Donald Rumsfeld on Civil Rights
Secretary of Defense (Pres. Bush Cabinet)
School was dismissed. We got in the car and headed to my grandmother's house, [and when asked how I felt], I said I was very sad. "And scared," I added. Mrs. Riles had given me a reason.
I doubt if many children outside the South would have described their reaction to his death as fear.
Fortunately, though Lyndon Johnson was a southerner, he carried through on Kennedy's promise to end segregation. Some believe that Johnson was able to do what Kennedy could not have: assemble a coalition of northern Democrats and liberal Republicans to ram through landmark legislation. Donald Rumsfeld, then a young congressman from Chicago, was one of the Republicans who supported the President.
"First of all, we know that gays and lesbians have been serving in the military for decades with honorable service," Rumsfeld tells ABC. "We know that [repeal of a ban on gays serving openly] is an idea whose time has come." But he still has "enormous respect" for any commanders who think gays should stay in the closet.
The 39-year-old Rumsfeld is heard agreeing with Nixon’s comments on the tape. Rumsfeld said Thursday that he has no memory of the July 1971 session with Nixon, and that large portions of the 29-year-old tape recording are inaudible.
“It appears that he was characterizing some remarks that were made by Vice President Agnew. And he was characterizing -- he was quoting them in a critical manner, saying that Agnew shouldn’t have said that,” Rumsfeld said. “I agreed only with the fact that some people talk like that and that Vice President Agnew should not have used or thought such derogatory and offensive and unfair and insensitive things about minorities.”
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