Asked about the anniversary of a Civil Rights protest and where America has come since then while in South Carolina this week, Texas Governor Rick Perry replied:
Listen, America’s gone a long way from the standpoint of civil rights and thank God we have. I mean we’ve gone from a country that made great strides in issues of civil rights. I think we all can be proud of that. And as we go forward, America needs to be about freedom. It needs to be about freedom from over-taxation, freedom from over-litigation, freedom from over-regulation. And Americans regardless of what their cultural or ethnic background is they need to know that they can come to America and you got a chance to have any dream come true because the economic climate is gonna be improved.
Apparently it is lost on the governor that the Civil Rights movement was in some cases as much about economic justice as social. After all, Martin Luther King Jr. ended his life fighting for anti-poverty initiatives and the labor movement, not the right to vote or attend a movie.
Indeed, the greatest legacy of the Jim Crow Era the governor suggests he is glad we’ve moved past is the massive economic inequality between blacks and whites which persists to this day. Cutting taxes on corporations and deregulating big business couldn’t have less to do with the universal struggle for equality.