Racism, Politics, and Ax Handle Saturday

I am not exactly sure why we should be celebrating a day when a bunch of black folk got beat up by a bunch of white folk with ax handles. I think it is unlikely to happen again given Republican efforts made to repeal Jim Crow gun laws preventing African Americans from arming themselves. Any such attempt made now by racists to assault their fellow citizens would be surely be met by a hail of gunfire, and that’s the way it should be.

I am told that approximately 360,000 Union soldiers died during the Civil War, of which approximately 40,000 were black. The rest were white. It seems silly to talk about what color they were now, as they are all dust. By their actions they preserved the Union, and they ended the open practice of slavery. Racism is still going strong, based on the idea that the color of a person’s skin will automatically serve as an indicator of how they think and act politically. Of course there are some cultural arguments to be made. If you are a member of a group of people that looks alike and has the same history and traditions, and lives in the same area, it might be likely that you would hold the same opinions as your life-long friends and relatives. But that should not discount the fact that a person can grow as an individual and change their political opinions based on reason.

On a deeper, more emotional level, our egos often demand that our children be like us, think like us, act like us, and of course we would want them to look like us too, do we not? But all reasonable people learn that you can’t stop love, that love is more important than anything else, certainly more important than color. It is stupid to think that such an insignificant thing as color would matter to a couple of young lovers or prevent them from carrying out their destiny.

But politics is another matter. People love to mix racism with politics, not to end it, but to promote is and use it to fool the voter. Although it is personally appalling to me, I will condescend for a moment to draw attention to skin color. Former Councilwoman Glorious Johnson, Mr. Sam Newby, Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Duval County, Clive Rickets, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of St John’s County, these among others are champions of Liberty and the American Way. Patriots do not view them as “African” Americans, but only as Americans who by the serendipity of nature happen to have dark skin. They are not leaders of “black” men, they propose to lead “all” men. Justice Clarence Thomas, defender of the Constitution and natural law, a man who would never apologize for his country; Dr. Alan Keyes, defender of Liberty and the life of the unborn, Herman Cain, Dr. Condi Rice, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jennifer Carroll, Eldridge Cleaver, all of them Republican political examples to be emulated. However, to say that one does or does not admire them because of their color their skin is as ludicrous as saying that I admire Lord Acton because he was fat.

What is most annoying is when racists accuse others of being racist. It is not racist to be rich and to want to keep your money. It is not racist to say that before we allow this country to degenerate into all-out, one-world socialism, we will go to war in the streets. It is not racist to say that we do not have as a country or as individuals the resources, or the responsibility, or even the desire to take care of all the needs of the poor. It may or may not be selfish, or mean spirited, but it is not racist. If we are overly critical of a politician who has proven himself to be a communist, and a traitor, and a bald-faced liar, and so incompetent that he cannot tell you his own name without relying on a teleprompter, it is not racist to say that we think he should be thrown out of office. Those who say that it is should be struck down for the racists they are, struck down as quickly and as brutally as some Klansman running his mouth in the bar. Racism is the big lie and should never be tolerated. The vocabulary of racism, even the word “race” should never be tolerated. We are all one race, one set of DNA. Differences in color, in height and weight, in age, are ridiculous subjects for political contemplation.

Differences in ideology however are not. Differences in ideology are fodder for war between countries, and for civil war. We fought the Civil War based on the question, “Will men be free or slaves?” NOT “Will black men be free or slaves?” It appears that we are soon to fight that battle again, not over the issues of color but over the issue of economics. Will men be free or slaves? Will they be able to keep the fruits of their labor? Will they be able to own property? Will they be able to keep what they have earned to enrich themselves and their families, or will it be taken from them and given to others who have not earned it in the interest of “fairness.”

We on the far right despise racism and do not tolerate it. Come into one of our meetings and try it and see what happens to you if you don’t believe me. We stand for liberty for all. We demand due process and equal access for all to the procedures and processes that describe our political system. Our system, a constitutional republic, administered by representatives elected by democratic process. A capitalistic economy ruled by market forces that anyone, anyone at all may benefit from and grow rich . A system where the rights of the individual are more important than the rights of the “state”, or the “masses.” A system that tens of thousands of Americans have died to establish and preserve, that we ourselves are prepared to fight and die for even today, and tomorrow. Let’s celebrate that instead the memory of some horrific act that means nothing today except for its value as a tool to alienate men and women of good will on the basis of color.


Ax Handle Saturday: Hemming Park and surrounding stores were the site of numerous civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s. Black students asked to be served at the segregated lunch counter at Woolworths, Morrison’s Cafeteria and other eateries. They were denied service and kicked, spit at and addressed with racial slurs. This came to a head on “Ax Handle Saturday”, August 27, 1960. A group of 200 middle aged and older white men (allegedly some were also members of the Ku Klux Klan) gathered in Hemming Park armed with baseball bats and ax handles.

About Louis William Rose

“I am an advocate for Liberty. What I do for Liberty I do not do for profit or fame. I seek no office other than the office of parliamentarian, and no reward other than for myself and my fellow men and women to live in a free country.” Louis William Rose is a lifelong student of parliamentary procedure and political process. He has served as parliamentarian for various organizations. A political philosopher, poet, singer, and writer, his articles have been published on-line and in pro-liberty papers in Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, and Montana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Florida, graduating summa cum laude in 2004, with an additional two years of graduate work in political philosophy. Mr. Rose is an outspoken supporter of the basic rights of man, especially freedom of speech, association, religion, individual rights to personal defense and property, and of republican, constitutional forms of government. He is married to the lovely Jamy Sue Rose, an award winning nature photographer and a Florida Master Naturalist and guide. He has two sons, Edward, a hydroponic farmer in the panhandle of Florida, and Alexander, a successful real estate developer.
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