COMMENTARY: Facts Rarely Discussed About Blacks and the Democratic Party.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ~ James Baldwin

May 22, 1856 Republican US Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts was nearly beaten to death on the floor of the US Senate by US Representative Preston Brooks, a member of the Democratic Party of South Carolina.

Not one Democratic member of the House or Senate voted for the 14th Amendment to grant citizenship to former slaves.

The White League was a paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party and started in 1874 to terrorize white Republicans and Blacks. The White League was credited with contributing to the Democratic Party takeover of the Louisiana legislature in 1876, members of the White League were absorbed into the state militias and the National Guard.

Described by a federal grand jury in 1870 as a terrorist arm of the Democratic Party the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was founded in 1866 to wage an underground war of violence and intimidation on white and Black Republicans.

The first grand wizard of the KKK was honored at the 1868 Democratic National Convention.

With the regaining of political power in all Southern states in 1877 the Democratic Party legislators passed state laws known as the Black Codes and Jim Crow which would stay in effect until the Civil Rights legislation of the ‘60s.

White Primaries in which any nonwhite was prohibited from participating were established by the Democratic Party and state legislators after 1890. The last case ruling on the White Primaries was by the Supreme Court in 1944 with the Smith vs. Allwright case.

Black Americans were not permitted to attend the Democratic Party Conventions until 1924,

In response to the Brown vs Board of Education decision 99 members of congress signed the “Southern Manifesto” denouncing the decision, ninety-seven of the signers were Democrats, and two were Republicans.

Democratic Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus refused to admit Black students to Little Rock Central High School after the court decision of Brown vs Board of Education and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock.

Democratic Alabama Governor George C. Wallace in his 1963 inaugural speech proclaimed “I say segregation now, segregationtomorrow, segregation forever.”

During Lyndon B. Johnson’s first 20 years in Congress “he opposed every civil rights measure that came up for a vote” said Barack Obama. LBJ is also credited with watering down Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Bill beyond recognition.

Karen Watson is author of the book, “Being Black and Republican in the Age of Obama”

Karen Watson is author of the book, “Being Black and Republican in the Age of Obama”

And again I say this is only a small snapshot of the intertwined history of Black Americans and the Democratic Party.

Is the Democratic Party racist? No, the Democratic Party is not racist. And yet I do acknowledge that there are racist Democrats just like there are racist Republicans and racist Libertarians within each political party.

Now that we have split our facts from fiction let us begin in honesty and truth a dialogue that will take our communities far and away from the status quo. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his last speech foretold of a “promised land” and I too believe that we as a people will get there.


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  1. Stephen Denney

    Yes, there are racists in all three parties. But your history ends about 50 years ago, just as white southerners were beginning to leave the Democratic party for the Republican party.

    • Bill

      Stephen..How about some examples to support your claim. Also, keep in mind that the republican party was founded as the “ANTI-SLAVERY” party in 1854.

    • Bill

      I wish the black community would wake up and understand that the democratic party is basically enslaving all races (especially the black community) through government handouts. The government has made low income and increasingly greater numbers of the middle class dependent upon it for survival. What are you when you depend on the government for handouts? You become a slave to the entity providing for you. This dependency destroys the family. It destroys any self-worth and dignity that a person has. It creates a mentality that if only the rich would pay their “fair share” then everything would be right in the world. It creates people that hate others that have more than them. Beware of government and the gifts it provides. It creates dependency and it now controls you. It’s done for a single reason and it’s not for generosity……It’s done for POWER over YOU!

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