In the current situation of having so many weaklings and mollycoddles in the Senate it’s about time we look back on those Senators who actually were willing to stand up for the Southern man and women without shaking in his shoes. Such a Senator was Theodore Gilmore Bilbo of Mississippi. In this article You’ll get a basic breakdown of the late Senator’s overall views and ideology.
First off, we should realize who Theodore G. Bilbo was. Born in the Juniper Grove Mississippi in 1877, the same year that Reconstruction officially ended. He was a Mississippian of the Eastern part of the state which would play a major role in his political upbringing. The state of Mississippi was split into two political fractions, the Delta faction of upper-class planters and the Eastern faction which was poor White farmers. While both sides were racially aware, it can be said the Easterners were more so. This was the faction that Bilbo would come to lead. He would become the chief of the poor White farmers of his region, taking the place of the “White Chief”, James Vardaman, also a US Senator. Bilbo, despite accusations of being a demagogue, made good on many of his promises to his rural constituencies. Bilbo always looked out for these poor folks first and foremost. This was why he supported the New Deal in the 1930s. He was an odd mix of economic liberalism and racial and constitutional conservatism.
The quote he gave on this was “We are fighting for principles, for our constituencies, for the sovereignty of our States, and the integrity of the blood of the Caucasian race.” (The Oratory of Southern Demagogues pg. 163) He was a true Southern populist who would fight any of the enemies of Dixie. He was part of the Southern progressive backlash to the unrestrained powerful monopolies of the 1880s, many of which were led by plutocratic Yankees. He also was an American who valued, like his forefathers, the US Constitution. He sought throughout his long career to challenge Northern politicians trying to pass bills that would undermine states rights. He knew his stuff as “The Man”, his nickname, could quickly call up passages of the constitution word for word if need be. Something he was quite accustomed to do when filibustering on the floors of the US Senate. While he often gets heat for his racial beliefs, he was often under fire for those beliefs even in his own time, we can see he had much logic and reason to back up his arguments on race. We shouldn’t think of Bilbo as the “hick” that he has been painted as by his opponents but as an intellectual Southerner with a quick mind and tongue. He viewed the problem of race, commonly called the “Negro Problem”, with a sense of foresight and wisdom. He wanted to build a nation in Liberia that America could send American Blacks to. His plan was supported by many Blacks including Marcus Garvey and Black clergy partly because they felt separation was the ideal choice and they got paid to resettle to their homeland according to Bilbo’s plan. Bilbo felt the same way. Otherwise he believed total destruction would befall both races. He fully believed that Blacks would benefit from having their own nation, which he even proposed that America could help fund. In Bilbo’s book, Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization, he showed goodwill towards Blacks like Booker T. Washington and others. He called out both “quisling Whites” and Blacks who sought to break down the color line. Those people who sought to create a mongrelized race of people who would serve as a cosmopolitan consumer class that would be a constant state of struggle with one another over who could get the “biggest peice of the American Pie”.
The stereotype of Bilbo as a “racist bigot blinded by his hatred” was proven wrong again and again. He wanted only to keep the races from mixing which he warned would lead to moral and societal decay. It’s through these lens that we should look through his views on race instead of the modern limp-wristed narratives told by left wing “scholars”. I feel that to Bilbo’s book is probably one of the best firsthand sources for those wanting to understand the minds of the old Southern Democrats who fought so hard to preserve segregation. It should be a must read for all the school girls and boys of the South. This book would give them a full picture of the struggle between segregationists and race mixers in the 60s. Unfortunately, the hostile anti-Southern school boards want no such thing and would rather our children read Yankee “historians” who are in truth, just equalitarian propagandists. This is the exact thing Bilbo warned of which they still refuse to admit has any validity. Can Bilboism’s view of a multiculturalism be proven wrong when we are still having massive racial unrest and tension in America? Confusion and chaos rule the day in modern America like the Senator warned. We are seeing the Nation slowly being ripped in two by numerous ethic, poltical, religious and racial groups, none of which have any common ground to stand on. Bilbo was right, Diversity is not a strength! I really suggest these people read his book.
“The principle of segregation of the White and Negro races in the South is so well known that it requires no definition. Briefly and plainly stated, the object of this policy is to prevent the two races from meeting on terms of social equality. By established practice, each race maintains its own institutions and promotes its own social life.”
-Credit to Rouxdesjardins for the header image