The Democratic Party was the party of slavery, secession, and segregation, of “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman and the KKK. “Bull” Connor, who turned the dogs loose on black demonstrators in Birmingham, was the Democratic National Committeeman from Alabama.
In 1956, as vice president, Nixon went to Harlem to declare, “America can’t afford the cost of segregation.” The following year, Nixon got a personal letter from Dr. King thanking him for helping to persuade the Senate to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Nixon supported the civil rights acts of 1964, 1965, and 1968.
In the 1966 campaign, as related in my new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority,” out July 8, Nixon blasted Dixiecrats’ “seeking to squeeze the last ounces of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice.”
Nixon called out segregationist candidates in ’66 and called on LBJ, Hubert Humphrey, and Bobby Kennedy to join him in repudiating them. None did. Hubert, an arm around Lester Maddox, called him a “good Democrat.” And so were they all — good Democrats.
While Adlai chose Sparkman, Nixon chose Spiro Agnew, the first governor south of the Mason Dixon Line to enact an open-housing law.
In Nixon’s presidency, the civil rights enforcement budget rose 800 percent. Record numbers of blacks were appointed to federal office. An Office of Minority Business Enterprise was created. SBA loans to minorities soared 1,000 percent. Aid to black colleges doubled.
Nixon won the South not because he agreed with them on civil rights — he never did — but because he shared the patriotic values of the South and its antipathy to liberal hypocrisy.
When Johnson left office, 10 percent of Southern schools were desegregated. When Nixon left, the figure was 70 percent.
Richard Nixon desegregated the Southern schools, something you won’t learn in today’s public schools.
For history is a pack of lies agreed upon.
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