Readers Write: Civil rights victories belong to Republicans


It is one thing for Dr. Hal Sobel to write, as he described in a former letter, a vanity column for his friends and family to read.

But it is pure conceit for him to revise history that all of us can either fact-check with ease or have lived through ourselves, for instance when he writes that “liberals ended segregation and passed the Voting Rights Act.”

The following are just a few of the inconvenient facts that leftists go out of their way to deny:

• During the Civil War, it was Republicans –– despite fierce opposition from the Democrats –– who enacted the most significant amendments to our Constitution: the 13th to ban slavery, the 14th to protect all Americans regardless of skin color, and the 15th to extend voting rights to African-Americans.

• Until well into the 20th century, every African-American member of Congress was a Republican; the same for nearly all state legislators and other elected officials.

• In 1888, Republican Senator Aaron Sargent introduced the “Susan B. Anthony” Amendment, affording women of all races the right to vote, but strong Democrat opposition to what would become the 19th Amendment delayed ratification until 1920.

But that’s ancient history, you say. Okay, how about the 20th century?

• In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed the legislation in over 80% of their votes, while Republicans favored it in over 96% of their votes.

• In May 1954, former Republican governor and GOP VP candidate Earl Warren, appointed Chief Justice by Republican President Eisenhower, wrote the Brown v. Board of Education landmark decision declaring that “separate but equal” is inherently unconstitutional.  DDE’s administration drafted the 1957 Civil Rights Act and guided it to passage over a Democrat filibuster.

• When President John F. Kennedy was senator from Mass., he failed to vote for the 1957 Civil Rights Act pushed by Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson.

The act only passed with the help of Republicans.

After JFK was president, he failed to suggest any new civil rights proposals in 1961 or 1962; opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was organized by A. Phillip Randolph, a black Republican; and through his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of being a Communist.

In 1963, JFK acted on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but faced a filibuster by southern Democrats. The bill only succeeded because of Republican votes.

• On Jan. 4, 1965, President Johnson’s 4,500-word State-of-the-Union address devoted only 35 words to civil rights and not one word to voting rights.

• In 1968, after riots broke out in Tennessee, Democrat. Sen. Robert Byrd, former Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, called Dr. King a “trouble-maker”… a few weeks later, Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

• Republican President Nixon established the affirmative action program to counter the harm caused to blacks when Democrat Pres. Woodrow Wilson in 1912 kicked all of the blacks out of federal government jobs.

• The Republican Leader in the Senate, Everett Dirksen (R-IL), wrote the 1960 Civil Rights Act, and was most responsible for defeating the Democrat filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

That act passed the House of Representatives with 80 percent Republican support but only 61 percent of Democrats. In the Senate, 82 percent of Republicans supported the bill compared to 69% of Democrats.

According to the past Chairman of the National Black Republican Association, Frances Rice, “From its founding in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for blacks [while] the Democrat Party has always been the party of the four S’s: Slavery, Secession, Segregation and now Socialism.”

Even in the ‘90s, Democrats blocked passage of a bill to renew the 1996 welfare reform law that was pushed by Republicans and vetoed twice by President Bill Clinton before he finally signed it.

These are only a few of the cold hard tragic facts of Democrat/liberal/leftist/progressive history.

Even today, Democrats are vehemently opposed to school choice while black children continue to languish –– and fail –– in a public-school system driven by tyrannical unions and their leftist lackeys, just as the racist policies of Democrats are solely responsible for the sky-high crime rates in the low-income neighborhoods they’ve been running for the past 60 years.

So fantasize away, you leftists, but remember that empirical fact will always prevail over pretend history.

Joan Swirsky

Great Neck


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