He once declared of those participating in the riots then sweeping the nation's cities, "Bam! Bam! Bam! Shoot 'em dead on the spot," and energized many poor and working-class whites in the South and Midwest who felt disillusioned with both parties.
Ross insisted that the administration's motives were pure; the idea for the question, he said, came from the Justice Department, which supposedly sought the data to help it enforce the Voting Rights Act.