Section One

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October 29, 1969: “You One of Those Extremists Who Thinks It’s Time For Desegregation?”
Washington Post

Richard Nixon’s civil rights record was mixed, but Herblock’s profound dislike for the president led him to overlook any of the administration’s achievements in this area. Therefore, when it came to civil rights, he saw Nixon as an obstructionist at best. But Nixon’s policy on civil rights was both conservative and surprisingly liberal. He eschewed attacks on southern schools, while working behind the scenes to end legal school discrimination in the South. His administration also promoted affirmative action, fought housing discrimination in the North, and created the Office of Minority Business Enterprise.

While doing this, however, Nixon openly courted disaffected segregationist Democrats and people who voted for George Wallace in 1968 with rhetoric on “law and order” and “states’-rights.”