Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Andy Tosswill: It was Democrats who brought voting, civil rights advances

To the editor:

In his guest column July 25 on the Republican Party and civil rights (“Blame Democrats, not GOP, for nation’s Jim Crow era”), John Andrulis fails to mention that both the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were major elements of the domestic legislative agenda of President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat.

Moreover, as President Johnson apparently said, that as a result of this legislation, “We have lost the South for a generation,” anticipating a backlash from racist Southern whites against the Democratic Party. He was correct, as Republican Richard Nixon’s “Southern strategy” of appealing to racist Southern whites was one element of his successful presidential campaign of 1968.

Andrulis should have mentioned these facts in his column, or the Gazette should have pointed out his omission. Sadly, the Republican Party has apparently continued to embrace Nixon’s Southern strategy for at least a generation.

Andy Tosswill

Florence

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