Civil War Essay

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What is more, Mr. Nixon spends more than half the ad explicitly telling the American people how Civil Rights is necessary for the fight against communism: Why must we vigorously defend them [Civil Rights]? First, because it is right and just. And second, because we cannot compete successfully against communism if we fail to utilize completely the minds and energy of all our citizens. And third, the whole world is watching us. When we fail to grant equality to all, that makes news – bad news – for America all over the world. This is not the type of rhetoric the history books talk about when discussing the Civil Rights – and yet here it is, in front of our faces. There is also the phrase “The whole world is watching us.” This was an iconic Civil Rights phrase, and its true meaning has somewhat been diluted in the history books. Civil Rights activists knew as well as everybody else that Civil Rights was tightly linked to the Cold War. They used this fact as a vital leverage to achieve their goals; it is no coincidence that the Freedom Rides started just a month before President Kennedy met Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the Vienna summit. This is also why Dr. Martin Luther King kept his opposition to the Vietnam War silent for so long. So when Civil Rights activists said, “The whole world is watching us,” they literally meant that the newly decolonized nations of the Third World were watching America’s treatments of its minorities. Newly free black, brown, and yellow nations could not support a country that continued treating non-whites like second-class citizens at home. And even conservatives like Richard Nixon himself used the phrase! All in all, this aspect of Civil Rights traditionally isn’t discussed much. To say that Civil Rights came about not just through sheer altruism, but also because of self-interest, diminishes the mythology that

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