USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Civil rights icon Roy Innis, who for over 50 years in public life confounded stereotypes and the conventional wisdom of politics, died Sunday morning in New York City after a long illness. He was 82.
“Roy got up every day and followed his conscience on what he thought was right, and if that led him to collide with political correctness, he was willing to take the heat,” said Wayne LaPierre, a longtime Innis friend and CEO of the National Rifle Association.
A tall and muscular enigma wrapped in a conundrum, Mr. Innis was noted for being a compelling speaker at the podium but otherwise mild-mannered — except when he wasn’t. He knocked Al Sharpton out of a chair and onto the floor during a TV debate, and he clobbered a white supremacist who called him an Uncle Tom on a Geraldo Rivera TV show.
“He believed in self-reliance, humility and the courage to fight for expanded opportunities, not for dependence on welfare,” said Ken Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state and a domestic policy adviser to the Trump transition team. “He wasn’t a pacifist, as Al Sharpton and others found out.”
His initial support for black separatism evolved into a libertarian conservatism not remotely shared by other famous U.S. civil rights leaders. He had headed the Congress of Racial Equality since being elected its national chairman in 1968.
“My brand of conservatism is the traditional, most decent and rational expression of the American personality,” he once told The New York Times. “I believe that the success of America has been the application of pragmatism in society, and that view is particularly unfashionable in the civil rights movement.”
“The passing of our friend Roy Innis is a great loss, he was a leader that cut through the PC correctness and spoke the truth, god speed, Roy.” AmmoLand Editor Fredy Riehl