To understand why Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican, let’s take a walk through history.
Democrats formed the Confederacy, seceded from the Union and fought a Civil War (1861-1865) in order to keep blacks in slavery because Democrats had built their economic base on the backs of black slaves.
Democrats enacted Fugitive Slave laws to keep blacks from escaping from plantations and instigated the 1856 Dred Scott decision which legally classified blacks as property.
Democrats pushed to pass the Missouri Compromise to spread slavery into 50% of the new states.
Democrats also pushed to achieve passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act that was designed to spread slavery into all new states.
The anti-Civil War chant of the Democrats, as reported by one Pennsylvania newspaper, was: “Willing to fight for Uncle Sam” but not for “Uncle Sambo.” These anti-Civil War Democrats verbally attacked President Lincoln because he fought to free blacks and make his Emancipation Proclamation a reality, the source of Juneteenth celebrations (June 19th) in black communities today.
POST CIVIL WAR
The Republicans amended the Constitution to grant blacks freedom (13th Amendment), citizenship (14th Amendment) and the right to vote (15th Amendment).
Republicans passed the civil rights laws of the 1860s, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Reconstruction Act of 1867, designed to establish a new government system in the Democrat-controlled South, one that was fair to blacks.
Democrats fought to end Reconstruction that was started by Republicans.
The Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1877 was an attempt by Republicans to end the election stalemate, as well as get the Democrats to stop the lynchings and respect the rights of blacks.
In the book, "A Short History of Reconstruction", renowned historian, Dr. Eric Foner, revealed that Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan in 1866 in Tennessee as a "social club."
The KKK then became a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy.
The KKK spread into other southern states, launching a “reign of terror” against Republican leaders, black and white.
Democrats fought to prevent the passage of every piece of civil rights legislation from the 1860s to the 1960s.
Democrats enacted the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws.
Democrats wanted to keep blacks in virtual slavery and deny them the promised “40 acres and a mule.”
After Democrats took control of Congress in 1892, they passed the Repeal Act of 1894 that overturned civil rights legislation, including the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875. It took Republicans nearly six decades to finally achieve passage of civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s.
On Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday in 1909, Republicans started the NAACP to counter the racist practices of the Democrats. The first black American to head the NAACP was Republican James Weldon Johnson who wrote the lyrics to “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the inspirational song considered to be the Black National Anthem.
Republicans also started the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
MODERN CIVIL RIGHTS ERA
Democrats fought against civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.
In Birmingham, Democrat Public Safety Commissioner, Eugene "Bull" Connor, let loose vicious dogs and turned skin-burning fire hoses on black civil rights demonstrators.
Democrat Georgia Governor, Lester Maddox, famously brandished ax handles to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant.
In 1954, Democrat Arkansas Governor, Orville Faubus, tried to prevent desegregation of a Little Rock public school.
Democrat Alabama Governor, George Wallace, stood in front of the Alabama school house in 1963 and thundered, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."
Democrat Senator, Robert Byrd, a former KKK "Keagle," or recruiter, remained a life-long Democrat and a prominent leader in Congress until his death in 2010. 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.”
THE TRUTH ABOUT DAVID DUKE
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.
He 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.
Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, pushed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools.
Eisenhower appointed Chief Justice, Earl Warren, to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the famous 1954 “Brown v. Topeka Board of Education” decision that ended school segregation and the “separate but equal” doctrine created by the 1896 “Plessy v. Ferguson” decision.
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 Republican Eisenhower who actually took action to effectively end segregation in the military.
In 1958, Eisenhower established a permanent Civil Rights Commission that had been rejected by prior Democrat presidents, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Ignored today is the fact that it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who started blacks on the path to dependency on government handouts during the Great Depression. His “New Deal” turned out to be a bad deal for blacks.
SENATOR EVERETT DIRKSEN – CIVIL RIGHTS HERO
Known little today is the fact that it was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, not Democrat President Lyndon Johnson, who pushed through the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Dirksen was instrumental to the passage of civil rights legislation in ‘57, ‘60, ‘64, ‘65 and ‘68. 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.
Dr. King hailed Senator Dirksen’s “able and courageous leadership.” The Chicago Defender, the largest black-owned daily at that time, praised Senator Dirksen for the “grand manner of his generalship behind the passage of the best civil rights measures that have ever been enacted into law since Reconstruction.”
Democrats today ignore the pivotal role played by Senator Dirksen in obtaining passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, while heralding President Johnson as a civil rights advocate for signing the bill.
The chief opponents of the 1964 Civil Rights Act were Democrat Senators Sam Ervin, Albert Gore, Sr. (father of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore) and Robert Byrd who filibustered against the bill for 14 straight hours before the final vote.
The passage of civil rights legislation could not have been achieved without the support of Republicans.
PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON DISPARAGED BLACK AMERICANS
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.”
The above quote from President Lyndon Johnson was said to his closest friend, Richard B. Russell, and revealed on page 84 of the book “Whites, Blacks And Racist Democrats” by Rev. Wayne Perryman.
Perryman sued the Democratic Party for that party’s 200-year history of racism. In that lawsuit, the Democrats admitted their racism, but refused to apologize because they know they can take the black vote for granted.
JFK WAS NOT A CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATE
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.
After he became president, Kennedy was opposed to Dr. King’s August 28, 1963 March on Washington that was organized by A. Phillip Randolph who was a black Republican.
Through his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy, President Kennedy had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of being a Communist in order to undermine Dr. King.
Contrary to popular belief, Harris Wolford, not President Kennedy, made the call that got Dr. King out of jail. Kennedy objected to the call at first, then took credit because he saw he could benefit politically.
Nixon did not make a call because he knew that he, as a Republican, would be ignored by the racist Democrats running the jail where Dr. King was being held.
The relentless disparagement of Dr. King by Democrats led to his being physically assaulted and ultimately to his tragic death.
In March of 1968, while referring to Dr. King's leaving Memphis, Tennessee after riots broke out where a teenager was killed, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd called Dr. King a "trouble-maker" who starts trouble, but runs like a coward after trouble is ignited. A few weeks later, Dr. King returned to Memphis and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
THE GOOD THAT PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN DID FOR BLACK AMERICANS
President Ronald Reagan initiated free-enterprise policies that fostered the economic growth and job creation of the 1980s, which produced the prosperity that most black Americans enjoyed.
More black Americans stayed in high school, graduated and went on to college. More black Americans were working than ever before, in better jobs and for higher wages.
The black middle class burgeoned to unprecedented size, emerging as the dominant income group in black America. And black business flourished, creating wealth in the black community.
Indeed, between 1982 and 1988, total black employment increased by 2 million, a staggering sum. That meant that blacks gained 15 percent of the new jobs created during that span, while accounting for only 11 percent of the working-age population.
Meanwhile, the black jobless rate was cut by almost half between 1982 and 1988. Over the same span, the black employment rate – the percentage of working-age persons holding jobs – increased to record levels, from 49 percent to 56 percent.
The black executive ranks especially prospered under Reagan. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that the number of black managers and officers in corporations with 100 or more employees increased by 30 percent between 1980 and 1985.
All told, the middle class constituted more than 40 percent of black households by the end of Reagan's presidency, which was larger than the size of black working class, or the black poor.
In 1979, Republican President Ronald Reagan signed into law legislation establishing the Martin Luther King Day holiday.
THE TRUTH ABOUT NIXON’S “SOUTHERN STRATEGY”
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. The 30-year odyssey of the switch of the South from Democrat to Republican began in the 1970’s as an effort by Nixon to get fair-minded people 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.
REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS DID NOT SWITCH SIDES ON RACISM
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.
Democrats have been running black communities for the past 50 years and their failed socialist policies have turned those communities into economic and social wastelands. In his book, “Dreams From My Father”, President Barack Obama described what he and other Democrats do to poor blacks as “plantation politics”.
President Obama with his liberal socialist policies created high black unemployment, put middle class blacks on food stamps and devastated HUBC’s and school choice opportunity scholarships for poor black children.
SOCIALISM… “A philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..."