Winthrop Rockefeller on the Confederacy

Oct 7, 2016

Fifty years ago this November [2016], Winthrop Rockefeller was elected Arkansas’s first Republican governor in almost a century. To win the election, Rockefeller beat Arkansas’s leading segregationist Jim Johnson. Black votes were vital in Rockefeller’s victory. Rockefeller later proclaimed: “The old South is dead. This will infuriate the true believers in white supremacy. It will launch into orbits of indignation self-styled lovers of the South, politicians who wave the Confederate flag and blink back sentimental tears at the sounds of “Dixie.” These people would keep our star hitched to a cotton wagon forever, if they got a free ride up front. But that old South—of moonshine and magnolias, and one man’s supremacy over another—is passing into disrepute, a condition imposed on ideas and institutions headed for the scrapheap of history.”