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Politics of Race, part 2 – Historical Perspective of Republicans and Democrats

After 360,000 Union soldiers died in winning the Civil War, under the leadership of the first Republican President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, the country was finally poised to pass legislation regarding the abolition of slavery.  This was accomplished with the ratifying of the 13th Amendment with 100% Republican support against a large majority of Democrats opposing it.

Upon Lincoln’s assassination, Democrat Andrew Johnson assumed the Presidency.  Republicans passed the 1866 Civil Rights Act conferring citizenship to all persons born in the United States, without regard to race, color, or previous condition.  President Johnson vetoed the bill and stated, “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men. ”  The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States, which included former slaves recently freed at that time. It also forbade states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”.  The 14th Amendment was voted against by 100% of Democrats in both the House and the Senate.  Where as 100% of Republicans voted for it in the House, and 94% for it in the Senate.

In 1870, the 15th Amendment was passed by Republicans granting blacks the right to vote against 100% opposition of Democrats in the House.  All three of these Amendments were passed even though the Ku Klux Klan had been attempting to intimidate voters through terrorists tactics.  White congressman James Hinds, a Republican, was murdered by the KKK in Arkansas as he was there attempting to teach newly freed blacks of their rights.  During this same time, Tunis Campbell and 24 other black Georgia State Senators were expelled by a Democrat majority until reinstated by a Republican controlled Congress.

In 1912, Democrat Woodrow Wilson brought Jim Crow to Washington.  He was elected when many blacks voted for him after he had stated in a letter to a black church official, “Should I become President of the United States they may count upon me for absolute fair dealing for everything by which I could assist in advancing their interests of the race.”  This marked the first significant year of 100 years and counting of Democrats lying to blacks to pursue a racist political agenda.

In 1940, the Republican platform called for the integration of American armed forces, but for the duration of his presidency, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt refused to order it and continued the tradition of segregation in the Federal Government.  FDR also appointed former KKK member and fellow Democrat to the Supreme Court, Hugo Black.

In 1948, the Democrat party had started to somewhat relent on segregation and other civil rights issues.  This led to many leaving the party to join the States Rights Democratic Party.  These members who left are referred to as the Dixiecrats (as opposed to Dixiecans had they been Republicans).  Curiously, the only one you ever hear about is the one Democrat who 18 years later became a Republican, Strom Thurmond.  The fact that all the others were and remained Democrats through the entirety of their political life is buried.   The media, our public schools, and the Democrats misinform the public and attempt to insinuate that the Democrats who bolted from the Democrat party joined the Republican party.  That is categorically false and easily reputed by looking at the facts.  Here is a list of Senators affiliated with the racist Dixiecrat movement:

  • (D)VA Harry F. Byrd, 1933-1965
  • (D)VA A. Willis Robertson, 1946-1966
  • (D)MS John C. Stennis, 1947-1989
  • (D)MS James O. Eastland, 1941-1941, 1943-1978
  • (D)LA Allen J. Ellender, 1937-1972
  • (D)LA Russell B. Long, 1948-1987
  • (D)OK Thomas Pryor Gore, 1906-1921, 1931-1937
  • (D)AL J. Lister Hill, 1938-1969
  • (D)AL John J. Sparkman, 1946-1979
  • (D)FL Spessard Holland, 1946-1971
  • (D)FL George Smathers, 1951-1969
  • (D)SC Olin D. Johnston, 1945-1965
  • (D,R)SC Strom Thurmond, 1954-1956, 1956-2003
  • (D)AR John McClellan, 1943-1977
  • (D)GA Richard B. Russell, Jr., 1933-1971
  • (D)GA Herman E. Talmadge, 1957-1981
  • (D)TN Herbert S. Walters, 1963-1964

Democrat’s racism continued through the 1950s, although the party was continuing to divide on civil rights issues.  Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 with 92% of Republicans supporting the bill and only 54% of Democrats voting for it.  The Democrats attempted to filibuster the bill from coming to a vote.  Voting against the ’57 Civil Rights Act was one John F. Kennedy.  Lyndon B. Johnson had a spotless record of voting against all former attempts at Civil Rights legislation, but his political ambitions persuaded him to change his mind on the issue.  Johnson’s explanation of why he supported the 1957 Act:

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

Then in the ’60s, Bull Connor, member of the Democrat National Committee and the KKK, best known for allowing fire hoses and police dogs to be unleashed on black protestors, arrested Martin Luther King, Jr.  One interesting fact about King is that he was a Republican.  Although John & Robert Kennedy had approved wire tapping of King during those years, JFK did make the phone call to get King released from jail.   Then with Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson as president, the final version of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was written by a Republican and passed congress with almost 90% Republican approval and against almost 30% Democrat opposition.  This means every civil rights legislation passed in the United States from the Civil War to this point in time were written by Republicans.  Some Democrats again attempted to filibuster the vote for the 1964 Act, but failed.

One prominent Republican who voted against the legislation was Barry Goldwater, but he was a long proponent of civil rights and had voted in favor for all previous forms of the bill, but as a libertarian Republican, he was strictly opposed to the infringement on private property rights that some parts of the bill was to do.  Goldwater’s vote and Strom Thurmond switching from the Democrats to the Republicans is what is used as proof for the myth that the parties switched places.  Twenty-one Democrat Senators voted against the ’64 Act.  Thurmond was the only one who became a Republican.  One man switching parties can not undo over 150 years of historical fact that Republicans have always been the party of freedom.  Notably, William Fulbright (D) voted against the bill and was the mentor of Bill Clinton.  Al Gore Sr. (D) also voted against the bill.  Frantz Kebreua of has done a fantastic job of researching this topic.

Some in Democratic circles attempt to draw racism as being due to geography with references to the “deep south”.  Migration trends over the years show this to be a false argument.  From 1975 to 2007, the southern states lost 13 million people who migrated from their states to other regions.  However, during that same time period, they saw an influx from the other regions to the tune of 19.7 million people.  Not to mention the fact that since 1950, the population of the United States has more than doubled, increasing by over 150 million people.  Claims that geography holds some residual power over one’s stance on race is ridiculous.

The next Democratic lie is the “Southern Strategy” myth that they push citing Richard Nixon courted disenfranchised racist voters of the Democratic Party in the 1968 election.  Republicans had been making inroads in the south prior to that and the south was trending Republican for years, just as America was trending towards freedom and equality for years and dragging the Democratic Party with it.  In 1952, President Dwight Eisenhower (R) won three southern states, and won five in 1956.  In addition, Eisenhower won the popular vote in the souther states and narrowly missed winning a sixth state, North Carolina, that would have carried a majority of the southern states.  Nixon picked up North Carolina 12 years later to continue the trend that had been around for two decades.

The truth is simple.  The Democratic Party has long attempted to use government power to reduce individual liberty, whether from the state or federal level, while the Republican Party has long been on the side of freedom.  Knowledge is power.  The truth sets us free.

O’er the Land of the Tea, and the home of the brave.

Who said it?

“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.”

Thomas Paine

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