Monday, January 14, 2008

MLK vs LBJ Clinton vs Obama

So, in the newest irrelevant news tempest, Clinton and Obama are sparring over which of two Americans brought about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The corporate media reports breathlessly on the spitting match.

No one points out that the civil rights struggle in the US has lasted for years. It has involved hundreds of thousands of people. Many people died and many people were terrorized for daring to assert their rights.

But, after WW11, times were a'changing. African Americans renewed their struggle for equality. The great British empire was crumbling, as had the Ottoman after WW1. Colonies were gaining independence. The US and the USSR were the super-powers and were looking for alliances. The US ruling class realized that the system of apartheid in the South looked really bad, and the USSR was using it effectively in their propaganda pointing out the hypocrisy in the US propaganda about "freedom and justice".

So the US military was integrated under Truman, US federal troops protected children integrating schools under Eisenhower and the Civil Rights Act was passed under Johnson. And now we get Obama and Clinton arguing about whether Martin Luther King, Jr single-handedly brought about change, or whether LBJ did.

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