Americans, Blacks especially, believe that Lyndon Johnson championed the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act because he believed in equality for blacks and in social justice. That myth couldn't be farther from the truth.
If Lyndon Johnson, one of President Kennedy's many assassins, was anything, it was a conniving, cynical, manipulative politician whose only motivation was greed. His abuse and contempt for his staff were legendary, and if he despised his staff so much, one can only imagine what he thought of black people.
Let's just say that "nigger" rolled off of Johnson's lips easier than snot on a brass door knob. In fact nigger was such a common household reference for black people that Luci Johnson, the former president's daughter, is reported as having a temper tantrum because someone lost one of her servants.
Robert Kessler, as reported by Robert Morrow, describes the following episode when Luci was 17 years old.
MacMillan said Johnson’s younger daughter, Luci, then seventeen, was a “wretched witch.” On one stopover in Florida, she was having a tantrum because she did not know where a servant was. She blamed MacMillan for it.“She said, ‘Damn you. You go find my nigger right now,’” MacMillan said. Playing dumb MacMillan asked for a description of the man.“She screamed again. ‘Find my nigger.’ People around were smiling. She drew her hand back as if she was going to slap me. I said, ‘Miss Johnson, I don’t think that would be a good idea.’ She said, ‘Dammit, I’ll find him myself.’ This was the attitude of these people who were championing civil rights.”
Ironically enough, one of his daughters scandalized the White House by marrying a black man, whereupon Secretary of State Dean Acheson offered his resignation as he felt somewhat responsible.
Returning to Johnson's motive in civil rights, we must stress that it had nothing to do with social justice. Johnson fought the legislation hard when Kennedy was alive, but as soon he murdered Kennedy, he was all over it.
Why the sudden change in outlook? There was no change in outlook; Johnson was counting votes. In his own words, Johnson said,
“I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.”
Johnson, for once, was correct. In fact, the view of the majority of black people is that they would vote for Johnson even if he burned crosses in their front yards, just so long as he got them civil rights. But it would be a pyrrhic victory indeed.
J Edgar Hoover, Johnson's neighbor and stalwart friend, personally oversaw the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr, an operation involving federal and local governments, Army Delta Force, and Johnson himself.
Johnson's groveling, sycophantic hagiographers like Robert Dalleck, Doris Kearn Goodwin, and Robert Caro, will tell you none of this mostly for the simple reason that they are liars. We can't repeat what Johnson called his mistress Goodwin.
As a murderer Johnson is despicable; as a civil rights interloper he makes an extraordinarily difficult man to assess.
Robbert Morrow, LBJ played Hoover’s FBI’s MLK Sex Tapes for LBJ protégé Ben Barnes in mid 1960’s, Email dated 1/3/2015
Copyright 2014 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.