I’ll bet you assumed that things should always get better over time, didn’t you? You know, we’d progress as a civilization.
In the midst of an outrageous attempt to codify discrimination into the highest document of law in our nation, let’s take a look back 40 years ago, scratching our heads and wondering why don’t we have leaders that do things like this any more?
1964: President Johnson signs Civil Rights Bill
The Civil Rights Bill – the most important piece of legislation in American history – has become law.
US President Lyndon B Johnson signed the bill creating equal rights in voting, education, public accommodations, union membership and in federally assisted programmes – regardless of race, colour, religion or national origin.
The bill has caused much controversy since it was introduced last year by President John F Kennedy.
It was signed tonight in the White House five hours after the House of Representatives passed it by 289 to 126 votes.
After the signing, President Johnson shook hands with civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King.
In a television address to the nation he called on US citizens to “eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in America”.
Of course, representatives of my own state haven’t changed much at all. Yesterday, a law took effect in my home state, not only banning same-sex marriage, but actually banning any of the legal frameworks that marriage includes. Why does the Commonwealth of Virginia care who visits me in the hospital or who takes care of my legal affairs?
This quote from 40 years ago is matched by their rambling insanity today:
During the debate on the bill, segregationist politicians from America’s deep south expressed their disappointment and anger.
Congressman Howard Smith of Virginia called it a “monstrous oppression of the people”.