A Quick History Lesson about a “Quick History Lesson”

historylesson

This meme was posted by a friend on Facebook. I really wanted to tell them it was nonsense, but we’ve had so many discussions on how they don’t know or understand history and yet they don’t wake up.  I wonder if it’s even worth discussing it with them anymore. I grew up like them, so I understand what they were trying to say but this meme is nonsense to me.

Some people might look at this and say the republicans are always on the right side. While others will look at it and say the republicans haven’t done a thing in 150 years. The truth of course is some place in between. Neither political party is all good or all bad no matter what you’ve been told. I grew up being taught that the Republican Party was God’s party. What a joke! God isn’t political. Man is. When politicians talk about God, most of the time they just want your vote.

Ok, off my soap box for a minute and back to the meme.

If you understood the political voting in America you might ask why do some areas of the country always vote one way or the other? Why do the one time confederate states now vote heavily republican now and the one time union vote heavily Democrat? When up to the 1950’s it was completely the opposite? What caused the shift? And does it matter. Yes,  At least I believe it does.

If we really understood what the meme said you’d know that some things never change but others do. But it may not be what you think.

In the 1960’s the Democrats held the oval office but the republicans owned congress. There was a battle over civil rights. Not unlike today. In the 1960’s it was the black civil rights movement. Have you ever wondered why since the Republicans freed the slaves and gave the African Americans the right to vote et el why today they vote heavily Democrat?

The Civil rights act of 1964 seemed to change a lot. President LBJ said after its passing that “”I think we’ve just delivered the South to the Republican Party for the rest of my life, and yours.” Why did he think so? The south was still very anti-equal rights and highly democratic. The southerners felt betrayed by their party and flipped sides. The next two elections were landslides for the Republican Party as the country elected Nixon to the Whitehouse. The Republicans controlled the Whitehouse for 20 out of the next 24 years becoming more conservative as they were led by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others who then chased the liberal wing to the democratic party. If it wasn’t for Watergate the Democrats might not have won any of those elections.

In the 1860’s the Republicans were the radical liberals fighting for equality, but not today. That has changed. What hasn’t changed is that the conservatives don’t want that equality. In both cases the conservatives used the Bible to say they were right. Slavery is ok according to the Bible and homosexuality is wrong according to the Bible.

As an ordained pastor in a very conservative denomination I know that people will use the Bible or their religion to support their bigotry. That’s what the Pharisees did and that’s what a lot of the church does today. Some things never change. But there are real followers of Christ that teach love for all. Glad that doesn’t change. Just wish there were more.

So, whether you agree with it or not with the meme it basically says most liberals vote for equality while most conservatives continue to vote for themselves.  It has nothing to do with the political parties.

Vote totals for “Civil Rights act of 1964”

Totals are in “YeaNay

  • The original House version: 290–130   (69–31%).
  • Cloture in the Senate: 71–29   (71–29%).
  • The Senate version: 73–27   (73–27%).
  • The Senate version, as voted on by the House: 289–126   (70–30%).

By party

The original House version:

  • Democratic Party: 152–96   (61–39%)
  • Republican Party: 138–34   (80–20%)

Cloture in the Senate:

  • Democratic Party: 44–23   (66–34%)
  • Republican Party: 27–6   (82–18%)

The Senate version:

  • Democratic Party: 46–21   (69–31%)
  • Republican Party: 27–6   (82–18%)

The Senate version, voted on by the House:

  • Democratic Party: 153–91   (63–37%)
  • Republican Party: 136–35   (80–20%)

http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/summer/civil-rights-act-2.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

http://www.270towin.com/states/

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Are we different yet?

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

December 7th 1941, a day that shall live in infamy. This attack was a start of Americans being scared of Americans. Because the Japanese attacked the U.S., Americans assumed all Japanese must somehow be evil and placed them into internment camps for the length of the war. What if today a small group of individuals did something horribly wrong and we blamed the entire race or group? We took their property and rights away and jailed them for simply being themselves. They couldn’t help being that way.  It was nothing they could change and no matter how long they had lived in America they were treated as if they were the enemy.   If something like that happened today, would we stand up for those oppressed, agree with the oppressors or keep silent?

History is full of people being oppressed because of a few people doing something wrong.  In the past decade Americans have learned to hate all Muslims because of 9-11.  Americans throw out hate towards those on welfare because of a few that abuse it.  We spew out hated words against illegal aliens because they don’t come here legally but the government sure doesn’t make it easy to come here.  By the way our ancestors may not have been invited either.  If you are like me and your ancestors came from Europe then it is quite possible that your ancestors and mine conquered the land, driving the Native Americans away and killing many in the process.  I bet if you were to talk to many illegal aliens they would tell you they are here to find a better life.

Americans are not always the nicest in the world.  We had to have a war to end slavery; we rounded up all the Cherokees and marched them off their land because white people wanted it.  We haven’t given equal rights to African-Americans and women until the last 100 years.  And I still think we have a long way to go with that.  We ignore atrocities in some countries because they have no oil, global positioning, or usefulness to us but invade others to “protect our interests.”

I believe that this bigotry or prejudice comes because of fear.  Fear of people who are different.  And we all know that “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” (Yoda)  We look different, act different, worship different, have different customs etc…  Abraham Lincoln once said “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”  What if we took that approach instead of the hate/fear approach?  It is easier to sit back and condemn others.  It is much harder to get to know people and to learn where they come from so that you understand why they believe what they do.

I grew up in upstate New York.  If I had continued to live there I would not have learned this because I would not have had to learn a lot.  From my birth I was taught what people living in my area believed.  There was no big culture difference from family to family.  But then I moved to Indiana and then to Ohio. I moved from the country to the suburbs.  To different cultures to people who were different.  Not because one was better than another, but simply different.

Today I have friends that are white, black, Jewish, Christian, agnostic, Atheist, homosexual, heterosexual, young and old.  Some have money and some do not.  I also have many female friends but that may be because I teach and there are certainly more females in that profession.   Wherever I have gone I have been able to make friends.  I think mostly because I have learned to listen to them.  In college, people I barely knew would ask to talk to me about their problems and I always took time to listen to them.  Most of the time I felt like I had no idea how to help them, but they always thanked me for listening.  Think about what kind of difference we could make in this world by taking time out of our day to get to know those who are different from us.  What if we were to listen to their problems, not to fix them but just to be there for that person?  I bet we would find that no matter what religion we followed, what race we were, what areas we grew up in that we would not be that much different.  Try it, you might actually like it.  And others.