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2125Re: [prezveepsenator] Reagan, the South and Civil Rights

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  • THOMAS JOHNSON
    Jan 17, 2007
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      I would repectfully disagree with that, Richard. With
      exception oF Wilson, I'm a fan of all those guys, but
      I'm not sure any of them had the long term impact of
      MLK. It's a fun discussion and I appreciate your
      opinion.

      Tom


      --- richard kelly <richwkelly@...> wrote:

      > Tom:
      >
      > Actually there are several more important American
      > figures, for starters, Theodore and Franklin D.
      > Roosevelt, Ike, Harry Truman, and Woodrow Wilson.
      >
      >
      > Richard Kelly
      >
      >
      > --- THOMAS JOHNSON <AVRCRDNG@...> wrote:
      >
      > > Great post, Ram.. Incidentally, can anyone think
      > of
      > > a
      > > more important American historical figure in the
      > > 20th
      > > century than MLK?
      > >
      > > Tom
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > > Reagan, the South and Civil Rights
      > > > By Juan Williams
      > > >
      > >
      >
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1953700&columnId=1929301
      > > >
      > > > NPR.org, June 10, 2004 ยท Forty years after the
      > > > passage of 1964 Civil
      > > > Rights Act, history and politics are celebrating
      > a
      > > > strange
      > > > convergence: It was the passage of the Civil
      > > Rights
      > > > Act that launched
      > > > the rise of the president who died last week,
      > > Ronald
      > > > Reagan.
      > > >
      > > > The Civil Rights Act, signed July 2, 1964, by
      > > > President Lyndon
      > > > Johnson, ended legal discrimination against
      > blacks
      > > > at hotels,
      > > > restaurants and department stores. It also made
      > > > discrimination illegal
      > > > in hiring. Barry Goldwater, the Republican
      > > > presidential nominee that
      > > > year, decided to make himself a voice for
      > > opponents
      > > > of the Act.
      > > >
      > > > Goldwater said he supported the white Southern
      > > > position on civil
      > > > rights, which was that each and every state had
      > a
      > > > sovereign right to
      > > > control its laws. The Arizona Republican argued
      > > that
      > > > each American has
      > > > the right to decide whom to hire, whom to do
      > > > business with and whom to
      > > > welcome in his or her restaurant. The senator
      > was
      > > > right at home with
      > > > Southern politicians who called the Civil Rights
      > > Act
      > > > an attack on "the
      > > > Southern way of life."
      > > >
      > > > To overcome the forces arrayed against the bill,
      > > > Johnson needed every
      > > > bit of his political skill and every bit of
      > > > emotional aftermath from
      > > > the previous November's assassination of
      > President
      > > > John F. Kennedy.
      > > > But once the bill had passed, Johnson told
      > > > confidants that Democrats
      > > > might have lost the South to Republicans for
      > years
      > > > to come. He was
      > > > exactly right.
      > > >
      > > > Today the South is solidly Republican. In every
      > > > presidential election
      > > > since 1964 -- save the election of Jimmy Carter
      > in
      > > > 1976 -- Dixie has
      > > > been the heart of GOP presidential politics. The
      > > > white Southern vote
      > > > was key to the Republican takeover of Congress
      > in
      > > > 1994, and President
      > > > George W. Bush was elected in 2000 because he
      > > > carried every Southern
      > > > state.
      > > >
      > > > Ronald Reagan was key to the South's transition
      > to
      > > > Republican
      > > > politics. Goldwater got the ball rolling, but
      > > Reagan
      > > > was at his side
      > > > from the very beginning. During the 1964
      > campaign,
      > > > Reagan gave
      > > > speeches in support of Goldwater and spoke out
      > for
      > > > what he called
      > > > individual rights -- read that also as states'
      > > > rights. Reagan also and
      > > > portrayed any opposition as support for
      > > > totalitarianism -- read that
      > > > as communism.
      > > >
      > > > In 1976, Reagan sought the Republican nomination
      > > > against the incumbent
      > > > President Gerald Ford. Reagan's campaign was on
      > > the
      > > > ropes until the
      > > > primaries hit the Southern states, where he won
      > > his
      > > > first key victory
      > > > in North Carolina. Throughout the South that
      > > spring
      > > > and summer, Reagan
      > > > portrayed himself as Goldwater's heir while
      > > > criticizing Ford as a
      > > > captive of Eastern establishment Republicans
      > > fixated
      > > > on forced
      > > > integration.
      > > >
      > > > Reagan lost the nomination to Ford in 1976. But
      > > when
      > > > the former
      > > > California governor ran for the presidency again
      > > in
      > > > 1980, he began his
      > > > campaign with a controversial appearance in
      > > > Philadelphia, Miss., where
      > > > three civil rights workers had been brutally
      > > killed.
      > > > It was at that
      > > > sore spot on the racial map that Reagan revived
      > > talk
      > > > about states'
      > > > rights and curbing the power of the federal
      > > > government.
      > > >
      > > > To many it sounded like code for announcing
      > > himself
      > > > as the candidate
      > > > for white segregationists. After he defeated
      > > > President Carter, a
      > > > native Southerner, Reagan led an administration
      > > that
      > > > seemed to cater
      > > > to Southerners still angry over the passage of
      > the
      > > > Civil Rights Act
      > > > after 16 years. The Reagan team condemned busing
      > > for
      > > > school
      > > > integration, opposed affirmative action and even
      > > > threatened to veto a
      > > > proposed extension of the Voting Rights Act (the
      > > > sequel to the 1964
      > > > Civil Rights Act passed a year later and focused
      > > on
      > > > election
      > > > participation). President Reagan also tried to
      > > allow
      > > > Bob Jones
      > > > University, a segregated Southern school, to
      > > reclaim
      > > > federal tax
      > > > credits that had long been denied to racially
      > > > discriminatory institutions.
      > > >
      > > > The genial Californian Republican denied there
      > was
      > > > any racism implicit
      > > > in those policies. Even when he was
      > characterizing
      > > > poor women as
      > > > welfare queens driving around in pink Cadillacs,
      > > he
      > > > said it was a
      > > > merely matter of encouraging people to pull
      > > > themselves up by the
      > > > bootstraps. The America he seemed to envision
      > had
      > > no
      > > > need to deal with
      >
      === message truncated ===
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