Letters to the Editor

Democrats’ history on civil rights legislation very poor

Mr. Stan Anderson attempted, in his Dec. 1 letter, to point out my inaccuracy in attributing the blocking of civil rights legislation to Democrats. He cited several civil rights legislative acts introduced by Democrats.

However, he ignores older history to tout Democrats who only began to side with freedom of equality after they were dragged kicking and screaming into action by the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, which held that separate but equal educational facilities is unconstitutional.

In fact, in 1956, Democrats expressed their opposition to that decision when 100 members of Congress, all but four of them Democrats, signed the document known as the “Southern Manifesto.”

In 1957 it was Republican President Eisenhower who authored a Civil Rights Bill, hoping to repair the damage done to blacks and their civil rights by Democrats since 1892. The bill was initially blocked by Senate Democrats, but finally passed significantly weakened due to lack of support by Democrats.

In 1960 Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen authored a voting rights bill to counter attacks by the KKK. The bill was passed in the face of Democrat attempts to block its passage.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson, as Mr. Anderson alluded to in his letter, was essentially the same bill originally proposed by Eisenhower in 1957. Even that bill had to survive a filibuster led by former KKK member Robert Byrd, a Democrat. It received a larger percentage of Republican votes for passage than Democrat votes.

The record of Democrat support for minorities is not so rosy. In fact, Democrat policies in shackling minorities to over-protectionism is itself an insidious form of slavery. It does not allow one to attain success by one’s own ability by requiring special treatment not enjoyed by others.

D. Merrill Adams