Two Presidents Named ‘Johnson’ Tried To Stop Civil Rights In America

John Griffing Contributor
Font Size:

Why are Democrats so meticulous and consistent in their bad ideas? Take racism, for example. Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act not just one time, but twice — separated by over 100 years. And even more shockingly, both the men behind the effort to stop racial progress bear the same last name: Johnson.

Coincidences can be downright providential at times.

In the year 1866, Democratic President Andrew Johnson — the vice president to Abraham Lincoln until a Southern Dixiecrat fatally shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theater — vocally opposed continuing the Civil Rights policies of his predecessor.

Johnson and the Democrats in Congress were unified in opposing the 13th Amendment (abolished slavery), the 14th Amendment (citizenship for blacks) and the 15th Amendment (voting rights for blacks.) The only reason these amendments passed: Republican votes.

Johnson illegally attempted to use the presidential veto against all of the proposed amendments. At the risk of insulting readers, a president cannot veto constitutional amendments; it’s unconstitutional.

Johnson’s mindset can be observed by reading his remarks, Feb. 26, 1863:

I have lived among Negroes, all my life, and I am for this Government with slavery under the Constitution as it is. I am for the Government of my fathers with Negroes, I am for it without Negroes. Before I would see this Government destroyed, I would send every negro back to Africa, disintegrated and blotted out of space.

Johnson also tried to kill the 1866 Civil Rights Act, legislation aimed at banning Southern “Black Codes” (precursor to “Jim Crow” laws). The law passed only by overriding Johnson’s veto.

At his third State of the Union, Johnson explains his opposition to civil rights legislation, saying:

It is the glory of white men to … build upon this continent a great political fabric and to preserve its stability for more than ninety years … Negroes have shown less capacity for government than any other race of people … On the contrary, wherever they have been left to their own devices they have shown a constant tendency to relapse into barbarism.

At least in Johnson’s day, Democrats were honest — to a fault, perhaps.

Now Democrats run around shoving over their own statues and screaming that Republicans are Nazis. (On that front too, the Democrats have a historical Achilles heel, since FDR was a known fan of Benito Mussolini’s Fascism, and advisers to the president spoke favorably of German Nazism before the war. Since most average members of the Democratic Party are “useful idiots” at best, the very real ties of the left’s favorite president to Adolf Hitler are probably moot.)

Enter Lyndon Baines Johnson, the man who wanted everything and got his wish, after his former employer John F. Kennedy was brutally murdered. Worshiped by many for “championing” racial equality, the facts reveal that Johnson only supported civil rights as a means of long-term political control by the Democrats.

In his long career as a Democratic legislator, Johnson opposed every single civil rights law that came before him. As president, following Kennedy’s death, Johnson cynically referred to the Civil Rights Act as “that n—er bill,” according to a report by MSNBC.

Johnson further admitted to advisors and close confidants that his tacit support of the proposed law was merely to secure black votes for the foreseeable future. “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days,” Johnson remarked, according to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

“Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all … we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.

Consistent with analysis suggesting that Johnson’s support for civil rights was politically manipulative, are the president’s own statements after nominating Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. “When I appoint a ni—er to the bench, I want everybody to know he’s a ni—er,” Johnson said.

During the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Johnson again revealed his true colors, remarking:

I think the Negroes are going back to Reconstruction period, they’re going to set themselves back a hundred years . . . and I’m just trying to get a vice president for them . . . and here these folks go get everybody upset. . . . Hell, the Northerners are more upset . . . they wire me to tell me the Negroes are taking over the country, they’re running the White House, they’re running the Democratic Party.

The only reason the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed was, again, Republican votes in Congress. The GOP also had help from Lady Bird Johnson — whose influence over her husband is now indisputable historical fact.

So, there we have it. The truth about the two Democratic presidents named “Johnson” who almost killed racial equality in America — that is, before Rev. Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan killed it years later.

John Griffing is formerly Associate Editor for The Daily Caller News Foundation. His interview credits include Fortune 500 executives, as well as key public officials. He is also featured on Fox, RT, Newsmax TV and numerous radio programs.