“All That is Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is That Good Men Do Nothing”: Anticommunism, Protestant Christianity, and State Sovereignty in the Civil Rights Era South
Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
During the decade after Brown v. Board of Education, civil rights advocates faced segregationist opposition due to both socially ingrained white supremacy and the widespread fear of Communism in the United States. Although the Supreme Court officially mandated racial integration in 1954, segregationist groups like the White Citizens’ Council and the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission organized to oppose the Brown ruling’s implementation. This thesis uses segregationist propaganda material, newspapers, periodicals, and agency correspondences to examine the tactics of those who hoped to preserve racial inequality. In particular, this study focuses on the impact that anti-Communist rhetoric had on the Civil Rights Movement, demonstrating both the strengths and limitations of southern segregationists who equated racial integration to Communist agitation. Local segregationist leaders, ranging from pastors to politicians, often took advantage of the nationwide paranoia that accompanied the Cold War, inducing among white southerners the fear that racial equality and democracy could not coexist.
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Herring, Taylor O., "“All That is Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is That Good Men Do Nothing”: Anticommunism, Protestant Christianity, and State Sovereignty in the Civil Rights Era South" (2015). Honors Theses. 281.