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Medgar Evers: 1953 to 1963

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by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

The understanding of any assassination starts with connecting the dots and thinking outside the box. This is good detective work. It worked for me with targeting Steven Pagones as a rapist of Tawana Brawley and it is a necessary tool to understanding the reasons for the assassination of Medgar Evers.

After his unsuccessful application for admission to the University of Mississippi Law School and the subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Bd. of Education, Medgar Evers chose to become NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. This was a paid position. The NAACP would also cover his expenses.

Similarly, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference paid Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. an annual salary plus expenses and the Nation of Islam had paid Malcolm X an annual salary plus expenses. Activism requires finances. It is an insane organization which believes that “freedom is free”“ and that Black leaders should be able to “walk on water.”

One of his first assignments was to investigate the senseless murder of fifteen year-old Emmett Till. According to Medgar’s brother, Charles Evers, “Medgar wanted to shame all America with the story of Emmett Till. He wanted to make the civil rights struggle a mass movement.”

No client had filed a disciplinary complaint against me and I had not been convicted of a crime. New York failed in its criminal prosecution against me in 1984. The New York Legislature took matters into its own hands in 1988 by filing a bill of attainder against me. This bill of attainder echoed the afore-mentioned quote of Charles Evers. More than any racially-motivated act of violence in Mississippi, the biggest problem facing Medgar Evers was censorship. After the Till “lynching”, Mississippi “nailed down all avenues of escape”. The media, including the Jackson Advocate, would conspire against all Blacks. The nation had no “right to know” how whites were treating Blacks in Mississippi.

The major television networks were headquartered in New York. The local media would choose to substitute local programming or it would hit the cut-off switch. Unless they were shown as “Uncle Toms” and “Aunt Jemimas”, Blacks were not allowed on the television screen.

These conditions set Medgar Evers on a collision course with the Federal Communications Commission. Medgar Evers would employ the “fairness doctrine” to combat censorship. He filed countless petitions against television stations in Mississippi. These petitions would have a cumulative effect, however.

James Meredith enrolled at the University of Mississippi in 1962. He had been assisted by Medgar Evers. U.S. marshals would have to escort him on campus while white supremacists went “ballistics”. Three thousand troops had to be dispatched to quell race riots on campus.

Finally, the FCC had to get off its hands and act. The FCC, for the first time, reprimanded eight television and radio stations for its broadcasting miscues in their coverage of events concerning the enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi. The Mississippi media had violated the “fairness doctrine.”

Medgar Evers had lobbied many times to appear on local television stations under the “fairness doctrine”. Finally, on May 20, 1963, he was given the opportunity to respond to segregationist Jackson mayor Allen Thompson on television. Evers termed his presentation: “What does the Negro want.” This was unprecedented in Mississippi.

In the meantime, George Wallace would be elected as governor of Alabama and his term would start in January 1963. Wallace had vowed, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever.” On June 11, 1963, Vivian Malone and James Hood would burst this bubble by becoming the first Blacks ever enrolled at the University of Alabama.

The next day, Evers would be assassinated in the driveway of his home. Earlier, President John Kennedy had delivered a nationwide address about Alabama racism. Middle-class Blacks, who were Evers’ neighbors, had opposed his purchasing a home in this neighborhood. Most of them were successful because they practiced “plantation politics” with financial perks from white supremacists.

Percy Greene, the conservative owner of the Jackson Advocate, a weekly Black newspaper, headed this group. He was able to “live large” because of white money obtained to fuel white advertising. In return, Greene would sing “soprano” rather than “bass.” He also “moonlighted” as a “snitch” for the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission. Medgar Evers countered by establishing the Mississippi Free Press in 1961.

Many lessons for New York can be drawn from the life of Medgar Evers. The leading HNIC in New York City today is associated with the media. Among other things, he also promotes censorship and he is also a “government informant.” These roles also allows him to “live large” without publicizing any economic or political program for oppressed Blacks.

He also has the responsibility of delivering “hush money” to any victim of a racially-motivated crime or a state-sponsored act of violence to pacify racial tensions. The latest example is Trayvon Martin’s father calling for calm in anticipation of a jury in Florida v. Zimmerman doing the wrong thing.

In the area of politics, his job is to ensure that Blacks remain attached to the Democratic Party and to promote “plantation politics”. Anyone who espouses the establishment of an African-centered political party will be banned from the media. The last resort is to use money to flood out any political aspirations of an African-centered, third-party in politics.

Medgar Evers was born on July 2, 1925 in Decatur, MS. He was graduated from Alcorn State University and, afterwards, starting selling insurance. His brother, Charles, would be elected mayor of Fayette, MS. Both had served in the U.S. Army before returning to Mississippi. Both would be outspoken critics of white supremacy.

Most Black men have come alive before their fortieth birthday. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. was assassinated at thirty-nine years of age. My legal career was supposed to end in 1984. New York would subject me to a false and wrongful prosecution on bogus charges.

While in law school, I went to Mississippi as a legal observer. Charles Evers was vying for the governorship of Mississippi. In 1974, I became an adjunct professor of business law at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. I later became the sole founder of the Medgar Evers Center for Law and Social Justice. Among other things, it was designed to be a public interest law firm. My days as a pro bono lawyer were coming to an end.

Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please support the movement to Reinstate him. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471
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