Tuesday, August 8, 2017

“I decry it as an evil thing, whipped up by the demagogues and carried on the hot and erratic winds of passion, prejudice, and hysteria.”

The quote above is from former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins.

The editor chose to publish this letter just prior to the run-off elections last March whilst the “hot and erratic winds” of politics were whirling in Boynton Beach, Jupiter, and Palm Beach Gardens. Draw your own conclusions why. Here are two excerpts from that letter:
Our country is divided by deep-seated ideological beliefs.
and. . .
This divide is wide and growing wider. If a solution isn’t found, I fear we may be headed for another civil war.
Yes. Politics is very divided in our country. But America had a civil war once and the scars are still present everywhere.

Sixty years ago Florida was in full crisis.

A major one that could have sparked a second Civil War. It could have happened — but it didn’t — because of then-Florida Governor LeRoy Collins. In 1957 the Florida legislature wanted to declare the Brown v Board of Education decision “null and void”.

Gov. Collins stood up to the legislature’s ‘interposition’ which was “whipped up by the demagogues”. Gov. Collins did not agree with the decision by the Supreme Court but he rightfully saw the role of the court and each state’s responsibility under the Constitution.

Were it not for Gov. Collins would the history books have a chapter on America’s Civil War II? A frightening thought. But Gov. Collins didn’t cave and we moved on as a society and most people can agree for the better.

Meet Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins:

Image from Wikipedia.

Here is an excerpt from the State of Florida archives, a quote by Gov. Collins*: 

“I feel that the U. S. Supreme Court has improperly usurped powers reserved to the states under the constitution. I have joined in protesting such and in seeking legal means of avoidance. But if this resolution declaring the decisions of the court to be ‘null and void’ is to be taken seriously, it is anarchy and rebellion against the nation which must remain ‘indivisible under God’ if it is to survive. Not only will I not condone ‘interposition’ as so many have sought me to do, I decry it as an evil thing, whipped up by the demagogues and carried on the hot and erratic winds of passion, prejudice, and hysteria. If history judges me right this day, I want it known that I did my best to avert this blot. If I am judged wrong, then here in my own handwriting and over my signature is the proof of guilt to support my conviction.

LeRoy Collins, Governor.

May 2, 1957.”

*From Florida Memory, State Library & Archives of Florida.

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