Skip to comments.Public Opinion on Civil Rights 50 Years After the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Posted on 04/10/2014 11:58:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Four of the five living U.S. presidents -- Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter -- are in Austin, Texas, this week commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. They are in Austin because of the major role of President Lyndon Johnson in pushing the legislation through in the first months of his presidential administration in 1964. This legislation is still marked as one of the most significant developments in our nation's long history of race relations.
Herewith are eight important points about public opinion and civil rights based on a review of data and analyses from Gallup's archives.
1. Contemporaneous reaction of the American public as a whole to the Civil Rights Act in 1964 was positive. Gallup editors conducted a review a few years ago and reminded us that a majority of Americans had positive attitudes about the new civil rights legislation both prior to and after its passage in 1964. Most relevantly, in two Gallup polls taken in the fall of 1964, clear majorities of 58% and 59% of Americans responded positively when asked this question: As you know, a civil rights law was recently passed by Congress and signed by the president. In general, do you approve or disapprove of this law?
2. The passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was assessed by Americans as the fifth-most important event of the entire 20th century. This was based on an elaborate research program we conducted late in 1999 (just as the century was coming to a close), with the objective of measuring Americans' views on news events of the past 100 years.....
(Excerpt) Read more at pollingmatters.gallup.com ...
A meaningless, generalized poll that fails to go into comprehensive detail as to what exactly “Civil Rights” mean and how they apply.
All politics in America is not local but ultimately racial
One need only contemplate the history running up to the passage of the civil rights acts and the shaping of society in the wake of those statutes to see the profound impact race has had on the nation.
But one need not study that history if he is not so inclined, one need only turn on the television and watch our sitcoms and our dramas to see how racial politics play out on that stage.
One can visit our schools from pre-K through postgrad and witness how those institutions have been shaped by race in America.
There is scarcely any issue which cannot be connected to race in America, just ask Elijah Cummings.
About half the black population of America is almost totally unable to make do for themselves. They rely on the American taxpayer for the basic necessities of life thereby becoming a permanent dead weight around the legs of the economy.
“About half the black population of America is almost totally unable to make do for themselves.”
I think you’re being overly optimistic there; when you factor how many depend on the government for food, clothing, housing, schooling, and JOBS, the figure is MUCH higher.
I was recently stimulated by Hank Aaron’s comment that “nothing has changed” to think a new thought (not easy for an old guy).
What whites thought would happen as a result of the “freedom struggle” and what blacks thought would happen were, and are, completely different. In fact, they are virtually opposite.
Whites were, and are, ashamed of the structures that were put in place to respond to the end of slavery. Principally, these were legal segregation, social stigmatization, and special schools for black children. After several generations had passed, whites in general came to accept the premise that these structures were the cause of, and not the result of, the various differences between whites and blacks.
So whites generally anticipated that the end of legal segregation, “discrimination”, and black schools would make all those differences vanish, if not right away, certainly within a generation or two. And, as an extra added bonus, whites would be “free” also - free from the psychological, political, and financial burdens of maintaining a complex, multi-level control structure over blacks. This is why children in high school now know as much about Harriet Tubman and MLK as they do about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
What whites took as an anticipated benefit, however, blacks took as a promise. Blacks believed, not without some justification, that the structures imposed upon their communities by whites were the cause of certain social pathologies among their people. Just as we all do, they took a shred of truth and expanded it into the whole truth - so that, when the “freedom struggle” was won, that they, and their communities, would be as the whites were, and are.
The fact is that the end of the 1865-1964 era has produced radically different outcomes for blacks and for whites. And, given the fact that their perceptions going in were so different, it is not really surprising that their reactions to the outcomes are also different.
When Hank Aaron says “nothing has changed”, he is, from a certain point of view, telling the truth.
“The passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was rated lower in importance than only five events: World War II, women gaining the right to vote in 1920, dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.”
What is event 5? Perhaps I just don’t understand the concepts imbedded in “Common Core Math” and that, since we dropped bombs on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that is to be understood as accounting for events 3 and 4.
Albert Arnold Gore Sr was one of the main voices opposed to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Odd how we heard about “No New Taxes” in 2000, but nothing about that. Only the sins of SOME fathers were pertinent, apparently.
Maybe.... just maybe... what blacks DO with their time and their money and their opportunities just MIGHT have something to do with these disparities. Will we EVER hear anyone admit to this? Ever?
Blacks believed that white citizens had received the rewards of the American system because it was the nature of the system to entitle its members to the fruits of the Americans system and, when liberty (read equality) had been obtained, blacks would acquire what they were entitled to along with whites. This expectation was the logical extension of the assumption that blacks had been denied the fruits of the American dream by the system and to the degree that they did not receive the fruits of the American dream, it was proof positive that the system was still biased against them otherwise they would prosper to the same degree as whites.
Put another way, we are looking at the difference between opportunity and entitlement or equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.
I think the matrix requires a new layer: white liberals-those who are not utter cynics out to exploit the black vote-share the idea that the government does more than create liberty for people to participate in the American dream, government is the dream, government makes the dream possible. So if African-Americans are not fully participating in the American dream, the fault is with the government-or if you are really radical like Barack Obama-the fault is with the dream itself.
But no matter which group one counts himself in, the definition of the dream varies. For a white conservative, the expectation is that there is a fair system with liberty for all to freely compete, achieve, and acquire and to do all this within the confines of a civil society made possible by the rule of law under a constitutional framework.
This describes an objective structure but the promise of the American dream to African-Americans is to live in a world without subjective unpleasantness. In other words, the American promise extends to providing a social atmosphere without slight or discrimination of any kind and, by full extension of the idea, a context in which merit is replaced by identity. If you are prospering socially and culturally and economically, the system is functioning properly. If not, system is still broken because you are not a full citizen.
The white conservative is confounded by this mindset and really does not know how to react to it except in anger. The cynical white leftist exploits this mindset to point out real and imagined subjective unpleasantness in order to acquire votes etc. The radical leftist exploits this dichotomy to bring down the system so he can radically transform it from the rubble.
There is real pathology in the black "community" described by Moynahan and others ad infinitum but that pathology cannot be intelligently treated so long as basic assumptions remain so far apart and the atmosphere remains toxic to be exploited by white liberals of one stripe of radicalism or another.
If civil rights means being able to keep and bear arms, as is guaranteed by our Constitution, then we have lost our rights. If it means free from search by the NSA, then we have lost our rights. If it means free to travel without being molested by sex offenders working for the TSA then we have lost our rights. If it means being able to speak without fear of being arrested, then we have lost our rights.
Fight the Free Sh☭t Nation
‘Civil Rights’ is a misnomer and actually a large reason we are at the point we are today. It has allowed race to be destructively used as a battering ram. It also has provided for the completely BS notion that we are all the same. We must rid ourselves of the shackles from ‘civil rights’ if we ever hope to be great again.
The problem is that, in this context, "liberty" and "equality" are antonyms.
Your points about white leftists are well-taken.