Blogs > Liberty and Power > Charles Evers: An Antiwar Republican From Mississippi

Jul 23, 2005 11:18 am

Charles Evers: An Antiwar Republican From Mississippi

One of my heroes is Charles Evers. Long before Martin Luther King, Jr., he risked life and limb in the most repressive state of the country to fight Jim Crow and disfranchisement. All the while, he struggled successfully as an entrepreneur. In 1963, Evers took over as field secretary of the Mississippi state NAACP after the murder of his brother Medgar Evers. In this role, was instrumental in registering more blacks than probably any other individual. He was elected the first black mayor of Fayette in the late 1960s.

Much to the dismay of his former allies, Evers joined the GOP during the 1980s and later belonged to the the state central committee of the party. His recent book, Have No Fear: The Charles Evers Story, is a ringing defense of self-help and the second amendment. As a civil rights activist, Evers knew from personal experience the importance of being armed to the teeth.

Evers intends to remain a Republican but he has not lost his independent streak. Booker Rising reports that Evers (now 82) is a critic of George W. Bush and the Iraq war, much like he opposed Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War as a Democrat:

I feel there should be blacks in every Party. I believe in most of the things Republicans stand for....I'm against abortion. I'm for prayer in schools. I'm for economic independence. I don't believe in welfare. I think it's a joke. I believe welfare makes you lazy and unproductive. The only thing I don't agree with is the war. I think the war is wrong. I think the President is wrong on this. The main thing I believe in is freedom. I don't think the Republicans say it as much as Democrats, but I think the Democrats say one thing and do another. Most of them are white."

When I became mayor, I had to run as an independent because the Democrats wouldn't allow us to run as a Democrat back in those days. But once we broke the Democrats down and took over the seat, I was a national committee member, went to Chicago and took the Party away from the old Democrats. And what did they do? They ran to the Republican Party. So my thinking was, once we got blacks into the Democratic Party, let's do the same in the Republican Party and make damn sure they don't get away with nothin'. That's why I'm with the Republican Party. I want to make sure we have blacks who will stand up in each Party and that's me. I don't bow to none of 'em and my folks can trust me. I will never sell out to them. I tell them what they gotta do for our folk and that's to make sure we're included; not superior, but equal."

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Kenneth R Gregg - 7/26/2005

Sounds like an opportunity for you to interview him, Anthony.

Just a thought.
Just Ken

John Arthur Shaffer - 7/23/2005

This article dovetails with the previous entry about how Dean is trying to appeal to libertarian leaning Republicans in the west and mountain States.

Anthony Gregory - 7/23/2005

Thanks for the excellent post, David. From the looks of it, he does seem quite heroic. I want to learn more.