President Johnson signed the bill into law on July 2, 1964
For President Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964, was a no-brainer: the date was a Thursday, just as it is this year, and the symbolism of marking the hard-fought victory just before Independence Day would be a shame to waste.
But, as TIME noted in its original 1964 coverage of the landmark legislation, the Fourth of July wasn’t the only significant date in play. The date on which the Senate passed the bill was June 19, 1964—precisely one year after “President John Kennedy sent to Congress a civil rights bill, [and] urged its speedy passage ‘not merely for reasons of economic efficiency, world diplomacy or domestic tranquility, but above all because it is right.’” Though Kennedy had been assassinated the previous fall, the law he had advocated for had actually grown in strength and scope.
After the House also passed the bill and it went on to the President, the season of its signing—and not just the calendar date—would also prove significant.
The bill included many obviously important provisions affecting matters of great weight, like voting rights and equal employment. But, as TIME pointed out, it would take months to see the voting rules take effect, and the labor matters included a period during which businesses could adjust. On the other hand, one of the parts of the law—a part that may seem today to be far less important—was, as TIME put it, “effective immediately, and likely to cause the fastest fireworks.”
The Confederate flag is under fire across the South and across the nation, so it’s only natural the debate would find its way here to Mississippi. This state has the unfortunate distinction of being the only one to have the Confederate Flag on its state flag as seen in the image above.
This creates two major problems. Firstly, when it comes to Mississippi, we can’t just take it down. We are dealing with a major symbol of our state. Symbols such as these usually don’t change quickly.
We can’t just ‘take it down’ A statewide vote to change the flag was previously held in 2001 and voters decided to keep the current confederate version of the flag by an almost 2-1 margin. Some argue that’s because the proposed alternative was not a very good design, but blaming the outcome solely on that ignores well over 100 years of racially charged history in Mississippi.
It was Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn who ignited the current debate by stating:
“We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us, As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”
It should be noted that, Gunn was the FIRST Republican elected official in the history of Mississippi to make such a statement about the Flag.
The response to Gunn’s comments was actually intriguing. First, from MS Governor Phil Bryant:
I don’t think that we need to go about trying to supersede the will of the people. The discussion was certainly not (unintelligible), but their vote was taken, it was on the ballot, and I think across the state of Mississippi, a fairly strong vote to keep it.
and from Lt. Governor Tate Reeves:
What happened in Charleston is simply pure irrational evil. There is no other description for this monster’s actions. He is an individual that has allowed his mind and soul to be horribly twisted and disfigured by irrational hate. No symbol or flag or website or book or movie made him evil - he was evil on his own.
Now if you know the politics of these two men (deep Republican), then the responses come as no surprise, but, despite what you may be thinking, these views are NOT shared by the entire Mississippi GOP. Here’s a statement from Republican rep Brad Mayo:
I have always been a fan of using the Magnolia flag as our state’s flag. Our family has flown it for more than 20 years,” Mayo said. “It is historical, unique and has not been co-opted by those preaching hate and violence because of one’s skin color, religion or belief system. I believe returning to our state’s original state flag is in the best interest of Mississippi and Mississippians.
And a join statement from Republican Sen. David Parker and Democratic Sen. Derrick Simmons:
Last year the Mississippi legislature changed the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi to add ‘In God We Trust’ to that historic symbol of our state. It recognizes our very real and historic recognition of a God who created all men equal and whose divine providence has shaped America and Mississippi. We believe it is time to change another historic symbol of our state, because we recognize that many of our citizens feel it is hurtful and represents a time and perspective that did not respect equality.
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), is calling for the flag to be changed as well:
After reflection and prayer, I now believe our state flag should be put in a museum and replaced by one that is more unifying to all Mississippians.
Henry Barbour, nephew of former Republican Governor Haley Barbour, is also for change:
MS voted 2:1 to keep our state flag in 2001, but I'm 4 change. I understand why many will want to keep it - respect that. just disagree
Of course other Republicans are following the Reeves/Bryant approach. This is a response from MS Sen. Melanie Sojourner to Mitt Romney’s Facebook post regarding the flag:
Mitt Romney’s call to action regarding the flying of one of this nation’s historical flags is an example of what is wrong with society today,” the post said. “The flag was no more the ‘source’ of horrible acts against mankind than a gun is the ‘source’ of someone’s death. The ‘source’ is the hatred and evil that resides in the hearts of some who live and have lived among us.
Thus far there have been no reports of any MS Democrats coming out in favor of the flag, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are all against it.
Ok, so we’ve got Mississippi politicians covered, but what about the citizens? There too you’ll find a divisiveness and a variety of viewpoints. The following are culled from the commenting sections of major newspapers and TV stations for three of the larger metro areas in the state (Biloxi/Gulfport, Jackson, Hattiesburg):
IN FAVOR OF KEEPING
Leave our Flag alone! You think that our vote in 2001 passed because we weren’t as progressive back then as we are now? Wrong! I would bet if the vote happened again it would go the same way. Stop taking every bit of our history away. I don’t have a “White History Month” because that is offensive. I don’t have a NCAC (National Caucasion American Caucas. If you want to see some angry American’s try taking our state flag that we voted to keep away from us.
How are people so stupid that they think banning the flag of our great state and destroy confederate monuments will stop violence and racism it’s ridiculous I think people should do some research
Political correctness run amok, there was not one slave brought to america under that flag.But millions under the american flag, black confederates actually fought under that flag. The KKK also carry bibles and the american flag. I had two uncles who fought for our state against federal imperialism, one died at Franklin,TN and one made it home. They did not have any slaves they fought for our state, the battle flag is honoring them and their sacrifice.
I agree with Governor Bryant and Mr. Marc Allen in their statements of maintaining the “vote of the people” of our great state! This flag represents “history”; which can not be reversed and should not even be considered for “yet another change”!
If people cannot accept the MS flag they would not accept us if we all joined the NAACP and started celebrating Kwanzaa . There is nothing the people of MS can do about preconceived notions of our state. The people who want to fly the Magnolia flag are still celebrating the heritage of MS. I have no beef with anyone who loves MS as it is. But I do have issues with people who screwed up their home state so badly they had to leave. Now they want to change MS to be like the place they screwed up.
IN FAVOR OF CHANGE
The Confederate Flag is a symbol that represents white supremacy and its aspirations in the South. Symbols like this aren’t the crux of the matter, but they still matter, and we have to start somewhere. So let’s CHANGE IT NOW.
This is like watching a fever break. Actual leadership. Amazing!
“The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire.” - Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Wow - I thought I would never live to see this day! Finally maybe we as Mississippians can put this hated symbol to rest or at least relegate it to 150 year old battlefields and cultural museums.
Imagine that you lost your entire family in a horrible car accident, killed by a drunk driver. Then your next door neighbor buys your mangled car and puts it on blocks in the front yard where you have to look at it every day… This is how many Mississippians feel about the stars and bars. TIME TO TAKE IT DOWN. The South has already risen, and NOT because of that flag! TAKE IT DOWN!
“We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”
It’s not a stretch to say that Mississippi will probably be the LAST state to adopt certain modern policies and positions. This is one of the reddest states in the Union, if not the reddest. You’ll find the strongest Republican leaning district in the country right here in MS. The state has also voted Republican in every General election since 1964. Though to be fair, there have been a handful of Democratic governors during that same time period.
The old racial wounds of Mississippi are still wide open in many areas.
Shocking though it may be to some, there are still certain places in this state that black people just shouldn’t go.
Old racial wounds still openWhile it may seem like it’s high time for change here, that’s going to be a hard fought and likely uphill battle.
Unlike Texas, Mississippi has no large liberal leaning urban areas to offset the more conservative rural areas. That strongest Republican district mentioned above? You’ll find it right outside Biloxi, one of the most populous areas in the state. Other areas like Jackson, Starkville (where Mississippi State University is located) and Hattiesburg (another college town) are more diverse, but on an overall basis this state is still dominated by Conservatives.
Along with Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia, Mississippi is one of the strongest tried and true GOP bastions in the country.
But the battle isn’t hopeless. Alabama just took down their Confederate Flag today. That’s a move that shocked a lot of people even given the current anti-flag sentiment sweeping the country.
But what of Mississippi? 150 years later an old battle is raging again. Like before, there are entrenched combatants on both sides and like before it won’t be an easy fight to the finish.
A turning point is at hand for this state. We talk about history, we talk about symbols, We can respect history while at the same time turning away from those symbols that would be divisive.
The Confederate Flag should not be banished. It should stay in a museum just like other relics of the past who defined who we were then but do not and should not define us now.
Obama and the Democrats almost always blinked first. Ever since the ACA. Why? Corporate influence trumps them all? Flailing in the face of a divided GOP? WTF?
WASHINGTON — Less than a month after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) landed a new Senate leadership position, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and President Barack Obama risked a fight with her over government subsidies for risky Wall Street derivatives trading.
They won the near-term policy fight: After a bruising bicameral battle, the House of Representatives narrowly approved an annual spending bill that granted taxpayer support for the risky financial contracts at the heart of the 2008 meltdown.
But the bitter feud left Reid and Obama politically embarrassed, while consolidating a burgeoning populist movement within the Democratic Party that highlighted Warren’s influence in wings of the Capitol far removed from her perch on the Senate Banking Committee. It also forced Obama and a host of Democratic leaders into the crosshairs of a critique Warren typically levels at Republicans: that powerful people in Washington are rigging the system to help Wall Street at the expense of the middle class.
For six years the Democrats have been bent on committing political suicide. Or so it seems. President Barack Obama has been the point man for this bizarre self-immolation. That period represents the culmination of a long 30 year exercise in political obtuseness that has seen a steady estrangement from the party’s roots and a fatal mimicking of their Republican rivals. 2010 saw the first fruits of the project. Despite every plank in the traditional GOP program being exposed as rotten and the cause of national disasters at home and abroad, the Democrats under White House leadership contrived to allow the opposition to paint them as the problem. What should have been 1934 became 1994. Now the party has had both wrists slashed as it awaits morosely and impotently for the coup de grace in 2016.
Yet, party leaders react with surprise. They beat their breasts and gnash their teeth — how on earth could this have happened? Who could have predicted this debacle?
This bizarre tale knows no precedent in American political history. The explanation, though, is readily apparent for those willing to look at the record. The formula did not require anything as exotic as hemlock; rather the more prosaic ingredients were imbibed gradually. The most toxic have been these.
One, alienate your core constituencies. That includes reneging on a pledge to help the trade unions; launch a campaign of vilification against school teachers — from kindergarten through college; attack civil liberties protections; commit to reductions in Social Security and Medicare; stiff the environmentalists. In short, do to them in a calculated way what a Republican president would do instinctively.
With few exceptions, 2014 turned out to be the worst possible scenario for Democrats. The Senate is not only back in the hands of Republicans, but with a margin of seats over Democrats that only the most optimistic scenarios envisioned. Governorships that Democrats expected to wrest from Republicans proved out of their reach, but worse yet they stunningly lost gubernatorial races in solidly blue states.
Heading into Election Day, everybody seemed to agree that Republicans had the edge, but it could go either way. Democrats had a plausible if unlikely path to Senate victory, and a promised silver lining in red state governor races. But at midnight on Wednesday, that conventional wisdom looks almost laughably dated. Republicans won almost every meaningful race and, even in a few where they lost, they made Democrats sweat more than anyone expected.
Ousting Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and avoiding what would have been an unbelievable upset of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are about the only small morsels that Democrats can hold onto. Otherwise, the map couldn’t have been any worse for Democrats — or better for Republicans.
The political ad posted below is from the campaign of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. See if you can find what’s wrong with it:
Here’s my own list:
1. The 30-second ad states that “In the time it takes to watch this ad assault weapon with a high capacity ammunition clip can spray a room with over 350 deadly bullets.” The term “high capacity ammunition clip” (‘magazine’ should properly be used in place of ‘clip’ in this case) implies that the weapon in question is magazine fed. 350 rounds fired in 30 seconds with a magazine fed rifle is a practical impossibility. The largest magazines made for AR-15 type rifles are 120 round drums, and you would need three of them to fire that many rounds. 350 rounds in 30 seconds is a practical impossibility given the need to change magazines.
Thus the ad proposes a scenario that is as a practical matter impossible.
2. ‘Assault weapon’ is a term that is only applied in law to semi-automatic firearms (for the most part rifles). 350 rounds in 30 seconds is only possible with a full-automatic firearm. Fully automatic firearms are NOT legal for civilian ownership in Illinois and Bruce Rauner has never proposed changing that legal situation. What Rauner did do was oppose an ‘Assault Weapons ban’ proposed by Pat Quinn.
The ad therefore faults Rauner for opposing a ban on a class of firearm that are NOT capable of putting out the rate of fire its attributes to them. The conflation of semi-auto ‘Assault Weapons’ with full-auto ‘Assault Rifles’ has been called out too many times (including here on LGF) for those making said conflation in a campaign ad to be given the benefit of the doubt. One can only conclude the conflation is an excercise in deliberate dishonesty.
3. The ad states that ‘Assault Weapons’ have only one purpose: To kill people.” Given the use of many rifles and shotguns that are called ‘Assault Weapons’ in target shooting and hunting, this contention is clearly false and can only be considered a flat-out lie.
4. While Chicago has a far-too-high murder rate (which the ad hints at when it says “lives are being lost”), the vast majority of such murders involving guns are committed with handguns. ‘Assault Weapons’ are very rarely used in crimes in this state. The ad implies otherwise and is therefore guilty of dishonesty by omission.
Regardless of what you think of guns or Republicans, dishonest ads like this one poison American politics. Pat Quinn should be ashamed of the lies told on his behalf.
Comments are welcome but no “What Republicans do is worse.” stuff. This kind of severe dishonesty cannot be justified by the bad actions of others.
Here is an updated version of something I wrote at the Times of Israel last year…. I think it is relevant now given the strong strain of isolationist thinking that infects both the Hard Left and the Libertarian Hard Right (think Greenwald, Snowden etc….). So… I would like to put this out there in a moderate forum to an American audience. Here goes:
There is a debate around the spreading wave of Isolationism which is manifested in an unholy alliance between the Hard Left (which ultimately seeks to end the United States) to the Hard Right (which ultimately seeks to create “Fortress America”). Both of these groups have joined forces to strike against those interests which would weaken their “end game” wishes (for the Left, a world where the U.S. if it exists at all, is hobbled and severely weakened and for the Right, where the U.S. exists alone as an island amidst the chaos of an ever confusing and dangerous world).
The world is more interconnected than ever before.We hear that the world is getting to be a “much smaller place”. This is very true. Now, people can talk face to face with those on the other side of the globe from the comfort of their living rooms. Ideas can be transmitted throughout the internet, and data can be shared no matter where we are. We can physically see one another and one anothers environs in a way that has never been possible before.
Because of this, the world is more interconnected than ever before. Things that happen thousands of miles away do affect us. Just look at the rate of environmental damage caused by over use of resources and the concurrent problems that this causes. We are no longer able to isolate ourselves from anyone and we have to come up with global solutions to poverty, the environment, and a host of other problems IF we are too maintain both reasonable standards of living and reasonable National goals.
I do think that National interests can survive and thrive in an ever increasingly globalized world (in fact I think it is imperative that they do). Though that seems counter intuitive to the theory that we need one world government. We don’t. While the world needs to act in a more coordinated fashion regarding some of our issues (the environment, poverty, and so forth) there is no way right now that people in individual nations would be able to pull this off in any meaningful day to day manner. We are simply too different and have too many different ways of approaching and solving problems.
To people in al-Qaeda their vision is that of a warlord filled vicious theocratic world, where only those who adhere to their particular form of Islam would wield power and where everyone else would exist to serve them as individuals and their crazed interpretation of Islam in general. To those in corporate America who endorse “Randian Capitalism” the world would be a strict plutocracy where the rich would live in cantons and the rest of the world would be their “resource pool”. And with all the iterations in between there is simply no way that humanity could come to any sort of peace agreement on how to run day to day government.
So what prompts this piece? It is due to the fact that I see many people both on the Hard Left (as evidenced by most of the folks - not all but most) at leftist blogsites, or columnists doing their utmost to spread disinformation regarding the U.S. and demanding that it live up to standards that they would hardly ask of other nations. And when it even comes to discussing other nations, it seems that as long as those nations are anti-U.S. anything they do is ok with the Hard Left. They will excuse all of the things they say they stand for in the name of supporting a nation that stands against the U.S. And by doing so are willing to team up with the most vile elements of the polity to support their cause, hence Leftist support for Hamas or the Assad regime in Syria.
One thing is truly dangerous - the growing strain of isolationist thinking.I also see the isolationist wing of the Republican party doing the same thing. Unable to think beyond (to them) what seems like the most simple or quick solution they simply say, “let’s build a corporate state in the U.S. reminiscent of the Gilded Age and screw everyone else”. They simply cannot think out their own little boxes, not realizing that while they are building “Fortress America”, forces that are hardly sympathetic to America and our interests gain power. These Rightists think only about the immediacy of an issue and simply don’t think about the ramifications of said issue. There is no serious thought that goes into “problem solving”.. So we see with the “Repeal Obamacare” folks. All they care about is defeating the President, they care nothing for the long term damage they are causing this nation.
The problem is that both extreme’s arguments contain half truths throughout. For the Leftists and their complaints about the NSA, they are generally right. The NSA SHOULD NOT be spying to the extent that it is on American citizens. I get that they want to find out what is happening in the world, and that they are protecting Americans from terror. However, I also get that these powers can easily be misused to create what they like to call “the surveillance state”. That said, the NSA and CIA have a responsibility towards protecting American citizens so… this is a problematic issue. However, to compare the U.S. unfavorably to groups like Al-Qaeda and to lionize those who would leak our secrets to foreign nations (Edward Snowden) is far from helpful.
On the Right side, the “Libertarian crew” is right about the fact that we can cut the Defense budget by reducing foreign ventures and use those resources to pay private business at home for development projects. Of course at the same time they need to realize that while we can do that to a degree, we cannot afford to cut ourselves off from the world in a meaningful way and still have a say in our own future due to the fact mentioned previously, that the world is indeed more interconnected and that foreign affairs really do have an impact on our daily lives at macro level.
In the end, one thing that is truly dangerous to the U.S. and the well being of the “free world” is this growing strain of neo-Isolationist thinking. Hamstringing our intelligence sectors will only create a world where America and it’s allies (and interests) are threatened. Honestly, the Russians or Chinese certainly have no compunctions regarding the use of any and all tactics to achieve their goals. For the Hard Leftists this is just fine to allow them to thoroughly weaken the U.S. While the Isolationist Hard Right simply doesn’t care what other nations do because (and this is sheer idiocy) they think the U.S. can simply “wall itself off” and let the rest of the world burn.
It is important that we do have civilian oversight of our intelligence gathering particularly as it relates to American citizens. Don’t take this article as indictment of that. We are a “free nation” because our government has been restrained in its ability to gather information / data on our everyday lives. It is also important that we recognize that “overzealous” gathering of personal data can and often does lead to problematic issue with regards to a “surveillance state”. I do not want to live in a nation that monitors my computer usage or my phone records without any kind of just cause.
So.. it is important that we balance our need for privacy with our need for the protections our intelligence sectors provide. What we need here is an honest discussion about how we can best balance the two needs. What we don’t need is constant vilification of our nation hidden with rhetoric designed to weaken our nation and its ability to protect its citizens. We don’t need those who would propose solutions in a vacuum either supporting or without understanding the nature of our national enemies.
Though these movements currently operate on the fringe, as the Hard Left is no real part of the Democratic Party (although they pretend to be the base) and the Isolationist Hard Right is only a portion of the Republican Polity (though growing), still they represent possible growing threats (as they appeal mainly to the young and idealistic for various reasons), it is important that we understand and expose them for who they are. Of course here in the U.S. they should not be restricted from discussing their viewpoints, but those viewpoints should be exposed for what they really are, an effort to weaken the United States, both at home and/or abroad.
Mike is a moderate. Rated c+ by the NRA, he proposes better B/G checks on a national basis. I agree. It has been noted there are no weapons provisions, and the NRA helped draft the bill it probably now opposes. *sigh*
Folks, I’m sending a letter to the speaker via email, and I suggest that any and all of you who agree this bill would help do the same. Page rules forbid my putting an email in this Page. So here is a link to the Speakers website.
I’m not posting my letter as I don’t think boiler plate copy/paste works well. Take a moment and send a note. At least then we can say we gave it a shot.
“I’d bet it would not get to the House floor,” Thompson, D-Napa, told a meeting of The Press Democrat editorial board.
In an election year, any measure related to gun control is problematic for Democrats as well as Republicans, he said.
“There are a lot of folks who don’t want to do anything tough,” said Thompson, chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
But Thompson said the bill he co-authored with Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, now has 189 co-sponsors, including three Republicans.
A look at the bill
Said to be identical to this previous bill
Balanced fiscal conservatism is a wise policy. I’ll be voting for Brown BTW. The moderate Republican candidate is still not the right guy IMO, but seems a bit of relief from Tea Party politics. However appearances are always deceiving in political campaigns.
“It is just common sense to follow the smart growth path laid out by the governor to ensure balanced budgets,” said Senate Republican leader Robert Huff of Diamond Bar. “Repeating past mistakes by spending money we just don’t have is unwise….It will be a big mistake by the Democrats if we end up talking about cuts and taxes again so soon after getting another revenue windfall.”
Brown offered the first clue of his stance on budget negotiations earlier this week, when he said the revenue forecast from his finance staff was the most reliable, and “that’s the one I’m living with.”
He coupled his cautious approach with a reminder that California has run budget deficits for 11 of the last 15 years. Trying to forecast revenue is an extremely risky proposition, he added.
“Economists never predict a recession,” the governor said.