Why you should care
Because not enough of us think about LBJ when we think about the fight for civil rights.
Lyndon Baines Johnson is having a moment. Recently, President Obama joined three former presidents at the Johnson Library to mark 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It was a lovefest of sorts, with speaker after speaker telling tales of LBJ’s unmatched political skills and touting his ultimate policy success. You’d be forgiven, though, if it felt like all this praise was coming decades too late. Remember, LBJ is the same guy whose party asked him — as a sitting president — not to attend the 1968 Democratic National Convention. That’s how unpopular he was thanks to the grinding war in Vietnam. But history has a way of bringing back men and women who, in their time, were cast aside.
In his recent OZY interview with Carlos Watson, Reverend Jesse Jackson adds his voice to the growing camp that sees LBJ as one of the greats.