Skip to main content

View Diary: LBJ on Memorial Day, 50 years ago (20 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  And yet he was still compromising 15 months... (15+ / 0-)

    ...later when the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party contested the seating of the official (but illegally chosen) all-white delegation at the Democratic National Convention in 1964. The MFDP had an inclusive approach and had chosen 64 delegates (including four whites) to go to the convention. The official Mississippi Democrats had chosen its segregationist delegates in violation of party rules and federal law. And they had no intention of backing Johnson.

    Nonetheless, LBJ did not stand up for the MFDP, figuring that other Southern states delegates might leave the party if the "uppity" MFDP was seated in the official delegation's place. So he developed a "compromise"—two non-voting at-large seats for the MFDP. Its delegation refused to go along.

    Aaron Henry, one of the MFDP leaders, said:

    "Now, Lyndon made the typical white man's mistake: Not only did he say, 'You've got two votes,' which was too little, but he told us to whom the two votes would go. He'd give me one and Ed King one; that would satisfy. But, you see, he didn't realize that sixty-four of us came up from Mississippi on a Greyhound bus, eating cheese and crackers and bologna all the way there; we didn't have no money. Suffering the same way. We got to Atlantic City; we put up in a little hotel, three or four of us in a bed, four or five of us on the floor. You know, we suffered a common kind of experience, the whole thing. But now, what kind of fool am I, or what kind of fool would Ed have been, to accept gratuities for ourselves? You say, Ed and Aaron can get in but the other sixty-two can't. This is typical white man picking black folks' leaders, and that day is just gone."

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat May 25, 2013 at 09:50:43 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  He was filled with flaws, both personally and (10+ / 0-)

      politically.  The war was an enormous mistake and failure of judgment.

      Yet, looking at the leadership of that time, he did seem to thread his way through the political minefield and get the Civil Rights Act, Medicare and other parts of his agenda enacted.

      He certainly wasn't perfect and far from a saint. But compared to the other leadership, perhaps only Bobby Kennedy would have done as much as Johnson as president.

      Climbing out of the environment in which you are raised into a new world is complicated.  I'm not trying to make excuses for him. It's obvious that he had faulty judgment in many areas, but he did push that agenda through. And many would not have had the courage, willpower or determination to do what he did.

      I wonder what today would be like if a president would have looked at Occupy Wall Street and decided, "This is a moral imperative. Banks, the new trusts and monopolists of today, are running roughshod over our citizens. I'm going to do whatever is necessary to push through real reform that will reassemble this sector of the economy in a meaningful way."

      What would a president look like today who stood up and worked to disassemble the latent and destructive powers that be within our nation?  

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sat May 25, 2013 at 10:04:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site