Factless gossip that is sometimes believed though easily disproven is never good to hear. Like the gossip coming from those who say Hillary Clinton’s 1964 canvassing for Barry Goldwater shows that she is racist. Goldwater voted 'no' on the 1964 Civil Rights Act., in an apparent bid to woo segregationist votes.
When Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, Chicago was called "the most segregated city in America." Throughout her youth, Democratic Party boss Richard Daley (D) did nothing to change that. Daley's corrupt power was given to him by white racist Democrat voters, just as white power was gained in Mississippi, and he did nothing to upset them.
In 1947, Hillary's father ran as an independent for a Chicago Alderman seat. He was beaten by Daley's racist machine candidate. The experience compelled Hugh Rodham to register as a Republican for the first time in his life. Rodham supported Dewey in 1948, and Eisenhower in '52 and '56.
In 1960, 12-year-old Hillary also canvassed her Chicago neighborhood for her father’s choice, Ike’s Vice President, Richard Nixon.
When the Illinois GOP demanded recounts in Chicago after Nixon’s loss to John Kennedy, it was revealed that the Democratic machine had rigged the count to give Kennedy and his southern running mate from segregated Texas a victory in his corrupt, racist, Democratic Kingdom of Chicagoland.
It is not hard to imagine how an idealistic, educated 12-year-old Republican was affected when she learned that her honest hard work had been robbed by the corrupt, racist Democrats of her city.
Those who still, against all reason, insist that canvassing at age 16 for the Republican her father supported in 1964 somehow made Clinton a racist, need to know who she met between the 1960 election and the 1964 election.
One Sunday evening in April, 1962, Hillary Rodham and her church youth group attended a speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. Seeing and hearing the civil rights leader had a profound effect on her. She with her group met and talked to King personally after his address, and the event compelled the 14-year-old to volunteer to babysit for migrant workers who could not afford child care.
Yes, in 1964, at age 16 she again canvassed for her father’s favorite, the candidate of the Party of Lincoln. Few Americans voted against Goldwater for being personally racist. He wasn't considered a racist. He was considered a lunatic fringe nutcase whose VP pick wanted to drop H-bombs on anyone he didn't like. And for many, his vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, though he defended it on legal grounds, meant he would take the nation in a direction—backwards—that they did not want to return to. The Deep South was the only region where Goldwater won, five states, essentially because he promised them he would not upset the segregation apple cart that every facet of southern culture and economy was built on. He voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 just a few months before the election.
But Goldwater's Department Store in Phoenix was integrated. Goldwater hired black Americans to work there, and he had done so for years. He was not a segregationist, but as he told Meet the Press in 1964, when asked if he was courting the segregationist vote, "I'll go hunt where the ducks are." Racist ducks are all he brought home in 1964.
Bernie was 23 in 1964. A young civil rights idealist. Hillary canvassed for Goldwater. At 16.
But age 20 in 1968, Hillary put on a black armband the day after MLK was assassinated and initiated a civil rights movement at Wellesley College. She led demonstrations and a drive to force the school to recruit more black students.
Also at age 20, she denounced the Republican Party as being racist, after she attended the RNC convention in Miami and saw Richard Nixon's supporters attack, sometimes physically, supporters of moderate Republican Nelson Rockefeller, who stood on the old guard Party of Lincoln platform. Nixon threw that one out with his Southern Strategy that swept the racist southern Democrats off their feet for the GOP.
At age 21, class valedictorian Hillary Clinton graduated from Wellesley women's college and was selected to address the class of 1969 at the commencement ceremony—the first student commencement speech in Wellesley history.
Senator Edward Brooke was the keynote speaker, and Clinton's address followed his. Brooke, a Republican from Massachusetts, was the nation's first elected African-American Senator. (Eleven African-Americans served in the House, all Democrats.)
Anti-activism was the theme of Brooke's speech, except where active maintenance of the status quo was required. In the wake of protests following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Brooke delivered a speech that might have pleased Richard Nixon's caustic vice-president, Spiro Agnew. Barely acknowledging any good in protests, Brooke berated what he called "professional" protesters, those who he said adopted causes haphazardly, and only to further personal ambitions. Acts of civil disobedience done to right social wrongs risked being disgraced by protest leaders who were only in it for self-aggrandizement. For Brookes, trusting authorities to do the right thing, was wildly preferable to taking a stand for justice in the street or on a campus. After all, peaceful change had lowered the poverty rate from 22 percent to 13 percent in the previous decade, while protests gave us Chicago and violence and mistrust. His fatherly talk to the young women might have been titled "Avoiding Hazards on the Road to Stepford."
On the other hand, Clinton, whose prepared address could have been titled "Leaving Stepford Like a Bat out of Hell," departed from her script to first address Brooke's go-along-to-get-along message. Referring to "our generation," she said, in part:
"We're not in the positions yet of leadership and power, but we do have that indispensable task of criticizing and constructive protest and I find myself reacting just briefly to some of the things that Senator Brooke said…
"Part of the problem with empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn't do us anything. We've had lots of empathy; we've had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have used politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. What does it mean to hear that 13.3 percent of the people in this country are below the poverty line? That's a percentage. We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction. How can we talk about percentages and trends? The complexities are not lost in our analyses, but perhaps they're just put into what we consider a more human and eventually a more progressive perspective.
"The question about possible and impossible was one that we brought with us to Wellesley four years ago. We arrived not yet knowing what was not possible. Consequently, we expected a lot. Our attitudes are easily understood having grown up, having come to consciousness in the first five years of this decade—years dominated by men with dreams, men in the civil rights movement, the Peace Corps, the space program—so we arrived at Wellesley and we found, as all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn't a discouraging gap and it didn't turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18.…
"Before the days of the media orchestrated demonstrations, we had our own gathering over in Founder's parking lot. We protested against the rigid academic distribution requirement. We worked for a pass-fail system. We worked for a say in some of the process of academic decision making. And luckily we were in a place where, when we questioned the meaning of a liberal arts education there were people with enough imagination to respond to that questioning. So we have made progress. We have achieved some of the things that initially [we] saw as lacking in that gap between expectation and reality. Our concerns were not, of course, solely academic as all of us know. We worried about inside Wellesley questions of [racial barriers to] admissions, the [races] of people that should be coming to Wellesley, the process for getting them here. We questioned about what responsibility we should have both for our lives as individuals and for our lives as members of a collective group."
The student body gave her a seven-minute standing ovation. At this respected, conservative, women's college, a graduating student openly rebuked the status quo that Wellesley had long defended, and her peers, freshly-minted adults in America, were elated.
At age 21, unknown Hillary Clinton made headlines. She and her speech were featured in a Life Magazine article about the activist ideals of the class of 1969. She had led protests to protect black civil rights. She had accomplished civil rights goals. She advocated active civil disobedience to better African-American lives, to make the changes that passive compliance and blind trust had failed to make.
So don't hang gossiping lies that allege racism on Hillary Clinton's part on her door. The very act of doing so proves either ignorance or gross dishonesty on the part of the person making that charge.
The record is clear that she and her family were not on the side of racists. Do not use the disinformation tactics of the dimmest lights of the right wing to warp the truth for the sake of improving Bernie Sanders' chances to be the U.S. president.
Progressives do not wallow in the sty with Rush Limbaugh. Liberals do not mutter lies like bigots who terrorize the innocent. And people of high moral character do not engage in Orwellian Two-Minute Hate sessions to spew out lies they are told to believe about demons that do not exist.
Since publishing this three days ago, some of those same gossiping souls have found a ball to run with in the Washington Post Fact Checker article I sourced as a link in this article.
They cite an inconsequential “Pinocchio” in the Washington Post Fact Check, an error in her dating the time of the MLK speech. And because she described the event as being held on a cold, wintry, January night, she not only lied about the date, but she has “embellished” her tale, because the speech actually occurred on April 15.
April. Springtime. Flowers. Oh embellisher.
It was, indeed, a cold, wintry night in Chicago on April 15, 1962. The wind was whipping 25 MPH across Lake Michigan, 30 degrees with a wind chill of 16 degrees above zero.
How could a person who was 12 at the time possibly have come to remember that as being a January night? a gossip might query.
Fact Checker Dobbs makes clear that Clinton’s speechwriter obviously relied on an otherwise authoritative Clinton biography by Gail Sheehy, who put the date as January, 1963, instead of April, 1962. As Dobbs says:
“ The most likely explanation is that Clinton's speech writers rewrote the passage from the 1999 Gail Sheehy book, complete with the erroneous title for the sermon, without checking the facts. (The give-away clue: Both Sheehy and Clinton use the phrase ‘Great Revolution,’ which is not on the Sunday Evening Club index card.)”
And so it goes...