This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. As we prepare to celebrate our country’s independence on July 4th tomorrow, it is a good time to reflect on the civil rights of our time. What have we accomplished in the 50 years since this historic moment?
How do most people remember LBJ? While Johnson’s presidency is clearly tainted by his escalation of the Vietnam War, he nevertheless helped this country find its moral and ethical center. His domestic policies focused on those who were marginalized and suffered.
As a nation, how much do we credit LBJ for furthering civil rights in this country? He fought hard political resistance and won by signing three crucial laws during his tenure as president: the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the Voting Rights Act a year later in August, 1965 and the Fair Housing Act in 1968.
Many would agree that we have more work to do to ensure that all people have justice and freedom in this country. As we celebrate July 4th tomorrow with parades, BBQ s and fireworks, let’s remember, question and reflect how far we have come and how much work there is still left to do.
Let’s credit LBJ for his leadership on civil rights. Let’s celebrate being a citizen of a nation that is proud of its principles and values to believe and strive for equal rights, for justice and freedom for all!