“Mob Rule Cannot Be Allowed to Override the Decisions of Our Courts”:
President Dwight D. Eisenhower”s 1957 Address on Little Rock, Arkansas
18 U.S. Code Chapter 115 – TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)
In 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in Brown v. Board of Education that public schools segregated according to race were “inherently unequal.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the following radio and television address on September 24, 1957, announced his reluctant response. Despite his disapproval of the Brown decision, Eisenhower, couching his address in the language of law and order, Cold War propaganda, and national pride, became the first president since Reconstruction to send Federal troops to protect the rights of African Americans.
Good Evening, My Fellow Citizens: For a few minutes this evening I want to speak to you about the serious situation that has arisen in Little Rock. To make this talk I have come to the President’s office in the White House. I could have spoken from Rhode Island, where I have been staying recently, but I felt that, in speaking from the house of Lincoln, of Jackson and of Wilson, my words would better convey both the sadness I feel in the action I was compelled today to take and the firmness with which I intend to pursue this course until the orders of the Federal Court at Little Rock can be executed without unlawful interference.
In that city, under the leadership of demagogic extremists, disorderly mobs have deliberately prevented the carrying out of proper orders from a Federal Court. Local authorities have not eliminated that violent opposition and, under the law, I yesterday issued a Proclamation calling upon the mob to disperse.
This morning the mob again gathered in front of the Central High School of Little Rock, obviously for the purpose of again preventing the carrying out of the Court’s order relating to the admission of Negro children to that school.
Whenever normal agencies prove inadequate to the task and it becomes necessary for the Executive Branch of the Federal Government to use its powers and authority to uphold Federal Courts, the President’s responsibility is inescapable.
In accordance with that responsibility, I have today issued an Executive Order directing the use of troops under Federal authority to aid in the execution of Federal law at Little Rock, Arkansas. This became necessary when my Proclamation of yesterday was not observed, and the obstruction of justice still continues.
It is important that the reasons for my action be understood by all our citizens. As you know, the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that separate public educational facilities for the races are inherently unequal and therefore compulsory school segregation laws are unconstitutional.
Our personal opinions about the decision have no bearing on the matter of enforcement; the responsibility and authority of the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution are very clear. Local Federal Courts were instructed by the Supreme Court to issue such orders and decrees as might be necessary to achieve admission to public schools without regard to race—and with all deliberate speed.
We are a nation in which laws, not men, are supreme.
I regret to say that this truth—the cornerstone of our liberties—was not observed in this instance.
It was my hope that this localized situation would be brought under control by city and State authorities. If the use of local police powers had been sufficient, our traditional method of leaving the problems in those hands would have been pursued. But when large gatherings of obstructionists made it impossible for the decrees of the Court to be carried out, both the law and the national interest demanded that the President take action.
…the court has on three separate occasions issued orders directing that the plan be carried out. All persons were instructed to refrain from interfering with the efforts of the school board to comply with the law.
Proper and sensible observance of the law then demanded the respectful obedience which the nation has a right to expect from all its people. …The orders of the court have thus been frustrated.
The very basis of our individual rights and freedoms rests upon the certainty that the President and the Executive Branch of Government will support and insure the carrying out of the decisions of the Federal Courts, even, when necessary with all the means at the President’s command.
Unless the President did so, anarchy would result.
There would be no security for any except that which each one of us could provide for himself.
The interest of the nation in the proper fulfillment of the law’s requirements cannot yield to opposition and demonstrations by some few persons.
Mob rule cannot be allowed to override the decisions of our courts.
Now, let me make it very clear that Federal troops are not being used to relieve local and state authorities of their primary duty to preserve the peace and order of the community. Nor are the troops there for the purpose of taking over the responsibility of the School Board and the other responsible local officials in running Central High School.
The running of our school system and the maintenance of peace and order in each of our States are strictly local affairs and the Federal Government does not interfere except in a very few special cases and when requested by one of the several States.
In the present case the troops are there, pursuant to law, solely for the purpose of preventing interference with the orders of the Court.
The proper use of the powers of the Executive Branch to enforce the orders of a Federal Court is limited to extraordinary and compelling circumstances.
Manifestly, such an extreme situation has been created in Little Rock. This challenge must be met and with such measures as will preserve to the people as a whole their lawfully protected rights in a climate permitting their free and fair exercise. The overwhelming majority of our people in every section of the country are united in their respect for observance of the law—even in those cases where they may disagree with that law.
They deplore the call of extremists to violence.
So from intimate personal knowledge, I know that the overwhelming majority of the people in the South—including those of Arkansas and of Little Rock—are of good will, united in their efforts to preserve and respect the law even when they disagree with it.
They do not sympathize with mob rule. They, like the rest of our nation, have proved in two great wars their readiness to sacrifice for America.
A foundation of our American way of life is our national respect for law.
In the South, as elsewhere, citizens are keenly aware of the tremendous disservice that has been done to the people of Arkansas in the eyes of the nation, and that has been done to the nation in the eyes of the world.
At a time when we face grave situations abroad because of the hatred that Communism bears toward a system of government based on human rights, it would be difficult to exaggerate the harm that is being done to the prestige and influence, and indeed to the safety, of our nation and the world.
Our enemies are gloating over this incident and using it everywhere to misrepresent our whole nation. We are portrayed as a violator of those standards of conduct which the peoples of the world united to proclaim in the Charter of the United Nations. There they affirmed “faith in fundamental human rights” and “in the dignity and worth of the human person” and they did so “without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”
And so, with deep confidence, I call upon the citizens of the State of Arkansas to assist in bringing to an immediate end all interference with the law and its processes. If resistance to the Federal Court orders ceases at once, the further presence of Federal troops will be unnecessary and the City of Little Rock will return to its normal habits of peace and order and a blot upon the fair name and high honor of our nation in the world will be removed.
Thus will be restored the image of America and of all its parts as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Good night, and thank you very much.
September 24, 1957
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Full Text HERE.
California, ANTIFA, BLM, and all the other groups need to realize that LAW and ORDER are to be confirmed and carried out through the Executive Branch. Any who defy that are committing acts which are in direct opposition to the US Constitution.
While in this instance, a Supreme Court ruling precipitated the show of Executive force. Other such disobedience can also trigger it.
Tread carefully. Once that line is crossed such that even some in the judicial branch are in disregard of their oath of office or those in congress meet and become objects of ridicule for defying their oath of office then ANARCHY becomes a serious issue and national safety and public rights can suffer.
We who are conservatives understand this. Neither vigilante nor mob should be allowed to carry out illegal or unsafe mob actions where the general public is put in harm’s way.
Just as it is past time to understand that Law Enforcement has the same right of protection as individuals to protect and preserve themselves from harm. That does NOT mean they take action that is harmful without clear and present danger. However, it has to be understood that the inappropriate and serious actions taken by unruly gangs of violent thugs over the last eight years has reached the point that even the very best enforcement groups are stressed and stretched as well as being inhibited by local or state officials from performing their duties.
President Eisenhower’s speech is particularly appropriate at this time. His understanding was prior to the close infiltration of our republican form of government by the very ideology-minded group which we had fought in several wars. His words along with those of Ronald Reagan on this topic should echo in the hearts of all Americans.
The federal government thanks to the Democrat Party, subversive socialists and progressive liberals, as well as influence from the Middle Eastern state religious laws and ideology of radicals and extremists has become a shadow of the republic and constitutional strength of those years. We are NOT a globalist nor do we wish to have another country or governmental group rule over us–yet that is the direction in which we have been headed for thirty years or so.
It is time to stop that transference and return to the roots and rules of OUR LAWS and OUR ORDER not those being currently thrust upon the majority by a minority determined to overthrow our way of life.
If Trump is forced to use this egregious executive power then it falls upon the head of those who refused to cease and desist their anarchist activities. God help us all if that happens because we will be not only in a legal battle for preservation of our constitution but a bloody one as well where everyone loses something in some way.
Cooler heads in the Democrat Party need to regain control of their party.
Cooler heads in those groups like ANTIFA and BLM need to prevail over their mob mentality and understand they are “TOOLS” easily broken and discarded not members of an elite group.
Cooler heads in Congress need to make examples of those who are defying their oath and purpose in order to march/rant/rail other than in front of the seats of Congress in defiance of the very laws that Congress has made.
Governor Jerry Brown, Hillary Clinton, and Ex-President Obama – YOU ARE IN DEFIANCE of the laws as put forth in the constitution through overt, subversive, and treasonous acts and should be made to stand before a jury to answer for your disregard for the rules of law and order as well as your disservice and seditious acts against our National rights, securities, and foreign interests.
You are either FOR the constitution and all it stands for…or you are AGAINST it. There is NO MIDDLE GROUND.
I am heartily SICK of the way the DoJ, the FBI, and the judicial branch of socialist appointed and ruling judges are determined to defy the very oaths of their offices and laws they are to be representative of by their rulings.
BRING THOSE TO JUSTICE who have been defying our constitutionally-bound courts, tainted our legal system with their two-party layer definition of LAW and been mirroring, funding, and defying our constitution and disrupting our country through their chaotic activities.
Stop F’NG around.