Read full article on:
Amnesty International halts India operations after 'freezing' of its bank account
Amnesty International has halted its operations in India after the "complete freezing" of its bank accounts by the Indian government, the not-for-profit human rights organization said in a statement Tuesday.
8 m
6 things to look for in the first Biden-Trump presidential debate
Donald Trump could face the most direct challenge of his presidency to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and his personal conduct in his first debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday.
Trump Could Face Jail Over Alleged Tax Affairs, Watergate Prosecutor Claims
The renowned lawyer Nick Akerman said the president could face up to five years in prison for a "whole series of activities that could qualify as tax fraud, not tax avoidance."
Letters to the Editor: Homes burn because of embers, not trees. Fire policy ignores that
State and federal policies that emphasize brush clearance in areas prone to wildfires fail to protect homes because they do not focus on embers.
Private employers show new interest in expanded Medicare and regulated drug prices
Eager to control high costs, employers are more open to government regulation of drug prices and to expanding Medicare to younger Americans.
Op-Ed: LACMA's redesign doesn't deserve this much carping
The Wilshire Boulevard redo has its risks, but the track record of its architect and museum director gives it every chance of succeeding.
Sen. Ron Johnson: Biden family's corrupt ties to foreign oligarchs, officials met with mainstream media yawns
After we released our report on the sordid involvement of Joe Biden’s family with corrupt foreign oligarchs and officials some media outlets reacted with exaggerated yawns.
Letters to the Editor: Kids need to be back in school. Our only option is to end the pandemic
Sending kids to school would expose them to COVID-19, and distance learning brings its own challenges. The solution: Follow the coronavirus guidelines and end the pandemic.
China announced new climate goals. But it can’t quit coal just yet.
Stringent domestic targets will be key to transforming a massive, carbon-intensive economy.
Letters to the Editor: Conservatives won the Supreme Court, but lost their excuse for voting for Trump
Many on the right who voted for Trump did so despite their deep dislike of him. Now, with the court firmly in conservative hands, they have an out.
Guest Post: Improving police accountability will create police reform
Beyond vague demands for 'defunding the police,' the author suggests numerous concrete steps that cities and states can take to reduce police violence.
Let’s embrace the craziness of this 16-team MLB postseason — but then never do it again
The MLB playoffs might not determine who the best team is, but they should be a lot of fun.
Letters to the Editor: A billionaire pays $750 in taxes? 'They're Trumps, and we're chumps'
According to Trump's tax documents, he badly needed the money he earned from "The Apprentice." So, let's fire this president on Nov. 3.
Amy Coney Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing, analyzed
Amy Coney Barrett's 2017 clash with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has been circulating anew, but it's hardly the only one from Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing that could be at issue in the weeks to come.
Endorsement: George Gascón for L.A. County district attorney
George Gascón is the right candidate at the right time to lead the largest local criminal justice jurisdiction in the United States.
President Trump's Taxes
An investigation by The New York Times has unraveled some of the financial myths that President Trump has created around himself.
A look at the shovels you need in your arsenal and how to clean them
ASK THE BUILDER | Some sand and motor oil could keep them looking like new.
How the world's first foldable PC came to be
Years before we even heard whispers of a Galaxy Fold or a Z Flip, Jerry Paradise of Lenovo and Josh Newman from Intel had an idea. And one day, they put their minds together, along with their respective teams, to flush it out. What started out as an idea built out of pieces of cardboard morphed into, what they hope, is a revolutionary device: the world's first foldable PC.
Amy Coney Barrett and the New Feminism of Interdependence | Opinion
It's time for a new feminism to emerge—and for GOP lawmakers to demonstrate their commitment to family values. That will require defining a new feminism of interdependence and a pro-family economic policy agenda.
First Presidential Debate—Where to Watch, Live Stream Trump vs. Biden
The first presidential debate will see Trump and Biden discuss six topics, including the integrity of the election.
MLB Playoffs Schedule: Dates, TV Channel, Live Stream for Wild Card Series
The expanded MLB postseason begins on Tuesday with Game 1 of the four American League Wild Card Series.
I Can’t Stop Thinking About This Murder in My Small Town.
What a prolific hitman can teach us about our obsession with true crime.
Help! My Friend Says Faking Orgasms Is “Basically Abuse.”
I fake it on a regular basis. Have I been deluding myself that this is OK?
Actual Senate Confirmation Hearings Take Time
As Donald Trump and Senate Republicans try to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as a justice of the Supreme Court in the 38 days between her nomination and Election Day—with many votes already being cast—much of the criticism has focused on the hypocrisy of moving this nomination forward when Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination for 237 days before the 2016 election.That point is important, but the problem with pushing this nomination through at breakneck speed goes well beyond the distastefulness of hardball politics and a feeling of fundamental unfairness. The problem is also a practical one: There is simply not enough time for a meaningful Senate process, and a confirmation without such a process erodes yet one more key piece of our system of checks and balances, which is at its core what makes the American government function.[Deborah Pearlstein: How the government lost its mind]The Constitution gives the Senate the power and responsibility of “advice and consent” over the president’s nominations to the Supreme Court. Justices serve for life, and once they’re in place, Congress has no realistic way to serve as a check on them. Congress has also in recent years stood by as its avenues to check the president’s power have been eroded. Confirmation of a justice is one of the few remaining meaningful checks Congress has on the other branches of government, and it is well on its way to throwing that check away.As a counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2005 to 2013, I worked on the Senate’s consideration of five Supreme Court nominations. What I saw was a rigorous process for vetting nominees that developed over decades and that both parties rightly insisted on. It is a process that has often been criticized and that has not always worked as intended, but at base it has guaranteed that senators do not vote on lifetime appointments to one of the most important positions in American life without a thorough basis on which to judge whether a nominee’s background, views, and character make them an appropriate choice for the Supreme Court.If the idea were simply for the president to get his pick without any check, the Framers would not have included the constitutional provision giving the power of advice and consent to the Senate. It is a real responsibility, and it should be done right. If there is not time to do it right, it should not be done at all.The process has not been and cannot be a quick one. It has included a careful examination of just about everything a potential justice has written and said. The Senate has been provided with judicial opinions, writings, and press appearances by a nominee, as well as complete sets, with limited redactions, of the nominee’s papers from any previous executive-branch service. Senators and staff on both sides of the aisle have pored through every page of that often-massive record, which could contain memos about key executive-power issues, judicial decisions on constitutional rights, or provocative opinion pieces.The process has included a thorough FBI background investigation with a chance for senators and staff to review it and follow up on any issues raised. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation showed that the FBI review itself can sometimes be rushed or overly restricted, which reduces its usefulness and shows the need to go more slowly and methodically, not to speed up the process further. The FBI investigation has been an important part of ensuring that a nominee is suitable for a lifetime appointment to a court that each year decides cases affecting the rights and responsibilities of millions of Americans. Almost all senators have in the past reviewed the FBI file, and in my experience it was not taken lightly.The vetting process has included the opportunity for senators to have private conversations with the nominee, which often feature prominently in senators’ decision-making process. It has included the chance to ask the nominee questions publicly at a hearing, followed up by extensive written questions.[Bob Bauer: Six ways to fix the Supreme Court confirmation process]The process didn’t end there. Senators and staff would review a nominee’s finances and past work experience; they would think through potential conflicts of interest. During investigations and hearings, they would dive into unique issues that arose from a nominee’s background. They would hear from witnesses with personal knowledge of the nominee or with deep expertise or a personal stake in important issues the nominee might consider as a justice. They would discuss and debate extensively.This process led nominees such as Harriet Miers and Abe Fortas to withdraw; it led to the defeat of Robert Bork’s nomination; it led to painful but important discussions about the nominations of Clarence Thomas and Kavanaugh. It led to overwhelming support for past nominees.This has previously been a serious process, and it should be one now. It is important, and it rightly takes time.Only if the Senate performs a genuine, thorough review of the president’s nominee for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, though, is this key piece of our system of checks and balances meaningful. There are no do-overs, and Amy Coney Barrett could be on the Court for many decades. In that time, she could overturn a century’s worth of jurisprudence and set a century’s worth of precedent. The Senate has a chance to make an independent judgment and put its imprimatur on a decision that could affect the rights of millions of Americans and the balance of power in the American government for years to come.Some senators have already signaled their intention to dispense with any serious vetting process. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham said last week that all committee Republicans will vote for the president’s nominee—without even waiting to find out who that nominee was, let alone meaningfully reviewing that person.There is quite clearly not time to implement the Senate’s review process correctly before the election. The length of time between now and Election Day is shorter than the time it took any nominee to be confirmed in almost four decades. The average time in recent decades has been almost twice what remains now. Those nominees confirmed more quickly decades ago were noncontroversial and were put forth at times when they had the Senate’s full attention.[Read: The true victors of Trump’s Supreme Court nomination]There is simply no way to do all that the Senate must do to make this a legitimate process before November 3—not to mention that senators will also be campaigning for reelection during this time and will be unable to give their full attention to the process. After the election, we will know whom the voters want as president and as senators; those chosen will then have ample time to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities and confirm a qualified justice.Pushing this nomination through without the Senate taking the time and making the effort to serve as a meaningful check on the other branches of government will be the forfeiture of one more crucial check on tyranny, and it will be one more step toward a system of government that no longer looks like a democracy at all.
White House Pressured C.D.C. Over School Risks
Administration officials wanted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to play down the risks of sending children back to school. Here’s the latest.
Ted Lasso Makes America Good Again
The clueless, self-assured American no longer seems like a benign figure, but no such clouds darken Ted Lasso’s sunny skies.
Brexit is back and the stakes are higher than ever
Britain left the European Union eight months ago. Nothing much changed for most people back then, but Brexit is now back with a vengeance as talks on a deal to keep trade flowing next year enter the final stretch.
Dear Care and Feeding: Will I Regret Having Only One Child?
Parenting advice on only children, friendship breakups, and parenting differences.
Amnesty International Halts India Operations Citing Government Reprisals
Amnesty International India alleged that Indian authorities froze its bank accounts on suspicions of violating rules on foreign funding
'Multiple' people dead following 'hostage situation' in Salem, Oregon State Police investigating
Multiple people are dead following an officer-involved shooting at an east Salem residence Monday, officials say.
The WhatsApp voice note that led to a death sentence
A heated conversation in a WhatsApp group has led to a death penalty sentence and a family torn apart in northern Nigeria over allegations of insulting Prophet Mohammed.
Cruise Ship Coronavirus Outbreak Was False Alarm As Staff Tests Come Back Negative
The ship's itinerary hasn't changed following the tests.
The Collateral Damage of Airbnb’s COVID Refund Policy
“Four houses fully booked for months—every single one of them canceled. … I banked everything on this.”
South Korea says slain man tried to defect to North Korea
South Korea said Tuesday that a government official slain by North Korean sailors wanted to defect, concluding that the man, who had gambling debts, swam against unfavorable currents with the help of a life jacket and a floatation device and conveyed his intention of resettling in North Korea.
Oregon man plunges to his death posing for picture near cliff: report
Mark Cuban Offers to Pay for Delonte West Rehab After Picking Up Former NBA Player at Gas Station
West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008 and was spotted panhandling in the Dallas area last week.
Ann Coulter Says Trump Tax Returns Expose 'Utterly Corrupt' System
The pundit criticized both Republicans' response to The New York Times' story and the overall tax code system.
Elementary Students in N.Y.C. Return to Classrooms After 6 Months
It won't be like the school they left: Nine students will sit at desks six feet apart in classrooms that used to hold 30 children.
Took Social Security early during the pandemic and regretting it? You could get a do-over
Some people may regret taking Social Security early if they resume working as the economy improves. Luckily, they may be eligible for a do-over.
Trump, Biden get ready in different ways for their first debate
1 h
Elon Musk Helps Washington Town Destroyed by Wildfires by Supplying Starlink Internet for Free
Space X's Starlink project aims to beam high-speed internet to Earth, with "near global coverage" potentially possible next year
1 h
Mexico asks U.S. to "clarify" alleged hysterectomies on migrant women
A former nurse at a privately run detention center in Georgia said women in ICE custody were sterilized without understanding why.
1 h
6 Questions Ahead Of The 1st Trump-Biden Presidential Debate
The first presidential debate is high stakes. Can Trump avoid the sitting-president first-debate slump? Does Biden come across competently? And how personal will it get?
1 h
Trump's Supreme Court pick on Capitol Hill for meeting with GOP senators
President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, will meet Republican senators throughout Tuesday on Capitol Hill, as the party finalizes plans for a quick confirmation process ahead of the November presidential election.
1 h
The Children Who Desegregated America’s Schools
In 1954, the Supreme Court decided that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional—but it was thousands of children who actually desegregated America’s classrooms. The task that fell to them was a brutal one.In the years following Brown v. Board of Education, vicious legal and political battles broke out; town by town, Black parents tried to send their children to white schools, and white parents—and often their children, too—tried to keep those Black kids out. They tried everything: bomb threats, beatings, protests. They physically blocked entrances to schools, vandalized lockers, threw rocks, taunted and jeered. Often, the efforts of white parents worked: Thousands upon thousands of Black kids were barred from the schools that were rightfully theirs to attend.But eventually, in different places at different times, Black parents won. And that meant that their kids had to walk or take the bus to a school that had tried to keep them out. And then they had to walk in the door, go to their classrooms, and try to get an education—despite the hatred directed at them, despite the knowledge that their white classmates didn’t want them there, and despite being alone. They changed America, but in large part, that change was not lasting. As they grew older, many of them watched as their schools resegregated, and their work was undone.Those kids are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s now. Many of them are no longer with us. But those who are have stories to tell.Here are five of them.Hugh Price and his family fought for him to be one of the first Black students at his all-white high school in Washington, D.C. But once he was there, he “couldn’t wait for it to be over.” Jo Ann Allen Boyce and 11 other students desegregated their high school in Clinton, Tennessee. Then the riots came. Sonnie Hereford IV desegregated Alabama’s public schools in 1963. He was only 6 years old. Millicent Brown changed Charleston, then watched it stay the same. Frederick K. Brewington’s education came at the end of a bitter civil-rights battle that engulfed New York state, more than a decade after the Court’s Brown v. Board decision.
1 h
Senate to take procedural vote to advance stopgap spending bill to avert shutdown
The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday evening to advance a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown.
1 h
A Military First: A Supercarrier Is Named After An African American Sailor
USS Doris Miller will honor a Black Pearl Harbor hero and key figure in the rise of the civil rights movement. Miller, a sharecropper's son from Waco, Texas was just 22 years when he created history.
1 h
The Undoing of a Tennessee Town
Editor’s Note: This is the second story in The Firsts, a five-part series about the children who desegregated America’s schools.The dress Jo Ann Allen Boyce had picked out for her first day of school, August 27, 1956, was beautiful: a black top and matching skirt with a pattern around the hem. Her grandmother had made it. In fact, her grandmother, a brilliant seamstress, had made Jo Ann an entire wardrobe of clothes for that first week.Jo Ann had given herself bangs and wore her long hair down. “For some reason I thought that was a really cute hairdo,” she told me recently. She got ready and headed out the door. At Green McAdoo Elementary School, just down the road from her home in Clinton, Tennessee, she met up with nine other Black classmates, their pastor, and family members to pray.For the two years before that late-summer Monday, her morning routine had been different. She typically rose with the sun, got dressed—in whatever felt right—and walked to catch a bus that would take her a little more than 20 miles east, first to Vine Junior High and then on to Austin High School, both in Knoxville. The bus ride usually took an hour. She felt relieved that morning because her commute was shorter, just a brief walk from her house. But her relief was temporary. It was the first day of the new reality in Clinton’s public schools—in all of Tennessee’s public schools, for that matter. That day, 12 students—Jo Ann, Bobby Cain, Anna Theresser Caswell, Minnie Ann Dickey, Gail Ann Epps, Ronald Gordon Hayden, William Latham, Alvah Jay McSwain, Maurice Soles, Robert Thacker, Regina Turner, and Alfred Williams—would be the first Black students in Tennessee to attend a desegregated state-supported high school.The prayer steeled the students, who had been preparing for that moment all summer. They had heard about how poorly integration had gone elsewhere—about the mobs, the slurs hurled at Black students, the violence. But this was Clinton. “Nothing bad had ever happened to us here,” Boyce said. She doesn’t remember having to step off the sidewalk when white people passed by, as was common in other southern towns. But segregation had still been the law. “We couldn’t sit at the counter or go to restaurants; we went to the back of the bus; we had our own bathrooms—our own water fountains clearly marked colored only.” Segregation in public schools was now illegal, though, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and she expected the white citizens of Clinton to at least respect the law.While the Black students had been preparing to enroll, the leadership at the high school had been preparing white students for integration. At the end of the spring semester, administrators gathered white students in the auditorium and explained how they were to behave when their Black classmates arrived. It was a crash course in civility, if not tolerance.As Boyce and her classmates departed from Green McAdoo and descended down the hill, they didn’t see much. “There weren’t too many people,” she said. The crowd consisted largely of white high-school students angling to get a better look at the Black students. She remembers three very young boys who held signs, however. we won’t go to school with negroes, the placards read.Still, aside from the signs, the first day went well. The Black students felt fairly safe. There was only one Black student per classroom, which meant that Boyce and her best friend, Gail, were not together, but the teachers were welcoming. “They were interested in teaching their classes,” she said. “They were not going to allow any outside agitation or whatever to enter the classroom. So if a loud noise came from outside, if someone yelled, they would get up and close the windows.”This congeniality extended to Boyce’s election as vice president of her homeroom class. She had run against a member of the football team. “It’s just that Jo Ann is so pretty and smart and has such a wonderful personality,” Carol Peters, a classmate and the president of the Future Homemakers of America Club, told The New York Times at the time. But the calm faded. The teachers, Jo Ann said, wanted to keep order, but as the days went by, they realized that there was only so much they could do.On September 7, 1956, Boyce (pictured in the black top and patterned skirt) and five other Black students walked in front of Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, while a crowd of white onlookers gathered in front. They’d just desegegated the school on August 27, and though things seemed to go well at first, the calm quickly faded. (Gene Herrick / AP)Boyce’s family members were not strangers to the Jim Crow South. Her father, Herbert, was born in Luverne, Alabama, a timbering town in the southeastern part of the state. He left Alabama for Clinton—six hours from Luverne as the crow flies—when he was in his 20s and looking for work. Her mother, Alice Josephine, was from nearby Oliver Springs, Tennessee, where Jo Ann’s grandfather was a farmer and a lumberjack. On September 15, 1941—one year after a Black man was lynched in Luverne—Jo Ann was born in Clinton.She was not able to go to public pools or skating rinks growing up. But the small town did have a school that Black students could attend: Green McAdoo. One teacher taught first through fourth graders together as a group. Another teacher—typically the principal—taught fifth through eighth graders. The textbooks were old, hand-me-downs from the white elementary school down the road. They were “clearly marked ‘obsolete.’ They were stamped,” Boyce told me. What they lacked in resources, however, the teachers made up for in dedication. Her first teacher, she said, “really wanted us to learn. She was insistent that we learn how to write well and read well, that we understood math and science.” But as fourth grade turned into fifth, and the Black students became more “rowdy,” learning became more difficult. “But if you were interested in learning, you did okay. I did okay.”Education for Black students in the town ended in eighth grade, and if parents wanted their children to attend high school they had to pay for transportation to send them outside of Clinton. Even though Boyce had friends who had continued on at school in Knoxville, 20 miles away, she still felt anxious about leaving home. “I felt like a country bumpkin in a city school,” she laughed. She went to the all-Black Vine Junior High School for ninth grade, but she never quite felt comfortable. It began with the ride, which “was uncomfortable,” she said. “Hot during the summer. Very cold during the winter.” Then there were her new classmates.She had a hard time making friends. After all, one year is a short adjustment period after having been in the same school for eight years, and the hour-long drive each way meant that there was no room for extracurriculars at school. “I remember there were things I wanted to join that I would have had to be involved in after school and I couldn’t.” Both of her parents worked, and neither of them could pick her up.That transportation issue became too much for some Black families. With 12 children, including triplets who would soon start school, one family, the McSwains, had had enough. They would ultimately have to pay to send all of their children to school in Knoxville. They had already sent two of their children to Austin High School, and it had been expensive.Meanwhile, Clinton High School—the white school—was a short walk away. Two other Black families with several children, the Dickies and the Willises, joined the suit. Together, they sued the county board of education, arguing that it was the county’s responsibility to at least provide a separate and equal facility for the Black students. Having to go to Knoxville every day was an injustice, and it needed to be addressed. In 1950, the families took their case to court, and in 1952 it landed before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, where Judge Robert Taylor presided over the case.Taylor didn’t buy the families’ argument. Tennessee was trying its hardest to educate both Black and white students, he wrote in his lengthy opinion. He disregarded the outdated books, the overstuffed classes, the lack of instructors. “The riding of a bus by the student plaintiffs is a small contribution upon their part and that of their parents toward the success of this effort, too small to be regarded as a denial of constitutional rights,” he wrote in his decision on April 26, 1952.Then came Brown v. Board of Education. Separate was not equal, and schools needed to integrate with all deliberate speed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed Taylor’s decision and sent the case back to him. The country’s position on segregation had changed, and his jurisprudence would need to change as well. He ruled that the school needed to integrate. Clinton High School was required to enroll Black students who wanted to attend. And it needed to be done as early as 1956.Boyce and her classmates took placement exams, and every one of the 12 Black students who would attend Clinton High the following year placed in his or her appropriate class. The group included a pair of seniors; Boyce and her friend Gail, who were juniors; and a handful of sophomores and freshmen. They began preparing mentally. That fall, they would desegregate the public schools in Tennessee.Boyce, who became a pediatric nurse and worked in hospitals for 30 years, still talks to anyone who will listen about the experience of the Clinton 12. (Bethany Mollenkoff)The post-integration calm in Clinton was brief. If the first day was fairly calm, the subsequent days were a steady escalation of violence. Boyce first felt things changing when she opened her locker on the second day and saw that her books had been torn. The vandals had left a note inside the cabinet: “Go home Nigger.”On her first day, Boyce had worn her hair long, proud. But after that, white students would walk up behind her in the halls and yank it. “You would never know who it was,” she said. “They would make plenty of space by the time you had recovered and turned around.” On the third day of that first week, the ruckus outside the school grew. Inside, students would step on the back of the Black students’ heels. Gail remembers her heels being stepped on until they bled.John Kasper, a 26-year-old segregationist and Ku Klux Klan member, had also started organizing in town. The walk to school became treacherous for the Black students as the mob threw rocks, bottles, sticks, and rotten tomatoes and eggs at them. “It felt like you were being squeezed” walking into the building, Boyce said. “They weren’t that close, but it felt that way, like you were being smothered by these rows of people on the side of the road.” Students put tacks on the chairs. The slurs piled up: Pickaninny. Coon. Jungle bunny. Kasper had been calling white families to tell them they shouldn’t want their kids to go to school with Black people, because that would lead to interracial marriage. Leading up to Labor Day, Kasper incited nearly 3,000 people to protest integration in Clinton. The mob became unwieldy, and a group of local volunteers organized to keep the peace. “A volunteer citizens’ police unit dispersed a jeering, taunting crowd on Clinton’s courthouse lawn tonight with six tear gas bombs,” a front-page story of The New York Times read on September 2. For his role in agitating the group, Kasper was sentenced to a year in prison.Clockwise from top left: A mob of anti-integrationists gathered in Clinton after the desegregation of the schools. It was the second night that the mob gathered in the city; tear gas had to be fired in order to disperse the crowd, and many cars with Black people in them were attacked. (AP); Three students at Clinton High School picketed their school on August 27, 1956, as it became the first state-supported high school in Tennessee to desegregate. (AP); The National Guard in Clinton on Sept. 2, 1956. (H.B. Littell / AP)The governor sent in troops to keep the peace—not just for the security of the Black students, but for the town’s sake, as well. Following Kasper’s arrest, Asa Earl Carter, the head of the North Alabama Citizens’ Council, arrived in Clinton and “delivered a speech attacking integration,” the Times reported. “After the speech a mob began stopping cars on the highway, ripping out ornaments and smashing the windows.” Roughly 200 men organized to march toward the mayor’s home before the sheriff stopped them.For the Clinton 12, as the group would come to be known, the first week was a wake-up call. “Now we know,” Boyce remembered thinking. “Now we know they aren’t going to accept this the way we thought.” Some white students began withdrawing from school. The friendly smiles in the hallway stopped. White students moved their desks away from Black students. Still, Boyce never considered going back to Austin High School. “I didn’t like that bus ride, to tell you the truth,” she told me, laughing. “I liked the fact that I could wake up a little later and walk down the hill and go to school.”By November, after months of intimidation, several members of the Clinton 12 had stopped attending school. Someone had set off an explosion outside of Alvah McSwain’s home. Someone had fired bullets at Alfred Williams’s house. But in early December, thanks to coaxing by Paul Turner, a local white minister who vowed to protect them, the students decided to return to school. The minister had not been at the forefront of the fight for integration. He had taken to using his pulpit to preach peaceful integration, but he was not prone to marching. However, now he felt that it was his duty to do more. The riots had gotten out of hand, and he figured if a man of the cloth was helping the students get to school, he could stave off some of the animosity toward them. “He thought it was important that we return to the school,” Boyce, who was among those who briefly stopped attending, told me.On December 4, 1956, Turner escorted the 10 students who remained at Clinton—two had left in September and weren’t coming back—to school. On his way home, he was severely beaten by white supremacists, who bounced his head against the fender of a car and broke his nose. That Sunday, however, he was back in the pulpit, wearing a brown suit with a white carnation on his lapel, his nose still swollen and his eye black. His message: “There is no color line around the cross of Jesus.”A student tries to enter school in Clinton, Tennessee, amidst jeers from the students surrounding him. (Photo 12 / Universal Images Group / Getty)The school was closed for the next several days, and when it reopened on December 9, only nine Black students returned. Boyce was not among them. Her parents felt that enough was enough, and her mother decided to move the family to California. “I was surprised that she wanted us to get out of there and leave and go thousands of miles away, because right next door was her mother and her sister and her brothers,” Boyce said. But fear for her daughter—and her family’s safety—had pushed her over the edge. “It wasn’t going to get much better,” Boyce told me.The family moved to Los Angeles, where Boyce attended Susan Miller Dorsey High School. It was desegregated, she said, “but it wasn’t integrated.” Black students, white students, and Asian students all kept to their own groups, segregated patches in the integrated space.Back in Clinton, other students left over time. Bobby Cain graduated in 1957, and Gail graduated in 1958. But they are the only two of the original 12 that finished school at Clinton High. The school was bombed the next year, on October 5, 1958, and three explosions reduced the building to rubble. No one was injured, nor was anyone ever arrested. The FBI dropped its investigation when two of the primary suspects died. (Local citizens eventually rebuilt the school.)There are glancingly few Black students in Clinton’s public schools now, and Black students make up just 1 percent of the entire district.Boyce stayed in Los Angeles. She became a pediatric nurse, working in hospitals for 30 years, and sang jazz in a cabaret theater. She married and had children, and her children had children. And she still speaks with anyone who will listen about the experience of the Clinton 12, because it’s easy to forget how hard progress is to win, and the courage it takes along the way.
1 h