True Stripes: Racist Democrats & Colorblind Republicans

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”  —Abraham Lincoln

The Democrats: Roots of Racism and Violence 

Before the American Civil War, there were the Democrats, who supported the right of states to choose slavery, and the Whigs, who were divided on the issue.  The Whigs divided could not stand, and the Republican Party replaced them.  Before Lincoln Republicans took over in Washington, however, many horrible occurrences took place.

sumner2During one such occurrence, on May 22nd, 1856, US Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who had helped establish the Republican Party, was assaulted in the Senate.  Democrat Congressman Preston Brooks approached Senator Sumner, in that chamber, while Sumner was sitting at his desk.  Brooks took his gold-headed cane and beat the senator.  His efforts were so vigorous that he toppled Sumner’s desk.

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Sumner, blinded by blood, staggered down the aisle in an attempt to escape the chamber.  Brooks beat Sumner to the floor and struck Sumner until the cane broke.  Some Senators tried to aid Sumner, but Democrat Congressman Laurence Keitt brandished a pistol.  Upon his death, on March 11th, 1874, it was revealed of Senator Sumner that he never had fully recovered from the injuries of May, 22nd, 1856.  But Sumner had lived out his life in accordance with his anti-slavery beliefs.

Lincoln’s Advocacy of a Colorblind, Civil Society 

President Lincoln, the first Republican elected president, issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863.  In 1865, he secured passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery for all time.  100% of Republicans voted for the amendment.  Only 23% of Democrats voted for it.  Democrat John Wilkes Booth, enraged at what Lincoln had done, slew the president out of racist revenge.

The Klan: Democrat Terrorists

In 1865, the Ku Klux Klan was created in Pulaski, Tennessee, by Democrats.  Democrats wished to establish a terrorist group to instill fear in the hearts of Blacks and Republicans in the South.

The Texas Republican Party was founded mainly by Blacks in 1867.  These African Americans were high-minded and colorblind.  They wanted their party to be welcoming to all, not just Blacks.  Twenty Whites immediately signed up.  Throughout the South, other Blacks followed the example of African-American Texans and started up Republican Party branches to oppose the racist Democrat power structure and its enforcement arm, the KKK.

Republican Guarantees of Civil & Voting Rights

In 1868, the 14th Amendment was adopted, giving African Americans full civil rights.  This federal guarantee of equality limited Democrat-controlled states from being able to limit the rights of Blacks.  Every voting Republican, in the House and in the Senate, voted for this law.  Not one Democrat did.

The 15th Amendment was passed when many Democrat-controlled states tried to get in the way of the 14th Amendment by blocking voting rights.  Once again, every single Republican voted for the amendment, and every Democrat opposed it.

Democrat & KKK Mischief

In 1872, the Congress investigated the Klan and the charge that its activities were linked to the Democrat Party.  Democrats ended admitted that they had founded the Klan.  The KKK was of serious concern to Republicans, because it intimidated Blacks into not voting.  The Klan made terroristic threats, used physical violence, and staged brutal lynchings.

byrdUp until 1875, the Republican majority in Congress passed laws guaranteeing civil rights to African Americans.  But, in 1876, Democrats won control of the House and thus were able to block any further actions to pass civil rights legislation.  In 1892, Democrats took control of the House, the Senate, and the White House all at once.  The Democrats proceeded to repeal all the civil rights gains for African Americans that had been passed by colorblind Republicans.

With Democrats in charge in Washington, DC, the Southern states began to pass Jim Crow laws requiring Blacks to take literacy tests to qualify for their rights and forcing them to pay unaffordable poll taxes to vote.  Racist officials also withheld from Blacks permits to carry firearms.

Democrat Inroads Into the Black Community

Harry Truman changed the minds of many Blacks, when he began the desegregation of the armed forces.  As a result of this, he garnered 77% of the Black vote, in 1952, and beat Dewey for another four years in office.

Kennedy voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957, while a US Senator, as did Democrat Senator Al Gore Sr (father to Al Gore Jr, who later would run for president).  And, after becoming president, Kennedy actively opposed Dr. King’s 1963 March on Washington.

But just before the presidential election of 1960, something happened that would tip the electoral scales in Kennedy’s favor.  Although there had never been a warm relationship between MLK and JFK, a phone call from John Kennedy’s campaign manager, Bobby Kennedy, to a Georgia judge, in order to get Dr. King released from jail, paid dividends.

All the prior history between Nixon and King no longer seemed to matter.  The fact that it was Nixon and the Republicans who had pushed so hard for the Civil Rights Bill, since 1957, was not being discussed.  This was the beginning of the flight of Blacks to the Democrat Party as a loyal constituency.

Republicans Are Still the Champions of Civil Rights

When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, the Democrats had improved a great deal, and 65% of them voted for it under pressure from President Johnson.  But over 80% of Republicans voted to enact the new law—and the one in five who voted no reported doing so only because they thought that the wording of the law, allowing it to be applied to private institutions, was a case of federal overreach.  Senator Robert Byrd, a Democrat and former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, personally filibustered the act.  It passed anyway.

Matters improved yet again, when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed with significant Republican leadership.  It saw 94% support from the Republicans but only 71% from the Democrats.

Still Colorblind After All These Years 

To this day, Republicans continue to favor colorblind policy-making, which, contrary to liberal propaganda, is the exact opposite of racism.  Indeed, the Party of Lincoln remains committed to freedom from dependency, as well as justice for all.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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