Skip to comments.Happy anniversary to the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Posted on 07/16/2014 4:00:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
Don't confuse the pre-struggle with the post-struggle.
The Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964 was signed into law on July 2, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Its anniversary has been nearly forgotten in the midst of the plethora of crises, cover-ups and corruption investigations.
But we will not forget!
It took over three hundred years for this nation to add a punctuation to the civil rights inherent in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal."
This would normally imply all rights, all access, and all opportunities, but for too long too many men did not embrace the full meaning of that ideal.
Throughout the history of this country many people looked for loop-holes in the ideal and the laws according to the Constitution, because their hearts were not ready to do what their minds knew was right. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 closed all remaining loop-holes, and opportunities for all were undeniable.
The CRA did not change hearts, and this did not mean it would be easy for everyone and all institutions to embrace the full meaning of the law. It just meant that any attempts to deny equal opportunities or access would be met with the full force of the law and our Justice System. And so, the post civil rights struggle began.
Unfortunately, some people confuse the pre-struggle with the post-struggle. The pre-struggle was about getting there. The post-struggle is about what are you going to do now. People confuse equal opportunities with equal results. Equal results can not be legislated, they must be earned. The force of the law is to ensure a level playing field for all who choose to compete in the arena of success and failure.
There is no guarantee.
I graduated from high school in 1963 and from college in 1967. The CRA of 1964 did not mean that doors would be automatically opened to me and millions of Blacks entering the work force looking for careers. It meant that doors could not be shut in our faces. It might have been done in instances in the dark of night, but not in the light of day and through the lens of a once objective media.
During that early phase of the CRA of 1964 many of us did not focus on what might have been going on in secret. Our focus was on the opportunities at hand. Over time, ones superior performance would transcend the color of ones skin.
Let's be clear. There were times when I was intentionally by-passed or overlooked for an opportunity because of the color of my skin and I knew it. But I was not litigation-minded. My motivation was to always keep moving forward despite the odds, which ultimately paid its rewards. It wasn't easy, but it was the path I chose.
I am not critical of those who may have chosen a more confrontational or low risk path during the early days of equal opportunities, because each person must pursue their ambitions at their pace. But those who have achieved more success have done so at greater risk and often greater personal sacrifices.
Most of the barriers to success in the early days of the CRA are gone. But we will always have some biases in the hearts and minds of some people no matter how minimal. It's human nature. It's easy to claim color bias, gender bias, size bias, or any other kind of bias if you are looking for it, but most successful people choose to look for superior performance in themselves and others.
Equal opportunity is a moving target. It's always moving forward. The driving factors for success are attitude, what you choose to focus on, and how hard and long you are willing to work. We owe a lot to the struggles that led up to the passage of the CRA of 1964, and to those who have embraced the law as just another part of our culture. Equal opportunity today is the rule, rather than the exception.
We must remember history but not be chained to it. The CRA of 1964 gave all of us a springboard into the future of what can be, instead of just what was.
Ahh, Yes. Landslide Lyndon Johnson. I remember him well.
Here is the man who put him in public office:
George Parr (aka the Duke of Duvall)
LBJ and 1964 are burned into my memory.
It was the “death knell” of the America I grew up in.
Here in South Texas the impact was immediate. The next election cycle after that date was historic due to the fact that (due to the civil rights protests) a huge majority of white elected local officials were thrown out of office and anyone with a Spanish surname was voted in.
Most notable in my memory was the Spanish lady who operated the tiny snack bar in the courthouse was elected Justice of the Peace...even though she had absolutely no experience other than cleaning tables and serving food.
And from that (as my tagline states) “the rot begins.”
Yeh...they destroyed my hometown in 1964. People died. The area is to this day is crime ridden and the demographics....nevermind.
My father was an attorney here in Alice during that time. I have vivid memories of that time because he was deeply involved in the “box 13” scandal and the attempted conviction of those involved.
As a boy, I remember standing in my front yard watching the Texas Rangers arresting the man who lived across the street. He was the county registrar and had very, very, dirty hands.
Isn’t this the same bill that Democrats filibustered against for 54 days?
A friend of my uncle had been a book keeper for George Parr before he moved here. Back home with his mother.
A good family friend was J.C. Davis. He was assistant Texas AG for several administrations. He loathed Lyndon. As a young man, I got a real education about that and other incidents from him.
At the time TX was 100% Democrat. But those in charge were fiscal conservatives. Lyndon was certainly not.
For reference, I was never a Democrat. By the time I was old enough to vote (21 then), I had already seen enough. Long before Texas moved into the Republican column.
Lyndon was a terrible president and consequences of his term has caused enormous damage to the nation.
I feel sad that it would take a law to make people do the decent thing. And of course it got abused down the line...
Growing up in the West I never really encountered that many blacks, until I moved to Ga in the early 90s. I was simply astounded about the racial hatred here. I vividly remember some of the older guys in the shop talking, bragging, about their days in the Klan in Alabama and Miss...
Now downtown Atl is full of thugs... and gays. And the whole meaning of the CRA is distorted .... sigh.
LBJ basks in the glow of the “martyred” JFK who, by the way, was also a terrible president by all objective accounts.
All you black are now free....to vote for your new masters called the democrats. Here’s some trinkets and a new slave house. Don’t forget to vote for us Democrats or we just might have to punish you.
Happy Birthday PC.
Yes, I totally agree. Contrary to the MSM projection, BOTH were very poor Presidents.
I think I’ll pass on the celebration.
Barry Goldwater voted against it, not out of any racial bias but because he understood that this opened the door to federal prosecution of what amounts to thought crime.
Freedom used to mean that you had the right to voice and hold beliefs that your political betters think is anathema.
Actually freedom still does mean that- you just do it today at your own peril.
Say something that violates Politically Correct guidelines and you are very likely to be fired from your job.
Some of us are old enough to remember an America before sensitivity training, minority set asides, affirmative action and racial quotas. All bequeathed to you by what was started in 1964.
All those rights and few of them ever exercised. sad.
Probably. There once was a sizable conservative bloc within the Democratic party and they opposed the bill. Google “conservative coalition” and you’ll learn about the unofficial coalition of Republican and Democratic conservatives that worked together for many years.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed by liberal Democrats working together with Republicans. Goldwater and five other Republicans voted against it.
You hear a lot of nonsense from Limbaugh and Hannity regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as if its passage by a majority of Republicans was some sort of victory for conservatism. If they want to hero worship the likes of GOP Senators Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits, Chuck Percy, Tom Kuchel they are more than welcome to, but they need to drop the pretense that this had any connection to conservative politics.
“Lyndon was a terrible president and consequences of his term has caused enormous damage to the nation.”
I second that.
He managed to do a lot of his damage with the collaboration of Republican liberals, something those inclined to vote for the GOPe should consider.
EFF all this crap...it started our slow death
Gore voted against it.
Yeah, but that was Bush’s fault.
“...not out of any racial bias but because he understood that this opened the door to federal prosecution of what amounts to thought crime.”
I wonder if in his wildest imaginations it would be used to force bakers to bake wedding cakes for gays?
Late in his life he was for gay rights and speaking against the religious right.
The problem with the Civil Rights movement, is it quickly went from the legitimate cause of ending discrimination based on skin color, to attempting to end discrimination based on culture and behavior.
Not all cultures are equal. You cannot choose your skin color, but you do choose your culture, and your behavior.