The racist history of the ‘crisis actor’ attacks on Parkland school shooting survivors


The Little Rock Nine: Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Carlotta Walls, Thelma Mothershed, Gloria Ray, Terrance Roberts, Ernest Green, Melba Pattilo, Jefferson Thomas and NYC Mayor Robert Wagner

From the Washington Post by Michael E. Miller

It was a moment of turmoil, when a school became a lightning rod for debates about American values and the Constitution. At the center of it all was a clutch of students, their teenage faces beamed across the country by television cameras. But no sooner had they emerged as heroes than they were branded as phonies.

The year was 1957.

Sixty-one years before teens at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., would survive a mass shooting only to be labeled “crisis actors,” the nine African American teens who braved racist crowds to enroll in Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were also accused of being impostors.

False rumors that the Little Rock Nine were paid protesters even forced the NAACP to issue a statement condemning the stories as “pure propaganda.” The students were not, in fact, “imported” from the North, said the NAACP’s Clarence A. Laws, but rather the children of local residents, including veterans.

Read the rest of the article at the Washington Post


Categories: United States History

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