Something Like the Truth

By Robert Mann

Who was really responsible for the 1965 voting rights act? And who inspired the bloody 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, which is portrayed in the new film “Selma“?

I haven’t yet seen the film, but some reviewers and former aides to President Lyndon Johnson are criticizing the filmmaker for portraying LBJ as a reluctant supporter of voting rights and the Selma march.

As CBS reported,

“A December 1964 meeting in the Oval Office is reenacted on the big screen: Martin Luther King, Jr. entreats the help of then-President Lyndon B. Johnson to ensure voting rights for black Americans. ‘Mr. President,’ King says in the film, ‘in the South, there have been thousands of racially motivated murders. . . we need your help.'”

Johnson, according to the movie’s account, responds with a condescending pat on the shoulder and a line that some…

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