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Conservatives and the civil rights movement:

Tim Wise is a British writer who is considered by many people to be an insightful expert on issues regarding race. However, in a recent essay, he displays a significant gap in his knowledge about the American civil rights movement. Expressing his dismay about the criticism of Van Jones, Wise concludes:

Make no mistake, had they been old enough in those days, Beck and every modern-day movement conservative would have stood with the segregationists, with the bigots, with the mobs who burned the buses carrying freedom riders. They would have stood with the police in Philadelphia, Mississippi, even as they orchestrated the killing of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner. They would have stood with Bull Connor in Birmingham. How do we know? Easy. Because not one prominent conservative spokesperson of that time did the opposite. Not one. That's who they are. And the minute you forget that, the minute you insist on treating them better than they would treat you, the minute you insist on playing by rules that they refuse to as much as acknowledge, all is lost. They do not believe in democracy. They believe in power. White power.
Yet in fact, actor Charlton Heston, who later became President of National Rifle Association (and thus a leading "modern-day movement conservative" according to many people) marched with Martin Luther King.

Undeniably one of the most prominent conservatives of the sixties with Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen (R-Il.), the Senate minority leader. He played an indispensible, leading role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Thanks to Dirksen's wily maneuvering, for the first time in history a filibuster of a civil rights bill was broken. Republican Senators voted 27-6 for cloture. In the House, Republicans voted for the bill 138 to 34.

I have not been able to locate an on-line roll call of the votes of all the Congresspersons. Although both parties in 1964 were more ideologically diverse than they are today, I suspect that of the 80% of House Republicans who voted yes, there must have been many solid conservatives.

This document (page 1 of the House roll call) shows an affirmative vote by Rep. John Ashbrook (R-Ohio) who was so conservative that in 1972 he ran against incumbent President Richard Nixon for Republican nomination, challenging him from the Right. Ashbrook was a founding father of the modern conservative movement: "chairman of the Young Republican National Federation from 1957 to 1959; one of the founders of the American Conservative Union, serving as chairman from 1966 to 1971; and on the Steering Committee of the Committee of One Million against the Admission of Communist China to the United Nations, whose campaign began in 1953."

I was able to find a complete list of Congresspersons in the 88th Congress. By eliminating the six Republican Senators who voted against the bill (Bourke Hickenlooper, Barry Goldwater, Edwin Mechem, John Tower, Milward Simpson, Norris Cotton), we see that there were "yes" votes from 11 conservative Republicans. (American Conservative Union ratings are on-line starting from 1971; for Senators who were still voting in 1971, the 1971 ACU rating is in parentheses): Gordon Allott (82), Peter Dominick (87), Hiram Fong (67), Len Jordan (85), Jack Miller (91), Glen Beall (74), Roman Hruska (100), Carl Curtis (100), Milton Young (89, most senior Republican), Karl Mundt, and Wallace Bennett (94).

Mr. Wise's intemperate and inaccurate words serve as a reminder about the dangers of recklessly imagining the worst of one's political opponents. This is a particularly serious problem on both sides of American politics today, as it was during the John Adams administration, and in 1850s.

pot meet kettle (mail):

This is a particularly serious problem on

both

sides of American politics today


Both, he says :) Good to see a fair and balanced observation about opinions differing on shape of the earth.

YOU LIE!
9.11.2009 1:20am
neurodoc:
Thanks to Dirksen's wily maneuvering, for the first time in history a filibuster of a civil rights bill was broken.
You would be talking about the filibuster that our longest-serving senator, Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), a decade later Senate majority leader, helped lead?
9.11.2009 1:27am
Libby:
Hello, but you have it wrong. Mr. Wise is quite correct. The key words in that speech are "not one prominent conservative spokesman of that time." Charlton Heston would not have been considered a conservative in the 1960s. He was way too moderate. Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats would not have stood with King. Mr. Wise's analogy is that the Glen Becks of today are analogous to the Strom Thurmonds of yesteryear.



Moreover, you quote only one piece of a paragraph out of a much longer - and fairly insightful - essay about how the right wing is deploying racism in lieu of policy. This is not an outrageous charge. Calling the president a "terrorist" and a "liar" - especially when these charges are completely baseless and when leveled vehemently against our first African American president, well, I think we have to examine the role that race may play.



[DK: Wise wrote, "every modern-day movement conservative would have stood with the segregationists." Heston was a "modern-day movement conservative." He stood against the segregationists. Wise claimed to know what modern-day movement conservatives would have done in the 1960s. Heston provides the answer.



People have called every one of the previous American Presidents a "liar." Calling the current President a "liar" might or might not be factually correct in a particular case, but the epithet is no evidence of racism. I don't know of anyone who called Obama a "terrorist," and if anyone did so, the person is obviously foolish. Many people criticized Obama for his association (which many facts indicated was much more than casual) with retired terrorists and current communists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, and for his relationship with Rashid Khalidi, a professional spokesman for a terrorist organization. Criticizing someone for associating with terrorist is no evidence of racism.]
9.11.2009 1:34am
Constantin:
It's nice of you to take time to rebut this, Kopel, but the statement is so idiotic it's not worth the effort. Even were he correct about the Civil Rights Era--he's not even close, but still--it would be a non sequitur.
9.11.2009 1:35am
John Thacker (mail):
Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats would not have stood with King. Mr. Wise's analogy is that the Glen Becks of today are analogous to the Strom Thurmonds of yesteryear.


But the Dixiecrats of yesteryear (and those still in office, like Robert Byrd) voted pro-union, pro-school funding, and otherwise were good members of the New Deal coalition. They just didn't like black people. Some of them were liberal in every way-- except disliking blacks.

Strom Thurmond is the only Dixiecrat Senator who became a Republican, and besides Robert Byrd, some, like John Stennis, Russell Long, and Herman Talmadge, served into the 80s, and quite a few others, like John McClellan, John J. Sparkman, and James Eastland served into the late 70s, always as faithful Democrats.

Yes, it seems strange to you from a modern perspective. But the Dixiecrats were not conservatives; they were moderates, or liberals.
9.11.2009 1:58am
HoyaBlue:

Yet in fact, actor Charlton Heston, who later became President of National Rifle Association (and thus a leading "modern-day movement conservative" according to many people) marched with Martin Luther King.


That is one of the most dishonest things I have ever seen written on this site.

Heston the 1950s and 1960s was a liberal Democrats who campaigned for both Adlai Stevenson and JFK, opposed Vietnam, and supported gun control legislation.

Heston is in no way, shape, or form proof that conservatives of the time stood on the side of civil rights reformers.
9.11.2009 2:01am
John Thacker (mail):
They were mostly conservative from a Democratic perspective, but outside of race, they ranged from moderate conservatives to actual liberals like J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who definitely signed the Southern Manifesto, but had an ACU rating of 20 in 1971.
9.11.2009 2:06am
Cornellian (mail):
I notice that so far no one has questioned where Glen Beck himself would have stood.
9.11.2009 2:07am
Hadur:
Europe, not America, is the continent where race riots are common in the 21st century. Go look in your own backyard first, Brit, before complaining about alleged racism in America.
9.11.2009 2:08am
John Thacker (mail):
Heston the 1950s and 1960s was a liberal Democrats who campaigned for both Adlai Stevenson and JFK, opposed Vietnam


Yes, that's true. But of course he gives better evidence elsewhere. But it does imply that modern NRA members would not necessarily be Dixiecrats, and neither would modern conservatives.

Senator Fulbright in 1966 attacked Vietnam, and campaigned for both Adlai Stevenson and JFK, and he was a Dixiecrat who signed the Southern Manifesto and joined filibusters against the Civil Rights Acts.
9.11.2009 2:10am
Fub:
Mr. Wise's intemperate and inaccurate words serve as a reminder about the dangers of recklessly imagining the worst of one's political opponents.
While this is true, I expect it is also true that Mr. Wise actually believes what he wrote.

Generally "insightful expert[ise] on issues regarding race" may not accompany specific expertise on the American civil rights struggle.

His words are certainly inaccurate, but what appears to be intemperance may be sincere but profoundly ignorant belief in things that just ain't so.

Just for examples of the lacunae in his reasoning, the three most well known segregationist Governors, Orval Faubus, Lester Maddox and George Wallace, were Democrats.
9.11.2009 2:15am
John Thacker (mail):
Consider ole' "Put the Confederate Flag on the State Capitol" Fritz Hollings of South Carolina. The ACU never gave him a rating on the conservative side of moderate (50 or above). He was a moderate liberal nationally, even if part of the conservative wing of his party.
9.11.2009 2:17am
taxman10m:
Just look at what National Review was printing at the time. That should answer this question.
9.11.2009 2:22am
Rod Blaine (mail):
Rev, later Fr, Richard John Neuhaus has argued that MLK associates like him later became conservatives because liberals abandoned the cause of justice to support abortion (while preening about how their earlier civil rights activism proved abortion was a civil right).

I am no great admirer of Neuhaus's later Catholic polemics (First Things seems to spend its time complaining about Tudor England's persecution of Catholics while at the same time warning Muslims that, if certain members of their religion resort to terrorist acts with the apparent sanction of their clerics, then of course they can expect tougher scrutiny from law enforcement), but when all's said and done, he did know MLK at least as well as the Rev (also a Father) Jesse Jackson can.
9.11.2009 2:25am
Bob Langenbach (mail):
Well, I don't know whether you previous commenters consider freedom a liberal or conservative philosophy, but Mr. Beck avows he is for freedom. Freedom is not a segregationist view.

I agree with Mr. Kopel. Mr. Wise doesn't know what he is talking about.
9.11.2009 2:26am
John Thacker (mail):
His point about Heston would be better made by noting that Barry Goldwater was a member of the Urban League before voting against the Act on grounds about regulation of private behaviors.

And we can't forget that it was Progressive hero Woodrow Wilson who segregated DC. There were a lot of Southern Democrats who saw themselves as standing up for the working class white guy, the little guy, even as they opposed blacks.
9.11.2009 2:31am
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Imagine if conservatives went about promulgating discussions to assess the "patriotic" fervor of historical figures of that period. The Left obviously would not and does not tolerate such, which can be evidenced by the enduring caricatures of the McCarthy-ite era and the motivations of its primary players. Similarly, one cannot beat a liberal at affectation for the Civil Rights era and its consequents. Their standards are stringent if ahistorical and their passion relentless if disingenuous. It is quite obviously used by them as a blunt cudgel for political purposes rather than some scholarly investigation of historical fact. So why are we still deigning to play in this rigged game at every opportunity?
9.11.2009 2:33am
AlanDownunder (mail):
Yes, many republicans were happy back in '64 to co-sign the dixiecrats' suicide note (aka the Civil Rights Act). When you couple the historic inevitability of that reform with the opportunity it provided for the southern strategy, you have to really worry about the hold-outs.

Wise is 5% wrong. The intemperance!
9.11.2009 2:34am
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
In many cases we do not even start out with the same epistemological priors. Reagan's Willie Horton ad is often held out as supreme evidence of the Republicans' racist roots; that is, an extremely short ad criticizing the release of a recidivist and violent criminal. This is not a fringe position in the Democratic party, it is a core position. Given that, how can one possibly justify Goldwater's principled opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act on libertarian grounds? How can one possibly demonstrate fidelity to equal protection with that sort of loose thinking? Answer -- it isn't. It isn't possible at all to have fruitful discussion with a liberal on race and racism, as the effect of one's actions are all too easily transformed into malicious intention. For expressive reasons, their moral philosophy on the issue has reverted to that of the Stone Age.
9.11.2009 3:06am
Frank Drackman (mail):
The first "Willie Horton ad" was run by the Al Gore campaign in early 1988, and the Most Senior Democrat Senator, Robert Byrd, voted against the Civil Rights Act, but both African American Nominees to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, and Clarence Thomas, and did you know he was a Kleagle??
9.11.2009 3:16am
Frank Drackman (mail):
My Mistake, the Distinguished Gentleman from West Virginia was an "Exalted Cyclops", and currently 3rd in line to the Presidency behind Biden and Pelosi.
9.11.2009 3:28am
one of many:
I wonder if the British Tim Wise is any relation to the American Tim Wise, racial expert. This does sound a lot like the American Tim Wise, but it is hard for me to accept that anyone considers the American as being insightful, he is pretty much a one-trick-pony who holds that being race neutral is racist (honestly, read his books where he explains how unless you consider race you are racist). The American Tim Wise's one "insight" is that since all people are equal in ability the fact that they are not equal in outcome means that the system is racist, the reader is invited to try to diagram that logic as it is beyond the writer.
9.11.2009 4:00am
tvk:
Undeniably, Wise's "not one" statement is a factually untrue generalization. But equally undeniably is that the modern conservative movement contains, and to some degree relies on, members of the racist fringe. This is unavoidable in a two party system. The modern liberal movement undeniably also contains, and relies on, the members of far-left groups that are unfit for polite company.

And looking to conservatives in the 1960s really doesn't help, because both people and the very definition of "conservative" have shifted over time. Conservatives in the 1960s do not always remain so. Conversely, at that time Charlton Heston was a Democrat who campaigned for John F. Kennedy. Undoubtedly Charlton Heston was a "modern day conservative," and one presumes he kept his enlightened racial attitudes over time, thus falsifying Wise's statement. But Heston was not a 1960s conservative.
9.11.2009 4:18am
BGates:
We don't stand with the segregationists and bigots in the Congressional Black Caucus today, so why would we have stood with the segregationists and bigots in the KKK 40 years ago?
9.11.2009 4:20am
BGates:
equally undeniably is that the modern conservative movement contains, and to some degree relies on, members of the racist fringe

If it's true that racism is more common among older Americans, that party affiliation is persistent, and that the Democratic party had a lot of white racists 40 years ago, then the modern Democratic party must contain white racists today.

If it's possible for blacks and hispanics to be racist, then the modern Democratic party must contain non-white racists also.
9.11.2009 4:31am
Mark N. (www):
While I think Wise is mostly wrong, I think there's a kernel of truth, if he were to analyze the culprit as populism rather than conservatism. While Beck, for example, is seen as a conservative populist, it's really the populism more than the conservatism that's the core of his appeal. From that perspective, he does seem to have something common with the rabble-rousing anti-desegregation populists of the 1960s, railing about how Washington was trying to force its values on them and the only recourse was open revolt. He certainly doesn't appear to share much in common with intellectual conservatives like Sen. Dirksen.
9.11.2009 4:40am
Roger Schlafly (www):
Tim Wise is the racist, not Glenn Beck. Wise tries to blame Beck for things that happened before he was born. Wise's whole article is wrong and offensive. I hope that Beck is not intimidated by these racist attacks on him.
9.11.2009 5:28am
Widmerpool:
Wise's argument is neither wrong nor right because it is based on a counter-factual historical conjecture impossible to verify--"if these folks lived back then, they'd all be foaming-at-the-mouth racists." Maybe they would have been. Maybe not. We won't know until a time machine is invented. Until then, this argument is a nullity--nothing more than a contingent ad hominem attack. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program of YOU LIE YOU LYING REBUBBALICAN BASTERTS.
9.11.2009 6:36am
PersonFromPorlock:
Mr. Wise is simply talking rubbish. It's time to invoke a new version of Godwin's Law, where "He who cries racism is admitting he has no arguments."
9.11.2009 6:41am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
The thing is: the facts on the ground have changed. Irrevocably.

There is no one in America who has a snowball's chance in hell of bringing back "black" water fountains, "no blacks allowed" amusement parks, etc. That force has disappeared, although some of the human beings that held office during that time remain.

To the extent "white power" exists at all, the worst that can be said of it is that efforts to deny whites jobs and opportunities that they would have had without governement intervention may become slowed, and that efforts to defeat voter fraud may temporarily and insignificantly dilute the votes of the poor and underdocumented. (I say temporarily because who seriously thinks that the well-organized vote machines will just throw up their hands if documentation is required, rather than organizing to make sure that their vote blocs have documentation?)

So "white power" as was known in that era is dead, and yet it's corpse is used as a bogeyman by people who know better.

"Black Power", as defined by efforts to found organizations, benefits and government funding and laws that exclude whites and sometimes even other minorities is alive and well however. If a law is written that specifically mentions races and purports to use force to take from one and give to another, you can bet anything that a democrat authored it.

I merely hope that when the last person who personally remembers a black water fountain has died of old age, the politics of "give me because I'm supposedly helpless due to my skin color" dies of old age as well.
9.11.2009 7:33am
Angus:
Wise's article goes too far, but his basic point is valid. No one serious contests the idea that the Republican party made subtle racism a part of its appeal starting in the mid 1960s as a way to win votes in the southern states. That's why Goldwater was the first Republican to win southern electoral votes since 1876. That continued through the following decades to today.

Those modern conservatives who dismiss civil rights groups as nothing more than racial agitators invoke the 1960s segregationists who argued the same thing about SNCC, NAACP, CORE, etc. Not all conservatives do so, but it is very common among conservatives.

I'm not sure whether Beck is insane or not. I do believe that he has severe mental illness, however.
9.11.2009 7:52am
Ryan Waxx (mail):

No one serious contests the idea that the Republican party made subtle racism a part of its appeal...


Those modern conservatives who dismiss civil rights groups as nothing more than racial agitators...


Translation: Invisible racism in favor of whites is very very bad. Overt and written-into-the-law racism in favor of blacks is just ducky. Why? Who the hell knows. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, courting votes by race-baiting.
9.11.2009 8:00am
Angus:
Since I can't edit, I'll qualify the above by saying that Goldwater was the first Republican to win a significant amount of southern electoral votes since 1876. There had been the odd election where 1-2 states like Tennessee and Florida voted Republican.
9.11.2009 8:01am
Angus:
Invisible racism in favor of whites is very very bad.
It isn't very invisible where I've lived in three different southern states, including Texas, where I live now.
9.11.2009 8:08am
Widmerpool:
Angus, if the folks you politically disagree with suffer from "severe mental illness," then that means you can't reason with them and change their viewpoint. Hmmm, how have human beings throughout history resolved their differences when debate is no longer an option (which is the unstated point of this post--hence the reference to the 1850s)? And let me guess, you also don't own a gun--and probably never even fired one. I can assure you that the folks who suffer from "severe mental illness" do and have.
9.11.2009 8:09am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Are you claiming that the voting public between then and now are the same? Apparently, racism never dies... in the minds of those whose prejudices demand they seek it out.
9.11.2009 8:09am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
I've previously lived in Texas for several years. Only racism I saw was minorities going around beating the #$@$#@!!!! out of anyone not a member of their race who went into "their" neighborhood.

Let me guess, the racism you "saw" was third-hand stories shared over a latte at your college starbucks.
9.11.2009 8:13am
11-B/2O.B4:
Racism is not nonexistent today, but it is inconsequential. I've heard plenty of racially snide jokes about Obama planting watermelon patches behind the white house or slapping rims on the presidential limo. The fun part? They all come from the union guys who voted for him. Now, are there white supremacists? Definitely. Do they matter? Not really. When your search for racism to whine about is so desperate you have to resort to redefining words ("Socialist" is the new "nigger") you know you're running out of steam. Now they're down to historical fantasies. "Ok, they're not racist now, but if they had lived years ago they would have been".

News flash, you don't want to play that game. As I recall, repubs fought to free slaves and passed the first civil rights legislation. Using identical logic, if Pelosi had lived in 1866, she'd have been a virulent Jim Crow KKK member.
9.11.2009 8:40am
Michiganian (mail):
I disagree with your calling Tim Wise insightful. He's a radical left-wing hate monger.
9.11.2009 8:46am
egd:
Ryan Waxx:

I've previously lived in Texas for several years. Only racism I saw was minorities going around beating the #$@$#@!!!! out of anyone not a member of their race who went into "their" neighborhood.

Let me guess, the racism you "saw" was third-hand stories shared over a latte at your college starbucks.

I don't know about that. I went to school in rural Georgia, and there was some pretty clear racism. Certain sports (basketball) were for black kids, while other sports (football) were for white kids. Black families lived in one part of the town, white families lived in another. There were black restaurants and white restaurants, and it was taboo to go into one or the other. There weren't any significant differences (although you did get better food from the take-out places on the black side of town), it was just accepted that "this is how it was."

Shortly thereafter we moved to urban Pennsylvania, where we saw a significant change. Sports in school were mixed, but all the white kids wouldn't use the locker room when the black kids were in there. Black families were actively discriminated against in housing, so that they were forced into the more urban areas while the whites enjoyed the suburbs. The local country clubs were all white. Restaurants were unsegregated, but people would stand up and leave if a black family came in through the door.

Sure, the South has some vestiges of racism, in that people tended to self-segregate. But at least it wasn't overt and intentional like in the North.

And this was in the late '80s - early '90s.
9.11.2009 8:47am
Per Son:
This always pops up and is funny. First, to compare Repubs of yesteryear to today does not work, as it does for Democrats. They are completely different parties.

Southern Dems were NEVER pro-union. That is why the NLRA excluded agricultural workers from its ambit. The Southern Dems demanded that in order to vote for it. The Civil Rights Act was passed by liberals and moderates of both parties, while conservatives (surprise, surprise) voted against it in large part.

The whol Dems = Liberal and Repubs = Conservative is a modern phenomena.

The cited article is nutty, and paints an incorrect picture of reality, but the comments really miss the boat.
9.11.2009 8:52am
Angus:
Let me guess, the racism you "saw" was third-hand stories shared over a latte at your college starbucks.
I've had an employer flat out tell me that he wouldn't hire black people because as a race he thinks they are all lazy and dishonest.

And yes, I do believe that Glenn Beck suffers from mental illness. I've watched his show several times and I don't think his "crazy" routine is an act.
9.11.2009 8:54am
Per Son:
One more thing.

The union guy = Dem is not always true these days. Generally, union members vote for Dems 55-60% of the time (nationwide). Given that a growing proportion of union members (indeed the fastest growing group) are minorities and women, the "brutish union guy" is slowly becoming a thing of the past as the industrial sector vanishes.
9.11.2009 8:57am
Per Son:
My last official comment. Listen to a funny song by Phil Ochs - Love me I'm a Liberal.
9.11.2009 8:58am
Helen:
The Republican Party's nomination for President in 1964 was Barry Goldwater who had just voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ordinary voters paid little attention to his "principled libertarian objections" and simply concluded that prominent conservatives supported continued segregation. If that wasn't the case, they reasoned, why would the nomination have gone to the best-known opponent of the measure? Obviously, many Democrats also opposed the Civil Rights Act, but their party did not nominate them for President.

I'm well aware that Senator Goldwater later repudiated that vote, but much of the damage to the Republican and Conservative image was done.
9.11.2009 9:00am
Per Son:
Helen wins the thread
9.11.2009 9:02am
Tableturner:
Make no mistake, had they been old enough in those days, Wise and every modern-day progressive would have stood with the communists, with the KGB, with the show trials and purges. They would have stood with Stalin, even as he orchestrated the starving to death of millions in the Ukraine. They would have stood with Pol Pot in Cambodia. How do we know? Easy. Because not one prominent progressive spokesperson of that time did the opposite. Not one. That's who they are. And the minute you forget that, the minute you insist on treating them better than they would treat you, the minute you insist on playing by rules that they refuse to as much as acknowledge, all is lost. They do not believe in democracy. They believe in power. Their power.
9.11.2009 9:04am
Per Son:
Fight urge to feed troll, fighting urge to feed troll . . .
9.11.2009 9:06am
Per Son:
Wait a second, I am a moron. Lol. Good take on WIse's article.

I agree, and for that, I apologize.
9.11.2009 9:07am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Restaurants were unsegregated, but people would stand up and leave if a black family came in through the door.

That's quite a coincidence that I've lived in both the states you are referring to (well, not Georgia). In Pennsylvania, I have never... not once... seen anyone leave a restaurant because there were black people inside. And PA is the state I've lived most of my life in. Are you sure they weren't leaving because they were... well... DONE? If there's one thing I've learned with the years, it's that people will see what they WANT to see.

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but PA is smack-dab next to New York and New Jersey. There's plenty of resentment of "Jersey drivers" or people moving in from New York and acting like a thug, but this gets directed at everyone from that state, not just blacks. It also has the benefit of being true... the more imports from NY you see, the more dangerous an area becomes - from drugs to senseless violence.

And that's in the rural areas - you know, the places that everyone thinks are inhabited by rednecks? Somehow I find it amusing that you'd specifically refer to the democrat strongholds in the state when spinning tales of racism.
9.11.2009 9:10am
...Max... (mail):
There weren't any significant differences (although you did get better food from the take-out places on the black side of town)

Heh. Awhile ago, driving through Abilene, TX, on the way to Big Bend with my family, I've stopped at a random little diner near a church. You're not kidding about better food... too bad I probably won't find it again if I'm ever on the same road. I'm really hard pressed to chalk the existence of such places up to racism though, looks more like cultural affinity to me.
9.11.2009 9:15am
Duffy Pratt (mail):
If you are going to write a post debunking the dishonesty of someone else, it's best not to start off with your own lies. Heston campaigned for Stevenson and Kennedy. He was in no way a prominent conservative of the time. You undercut everything else in you write with that one lie.
9.11.2009 10:02am
NoPublic:
I can't believe we're still trotting out the tired "Republicans of the 60's are Republicans of today and likewise Democrats" trope. At least be honest about it. Or should I condem both parties because the Republican Democrats were once opposed to the Federalists and we all know which side of that was the right one. Or do we?

The modern conflation of R=Conservative D=Liberal is just that. Modern. It's not really true now and it was even less so then.

Conservatives of the time were against Civil Rights by and large. Dirksen was a moderate NewDeal supporting R. Yes, he was socially and fiscally mostly what we'd call a Conservative but he wasn't on that end of his party at the time.
9.11.2009 10:05am
Stormy Dragon (mail) (www):
Coincidentally, yesterday Patrick Buchanan published and editorial where among various examples of how the country is (in his mind) going to hell, he bemoans the fact that there is a holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. rather than various generals fighting for the South during the Civil War. He takes consolation from the fact that in some parts of the country, people still love the "old heroes" though.

While certainly not all conservatives would have sided against the civil right movement, a very large contingent of them would have.
9.11.2009 10:10am
David M. Nieporent (www):
And looking to conservatives in the 1960s really doesn't help, because both people and the very definition of "conservative" have shifted over time. Conservatives in the 1960s do not always remain so. Conversely, at that time Charlton Heston was a Democrat who campaigned for John F. Kennedy. Undoubtedly Charlton Heston was a "modern day conservative," and one presumes he kept his enlightened racial attitudes over time, thus falsifying Wise's statement. But Heston was not a 1960s conservative.
The problem is, the argument then becomes a tautology. The liberal position on race was pro-civil rights, therefore people who held the position were liberal, therefore conservatives are anti-civil rights.
9.11.2009 10:16am
Non:
Wise was probably thinking of these movement conservatives of the 60s. The leading "movement conservatives" of thier day.
9.11.2009 10:16am
/:
Segregation is involuntary if the government doesn't do it, so it's the government's role to mix races.
9.11.2009 10:16am
Prof. S. (mail):

Calling the president a "terrorist" and a "liar" - especially when these charges are completely baseless and when leveled vehemently against our first African American president, well, I think we have to examine the role that race may play.

Not to hijack, but this type of b.s. cannot go ignored. Can we just get over it already? Are people not allowed to criticize the President because of his racial makeup? Wilson's actions were rude, improper and out of line. They were not racist. Furthermore, don't you realize that calling racism over every imputed affront only distracts when the real thing does occur. Go look up the story of the boy who cried wolf. It's instructive.

Also - get your facts straight. First, calling the President a "liar" is not baseless. Several media outlets have already run stories talking about inaccuracies in the President's plan. Are they all racist as well? Becaue they have the audacity to say the Emperor has no clothes? Second, I don't recall anyone seriously calling the President a terrorist - and, to the extent it has happened, it's far less than the viceral screaming from the left calling the previous President a terrorist.
9.11.2009 10:23am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Wise's article goes too far, but his basic point is valid. No one serious contests the idea that the Republican party made subtle racism a part of its appeal starting in the mid 1960s as a way to win votes in the southern states. That's why Goldwater was the first Republican to win southern electoral votes since 1876. That continued through the following decades to today.
Goldwater was not a racist; however, he took a position on the CRA that appealed to racists. However, there was nothing "subtle" about his position, so raising him as an example of this alleged phenomenon is fallacious. The 1964 election was sui generis, not part of a larger phenomenon. It was the only time the national Republican candidate took an anti-civil rights position.

And you know that, which is why you describe it as "subtle," and which is why liberals always talk about "code words." It's a way to make accusations without evidence. (That was the point Lee Atwater was making that keeps getting twisted into an admission of racism.)

(In 1968, it was apparently so "subtle" that racists didn't even notice; they voted for Wallace, not Nixon.)
9.11.2009 10:27am
J. Aldridge:
The civil rights movement sought relief from the wrong party (Federal govt) which is evidenced by the fact much of the civil rights act was rationalized under the commerce clause.
9.11.2009 10:27am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Shortly thereafter we moved to urban Pennsylvania, where we saw a significant change.

[...]

Restaurants were unsegregated, but people would stand up and leave if a black family came in through the door.

[...]

And this was in the late '80s - early '90s.
I don't believe you.
9.11.2009 10:32am
MarkField (mail):
I'm honestly not sure why everyone is so defensive on this subject. There's plenty of historical blame to go around when it comes to racism. The Progressives -- whom Dems today generally tend to admire and whose name they sometimes use -- were frequently racist and supporters of eugenics. Generally speaking, it's true that conservatives of the 50s and 60s supported segregation (Buckley being the most prominent). Neither side is going to win any purity contest on this issue.

There are two historical trends which we need to keep in mind. One is the shift of "pro-civil rights" leaders from the Republican Party (where they originated) to the Democratic Party (where they ended up). That was a very slow process which began under FDR (more accurately, under Eleanor -- FDR didn't care much about civil rights) and didn't really end until very recently.

The other is the process by which the electoral map reversed itself from Lincoln to Obama. The states which went for Lincoln in 1860 are those which went for Obama in 2008 and vice versa. Again, this was a very slow process which began with FDR and ended recently. When Nixon talked about his Southern Strategy, that was part of what he intended.

Without commenting on the relationship between these two, their intersection is important in understanding the late 50s and early 60s. It was easy for Republicans to support civil rights at that time. Not only was that traditional to their party, it was a free shot at Southern Dems. LBJ's advocacy of the CRA and VRA gave Republicans cover for the move, and they believed it would make their party more competitive in the South, both by gaining more votes from their traditional black allies and by splitting the Dems.

It turned out different than that because Nixon and Reagan pursued a different strategy. They deliberately sought the votes of Southerners. That, combined with the national Dem support of civil rights, shifted black voters to the Dems and Southern whites to the Republicans, thus completing the process I mentioned above.
9.11.2009 10:36am
MarkField (mail):

I don't believe you.


I don't know if the story about PA is true, but I have good reason to believe that the part about GA is. I have a good friend who had a case in Southern GA in the late 80s. He walked into a small coffee shop near the courthouse. Seeing no one at the front, he turned left to sit at a booth. A flustered waitress caught him just as he was about to sit down and steered him to one over on the right hand side. He didn't think much about it until he noticed later that all the blacks sat on the left, all the whites on the right.

Kind of like smoking and non, I guess.
9.11.2009 10:41am
U. Va. Grad:
Until 1978, Glenn Beck's church wouldn't admit black men to the priesthood, so I have a decent guess which side he'd come down on.
9.11.2009 10:43am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
I'm honestly not sure why everyone is so defensive on this subject.


Then try reading the OP. People wouldn't be as defensive, if certain parties weren't tarring anyone who objected to their goals as racists.
9.11.2009 10:45am
Ryan Waxx (mail):

One is the shift of "pro-civil rights" leaders from the Republican Party (where they originated) to the Democratic Party (where they ended up).


Also remember that the concept of "Civil Rights" itself changed at the same time, until MLK himself wouldn't recognize it.
9.11.2009 10:46am
GSC:
A little history, please. The first time a fillibuster was broken on civil rights legislation was in 1957, and this was brilliantly engineered by LBJ. Last I checked, he was a Democrat and a Southerner. (Granted the legislation accomponied little compared to the '64 Act.)
9.11.2009 10:47am
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Was it a coincidence , or a sign of something else, that the only member of Congress, in institutional memory, to shout something disrepectful to a President during an address to a joint session of Congress happens also to be a white southern male, and the President is an African American? Would Wilson have reacted differently to a President Kerry? What do you think?

By the way, Prof S., please point out the provision in any bill that grants medical coverage to illegal immigrants (the point Obama was addressing when Wilson said, "You Lie").
9.11.2009 10:48am
Aultimer:

Yet in fact, actor Charlton Heston, who later became President of National Rifle Association (and thus a leading "modern-day movement conservative" according to many people) marched with Martin Luther King.


The premise is baloney. Google turns up 300-odd results for "Charlton Heston" "movement conservative" and none on the first several pages actually have Heston being painted as one. Heston is the spokesmodel for the NRA, and maybe for the bedwetter neocons, but not a conservative on anything distinct from the 2A.

Also, I'm with D. Neiporent, having lived in both Steeler and Phillies urban/suburban areas between the 70s and now.
9.11.2009 10:50am
David M. Nieporent (www):
There are two historical trends which we need to keep in mind. One is the shift of "pro-civil rights" leaders from the Republican Party (where they originated) to the Democratic Party (where they ended up). That was a very slow process which began under FDR (more accurately, under Eleanor -- FDR didn't care much about civil rights) and didn't really end until very recently.
The problem with this trend is that it ignores that the definition of "civil rights" in the phrase "pro-civil rights" has changed drastically. People who hold the "pro-civil rights" views as that phrase would have been defined in 1954 or 1964 have not "shifted" to any great extent; what has happened is that the goalposts have shifted.

The other is the process by which the electoral map reversed itself from Lincoln to Obama. The states which went for Lincoln in 1860 are those which went for Obama in 2008 and vice versa. Again, this was a very slow process which began with FDR and ended recently. When Nixon talked about his Southern Strategy, that was part of what he intended.
Again, that only applies if you take 2000-2008 as the culmination of a trend, rather than as a separate phenomenon unrelated to civil rights, race, or the so-called "southern strategy."
9.11.2009 10:52am
David M. Nieporent (www):
By the way, Prof S., please point out the provision in any bill that grants medical coverage to illegal immigrants (the point Obama was addressing when Wilson said, "You Lie").
Untrue, despite the so-called "Fact checkers" in the media. What Obama actually said was "There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally." He did not say that "the bill currently before Congress would not apply to illegal immigrants."

The claim that Democrats don't support health care for illegal immigrants is belied by their standard talking point that there are "47 million uninsured Americans," a number which is misleading in many ways, but one of those ways is that it counts illegal immigrants in the term "Americans."

Was it a coincidence , or a sign of something else, that the only member of Congress, in institutional memory, to shout something disrepectful to a President during an address to a joint session of Congress happens also to be a white southern male, and the President is an African American? Would Wilson have reacted differently to a President Kerry? What do you think?
I think that your so-called "institutional memory" is very short, and so your claim is dishonest.
9.11.2009 11:04am
Randy R. (mail):
" Gordon Allott (82), Peter Dominick (87), Hiram Fong (67), Len Jordan (85), Jack Miller (91), Glen Beall (74), Roman Hruska (100), Carl Curtis (100), Milton Young (89, most senior Republican), Karl Mundt, and Wallace Bennett (94)."

Yes, and everyone of them was a prominent movement conservative. Anyone else ever hear of them.
9.11.2009 11:07am
Smallholder (mail) (www):
Many commentators seem to accept the fallacy that conservative = Republican. Conservative means that you want to conserve the status quo. By definition, people who defended segregationists were conservative. But because of the historical reality that Republicans were the liberals who came together as a party to use national power to end slavery, folks in the South voted solidly Democratic.

That has changed. Johnson's ramrodding of the Civil Rights Act down the throat of the South created major fissures in the Democratic party and left the door open for Nixon's Southern Stategy (masterminded by the master of fair and balanced Roger Ailes, head of Fox News). Nixon, as far as I know, wasn't a simply anti-black bigot - he was an equal-opportunity hater - but he was willing to ride the backs of anti-black bigots to the White House. Similarly, Bush, by all accounts, isn't an anti-gay bigot in his personal life - but he was more than happy to ride the anti-gay bigot vote to the White House.
The liberal cry that all opposition to Obama is rooted in racism is wrong. It is possible to disagree with Obama over policy differences.
That said, I suspect my Republican friends are too dismissive of the idea that racism may play a part, perhaps subconsciously, in allowing people to accept stuff like the Birther/deather claims.
Things have changed a lot in the last fifty years. It is no longer possible to utter casual racial slurs in polite company. Most grandkids of the segregationists have grown up with black kids in their classes and realize that people are people are people - so we shouldn't jump to racism as the default explanation.
But neither should we ignore the fact that the crazier elements of the right have a serious demographic overlap with the segregationists - White, southern, evangelical protestant.
9.11.2009 11:08am
Can't find a good name:
Cato the Elder: The Willie Horton ad had nothing to do with Reagan. Horton only came up in the context of the 1988 election, in which Reagan was not a candidate.
9.11.2009 11:14am
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
I'm having a hard time understanding how data from 1964 refutes a claim about movement conservatives today.

In a certain conservative theology, somewhere around 1968 the venial sin of Jim Crow disappeared—and all of its fervent adherents who had gone so far as to commit murder in its defense converted to Kumbaya racial equality—but the much greater sin of around-the-margins affirmative action replaced it. Yeah, right.

Here's an interesting statistic. The belief that our first President of partial African descent is not a natural born citizen is far more prevalent among Southerners than elsewhere. Moreover, this canard is a staple of the hysterical modern-day conservatives that Wise was referring to. Now, can anyone think of historical reasons why this would be so? [This is going to be like watching Creationists try to explain why marsupials are prevalent in Australia.]
9.11.2009 11:18am
Cato The Elder (mail) (www):
Duh, my mistake, it was the Bush-Dukakis race. Excuse me, I got all mixed up with the many racist incidents of those times.
9.11.2009 11:19am
MarkField (mail):

Again, that only applies if you take 2000-2008 as the culmination of a trend, rather than as a separate phenomenon unrelated to civil rights, race, or the so-called "southern strategy."


Agreed. I think the long term trend is the more persuasive, but it's a judgment call.


The problem with this trend is that it ignores that the definition of "civil rights" in the phrase "pro-civil rights" has changed drastically. People who hold the "pro-civil rights" views as that phrase would have been defined in 1954 or 1964 have not "shifted" to any great extent; what has happened is that the goalposts have shifted.


I can't agree with this at all. The basic themes have remained the same. Even affirmative action, which tends to get all the discussion today, was part of Johnson's 1964 speech. Plus, it's important to consider the events all the way up to King's assassination; the world didn't freeze in 1964.

All that said, of course some things are different now. Arguments have been modified, the factual circumstances have changed. That's a substantial part of what I was pointing out in my original comment.
9.11.2009 11:28am
theobromophile (www):
I would like to remind everyone that Northerners can kick the pants out of Southerners in the racist department.

For those of you who think that the North is and has always been a bastion of tolerance, consider places like suburban Boston. There isn't a non-white face in sight. To this day, the METCO programme still buses in minorities from Boston. (One of my law school friends, who is African-American, said that when she grew up in the Metro West area, teachers always assumed that she was a METCO student and were shocked when she told them that she lived in town. The teachers then assumed that her parents rented a place. Somehow, the notion of a black homeowning family was a little too much for our super-tolerant, non-racists Northerners.)

Bill Russell, Celtics player extraordinaire, was driven out of a suburban Boston town during the '70s. People petitioned against his residency. Those towns are still over 95% white.

Yeah, it's easy to be "tolerant" and not racist when you don't actually encounter any black people. Despite the fact that the North is supposedly so open-minded, many parts of it are incredibly segregated. What you don't see is a lot of African-Americans who move from the hyper-intolerant, racist South to the bastion of liberal tolerance that is Boston. What you don't see is a movement by the few minorities who are here, out of Dorchester and Roxbury and into Wellesley.

Some of you are willing to accept the idea that since the Republican party relies on the Southern vote, it must be appealing to racism that is in the South but non-existent in the North. I don't accept that premise - and not just for the reason that there's precious little evidence that Northerners are fantastically tolerant.
9.11.2009 11:31am
gerbilsbite:
Cato the Elder:

What DOES relate to Reagan is how he chose to kick off his General election campaign in 1980 by going to Neshoba County and giving a speech on "states' rights" a few miles from where Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were murdered. And you're damn right most of us liberals take that to be an incredibly racist action on the part of Saint Ronnie.

Sometimes we also consider, when thinking of movement conservatives and race, how Bill Rehnquist made his bones with the GOP in '64 by challenging black voters at the polls on behalf of Goldwater. We also think of how, years after telling Justice Jackson that he thought "Plessy v. Fergueson was right and ought to be reaffirmed," Reagan made him Chief Justice of the United States. Lee Atwater's usually just an afterthought.
9.11.2009 11:45am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I can't agree with this at all. The basic themes have remained the same. Even affirmative action, which tends to get all the discussion today, was part of Johnson's 1964 speech. Plus, it's important to consider the events all the way up to King's assassination; the world didn't freeze in 1964.
The phrase affirmative action may have used by Johnson, but it meant something very different then than it does now. Now for the most part it is used interchangeably with racial preferences. But Johnson (and Kennedy, who used it before him) were explicitly talking about non-discriminatory acts. Things like outreach, not hiring.

As for basic themes remaining the same, I think equal opportunity and equal outcome are very different, and I think the latter is the de facto theme now. As evidenced by the shift in the meaning of "affirmative action."
9.11.2009 11:47am
Gordo:
Beck and Limbaugh are not the equivalent of the Republicans of 1964. They are the equivalent of the Southern white Democratic party segregationists. They are the equivalent of George Wallace and Strom Thurmond.
9.11.2009 11:52am
ShelbyC:

What DOES relate to Reagan is how he chose to kick off his General election campaign in 1980 by going to Neshoba County and giving a speech on "states' rights" a few miles from where Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were murdered. And you're damn right most of us liberals take that to be an incredibly racist action on the part of Saint Ronnie.


So anybody that supports the bill of rights and the 10A is a racist?
9.11.2009 12:02pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
What DOES relate to Reagan is how he chose to kick off his General election campaign in 1980 by going to Neshoba County and giving a speech on "states' rights" a few miles from where Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were murdered. And you're damn right most of us liberals take that to be an incredibly racist action on the part of Saint Ronnie.
First, he did not "give a speech on states' rights," although the phrase was used once in the speech.

Second, what is the significance of being "a few miles from" something that happened sixteen years earlier? And where exactly could Reagan have given a speech in the South that wasn't "a few miles from" a location where some racist act took place? Would it have been better if it were a few miles from the Birmingham church bombing? Or the assassination of Medgar Evers? Or of Martin Luther King Jr.? Or the attack on marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge? Or Orval Faubus blocking the doors of a schoolhouse? Or Bull Connor turning fire hoses and dogs on protesters?
9.11.2009 12:10pm
Prof. S. (mail):
By the way, Prof S., please point out the provision in any bill that grants medical coverage to illegal immigrants (the point Obama was addressing when Wilson said, "You Lie").

My point was that calling the President a liar (the point in the post I was responding to), as opposed to saying he lied on that one point, was not racist.

However, to answer your strawman argument, the President actually said "There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."

Your position is different than what the President said (grant v. apply). Contrary to your assertion, the point Wilson responded to was that the reforms would "apply to those who are here illegally." As I understand it, there are currently no provisions in the bill ensuring that they would not apply. In fact, when amendments have been proposed to put such assurances in, they have been defeated by democrats.
9.11.2009 12:13pm
Dave N (mail):
I don't give a tinkers damn about Willie Horton's race.

I have always been amazed at the liberal talking point that the Horton ads were racist (and yes, Al Gore was the first to raise the issue).

Simply put, for those who see its racism as an article of faith, there was absolutely NOTHING defensible about giving weekend furloughs to prisoners, like Horton, serving sentences of life WITHOUT the possibility of parole.

When the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill forbidding furloughs for those serving LWOP, Dukakis VETOED the bill.

After Horton failed to return from such a furlough, he traveled to Maryland and committed several other crimes, including sexual assault.

Massachusetts actually had the gall to demand that Maryland return Horton. Maryland wisely refused.

That Massachusetts allowed these furloughs could be viewed as liberal lunacy. That Dukakis supported these furloughs was a legitimate issue demonstrating a severe lack of judgment on his part.
9.11.2009 12:44pm
MarkField (mail):

The phrase affirmative action may have used by Johnson, but it meant something very different then than it does now. Now for the most part it is used interchangeably with racial preferences. But Johnson (and Kennedy, who used it before him) were explicitly talking about non-discriminatory acts. Things like outreach, not hiring.


You and I have covered this ground before, and you're just wrong. Here's the most relevant passage from LBJ's speech at Howard University on June 4, 1965:

"The voting rights bill will be the latest, and among the most important, in a long series of victories. But this victory--as Winston Churchill said of another triumph for freedom--"is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

That beginning is freedom; and the barriers to that freedom are tumbling down. Freedom is the right to share, share fully and equally, in American society--to vote, to hold a job, to enter a public place, to go to school. It is the right to be treated in every part of our national life as a person equal in dignity and promise to all others.


FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH

But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.

You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.

This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.

For the task is to give 20 million Negroes the same chance as every other American to learn and grow, to work and share in society, to develop their abilities--physical, mental and spiritual, and to pursue their individual happiness.

To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough. Men and women of all races are born with the same range of abilities. But ability is not just the product of birth. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in--by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man."


And where exactly could Reagan have given a speech in the South that wasn't "a few miles from" a location where some racist act took place?


Using the phrase "states rights" ANYWHERE in the South was wrong.
9.11.2009 12:49pm
frankcross (mail):
Prof S, I believe you are wrong. The existing bill contains a specific exclusion for immigrants. The amendment to which you refer and which was defeated would have required a specific verification system. But the bill still contains a prohibition, leaving the verification system to some administrative agency.
9.11.2009 12:50pm
pot meet kettle (mail):

I think that your so-called "institutional memory" is very short, and so your claim is dishonest.


I don't think that slate article means what you think it means... aaaand so your claim is dishonest.

Let me help you out with some excerpts:


But last night may be the first time a congressman went beyond communal muttering—and interrupted the president with a loud and denigrating retort.



Even a raucous British MP, however, would think twice before accusing the prime minister, or another parliamentarian, of lying. Traditionally, members are expected to avoid insulting or abusive language, specifically charges of lying or being drunk. Over the years, speakers (their Nancy Pelosis) have objected to the words blackguard, coward, git, guttersnipe, stoolpigeon, and traitor, among others. If a speaker deems a word or phrase "unparliamentary," he will ask the member to formally withdraw it. (For more information on etiquette in the House of Commons, see this factsheet [PDF].)
9.11.2009 1:04pm
egd:
David M. Nieporent:

I don't believe you.

You're free to believe what you want to believe. I may believe that the sky is pink and that trees are orange, but that doesn't make my beliefs true.

I compared my personal experiences in lily-white suburban Pennsylvania with my personal experiences in the rural (redneck, although having met northern rednecks, there are very distinct differences between Northern &Southern rednecks) deep south. People are generally conservative (in the traditional, non-political sense). They don't like change. Suburban white areas in the "progressive north" don't like it when blacks move into town and they resist change passively. Because for a long time sub/urban whites didn't have to deal with black communities. Rural areas in the "racist south" don't like integration because segregation has been a way of life. The two groups learned to live together by living apart, and it worked.

I find it interesting your failure to question Angus' personal story about racism being more prevalent in the three southern states he has lived in. Is that just because you expect the South to be racist and the North not to be racist?
9.11.2009 1:07pm
Non:
egd, Could you identify, spedfically what town you are tlking about?
9.11.2009 1:28pm
road2serfdom:
"...leaving the verification system to some administrative agency."

Which then the agency could legally choose to have no verification, maybe even a "don't ask don't tell" policy, making the system wide open to illegal aliens.

Remember, Obama promised that no illegal aliens would be covered, and that people who say there is a possibliity that illeal aliens could be covreed are lying. The truth is there is no specific required verification system and an ammendment to add one was defeated.
9.11.2009 1:34pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
The truth is there is no specific required verification system and an ammendment to add one was defeated.
I take it, then, that if Congressman X votes against a specific required verification system aimed at keeping felons from purchasing firearms, that means he really supports a DADT policy indifferent to felons' acquiring firearms?
9.11.2009 1:43pm
Floridan:
"Beck and Limbaugh are not the equivalent of the Republicans of 1964. They are the equivalent of the Southern white Democratic party segregationists. They are the equivalent of George Wallace and Strom Thurmond."

I'd go back a bit more . . . they're more akin to Sidney J. Catts or "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman, both of whom excelled at stirring up the rubes with feigned outrage.
9.11.2009 1:48pm
Non:
The false OUTRAGE of it all is most anoying.
9.11.2009 2:00pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I find it interesting your failure to question Angus' personal story about racism being more prevalent in the three southern states he has lived in. Is that just because you expect the South to be racist and the North not to be racist?
I didn't say that I didn't believe that there were racist people in the north. I said that I didn't believe that -- in PA in the "late 80s - early 90s" -- people got up and left the restaurant because a black person walked in.
9.11.2009 2:04pm
road2serfdom:
"I take it, then, that if Congressman X votes against a specific required verification system aimed at keeping felons from purchasing firearms, that means he really supports a DADT policy indifferent to felons' acquiring firearms?"

If Congressman X, after voting against it, went on TV and claimed that no felon could ever come into posession of a firearm and anyone who says otherwise is a liar, then I would have no problem with someone replying to Mr. X, "You Lie".
9.11.2009 2:05pm
SuperSkeptic:
So LBJ wanted equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunity. So what? It's absurd and leads to tyrannical and unjust results because the "equalization" process is inherently flawed. There can be no such thing in a free society.

Some societies have tried it, with abysmal results. The sooner the concept is defeated and forgotten, the better.
9.11.2009 2:07pm
pmorem (mail):
It seems to me that Wise is attempting to justify the prejudice behind charges of "racism" we hear whenever someone criticizes Obama.

That is to say, some people are ready to assume that "conservative" somehow means "racist" or "secretly racist".

That's prejudice.

"Progressives" can try to justify it all they want. That's their choice. I think it's slowly costing them, though. That's an own-goal I prefer, actually.

Enjoy!
9.11.2009 2:14pm
frankcross (mail):
I don't believe the agency could legally choose to have no verification system. They have to enforce the law. In any event, they wouldn't as is evident from the Medicaid system.
The paranoia about immigrants is bizarre to me. There are so many good arguments against this reform, but people are obsessed with a couple of stupid ones.

Lazarus, I have no idea what your point is. But the proposed verification system was voted down because Dems thought it produced too many false positives. And it does have some, but it appears to be the best and likely the one administratively chosen.
9.11.2009 2:16pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I don't think that slate article means what you think it means... aaaand so your claim is dishonest.
I think that the Slate article means that in the very near past, members of Congress shouted disrespectfully at a president during an address to Congress, and therefore the claim that Wilson was "the only member of Congress, in institutional memory, to shout something disrepectful to a President during an address to a joint session of Congress" is false. Unless you think booing is respectful.
9.11.2009 2:19pm
Non:

So LBJ wanted equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunity. So what? It's absurd and leads to tyrannical and unjust results because the "equalization" process is inherently flawed. There can be no such thing in a free society.

Some societies have tried it, with abysmal results. The sooner the concept is defeated and forgotten, the better.



I bet you don't want to live in a society that does not perform some minimization inequlity of outcome. Such socetyies have abysmal results and don't last long.
9.11.2009 2:21pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Mark, the speech is full of flowery rhetoric, but the full text of the speech contains no indication whatsoever that Johnson is pushing racial preferences; everything he discusses, everything he proposes, is, or can be, race-neutral. Attacking poverty, or dealing with the breakdown of families, for instance. Note that the speech you cite does not use the phrase "affirmative action"; he used it in Executive Order 11246 (JKF had previously used it in EO 10925), and in each case, it explicitly required non-discrimination, not preferences.
9.11.2009 2:22pm
road2serfdom:
frankcross,

It is not about the importance of the issue, it is about civility and whether the "You Lie" comment was based on policy differences or racism.

Obama went onto the House floor and called his opponents liars, which I hear is an outrageous act of incivility in itself. And to make matters worse, he was the one lying.

He could of said, "Yes, of course without a strong verification system the plan will end up covering many illegal aliens, but we can't let silly concerns like that stop us from meaningful reform. Maybe the administrators will choose a strong verification, maybe a weak one, but is not such an important of an issue to specify in the bill, we are trying to keep it as small and simple as possible."

Instead, he said, ingdignantly, essentially, 'They Lie. No illegal will be covered. Period.'
9.11.2009 2:39pm
Feller:
I wonder where you draw the line, David? Or see that there is line drawing being done?

If you intervene to stop people from acting on thier race bias? That's both modern affirmative action and the 1960's legislation.
9.11.2009 2:41pm
SuperSkeptic:
I bet you don't want to live in a society that does not perform some minimization inequlity of outcome. Such socetyies have abysmal results and don't last long.

Name one such society that has ever existed.

My point was merely that some societies have tried, forcefully, the "to each according to his needs" equalization. It's ultimately counterproductive.

We should be more concerned with equality of opportunity, or equality of rights. Where the "civil rights" movement seeks to go beyond this, it loses it's righteous and just foundation.
9.11.2009 2:50pm
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):

[Regarding coverage of illegal immigrants:] There are so many good arguments against this reform, but people are obsessed with a couple of stupid ones.


I agree totally. It would be one thing if we were diligently deporting people as soon as we found out that they're not supposed to be here. But we're not. That being the case, having a large underclass of people who are not getting health care is a public health nightmare, even putting aside any moral considerations.
9.11.2009 3:49pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
It's instructive to see which party the extremist groups that make no attempt to hide their agendas gravitate toward. The KKK, neo-Nazis, Christian identity and other white supremacist groups give what little love they have for either party to libertarian Republicans like Ron Paul. Browse a Stormfront forum if you doubt it. It's no coincidence that David Duke ran as a Republican.

It's an obnoxious, reductionist fallacy to smear those on the right as racists, since most of them aren't. Likewise for calling Obama and anyone but a fringe few on the left Marxists. But it flies in the face of reality to pretend the libertarian-conservative-Republican axis isn't a friendlier home for a white bigot, just as it would be to claim the liberal-Democratic axis isn't more comfortable for a Marxist.
9.11.2009 3:51pm
ShelbyC:

I bet you don't want to live in a society that does not perform some minimization inequlity of outcome. Such socetyies have abysmal results and don't last long.


Sure, but free societies have other means to do this then direct forcible transfer. Markets and charity, for example.
9.11.2009 3:57pm
ArthurKirkland:
Every day, the United States becomes less racist, less bigoted, and less white. Over time, those points -- coupled with the traditional American trajectories toward justice, equitable allocation of opportunity, openness and the like -- will substantially defuse much of the country's problem associated from racism and bigotry. (A change is gonna come: In the 1930s, Italian-Americans were not considered white, were forced into less-attractive jobs and were unwelcome in many communities. Fifty years later, they dominated the beer distribution, waste hauling and similar industries, they became pillars of American community, and their children blended into the American mosaic.)

The political angle is probably that the Republican Party needs to recognize its problem and address it, or get steamrolled by it. I hope the first occurs, but the second would be an acceptable, and deserved, result.
9.11.2009 4:04pm
MarkField (mail):

So LBJ wanted equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunity. So what? It's absurd and leads to tyrannical and unjust results because the "equalization" process is inherently flawed. There can be no such thing in a free society.


DMN and I are having a debate about history, not about policy.


Mark, the speech is full of flowery rhetoric, but the full text of the speech contains no indication whatsoever that Johnson is pushing racial preferences; everything he discusses, everything he proposes, is, or can be, race-neutral.


I don't think there's a single argument in favor of affirmative action which couldn't be found in that speech or a reasonable extrapolation from it. As for the EOs, they can be interpreted in several different ways. They are not, by their terms, limited to non-discrimination, though a reasonable person could read them that way (just as a reasonable person could read them to require more).
9.11.2009 4:13pm
theobromophile (www):
The KKK, neo-Nazis, Christian identity and other white supremacist groups

Leo: you should be ashamed. What religious bigotry is that? Now all hard-core Christians are white supremacists?

Last time I checked, Christians believe that everyone was created in the image of their Creator and that all lives are precious. How you get from there to white supremacy is beyond me, because I'm a bit too sane for that b.s..
9.11.2009 4:15pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
theo,

As your highlighted quote shows, I didn't say Christian. I said Christian Identity.
9.11.2009 4:33pm
gerbilsbite:
And where exactly could Reagan have given a speech in the South that wasn't "a few miles from" a location where some racist act took place?
"Some racist act" doesn't really equate to "a triple murder of civil rights activists that shocked the nation and was fresh in the memories of millions." And it does count for something that this was his first speech after the Convention.

And if he'd included in that speech a mention of the heinous act that forever tarred the community, condemning the act and inducing audience applause of such condemnation, it wouldn't even be an issue--instead of "Sister Souljah Moments" we'd have "Neshoba Moments" in our political lexicon. But when he decided to not reference recent history save to say that the federal government had lately taken too central a role in things and that "If I do get the job I'm looking for, I'm going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities, and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there," then he rightly earned scorn for his combining dog whistles with sins of omission.
9.11.2009 4:55pm
gerbilsbite:
Obromophile: "those who identify as Christian" are almost the diametric opposites of "those who are part of the Christian Identity movement". "Christian Identity," not to put too fine a point on it, is the way that neo-Nazis get their hate literature into prisons.

It has nothing to do with Christ, save for misappropriating his name. It's like saying "Nation of Islam" = "Islam," or "Conservative" = "Council of Conservative Citizens," or "National Socialist" = "Socialist," or "People's Democratic Republic of Korea" = "Democratic."
9.11.2009 5:07pm
Mark Bahner (www):
"His point about Heston would be better made by noting that Barry Goldwater was a member of the Urban League before voting against the Act on grounds about regulation of private behaviors."

Indeed. There's a big difference between (government-sponsored) segregation and (private) discrimination. One violates the 14th Amendment, the other does not.
9.11.2009 5:11pm
Mark Bahner (www):
Oops. I wrote,

"Indeed. There's a big difference between (government-sponsored) segregation and (private) discrimination. One violates the 14th Amendment, the other does not."

...but I also should have written, "And one is protected by the Ninth Amendment, but the other is not."
9.11.2009 5:16pm
klw (mail):

Gore Sr voted No to Civil Rights Law
9.11.2009 5:39pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
"Some racist act" doesn't really equate to "a triple murder of civil rights activists that shocked the nation and was fresh in the memories of millions.
I repeat: sixteen years earlier. People remembered it, of course. But "fresh"?

then he rightly earned scorn for his combining dog whistles with sins of omission.
Again, the metaphor makes no sense. Dog whistles are things only dogs can hear. So, presumably, the metaphor here is racist speech that only racists can hear -- except that it's always liberals who seem to be the only ones who hear it.
9.11.2009 7:00pm
MarkField (mail):

Dog whistles are things only dogs can hear. So, presumably, the metaphor here is racist speech that only racists can hear -- except that it's always liberals who seem to be the only ones who hear it.


I think we can all see when someone is using a dog whistle.
9.11.2009 7:11pm
Jmaie (mail):
Until 1978, Glenn Beck's church wouldn't admit black men to the priesthood, so I have a decent guess which side he'd come down on.

Mr. Beck joined LDS in 1999.

Don't get me wrong, I don't respect those who bloviate for ratings, and I have no use for Beck's show. There's plenty of real sins to attack him for, no need to imagine them...
9.11.2009 7:52pm
pmorem (mail):
I think we can all see when someone is using a dog whistle.


I've made dog whistles a couple times. I didn't realize it until I looked at what I was doing with a spectrum analyzer and saw 22.5 or 24.0 kHz signals. I can assure you they weren't deliberate.
9.11.2009 8:16pm
SuperSkeptic:
DMN and I are having a debate about history, not about policy.

In that case, I'm with you on the historical question.
9.11.2009 8:46pm
WHOI Jacket:
We're all Racists.

I'm Racist.

You're racist.

The guy down the street is probably a racist.

Film at 11.
9.11.2009 9:11pm
ArthurKirkland:

Last time I checked, Christians believe that everyone was created in the image of their Creator and that all lives are precious.

American adventures in Iraq, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and many other suggest that while some self-proclaimed Christians may mouth the words, or sit in the pews as someone else mouths them, they are not fanatics about the 'all lives are precious' point. I suspect those in other countries can provide similar examples.

I do not say that Christians are any worse than other people on this score. But I see no reason to believe they 'believe all lives are precious,' or that their views or conduct in this regard are superior to anyone else's.
9.11.2009 9:12pm
WHOI Jacket:
Wise(sic) states that Beck would "stand with the segregationists" not because of anything Beck has said or done, but because "RACIST!" is the worst possible thing he can think of to call him.

I'm digging this post-racial era of healing.
9.11.2009 9:12pm
WHOI Jacket:


American adventures in Iraq, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and many other suggest that while some self-proclaimed Christians may mouth the words, or sit in the pews as someone else mouths them, they are not fanatics about the 'all lives are precious' point. I suspect those in other countries can provide similar examples.


I recommend trying that line out down at the VFW Hall. I'm sure it'll bring down the house.
9.11.2009 9:14pm
Real American (mail):
Liberals are masters of projection. They don't want to argue facts and policy and substance so they resort to ad hominem attacks and calling conservatives racist. They do this rather than think because they're intellectually lazy or dishonest or both.

But instead of worrying about what conservatives of today would have thought 40+ years ago in a completely different time and environment, we should focus on the racism that has taken hold of the liberals today: anti-semitism is a foundation of liberal foreign policy (re the Middle East), anti-white and anti-Asian sentiments inform the liberal mindset as they push for racial quotas in education, public contracts and employment. The president of the United States went to a RACIST CHURCH for 20 years and he's their (dear) leader. He assumes all sorts of things about white people (he called his own grandmother a racist! and the white cop acted stupidly!). White liberals go along with this over some pent-up guilt over what none of them have done or achieved. Studying hard and working hard is seen as "acting white" and that isn't a conservative viewpoint, but a liberal one. Liberals assume that minorities can't get along in this country without the government running their lives. They've promoted policy after policy that keeps minorities under their thumb, dependent on government and in poverty. Their so called "diversity" policies are all based on anti-white racism, too. There is so much blatant racism by LIBERALS that it is a joke that they think they can credibly accuse conservatives of being racist.

Some dumb ass liberal calling Glenn Beck a racist is total garbage. Liberals (not all of them obviously) are the real racists. And they're ruining this country with their racist policies.
9.11.2009 9:35pm
snelson (mail):
He's a Leftist. They lie. It's what they do. That's why I'm not interested in a debate any more.
9.11.2009 10:08pm
Borealis (mail):
The Race Card is being played already. It is way too early for Democrats to play their trump card. Smart politicians hold their trump card until it really counts.
9.11.2009 10:30pm
Agree with snelson:
Republicans overwhelmingly supported the Civil Rights Act, and Democrats strongly opposed it. Similarly, a hundred years earlier, the Republican party was created primarily in opposition to slavery, which Democrats strongly supported.

Today, Democrats want to forget and/or mistate that history, and when people like David Kopel point it out, they try to revise it by saying "well, those Republicans weren't really conservatives. The conservatives were the Dixiecrats who did all these bad things, and the Republicans who did the right things were probably really liberals."

So my questions are these: which awful Democrats of today are going to be proven to have been closet conservatives when history proves they were jerks? and which good Republicans of today will be proven to have been closet liberals? and is there a liberal around who can stop bouncing from historical fiction to to historical fiction to support his/her weak understanding of what "conservative" means?
9.11.2009 10:39pm
Fen (mail):
"the minute you insist on treating them better than they would treat you, the minute you insist on playing by rules that they refuse to"

Pay careful attention to Mr Wise's moral clarity: "Its what I believe you do (not what you do) that justifies my base treatment of you. And I'm going to sink to what I believe is your level".

This man doesn't belong in a University. He belongs in a mental ward. And sadly, this is a pattern amoung the Left.
9.11.2009 10:43pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Real American:

Liberals are masters of projection. They don't want to argue facts and policy and substance so they resort to ad hominem attacks and calling conservatives racist. They do this rather than think because they're intellectually lazy or dishonest or both.

Said without a hint of irony.
9.11.2009 10:48pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
The reason that I don't believe that the parties and their adherents have really swapped over the last 150 years is that I read the writings of my great-great-great-grandmother and her sisters from the 1850s, and there is little that I would disagree with. She had moved around then from Ohio with her husband up into the wilds of Michigan to found a Christian academy. The five sisters spent their lives agitating for three things: Abolition, Sufferance, and Temperance, all in the furtherance of their Christian duty. Temperance is the one that I question, but then I can look back to Prohibition, while they could not.

Their view was that all men are created equal before God, and that meant blacks and women too. Not equality of results, but equality of opportunity.

But what must be remembered about the electoral switch, esp. as the North has gone "Blue" is that much of it is demographic. Back when she and her sisters were helping found the Republican Party, much of the North was still heavily WASP. The immigrants coming in, esp. the Catholic (and Jewish) ones, were the Democrats. And, probably not surprisingly, these northern Democrats were more racist than their Republican neighbors, because they tended to be lower down on the socio-economic scale, and thus competed more directly with Blacks for jobs. The North was slowly shifting Democratic over the first 100 years of the Republican party, as the percentage of non-WASPs increased.

The thing though that broke things open was the election of FDR. He did two things here. One, he co-opted the Blacks. But he also managed a major power grab by the federal government. And that is where, I think, that a lot of Republicans started moving towards States Rights. Before, they had been the party pushing for more federal power, since that was what it took to end slavery, give women the vote, and ban demon rum (for awhile).

It has really only been in my lifetime that Catholics, in any real numbers, have moved into the Republican party. I remember one of my father's law partners being amazed when he found himself voting almost exclusively Republican. He was Irish, and had a picture of JFK sitting in a rocking chair on his porch from the 1960 campaign. His kids, who went on to become doctors and lawyers switched parties early on. He never did, despite voting almost exclusively Republican for the rest of his life.

I would not have been surprised if that great-great-great grandmother and her sisters would have been marching along with Blacks in the 1960s, just as they helped Black slaves escape to Canada 110 years earlier. But I don't think that she and her sisters would be any happier with affirmative action than I am. They dreamed and wrote of a color blind society, and affirmative action is just the opposite of that.
9.11.2009 11:00pm
MarkField (mail):

Republicans overwhelmingly supported the Civil Rights Act, and Democrats strongly opposed it.


The vote by Republicans was 138-32 in favor, and for Dems it was 152-96 in favor.
9.11.2009 11:07pm
Thomass (mail):
Another whole post could also be written on the progressive connections to the racists and segregationists... and arguing that they still have not left the Democratic Party in the south (counter to the left's narrative about Nixon's Southern Strategy).

The left simply proclaims everything bad to be conservative… regardless of whether political conservatives were really overrepresented… Or whether their own team was actually more involved than the conservatives!
9.11.2009 11:09pm
Ari8 (mail):
Liberal hero Adlai Stevenson was a segregationist, and ran with segregationist running mates. Franklin Roosevelt refused to sign an anti-lynching bill. Jimmy Carter was put into the White House by the overwhelming vote of white segregationists, though he turned out to be far more liberal on race as president than his supporters in the South expected. You don't have to go back very far in American history to find that there were few heroes on racial issues from either party, or from any ideology. Racial liberalism only became associated with political liberalism when it became associated with Big Government.
9.11.2009 11:20pm
Bartemis (mail):
People actually think the parties have changed. Nothing has changed. The Democrats are statists. They have always been statists. The Republicans are for personal liberty. They've always been for personal liberty. The Republicans freed the slaves. The Democrats instituted Jim Crow. The Republicans opposed the slave State of the Soviet Union. The Democrats swooned over it. The Republicans want free markets. The Democrats want a command economy.

The Party roles are consistent throughout history. The Democrats are still pro-slavery, just not specifically or most virulently against a particular race now.
9.11.2009 11:21pm
~aardvark (mail):
This is predictably transparent and pathetic fiction. No, no, the fiction is not that the 1960s Republicans, headed by Dirksen, were instrumental in passing civil rights legislation. Mercifully, that is very true and this is why we have civil rights laws now (much to the consternation of Pat Buchanan, it seems). The fiction, the lie is that we are dealing with the same Republican Party--or, for that matter, the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. The fact is that the Republican Party of the 1960s kicked out the John Birch Society, they routinely shut down rhetorical excesses and would have been embarrassed to share the spotlight with Southern Democrats. Today, the lunatics run the asylum. What once was the paragon of racism, Southern Democrats, are not the heart and soul of the Republican Party--Thank you, Richard Nixon! Wise is absolutely correct in his assessment. Kopel predictably ignores facts in favor of fiction.
9.11.2009 11:25pm
Thomass (mail):
frankcross (mail):

"Prof S, I believe you are wrong. The existing bill contains a specific exclusion for immigrants. The amendment to which you refer and which was defeated would have required a specific verification system. But the bill still contains a prohibition, leaving the verification system to some administrative agency."

Illegal immigration is also.... illegal.. but lacks sufficient enforcement and verification... and we still seem to have tons of it... so what is your point? It's illegal so it won't happen? I say the left will leave that in the bill and then throw every wrench in the works possible (including the kitchen sink) to not allow any verification system that might work. While they claim other people are telling lies about illegals and benefits… It's actually so amazingly disingenuous I'm laughing about it rather than being outraged…
9.11.2009 11:26pm
Fen (mail):
"Said without a hint of irony."

The irony is that one can easily predict what vile action a leftist is about to undertake, because he will accuse conservatives of engaging in it. And this is what Mr Wise demonstrates. Its what he believes his enemy does that justifies the means he will use, and also what purchases his Indulgence.
9.11.2009 11:28pm
guess'd (mail):
In the build up to the Civil War, a primary argument of the slave owners (Democrats, every damn one) was "the black man cannot take care of himself without us to put a roof over his head and food on his table." In other words, the same argument the Democrats are making now, except that now they are exploiting the black population for votes instead of plantation labor.

The poor doddering Republicans, since the party was formed by Abraham Lincoln and his contemporaries, in large part to end slavery, is also still the same: "Can't we just treat everyone the same, regardless of race?" This was also the lament of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The fundamental beliefs of the parties have changed remarkably little in the last century and a half.
9.11.2009 11:42pm
Nomilk:
What DOES relate to Reagan is how he chose to kick off his General election campaign in 1980 by going to Neshoba County and giving a speech on "states' rights" a few miles from where Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were murdered.


Nonsense. That's like saying that Obama intended to show his terrorist sympathies by having his airplane buzz lower Manhattan.
9.11.2009 11:50pm
Dennis Todd (mail):

Leo Marvin (mail):
It's instructive to see which party the extremist groups that make no attempt to hide their agendas gravitate toward. The KKK, neo-Nazis, Christian identity and other white supremacist groups give what little love they have for either party to libertarian Republicans like Ron Paul. Browse a Stormfront forum if you doubt it. It's no coincidence that David Duke ran as a Republican.

It's an obnoxious, reductionist fallacy to smear those on the right as racists, since most of them aren't. Likewise for calling Obama and anyone but a fringe few on the left Marxists. But it flies in the face of reality to pretend the libertarian-conservative-Republican axis isn't a friendlier home for a white bigot, just as it would be to claim the liberal-Democratic axis isn't more comfortable for a Marxist.

That's funny because most of those groups are 'neo-nazi', which we all know is short for national socialist. Fascists don't want limited government, which is central to modern libertarians and principled conservatives. For instance, fascists would favor private insurance companies, so long as they run their business the way the state tells them to.

Kind of like HR3200 does.
9.11.2009 11:54pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
Dennis Todd,

In other words, they're really liberal Democrats. They just don't know it, so they foolishly vote for Republicans, and they wouldn't be caught dead associating with Democrats. Very convincing.
9.12.2009 12:11am
Floridan:
"Republicans overwhelmingly supported the Civil Rights Act, and Democrats strongly opposed it."

As was noted above, both parties supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The fault line was between those Senators and Representatives from the South and those from elsewhere.

No Southern Republican voted for the CRA (0 - 11) and only about 6 percent of Southern Democrats voted in favor (8 - 107).

About 95 percent of "Northern" [non-Southern] Democrats supported the bill, and about 85 percent of "Northern" Republicans voted favorably.
9.12.2009 12:13am
Dennis Todd (mail):

Leo Marvin (mail):
Dennis Todd,

In other words, they're really liberal Democrats. They just don't know it, so they foolishly vote for Republicans, and they wouldn't be caught dead associating with Democrats. Very convincing.

Don't take my word for it, read what Stormfront Sustaining members have to say:

If you read the original 25 point programme of the National Socialists but replace all the "german" with The white race. (In essence just turn a pan german idealogy into a pan-white idealogy) You will find the true spirit of Modern National Socialism.
9.12.2009 12:23am
Ari8 (mail):
What DOES relate to Reagan is how he chose to kick off his General election campaign in 1980 by going to Neshoba County and giving a speech on "states' rights" a few miles from where Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were murdered.
Reagan did not give a speech on states' rights, he mentioned the phrase once in a speech on economic policy. And the next day he went to campaign for black votes, including speaking to the National Urban League and meeting with Jesse Jackson. You can look it up, or you can just channel Paul Krugman.
9.12.2009 1:07am
Leo Marvin (mail):
Dennis Todd,

Just what do you think that proves? The word "socialism" in National Socialism means precisely as much as the word "Christian" in Christian Identity. The organizing principle of white supremacists is their violent opposition to everything and everyone left of center. Or maybe you're under the impression neo-nazis like affirmative action, same-sex marriage, gun control, and hanging around with lots of blacks, Mexicans and Jews.
9.12.2009 1:27am
kcom (mail):
"The organizing principle of white supremacists is their violent opposition to everything and everyone left of center. "

You really think that's an adequate explanation? It sounds pretty self-referential to me. Surely white supremacists have an organizing principle that has something to do with whiteness. No?
9.12.2009 3:51am
Leo Marvin (mail):
kcom,

You could say their organizing principle is pro-whiteness, but there are perfectly benign ways to be pro-white, and white supremacists are anything but benign. Defining them by what they oppose paints a more informative picture of their agenda.
9.12.2009 4:49am
daniel:
In reading all these posts I find lots of ignorance of history, lots of knowledge of history also;
There is a big difference between laws and enforced laws.
Marijuana use is illegal; laws against it are sometimes enforced. Does that mean that there is no marijuana use in this country?
The same is true about illegal immigrants. Their presence here is against the law. That law is sometimes enforced. Does that mean that there are no such people here?
The legislation under consideration makes applying the government plan to illegal immigrants illegal. But it explicitly rejected any steps to verify legal status in applying the plan. In reality then, illegal immigrants (if they exist) who applied for care would get it, under this proposed legislation without any challenge.
Those whose religion is liberalism say that the President was correct in insisting that this law excludes illegal immigrants from its benefits. But in the absence of verification this exclusion is meaningless. In the real world, as opposed to that of legalism, the President's statement was factually challenged. It is not incorrect to call it a lie.
Of course you can say that the president was correct if you are willing to ignore reality.
I believe that the President in his speech accused his opponents of lying and distorting his plan. It was indeed in poor taste of the representative from SC to descend to the President's level in his comment, but he did so, and we will just have to get over it, and proceed with our lives.

As far as who would have supported what in the past, some minimal knowledge of history would help.
The republican party was founded as an anti-slavery party and was supported by black people almost universally until the 1930s. The poll tax and intimidation of blacks from voting were explicitly aimed at maintaining political control of the south by the democratic party.
The arch segregationists, the Bull Connors, and Orville Faubuses, Fulbrights or Gores and the like never deserted the democratic party to become republicans.
FDR initially was unfriendly to blacks as well, but at one point he opened up welfare to blacks, when they desperately needed it, and received their gratitude. Many children were named Roosevelt in his honor. Since the democrats controlled almost all offices in the south at the time, they were in a position to dispense favors to blacks and to gain their allegiance.
Labor Unions were set up mainly to protect the jobs of their members. This protection was aimed particularly against competition from blacks and Chinese. They were responsible for anti-Chinese legislation, and excluded blacks until a very late date. In fact they hoped to make their employment available to their own children, and kept all outsiders out of apprenticeship programs if they could.
Progressive measures like minimum wage laws, were initially explicitly adopted to keep blacks from competing for jobs, on the theory that blacks would not be worth hiring at the minimum wage. they do now keep teenage blacks disproportionately out of the labor force.

Much of the change of voting patterns in states has come from migrations.
There were some southern conservative democrats who objected to the civil rights act with the ridiculous claim that it would lead to racial preferences, quotas and the like. They were assured by its supporters that this could never happen; the supporters insisted that they sought only color blindedness, never never racial preferences. They insisted that if pro-white preferences are evil, pro-black ones, from a logical point of view must also be so and would never be consistent with the law.
9.12.2009 6:27am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dennis:

most of those groups are 'neo-nazi', which we all know is short for national socialist


This matter was discussed thoroughly in a recent thread: "it would be wrong to see Nazism as a form of, or an outgrowth from, socialism … Nazism was in some ways an extreme counter-ideology to socialism."

====================
leo:

The word "socialism" in National Socialism means precisely as much as the word "Christian" in Christian Identity.


Those confused by the word "socialism" in National Socialism never bother trying to explain why Saddam's elite troops were all Republicans. (H/T to brindierwin.)

Or maybe you're under the impression neo-nazis like affirmative action, same-sex marriage, gun control, and hanging around with lots of blacks, Mexicans and Jews.


I don't know if there were any neo-Nazis at the GOP convention, but they would have felt relatively comfortable there, since it was only 1.5% black. That's documented here, along with some other facts about the GOP and race.
9.12.2009 8:28am
Ricardo (mail):
Dirksen is described by Wikipedia as largely pro-New Deal. Then we have this quote from William F. Buckley -- often described as a leader in the American conservative movement -- from 1957 in the National Review:

"The central question that emerges . . . is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes -- the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."

Of course, Buckley did change his views as did most other Jim Crow supporters and sympathizers in the U.S. over time.
9.12.2009 8:39am
Voolfie (mail) (www):
If you want to get into fight - quick, just remind certain individuals that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a card carrying Republican. Now why would he do that if they were so against civil rights?
9.12.2009 8:52am
/:
Now why would he do that if they were so against civil rights?

Because he didn't know what was good for him?
9.12.2009 9:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
voolfie:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a card carrying Republican


Prove it. According to those wacky folks at Fox News, "there was no documentation or voting record to prove" this. And "he never officially endorsed a party or candidate."

Also:

The King Center in Atlanta says there is no proof that King was ever a Republican. …

Lowery [who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with King] said there is no reason anyone would think King was a Republican. He said King most certainly voted for President John F. Kennedy, and the only time he openly talked about politics was when he criticized Republican Barry Goldwater during the 1964 presidential campaign.

"That was not the Martin I know, and I don't think they can substantiate that by any shape, form or fashion. It's purely propaganda and poppycock," Lowery said. "Even if he was, he would have nothing to do with what the Republican Party stands for today. Do they think Martin would support George W. Bush and the war in Iraq?"

In "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.," which was published after his death from his written material and records, King called the Republican national convention that nominated Goldwater a "frenzied wedding ... of the KKK and the radical right."

"The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction and extremism," King said in the book.

In a statement released through the King Center, Martin Luther King III said, "It is disingenuous to imply that my father was a Republican. He never endorsed any presidential candidate, and there is certainly no evidence that he ever even voted for a Republican. It is even more outrageous to suggest that he would support the Republican Party of today, which has spent so much time and effort trying to suppress African-American votes in Florida and many other states."


Also:

The younger King [MLK] voted for Kennedy, and for Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson four years later. In that election, King publicly denounced the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater.


MLK's autobiography can be searched and browsed at Amazon. See p. 247, where he says "the Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction and extremism," and then goes on to condemn Goldwater in harsh terms ("while not himself a racist, Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist"). This is exactly the kind of rhetoric we would expect from "a card carrying Republican," right?

So please show your proof.
9.12.2009 9:35am
Moneyrunner43 (www):
It's always entertaining to imagine what our political opponents would have done half a century ago. It gives us an opportunity to imagine them doing all sorts of things of which we disapprove -- and it's free. Is your opponent Conservative? Accuse him of wanting to wear a hood with the Klan.

A Liberal? Accuse him of being a Stalinist or approving a Pol Pot as several prominent Liberal writers were. No need to invent a time machine for that one.

But we can see where the Liberal community is today when they kill anti-abortion demonstrators and threaten to bomb the Tea Party. No need for imagination, just read the news.
9.12.2009 10:01am
Moneyrunner43 (www):
Correction: approving "of" Pol Pot. ... and denying the reality of the killing fields. Men who continued to be honored by the Liberal community even after the truth could not be denied.
9.12.2009 10:07am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
approving a Pol Pot


Thanks goodness prominent Republicans are never found "approving" a dictator.

Men who continued to be honored by the Liberal community even after the truth could not be denied.


At least that particular handshaker no longer "continued to be honored" by his political community.
9.12.2009 10:27am
Paul A'Barge (mail):
Maybe you've got around to it by now, but perhaps you should school this mutt on the identities of the politicians who fought most strenuously against civil rights in those days .... wait for it ... almost here ... here it is ... Democrats. Southern Democrats. Not Republicans. Democrats.

This kind of nonsense from this mutt is just beyond noxious. It's viral bullshit.
9.12.2009 11:13am
Paul A'Barge (mail):
Now, this is just cool as winter snot: You never provide a link to this mutt's essay.

How cool is that, and good on you mate for doing that.
9.12.2009 11:14am
davod (mail):
It was the Bush-Dukakis race. Yes, but a Democrat used it against Dukakis first.
9.12.2009 11:39am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perhaps you should school this mutt on the identities of the politicians who fought most strenuously against civil rights in those days .... wait for it ... almost here ... here it is ... Democrats. Southern Democrats. Not Republicans.


Perhaps you should look at the actual vote on the actual CRA. As was helpfully pointed out here, southern Republicans opposed it. So the issue wasn't D vs R, it was North vs. South.
9.12.2009 11:44am
ArthurKirkland:

Last time I checked, Christians believe that everyone was created in the image of their Creator and that all lives are precious.

American adventures in Iraq, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and many other suggest that while some self-proclaimed Christians may mouth the words, or sit in the pews as someone else mouths them, they are not fanatics about the 'all lives are precious' point. I suspect those in other countries can provide similar examples.

I recommend trying that line out down at the VFW Hall. I'm sure it'll bring down the house.


It is not clear to me in which respect you are defaming VFW members.

Are you claiming they are dumb enough to believe that Christians are more moral than other people (with respect to treating 'every life as precious,' in particular), or that they are so morally bankrupt that they are fans of the United States' support of death squads in Central and South America?

Either way, I think more of VFW members than you do.
9.12.2009 4:28pm
ArthurKirkland:

The Republicans are for personal liberty. They've always been for personal liberty.


I wish to purchase an option for the story of your escape from the isolation chamber in which were were trapped during the period 2003-2008.

Actually, you must have been in a soundproof chamber for longer than that, if you are unaware of the Republicans' longstanding anti-liberty record on drug laws (including the paraphernalia laws that led a Republican Department of Justice to hunt down and imprison Tommy Chong for selling a water pipe), abortion gag laws, gambling laws (unless there were enough cash in it to interest Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Republican lawmakers, of course), dirty movies and sexual aids, flag-burning, and plenty of other issues.
9.12.2009 4:36pm
/:
The act of someone claiming a label discredits any other claimants' speech or acts against said act.
9.12.2009 8:07pm
David Crisp (mail) (www):
A number of commenters have pointed out that it doesn't make much sense to view this issue along Democratic-Republican lines or even liberal-conservative lines. But not many have dealt with what Wise actually said: that not one prominent conservative spokesperson of the time stood against segregation.

The trick is to figure out who would have counted as a conservative spokesperson then. I wouldn't count Dirksen, although I think he was a fine fellow, because he wasn't conservative enough. Or Ashbrook, who was pretty obscure even then. Most of the others named in the initial post are unknown to me, so I am dubious about their prominence.

So who would count? Buckley, I suppose, and Goldwater and perhaps Bush Sr. -- all opposed the Civil Rights bill. Who is left that I have missed? No doubt someone will weigh in.

For what it's worth, if there were any way to settle the wager, I would bet money that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher and Michael Savage would have stood with the segregationists. Beck? I don't know. Too crazy to call.
9.12.2009 8:26pm
Dennis Todd (mail):
The national socialist of Germany were very much left wing. While there was great opposition to international socialism (communism), they can hardly be compared to the right in the US which has been traditionally opposed to a powerful central state. That fact alone renders comparisons in these comments to the right moot, never mind all the collectivist themes in the fascist programme.
9.13.2009 12:23am
Angus:
Except that the right has generally not been opposed to a powerful central state. They just disagree over what that powerful central state should be doing. Find me all the conservatives (not the libertarians) who believe, as our founding fathers did, that a large standing military is an existential threat to our freedoms and therefore wants to slash military spending.
9.13.2009 12:38am
Dennis Todd (mail):
Angus,

Most right wingers would love to live in a world where our standing army could be reduced and mostly called up vis. Natinal Guard.

But we don't live in a world where that is possible. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle. Islamic fascism poses a clear and present danger.

What's more, we have been made to live with the government we were born under. Conservatives opposed medicare because it would be too costly and once seniors were dependent, too impossible to get rid of. It looks like it will now have to suffer bankruptcy to be reduced. Heck, it looks like that is the only way the US state will EVER shrink! And I have my doubts even that will do the trick.
9.13.2009 12:58am
Leo Marvin (mail):
Dennis,

And most left wingers would love to live in a world where there was no need for food stamps, because pizza grew on trees, or Medicaire, because our only ailment was the headache of coming up with names for all the free ponies and unicorns. But that's not the world we live in either. It just so happens that in the world we do live in, right wingers are at least as enamored of authoritarian, often autocratic government as left wingers are.

Just out of curiosity, left wing or right?

- Franco

- Marcos

- Somoza
9.13.2009 3:37am
Robin Goodfellow (mail):
I don't think people appreciate just how dangerous this brand of rhetoric is. All the more dangerous because it is oh so common. I've seen the results of years and years of just this sort of rhetoric working its magic on the minds of America's leftists. It generates a blind hatred of conservatives and republicans. "Not a single one", that's a bold thing to say about a giant group of people, all the more bold because it flies in the face of known history. But this bold untruth is swallowed up, unchecked and unremarked, by so many leftists of today because it is part of the narrative, part of what they want to believe.

There is a deep and growing belief among leftists that it is "ok" to be prejudice against republicans and conservatives, because they deserve it. Folks who would challenge any statistic that painted racial minorities in a negative light (regardless of the truthfulness of it) will eagerly consume absurd propaganda about conservatives or christians.

This is a dangerous path, a path toward a kind of institutionalized prejudice on a giant scale. It is unhealthy for our political process, for our communities, and for our nation. I can only hope that we snap out of it before it gets any worse.
9.13.2009 6:56am
Randy R. (mail):
....and in 30 years or so, these conservatives will be arguing that they supported gay rights all along, and it was the evil liberals who opposed them.
9.13.2009 12:30pm
philfl63 (mail):
Knowing the results of the Civil Rights Act regards present day America, they should have struck it down.
9.13.2009 9:40pm
Leo Marvin (mail):
philfl63:

Knowing the results of the Civil Rights Act regards present day America, they should have struck it down.

What are your political leanings?
9.13.2009 10:49pm
Rebelyell:
Historically the most racist politicians have been "liberal" or progressive in their politics. LeRoy Percy was Mississippi's last senator selected by the legislature. When he ran for popular election he publicly supported decent treatment and education for blacks. His opponent was James K. Vardaman, who of couse won handily.

Vandaman was a virulent racist. After Booker T. Washington had dined with President Theodore Roosevelt, Vardaman said the White House was "so saturated with the odor of the ni**er that the rats have taken refuge in the stable." Referring to the appearance of Booker T. Washington in politics, he said: "I am just as much opposed to Booker T. Washington as a voter as I am to the coconut-headed, chocolate-colored typical little coon who blacks my shoes every morning."

Yet a website points out that as to all other matters, Vardaman was progressive: Except for the ugly shadow of racism, Vardaman was a revolutionary with a very progressive agenda that he aggressively pursued. In fact, his political enemies once criticized him as being a "Bolshevik." Foremost, JKV reformed a barbaric and corrupt State prison system in Mississippi. Vardaman sought to reform education in many ways including a unified textbook commission and one single college board instead of one for each university. By all accounts Senator Vardaman was the only one of the Mississippi's Congressional delegation to advocate and vote for woman suffrage. Vardaman was one of the few southern senators to vote for legislation to end child labor. Furthermore, contrary to what some people might think, the Senator condemned anti-semitism.

Mississippi's Theodore Bilbo was even more racist than Vardaman, and always wore a red neck tie to show solidarity with the "redneck" of Mississippi. In 1934 he successfully ran for U.S. Senate campaigning against: "farmer murderers", "poor-folks haters", "shooters of widows and orphans", "international well-poisoners", "charity hospital destroyers", "spitters on our heroic veterans", "rich enemies of our public schools", "private bankers 'who ought to come out in the open and let folks see what they're doing'", "European debt cancelers", "unemployment makers", pacifists, Communists, munitions manufacturers, and "skunks who steal Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms". Truly a man of the people!

My uncle heard Bilbo speak in favor of bricking the state's highways -- he was in the pocket of the brick industry: "We'll lay those brick, and they'll last us for 40 years. Then we'll turn them over, and they'll last for 40 more. Then we'll turn them up on their ends, and they'll last by God forever!"

People forget that George Wallace was a liberal. After his first defeat running for governor, where he barely mentioned the race issue while his opponent hammered it home, he declared, "I'll never be out-ni**ered again." He wasn't.

A family friend was in the Mississippi Senate in the 1950s. He was voted out because he was a dangerous "liberal." Yet the fact is that he was a conservative, opposed to affirmative action and racial quotas. He just believed that blacks should be treated decently, deserved the vote, and that citizens should obey the mandates of the Supreme Court. There were plenty of other people just like him -- conservatives who supported equal rights for blacks but didn't support quotas or effective quotas through affirmative action.

All of this is really about electoral politics. Liberals have found that by granting special privliges to minorities they can garner the lion's share of these votes, even though this burdens the economy with tremendous costs. But minorities are always pressing for more, and liberals are always trying to keep them happy. When they go too far, they alienate enough of the rest of the populace that the pendulum swings the other way. And so is born the notion that conservatives are against equal treatment for minorities, when actually conservatives tend to be against economically destructive special priviliges for any group.
9.14.2009 9:04am
Randy R. (mail):
Wow -- I didn't know that the protesters at the lunch counters, and the policemen with water cannons were all evil liberals! Thanks for the revisionism, rebelyell. See -- if we had just let the good conservatives alone, they would have freed the slaves all by themselves and granted equal rights to blacks way back in the 19th century.
9.14.2009 1:24pm

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