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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Democrats' Missing History

by Jeffrey Lord, The Wall Street Journal: As Democrats prepare to nominate Sen. Barack Obama to be the first black president, the Democratic National Committee and its chairman, Howard Dean, have whitewashed the party's horrific and lengthy record of racism. The omission is in the section of the DNC Web site that describes the party's history. The missing history raises the obvious question of whether the Democrats, unable or simply unwilling to put their party on record as taking direct responsibility for one of the worst racial crimes of the ages, will be able to run a campaign free of the racial animosities it has regularly brought both to American presidential campaigns and American political and social life in general.

What else to make of the official party history as presented by the DNC on its Web site? It is a history so sanitized of historical reality it makes Stalin look like David McCullough. The DNC Web site section labeled "Party History," linked here, is in fact scrubbed clean of the not-so-little dirty secret that fueled Democrats' political successes for over a century and a half and made American life a hell on earth for black Americans. . . . In a stroke, 52 years of Democratic history vanishes. Disappeared faster than the truth in the Clinton administration. Why would this be? Allow me to sketch in a few facts from those missing 52 years. . . . So what's missing?

• There is no reference to the number of Democratic Party platforms supporting slavery. There were six from 1840 through 1860.
• There is no reference to the number of Democratic presidents who owned slaves. There were seven from 1800 through 1861
• There is no reference to the number of Democratic Party platforms that either supported segregation outright or were silent on the subject. There were 20, from 1868 through 1948.
• There is no reference to "Jim Crow" as in "Jim Crow laws," nor is there reference to the role Democrats played in creating them. These were the post-Civil War laws passed enthusiastically by Democrats in that pesky 52-year part of the DNC's missing years. These laws segregated public schools, public transportation, restaurants, rest rooms and public places in general (everything from water coolers to beaches). The reason Rosa Parks became famous is that she sat in the "whites only" front section of a bus, the "whites only" designation the direct result of Democrats.
• There is no reference to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan, which, according to Columbia University historian Eric Foner, became "a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party." Nor is there reference to University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease's description of the Klan as the "terrorist arm of the Democratic Party."
• There is no reference to the fact Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. The 13th banned slavery. The 14th effectively overturned the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision (made by Democratic pro-slavery Supreme Court justices) by guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves. The 15th gave black Americans the right to vote.
• There is no reference to the fact that Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. It was passed by the Republican Congress over the veto of President Andrew Johnson, who had been a Democrat before joining Lincoln's ticket in 1864. The law was designed to provide blacks with the right to own private property, sign contracts, sue and serve as witnesses in a legal proceeding.
• There is no reference to the Democrats' opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1875. It was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses Grant. The law prohibited racial discrimination in public places and public accommodations.
• There is no reference to the Democrats' 1904 platform, which devotes a section to "Sectional and Racial Agitation," claiming the GOP's protests against segregation and the denial of voting rights to blacks sought to "revive the dead and hateful race and sectional animosities in any part of our common country," which in turn "means confusion, distraction of business, and the reopening of wounds now happily healed."
• There is no reference to four Democratic platforms, 1908-20, that are silent on blacks, segregation, lynching and voting rights as racial problems in the country mount. By contrast the GOP platforms of those years specifically address "Rights of the Negro" (1908), oppose lynching (in 1912, 1920, 1924, 1928) and, as the New Deal kicks in, speak out about the dangers of making blacks "wards of the state."
• There is no reference to the Democratic Convention of 1924, known to history as the "Klanbake." The 103-ballot convention was held in Madison Square Garden. Hundreds of delegates were members of the Ku Klux Klan, the Klan so powerful that a plank condemning Klan violence was defeated outright. To celebrate, the Klan staged a rally with 10,000 hooded Klansmen in a field in New Jersey directly across the Hudson from the site of the convention. Attended by hundreds of cheering convention delegates, the rally featured burning crosses and calls for violence against African-Americans and Catholics.
• There is no reference to the fact that it was Democrats who segregated the federal government, at the direction of President Woodrow Wilson upon taking office in 1913. There \is a reference to the fact that President Harry Truman integrated the military after World War II.
• There is reference to the fact that Democrats created the Federal Reserve Board, passed labor and child welfare laws, and created Social Security . . . as the result of an agreement to ignore segregation and the lynching of blacks. Neither is there a reference to the thousands of local officials, state legislators, state governors, U.S. congressmen and U.S. senators who were elected as supporters of slavery and then segregation between 1800 and 1965. Nor is there reference to the deal with the devil that left segregation and lynching as a way of life in return for election support for three post-Civil War Democratic presidents, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.
• There is no reference that three-fourths of the opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Bill in the U.S. House came from Democrats, or that 80% of the "nay" vote in the Senate came from Democrats. Certainly there is no reference to the fact that the opposition included future Democratic Senate leader Robert Byrd of West Virginia (a former Klan member) and Tennessee Senator Albert Gore Sr., father of Vice President Al Gore.
• Last but certainly not least, there is no reference to the fact that Birmingham, Ala., Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor, who infamously unleashed dogs and fire hoses on civil rights protestors, was in fact--yes indeed--a member of both the Democratic National Committee and the Ku Klux Klan.

. . . The Democrats are poised to nominate a black man for president of the United States. But will they apologize for slavery? . . . Do they have the guts to publicly admit what serious history records of their deeds? Are they capable of running a campaign without playing the race card as they have played it for the better part of two centuries? Can they even escape the race psychology that has indelibly branded them as America's Party of Race? Or, when it comes to their own responsibility for race relations in America, will they order up more of what, under the circumstances, is a very appropriate word for the DNC website? Whitewash. [Complete Article: The Democrats' Missing History]

Tags: Democrat Platform, Democratic Party, Democrats, History, KKK, slavery To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 3:42 PM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Blogger Virginia Harris said...

What about Woodrow Wilson's persecution and torture of the suffragettes!

I would like to share a women's history learning opportunity.

Thanks to the suffragettes, women have voices and choices.

But most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won.

Now readers can discover the shocking truth of how the suffragettes did it, and it's as easy as opening their e-mail.

"The Privilege of Voting" is a new e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 - 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes -- Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.

There are tons of heartache for our heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box - but in the end - they WIN!

Presented in a unique sequential e-mail series -- each inspiring episode is about 10 minutes -- perfect to enjoy during coffeebreaks, or anytime.

Subscribe free at

www.CoffeebreakReaders.com/tpovpage.html

8/18/2008  

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