WASHINGTON, January 18, 2014 — Why are Republicans putting forward a false narrative to manipulate black Americans into supporting the GOP rather thank simply championing its true contributions, without embellishment?
As we approach the celebration of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. on his birthday, the GOP is ratcheting up its campaign that the “Republican Party is responsible for the Civil Rights Bill being passed.”
That is a complete falsehood.
All politics is regional/local, and that was very clear regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In the House, not one Southern Republican voted “yea” on the Civil Rights Act. Likewise, 93 percent of the Southern Democrats voted against it. However, 145 Northern Democrats voted for the Act, as did 138 Northern Republicans.
In the U.S. Senate, the only Southern Democrate to vote “yea” was Ralph Yarborough, of Texas. There was only one Southern Republican in the Senate at the time; he voted “nay.” Forty-five Northern Democrats in the senate voted “yea”; 27 Northern Republicans voted “yea.”
The Republicans did not vote for the Civil Rights Act in greater numbers than the Democrats in either the House or the Senate. The GOP did not single-handedly pass the Civil Rights Act.
It was a bi-partisan effort.
Most of the Black activists at that time — Medgar Evers, James Farmer, Fannie Lou Hamer, John Lewis, Eleanor Holmes, and Rosa Parks — were Democrats.
The 1964 Presidential Election was the largest landslide in American history. Democrats cleaned the clock of the GOP in both the Senatorial and Congressional races, gaining an overwhelming super-majority. When the Civil Rights Act was passed, it was under the leadership of President Johnson and congressional Democrats, who used their super-majority to make sure it passed.
Both parties played a significant role in getting it done, doing what the GOP and Democrats don’t seem to be able to do today: They worked together for the greater good of the American people in passing the Historic Civil Rights Act.