Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. steps out in defense of President Lyndon Johnson’s legacy in his weekly commentary in the Chicago Tribune:

Fifty years later, former President Lyndon Johnson got the tribute he more than earned. Four presidents praised his contribution. The Great Society, the War on Poverty, Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act opened doors that had been locked. “I lived out the promise of LBJ’s efforts,” said President Obama, rejecting the cynicism of those who would dismantle Medicare and food stamps, signature LBJ achievements. Bill Clinton praised LBJ for demonstrating “the power of the presidency to redeem the promise of America.”

Getting our history right is vital. For decades, LBJ’s achievements have been slighted. Liberals scorned him because of the war in Vietnam, and finally drove him to not seek re-election. Conservatives loathed him because of the Civil Rights achievements, with Republicans moving to displace Democrats as the party of the South. The War on Poverty, which dramatically reduced poverty in America, was dismissed as a failure, as the anger of the cities exploded. New Democrats dismissed him for believing in big government, as they tacked to a conservative era.

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4 thoughts on “LBJ’s Legacy Under Assault

  1. I said it. on said:

    The civil rights movement lulled blacks to sleep. Gov’t got busy to stop the demonstrating. America was looking crazy to the world and the government couldn’t have that. Now look at the community as a whole. We don’t see a lot of AA owned businesses, schools, and banks and we are still segregated from those who have more. We don’t fight as hard as a whole to protect each other, care about our heritage, push as hard, etc. We become outraged when bigots act out and say in shock, “Racism is alive and well in America.” Did we think it wasn’t. Some AA’s hang out and endorse people who denigrate the community because they didn’t say it personally to us, or because we get a check from them. Our websites let bigots post messages that are abusive, baseless, and classless and allow them to be left up to be read and incite an argument.

    We have to realize that just because the government allows certain blacks a platform to speak, doesn’t make them have all of the answers for the AA community, we can respect leaders without always agreeing with every word that comes out of their mouths, and we can’t get stuck in an era. We must push forward as if slavery ended yesterday because if America could go back, it would.

  2. americanize. on said:

    This turning back the clock may be a blessing in disguise,black folk will be pressure into doing for self.GOD BLESS THE CHILD THAT GOT HIS OWN.

  3. Linda on said:

    From what I have read Lyndon Baines Johnson was friends with Strom Thurmond,
    Jessie Helms and other Dixiecrats back in the day–so
    what legacy did LBJ
    really leave and what did he do for folks of color that was so great?

    Off the records and out of the earshot of the microphones he was still calling us the “N” word!!!!

    Don’t understand why Rev Jessie is embracing LBJ now!!!!

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