We lived in a society that was , and as such, nonviolence was not going to work.And so, I said I couldn’t and the people with me could not join Dr. And, uh, ‘Thank you, but no thanks.’” Even though activists used nonviolence at protests to gain sympathy for their cause, arming themselves with guns for self-protection was not uncommon.
There was not a sense that the other side would do the right thing if you told them, because at the end of the day, the other side knew what it was doing to you better than you did.” Chuck Mc Dew was also at this meeting and recalls, “My position was when Gandhi tried nonviolence in South Africa he was beaten, jailed, and run out of the country.
As I said, in the United States nonviolence won’t work.
Courtland Cox remembers the debates at this meeting: “One of the things that the nonviolent people’s philosophy – those people, they felt that, you know, you could appeal to men’s hearts.
You know, my view, and which I’ve said to them, was that you might as well appeal to their livers, because they’re both organs of the body. You did not – you engaged in nonviolence because the other side had overwhelming force.
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The Hicks family was protected by the Deacons, and Barbara Collins, the daughter of activist Robert Hicks, reflects on her father’s position on armed self-defense in an interview with the family: “And my dad always said, ‘What kind of man –?
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It was difficult to believe that these people would continue to carry on like this because the situation was so oppressive in Mississippi.
We were driving one night and I had taken off my shoes and felt something on the floor which was cold. Maybe I can move it." He said, ‘Well, that's my shotgun you have your feet on.’ Of course my feet flew up. You have a Constitutional right, and that’s what Daddy said, ‘I have a right to bear arms.