Human And Civil Rights – Lincoln, MLK, HHH, A Personal Observation

BS”D

As I mentioned in a recent Blog, Abraham Lincoln once appeared on the US $100 Bill instead of Benjamin Franklin. One of the most historic and heroic things Lincoln accomplished while serving in Office as US President was to abolish slavery via the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and effective as of January 1, 1863. It changed the legal status under federal law of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the Confederate states from slave to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, either by running away across Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, the slave was permanently free. Ultimately, the Union victory brought the proclamation into effect in the entire former Confederacy.

MLK

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

I Have a Dream” was delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters, the speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement and among the most iconic speeches in American history.[2][3]

Beginning with a reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared millions of slaves free in 1863,[4] King said “one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free”.[5] Toward the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme “I have a dream”, prompted by Mahalia Jackson‘s cry: “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”[6] In this part of the speech, which most excited the listeners and has now become its most famous, King described his dreams of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred.[7] Jon Meacham writes that, “With a single phrase, Martin Luther King Jr. joined Jefferson and Lincoln in the ranks of men who’ve shaped modern America”.[8] The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.[9]

HHH

The 1964 Civil Rights Act

As I have noted previously, Hubert H. Humphrey made a major contribution to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It was the most comprehensive legislation passed by US lawmakers since the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. The act outlawed discrimination in many areas such as employment, education, and housing, to name a few. It also made racial segregation illegal in state-sponsored public places, and outlawed discrimination based on race, color and religion in hotels, motels, restaurants and similar establishments.

In addition, the Civil Rights Act was followed by the Voting Rights Act, of 1965 which clearly stated the right of Africa-Americans to vote.

LBJ used many different monogrammed pens to sign the Civil  Rights Act. One of the first pens was handed to Martin Luther King who was present at the signing. MLK called it one of his most cherished possessions. The President also gave pens to Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Everett Dirksen of Illinois, the Democratic and Republican managers of the bill when it reached the Senate floor.

A Personal Comment

South African Apartheid vs. Non-Apartheid

After marrying in South Africa in 1979, I saw with my own eyes what South African blacks were experiencing under Apartheid. Separate public toilets, separate bus stops and bus services, to name just a few.  Blacks only were allowed into white areas if they had valid ID documents, and they were not allowed to vote. Hospitals in white areas were only reserved for whites.

I did not feel comfortable at that time with the fact that blacks were not given equal treatment because they are human beings as well, but I came to South Africa to marry my wife, establish a family and live in a Jewish Community. Since we lived in a Johannesburg suburb, which was designated as a Whites-only area, the blacks who lived there were mostly maids or gardeners, for the white residents.

Once Nelson Mandela became President, and Apartheid vanished, then blacks had the ability to enter white areas without worrying about proper ID documents or getting stopped by the police. That’s because blacks had the ability to enter the workforce and get an education, instead of getting shut-out from it.

Living In Israel Today And The False Claims That Israel Has A Racist Government And Practices Apartheid

I can verify that Israel has a government which protects its citizens such as myself and my family and treats all of us like one of its own family members. This is the reality even though none of my children were born here. We are Jews and have a right to live in Israel, which is a place I am proud to say that I and my family call home.

Arabs are citizens as well, with some Arabs members of the Knesset.

Every day I see Arabs working in our cities, hospitals, stores, clinics, and driving Egged and other company buses along with Israeli bus drivers.

I have commented many times on this before, but I feel it is something worth repeating. Especially since Illinois voters are scheduled to go the Democratic Primary Polls Tuesday, along with Florida and Arizona. As I am writing this, it appears the Ohio Primary also scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed to a later date.

Abraham Lincoln, who spent a good part of his adult life in Illinois, was the champion of Civil Rights and Human Rights, long before any of us were born. He recognized that something had to be done and as President he did it.

Bernie Sanders during a recent 60 Minutes episode, had kind words for Fidel Castro. He drew many comments on those words, and tried to justify them, but it seems to me that the people who live in Florida now and escaped Cuba when Fidel Castro was the dictator, won’t be too happy with what he said, and consequently won’t vote for Bernie.

And the same goes for the Jews and non-Jews who are solid Israel supporters. Those Israel supporters will also most probably cast their votes for Joe Biden. Not only because of Bernie; but what his three Squad member supporters have said about Israel as well.

It therefore, will not surprise me that at the end of the night, major  victories will take place in those  states for Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders will be once again totally embarrassed by his performance at the polls.

If Bernie would have had a nice word or two to say about Israel and its Government, just like he said about Fidel Castro, perhaps results might have been very different.

Newsflash

In case any Palestinian supporters want to generate a false report about the current situation here in Israel, due to the Coronavirus, here is the actually story that just appeared on the TOI Site restricting Palestinians from entering Israel-

Israel tightens restrictions on Palestinian workers, bars them from commuting

Only Palestinians in certain essential industries okayed to enter country, and will need to stay in Israel for month or more, Defense Ministry says Israel on Tuesday tightened restrictions on Palestinians entering the country for work, as the country largely shuttered its economy in an attempt to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In a pre-dawn announcement Tuesday, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett ordered that only Palestinian workers in certain “essential” sectors would be allowed entry. These include healthcare, agriculture and construction, and could include other industries on a case-by-case basis.

He also said Palestinians would no longer be allowed to travel back and forth from the West Bank to work sites, but would need to sleep in Israel, with the employer providing lodging. The workers were told to expect to remain in Israel for one-to-two months.

Israel has largely shut off travel from outside the country, and ordered anyone who does enter to quarantine for 14 days. However, the measure does not extend to West Bank Palestinians, who could enter from Jordan and were only required by Palestinian health officials to quarantine if coming from certain countries.

On Monday, Palestinians closed the loophole by requiring anyone coming from abroad to quarantine for two weeks.

About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager /Fundamental And Technical Analyst. Wrote in-depth research on companies, markets, commodities for leading financial publications. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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