As the Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox Entertainment) had correctly pointed out, a greater percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Democrats. Playing with percentages, especially with clear partisan bias, is a dangerous game. A complete and honest assessment of that “Yea” vote was provided, with important regional breakdowns, by The Guardian (August 28, 2013):

Democrats/Non-Confederate States
Senate – 45 of 46 (98%)
House – 144 of 152 (95%)

GOP/Non-Confederate States
Senate – 27 of 32 (84%)
House – 137 of 161 (85%)

Democrats/Confederate States
Senate – 1 of 21 (5%)
House – 8 of 91 (9%)

GOP/Confederate States
Senate – 0 of 1 (0%)
House – 0 of 11 (0%)

A lengthy filibuster by Southern Democrats, led by Strom Thurmond (SC) and Richard Russell (GA), ultimately failed. This transformative legislation was then passed and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Soon after, Strom Thurmond changed his party affiliation to Republican. He served in the U.S. Senate for another 38 years. Richard Russell remained in opposition to all civil rights and voting rights legislation until his death in 1971.

Unfortunately, their torch has been picked up by today’s Republican Party. They have gerrymandered Blacks and Hispanics out of any chance of fair representation. They have proposed restrictive voting laws in virtually every state with a clear intent of suppressing the minority vote. They have even proposed laws which give GOP state legislatures the power to overturn results of any election in which their candidate loses. This has nothing to do with their alleged desire for “election integrity.” It’s simply a transparent power grab to determine not only who votes, but who counts the votes. The GOP claims to be the party of Abraham Lincoln, but this reality tells a very different story.


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