OPINION PIECE BY SAMUEL STRAIT – September 11, 2016 –
As one well versed in methods of historical research, another letter to the editor, to be found in the Triplicate is again guilty of playing fast and loose with history. In his letter (Triplicate, Letters September 8th) titled “‘Racism'” fits Republicans more than Democrats” Mr. Don Stewart wants to “correct the misleading statements regarding the stance of the Democratic Party and the civil rights movement” which is a response to an earlier Letter to the Editor by Frank Cole.
Mr Stewart begins his letter by admitting that the Democrats of the nineteenth century were in fact a racist party responsible for the formation of the KKK shortly after the Civil War (1861 to 1865). Following the Civil War, it was only due to the Republican Party in the face of stiff opposition from Democrats that the Proclamation Emancipation came into being, along with the 17th,18th and 19th amendments. In his letter Mr. Stewart is quick to gloss over the history of the Democratic Party between the Civil War and the 1960’s. It was during this period that strong opposition by Democrats on three separate occasions blocked the passage of Republican bills granting Civil Rights to Blacks. In addition to these troubling activities, Democrats have further problems explaining their fascination with Eugenics and Margret Sanger, whose activities in the 20’s and 30’s targeted Blacks and Native Americans for sterilization as being undesirable races. Those troubles continue for the Party with their connections to the Nazi and the Fascist regimes in Europe prior to the Second World War where the term “useless people” came into the lexicon of the Democratic Party. While there are many other instances of Democratic fondness for being racist, it would fill the pages of a rather lengthy book. It would be safe to say that the Democratic Party was very clearly a racist party up until the 1960’s. The question now becomes, Was there any change as Mr Stewart suggests?
The answer without question, is NO! It was very definitely not the Democrats that were responsible for the passage of the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s. One merely has to go to either the pages of Federal Register or the History of the Houses of Congress to learn that the passage of these two acts came as a result of far greater support from the Republicans than Democrats. Southern Democrats made up the largest voting block in opposition to Civil Rights, not Conservative Republicans. The myth that large numbers of anti civil rights Democrats changed to the Republican Party following the Passage of Civil Rights is just that. Federal Register documents show that of the 1500 or so Democrats who fought against civil rights, only fourteen switched to being Republican. The balance remained Democrats.
So, as historical record has put paid to the notion that minorities were given their Civil Rights by the Democratic Party, and Democrats did not change over to Republicans in any significant numbers, has the stance of the Democratic Party changed in any way at least from the stand point of being racist? The answer once again is NO! Most rank and file Democrats today would object to that characterization and they would be right in doing so, yet when a researcher examines the make up of the US population you will find that a vast majority of Blacks live in Democratically controlled urban areas where they are most likely relegated to living in Democratically inspired “new plantations” just like the slaves of the 1800’s. Those modern versions of plantations are now called “housing projects, or ghettos”. Remember the 20’, 30’s term ” useless people” which entered the vocabulary of Democrats of that period? In modern America, Democratic controlled urban areas, have reconstituted that term to include those blacks, and now Mexicans in their barrios. By virtue of limited opportunity, failing schools, and lack of any means to become successful, the modern black man has become even more dependent on the meager existence parceled out by urban governments. In order to retain those meager “benefits” like the slaves of the 1800’s all they have to do is vote Democratic. The truly sad thing about this great con is that modern black men do not have any work related skills something at least a slave on an 18th century plantation was very likely to have. The racism comes in when it is clear that after fifty or more years of control by Democrats in those urban “projects”, the black man has become so dependent on Democrats that he has once again become enslaved.
While the average person in today’s American who considers themselves Democrats will object to being thrown in with that connotation, yet it is undeniable that this enslavement exists in Democratically controlled urban areas, some for more than fifty years. You may say, how is that possible? Enslavement in America today? The answer is yes. Unless rank and file Democrats and Establishment type Republicans wake up it will spread from urban area to rural America as well. While the election of President Obama to the presidency of the United States was thought to be “THE” break through in the equality of races, it has not done so. Keeping in mind that President Obama is a Democrat, and for a time Democrats controlled both houses, how can the modern black man be worse off than ever before? Useless people? I’d venture to say that racism in the Democratic Party is alive and well in America today.