Skip to comments."A Storied Record on Civil Rights": 150th Anniversary of the Republican National Committee
Posted on 02/23/2006 12:59:39 PM PST by LS
Especially during February, Black History Month, the Republican Party should take great pride in its heritage of civil rights achievement.
While celebrating the birth this month of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, Republicans should also honor a friend and adviser to the "Great Emancipator," Frederick Douglass. Douglass, who would celebrate his birthday on Feb. 14, had a favorite saying: "The Republican Party is the ship; all else is the sea."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
I believe that Democrats have lied about who supported the Civil Rights Act for so long that they actually believe their lies. But anytime this lie is retold, I feel compelled to debunk it. So here we go again...
The Congressional Quarterly of June 26, 1964 (p. 1323) recorded that, in the Senate, only 69% of Democrats (46 for, 21 against) voted for the Civil Rights Act as compared to 82% of Republicans (27 for, 6 against). All southern Democratic senators voted against the Act. This includes the current senator from West Virginia and former KKK member Robert C. Bryd and former Tennessee senator Al Gore, Sr. (the father of Bradley's Democratic opponent). Surely young Bradley must have flunked his internship because ostensibly he did not learn that the Act's primary opposition came from the southern Democrats' 74-day filibuster. In addition, he did not know that 21 is over three times as much as six, otherwise he would have become - according to the logic of his statement - a Republican.
In the House of Representatives, 61% of Democrats (152 for, 96 against) voted for the Civil Rights Act; 92 of the 103 southern Democrats voted against it. Among Republicans, 80% (138 for, 34 against) voted for it.
Since Bradley was interning in the Senate, why doesn't he remember the major role the Republicans played in fighting for civil rights? During the Eisenhower Administration, the Republican Party made more progress in civil rights than in the preceding 80 years. According to Congressional Quarterly, "Although the Democratic-controlled Congress watered them down, the Administration's recommendations resulted in significant and effective civil rights legislation in both 1957 and 1960 - the first civil rights statutes to be passed in more than 80 years" ("The Republican Party 1960 Civil Rights Platform," May 1964). It reported on April 5, 1963 that, " A group of eight Republican senators in March joined in introducing a series of 12 civil rights bills that would implement many of the recommendations made in the Civil Rights Commission report of 1961."
The principal measures introduced by these Republicans broadened the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it "designed to pass unlike Democratic 'public relations' attempts" (CQ, February 15, 1963, p. 191). Republican senators overwhelmingly "chided" President John Kennedy about his "failure to act in this field (civil rights)." Republican senators criticized the Kennedy Administration's February 28, 1963 civil rights message as "falling far short" of the Civil Rights Commission's recommendations and both party platforms. "If the President will not assume the leadership in getting through Congress urgently needed civil rights measures," the Republican senators said, " then Congress must take the initiative" (CQ, April 5, 1963, p. 527).
At the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson praised the Republicans for their "overwhelming" support. Roy Wilkins, then-NAACP chairman, awarded Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois the Leadership Conference of Civil Rights Award for his "remarkable civil rights leadership." Moreover, civil rights activist Andrew Young wrote in his book An Easy Burden that "The southern segregationists were all Democrats, and it was black Republicans... who could effectively influence the appointment of federal judges in the South" (p. 96). Young added that the best civil rights judges were Republicans appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower and that "these judges are among the many unsung heroes of the civil rights movement."
The historical facts and numbers show the Republican Party was more for civil rights than the Democrats from "the party of justice," as Bill Bradley called it. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, in reality, could not have been passed without Republican votes. It is an "injustice" for contemporary Democratic politicians and the liberal news media to continue to not give the Republicans credit for their civil rights triumphs. Now is the time for Republicans to start informing black Americans of those historical triumphs to lead them back to their "home party."
By R.D. Davis
I never understood why blacks insist on voting for the party of Jim Crow, the party of grand cyclops Robert KKK Byrd, and the party of George Wallace.
Of course, those 1964 Southern Democrats quickly switched their party affilliation to the Republican Party. An analysis of the battles that followed the 1964 acts show the shift and the votes giving an aire of unjustified puffery to the claim of this thread. That shift by formerly "Safe South" Democratic party was the basis for the rise of the GOP to the dominant position it now enjoys in the South. Intellectual blindness and revisionist history are transparent to anyone but the most uninformed and party loyalists.
This is a fantastic historical source. Thank you for printing it.
Nice try, though.
It is obvious that you didn't read the post. Of course the 1964 Republicans voted in a higher percentage. The southern democrats, who later changed to the GOP, were the Trent Lotts, and Strom Thurmonds of the era who dominated the South and the Democratic party. The 1964 GOP minority came from the midwest, New England and the pacific northwest and, as a percentage of their number, voted far greater for the 1964 Acts. Look at the subsequent debates, attemped circumlocutions and votes into the early 70s as those southern democrats changed parties.
Their attrition brougt on the New GOP South.
I read the post. I also lived through that time. Yeah, some southern dems came over. But many racist southern dems stayed put. The GOP STILL is the true party of civil rights.
OK--believe what you choose
I do. I believe the truth.
But they didn't! The only Democratic Senator who voted against the CRA and switched parties was Strom Thurmond. The rest of them remained in the party and in the Senate for many, many years (sometimes, like Stennis, even into the late 80s). I repeat, Strom was the only one.
Another point is that the greatest opposition to the Southern senators who opposed integration was the northern Democratic liberals who had a difficult time breaking the Southern Democratic hold on the agenda. They are not pure, because many of them compromised to maintain their own power. But the Republicans, for the most part, were somewhat passive. Like him or not, it was probably Lyndon Johnson who had more to do with breaking that southern stranglehold on the Civil Rights movement than anyone else. He knew he was most likely turning the south over to the Republicans when he pushed his Civil Rights agenda.