As Al Sharpton ridiculed Herman Cain on MSNBC's "The Last Word" Friday for saying blacks have been brainwashed into voting for Democrats, the reverend ended up proving the Republican presidential candidate's point.
Seconds after claiming, "What [Cain] does not have the right is to rewrite history by saying that blacks were brainwashed by becoming Democrats," Sharpton showed his ignorance of the subject by stating, "We went with a Party that stood up for the Civil Rights Act of '64 and Voting Rights Act of '65" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC: I think that I agree with both Goldie and Melissa. He had the right not to be involved. What he does not have the right is to rewrite history by saying that blacks were brainwashed by becoming Democrats, because when blacks became Democrats, my parents were Republicans. As I said, Dr. King's family was. I'm nine or ten years younger than Mr. Cain, and I joined the movement later on in the ’60s when I was still a teenager.
I don't begrudge him for not making my choice, but I do begrudge him for acting like we're brainwashed because we went with a Party that stood up for the Civil Rights Act of '64 and Voting Rights Act of '65. There's a reason blacks did not stay with the Republican Party. So I think when he stepped in to calling people brainwashed and totally discarded the fact that it was based on public policy that people made their political choices, and, in fact, changed their choices from the Party of Lincoln.
Not surprisingly, Sharpton's quite unaware of who voted for these pieces of legislation.
The House version of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by only 61 percent of that Chamber's Democrats versus 80 percent of the Republicans.
More importantly, it was Republicans that ended a Democrat filibuster preventing a vote on this bill in the Senate. 82 percent of Republicans voted for cloture versus 66 percent of Democrats.
In the final Senate vote on the Act, 82 percent of Republicans voted "Aye" versus 69 percent of Democrats.
Quite contrary to what Sharpton and most liberals think, a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats supported this Civil Rights Act.
The same is true for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 when 94 percent of Senate Republicans voted in favor of the bill versus 73 percent of Democrats. The final vote on the House's version was even more stark as only one Senate Republican voted against it compared to seventeen Democrats.
In the House, 82 percent of Republicans supported the bill versus 78 percent of Democrats.
No matter how you slice it, both of these landmark pieces of civil rights legislation had greater support from Republicans than Democrats.
Yet Sharpton has the nerve to say, "We went with a Party that stood up for the Civil Rights Act of '64 and Voting Rights Act of '65."
That Party would be the GOP, Reverend. Who's brainwashed and/or rewriting history now?