Whenever the topic of the Little Rock Nine appears today we are automatically reminded about the nine little black angels who faced the ignorant backwoods Arkansas rednecks for their “human right” to receive an education. Well at least that’s the established narrative. The truth of the situation is really more complicated.
In 1957 it had been 3 years since the unconstitutional Brown V Board decision, yet the South had largely managed to defy the illegal decision by the Supreme Court. Some schools in the upper South had begun token integration but the Deep South under the leadership of Georgia had held the Color Line in place. However, during those 3 years the powers to be were slowly moving to reinforce the perverted mission of amalgamation. The media especially had run with the story of the killing of Emit Till (of Chicago) in Mississippi after he had been killed for harassing a local Mississippi woman. That was in 1955 and the press around the world used it to criticize and ridicule the entire social order of the South. They were already trying to mold the narrative in the mind of the American public that Southerners were the new Nazis who needed to be destroyed and once again conquered. They painted the South as the adversaries of the “glorious and flawless democracy” that had been fought for in 1945.
The story itself started not with a grassroots movement by down trodden blacks but with the Superintendent of Education of Little Rock, Virgil Bossom, who was hellbent to push capitulation to the Brown V Board decision despite the fact that the mass majority of people of Little Rock wanted to keep segregation in place. To make a modern-day comparison, think about these politically correct school boards that change the decade long confederate named schools for the sake of appeasing the anti-Southern media and liberals. In both instances you have people in power ignoring the wants and wishes of the people who elected them. Bossom in short was an avowed traitor. His plan was to slowly boil the frog so to say by slowly integrating targeted schools. Bossom and the NAACP wanted to target the renowned school called Little Rock Central High. The colossal school was the symbol of the success the Southern people had achieved since the War of Northern Aggression. It was attended by the sons and daughters of the upper class and middle class of Arkansas and it was of course located in the capitol of Arkansas. Nowadays it’s hard to envision such a successful public school in a city much less a state capitol. In 1957 the NAACP would register 9 of the best and most well achieved black students of the segregated black school. This of course was because they wanted to make sure the first experience the White youth of Little Rock had with blacks would be the brightest and most well off of the blacks. They wanted to get White Southerners to think, “well look these blacks aren’t so bad to be around and plus theirs only nine of them”. We can see in hindsight this wasn’t the case but in 1957 some of the softest and most gullible Whites were tricked by this devious ploy. The nine black students, who I don’t doubt that they were indeed smart, were soon lionized and glorified by the national press. This was all despite the fact that these 9 students all were attending their own black school before this thus the mess that they were being denied an education Is larky. That’s of course assuming that free public education is a right and not a duty of the home. So, these nine black students, with the media rats trailing behind them, would try to enter Little Rock High. They were met with a crowd of Southern protesters who were totally sick of being a doormat and having their way of life destroyed by a far-off court in D.C. Southerners. Just think of it without remember the hyper emotional female teacher screeching in your ear about the poor black students. Think about if you were a Southerner in 1957 and you’d just witness the Supreme Court ban your entire way of life. Then the media targets your local town and decides your kids are about to swamped with outsiders. On top of this they’ll be sending 9 of their beloved black darlings to your school. For once these people would have the chance to vent their frustration and anger at the federal government at a specific person. This is why you witness them yelling and screaming at the Little Rock 9. Those 9 students were interlopers who didn’t belong nor were they wanted at Central High. The parents of the students of Central High were sick and tired of being ordered around and having their laws overturned by faceless judges. Many of those fathers of the children at Central High had fought in World War 2 and they certainly weren’t fighting for blacks to flood their esteemed schools. They fought tooth and nail on a mission to what they had thought was a crusade to defend America from an authoritarian tyrannical rule. Now they were having their laws overturned in the name of some radical leftwing rhetoric and they were the ones being accused of being Unamerican just because they refused to give up their institutions and community homogeny. These protesters were about to get some backup though when On September the 4th Governor Faubus would order the Arkansas National Guard to Little Rock to block the blacks from entering the High School.
Governor Orval Faubus was an interesting man. Faubus was born in Northern Arkansas in 1910 and was himself a veteran of the war where he served under the legendary General George S Patton. After the war he joined the anti-corruption political fraction in Arkansas that was led by veterans of World War 2. He was a Democrat and would largely consider moderate if not perhaps a leftist by most which is why when he ran for Governor in 1954, he was able to win over many black voters. Yet he wasn’t gutless nor a traitor and although he originally considered letting integration happen, his mind was soon changed. It was Governor Marvin Griffin of Georgia who would change the mind of Faubus after calling him over the phone and warning him of the dire consequences of letting integration take place in Arkansas. Griffin encouraged Faubus to fight the orders and stand his ground like a true Southern man or he’d be forfeiting his birthright. Due to this pep talk Faubus would strap on a pair and call the Arkansas troopers. He had the support of the Arkansas people and his ancestors to do such. Thus, started the first climatic showdown militarily between the federal government and Southern states since Reconstruction.