Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2019

Voter Backlash: Learning From 1963

White House news is that the wall is coming.

George Wallace got blamed for inciting trouble in Birmingham.

John F. Kennedy got blamed for supporting key parts of Civil Rights, even in places that he did well in 1960.

Wallace’s days in office were a continuation of Jim Crow policies and problems that Hitler learned about decades earlier. We have to be on guard against things that remind us of Hitler’s policies, but we cannot say that Trump is Hitler. Trump is Trump and I can see Hitler, Mussolini, Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and others in him as I read and learn more. And it’s not because it is politics everywhere. Calling Trump is a symptom is not strong enough.

Trump should never have been president. And too much time is being taken by Jews and others to defend him for not being anti-Semitic (his Jewish family is mentioned all the time). His rhetoric, policies, and actions contribute to hate and even greater anti-Semitism.

His red hat proudly worn by Kanye West and others is revealing, but Kanye still hasn’t figured it out. That hat was worn by Nikolas Cruz in Parkland (is Kanye paying attention?), and another supporter in Pittsburgh massacred Jews in the Tree of Life, and others have been arrested for making threats and endangering people. That hat was wrong from the beginning and it is still being used.

Kennedy glowed talking about men like Churchill, Stalin, Lenin, and Napoleon. Napoleon gave equal rights to Jews in France. And that ain’t too bad during Chanukah or at any time of year. Now Stalin is a different story altogether. Trump admires power men that violate the rights of people, unfortunately. And his supporters of all races and religions allow him to get away with it. There really is no so called “backlash.” There is no attempt in most cases to unite for something much better now, immediately.

In 1963 Kennedy’s tax cut immediately provoked Southern Democrats to block him. Why? Civil Rights! In 2019 we have Trump blocking most of the nation over a wall that people will go over when there is no “open border” and all of this was and is constitutional. What a revolting constitutional mess this is and it’s not the first time that our Founding Fathers have created a constitutional mess. The tax cuts for the highest bracket were from 91 to 70 percent and for the lowest it went down from 20 to 14 percent.

Eisenhower had eight years in a row without a recession (I read but I also found this recession in 1960-1961) under those high tax rates which one could conclude that we need those higher tax rates to keep US away from recession. And opponents of the tax bill wanted to make sure that the United States would not fall deeper into debt as taxes were reduced. And we know that Trump’s people miscalculated last year, driving the national debt up by almost a trillion dollars. Kennedy was deeply worried in 1963 of a recession just before the Election Campaign of 1964, which could undo all of his efforts.

Turning to Birmingham we remember that there was a bombing, an assassination of Medgar Evers, and white police tormenting or terrorizing African-Americans. John F. Kennedy sent two men to intervene for him. They were Earl Blaik whose West Point football team we used to watch play Navy and General Kenneth Royall who Kennedy believed integrated American troops while Truman was president. Not a single African-American played in 19 years for Blaik and Royall opposed integration of the Armed Forces. Sound like Trump?

Kennedy did not want a “backlash” against his efforts, of course. He limited help to African-Americans in Birmingham to F.B. I. help and whatever the all-police force of Birmingham would do. No federal troops were assigned to protect African-Americans and others who wanted and demanded change. And a Black youth was shot in the back by a Birmingham policeman and Birmingham’s troubles were blamed on “outside” agitation.
And I have a question. Was there a national anthem for the Alabama State Troopers who entered Black communities flying the Confederate flag on their vehicles?

This takes me to Whitefish where I did an outreach after hearing about possible retaliation against Jews in Montana. Of course I knew that the F.B.I. was on the ground there, but I, too, thought about additional protections. But the situation was under control: however, months later, in a climate where hate was percolating, a gunman acted out in Pittsburgh. That hate can strike anywhere and it does there was no wall to keep hate out.

Only Trump seems to know that steel is more powerful than concrete for a wall, but I can tell you that Sing Sing and other federal prisons have walls and fences where people go after lengthy investigation.

The “backlash” was in places all over the United States. That backlash was fueled by people who did not wish to live with African-Americans.
Beginning with Birmingham, this is what came out of the meetings and was reported to John F. Kennedy by his “two very good men.” Kennedy counted on the support of “new Southerners” and that sounded fine. Kennedy wanted African-Americans hired to the police force in a city that was forty percent Black.

The voice of Birmingham’s White leadership collecting information for Kennedy revealed that even “Negroes, were firmly, deeply dedicated to the principle of segregation.” And a third of the police force would resign if Negroes were hired, and this was what we called majority rule with no minority rights. No wall was needed for our fellow citizens, but there was a wall. Here is Bull Connor of Birmingham. And now we have a Bull in the White House. Alabama also gave us Jeff Sessions who is gone now.

I grew up in a New York City Housing Project with African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. Sure there were lots of White families moving out and many of them were Jewish families. That was part of the “American Dream” that we keep reading about. Nobody that I knew there talked about prejudice and discrimination, but I was only eight years old when that exodus took place. What did I know? That three-bedroom apartment with no rats was our home and our family came from different boroughs of New York City to enjoy dinners with our family.

Even though people were liberal and for “civil rights” the polls showed that people might not want to integrate. That was understandable, but where I lived people could integrate well and we clearly chose the best friends along religious lines, especially as we sat outside during long hot summers on the benches. But integration in housing was a fact of life for us.

In a small town called Silver Lake, Iowa where Kennedy had beaten Nixon by seventeen votes, things there portrayed a reaction against Kennedy’s support of African-Americans. What is particularly revealing of the attitudes in that town is that the county that it is part of had fifteen thousand people and only two of those people were African-Americans. Sounds like MAGA?

Then there was Pennsylvania and the Election of John F, Kennedy in 1960. It is no surprise to me to see the reaction of Italian families in that state. They voted for Kennedy in 1960, but they did not wish to integrate. So when Kennedy drove through Levittown in 1963 which is just outside of Philadelphia, he was disappointed in the turnout in both White and Black neighborhoods. Local Black leaders were criticizing his efforts in civil rights. Here is that famous song by Mr. DiMucci, an Italian-American, who rejected that sentiment.

In Delmar Village in a middle-income housing development he found things were worse as there was a major protect against the Baker family, the first Black family to move into the community. Whites were ready to boycott any business that served the Bakers.

In Texas in 1963, African-Americans held signs as he proceeded into Houston that revealed their discontent. “Rights Not Favors” and “Mr. President- This Is A Segregated City” were two of those signs.

Where is the backlash of Republicans? Is it coming? John F. Kennedy by 1960 had had enough of his father as they discussed critical issues and he would not listen to him again. It is highly probable that he JFK had felt that way for a long time and it was his moment to reject his father’s political views.

I have asked for the rejection, in my articles, of Donald Trump by his family, but nobody is listening. Republicans are more worried now about their chances in 2020 and there are more Republicans rejecting Trump’s help. Where were they when Senator John Mc Cain was leading the way and voted against Obamacare?

Trump still has no health program to replace Obama Care. Trump has no peace policy for Israel and the Palestinians after two years. Trump, to the best of my knowledge, has not released the very important report on opioid addiction that is plaguing our nation and that was due before 2019. Even now, Trump’s own staff is contradicting him over the pullout from Syria.

A must see is this news about a reunited family in Houston. This is great. This child has a great future in the United States. I hope she stays far away from Trump.

This is an example of how Fox News talked about Trump’s Wall and the shutdown. The background information shows you a museum and a zoo that were shut down. What about presenting information about the lack of security which the congressman briefly mentions. He did not do a good job as you can see and neither does Pelosi.

When youth saw the gate of our playground open, they walked through that “open” border and when the gate was locked the youth climbed over the fence of our school playground. Walls have been built for millennia and they have been climbed successfully. And when your flight is waiting for you on the tarmac and steps are provided for you, you walk up those steps. Don’t you? Oh! On Trump’s plane, you have to jump up to get inside?

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