Jim Clark, the thug who oversaw the racist gulag of Selma for more than a decade, went toe-up yesterday in an Alabama nursing home. Clark was best remembered for the nationally-televised police riot that took place in early March 1965, when civil rights activists attempted to march from Selma to the capital in Montgomery in support of federal voting rights legislation. As the marchers crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge on their way out of town, Clark’s Dallas County sheriffs joined a phalanx of state troopers who clubbed and gassed everyone who wasn’t wearing a badge. Clark would later insist that no one had actually beaten the activists; instead, he claimed, they had all fallen down simultaneously.

Though Clark could often be seen wearing a button that boasted “Never” — a word that neatly summarized his views on black voting rights — he was thrown from office the following year, when newly-registered black voters bade him farewell from public life.

A man who represented a less evolved era of white supremacy, Jim Clark’s spirit endures nevertheless.

. . . in comments, nolo reminds us that Clark later served time for scheming to import and sell dope from his mobile home . . .

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