James Webb on Civil Rights

Democratic Sr Senator


Doing away with Confederate iconography is secondary issue

Q: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to ban certain state flags from the House side of the Capitol. Democrats would like to ban Confederate symbols from federal cemeteries. So is this racial healing or part of political grandstanding?

WEBB: Unfortunately, I think you're seeing it from both sides. We're seeing an issue which should have been resolved and now is resolve, flying the Confederate battle flag in public places morphing into something much different. I asked [advisor and African American] Nelson Jones what was he hearing down in Houston on this issue? He said he was just at the barber shop and the brothers said, "Here we go again, when are we going to talk about jobs? When are we going to talk about education? When are we going to talk about harmony and bringing people together?" And that's what inclusive leadership needs to be.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2015

Evolution on gay marriage has been good for the country

Q: On gay marriage: You were for civil unions, but not for legalized gay marriage when you ran in 2006. Have you changed?

JIM WEBB: I took some very tough stands in '06. People will look back at the Virginia campaign. There was an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in Virginia. I've got a lot of family ties down in the far Southwest, and I oppose that. And I'm really comfortable with where the evolution has gone.

Q: So you're not ready, so legal in some places, but not legal in others?

WEBB: I think this has been a good thing for the country.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 5, 2014

Affirmative action should apply to African-Americans only

Q: Could you address your comments about affirmative action being “state-sponsored racism.”

WEBB: My view on affirmative action has been and remains that it’s a 13th Amendment program. If you go back to the Johnson administration’s executive order on affirmative action, it was based on the 13th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, designed to remove the badges of slavery. African-Americans are the only ethnic group in this country that have suffered from deliberate discrimination and, and exclusion by the government over generations. When this program expanded to the present day diversity programs, where essentially every ethnic group other than Caucasians are included, then that becomes state-sponsored racism. And we should either move this program back to its original intent, which I support, or we should open up diversity programs to the point where poor white cultures have some opportunity.

Source: VA Senate debate on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, p.21 , Sep 17, 2006

Supports civil unions; opposes constitutional ban

Q: Virginia’s ban on gay marriage--are you going to vote for it?

WEBB: No, I’m not. It is a bad amendment. The second paragraph is extremely vague.

Q: Are you for gay marriage?

WEBB: I am for civil unions and I’m opposed to the amendment.

Q: Are you for civil unions?

MILLER: I support civil unions and I also oppose the amendment. This is the first time Virginia’s have ever considered an amendment which would limit the rights of individuals. It is a bad idea and I oppose it.

Source: Virginia 2006 Democratic Senate Primary debate , Jun 9, 2006

Opposes constitutional ban of gay marriage

Webb opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, believes trade agreements should require other nations to improve labor standards and wages, and backs abortion rights as defined by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade. “I believe the power of the government ends at my front door unless there is a compelling reason to come inside,” he says.
Source: Jeanne Cummings, Wall Street Journal, p. A6 , Jun 8, 2006

Government’s power should end at my front door

We hear talk of morality and “values,” but what values do they espouse, other than the politics of fear and social division? Conservatives used to believe that the government should leave individuals alone. Now they want to tell you how to live your private life. I say to you, the government’s power ends at my front door, unless there is a compelling reason to come inside. Leave us alone, and let us live our lives.
Source: Campaign announcement speech , Apr 28, 2006

Realign politics by union of Scots-Irish & African Americans

As a genealogist and author of “Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America”, he is one of the leading experts and representatives of an important group of people.

On the topic of race, James Webb in 2004 wrote: “the greatest realignment in modern politics would take place rather quickly if the right national leader found a way to bring the Scots-Irish and African Americans to the same table, and so to redefine a formula that has consciously set them apart for the past two centuries.”

Source: Draft Webb website, www.draftjameswebb.com , Jan 3, 2006

ENDA: prohibit employment discrimination for gays.

Webb signed H.R.3017&S.1584

Prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by covered entities (employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, or joint labor-management committees). Prohibits preferential treatment or quotas. Allows only disparate treatment claims. Prohibits related retaliation.

    Makes this Act inapplicable to:
  1. religious organizations; and
  2. the relationship between the United States and members of the Armed Forces.
Source: Employment Non-Discrimination Act 09-HR3017 on Jun 24, 2009

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Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016