My favorite line of the “I have a dream” speech was and is:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I often wonder what he would think about the way it has turned out so far
Some facts (ofttimes forgotten) to remember today (FYI, I am not a Republican, I am a Libertarian):
- The Republican Party – the party of Abraham Lincoln – was borne in 1854 out of opposition to slavery.
- The party of Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan was, as Jeffrey Lord points out in an article at the WSJ, the Democratic Party. And Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) [was until his recent passing] the only living member of the Senate who was once a member of the KKK.
- The 13th (abolishing slavery), 14th (due process for all citizens) and 15th (voting rights cannot be restriced on the basis of race) Amendments to the Constitution were enacted by Republicans over Democratic opposition.
- The NAACP was founded in 1909 by three white Republicans who opposed the racist practices of the Democratic Party and the lynching of blacks by Democrats.
- In fairness, it was the Democrat Harry Truman who, by Executive Order 9981 issued in 1948, desegregated the military. That was a truly major development. My own belief is that the military has been the single greatest driving force of integration in this land for over half a century.
- It was Chief Justice Earl Warren, a former Republican Governor of California appointed to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower, also a Republican, who managed to convince the other eight justices to agree to a unanimous decision in the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education. That case was brought by the NAACP. The Court held segregation in schools unconstitutional. The fact that it was a unanimous decision that overturned precedent made it clear that no aspect of segregation would henceforth be considered constitutional.
- Republican President Ike Eisenhower played additional important roles in furthering equality in America. He “proposed to Congress the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 and signed those acts into law. . . . They constituted the first significant civil rights acts since the 1870s.” Moreover, when the Democratic Governor of Arkansas refused to integrate schools in what became known as the “Little Rock Nine” incident, “Eisenhower placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent Army troops to escort nine black students into an all-white public school.”
- In 1957, REPUBLICAN President Eisenhower authored a Civil Rights Bill, hoping to repair the damage done to blacks and their civil rights by Democrats for nearly a century. Passage of the bill was blocked by Senate Democrats. Lyndon Baines Johnson was the leader of the Democrats in the Senate.
- In 1959, Eisenhower authored a Voting Rights Bill, again, in an effort to undo the disenfranchisement of blacks by Democrats through poll taxes, literacy tests, and threats of violence by the KKK. And once again, passage of the bill is blocked by Senate Democrats. Lyndon Baines Johnson was the leader of the Democrats in the Senate.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was championed by JFK – but it was passed with massive Republican support (over 80%) in Congress and over fierce opposition from Democrats who made repeated attempts at filibuster. Indeed, 80% of the vote opposing the Civil Rights Act came from Democrats. Women were added to the Act as a protected class by a Democrat who thought it would be a poison pill, killing the legislation. To the contrary, the Congress passed the Act without any attempt to remove the provision.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was the most well known and pivotal Civil Rights activist ever produced in America. His most famous speech, “I Had A Dream,” was an eloquent and stirring call for equality. It is below. I would highly recommend listening to it. Rev. King was, by the way, a Republican.
- “Bull” Connor was not a Republican. . . .