George Bush Sr. opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. I was young at the time but I remember this very will. In congress there was a young Republican congressman from New York City, John V. Lindsay, who later became a two term mayor, was a strong supporter of civil rights but the fight for the heart and soul of the Republican party was lost at the 1963 presidential convention when Barry Goldwater, the Arizona Senator who opposed the civil rights act, beat N.Y. Governor and future vice President Nelson Rockefeller and Pennsylvania Governor William W. Scranton for the nomination in 1964. After that time there were fewer and fewer liberal Republicans. Senator Jacob Javits of New York was another good one.
I watched the whole 1964 Republican Convention on T.V. I also watched Richard Nixon’s 1968 Law and Order southern strategy aimed at southern whites, who were angry at the Democrat support of civil rights, win the presidency. I saw President Johnson, on T.V. live calling for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 saying in his address to the nation “we shall overcome”. I remember being only eleven years old but crying because I understood what it meant to be called nigger repeatedly by fellow classmates in school in New York City. I remember my 3rd grade teacher telling me to put my hand down because “I was not ready” to participate in class elections in the Fall of 1961 because I was one of the “bus children”.
I know this is a rant but conservatives make me angry. They lie and get away with it because most people are uninterested in history, even recent history. I was very happy to see the Rachel Madow show point out Barbour’s incredible dishonesty. There was a similar expose in Slate Magazine yesterday.
John H. Armwood