Newt Gingrich suggests bringing back literacy tests (outlawed by 1965 Voting Rights Act):
“You know, folks often talk about immigration. I always say that to become an American citizen, immigrants ought to have to learn American history. But maybe we should also have a voting standard that says to vote, as a native born American, you should have to learn American history. You realize how many of our high school graduates because of the decay of the educational system, couldn’t pass a citizenship test.”
Ron Paul on why he would not have voted for Civil Rights Act of 1964:
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul told Chris Mathews on MSNBC Friday that he would not have voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if he were a member of congress at the time. Though Paul said that while he thought Jim Crow laws were illegal, he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act “because of the property rights element, not because they got rid of the Jim Crow laws.”
In a Union Leader piece today making her argument to lead the New Hampshire GOP, Jennifer Horn rewrites history by claiming Republicans have historically led the fight for social justice, including civil rights:
[I]t was a Republican Congress that fought for and finally passed civil rights legislation in the ’60s.
No. It was a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress that fought for and finally passed civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was first proposed by President Kennedy, a Democrat, in his civil rights speech of June 11, 1963 and championed by President Johnson, a Democrat, after Kennedy’s death. It was passed by the 88th Congress, where Democrats held a 258-177 majority in the House and a 66-34 majority in the Senate, and signed into law by President Johnson, a Democrat.
This is not to diminish the contribution of Republican legislators in passing the civil rights legislation. But fallout from its passage led the Republican party to adopt a “Southern strategy,” exploiting Southern racism and promoting state’s rights — and effectively ending the party’s historic commitment to civil rights and social justice.
Cross-posted to Blue Hampshire