Sovereignty Commission Blog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Sovereignty Commission Blog

Delta woman Susan Klopfer has started a Mississippi Sovereignty Commission blog to highlight relevant parts of the Sovereignty Files (which are searchable online here. It is very important to understand that murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner (and others) were not just the work of a few Klansmen. The state-funded Sovereignty Commission was set up as a spy agency to keep segregation in place and keep out "agitators" (civil-rights supporters).

The Citizens Council, with members from throughout the business and professional community, strongly supported the work of the Sovereignty Commission, and boycotted individuals and businesses who tried to support civil rights, as well as newspapers that dared to question the backward "way of life." The Klan was the terrorist and violent arm of the conspiracy, but it did not operate alone. It was part of a conspiracy that reached into every aspect of Mississippi life.

I believe it is very important to understand just why Jim Crow was so entrenched in Mississippi—it was illegal to try to do anything about it, and people who defied those laws faced severe economic or physical risk, or even death. It is vital to place the Killen trial in this wider context and understand why simply convicting Killen is only a piece of facing our past and repairing the damage.

Today, Susan posted on her a detailed map of where the murdered men's car was found.

A bit of trivia: David Dennis (co-director with Bob Moses of Freedom Summer and now of Jackson and the Algebra Project) owned the station wagon. He was slated to go with the three men that day, but was ill.

The license number of the car was fed to the bad sheriffs around the state and the Klan through the Sovereignty Commission.

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