( – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
A man who broke barriers in Massachusetts politics has passed away. Ed Brooke was a congenial and sharp pol. They don't make them like Ed Brooke any more and the lessons he left behind are priceless. Brooke, a Republican, appealed to a majority of Massachusetts voters. Many forget that while the Dixiecrats were opposing civil rights and defending Jim Crow, Ed Brooke and the GOP were out front for equality before the law.
Former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward W. Brooke III, a liberal Republican and civil rights champion who was the first black to win popular election to the U.S. Senate, paving the way for scores of minority politicians including President Obama, died yesterday at age 95. “Before there was a President Barack Obama, there was a Sen. Edward W. Brooke,” Ralph Neas, Brooke’s former chief counsel, told the Herald. “The president has said on a number of occasions that Sen. Brooke helped pave the way for him and that is true … He was the undisputed champion of civil rights on Capitol Hill and the Constitution never had a more diligent protector.” Brooke, who died of natural causes at his home in Coral Gables, Fla., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1966, becoming the first black to sit in that branch since Reconstruction.