(NaturalNews) The "progressive-minded" folks in the mainstream media (which is just about every reporter, columnist and editor in the MSM) would like to claim credit for lots of good things that have happened in America, including some of the most seismic, important and historic legislation of the past half-century. But they can't, because they were on the wrong side of many of those issues.
Take the civil rights movement of the 1960s. As the Los Angeles Times tells it, Democrats were responsible for devising and passing a series of bills which finally leveled the political, social and cultural playing fields of all Americans, regardless of sex or ethnicity.
Only, that's not true.
Byrd led Democratic opposition to civil rights
Per Breitbart News' Wynton Hall:
In a stunning historical error, Los Angeles Times reporters Kathleen Hennessey, Richard Simon, Alexei Koseff reported that "Democrats led the passage of civil rights legislation that marchers pushed for in 1963."
The fact is, many prominent Democrats of the time were some of the biggest racists and biggest opponents of what became the civil rights cause.
Take the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia. He was a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and, while he denounced his membership a few years later - and only as he delved deeper into national politics - he would once remark in a letter to Sen. Theodore G. Bilbo that he would "never fight in the armed forces with a negro at my side..."
Byrd's disdain for racial equality stretched into the 1960s as well, when - in 1964 - he filibustered the Civil Rights Act of that same year, in an effort to kill it altogether. It was only saved by then-Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois, "by galvanizing Senate Republicans for a cloture vote to stop the Democrat-led filibuster," Hall wrote.
On June 9, 1964, the night before the historic cloture vote, the 68-year-old Republican stayed up late into the night typing a speech on twelve sheets of Senate stationery. The next day, Senator Everett Dirksen delivered his oration on the floor of the U.S. Senate just minutes before the final vote. The final tally: 71 to 29, with 27 of the 33 Republicans voting to defeat the Democrat-led filibuster.
Later, Dem Majority Leader Mike Mansfield would remark: "This is his [Dirksen] finest hour. The Senate, the whole country is in debt to the Senator from Illinois."
Two days after the vote, Dirksen received a letter from Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, in which Wilkins apologized for earlier criticism of Dirksen.
"The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sends its thanks to you for your vote for cloture and for your final speech before the vote," Wilkins wrote. "Your leadership of the Republican Party in the Senate at this turning point will become a significant part of the history of this century."
When Byrd finally took his seat 14 hours and 13 minutes after he began his filibuster, it was Georgia Democrat Richard Russell who rose to offer the final arguments in opposition, according to the U.S. Senate's official website.
Dems have history of opposing civil rights
Moreover, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was supported by 82 percent of Senate Republicans but only 66 percent of Democrats. In the House, it was supported by 80 percent of Republicans and just 63 percent of Democrats.
During the 2012 election cycle, in correcting a statement on the Democratic National Committee website that claimed the party has led the fight for civil rights for 200 years, the Washington Post noted:
Certainly President Lyndon Johnson, a Texas Democrat, played an essential role, but it is worth remembering that 80 percent of the "no" votes in the Senate came from Democrats, including the late Robert Byrd (W.Va.) and Albert Gore (Tenn.), father of the future vice president. Republican votes, in fact, were essential in winning final passage of the bill.
As an aside, the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was supported and passed by Republicans; nearly all Democrats opposed. And the Fourteenth Amendment, which granted citizenship to newly freed blacks, was supported by all Republicans and opposed at the time by almost all Democrats.
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