Why Did President Lyndon Johnson Sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Was It Politics or Principle?
Speaking of the reasons that leaded to the adoption of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, it is important to consider the antecedents. According to The 50 – 60s Antiracism Legislation black people were not allowed to participate in elections or vote until 1950’s.
It was achieved by legislative limitations, valid mostly in southern states, as well as by terrorist methods like Lynch Law. Such a situation has become a real push to make people to express their protest and consequently to accept Civil Rights Law in 1957, completed in 1960, where there were guarantees connected with black people suffrage. But weak efficiency of judicial guarantees led the black-skinned people protestant movement to radicalize their requirements. Hence, real revolution in the USA started in 1963. It took place not only in the form of demonstrations and protest marches, but in the form of spontaneous rebellions in the ghettos of large cities.
Under the pressure of protests of the black population of the U.S. in 1964 The Civil Rights Act was adopted, which formally abolished the discrimination of black people in all spheres of economic and political life, in schools, public places etc. Referring to the publication of The USA: Right to Dissent, the law recognized the unlawful discriminatory practices of entrepreneurs in the refusal of employment, dismissal, deprivation of the status of an employee “on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin, and also in case of failure in the training program of discipleship.”
To answer the question whether the adoption of The Civil Rights Act was politics or principle, it should be said that politics is not just serious science but it is a separate branch of art because you must be a professional actor, speaker and psychologist to make people believe you and follow you. Just think if it is easy to speak like President Lyndon Johnson while signing The Civil Rights Act, “One hundred and eighty-eight years ago a handful of valiant men began the struggle for freedom.
They have sworn their lives, their property, their sacred honor not only to found a new nation, but also to forge the ideals of freedom – not only political independence but personal freedom as well …”