* Code added to make Google search more likely. Mississippi Civil Rights--One Man, One Story: Chamber of Commerce Element Our Worst Enemy

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chamber of Commerce Element Our Worst Enemy

I was less familiar with this KKK newsletter even though I must have read it in the past when I was sorting through the box of items that Mother gave me. I'm sure the other newsletter was more firmly in my mind because of the experience of finding them in our neighborhood. What follows is the newsletter and then some notes I have added at the end:


The Holy Bible says, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to go to heaven.” Of course, the real meaning here is that the rich live only for their money and in most cases turn back on God, Race and Country. The best example of this can be found here in the South.
In recent weeks our local newspapers have been carrying ads written and paid for by local businessmen and their Chamber of Commerce. They plead with the White people to obey the Civil Rights Laws, and to keep the peace and help quietly integrate all communities. They cannot stand the thought of losing a single dollar from any Negro boycott. In fact, they are so frightened by the thought of any Negro CORE picket line, they want to surrender in advance. They are in a big rush to hire Negro clerks, cashiers, even white collar workers, place Negroes in supervisory positions over White workers, just to appease the demands of Martin Luther King and his communist rabble.
The rich businessmen know that they can afford to live in wealthy areas of a city where the Negro cannot move, they have their rich private country clubs and golf links and swimming pools and private schools. THEY ARE SELFISH AND VICIOUS IN DEMANDING THAT THE WHITE WORKING CLASS MIX WITH BLACK UN-CIVILIZED ANIMALS JUST SO THAT THEY MAY MAKE MONEY OFF THEIR NEGRO CUSTOMERS!
It is time that we single out the main leaders of these “surrender all White Rights at any cost just so I can make money” business leaders and boycott them to the hilt. Let’s cut off their White trade and put them in the bread lines with negroes where they would like to place OUR people. SPEAK UP, WHITE MAN, TELL THESE SELL-OUT TRAITORS TO EITHER STAND AND FIGHT WITH THE WHITE RACE, OR PACK UP THEIR CARPETBAGS AND MOVE IN WITH THE NEGROES BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO LOSE ALL THEIR WHITE TRADE. SINCE THEIR PRINCIPLES ARE BANKRUPT, LET THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS ALSO BE BANKRUPT.

The above is an exact copy of a recent article in the conservative publication “Thunderbolt”. We wish to point out the following: There are some different tactics being used on our local scene.
Robert L. Ezell, Jr., president of our Chamber of Commerce and Mississippi Bedding (Mattress) Co., has had a lot of people sound asleep, but not with the use of his mattresses. This motley master was a Millsaps Major in the mid 30’s, followed in a couple of years by Robert Mayo and Nat S. Rogers, and all of them follow the socialist lines. Also, there has been a “finger” in the pie in more recent years.
The Chamber, with “Big Robert” at the head, has remained primarily in the background for almost one year, or ever since they came out with their outright compliance in absolute defiance of the principles and people they are supposed to represent. The Miss. Manufactures Association and the Miss. Economic Council have been used as the somewhat open supporters of the communist-backed movement to bring about complete abolition of our Christian beliefs and way of life.
If you can recall or assemble the recent comments and announcements from our liberal press, you will readily see how many phases of activity the Miss. Economic Council has delved into (business, social, civic, churches, schools, even roads, etc.), nothing short of dictating policies to all of these organizations.
We invite and humbly request that you take notice and ask questions about “Big Robert” and this situation. There will be more, and THEN, think about these comments and announcements, and you will readily realize the seriousness of the sell-out that has taken and is taking place, and what can and will be done about it.


Various notes from Frank:

--I assume the line about a “finger” in the pie is a reference to Ellis Finger who was the President at Millsaps College from 1952-1964.
--I’ve seen several copies of this newsletter, but none have any information regarding the date of the newsletter, where it was distributed, etc. The first half of the newsletter quotes a story from the “Thunderbolt” that must have been written in 1964 since it refers to ads placed in local newspapers. This would have been soon after the passage of the Civil Rights Law in 1964. The second half of the newsletter refers to Robert Ezelle as the president of the Chamber of Commerce and says the Chamber has been in the background for almost one year so the newsletter had to have come out in 1965.
--At first the above newsletter didn’t make much sense to me since it said "Big Robert" and the Chamber had been fairly quiet. Instead they focus on the work of the Miss. Manufacturers Association and the Miss. Economic Council. I didn’t see the connection to my father until I reread an Oral History interview that he did in the summer of 1965. Here’s part of that interview:

INTERVIEWER: Are you also a member of the Mississippi Economic Council?
EZELLE: Yes, we have membership here in this firm.
INTERVIEWER: Did you participate in any way or are you familiar with the origin of their statement, which, as I recall, was issued somewhat after the Chamber’s statement?
EZELLE: I’m familiar with it. I was in on the development of it. I knew about it. I was informed about it and the Jackson Chamber was informed so that, if it was issued, they hoped that we would back them up on it. And so, after it was issued, we were among the first organizations to back them up with another statement that we endorsed their statement.

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