49 years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson had his proudest moment in office, signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and then following up with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Finally, the tragedy of the years after 1877, the end of Reconstruction, was being rectified, 88 and 89 years after African Americans in the South were abandoned by the Republican Party in preference to an alliance with big business and industry committed to economic aggrandizement, and political insensitivity to not only African Americans, immigrants, women, children and even native born men that made up the industrial labor force, exploited until the Progressive Era started to rectify the worst evils of industrial capitalism!
And now, a half century later after Lyndon B. Johnson, it is the Republicans on the Supreme Court who are allowing unbridled capitalism to be seen as “people”, and in the process corrupting the system again, including victimizing all of the groups above, and negating the protection of minorities, the poor, elderly and college students in the states that had a long history of discrimination in voting rights, and now will have open access to do it once again, as if the civil rights era never occurred!
The Supreme Court majority is attempting to negate the Warren and Burger Courts in the great progress they made toward social justice and legal equality for oppressed groups, and this is a tragedy that will continue to emerge until and when Democratic Presidents can select more members of the Court to replace aging Justices, including Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy.
But sadly, the impact of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, the legacy of the two Bush Presidencies, is likely to continue for the long haul, and set back the nation on so many issues over the years to come!