|A guide to|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
George Wilcken Romney (1907–1995) was Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973 under Richard Nixon. He is the father of Mitt Romney, but unlike his son, George was not batshit crazy.
Reasons to like him
- George was very much in favor of civil rights, refusing to budge from this in the face of criticism from his fellow Mormons. Martin Luther King himself considered endorsing him for president!
- He shifted to an anti-Vietnam War stance after actually visiting Vietnam.
- He enacted legislation as Secretary that helped to put an end to widespread housing discrimination, thus setting the stage for the first known lawsuit against Donald Trump in 1973.
- As Secretary, Romney secretly tried to go further than the Fair Housing Act allowed by trying to coerce the city of Warren, Michigan into integrating its housing under penalty of loss of federal funds. When Nixon found out about this, he forced Romney to back down because Nixon was afraid of losing the white suburban racist vote in the 1972 election. Romney eventually chose to resign after being hamstrung by Nixon.
- He was in favor of affirmative action.
- He was one of the last "progressive conservative" Republicans who put up a fight toward the right-ward shift of his party in 1968, when he ran for the Republican presidential nomination.
Romney was the subject of a citizenship debate long before Barack Obama. As he was born in Mexico to American parents, a case could have been made that he was not a citizen of the United States by birth. However, very few people attempted to use such an argument against him whenever he ran for the Republican presidential nomination.
Unfortunately, his son is much farther to the right than George, and one wishes that this had not been the case (but his son is a 'moderate' position within the current Republican Party, where hard-liners have a strong stake).
- Mormons and the Civil Rights Act by Ed Brayton (January 26, 2012) Patheos.
- Major Landlord Accused of Antiblack Bias in City by Morris Kaplan (October 16, 1973) The New York Times.
- Military towns are the most racially integrated places in the U.S. Here’s why: After a 1930s U.S. government policy cemented segregation, the military pushed back by Sujata Gupta (February 8, 2022 at 9:00 am) Science News. See subsection, "George Romney’s radical vision".