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Senator Robert Byrd dead: Byrd opposed Civil Rights; backed Obama

Robert Byrd
West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd died at the age of 92 and with him, as with his friend Senator Ted Kennedy, went the passing of an era where Senators were more statesmen and women who knew the rules and cultivated friends on both sides of the aisle. People like Senator Sam Irvin.

But even with that, Robert Byrd was, for a long time, not well regarded by blacks because he voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Amendment and considered a conservative Democrat because of that stand and his support for the Vietnam War.

But Robert Byrd grew with America. Byrd is an excellent example of being able to change because he was willing to learn. From one perspective, he had to in order to remain in office, but he could have chosen not to change and just leave the Senate and go back to West Virginia. Byrd did not do that.

Here, Byrd talks about why he would have changed his vote on the Civil Rights Act:

Kentucky GOP Senate Candidate Rand Paul, who made an unfortunate comment about not supporting the Civil Rights Act, should learn from Robert Byrd. Rand Paul would do well to pay attention to his words and be all the smarter for it.

Robert Byrd is a proud symbol of America's enduring ability to grow in the face of a moral challenge. Byrd went from opposing civil rights and backing the Vietnam War, to supporting then-Senator Barsck Obama for President, helping Obama become America's first black President.

At a time when it seems racism is on the rise in some quarters, Americans would do well to learn about Robert Byrd. If he can grow, so can all of us.

Senator Robert Byrd. A true American who will be missed.
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