MLK Event Excluded Conservative Key Organizer of '63 March

MLK Event Excluded Conservative Key Organizer of '63 March

A conservative group which helped organize the famous March on Washington says it was left out of the seminal civil rights event’s 50th anniversary celebration held Wednesday.

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was one of the six big organizing groups who coordinated the 1963 March on Washington 50 years ago. However, CORE says none of the event organizers at this year’s remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech invited anyone from the black conservative organization, particularly CORE’s chairman and ’63 March on Washington alum Roy Innis (pictured), to speak. 

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), one of two black members in the upper chamber and the first black senator from his state since reconstruction, was not invited to speak at the event. The Republican Party says invitations for GOP leadership to speak came in too late. 

The late James Farmer, a principal founder of CORE and longtime civil rights activist, was thrown in jail in Plaquemine, Louisiana during a protest for “disturbing the peace” on the day MLK Jr. gave his speech. Farmer sent his own speech to the March on Washington, which was read by Floyd McKissick, an aide in CORE. “We will not stop,” Farmer wrote, “until the dogs stop biting us in the South and the rats stop biting us in the North.”

Roy Innis was part of CORE’s Harlem chapter at the time. Innis eventually became national director of CORE in 1968. CORE spokesman Niger Innis sent Breitbart News the following statement:

The Congress of Racial Equality, one of the partner organizations for the March on Washington, was NOT invited.

Unfortunately there are some in the civil rights industry that refuse to acknowledge the victories that have been won due to the sacrifices made by brave Americans like CORE’s Scherner, Chaney and Goodman. They need to keep the illusion that nothing has changed, so they can keep their jobs. Roy Innis — current chairman of CORE, Justice Thomas nor Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina were invited to speak. They were not invited because their narrative and their existence contradicts the illusion.

Not only was CORE heavily involved with the ’63 march on Washington but also organized groups of interracial teams to ride to the deep south and protest segregation laws. These individuals were known as the “Freedom Riders.” CORE members Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney were all Freedom Riders whose lives were sacrificed at the hands of the Klu Klux Klan.

When the desegregation movement encountered resistance in the early 1960s, CORE set up an interracial team to ride buses into the Deep South to help protest. These so-called Freedom Riders were viciously attacked in May 1961 when the first two buses arrived in Alabama. One bus was firebombed; the other boarded by KKK members who beat the activists inside. The Alabama police provided no protection.

Still, the Freedom Riders were not dissuaded and they continued to come into Alabama and Mississippi. Michael Schwerner was a particularly dedicated activist who lived in Mississippi while he assisted blacks to vote. Sam Bowers, the local Klan’s Imperial Wizard, decided that Schwerner was a bad influence, and had to be killed.

When Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney, a young black man, were coming back from a trip to Philadelphia, Mississippi, deputy sheriff Cecil Price, who was also a Klan member, pulled them over for speeding. He then held them in custody while other KKK members prepared for their murder. Eventually released, the three activists were later chased down in their car and cornered in a secluded spot in the woods where they were shot and then buried in graves that had been prepared in advance.

The 1988 movie Mississippi Burning is the based on the story of these three young CORE members who were murdered in April of 1964. 

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