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Johnson and MLK

After writing yesterday about Martin Luther King, Jr., I was intrigued to hear this NPR show that included recordings of several telephone conversations between President Johnson and MLK in the early 60s.  The show is timely because of some of the squabbling between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama about who actually 'got things done' when it came to civil rights.

The argument is ridiculous.  The recordings you'll hear if you listen to the show indicate some strong collaboration between Johnson and King.  Johnson needed King to continue to mobilize the public and create public awareness of the inequities of racism.  King needed Johnson to push legislation ahead through Congress.  I don't think that either could have been successful without the efforts of the other.

This issue has also brought a new focus to Johnson's efforts to improve civil rights in the US.  Johnson went down in flames due to getting us stuck in Vietnam.  But, he also needs to get credit for driving civil rights legislation.

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