Congressman John Dingell wrote Ward Connerly advising him to stay out of Michigan as he promotes a Michigan civil rights act referendum. According to Dingell’s letter, “Michiganders do not take kindly to your ignorant meddling in our affairs. We have no need for itinerant publicity seekers, non-resident troublemakers or self-aggrandizing out-of-state agitators.”
As those of us over age 50 will immediately recognize along with Ward Connerly, Dingell’s letter unmistakably echoes the hateful line spewed by such benighted public servants as George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Ross Barnett, Bull Connor and others of their ilk in the early 1960’s.
Connerly’s response would make a person of ordinary decency profoundly regretful of having thought to counsel him in such terms, although few knowledgeable people would put Dingell in that category. Connerly’s response is really some kind of a masterpiece, akin to Dr. Johnson’s 1755 letter to the Earl of Chesterfield.
Connerly writes: “Perhaps, you are unaware that I am an American citizen
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell