Fulsome as it was, however, and seemingly exhaustive, the obituary failed to note a singular and vital fact about its subject: that he was a confirmed maverick and independent thinker, with no use for dogma about race or anything else …
In 2007, I went to Mississippi to report on the disheartening but all-too-telling case of Charles Pickering, a longtime district judge whose nomination by George W. Bush to the Fifth Court of Appeals had been scuttled by left/liberal special interest groups and the Democrat-controlled Senate …
In fact, the caricature his political and media foes so aggressively promoted was the very opposite of the truth; during those fraught and dangerous of years, Pickering had been heroic …
Even as the national NAACP joined other left-wing organizations in opposing Bush’s nomination of Pickering, those with whom the judge had worked knew better. And Charles Evers was in the middle of the fight.
When Mike Wallace and a 60 Minutes crew trekked down to Mississippi for a report on the Pickering battle, Evers, after completing his own interview, asked if he could join in on the next one, with the national NAACP’s Clarence McGee.
“You know that Charles Pickering was the man that helped us break the Ku Klux Klan?” demanded Evers. “Did you know that?”
McGee admitted that he hadn’t.
EVERS: Well, I know that. Do you know about the young black man that was accused of robbing the young white woman? Do you know about that?
EVERS: So Charles Pickering took the case, came to trial, and won the case, and the young man became free.
McGEE: I don’t know about that.
EVERS: All right. But did you also know that Charles Pickering is the man who helped integrate his—his churches? Do you know about that?
“Well,” concluded Evers contemptuously, “you don’t know a thing about Charles Pickering.”
Evers recalled the confrontation when I interviewed him in his office in the small radio station he owned in Jackson. “That young punk didn’t know nothin’ about nothing,” he said contemptuously. “That’s all you gotta say in this country, a white man’s a racist, this white man hates black folks. Well, I could not let them destroy a white man just because he’s white, when I know different.”
Harry Stein, Remembering Charles Evers (City Journal)
Outstanding! I consider it a lapse that he endorsed Trump, but the point is that he was a maverick, not that he was infallible.