LBJ on blacks

A reader writes:


“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” Lyndon Baines Johnson about the Great Society plan.

This quote alone should be enough to turn the tide but it never will happen.

LA replies:

Assuming Johnson said it (it’s attributed to him in Ronald Kessler’s Inside the White House), it’s a quintessential LBJ statement. But to speak fairly (that is, as it would be seen if we were not living in a liberal world), Johnson’s use of the N word was not anti-black. He used that kind of vulgar language about everyone (e.g. “I’ve got his pecker in my pocket”), and it just happens that “nigger” is the vulgar word for blacks.

Reader replies:

I’ve been reading lots of Faulkner in the past month. “Nigger” filled his pages.

- end of initial entry -

Dean Ericson writes:

It’s always refreshing, when it’s not too depressing, to see sinister motives frankly stated. Usually they go around cloaked in sickening, righteous hooey. Remember how there always used to come a time, in a movie or a book, when the villain has the hero in his clutches and, just before dropping the hammer on him, boastfully explains to the hero his entire diabolical plot and its motive. The audience listens with cathartic horror as evil drops the mask and frankly reveals itself for what it is.

Think of Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead, when, after years of promoting second-rater Peter Keating’s architectural career he confesses to Keating that his real motive is to destroy excellence because excellent men cannot be ruled, and that what he’s actually lusting after is the power to rule over men. “What do you want, Ellsworth?” “Power, Petey.” Keating is sickened and horrified but the audience is edified as to the nature of evil.

So here we have Lyndon Johnson confessing frankly his own lust for power, and his means, in part, of acquiring it by taking advantage of blacks’ weaknesses. The quote doesn’t go on in explicit detail, but we can surmise that it entails, among other things, giving blacks government cheese to have them eating out of his hand and giving them jobs on the government plantation to create an army of African slaves happily voting Democratic for 200 years.

Too bad there wasn’t a hero who, after listening to Johnson’s confession, managed to hit a button on Johnson’s desk that released a trapdoor dropping the s.o.b. into a pool of sharks. That’s how righteous moral cleansing worked, in movies and in books, in the not-so-long-ago.

Paul K. writes:

One of the instances of Johnson demonstrating his cynicism about liberalism was related by Joseph Califano, who was his Special Assistant for Domestic Affairs. In a recent op-ed piece for the New York Times, Califano describes Johnson’s reaction when liberals voted against raising the debt ceiling to express their opposition to the Vietnam War”

Johnson was furious. “There’s plenty of money for domestic programs,” he told me. “Tell them we’re prepared to put big public housing projects right in the middle of their districts to show their constituents how much money is available for domestic programs. Maybe that’ll change their minds.”

I believe that then, as now, people understood that housing projects contained large populations of underclass blacks. Clearly Johnson understood that no one wanted to live near them and the threat of that was an effective weapon in his arsenal.

Paul M. writes:

I grew up in Washington DC during the 1960s, and “nigger” was not a particularly vulgar term at that time. Whites used it amongst themselves frequently and casually, and while it certainly wasn’t a compliment, using the term didn’t imply that you harbored an extreme level of animosity towards blacks, either. The term “colored people” was used in mixed company, or when one was trying to sound more formal.

An analogy today might be “Mexican” vs. “Latino” or “Hispanic.” Some whites still refer to any Central American as a “Mexican” when talking to other whites. It’s meant to be somewhat derogatory , but few people will ostracize you for using it.

January 10

Vincent Chiarello writes:

Anyone familiar with Robert Caro’s devastating biography of LBJ, Means of Ascent, knows that Johnson was filled with the hates and prejudices, some real, some imagined, that never left him throughout his life. All of what Caro, a Pulitzer Prize winner of the biography of Robert Moses, wrote about Johnson’s hubris and ability to seek revenge were never refuted by Johnson’s supporters. Instead, Caro was chided by that group for allowing publication while LBJ’s wife and children were still alive. One wonders if such latitude would have been granted to Richard M. Nixon.

But if Johnson could feel some sympathy toward the poor Mexicans in southern Texas, he was no fan of the black residents of that area. He was less than adulatory toward the behavior and actions of Rev. King, something I know from an event that happened more than forty years ago.

During my first assignment overseas to a South American country, I paid the customary visit to various heads of section, including the Legal Attaché, who is normally an FBI Agent. Over the next few weeks, our conversational topics expanded, and during one discussion of the rioting that had taken place in the U.S., he brought up the subject of Rev. King. Let it be said that few people, myself included, at that time knew of King’s philandering and the plagiarism of his doctoral dissertation. The Legal Attaché spoke at some length that when Johnson wanted to be amused, “he would play the tapes of telephone conversations,” obtained by the FBI, between King and the women he frequented. And LBJ’s choice of words to describe King’s political involvement were less than complimentary, too.

The irony here is that the “Great Society” of Johnson, who clearly despised King, set in motion not only the placing of the monstrosity that now regales all visitors to our nation’s dysfunctional capital: the enormous statue of King, whose features remind me of those of Pharaoh, but also the affirmative action hoax that have weakened our nation’s educational institutions, and, in some definite way, the election of Obama.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 09, 2012 08:43 AM | Send

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