Let's look at a few facts.
- The Republican Party formed as the Anti-Slavery Party
- The first President of the United States to invite a black man (Booker T. Washington) for a state dinner was Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican.
- The first President to appoint a black National Security Advisor was Ronald Reagan.
- The first President to appoint a black Secretary of Defense was George Bush (41).
- The first President to appoint a black Secretary of State was George W. Bush (43).
Those are rather little things. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed only because Republicans were on board. The Democrats had huge majorities in both the House and Senate and couldn't pass it. As a matter of fact the Democrats tried to kill the bill several times.
Let's look at the details. H.R.7152 passed the House on Feb. 10, 1964. The Democrats had 246 Congressmen. Only 152 voted in favor of the bill. 96 Democrats voted against it. It took the Republican Party to pass the bill. 138 Republicans voted for and only 34 voted against it.
Let's look at the Senate. Democrats had 67 senators, way more than the currently held super majority, and still they couldn't pass the bill on their own. 46 Democrats voted for the bill and 21 against. Of the 33 Republicans 27 voted for the bill and 6 against it.
So, if 1964 Civil Rights Bill is an example of government fighting racism and intolerance then let the Republicans be praised for their efforts along with the Democrats.
In case you didn't know racist southern whites refused to vote Republican for generations as they were the party of Lincoln and integration. The South has become Republican, not because of appealing to racists, but because of two reasons: one the hard core racist, anti-Republican generation slowly died off and became demographically insignificant by the early 1990s; second immigrants to the south who went there for jobs and opportunity that they didn't find in the North brought anti-union, anti-progressive -- hence anti-Democratic Party --sentiment to the south.
And finally Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy had nothing to do with appealling to Southern Racists.
Why has this meme taken hold? Because the Republicans are fighting the Progressive agenda. And, as we all know, only dumb, evil, racist fools could be against Progressive nirvana. Therefore Republicans are racists.