Crime: Don't Let it Happen!

Citizens' Councils of America (Creator)
Crime: Don't Let it Happen!
Although the Citizens' Council movement's main motivation was to oppose advancements in civil rights for African Americans, it expanded its efforts to other less-divisive issues in a play for mainstream acceptance. This was evident throughout the anti-crime flyer which is partially reproduced here. The interior pages featured admonitions "to stay clear of narcotics, and other kinds of drugs" if "yo u love freedom," instructions on when and how to call the police, and other advice for citizens looking to take a hand in minimizing crime in their neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the relentless use of a red, white, and blue color scheme combined with other recognizable images of Americana (such as the allusion to the "Uncle Sam Wants You" army recruitment poster) emphasized the patriotic nature of the cause. Despite such a seemingly inclusive message, however, the preface of this pamphlet betrayed both the origins of the Citizens' Council movement and its definition of "citizen" when it warned "that forced racial integration contributes greatly to our nation's rising crime rate." In this example as in so many of others, the right-wing emphasis on fighting crime and patriotism was in fact a thinly-veiled allusion to the supposed dangers of the civil rights movement.
Collection Name
Group Research, Inc. Records
Archival Context
Series I: Topical Files. Box no. 76, Folder no. Citizens' Councils Their material
Publication Information
Citizens' Councils of America: Jackson (Miss.). 1972-06
[June, 1972]
Library Location
Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
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Choosing sides
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