Have you noticed the movement to remove statues, memorials, flags and markers that commemorate the historical reality of the Confederacy in America?
Earlier this month, we saw another vivid example of this when New Orleans removed the last of three statues of Confederate heroes – Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and P.T. Beauregard.
It's happening in dozens of states – not just Southern. Some of these monuments have been around for nearly 150 years.
What's this new war on the Confederacy all about?
I have a theory. I don't think it explains the phenomenon in its entirety. But I definitely think it's part of the explanation for the scorched-earth policy against American history, the attempt to erase any historical vestige of the most costly war in our history.
First, you will notice that Democrats are nearly always at the forefront of this kind of activity.
Why would that be?
Could it be because they are embarrassed and ashamed of their party's own history?
You see, Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, was a Democrat. In fact, for 50 years after the War Between the States, the white South was dominated almost entirely by the Democratic Party. White Democrats ran the South during the war, through the Jim Crow days of segregation and right up until the early 1960s.
Not a single Democrat in that era ever suggested destroying statues of Confederate heroes, taking down Confederate flags or toppling monuments memorializing the Confederacy.
What's more, the Ku Klux Klan would have discouraged such demolition. And the Ku Klux Klan was the military arm of the Democratic Party. As you can learn in Ben Kinchlow's amazing book, "Black Yellow Dogs," the Klan didn't just lynch blacks, they also strung up plenty of white Republicans.
Kinchlow is hardly alone in reporting this. Historian Eric Foner, author of "A Short History of Reconstruction," summed it up thusly: "In effect, the [Ku Klux] Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to destroy the Republican Party's infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, re-establish control of the black labor force and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern Life."
What occurs to me as I read these stunning words is how successful the Democratic Party has actually been in achieving those goals over the last 130 years. Today, it not only has "control of the black labor force," it has control over the black vote – the very vote it sought to deny for most of those 130 years after the War Between the States.
Here's some more from Foner, who tells the story most Americans have never heard – that the Klan's war was not just against blacks; it was against Republicans:
Violence was typically directed at Reconstruction's local leaders. As Emmanuel Fortune, driven from Jackson, County, Florida, by the Klan, explained: "The object of it is to kill out the leading men of the Republican Party … men who have taken a prominent stand."
Jack Dupree, victim of a particularly brutal murder in Monroe County, Mississippi – assailants cut his throat and disemboweled him, all within sight of his wife, who had just given birth to twins – was "president of a Republican club" and known as a man who "would speak his mind."
On occasion, violence escalated from the victimization of individuals to wholesale assaults on the Republican Party and its leadership. In October 1870, after Republicans carried Laurens County, in South Carolina's Piedmont belt, a racial altercation at Laurensville degenerated into a "negro chase" in which bands of whites drove 150 freedmen from their homes and committed 13 murders. The victims included the newly elected white probate judge, a black legislator and others "known and prominent as connected with politics."
Founded in 1866 as a Tennessee social club, the Ku Klux Klan spread into nearly every Southern state, launching a "reign of terror" against Republican leaders black and white. Those assassinated during the campaign included Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds, three members of the South Carolina legislature, and several men who had served in constitutional conventions. In Louisiana, even moderate ex-Governor Hahn by October complained that "murder and intimidation are the order of the day in this state." White gangs roamed New Orleans, intimidating blacks and breaking up Republican meetings. In St. Landry Parrish, a mob invaded the plantations, killing as many as 200 blacks. Commanding Gen. Lovell Rousseau, a friend and supporter of the president, refused to take action, urging blacks to stay away from the polls for self-protection and exulting that the 'ascendance of the negro in this state is approaching its end."
I could go on and on with this well-documented history, but you get the point.
Today we think of the Democratic Party as the champion of black Americans, more than 90 percent of whom support the party. But it was the other way just 60 or 70 years ago in America. The Republican Party was their party – the party of Lincoln, the party of desegregation, the party of abolition.
Democratic Party tactics.
It was President Lyndon Baines Johnson who got the idea of the Democrat Party becoming the "champion" of black Americans by enticing them into dependency through welfare-style programs.
This is why the late Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. He understood the history. He recognized who represented political allies and political foes.
Now do you understand why Democrats have a special desire to stamp out, erase and eradicate all history about this period?
They simply don't want their cover blown!
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].