Civil Rights Hero Lyndon Johnson Was Racist And Used The N-Word
The Civil Rights Act was called the “N****r Bill” by your boy LBJ.
According to MSNBC:
Lyndon Johnson said the word “n**ger” a lot. In Senate cloakrooms and staff meetings, Johnson was practically a connoisseur of the word. According to Johnson biographer Robert Caro, Johnson would calibrate his pronunciations by region, using “nigra” with some southern legislators and “negra” with others. Discussing civil rights legislation with men like Mississippi Democrat James Eastland, who committed most of his life to defending white supremacy, he’d simply call it “the n**ger bill.”
Then in 1957, Johnson would help get the “n**ger bill” passed, known to most as the Civil Rights Act of 1957. With the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the segregationists would go to their graves knowing the cause they’d given their lives to had been betrayed, Frank Underwood style, by a man they believed to be one of their own. When Caro asked segregationist Georgia Democrat Herman Talmadge how he felt when Johnson, signing the Civil Rights Act, said ”we shall overcome,” Talmadge said “sick.”
The Civil Rights Act made it possible for Johnson to smash Jim Crow. The Voting Rights Act made the U.S. government accountable to its black citizens and a true democracy for the first time. Johnson lifted racist immigration restrictions designed to preserve a white majority – and by extension white supremacy. He forced FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, then more concerned with “communists” and civil rights activists, to turn his attention to crushing the Ku Klux Klan. Though the Fair Housing Act never fulfilled its promise to end residential segregation, it was another part of a massive effort to live up to the ideals America’s founders only halfheartedly believed in – a record surpassed only by Abraham Lincoln.
So it would be tempting, on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, as Johnson is being celebrated by no less than four living presidents, to dismiss Johnson’s racism as mere code-switching – a clever ploy from an uncompromising racial egalitarian whose idealism was matched only by his political ruthlessness. Nor was it the kind of immature, frat-boy racism that Johnson eventually jettisoned. Even as president, Johnson’s interpersonal relationships with blacks were marred by his prejudice. As longtime Jet correspondent Simeon Booker wrote in his memoirShocks the Conscience, early in his presidency, Johnson once lectured Booker after he authored a critical article for Jet Magazine, telling Booker he should “thank” Johnson for all he’d done for black people. In Flawed Giant, Johnson biographer Robert Dallek writes that Johnson explained his decision to nominate Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court rather than a less famous black judge by saying, “when I appoint a n**ger to the bench, I want everybody to know he’s a n**ger.”
According to Caro, Robert Parker, Johnson’s sometime chauffer, described in his memoir Capitol Hill in Black and White a moment when Johnson asked Parker whether he’d prefer to be referred to by his name rather than “boy,” “n**ger” or “chief.” When Parker said he would, Johnson grew angry and said, “As long as you are black, and you’re gonna be black till the day you die, no one’s gonna call you by your goddamn name. So no matter what you are called, n**ger, you just let it roll off your back like water, and you’ll make it. Just pretend you’re a goddamn piece of furniture.” But we shouldn’t forget Johnson’s racism, either. After Johnson’s death, Parker would reflect on the Johnson who championed the landmark civil rights bills that formally ended American apartheid, and write, “I loved that Lyndon Johnson.” Then he remembered the president who called him a n**ger, and he wrote, “I hated that Lyndon Johnson.”
Read the article in its entirety HERE.
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