Today, Co-founder of The Beat D.C. Tiffany Cross tells AM JOY she thinks the Democrats have “missed the boat” with their plan to have Rep. Joe Kennedy, III give the State of the Union rebuttal. Is this baby for real? In case she is…
Nah, Boo. You’re wrong. He’s a Kennedy. They have a major civil rights legacy. The Kennedys are why we currently have a Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker. Ms. Cross clearly isn’t in touch with this history. It was Robert F. Kennedy who shortly before his own assassination, predicted in 1968 that in 40 years we will have a Negro president. Forty years from 1968 was 2008. Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008. Although Senator Ted Kennedy was in frail health, he help ensured this prophecy before he died in 2009 by endorsing then Senator Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. We can’t forget our white allies, especially those who paid for the struggle for civil rights with their own lives as the Kennedy men have.
The March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial gave rise to John F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act of 1964. This comprehensive civil rights bill cleared Congress, winning the endorsement of House and Senate Republican leaders. It was not passed, however, before November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. The bill was bequeathed to Lyndon B. Johnson. Before becoming vice president, Johnson had served more than twenty years in Congress as a congressman and senator from Texas. He used his influence with southern white congressional leaders, with the collaboration of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department and public outcry after the president’s assassination, the Civil Rights Act was passed as a way to honor President Kennedy.
Provisions of the act included: (1) protecting African Americans against discrimination in voter qualification tests; (2) outlawing discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; (3) authorizing the US Attorney General’s Office to file legal suits to enforce desegregation in public schools; (4) authorizing the withdrawal of federal funds from programs practicing discrimination; and (5) outlawing discrimination in employment in any business exceeding 25 people and creating an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to review complaints.
The Civil Rights Act was passed on July 2, 1964. This is why I vote. This is why I resist. This is why I persist.
I’m confident Rep. Joe Kennedy Jr. will deliver, as historically, the Kennedys always have.