ENDA, Cruz/Cornyn and the Wrong Side of History

Yesterday, the Senate, in a rare show of bi-partisanship, passed ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) 64-32. The bill would ban anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. This highlights that a civil rights struggle we have all been watching slowly but surely come to an end.

Of course, not everyone feels that way. Texas's two senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, voted against the bill, putting the Texas contingent on the wrong side of history. So it might be instructive for Cruz and Cornyn to look back at history and see how other politicians, intellectuals and opinion leaders, who voiced their opinion on important issues . . . and came out on the wrong side of history.

1. "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." Alabama Governor George Wallace (1963)

Note the rhetoric. Compare it to what comes out of Cruz's mouth.

2. "They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit." Chief Justice Roger Taney, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).

3. "Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers and to prevent any possibility of the employers providing work for the people." Rep. John Taber (R-NY) (1935) talking about Social Security

4. "We must not allow ourselves to be deflected by the feminists who are anxious to force us to regard the two sexes as completely equal in position and worth." Sigmund Frued (1925).   5. "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say: "You helped this happen." Jerry Falwell on 9/11

6. "That cracker made a lot of African-American millionaires." Rush Limbaugh, on the death of longtime New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, July 13, 2010

7. "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." Pat Robertson

8. "The white people of the South are the greatest minority in this nation. They deserve consideration and understanding instead of the persecution of twisted propaganda." Strom Thurmond

9. "I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either." Trent Lott (2002)

10. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yes, that last one was intentional. Cruz and Cornyn might think about it.

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