Opinion columnist Al Fonzi, like anyone else, has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. Beware the unsubstantiated statistics used to attempt to prove a point. In his recent opinion column, "Myth Busting II" (Oct. 8) Fonzi insists that "a majority of [Congressional] Democrats voted against that [1960s civil rights] legislation," which he refers to as " ... the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act."
To be accurate, there were three, not two, civil rights bills passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. They were the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Contrary to Fonzi's claim, the majority of Democrats, in both the House and Senate, supported all three bills.
Democratic voting for the 1964 Civil Rights Act (88th Congress) was "yea" by 153 to 91 in the House, and 46 to 21 in the Senate, according to govtrack.us. Democrats voted "yea" for the 1965 Voting Rights Act (89th Congress) by 221 to 62 in the House and 47 to 17 in the Senate. And for the 1968 Civil Rights Act (89th Congress), Democratic House members voted in favor of the bill 150 to 88 and Democratic senators favored the bill 42 to 17.
Three important pieces of civil rights legislation, votes in both houses of Congress, and Democratic majorities strongly in favor on all six votes. If Al Fonzi insists that a majority of Democratic congresspersons opposed the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, I would like review his documentation.
San Luis Obispo