Fifty years ago exactly I spent my summer as a civil rights worker in South Carolina. I am proud of my participation, but I did one thing for which I am ashamed. I was reminded of it by Donald Trump’s visit to the African-American church in Detroit Saturday when he recalled that Republicans were the party of Lincoln.
One of my tasks back then was voter registration. We would go to the cotton fields and drive black field workers to the registrar’s office. Most of those workers were illiterate and I would sign for them as witness just below where they put their X.
I would also — and here’s the act for which I am ashamed — uniformly register the field workers in the Democratic Party. In my snot-nosed, Ivy League arrogance, I thought I was doing the right thing — for them.