I hate to break it to minorities, but the Democrats are not and never have been… your friends. You only became worthy when your numbers became worthy of swaying votes their way.
Before and during the Civil War, it was Republicans, lead by Abraham Lincoln who advocated an end to slavery. While Reconstruction had enormous problems under the Republicans (carpetbaggers, for one, which is a story unto itself), it was until the end of Reconstruction and the Democrats had control of the South again, that things once again went south for the blacks.
Before the black community signs onto any party. Before you call another black conservative a traitor to his or her race. Before you endorse anyone on the basis of color, please read this post, despite it’s extremely long, multipaged, length.
Since the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, African Americans had
voted primarily with the Republican Party. The Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator.” After Lincoln’s assassination, the so called “Radical Republicans” helped to establish the Freedman’s Bureau, passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and drafted the Fourteenth Amendment, preventing states from denying rights to U.S. citizens. In 1868, Ulysses S. Grant was elected President with the help of Southern African Americans, who were voting in a presidential election for the first time. During Grant’s presidency, the Radical Republicans introduced and ratified the Fifteenth Amendment, which stated that a citizen’s (male only) right to vote could not be denied because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” African Americans, particularly former slaves, became loyal members of the Republican Party.
When Reconstruction ended in 1877, Southern Democrats regained power and began passing and implementing legal restrictions such as the poll tax, literacy tests and “grandfather” clauses, effectively disenfranchising much of the new African-American electorate. In addition, the Southern states passed a series of “Jim Crow” laws, which regulated most areas of private and public life. The end of Reconstruction also marked the end of the limited national political courtship of African-American voters. African Americans were either stripped of their political rights, as in the South, or, as in the North, their numbers were not
large enough to affect the outcome of any election.
That’s what the Democrats did and they didn’t stop there, did they?
Increasingly intolerable conditions in the South spurred a movement northward of African Americans during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, known as the Great Migration. However, discrimination was also a fact of life in Northern industrial cities. Covenants limited the housing stock available to black families and labor unions denied membership to African-American workers. Employers frequently hired blacks only as a last resort. In 1896 the Supreme Court legalized segregation in its ruling in Plessy vs. Ferguson, saying that “separate but equal” facilities did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. Segregation by law (de jure) in the South, and by custom (de facto) in the North, was entrenched in society and law well into the middle of the twentieth century.
While African-American suffrage was secure in the Northern and Western states, and small numbers of African Americans were appointed to local public offices during the tenure of Theodore Roosevelt, on the whole, blacks possessed little political or economic power at the turn of the century. Southerner Woodrow Wilson ran on the Democratic ticket for the presidency in 1912 with promises of action on civil rights issues, winning the endorsement of the fledgling National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). But once in office, Wilson did little to advance the cause of equal protection for African Americans. Some historians have concluded that his administration’s policies, in effect, reinforced segregation within the ranks of the federal government. This lack of progress in civil, political and economic rights in the aftermath of World War One led to the loss of the African-American vote for the Democrats in the Election of 1920, as the black electorate returned to the fold of the Republican Party. African Americans during the period increasingly united around the issue of civil rights and anti-lynching legislation, and predominantly-black neighborhoods in major urban centers began to emerge as cohesive voting blocks that could potentially influence the outcome of an election.
The Election of 1928 signaled the first time since Reconstruction that a national political party made an organized effort to woo the African-American vote. Al Smith, the Democratic presidential candidate and the first Catholic nominee for the office from a major party, enlisted the help of James Weldon Johnson, the executive secretary of the NAACP, and Walter White, the assistant secretary, who was on leave from the organization to research a book on the lynching crisis in the United States (Weiss, 9). White especially was determined to stop both parties from taking the African-American vote for granted. While the Smith campaign stated it wanted to show that the Democratic Party had changed, in reality, no outward effort was made to include African Americans or to address racial issues. White and Johnson drafted a statement of support for Smith, but it was never issued. As a result, White withdrew his public support, although he continued to provide behind-the-scenes advice…
In spite of the withdrawal it began a trend of courting voters on the basis of race and there were more Democratic supporters among black voters than at any other time since the Reconstruction. Hoover, a Republican was elected President, during which we suffered the Great Depression. Then along comes Roosevelt:
At the time, the Democratic ticket seemed to offer African Americans no viable alternative to Republican candidates. As governor of New York, Franklin Roosevelt did not have a sterling civil rights record. Additionally, the Democratic choice of Texan John Nance Garner for the Vice Presidency was not acceptable to most African Americans, since Texas was known as a Jim Crow state that persisted in denying blacks the vote.
However, the Hoover administration had also done little to earn the loyalty of African Americans. African Americans were disproportionately affected by the Depression, losing jobs at a greater rate than whites. Another issue that had angered African Americans was Hoover’s nomination of John J. Parker, who had been outspoken in his comments supporting the disenfranchisement of African Americans during a run for governor of North Carolina, to the United States Supreme Court (Weiss, 17). For the first time, the NAACP found its political voice in successfully lobbying against Parker’s nomination.
For most African Americans, the Election of 1932 represented a choice between a candidate who, though disappointing, was from the party of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, and a largely unknown candidate with little proclivity toward the rights of African Americans. Moreover, Roosevelt represented the party that had historically oppressed African Americans through Jim Crow laws and had blocked anti-lynching legislation.
Nonetheless, stresses of the time compelled a few well-known African Americans to openly defect to the Democratic Party. Robert L. Vann, editor of the influential black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier, openly called for African Americans to “emancipate themselves from blind allegiance to the Republican Party” (Weiss, 16). Yet, despite the lack of assistance from the Republicans, most African Americans chose the devil they knew.
Roosevelt took office in March of 1933. Shortly after his inauguration, the NAACP requested a meeting with the new president to discuss racial concerns. The NAACP representatives were not surprised when their request was denied, but they were determined not to give up. The new administration, subsumed by the problems generated by the Depression, tended to view African Americans under the greater umbrella of “Americans.” Since he was trying to help the American people as a whole, Roosevelt reasoned, there was no need to single blacks out as a group. Moreover, the president needed the support of southern Democratic politicians to pass his wide-sweeping legislation.
In the first hundred days, the administration pushed through numerous pieces of legislation. Among this legislation were the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) that included the Public Works Administration (PWA), and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). On the surface, these acts appeared to do nothing to further the cause of civil rights or of African Americans. Each program was administered on the local level and controlled by the local government. While African Americans were the recipients of aid, the Southern states practiced discriminatory distribution procedures, despite federal antidiscrimination regulations. It was not until intervention from the federal government that blacks began to receive a proportionate share of assistance.
Another complicating issue was that the list of occupations regulated by the National Recovery Administration (NRA) did not include jobs typically held by African Americans. The New Deal farming programs sent relief directly to landowners, who, more often than not, failed to pass along the assistance to their black tenants or sharecroppers.
Over time, African Americans received assistance from these programs, in part, due to greater intervention from Washington. The New Deal offered a degree and level of support to African Americans that differed markedly from past administrations. While segregation and discrimination was prominent in the local administration of relief programs, this reality ran counter to the administration’s official policy. National policy was difficult to enforce at the local level, particularly in the South, leading many African Americans to feel excluded from relief programs. Nonetheless, the administration sought to ensure that the programs were implemented fairly, which, for African Americans, represented a drastic break from the status quo.
In addition to non-discrimination policies, the Roosevelt administration was differed from previous administrations in other significant ways. Both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were publicly seen and photographed with African Americans, something prior presidents and administrations permitted only infrequently.
Prominent African Americans were often invited guests of the White House. The President and First Lady visited New Deal encampments, giving speeches of support to predominantly black audiences. Further, Roosevelt appointed Harold Ickes the administrator of the PWA. With a history of sensitivity to the cause of civil rights, Ickes, who once headed the Chicago branch of the NAACP, tried to ensure that African Americas received a “square deal” (Weiss, 51). Finally, Roosevelt appointed more African Americans to federal positions than all previous Republican administrations combined. Although the positions were not often high profile or high level, the appointment of African Americans in those positions was important in itself.
Perhaps the most prominent political symbol of the Roosevelt administration’s attitude toward African Americans was the existence of the “Black Cabinet.” The Black Cabinet was an unofficial group of African Americans on the staff of New Deal agencies. The existence of the group served two important functions. First, it insured that African Americans had jobs in government agencies. And second, the Cabinet represented African Americans working from within the structure of the government (Weiss, 136). Led by Mary McLeod Bethune, the group served in an unofficial capacity as advisor on racial matters to the Roosevelt administration. Working behind the scenes, the Black Cabinet assured that the concerns of African Americans were heard by the administration and helped to effect change in the administration of several New Deal programs.
The Election of 1936 represented a major shift in the allegiance and voting patterns of African American voters. African Americans, however, were not voting merely for the Democratic Party at this time. Their vote was an affirmation of New Deal policies and the Roosevelt administration. Despite a certain level of discrimination and segregation, New Deal policies had positively affected African Americans: Jobs programs such as the National Youth Administration (NYA) employed 25,000; the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) enlisted 200,000; and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) assisted 1,000,000 Americans (Spencer, 307). This election symbolized the first time since Reconstruction that national political parties actively courted African Americans. Because of their increased population in Northern cities, it was possible for blacks to sway contests in key states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Thus the African American vote was important to both the Democrats and the Republicans.
I suggest you read the whole paper which is linked at the title. I’d like to move on to some new areas.
One of the more recent occurences within the Democratic Party is a propensity for feeling the need to offer apologies. However, the apologies should all come from the DNC. If you don’t think so, read this: Democrats and Apologies. If the New Deal had done all it should have done, there would have been no lines divided on the basis of race. There would have been no need for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.
History shows that the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democrat Party. This ugly fact about the Democrat Party is detailed in the book, A Short History of Reconstruction, (Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1990) by Dr. Eric Foner, the renown liberal historian who is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. As a further testament to his impeccable credentials, Professor Foner is only the second person to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians.
Democrats in the last century did not hide their connections to the Ku Klux Klan. Georgia-born Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan wrote on page 21 of the September 1928 edition of the Klan’s “The Kourier Magazine”: “I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat. My father … never voted for any man who was not a Democrat. My grandfather was …the head of the Ku Klux Klan in reconstruction days…. My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat…. My great-great-grandfather was…one of the founders of the Democratic party.”
Dr. Foner in his book explores the history of the origins of Ku Klux Klan and provides a chilling account of the atrocities committed by Democrats against Republicans, black and white.
On page 146 of his book, Professor Foner wrote: “Founded in 1866 as a Tennessee social club, the Ku Klux Klan spread into nearly every Southern state, launching a ‘reign of terror‘ against Republican leaders black and white.” Page 184 of his book contains the definitive statements: “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy. It aimed to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.”
Heartbreaking are Professor Foner’s recitations of the horrific acts of terror inflicted by Democrats on black and white Republicans. Recounted on pages 184-185 of his book is one such act of terror: “Jack Dupree, a victim of a particularly brutal murder in Monroe County, Mississippi – assailants cut his throat and disemboweled him, all within sight of his wife, who had just given birth to twins – was ‘president of a republican club‘ and known as a man who ‘would speak his mind.’”
“White gangs roamed New Orleans, intimidating blacks and breaking up Republican meetings,“ wrote Dr. Foner on page 146 of his book. On page 186, he wrote: “An even more extensive ‘reign of terror’ engulfed Jackson, a plantation county in Florida’s panhandle. ‘That is where Santa has his seat,‘ remarked a black clergyman; all told over 150 persons were killed, among them black leaders and Jewish merchant Samuel Fleischman, resented for his Republican views and for dealing fairly with black customers.“
While making such statements and political platforms, the DNC, once again, pandered to a segment of society to further their own ends without regard to the consequences of such actions. They perpetuated a myth of Conservative Racism and also read this article at The Black Commentator.
As this artice shows, the Democratic Party is not a friend to the blacks, nor any other minority. They are simply opportunists who count on a good bit of historical amnesia.
For years, the Democratic Party his portrayed itself as the friend of blacks and other racial minorities in America. Its leaders and supporters have proven adept at the art of historical slight of hand, as they have convinced the vast majority of blacks with overwhelming success that Democrats are civil rights champions. However, the “Information Age” has ushered in a new era of awareness for those who seek it, as the ubiquity of the Internet has delivered volumes of historical data right to one’s fingertips. With this awareness comes a new view on the Democratic Party’s true relationship to America’s black population…
The issue of civil rights proved extremely contentious and divisive for the Democratic Party, when in 1948, a group of Southern Democrats who opposed integration and wanted to retain Jim Crow laws and racial segregation broke from the party to form the Dixiecrat Party. In 1964, it took the leadership of Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen to break the Democratic filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill led by current Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and then Senator Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee. In the Senate, only six Republicans voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, vis-à-vis twenty-one Democrats in opposition. In the House, 40% of the Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act, while only 20% of Republicans opposed it. (Read the entire Article. It’s thought provoking and an eye opener.)
Republicans were on the side of Civil Rights long before the Democrats. History has been rewritten in the schools to keep this knowledge secret. However as part of the above article noted, the advent of the internet can’t keep out those pieces of history, the Democrats would rather forget. Here’s another good article on the subject:
For 150 years, the Republican Party held high the banner of civil rights. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party defended slavery, segregation and allied itself with the Ku Klux Klan to take the vote away from black and white Republicans and terrorize them into submission. Little wonder the Democratic Party was known as the “party of the Klan” well into the 20th century. When Democrats finally embraced the cause of racial freedom in the 1960s, they were the “Johnny come latelys” of the civil rights movement, simply undoing the damage their Party had inflicted on racial minorities during the prior 100 years. We, the Party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and Ward Connerly, have a far better claim to civil rights but we have forgotten our own history.
We have forgotten our history. It is said that those who forget what history teaches us are doomed to repeat it and we see the evidence of that theory in today’s times.
Think about this: Martin Luther King was a Republican.
During the civil rights era of the 1960’s, Dr. King was fighting the Democrats who stood in the school house doors, turned skin-burning fire hoses on blacks and let loose vicious dogs. It was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who pushed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools. President Eisenhower also appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision ending school segregation. Much is made of Democrat President Harry Truman’s issuing an Executive Order in 1948 to desegregate the military. Not mentioned is the fact that it was President Eisenhower who actually took action to effectively end segregation in the military.
Democrat President John F. Kennedy is lauded as a proponent of civil rights. However, Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil rights Act while he was a senator, as did Democrat Senator Al Gore, Sr. And after he became president, John F. Kennedy was opposed to the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. King that was organized by A. Phillip Randolph who was a black Republican. President Kennedy, through his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy, had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of being a Communist in order to undermine Dr. King.
All things considered what has the Democratic Party done for the black community, including those charlatans such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? When Don Imus made a pretty lousy comment about that girls’ basketball team, it would have had no effect whatsoever on those girls if not for Al Sharpton publicly bringing it up. Their self esteem would not have been affected one iota because… they would never have known about it! Yet, what Sharpton did is lauded as a good thing? I’ve yet to understand why.
Indeed, the Democrats’ record on minority issues begs one to wonder they are so keen on the Latino votes. Could it be that they need those votes to keep them down and out? Who are the ones complaining that our lettuce won’t be picked, houses and hotels cleaned, or work at fast food restaurants won’t be done? When one breaks down the rhetoric of sounds good babbling one realizes that everything is focused on one thing: creating and maintaining an elite class with the Democratic Party in power. Is it any wonder, the black community is feeling disposable these days? Who has suffered most from the influx of illegal aliens taking the jobs “Americans won’t do”? It seems you’ve been replaced because somewhere along the line, the Democratic Party lost its battle to keep the black community down. …virtually every serious racist in American political history was a Democrat.
Those who learn history in schools today don’t really understand who did what from what party. History has been rewritten to be “politically correct.”
The funny thing is you don’t often hear about the Dems’ segregationist past. Reading about this stuff in school, I’d assumed civil rights blockers were “racist Republicans” — you know, those “rich” white men who hate black people? Such assumptions are ingrained, which is why I advised Republicans not to hold their collective breath “courting the black vote.”
In closing, as you listen to the Democrats scramble, remember their true agenda in the political arena. This is not to say that Republicans are as pure as the driven snow but merely to open your eyes to those who will use and abuse you. Indeed, I would advise any person of voting age to seriously weigh the issues that affect all mankind, rather than a select few, and vote accordingly, regardless of party affiliation. But think with your head, critically and questioning. Make a new tradition for and promise to yourself to do so. Don’t buy into the propaganda but weigh things carefully, independent of race, creed, or culture.