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Monday, June 18, 2012

Republicans and Democrats Did Not Switch Sides On Racism


REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS DID NOT SWITCH SIDES ON RACISM

By Frances Rice

As a result of unrelenting efforts by Democrats to shift their racist past onto the backs of Republicans, using the mantra: "the parties switched sides", a lot of people have requested an article addressing this issue.

It does not make sense to believe that racist Democrats suddenly rushed into the Republican Party, especially after Republicans spent nearly 150 years fighting for black civil rights.  In fact, the racist Democrats declared they would rather vote for a "yellow dog" than a Republican because the Republican Party was known as the party for blacks.

From the time of its inception in 1854 as the anti-slavery party, the Republican Party has always been the party of freedom and equality for blacks.  As author Michael Scheuer wrote, the Democratic Party is the party of the four S's:  slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism.  Democrats have been running black communities for the past 50+ years, and the socialist policies of the Democrats have turned those communities into economic and social wastelands.

An alarming view of what America will be like in a few years due to unbridled socialism being pushed by President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party cohorts, is contained in the article:  "Detroit: The Moral of the Story" by Kevin D. Williamson that is posted on the Internet.

Democrats first used brutality and discriminatory laws to stop blacks from voting for Republicans.  Democrats now use deception and government handouts to keep blacks from voting for Republicans.   In his book, "Dreams From My Father," Obama described what he and other Democrats do to poor blacks as "plantation politics."

The racist Democrats of the 1950's and 1960's that Republicans were fighting died Democrats.  One racist Democrat who survived until 2010 was US Senator Robert Byrd, a former recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan.  Notably, the Ku Klux Klan was started by Democrats in 1866 and became the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party for the purpose of terrorizing and lynching Republicans—black and white.   Byrd became a prominent leader in the Democrat-controlled Congress where he was honored by his fellow Democrats as the "conscience of the Senate."

Byrd was a fierce opponent of desegregating the military and complained in one letter:  "I would rather die a thousand times and see old glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again than see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen of the wilds."

Democrats denounced US Senator Trent Lott for his remarks about US Senator Strom Thurmond.  However, there was silence when Democrat US Senator Christopher Dodd praised Byrd as someone who would have been "a great senator for any moment."  Thurmond was never in the Ku Klux Klan and, after he became a Republican, Thurmond defended blacks against lynching and the discriminatory poll taxes imposed on blacks by Democrats.
While turning a blind eye to how the Democratic Party embraced Byrd until his death, Democrats regularly lambaste the Republican Party about David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Ignored are the facts that the Republican Party never embraced Duke and when he ran for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1992, Republican Party officials tried to block his participation.  Hypocritical is the word for how Democrats also ignore Duke's long participation in the Democratic Party with no efforts by Democrats to block him.  Below is Duke's political history in Louisiana, which has an open primary system.

Duke ran for Louisiana State Senator as a Democrat in 1975.  He ran again for the Louisiana State Senate in 1979 as a Democrat.  In 1988, he made a bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Then, on election day in 1988, he had himself  listed on the presidential ballot as an "Independent Populist."  After his unbroken string of losses as a Democrat and an Independent Populist, Duke decided to describe himself as a Republican, then ran the following races where he lost every time: in 1989 he ran for Louisiana State Representative; in 1990, he ran for US Senator; in 1991 he ran for Governor of Louisiana; in 1992 he ran for president; in 1996 he ran for US Senator; and in 1999 he ran for US Representative.

Contrary to popular belief, President Lyndon Johnson did not predict a racist exodus to the Republican Party from the Democratic Party because of Johnson's support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Omitted from the Democrats' rewritten history is what Johnson actually meant by his prediction.

Johnson feared that the racist Democrats would again form a third party, such as the short-lived States Rights Democratic Party. In fact, Alabama's Democrat Governor George C. Wallace in 1968 started the American Independent Party that attracted other racist candidates, including Democrat Governor Lester Maddox.

Behind closed doors, Johnson said:  "These Negroes, they're getting uppity these days.  That's a problem for us, since they got something now they never had before.  The political pull to back up their upityness.  Now, we've got to do something about this.  We've got to give them a little something.  Just enough to quiet them down, but not enough to make a difference.  If we don't move at all, their allies will line up against us.  And there'll be no way to stop them.  It'll be Reconstruction all over again."

Little known by many today is the fact that it was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois, not Johnson, who pushed through the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  In fact, Dirksen was instrumental to the passage of civil rights legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964, 1965 and 1968.  Dirksen wrote the language for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Dirksen also crafted the language for the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination in housing.

Democrats condemn Republican President Richard Nixon for his so-called "Southern Strategy."  These same Democrats expressed no concern when the racially segregated South voted solidly for Democrats for over 100 years, while deriding Republicans because of the thirty-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party.

The "Southern Strategy" that began in the 1970's was an effort by Nixon to get fair-minded people in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were discriminating against blacks.  Georgia did not switch until 2004, and Louisiana was controlled by Democrats until the election of Republican Bobby Jindal, a person of color, as governor in 2007.

As the co-architect of Nixon's "Southern Strategy", Pat Buchanan provided a first-hand account of the origin and intent of that strategy in a 2002 article posted on the Internet.  Buchanan wrote that Nixon declared that the Republican Party would be built on a foundation of states' rights, human rights, small government and a strong national defense.  Nixon said he would leave it to the Democratic Party to squeeze the last ounce of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice.

The Claremont Institute published an eye-opening article by Gerard Alexander entitled "The Myth of the Racist Republicans", an analysis of the decades-long shift of the South from the racist Democratic Party to the racially tolerant Republican Party.  That article can be found on the Internet. 

Another article on this subject by Mr. Alexander is entitled "Conservatism does not equal racism. So why do many liberals assume it does?" and is posted on the Internet. 

More details about the history of civil rights can be found in the NBRA Civil Rights Newsletter that can be found on the Internet.

     
An excellent video about civil rights history entitled "A pebble in Your Shoe: Why I am a Republican" by Dr. James Taylor is posted on YouTube.


Frances Rice is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and Chairman of the National Black Republican Association.  She may be contacted at:  www.NBRA.info

© National Black Republican Association, 2012. All Rights Reserved.

NBRA Chairman Frances Rice

About Me

Lieutenant Colonel Frances Rice, United States Army, Retired is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and retired from the Army in 1984 after 20 years of active service. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Drury College in 1973, a Masters of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in 1976, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1977. In 2005, she became a co-founder and Chairman of the National Black Republican Association, an organization that is committed to returning African Americans to their Republican Party roots.