Hot Air

Schwerner, Chaney & Goodman

This is all you need to know today: Barack Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously, to Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman.


The three “Freedom Summer” campaigners were beaten and shot to death 50 years ago for the unforgivable sin of wanting to help black people in Jim Crow Mississippi register to vote. The murders were planned and committed by members of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County sheriff’s department, and the Philadelphia (Mississippi) police department.

Deputy sheriff Cecil R. Price told the men who’d killed and buried the three:

Well, boys, you’ve done a good job. You’ve struck a blow for the white man. Mississippi can be proud of you.

I was alive then. I’ll bet at least 50 percent or more of the people who read this were alive then. Many black people in America were alive that summer.

Hatred and inhuman behavior on that order don’t just disappear but the nation has changed; look who’s giving out the awards.


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