1. On The Great Society
During his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society Initiatives included creating the? Department of Housing and Urban Development, the High Way beautification act, a Water Quality, a Clean Air act….The Republican national committee could barely raised the $200K each month necessary to keep its office open. (p.13)
2. New Deal Liberals created the middle class then turned around and started criticizing the middle classes consumption of cheap products. (p.42). Fascinating. How could this possibly been productive? Talk down to the people who believed in you and your policies?
3. JFK on the Democratic party in a debate with Nixon.
I come out of the Democratic party, which in this century has produced Woodrow Wilson…..Nixon comes out of the Republican party. He was nominated by it….for the last of these twenty five years, the Republican leadership has opposed federal aid for education, medical care for the aged, development of the Tennessee Valley, development of our natural resources (p.56).
4. Joe Kennedy fixed it so that JFK’s book, Profiles in Courage won the Pulitzer prize (p. 59). #Joewasgully.
5. In 1965 Democrats made up most of registered voters. Nixon NEEDED Democrats to win (p. 69).
6. 1966 Civil Rights Act? was introduced by President LBJ, and at its center was Title IV to outlaw housing discrimination (p.77). White folks were not having this shit.
To those who claimed? it was unconstitutional for the federal government to interfere with the private housing market, the bill’s supporters pointed out how deeply the federal government subsidized the private housing market.
White folks faught this tooth and nail writing to their congressmen’s mailboxes saying,
This takes away a person’s rights. We are people and need someone to protect us.
Freedom for all- including the white race, please! (p.77).
7. Nixon had William Safire on retainer to write his speeches. #ummhmm
8. Perlstein called Strom Thurmond a racist gargoyle. Shit made me laugh.
9. In 1962, lying about Vietnam was now a Washington way of life. (p.99). As soon as I read this I thought, to what extent are we being lied to about Afghanistan and Iraq.
10. On Chicago’s awful housing for Black folks.
In the late 1940’s Chicago, when the postwar housing shortage was at its peak, you could find ten Black families living living in a basement, sharing a single stove but not a single flush toilet, in “apartments” subdivided by cardboard. One racial bombing or arson happen every three weeks. The job of the mayors Commission on Human Relations was to see that none of these incidents made it into one of the city’s six daily papers. (p.106).
11.? SPONGE (Society for the Prevention of Negros Getting Everything). A gang of Italian kids in Summer of 1966 in Brooklyn who were ready to go at it in the name of a race war (p.109).
The name of this organization reminds me of White fear that Black folks gone take everything, if they got the chance. Yes it is irrational, but it is hella real and needs to be acknowledge. Isn’t this a Tea Party talking point as well?
12. MLK on Chicago ” I think the people of Mississippi ought to come to Chicago to learn how to hate.” (p.119)
13.When a Black man tried to move in the Chicago community of Cicero in 1951 the ensuing white riot was so big it made news around the world (p.123).
“Between July 10 and 12, 1951, approximately two to five thousand white Cicero residents attacked an apartment building housing a single black family.”
16. On White Flight from DC to the Suburbs.
From my work on the Oakland + Crack project, I know that where white white people go, government funding for houses, roads, schools follows.
18. On the Republicans and Whites.
The Republicans were only following the lead of the public. Millions of voters were newly equation Republicanism with preserving their homes, and voting Democratic with surrendering them. In California, people who’d voted Democrat their entire adult lives were pledging fealty to Ronald Reagan(p.126).
This is huge, and one of the main reasons why I wanted to read this book in the first place.
19. There is a difference between policy + law and a budget and the political will to enforce it. The fight over school integration speaks to this.
20. On Guns and Butter.
The notion that the nation could afford both Vietnam ad the Great Society – “Guns and Butter”- was a central organizing principal of his presidency (p.139).
Its incredible that he thought we could afford wars and a society that invested in keeping people alive, educated and working. Its 2010, how does Guns and Butter play now?
What was the most surprising thing you have read in Nixonland?
Did you know his mom was a pacifist?
Would our country had been different, racially + politically without a Nixon?