”

.. He started to play a tape, ostensibly of King. It was filled with vulgarity. I said, ‘Are you willing to go public with this? If you go public with this, I’m happy to hear it. Otherwise I don’t want to hear any more of it.’ He said, ‘God, we can’t go public.’ So I hung up on him.”

.. When Shelley balked, Olds snapped that he would send college trustee Julian Sprague down to Florida in a private plane to have King record the graduation speech from behind bars. “We will broadcast King’s commencement address, not only to our students, but you will have a real national audience,” Olds said. “This will give you some real visibility. You’re holding King because he sat at a lunch counter … in America!”

Bill Clinton Was Racialized, Too

I ask you, are you in favor of conferring upon the negro the rights and privileges of citizenship? (“No, no.”) Do you desire to strike out of our State Constitution that clause which keeps slaves and free negroes out of the State, and allow the free negroes to flow in, (“never,”) and cover your prairies with black settlements? Do you desire to turn this beautiful State into a free negro colony, (“no, no,”) in order that when Missouri abolishes slavery she can send one hundred thousand emancipated slaves into Illinois, to become citizens and voters, on an equality with yourselves? (“Never,” “no.”)

If you desire negro citizenship, if you desire to allow them to come into the State and settle with the white man, if you desire them to vote on an equality with yourselves, and to make them eligible to office, to serve on juries, and to adjudge your rights, then support Mr. Lincoln and the Black Republican party, who are in favor of the citizenship of the negro. (“Never, never.”) For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. (Cheers.)

Sotomayor Finds Her Voice Among the Justices

The defendant, Bongani C. Calhoun, testified that he had not known his companions had planned to buy drugs. The prosecutor, Sam L. Ponder, responded with a skeptical inquiry.

“You’ve got African-Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money,” he said. “Doesn’t that tell you — a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, ‘This is a drug deal?’ ”