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Sun Apr 14, 2013, 01:35 AM

Response to these claims about the civil rights movement and Democratic Party?

Found this LTTE to be published in the Sunday paper, in response to a Dana Milbank column that my local paper published:

Sen. Rand Paul has stated the Civil Rights Act has some unconstitutional aspects to it.

It does impede free speech and association, however well intentioned.

Some history Dana Milbank (Opinion, April 12) would like to rewrite is that the Civil Rights Act would not have passed if the Democrats had had their way, including Al Gore Sr., Lester Maddox and George Wallace.

It was a Democratic attorney general who bugged King's phone.

If it weren't for the push by the Republican Party, the Civil Rights Act would not have passed at all, regardless of its constitutional flaws.

When a black Republican does well they are chastised as being an "Uncle Tom" because the liberals feel threatened. This self-destructive behavior is worse when black students who do well are harassed for being "too white."

Time for black Americans to wake up to the fact the Democrats are using you.


The letter writer is the president of this local organization called the Conservative Forum. My responses to these claims, please correct, expand on, or comment on them:
- "The CRA) does impede free speech and association, however well intentioned." Too bad: if you're a public accommodation, you can't discriminate. If you want to discriminate, feel free to become a private members-only organization instead. The Boy Scouts and Augusta National Golf Club still legally discriminate. And the "right to discriminate" goes both ways in a theoretical libertarian environment: expect "no whites" signs at some establishments if the CRA were gutted.
- " if the Democrats had had their way, including Al Gore Sr., Lester Maddox and George Wallace"? The only Democrats who were obstructing the CRA were the southern Democrats a.k.a. Dixiecrats, while northern senators of both parties generally voted for the CRA. Although Wallace ran for president in 1968 in a third party, he apologized for his segregationist views in the late '70s and began appointing black people to state positions in the '80s as governor of Alabama. Furthermore, Mississippi civil rights activists created their own offshoot "Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party" to challenge the segregationists in the mainstream MS DP. And the Nixon/Agnew "Southern Strategy" of 1968 transformed the south into a solid red voting bloc and among its targets was Albert Gore Sr. over Gore's liberal positions such as opposing the Vietnam War. Not to forget the Southern Strategy's dog-whistle language like "states' rights" and "law and order".
- "It was a Democratic attorney general who bugged King's phone." True, according to this 2002 article in The Atlantic: "On October 10, 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy committed what is widely viewed as one of the most ignominious acts in modern American history: he authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin wiretapping the telephones of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy believed that one of King's closest advisers was a top-level member of the American Communist Party, and that King had repeatedly misled Administration officials about his ongoing close ties with the man." Arguably RFK's action was a legacy of the Red Scare, a right wing movement triggered by REPUBLICAN Sen. Joe McCarthy back in the '50s.
- "When a black Republican does well they are chastised as being an "Uncle Tom" because the liberals feel threatened. This self-destructive behavior is worse when black students who do well are harassed for being "too white." Time for black Americans to wake up to the fact the Democrats are using you." This is a common RW talking point, that liberals are racist and intolerant against black conservatives. But it's not as if right wingers have "used black people".

For instance, the NYT suggested in reporting on George H.W. Bush's nomination of Clarence Thomas to the supreme court: "In choosing a black nominee, Mr. Bush seemed to be aiming toward the less ambitious goal of insulating himself against charges that he is hostile to blacks."

And look at the conservative swooning over Dr. Ben Carson over the past couple months since Carson's National Prayer Breakfast speech that even included some criticisms of Obama right in Obama's presence! The praise was so much that there was speculation that Carson would run for president in 2016, in other words the Republicans' Obama. However, given Carson's recent self-destruction with his gays/NAMBLA/bestiality comment, expect him to quit politics soon.

And maybe the REASON why 95% of black Americans vote D instead of R? Could be more than one such as:
- Right wing opposition of the Voting Rights Act and general right wing attempts to sabotage the vote (remember Paul Weyrich's "I don't want everybody to vote" speech from 1980?)
- The non-stop bigotry towards non white Americans in conservative media whether talk radio, blogs, internet forums, Fox News, etc.
- Republican candidates' insulting welfare code language like Gingrich calling Obama the "food stamp president" or Santorum saying "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them other people's money"...basically an incapability of seeing black people as human beings

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