Ben Kinchlow is a minister, broadcaster, author and businessman. His latest book is "Black Yellowdogs." He was the long-time co-host of CBN's "The 700 Club" television program and host of the international edition of the show, seen in more than 80 countries. He is the founder of Americans for Israel and the African American Political Awareness Coalition, and the author of several books.More ↓Less ↑
As GOP presidential rivals jockey for delegates and contemplate strategies for influencing “independents” and/or “undecideds,” one group of voters cost neither Obama nor the GOP candidates much concern, time or money – the GOP candidates, because they have no hope, and the Democrats, because they have no fear.
The group? The black vote, the 98 percent of African-Americans who consistently vote for Democrats.
What of the black 2 percent? No, I am not talking about blacks who earn the “vast sums” that the Occupy Wall Street crowd find so offensive (in others). I am talking about the real minority in America – you know, the “sell-outs,” those “Oreos,” “Handkerchief Heads,” “Clarences” (as in Justice Thomas), “inauthentic black” Uncle Toms – formerly coloreds, negroes, Afro-Americans – and now, as we are officially labeled, “African-Americans,” who vote Republican. (For a more comprehensive list, see my ebook.)
According to the U.S. Census, 42 million African-Americans comprise approximately 13 percent of the population. Of the approximately 16 million blacks who voted in the 2008 presidential election, 96-98 percent voted for Obama. That’s not surprising, considering all the precedents this charismatic young black man shattered not only in the U.S. but for the entire Western world. (I am willing to stand corrected, but I cannot recall an elected black leader in any predominately white, European, English-speaking Western nation.)
Most people are unaware that from Lincoln to FDR, blacks voted for the Republican Party in the same percentages they now vote for Democrats. As they truly prized the value of their voting privileges, a much higher percentage of the population participated. For example, of the 42 million blacks, only 16 million voted in 2008.
Why do blacks overwhelmingly vote for Democrats – so much so that many no longer consider them merely voters but Democrat voters? (Hopefully, a brief overview here will suffice. In my book, “Black YellowDogs,” I deal extensively with this subject.)
Blacks vote for Democrats because they labor under the illusion that the Democratic Party supported – and was/is a champion of – civil rights victories for blacks. Three misconceptions, based primarily on this scenario, have been instigated and supported by both the black “leadership” and the mainstream media, black and white.
1964 is traditionally viewed as perhaps the watershed year for African-American civil liberties. Consider the language in this Civil Rights Act:
Be it enacted, That all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition, of servitude.
Misconception No. 1
Democrats are credited with being champions of black liberties because blacks “know” 1) President Harry Truman (a Democrat) “took the high road” and desegregated the U.S. armed forces and 2) “the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act were initiated by LBJ” (with a Democrat majority in Congress). What many black Americans don’t know is how this all came to pass.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act was originally introduced by Republicans in 1957 but killed by the Democrat majority. When it was re-introduced as the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Democrats tied up the Senate for 57 working days (including six Saturdays) with a filibuster; Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., personally held the floor for more than 14 hours. Democrats were once again determined to kill another civil rights bill. Never before had the Senate Republicans been able to muster enough votes to cut off a Democrat filibuster on a civil rights bill. Remember, the Democrats controlled Congress from 1874 to 1965. However, this time Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, R-Ill., with 82 percent of the Republican vote, was able to secure the 67 votes necessary to make cloture possible. Thanks to the support of the Republicans, the filibuster was killed and the 1964 Civil Rights Act was sent to President Johnson to be signed into law.
By the way, that civil rights quote above? It is not from the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but from the Civil Rights Act of 1875. It was passed by an outgoing Republican-dominated Congress, just before the Democrats regained power in 1874. Once back in control, with the help of a “packed” and sympathetic Supreme Court, they either killed or overturned every civil right accorded to blacks by Republicans during and since Reconstruction. (Just FYI, Republicans passed, or attempted to pass, civil rights bills in 1870,1871, 1875, 1957 and 1960). In the South – controlled exclusively by the Democrats – not one single piece of civil rights legislation was passed from 1875 to 1954. I am sure you are also aware that only two U.S. presidents have used troops in support of civil rights for blacks. (Hint: Both had short three-letter nicknames – Abe and Ike – and both belonged to the same political party.)
Misconception No. 2
Democrats “voluntarily” desegregated the armed forces. The Democrats, who controlled Congress, did not initiate that action, voluntarily or otherwise, out of concern for blacks. America was at war, and to build up our military, President Truman instituted the draft. He immediately ran into a problem: Blacks, suffering institutionalized discrimination at home, decided not to go off to fight and die to secure liberty for others. They would boycott the draft. They would not register or obey it. They would choose massive civil disobedience. In the words of A. Phillip Randolph, “[T]housands and thousands of us second-class Americans choose imprisonment in preference to permanent military slavery. … I will advise Negroes to refuse to fight as slaves for a democracy they cannot possess and cannot enjoy.”
Just imagine the impact of thousands and thousands of black men being arrested and imprisoned here in America in the middle of a war that included fighting, among other things, discrimination against Jews. President Truman (not a Democrat-controlled Congress), faced with this hard reality, “took the high road” and signed executive order 9981, which desegregated the U.S. military.
Misconception No. 3
Democrats favored the 1965 Voting Rights Act. You make the call on this one. I repeat: The Democrats controlled the House and the Senate. When the bill came up for a vote, it was supported by 85 percent of House Republicans and 80 percent by House Democrats. In the Senate, 97 percent of the Republicans and only 74 percent of the Democrats voted for this landmark legislation.
Senate Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, R-Ill. (some say to the detriment of his health), worked diligently to overcome Democrat attempts to block the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which included, among other things, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent African-Americans from voting. President Lyndon Johnson, on the heels of massive civil disobedience and demonstrations for civil rights in the ’60s, signed it into law.
Perhaps you may be inclined to agree with the comment someone made, “No Republicans, no Civil Rights Act in ’64 or Voting Rights Act in ’65.”
Kind of makes you wonder if that 2 percent might be onto something, eh?