Monday, November 12, 2007

What Can A Poor Boy Do Except To Sing For A Rock N Roll Band?

"Now Nixon was realigning the party. 'States' rights' and 'law and order,' two thinly veiled appeals to racism, were mainstays of his campaign. States' rights, from the time of Calhoun, meant not letting the federal government interfere with the denial of black rights in southern states. 'Law and order' had become a big issue because it meant using Daley-type police tactics against not only antiwar demonstrators, but black rioters as well." -- Mark Kurlansky (2004). 1968: The Year That Rocked The World, Ballantine Books, p. 361
"Shirley Chisholm was elected the first black woman member of the House. Blacks gained seventy offices in the South, including the first black legislators in the twentieth century in Florida and North Carolina and three additional seats in Georgia. But Nixon won a clear majority of southern white votes. The strategy that undid Abe Fortas also elected Nixon, and it became the strategy of the Republican Party. The Republicans get the racist vote and the Democrats get the black vote, and it turns out in America there are more racist voters than black ones. No Democrat since John F. Kennedy has won a majority of white southern votes.

This is not to say that all white southern voters are racist, but it is clear what votes the Republicans pursue in the South. Every Republican candidate now talks of states' rights. In 1980 Ronald Reagan kicked off his presidental campaign in an obscure, backwater rural Mississippi town. The only thing this town was known for in the outside world was the 1964 murder of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner. But the Republican candidate never mentioned the martyred SNCC workers. What did he talk about in Philadelphia, Mississippi, to launch his campaign? States' rights." -- ibid. p. 365

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