The director of movie “Selma,” an African-American woman, portrayed Lyndon Johnson as a redneck obstructionist. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Martin Luther King Jr. asked Johnson how he could help get the civil rights bill passed. Johnson suggested King organize something to get the media’s attention, which prompted King to organize the march in Selma. That helped propel Congress to pass the civil rights bill.

Also during that tumultuous time, Johnson created the Great Society, paving the way for senior citizens to not live in squalor on a fixed retirement and be bankrupt with medical bills. We got Medicare/Medicaid and other assistance.

I remember one time a friend, who was a black captain, and I went into a cafe for a cup of coffee. The TV was showing the march in Selma and the awful melee going on. A man passed our table and muttered in a soft voice, “Those poor (folks) haven’t got a chance.” He then noticed my friend and said, “Sorry.” My friend thanked the man for caring and told me he had nothing but the greatest of respect for LBJ and all he did.

Then my friend told me about something that happened to him in the south in the 1950s. A white private passed him without saluting. My friend stopped him and said, “You forgot to salute.” The private said, “I don’t salute n–s.” My friend took off his hat and said, “The eagle on this hat represents all Americans, so please give it the respect it deserves and salute it.” He did.

In my opinion, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do more to stir up racism than calm it. On the other hand King and Johnson were the true leaders of equality for all; we need more people like them.

Frank Slason


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