Lester Maddox addresses a meeting of the New York Press Club on January 29, 1971. With the ongoing campaign to whitewash the Civil Rights Movement and the desire to turn the evolution clock back at least a hundred years, it's good to be reminded from time to time that those practitioners of hate, racism, bigotry and violence under the guise of "democracy and freedom" were very much alive and active and being revered as "misunderstood patriots". And even while their feeble attempts at explaining away hateful behavior fall on largely skeptical ears, there are still those, and they have forums now, who try to drive the point home that all that hate was an illusion, that those lynchings never happened, that passing laws eliminating discrimination were in fact bad for our country. That Lester Maddox wasn't as bad as all the "librul press" painted him to be. That he was just a "lovable boob who talked funny."
Lester Maddox: “You read about some drumsticks I brought up here, not axe handles, pick handles . . drumsticks, souvenirs. Pick in Pickrick means to select, choose, pick out. Rick means to pile up, heap or amass. So these are popular souvenirs for more reasons than the one you heard. And so . . many congressmen and Senators had asked for them. Capitol office officials and staff, black and white. And so they had asked for a number of them. And I brought a box rather than have them mail ‘em on my next trip to Washington. And the Capitol Police wanted to carry them into the dining room and I wouldn’t let them, because the manager of the club and others there wanted them and I said to go outside they can’t take them in. But you read in the paper and broadcast that I brought a boxful of them into the dining room. I read in a Chicago newspaper that I had a box full of them under my table.”
There is an active movement afoot to re-write history. And if the distraction is loud enough and the claims wild enough and told often enough, there is a strong chance you will simply forget what the truth of the situation was and believe the lie.