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Julian Bond on the Presidents

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  • Ram Lau
    Excerpt of 2004 NAACP Convention Speech Copyright 2004 by Julian Bond Philadelphia Convention Center July 11, 2004 When we were founded in 1909, Theodore
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 17, 2004
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      Excerpt of 2004 NAACP Convention Speech
      Copyright 2004 by Julian Bond
      Philadelphia Convention Center
      July 11, 2004

      When we were founded in 1909, Theodore Roosevelt was ending his
      second term. He shared traits with many of today's Negrophobes – he
      liked individual African-Americans but believed the mass were less
      than human.
      His successor, William Howard Taft, said his "little brown
      brothers" – that's us – would need "fifty to 100 years" to become
      equal with whites.
      Woodrow Wilson, who institutionalized segregation in the federal
      bureaucracy, succeeded Taft. The NAACP's James Weldon Johnson said
      of him, "My distrust and dislike … came nearer to constituting keen
      hatred for an individual than anything I have ever felt."
      Warren Harding, who followed, joked with Johnson about the rumor
      Harding had African-American blood; where have we heard that before?
      Whatever kind of blood he had, Harding had neither the heart nor
      courage to right the wrongs that afflicted people of color.
      NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White was prescient in the Calvin
      Coolidge years when he said, "The Republicans will absorb the anti-
      Negro south and become … the relatively anti-Negro party, while the
      Negro will find refuge in the Democratic Party."
      White said the next President, Herbert Hoover, showed nothing "to
      indicate he regarded Negroes as citizens and human beings."
      Franklin Roosevelt served almost four terms. By the time he died in
      1945 his economic policies and the personality and politics of first
      lady Eleanor Roosevelt had hastened black conversion to the
      Democratic Party.
      Harry Truman became the first President to speak to an NAACP
      audience.
      The next President, Dwight Eisenhower, told "nigger jokes" in the
      White House. But he made some black appointments, and his reward was
      60% of the black vote against Adlai Stevenson in 1956, temporarily
      reversing the black slide to the Democrats that Franklin Roosevelt
      had begun.
      John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign reversed the Eisenhower shift toward
      Republicans when he pledged to eliminate housing segregation "with
      the stroke of a pen" and when he made a famous telephone call –
      ignored in the mainstream press – to the wife of jailed Dr. Martin
      Luther King, Jr.
      An assassin's bullet brought Lyndon Johnson to office – and he
      pursued civil rights as had no president before him and no president
      since. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of
      1965 are part of his legacy.
      But the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting
      Rights Act of 1965 marked the beginning of the dependence of the
      Republican Party on the politics of racial division to win elections
      and gain power. By playing the race card in election after election,
      they've appealed to the dark underside of American culture, to the
      minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality.
      Johnson's commitment to civil rights had sustained enforcement
      efforts in the South in the face of widespread white opposition.
      When Republicans captured the White House, the process was
      politicized, and the principle sanction available to enforce
      desegregation, cutting off federal funds, was renounced.
    • greg
      I thought when Taft talked about little brown brothers he was referring to the people of the Philippines? And Ram, I ve been reading a Garfield biography,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 17, 2004
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        I thought when Taft talked about "little brown brothers" he was
        referring to the people of the Philippines?

        And Ram, I've been reading a Garfield biography, published last year,
        that's very interesting.
        --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@y...> wrote:
        > Excerpt of 2004 NAACP Convention Speech
        > Copyright 2004 by Julian Bond
        > Philadelphia Convention Center
        > July 11, 2004
        >
        > When we were founded in 1909, Theodore Roosevelt was ending his
        > second term. He shared traits with many of today's Negrophobes – he
        > liked individual African-Americans but believed the mass were less
        > than human.
        > His successor, William Howard Taft, said his "little brown
        > brothers" – that's us – would need "fifty to 100 years" to become
        > equal with whites.
        > Woodrow Wilson, who institutionalized segregation in the federal
        > bureaucracy, succeeded Taft. The NAACP's James Weldon Johnson said
        > of him, "My distrust and dislike … came nearer to constituting keen
        > hatred for an individual than anything I have ever felt."
        > Warren Harding, who followed, joked with Johnson about the rumor
        > Harding had African-American blood; where have we heard that before?
        > Whatever kind of blood he had, Harding had neither the heart nor
        > courage to right the wrongs that afflicted people of color.
        > NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White was prescient in the Calvin
        > Coolidge years when he said, "The Republicans will absorb the anti-
        > Negro south and become … the relatively anti-Negro party, while the
        > Negro will find refuge in the Democratic Party."
        > White said the next President, Herbert Hoover, showed nothing "to
        > indicate he regarded Negroes as citizens and human beings."
        > Franklin Roosevelt served almost four terms. By the time he died in
        > 1945 his economic policies and the personality and politics of first
        > lady Eleanor Roosevelt had hastened black conversion to the
        > Democratic Party.
        > Harry Truman became the first President to speak to an NAACP
        > audience.
        > The next President, Dwight Eisenhower, told "nigger jokes" in the
        > White House. But he made some black appointments, and his reward was
        > 60% of the black vote against Adlai Stevenson in 1956, temporarily
        > reversing the black slide to the Democrats that Franklin Roosevelt
        > had begun.
        > John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign reversed the Eisenhower shift toward
        > Republicans when he pledged to eliminate housing segregation "with
        > the stroke of a pen" and when he made a famous telephone call –
        > ignored in the mainstream press – to the wife of jailed Dr. Martin
        > Luther King, Jr.
        > An assassin's bullet brought Lyndon Johnson to office – and he
        > pursued civil rights as had no president before him and no president
        > since. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of
        > 1965 are part of his legacy.
        > But the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting
        > Rights Act of 1965 marked the beginning of the dependence of the
        > Republican Party on the politics of racial division to win elections
        > and gain power. By playing the race card in election after election,
        > they've appealed to the dark underside of American culture, to the
        > minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality.
        > Johnson's commitment to civil rights had sustained enforcement
        > efforts in the South in the face of widespread white opposition.
        > When Republicans captured the White House, the process was
        > politicized, and the principle sanction available to enforce
        > desegregation, cutting off federal funds, was renounced.
      • Ram Lau
        I think so, Greg. Bond was a little biased about Teddy as well. TR put his kids in integrated schools when it was unheard of during his days. Are you reading
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 17, 2004
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          I think so, Greg. Bond was a little biased about Teddy as well. TR
          put his kids in integrated schools when it was unheard of during his
          days.

          Are you reading Dark Horse or Peskin's (or something else)? And what
          part of the book are you reading now?

          Ram
        • greg
          Dark Horse. I m only page 40. The convention in Chicago is starting. Garfield is still supporting Sherman for the nomination. It may take me a while to finish
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 17, 2004
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            Dark Horse. I'm only page 40. The convention in Chicago is starting.
            Garfield is still supporting Sherman for the nomination. It may take
            me a while to finish it because I don't have as much time for reading
            as I'd like. But it's due back at the library sometime next month, so
            I better hurry.
            Right now I'm wondering if Garfield hadn't been nominated, but Grant
            or Blaine or Sherman instead, would they have been assassinated
            instead of him? And what vice president would have then taken over?
            I think Blaine was the Republican nominee in 1884, right?
            --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@y...> wrote:
            > I think so, Greg. Bond was a little biased about Teddy as well. TR
            > put his kids in integrated schools when it was unheard of during his
            > days.
            >
            > Are you reading Dark Horse or Peskin's (or something else)? And what
            > part of the book are you reading now?
            >
            > Ram
          • Ram Lau
            I don t believe the assassin (what s his name again?) would have done it to anyone else. He just hated Garfield for being too reformist-minded and didn t give
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 17, 2004
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              I don't believe the assassin (what's his name again?) would have
              done it to anyone else. He just hated Garfield for being too
              reformist-minded and didn't give him a job offer.

              Grant, Sherman, Blaine, or any Republican would have won the 1880
              election because Hayes did a decent job for the next Republican to
              finish his second term for him.

              Regarding the VP, none of the names you mentioned would have taken
              the choice (Arthur) of the bully Conkling. But Garfield, being the
              more obscure figure, lacked the power to say no.

              Who knows what these other guys would have chosen, only losers
              wanted to be the Veep back then.

              Ram
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