Re: [sixties-l] Critique of Bruce Franklin

From: Bill Mandel (
Date: 10/23/00

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    As father of Bob Mandel, one of the Oakland 7, and as an individual, 
    white, with lifetime experience with repression myself, I must object 
    to Michael Wright's statement that "repression is truly color-blind." 
    Bob had been in Mississippi with SNCC in 1963 and 1964. Yes, half a 
    dozen whites were killed in that struggle, but the number of Blacks 
    whose lives were taken was qualitatively greater, a fact that 
    explained the early reticence of African-American southerners to 
    become involved in the voting registration effort.
       Nine years before 1960, the accepted date for the beginning of the 
    civil rights movement, I had been in the South with a nationwide mass 
    delegation in an unsuccessful effort to save the lives of seven Blacks 
    sentenced to death for the rape of a white woman. Never mind the fact 
    of evidence that this had been an act of prostitution, the pertinence 
    to Wright's statement is that no white had ever been executed for rape 
    in the history of the state of Virginia, where this occurred. 
    Discriminatory race-based execution was an act of repression, as it 
    continues to be today nationwide. 
       Incidentally, the story of the manner in which the Black population 
    of Richmond rallied to our support, and the sense of fairness 
    displayed by an absolute majority of the whites we called by 
    systematically going through the entire phone book, is my one 
    contribution to the written history of African Americans. I give it 
    twenty pages in Saying No To Power.
    																																			William Mandel

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