Next time you hear this please do NOT let them get away from the “rest of the story”. Both statements above are true. After the Civil War, Southerners hated Republicans (remember Lincoln). They also fought against blacks in the Civil War. The Union used Northern blacks and Southern blacks that escaped slavery. This is why Southerners were Democrats after the Civil War in large numbers. In 1964, the Dixiecrats (Southern Democrats) hated integration (remember busing). They opposed Civil Rights in large numbers. The real issue with Civil Rights was NOT Democrat versus Republican – it was North versus South. See the numbers folks: http://mixermuse.com/blog/2009/12/15/of-all-the-varieties-of-virtues-liberalism-is-the-most-beloved-aristotle/ .
After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Dixiecrats joined the Republican Party in mass. Why do you think they did this? They found their true ideological home with the Republicans. The big, bad, evil Federal Government was forcing their kids to go to school with blacks. Many states in the South are still very Republican. If Civil Rights happened today without everything that has happened since 1964, the Republicans in the South would oppose it. They might know how to keep their mouth shut now but speaking as one from Louisiana, the Dixiecrats are Republican now and have learned to keep their bigotry to themselves.