Republicans should never miss an opportunity to respond to this defamation, not because they expect to win black votes but simply because it is a lie. It libels not just Republicans, but America. The achievements of the civil rights movement were bipartisan (though more Republicans voted for the civil rights laws than Democrats). Republicans and Democrats alike recognized the injustice of Jim Crow and racial discrimination and worked to bury them.
But while many Democrats have spent the last 50 years dining out on the glories of 1965 and attempting to throw figurative white sheets over the heads of Republicans, Republicans have been searching for solutions to the post-civil rights era problems plaguing black America. Who has been in the forefront of what many have called "the civil rights issue of our time" -- the schools? Republican governors like Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Mary Fallin and Bob McDonnell have championed some form of school choice program for low-income students.
What does everybody think No Child Left Behind was all about? Hint: It wasn't aimed at suburban kids in decent schools.
Republican or conservative-leaning businessmen and foundations, from the late Ted Forstmann to the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, to John Walton to Richard DeVos have devoted millions of their own fortunes to providing opportunities for mostly black, inner city kids to get a decent education and a chance at a better life.
In 2004, one of prime movers behind the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Fund was John A. Boehner. It provided funding for thousands of District children to attend private schools -- a few even got into Sidwell Friends. In 2009, President Obama attempted to defund it. Working with then-Senator Joe Lieberman, Boehner was able to force it back into the budget.
None of the speakers at the march mentioned that. None would.