MLK Day - Jan. 19

The Chapel Hill Herald reports that our local Martin Luther King Day festivies this year will focus on voting. The timing couldn't be better.

"If all we do is get together and talk big in January, all the work of Dr. King and those of us who worked with him will be in vain," said Fred Battle, the president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in a statement. "We must visit our neighbors with registration forms. After they register, we must make sure they know which politicians will do something about our problems -- not just talk big before elections.

"I plan to celebrate Dr. King's birthday twice this year; first in January and again in November on Election Day," he said.

As usual, the day wil start at 10 am with services at First Baptist Church on Roberson Street. The speaker will be Carolyn Coleman, vice chairwoman of the Guilford County Commissioners. And there will also be an award presented to Rebecca Clark for a long lifetime of service ot the community. The service will be followed by a march down Franklin Street and a rally at the Post Office.

Of course I am biased, but I love our local MLK Day celebrations because they are organized by a broad coalition of progressive activitists, and they really strive to maintain the integrity and vision of Dr. King. Many other obervances seem to consist of middle-class people of different races quietly holding hands and feeling that the struggle is over. Not quite.

I will post more details later, as I get them.



Why is King day a holiday, but X day isn't?

Mark C.

One goal of this site (as explicitly stated in its purpose) is "offering education and perspectives."

I have learned something from Todd and Damion/Dimion and from you also. I did not realize that the 11 Southern Dems who voted for the Civil Rights Act in 1964 went 11 for 11 in future elections. It is gratifying to learn that, even in such a dark time, these elected officials weren't punished by their constituents for doing the right thing.

I think this historical perspective provides value in examining King's contributions. Thanks for your input.

This has what to do with Chapel Hill's MLK observance?

Lots of Democrats and lots of Repulicans have bad records on Civil Rights - note Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms (who each belonged to both parties). I believe that most of the opposition to MLK day came from the Republican side of the aisle, however. Likewise most of the opposition to civil rights legislation in the 60's came from the (Southern) Democratic side. That has to do with who the parties were at the time.

Up until 1960 or so, most African Americans belonged to the party of Lincoln. Dr. King was inspired by John F Kennedy to switch over to the Democratic side (as were many others). Richard Nixon further consolidated the shift by bringing racist whites over to the Repulican side by promising a slow approach on school integration in 1968. I'm not sure either party has much to boast about if the party's record as a whole is to be judged.

Anyway, happy MLK day everyone! Let Freedom Ring!

-Mark Chilton

ps See my post to OP at

for more information on the deplorable history of the Democratic Party in the 19th Century.

Also, just for the record 11 Southern Democratic Congressmen voted for the 1964 Civil Rights act and all 11 were re-elected including journalist Cokie Roberts's father Rep. Hale Boggs. Hale Boggs and the other 10 Reps who did so deserve credit for voting their conscience and I wish more members of our present congress could appreciate that courage will be remembered forever whereas cowardice will be forgotten at best.

Gore Sr. indeed voted against the Civil Rights Act in 1964. However, he also voted FOR the Voting Rights Act in 1965. I guess he wanted the get the votes of African-Americans, but not have to see them in the restaurants he frequented.

I was pretty young when Gore Sr. got booted in 1970, but I recall a lot of anger in Tennessee about his vote on school prayer and maybe some of his positions on Vietnam. Prince Albert Jr. was definitely pandering with a vengeance when he claimed that his father's 1970 defeat qualified him for civil rights martyrdom. This was not only a lie, but also a smear on the people of his home state. Perhaps that explains why Gore Jr. lost Tennessee in 2000.

It was the Republicans who where "progressive" on this one...

Only 62% of Dems voted for the Civil Rights Act.

Compare that with 92% of Republicans.

They don't call us compassionate for nothin.

Todd is correct. Al Gore Sr. and his cronies voted against the civil rights act of 1964. The party of Lincoln makes things happen-the Democrats talk about it & try to revise history later.

At this time I only wish to speak to one lie. To me it is important because Clinton bigots keep repeating the lie. Al Gore Sr. was a racist bigot who voted against the Civil Rights Bill. Al Gore lied when he said his dad lost the election because he stood for the Civil Rights Bill. The blacks were gored by Al Gore sr. and his son lies to cover up the racist background. It is easy to control the minds of people. All one has to do is change history by lying about the past. This is exactly what has happened with the legacy of former Democratic U.S. Senator Al Gore, Sr. of Tennessee - the father of our ex vice president - and his mythical "support" of civil rights.

In a recent speech to the NAACP, Vice President Gore said his father lost his Senate seat because he supported civil rights legislation. Fellow black Americans, let me set history straight. Al Gore, Sr., together with the rest of the southern Democrats, voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Congressional Quarterly reported that, in the House of Representatives, 61% of Democrats (152 for, 96 against) voted for the Civil Rights Act as opposed to 80% of Republicans (138 for, 38 against). In the Senate, 69% of Democrats (46 for, 21 against) voted for the Act while 82% of Republicans did (27 for, 6 against).

Don't let the Klintonistas revise history!


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