When all else fails, use the race card. Of course, that’s a rule for Democrats’ use only. Republicans are not qualified to talk about race.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) represents New York’s 8th congressional district. He was speaking at Boys and Girls High School, the oldest public high school in Brooklyn, when he made his racially charged comments directed toward Trump’s white White House.
“While Jim Crow may be dead, he’s got some nieces and nephews that are alive and well,” the New York Congressman said. “And a few of them are running around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
What exactly is he talking about? What member of Trump’s administration wants to bring state-mandated racial segregation back, as Jim Crow laws did?
Democrats frequently use the Jim Crow epithet against Republicans, apparently not aware that Jim Crow laws were largely the creation of Democrats. And not only that, but Republicans by and large supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which overturned any remaining Jim Crow laws. Only six Senate Republicans and 21 Democrats opposed it. In the House, 34 Republicans and 96 Democrats opposed it.
It’s true that the GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater opposed the bill in 1964 – a bill that was essentially extensions of Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, both of which were drafted by Republicans – but he actually had a solid civil rights record prior to that. His opposition specifically to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was that it gave the federal government undue authority over business hiring and firing practices. Such matters, he believed, should be left up to the states. From the Freedom’s Journal Institute:
More specifically, Goldwater had problems with title II and title VII of the 1964 bill. He felt that constitutionally the federal government had no legal right to interfere in who people hired, fired; or to whom they sold their products, goods and services. He felt that “power” laid in the various states, and with the people. He was a strong advocate of the tenth amendment.
Goldwater’s constitutional stance did not mean he agreed with the segregation and racial discrimination practiced in the South. To the contrary, he fought against these kinds of racial divides in his own state of Arizona. He supported the integration of the Arizona National guard and Phoenix public schools. Goldwater was also a member of the NAACP and the Urban League.
Goldwater was in the minority in his own party for this particular federal civil rights act. Yet, that didn’t stop Democrats from using his principled opposition to the bill as a way to rebrand the Republican Party as a bunch of racists who wanted to bring back slavery and segregation.
Similarly, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – which prohibited racial discrimination in voting – was opposed by Democrats and supported by Republicans. Sixty-one Democrats and 24 Republicans voted against it in the House. It passed in the Senate with 94 percent Republican support and 73 percent of Democrat support.
What Democrats like Hakeem Jeffries are doing by accusing Republicans of being opposed to the rights of African-Americans is nothing but political projection.Notes:
- Jonathan Bean, Race and Liberty in America (Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009), p. 226. [↩]
- Ibid. [↩]
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