The ugly history of Democratic suppression of blacks

By Bill Federer

14th Amendment

In 1857, the Supreme Court, with seven of the nine justices being Democrat, decided that Dred Scott was not a citizen, but property. Chief Justice Roger Taney, appointed by Democrat President Andrew Jackson, referenced in his decision that slaves were “so far inferior … that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for their own benefit.”

After the Civil War, Republicans pushed through the 13th Amendment, adopted Dec. 6, 1865, officially abolishing slavery in America. Once Southern Democrats were forced to free their slaves, they effectively attempted to re-enslave them by passing “black codes” and “Jim Crow” laws, which required former slaves to be “apprenticed” to “employers” and punished those who left.

On Nov. 22, 1865, Republicans denounced Mississippi’s Democrat legislature for enacting “black codes,” which institutionalized racial discrimination, even stating: “No freedman, Negro, or mulatto shall carry or keep firearms or ammunition.”

On Feb. 5, 1866, Republican Rep. Thaddeus Stevens introduced legislation to give former slaves “40 acres and a mule,” but Democrats opposed it, led by President Andrew Johnson. On April 9, 1866, Republicans in Congress overrode President Johnson’s veto and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, conferring rights of citizenship on freed slaves.

To force Southern states to extend state citizenship rights to former slaves, Republicans in the U.S. House passed the 14th Amendment, May 10, 1866, as did the Senate, June 8, 1866. One hundred percent of Democrats voted against it.

The 14th Amendment was adopted by the states on July 28, 1868.

Republican Rep. John Farnsworth of Illinois stated, March 31, 1871: “The reason for the adoption (of the 14th Amendment) … was because of … discriminating … legislation of those states … by which they were punishing one class of men under different laws from another class.”

Along with “Jim Crow” laws, Southern Democrats attempted to keep former slaves from voting. On Jan. 8, 1867, Republicans granted voting rights to former slaves in the District of Columbia by overriding President Andrew Johnson’s veto. On July 19, 1867, Republicans passed more legislation protecting voting rights of all freed slaves after overriding again President Andrew Johnson’s veto. On March 30, 1868, Republicans began impeachment proceedings of President Andrew Johnson.

On Sept. 12, 1868, Democrats in Georgia’s Senate expelled civil rights activist Tunis Campbell and 24 other Republican African-Americans, who would later be reinstated by a Republican Congress. On Oct. 22, 1868, while campaigning for re-election, Republican Rep. James Hinds was assassinated by Democrats who had organized vigilante groups.

The 15th Amendment, granting the right to vote to all men regardless of race, was passed Feb. 3, 1870, overcoming 97 percent Democrat opposition. Once Southern Democrats could no longer keep former slaves from voting, they attempted to intimidate them through KKK-type vigilante activities and lynchings.

Republican President U.S. Grant signed the Enforcement Act, May 31, 1870, which imposed stiff penalties for depriving any American of their civil rights. The Republican Congress, June 22, 1870, created the U.S. Department of Justice to safeguard civil rights against Democrats in the South. The Republican Congress passed another Enforcement Act, Feb. 28, 1871, which provided federal protection for black voters.

The Republican Congress enacted the Ku Klux Klan Act, April 20, 1871, outlawing Democrat-affiliated groups which oppressed African-Americans. On October 10, 1871, African-American Republican civil rights leader Octavius Catto was murdered by a Democratic Party operative, after repeated threats by Philadelphia Democrats against black voting. Republican President Ulysses S. Grant deployed U.S. troops on October 18, 1871, to combat violence against African-Americans.

Republican President Theodore Roosevelt stated Dec. 3, 1906: “White men are lynched, but the crime is peculiarly frequent in respect to black men. … Governor Candler, of Georgia, stated … ‘I can say of a verity that I have, within the last month, saved the lives of half a dozen innocent Negroes who were pursued by the mob, and brought them to trial in a court of law in which they were acquitted.’ As Bishop Galloway, of Mississippi, has finely said: ‘The mob lynches a Negro charged with rape will in a little while lynch a white man suspected of crime. Every Christian patriot in America needs to lift up his voice in loud and eternal protest against the mob spirit that is threatening the integrity of this Republic. …'”

Republican President Theodore Roosevelt continued: “There is but one safe rule … that is, to treat each man, whatever his color, his creed, or his social position, with even-handed justice. … Reward or punish the individual on his merits as an individual. Evil will surely come in the end to both races if we substitute for this. … Every lynching represents … a loosening of the bands of civilization. … No man can take part in the torture of a human being without having his own moral nature permanently lowered. Every lynching means just so much moral deterioration in all the children who have any knowledge of it, and therefore just so much additional trouble for the next generation of Americans.”

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Democrat President Woodrow Wilson segregated the U.S. Navy. During World War II, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower overcame racism and made the decision to arm African-American soldiers with weapons. In 1952 and 1956, a majority of African-Americans voted for Republican President Dwight Eisenhower.

Eisenhower stated in his first State of the Union address in February 1953: “I propose to use whatever authority exists in the office of the President to end segregation in the District of Columbia, including the Federal Government, and any segregation in the Armed Forces.”

Republican President Eisenhower ordered the desegregation of Washington, D.C., public schools after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. When Southern Democrat governors resisted desegregation, Republican Eisenhower sent in federal troops. Eisenhower forced integration by having federal soldiers escort black students.

In 1953, Republican Vice President Richard Nixon chaired a committee which sought to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race or color in the employment practices of government contractors. In 1957 and 1959, Republican President Eisenhower proposed civil rights bills to enforce the 15th Amendment, strengthening the rights of African-American to vote. Senate Democrats filibustered the bills and watered them down.

In 1959, when Southern Democrats demanded that any who violated the new civil rights bill should be tried before all-white Southern juries, Republican Vice President Richard Nixon gave the deciding Senate vote to kill the Southern amendment. Southern Democrats who opposed desegregation included former KKK klansman Sen. Robert Byrd and Gov. George Wallace.

After the Birmingham Children’s Crusade Protest, where police dogs and fire hoses were used against African-Americans, President John F. Kennedy called for a bill emulating the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1875.

Southern Democrats fervently opposed it, as Democrat Sen. Richard Russell in 1964: “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.”

Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Bill for 14 hours and 13 minutes on June 10, 1964.

Democrat Sen. Strom Thurmond stated in 1964: “This so-called Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary, unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason. This is the worst civil-rights package ever presented to the Congress and is reminiscent of the Reconstruction proposals and actions of the radical Republican Congress.”

The phrase “the bribe or the bullet” refers to positive or negative human motivations, as generations of past parents who motivated children with a piece candy for obedience or a swat to the rear for disobedience.

From the Civil War to Lyndon Johnson, Southern Democrats were accused of engaging in negative motivation and intimidation tactics to keep African-Americans from voting.

As television and media coverage of these tactics grew, it resulted in bad press for the Democratic Party. Political strategists proposed a switch from “the bullet” to “the bribe,” from “intimidation” to “entitlement.”

In other words, if the African-American vote could no longer be suppressed, then maybe it could be manipulated and controlled through dependency on entitlement programs.

Even though Democrat senators filibustered the Civil Rights legislation nonstop for 71 days, from March 30 to June 10, President Lyndon Johnson persuaded the leaders of his party to support a compromised bill, which he signed July 2, 1964.

According to Ronald Kessler’s book, “Inside The White House” (1996), Lyndon Johnson explained his abrupt change in strategy to two Democrat governors aboard Air Force One, saying: “I’ll have those n—-rs voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society welfare state proceeded to enroll large numbers of minorities into entitlement programs, leading to a dependency and a strong inclination to vote for the party promising a continuance of those entitlements.

Lyndon Johnson, with the help of Democrat Sen. Edward Kennedy, also changed immigration quotas to bring in more immigrants from poorer countries who would similarly enroll in entitlement programs and thus be inclined to vote for candidates who continued and increased entitlements.

The welfare state’s providing of more money to a household if a father was not present in the home adversely affected the strong church-centered African-American families and neighborhoods. As lower income voters grew in their dependency on government programs, it proportionally increased the Democratic Party’s voting constituency.

Prior to LBJ’s “War on Poverty,” less than 2 percent of the federal budget was on welfare spending. Fifty years later, spending has mushroomed to 27 percent of the federal budget, costing $22 trillion over that same period, three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the Revolution, yet the percentage of people in poverty has not improved.

Before LBJ’s “War on Poverty,” less than 5 percent of children were born to unmarried parents. Fifty years later, it had skyrocketed to 40 percent.

Before LBJ’s “War on Poverty,” less than 10 percent of U.S. children lived in single-parent households. Fifty years later, that number had exploded to 33 percent, with the poverty rate of single female parent households growing to 37.1 percent.

On Feb. 5, 1997, African-American Republican Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., stated: “For the past 30 years our nation’s spent $5 trillion trying to erase poverty, and the result, as you know, is that we didn’t get rid of it at all. In fact, we spread it. We destroyed the self-esteem of millions of people, grinding them down in a welfare system that penalizes moms for wanting to marry the father of their children, and penalizes moms for wanting to save money. Friends, that’s not right. …”

Internationally renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson stated: “My mother worked as a domestic, two, sometimes three jobs at a time because she didn’t want to be on welfare. She felt very strongly that if she gave up and went on welfare, that she would give up control of her life and of our lives, and I think she was probably correct about that. … But, one thing that she provided us was a tremendous example of what hard work is like.”

Dr. Carson added: “The more solid the family foundation, the more likely you are to be able to resist peer pressure. Human beings are social creatures. We all want to belong, we all have that desire, and we will belong, one way or another. If the family doesn’t provide that, the peers will, or a gang will, or you will find something to belong to. That’s why it becomes so critical for families with young children to understand what a critical anchor they are.”

Beginning in the 1960s, educational emphasis migrated from strictly academic achievement to include more behavior modification. Voters who were less educated tended to be more easily manipulated, as foreshadowed in the pre-Civil War South where it was a crime to teach slaves to read.

An effort began to redefined “racism” to mean anyone opposing big government welfare programs.

In a tragic irony, growing dependency on government handouts appeared reminiscent of the dependency that existed on Southern Democrat plantations where slaves waited for handouts from their masters.

Media, music and entertainment began to increasingly be employed to stir passions and prejudices for political purposes, as President William Henry Harrison warned in his inaugural, 1841: “The understanding of men can be warped and their affections changed by operations upon their passions and prejudices.”

Political organizers exploited racial tensions. Saul Alinsky wrote in “Rules for Radicals”:

  • The organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems. …
  • The organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community. …
  • The organizer … polarizes the issue … and helps to lead his forces into conflict. …
  • An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent. …
  • Fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression.
  • He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them … for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act.”

Earlier in the century, Republican Booker T. Washington had written in “My Larger Education – Being Chapters from My Experience” (1911, ch. V: The Intellectuals and the Boston Mob, P. 118): “There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. …”

Booker T. Washington stated: “There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

Rep. J.C. Watts, Jr. stated Feb. 5, 1997: “Too often when we talk about racial healing, we make the old assumption that government can heal the racial divide. … Republicans and Democrats – red, yellow, black and white – have to understand that we must individually, all of us, accept our share of responsibility. … It does not happen by dividing us into racial groups. It does not happen by trying to turn rich against poor or by using the politics of fear. It does not happen by reducing our values to the lowest common denominator. And friends, it does not happen by asking Americans to accept what’s immoral and wrong in the name of tolerance. …”

J.C. Watts continued: “We must be a people who dare, dare to take responsibility for our hatred and fears and ask God to heal us from within. And we must be a people of prayer, a people who pray as if the strength of our nation depended on it, because it does. …”

J.C. Watts concluded: “I’ve often told the story of a boy and his father. The father was trying to get some work done, and the boy wanted the daddy’s attention, but the father was busy at his desk with so much to do. To occupy the boy, this father … remembered that he had seen a picture of the world in this magazine. In what he thought was a stroke of genius, the father tore out the picture and tore it into 20 different pieces, and he said, ‘Here son. Go put the world back together.’ And you know what happened? Five minutes later the little Michelangelo was back, saying, ‘Daddy, look what I’ve done.’ The father looked, and he said, ‘Son, how did you do it so quickly? How did you put the world back together so quickly?’ And the little boy answered, ‘Dad, it was easy. There was a picture of a man on the back of the map, on the back of the world. And once I put the man back together, the world fell into place.’ And friends, this is our agenda: to put our men and women back together, and, in that way, get our country back together.”

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