Civil Rights Leader Innis, Who Moved from Liberalism to Libertarianism, Dies at 82

“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.”

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