The iconoclasm continues… “offensive” monuments to American Indians will fall next
Duke University symposium addresses monument removal… panels conclude monuments are not the problems we face today
Vandalism of Confederate monuments continues… North Carolina monument desecrated for second time this year
Katie Couric plans documentary about Confederate monument debate… a fair and balanced approach is not in the offering
Profile in Courage Award goes to Mayor of New Orleans for tearing down monuments… Landrieu is so very shrewd in the spotlight
James Madison Preparatory School in Tempe, Arizona Presents:
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.”
“And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” April 3, 1968
LBJ worked closely with civil rights leaders… despite attempts of late to portray him as a vile racist. The Johnson treatment always started with a cause Johnson cared deeply about. More than Kennedy imagined, his successor pressed for equal rights- forcing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in less than 100 days.
Consulting with MLK in 1964
Johnson always kept his house in order… Arguably the most powerful and effective Majority leader in the history of the US Senate, no one rallied the troops like LBJ.
Schooling the Jr. Senator from Massachusetts in 1957
Twisting arms was sport to Johnson… and he never shied away from confrontation. His battles with conservative Southern Democrats were some of the nastiest in the political records- LBJ usually got his way….
Crushing civil rights opponent Richard Russell of Georgia.
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The Lincoln administration arrested 14,401 people… during the Civil War. Most were never indicted and denied a speedy trial. Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus in September of 1861 allowed the detentions to happen. Current Lincoln scholarship trends hold that Lincoln abused civil liberties and that his historical legacy must be drawn into question. A closer examination of the statistics shows that modern researchers are using them merely for shock value and book sales. Compared to other Presidents using the same powers- Lincoln’s actions are clearly justified.
John Merryman was not an innocent victim… of government tyranny as portrayed by Chief Justice Roger Taney. Merryman led a detachment of Maryland militiamen in armed resistance to troops in Federal service. Taney was a partisan Democrat staunchly opposed to Lincoln and supportive of secessionist doctrine. Ex parte Merryman is not legal precedent at all and cannot be cited as such- it is a political document designed to hinder Lincoln’s attempts to protect Washington and preserve the Union. It was issued by Taney alone- scholars often make the mistake of assuming that the Supreme Court concurred with the ruling.
Lincoln faced no mass opposition to these detentions… there were no mass protests, nor mob violence. A closer look into the statistics shows that well over 80% of those arrested were:
- from the Confederacy
- Agitators in border states
- Foreign agents supporting the enemy
- Perpetrators of actual crimes against the Government
Remember Scott vs. Sanford? Didn’t think so.
Far from indiscriminate arrests, the detentions were almost always a direct result of an attributable illegal act. Rose Greenhow WAS a spy and did pass secrets to the enemy. Clement Vallandigham routinely denounced Lincoln on the floor of the House of Representatives and was never arrested for it- but when he publicly incited recruits to desert- he committed sedition and was arrested.
Abraham Lincoln had to sneak through… the city of Baltimore on the road to his inauguration. His election had stirred a hornet’s nest in that town as violence and secession were proving to be inseparable. Plots were discovered to kill Lincoln as he passed through the city- so much for the rule of law, republican elections, and the will of the people. Lincoln would effectively deconstruct the illogical foundation of secession in his inaugural address, the violent streets of Baltimore served as living proof of its absurdity.
A violent, pro-secession mob shed first blood… in the American Civil War. Massachusetts militiamen were assaulted on the streets of Baltimore while traveling to Washington DC. Lincoln used the provocation to suspend habeas corpus in Maryland. The city was placed under martial law and the mayor, members of the town council, and eventually one third of the state legislature were arrested. All involved, at least in part, played a role in inciting the violence. Lincoln had to enforce ALL the laws, in ALL states- Maryland wanted special treatment, in a sense to be ABOVE the Union.
In April of 1864 Lincoln returned… to Baltimore with a message. The city was still hostile, but pacified under Lincoln’s direction. He reminded the people there that liberty was not a word they owned- it had a bigger, more profound meaning. He told them, “The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty…” Self interest and narrow-minded politics influenced the violence in Baltimore- and the Civil War. Lincoln was the shepherd guiding the country toward the truth.
Eisenhower lacked the rhetorical flourishes of Jack Kennedy… but when it came to defending Civil Rights in America, Ike accomplished far more than his successor. Popular history has embraced Kennedy as a Civil Rights champion and largely ignored the record of Eisenhower. This is largely due to the martyrdom bestowed on Kennedy and Ike’s measured responses to crisis.
Signing the Civil Rights Act of 1957
The historical record shows Eisenhower to have the strongest Civil Rights record… since Reconstruction. But, his incremental actions and tempered statements have made it easy for Progressive historians to disregard him as just another Republican. We cannot overlook Eisenhower’s contribution to the advancement of Civil Rights in America:
Enforcing the Law
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Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964…. the most significant piece of civil rights legislation in our history. No President in the 20th century more eloquently expressed the fight for civil rights as Johnson did in 1965,
“There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. And we are met here tonight as Americans—not as Democrats or Republicans—we are met here as Americans to solve that problem.”
A noble gesture
Johnson also signed the Voting Rights Act… in 1965. Johnson’s administration created the Department of Housing and Urban Development to oversee equality in public housing and all his Great Society programs were color blind. He appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967. Johnson acted where his predecessors had only given lip service to the issue of civil rights. Yet, his legacy is in doubt today, largely due to his off-color language and perceived personal prejudice.
“I will have your support.”
Conservatives cite Johnson’s racial feelings... as proof that Democrats have never cared about minorities; that the GOP remains the party of Lincoln, the true civil rights champion. Johnson’s civil rights record is just another conspiracy to dupe the ignorant masses into voting Democratic. Reconciling personal feelings with our public actions has never been an easy task. The 24 hour news cycle is driven by a culture dependent on sound bytes as the only acceptable measure of public figures. Perhaps it’s time we start judging a person’s actions rather than snippets of their personal conversations…?