You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.
More than 100 years ago Mark Twain recollected an incident from his youth along the river in Missouri. His point has quite a bit of relevance to Claremont (and elsewhere) today.
...I had a friend whose society was very dear to me... He was a gay and impudent and satirical and delightful young black man -a slave -who daily preached sermons from the top of his master's woodpile, with me for sole audience. He imitated the pulpit style of the several clergymen of the village, and did it well, and with fine passion and energy. To me he was a wonder. I believed he was the greatest orator in the United States and would some day be heard from. But it did not happen; in the distribution of rewards he was overlooked. It is the way, in this world. ...I listened to the sermons from the open window of a lumber room at the back of the house. One of his texts was this: "You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is." ...The black philosopher's idea was that a man is not independent, and cannot afford views which might interfere with his bread and butter. If he would prosper, he must train with the majority; in matters of large moment, like politics and religion, he must think and feel with the bulk of his neighbors, or suffer damage in his social standing and in his business prosperities. He must restrict himself to corn-pone opinions -- at least on the surface. He must get his opinions from other people; he must reason out none for himself; he must have no first-hand views.
The Claremont 400 has that kind of power and are not afraid to use opprobrium and more tangible means to enforce it.
Original essay here.