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Education on Racism

Scott Shepherd


My name is Scott Shepherd and yes I am a Reformed Racist of many Years! I was born and raised in Indianola, Mississippi, which is also the birthplace of the "White Citizens Council" a White Racist Organization that was very prominent in Politics in the 1950's and 60's. It is still in operation today as "The Council of Conservative Citizens" with Headquarters in St. Louis, MO. It is still the same Organization with just a different name.

 

 I wish to add that the people of Indianola, Ms should NOT be labeled anything negative or considered in anyway remotely racist. The people of Indianola are good people who enjoy racial harmony today! Some areas of this nation and actually the world should look at Indianola and its great people and see how things can and do change. Indianola is an example of "Positive Change" And that is exactly what you will see if you ever visit that small Mississippi Delta Town!

 

I borrowed the phrase "Free At Last" for my blog because it describes exactly how I feel. "Free At Last" from the negative life, anger and views that I once had and preached. It is a feeling of relief to have been set free from what had me trapped in a destructive life. It was not only destructive for myself but for those closest to me also. I am now "Free At Last" from that life of bondage, negative feelings and baggage! 

 

I am on a mission of education and self education with hopes that I may help prevent other people and mainly younger people from falling victim to the racist recruitment traps and tactics used by racist organizations. On April 6, 2012 I made a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. I will add that I have spent most of my life in Memphis and had never set one foot on the property of the Museum. After my visit that day I had the desire to go back on April 9, 2012 also again on April 30, 2012 for a third visit. In order to see parts of the Museum I was not able to see on my prior visits.

 

I was very shocked at how interesting the museum was and all the information that was available. I did enjoy the visit and learned a lot. At times I found myself ashamed and feeling sick to my stomach when I saw displays of "Organizations" that I had once been a part of. My racist life and activities started when I was about 16 or 17 years old, they continued until my early 30's, which included appearances on several National Television Talk Shows also some Radio Shows. 

 

I had also been a Candidate for Public Office twice in Tennessee running openly for Governor and State Representative as a "White Activist". However I am not proud of this, but it shows how extreme and openly vocal I was with my racial views.  My feelings and views started to change as my life evolved. I started seeing everyone for who they are "regardless" of their race.

 

I was a very misguided young person at the time who was not very happy. I had issues within myself that contributed to me directing those negative feelings toward others. I chose a life of racism looking for something in life that would fulfill the void within myself. It was a constant battle trying to live that type of life, when in reality I didn't honestly feel the things I preached. 

 

I know I said a lot of  hurtful things over those crazy years and there is not anyway that I can take it back. I can and have extended my apologies to many and continue to do so. I extend my apology to everyone that is reading this! With hopes that you can and will forgive me for the negative actions of my past. My life today is totally different. I am not the person I once was and I no longer live the negative racist life I once did. I am happy today and also happy with who I am!

 

My transformation from racist to non-racist began over 20 years ago. It started after several "life experiences" placed me in a situation where I had to make a "decision" and take a long hard look at my inner self. This allowed me to get totally honest with myself and with who I truly was. It took some time before I made my changes known and was able to grasp these changes which were taking place within myself. At that time I was able to start the positive restructuring of my life.

 

I chose to make a change and live a positive and happy life. I am very grateful for my life today living without the racist baggage I once had. Even though some of those "life experiences" that caused me to take a look at myself were painful, I would not give those experiences back. They changed me for the better and life is much happier today! I thank God everyday for guiding me and my life in the right direction!

       

  I am hoping that my experience within the racist movement where I was well respected by all other racist will give me a chance to make a positive difference and change to "Stop" Racism! We are not born racist, somewhere and somehow we are taught it. The important thing is we can end it! We can't change the past but we can improve the future, by starting with our young people and teaching them tolerance and how to accept others for who they are. Maybe my experience can make a difference, I sure hope so!

 

I met and became close friends when I was active in the racial movement, with some of the most rabid and violent people within the racist movement.  Some of these people were very active back in the 50's and 60's and were not strangers to violent acts. If the persons or organizations had a racist agenda it would be fair to say that I had a connection and was closely associated with them. There were also connections with "Pro-White" Organizations in South Africa and other countries. I also founded my own organization based in Memphis, Tn "National White Rights Association" which served as an umbrella for several groups.

 

  Included in this list of  people I met and shared a friendship with were Byron De La  Beckwith who was convicted of the murder of Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers,  James Earl Ray convicted of the murder of  Martin Luther King Jr,  J.B. Stoner a convicted bomber and extreme racist from Georgia,  Robert M. Shelton ( United Klan's of America Based in Alabama) and Sam Bowers (White Knights Of Mississippi Based in Mississippi)  both were Imperial Wizards (Top Leaders) of violent factions of the Ku Klux Klan. Sam Bowers was  Imperial Wizard of the Violent White Knights Of Mississippi, responsible for the the death of three Civil Rights Workers in Mississippi, that was the focus of The Movie "Mississippi Burning!"Also Tom Metzger a notorious White Supremacist (Separatist) and long time racist David Duke. 

 

Others I were friends and associated with were Thomas Robb National Director of  The Knights of  The Ku Klux Klan and Don Black a former leader of a Ku Klux Klan Faction he is now head of Stormfront a White Nationalist Internet Network of White Supremacist. There were  many others but the list is too long to name them all!

 

This list also included some "Military Style" Groups as well. Some were labeled "Militia" or "Mercenary" Groups that were "Paramilitary" one of which was The Civilian Material Assistance Group (CMA) that had operations in Central America. However the CMA was not only "Anti-Government" but also an "Anti-Communist" Mercenary Type Group.

The "Civilian Material Assistance" (CMA) was formerly called "The Civilian Military Assistance Group" Its founder and leader was Tom Posey of Decatur, Al. He was a former Marine, John Bircher and Ku Klux Klansman. They were strongly involved with the Iran-Contra Affairs. They were a private contra aid group, based in the United States with Headquarters in Memphis, Tn and Decatur, Al  also with New Orleans, La and Miami, FL connections with interests in Nicaragua.

 

 The Civilian Material Assistance had been suspected of being involved with illegally supplying shipments of weapons to the Nicaraguan Contra Rebels. This was investigated, and found that only humanitarian material aid was supplied and no laws were violated. To the best of my knowledge those connected with the activity, were never charged or prosecuted. The Groups founder and leader Tom Posey was later convicted on other charges, and served two years in prison and fined $20,000 Dollars. After his release he lived quietly until his death in 2011. 

 

This is not to imply that "everything" was legitimate and some of those allegations were not true. Heads were turned and a lot of political maneuverings were definitely involved. You can Google it and read about it, then make your own conclusions.

 

I must make it very clear that I myself never condoned or participated in any violent activity nor would I ever! I will continue to blog and inform you more of the life that I am happy and proud NOT to be a part of anymore.

 

  This will only be the first of many blogs I plan to do. I have been asked and I am considering making public presentations in the future to tell my story with hopes of helping others. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Comments are welcome on this Blog at the bottom of the page. I also have a guestbook link at the top of this blog. My permission is granted for you to share this Blog as you wish!

 

Please be sure to visit the link page for more information!

Recommended Link Click Here:  Scott Shepherd Racial Unity! 

 

Thank You!  

Scott Shepherd

 ***************************

National Civil Rights Museum April 6, 2012 First Visit


 National Civil Rights Museum April 12, 2012 Second Visit


 National Civil Rights Museum KKK Display Third Visit



 

27 comments:

  1. Old, old song that goes with what you are saying:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHKzn8aHyXg

    It's not the learning but the unlearning that's tough!

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  2. Scott, I think your blog is great and even now in the 21st century, it is still worth repeating. Like you, I grew up in Indianola during the 50's and 60's, remember the racial tensions, the demostrations, the unrest our little town suffered. I was not raised a racist, I guess because my dad was Lebonese and not in Indianola so much, but in some western states how he was treated. Once instance I remember very well: I was about 8 years old in WY. we went into a cafe, my dad was asked to leave, they would not serve him, but said mom and I could eat there. Keep on writing and I will keep reading. Bless you. Belinda Thomas Mays

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  3. Nice blog Scott. Way too much hatred in this old world...they say it is worse in the South but I really wonder about that. I was born in Greenwood, MS and spent a lot of time in Grenada and don't remember much racial tension going on; guess I was a bit young to notice. I do remember my cousins playing with black kids and thinking nothing of it...which I thought was great. However, growing up in Memphis was a whole different ball of wax. I won't say i have not been racist along they way but I do strive to judge people by who and what they are rather than color these days.

    You are a terrific person and nice to see you doing such great things. God Bless.

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  4. I have always been glad to be considered your friend, but now even more. This must have been a difficult transformation and I am proud of you for having the courage to see your way through it. Love, d.

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  5. I knew your mother at Indianola High School. I also lived in Isola at the time she married John. Ben was a great improvement.
    I admire your stance. You will probably find that many in my generation (born 1932) preferred to remain silent through "the troubles". Maybe that was cowardly, but when you have small children, you want to avoid confrontation.

    It is heartwarming to see my hometown less turbulent. The family I have left there may still not all agree with me.

    God bless you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am just trying to do the right things today!

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  6. You Rock! Proud of you!

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  7. it's really difficult to unlearn all the racism we've been taught, especially since it's everywhere we look, just really subtle. and when you finally start to try to unlearn it, sometimes the people around you are resistant to change, and they criticize you for it. it's awesome that you're doing this; it's a hard journey.

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  8. Mr Shepherd,
    I am not sure where the best place to post this comment, so I will post it here and in your Guestbook. I read your blog and I must say it takes someone with extreme courage to do what you have done! It is a wonderful thing and speaks loudly of your character. What you have done and are doing is a great thing that all people should learn from. I know of many people that are proud of you and are behind you 100% but just have not spoken yet! But you have shown great courage and also the content of your heart from where this change has come by openly speaking out. We need more people like you! God Bless you!

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  9. very well written Scott.proud of you for letting ppl know your past and present feelings.
    always your friend Sherry

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  10. WOW!!! What a great human being you are to acknowledge the change of heart you've gone through. I'm so proud of your growth as a person, which is what I believe our mission is on earth. Keep up the great work!!!

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  11. It takes great courage to repudiate such long held beliefs,especially when you strove so diligently for them. I respect your intellectual sincerity immensely, and wish you the very best.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much your comment means alot!

      Scott

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  12. You give me hope. I had just about decided that we would just have to wait for the "old guard" to just die out, and pray that at least most of their children wouldn't follow in their footsteps. I had no idea racists could be rehabilitated.

    Congratulations on setting yourself free!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much your comment means alot!

      Scott

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  13. Glad to see a bright light in, what seems to be, a dim world.
    #FriendinAlabama

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    Replies
    1. Thank you that really means a lot to me!

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  14. Hi Scott, I really admire you so Much for making these wonderful changes in your life. Being an American of Asian descent, racism has always been in the back of my mind and a concern. I do know that people of any color, religion, etc who choose to hate are hurt inside. This is something you mentioned. It is not their true essence. I believe that all people are good inside and that love and peace are our true nature. Thanks so much for sharing. It's people like you who bring so much inspiration to the world. Peace and Love, Julia

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Thank you for your comments! You may also sign my Guestbook at the top of my Home Page. I appreciate you taking the time to read my Blog and letting me know you were here. Comments will be approved and posted as soon as possible!

Scott