Princeton Historian Schools ‘National Review’ Writer on Civil Rights History
A Princeton historian taught a writer from conservative “National Review” a lesson Sunday — on Twitter.
Historian Kevin M. Kruse responded to a tweet from “Review” writer Kevin D. Williamson about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Here is the exchange from Storify:
The GOP was so mad that the GOP had passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that it elected Nixon, who supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
There’s so much wrong here I don’t even know where to begin. https://t.co/11gJTOXfjj
First off, let’s start with the most obvious: CRA advanced by two Democratic presidents, led through both chambers by Democratic leaders. /1
The congressional GOP didn’t pass it. Only a third of the yes votes in Senate came from GOP, less than half of yes votes in the House. /2
And let’s not forget, the GOP presidential candidate that year, Barry Goldwater, voted against it and took the Deep South away from Dems. /3
Vote on the Civil Rights Act & 1964 pres race represented a sea change in how voters understood the two parties’ stances on civil rights. /4
In 1962, polls asking which party “more likely to see to it that Negroes get fair treatment in jobs & housing” had even split in opinion. /5
But in 1964, when polls asked the exact same question, 60 percent said Democrats were more pro-CR. Only 7 percent said Republicans. /6
Which party more likely to support school integration? 56 percent pointed to the Democrats while 7 percent did so for the Republicans. /7
Yes, Nixon made favorable comments about the CRA. And then spent the next several years furiously backtracking to win the GOP nom. /8
Strom Thurmond, who bolted the Dems over CRA to join the GOP, was absolutely pivotal in getting Nixon the Republican nomination in 1968. /9
He got Nixon the nomination by rallying votes of southern delegations. How? By specifically promising them he’d go easy on civil rights. /10
Nixon’s running mate was Spiro Agnew, southern governor who gained fame blaming black ministers for the Baltimore riots of ‘68. /11
And how did the 1968 election turn out? /11 pic.twitter.com/F4Xbo4fSM5
And if GOP was so proud of its small role passing the CRA, why was it left completely out of the 1968 platform? http://t.co/0zbHWYS93n /12
Why was Nixon’s sole reference to civil rights in his acceptance speech actually a call for law and order? /13 pic.twitter.com/7uNq9XjRQY
Also, how did black Republicans like Jackie Robinson react to Nixon-Agnew? /14 pic.twitter.com/VzxLNe9RHt