To the Editor:
In 1957, I was a senior at Little Rock Central High School. My then governor, Orval E. Faubus, defied orders of the Supreme Court and President Eisenhower to desegregate the school.
The governor called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering the student body of 2,000 white teenagers. Inflamed by the governor's stand, loud and ugly crowds swarmed the front lawn of Central and shouted threats and insults as the Little Rock 9 were turned away at each entrance.
Weeks before, a cross had been burned on the front lawn of Ms. Daisy Bates, president of the Arkansas NAACP. A note on a rock thrown at the window of her home read "Go back to Africa." A sign by the burning cross read "The KKK."
To this ugly environment, President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to enforce the law. Order was quickly restored and the Little Rock 9 were admitted.
Fortunately, no one was killed. But these brave young pioneers suffered an entire year of threats, insults and physical attacks from other students.
Sixty years later my now-president, Donald J. Trump, sees no difference between those who demonstrate to inflame racism, bigotry, murder, and white superiority... and those who demonstrate to oppose them.
Gov. Faubus was elected for an unprecedented number of terms while the politicians around him were feckless enablers. It remains to be seen if our now-president can ride the enabling base of voters and politicians to a full term and beyond.
To quote the great swamp philosopher, Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
My wife and I emphatically, unequivocally and wholeheartedly denounce the president's immoral position in this matter and all those who support the beliefs of the murderous white supremacists in Charlottesville.
Ken and Judy Reinhardt