Robert F. Williams Hoodie
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It is easy to vilify violence when you and your people aren’t the target of savage animals’ hatred. Robert F. Williams (1925–1996) did not have that luxury.
Williams fought to integrate the public library in his hometown of Monroe, North Carolina. After he succeeded, he moved his focus to integrating the town’s public pool. The Ku Klux Klan’s attempt to deter the protesters by shooting them shook Williams – but ultimately only strengthened his resolve. The former enlisted Marine formed the Black Armed Guard, which soon foiled the Klan’s attempt at assassinating the vice president of the Monroe chapter of the NAACP.
Faced with the threat of African Americans who would not consent to being slaughtered by racists, the FBI took action and charged Williams with kidnapping a white couple he had never laid eyes on. He fled the country in 1961 and remained in exile for nearly a decade. His case was finally dropped in 1975.
"It has always been an accepted right of Americans, as the history of our Western states proves, that where the law is unable, or unwilling, to enforce order, the citizens can, and must act in self-defense against lawless violence.” Williams did not declare war on white America. He called for armed self-reliance against white terrorism, and in doing so exemplified the non-aggression principle.
Williams was not just a champion for African American rights. He was a symbol of mankind’s refusal to be tyrannized – and set an example we all should aspire to follow.