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vanden Heuvel writes: "The progress African Americans forged has stalled. Will the United States once more turn its back on civil rights?"

Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his 'I Have a Dream' speech. (photo: unknown)
Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his 'I Have a Dream' speech. (photo: unknown)


Will America Once More Turn Its Back on Civil Rights?

By Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation

04 April 14

 

s the United States marks the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the civil rights revolution he helped spur is in peril. The progress African Americans forged has stalled. Will the United States once more turn its back on civil rights?

It has happened before. The first Reconstruction began with the Civil War and ended with the passage of the civil rights amendments ending slavery and guaranteeing equal protection under the law. Newly freed slaves pushed to exercise their rights. They won local elections and served on juries. They helped create what were the first public school systems in the South.

The reaction was brutal. The Ku Klux Klan terrorized African Americans across the South. Democrats became the party of the Confederacy. Barely 15 years later, Reconstruction was abandoned. In the Compromise of 1877, Republicans got Democratic support for ratifying the election of Rutherford B. Hayes to the presidency in exchange for removing federal troops from the South, betraying the newly freed African Americans. As W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, “The slave went free, stood a brief moment in the sun; and then moved back again towards slavery.”

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+8 # Pancho 2014-04-05 02:42
A standard Republican meme for the past decade or so has been that the Democratic party is the party of slavery. They also go off on Bob Byrd, who belonged to the KKK in early '40s. But the difference is that today's Republican party has essentially recreated itself as the post-bellum Democrats, while the Democrats have recast themselves, in the last 65 years as the antebellum Republicans.
 
 
+7 # Capn Canard 2014-04-05 07:59
Is there any surprise here? The SCOTUS just gave money more power than people and the MSM does only what a media based on money could possibly do: they rolled over stretched and yawned deeply with a look of apathy. Meanwhile Civil Rights are long forgotten! The public at large is far too busy following ridiculous contests between desperate singers or pathetic minor has-been celebrities literally dancing like fools, BTW no disrespect intended to fools. Our nation is a shell of it's former self and it doesn't look as though it is coming back anytime soon.
 

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