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November 29, 2004

Are conservatives the enemy?

"The idea that racial civil rights programs were the sole province of liberal Democrats is an urban legend promoted by Democrats to keep African - Americans voting for them. A cursory examination of history will reveal that civil rights legislation was implemented, proposed and/or endorsed by Republicans. It was during the Eisenhower presidency that the 1957 Civil Rights Act was passed. Eisenhower's Attorney General, Herbert Brownell, crafted the legislation in March 1956. Brownell wanted a new division within the federal Justice Department to monitor civil rights abuses. It was because of Brownell that the Kennedy administration was able to intervene on behalf of civil rights activists. Ironically, some Democrats criticized Eisenhower for pandering to the black vote. It was Eisenhower who desegregated public facilities in DC during his first term -Truman did not do it. It was Eisenhower who enforced school the Supreme Court school desegregation order in 1957. Fifty years earlier it was a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, who invited the African-American leader Booker T. Washington to the White House. Contrast this to the Democrat segregationist President Woodrow Wilson. Republican Senator Jacob Javitz once proposed an amendment to a mental health bill (S.1576) to deny funds to states with segregated mental health facilities. The Democrats denied the amendment. It was Richard Nixon who implemented affirmative action".

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