Why Civil Rights Issues Shouldn’t Be Up for a Popular Vote. Newark’s Mayor “Gets It.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie last week reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage legislation in the state while supporting the idea of a referendum on the matter. He commented,

The fact of the matter is, I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the Civil Rights era will recognize this statement as bunk. Can Governor Christie be so ignorant of one of the most important popular movements in American history? Anyone who has seen Ken Burns’s Eyes on the Prize knows that no referendum granting equal rights to African Americans would ever have passed in any Southern state in the 60s. Many blacks were in fact disenfranchised at the time.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s response to Governor Christie’s is brilliant:

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