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Democrats Created the KKK?
My little brother has been saying that he couldn’t understand why blacks would vote for a Democrat when the Democrats started the KKK and Republicans freed the slaves. It sounds crazy but my little brother is right, but ONLY if you go far enough back. Around the civil war times democrats tended to be southerners and they were, in general, opposed to giving freedom and rights to black people. Actually, when Lincoln was President the Republicans were progressive, more like Democrats today, and Democrats in the 1860s were more like Republicans today.
Let’s take, for example, one of the more commonly held belief of Republicans today: states rights. The Governor of Texas is hinting around about secession, and predominately Republican states are complaining that the views, and rights, and values of the Federal government are being forced on the states and the states ought to have the right to do what they want without interference from the Federal government. But back in the days of Lincoln Republicans were NOT a states’ rights party. In fact Lincoln went to war to keep the southern states from exercising their right to pull out of the federal government. Often we call that war the Civil War, but another name that was once more common was THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES.
If Lincoln were alive today most Republicans wouldn't vote for him because he felt the federal government had a right to rule over all the states and individual states had to comply with the laws of the federal government, even when they didn't like them.
During the Depression the Democrats were the party that seemed to care more for poor people and minorities. The New Deal gave the same help to whites and blacks and these upset southern democrats. I remember my grandfather telling me that during the depression he had to dig ditches " right next to a niggers, and we both got paid the same amount. " He was outraged for two reasons: one, he had to be a coworker to blacks (because of that damn FDR) and two, his pay was and the black guy’s pay were the same. My grandfather was a racist, and the indignity of equality with blacks was blamed on Franklin Roosevelt. My grandfather was a Republican. During the Depression Republicans were the party that opposed giving help to the poor and thought cutting taxes would save the country.
Later, Harry Truman, a Democrat, integrated the military forcing black soldiers and white soldiers to use the same showers, the same mess halls, to sleep in the same barracks. Integrating the military outraged southern voters most of whom were Democrats and many were starting to bail out of that party and become Republicans.
When fair housing laws were enacted making it illegal to not rent or sell a house to a person based on their race, the party that opposed fair housing laws was the Republican Party. Reagan, running for Governor of California made his objection to the Fair Housing Act one of the main reasons he should be elected Governor.
Slowly there were Democratic leaders who were for giving more rights to blacks and the more that happened the more Southern Democrats hated the Democratic Party and switched to the Republican Party. When LBJ pushed through the voting rights act
forcing the south to lift their laws that had been prevented black people from voting, President Johnson is quoted as saying, " Democrats have just lost the south! " LBJ knew that Southern Democrats would not like giving blacks the right to vote. Over the next 20 years the south that had been almost totally supportive of the Democratic Party, became almost totally supportive of the Republican Party.
It is true that 100 years ago that Democrats were the party that tried the most to keep rights away from black people, is most definitely NOT true today.
My little brother is moaning and complaining about taxes and can’t understand why anyone would support taxing the rich and spreading that money out to the poor. The progressive tax is a tax which the tax rate increases as the taxable amount increases. " Progressive " describes a distribution effect on income or expenditure referring to the way the rate progresses from low to high, where the average tax rate is less than the marginal tax rate Lately Republicans have acted like this was a brand new idea spewed from the poison ducts of Democrats, but the truth is it was a Republican (Teddy Roosevelt) that pushed through the progressive income tax. Most Republicans want to cut taxes for rich people and would support a flat tax. There was a time when Republicans thought just the opposite If the Republicans can change I suppose Democrats can change too.
Sadly, in the beginning Republicans were progressive; they cared for human rights, opposed slavery and believed that the Federal Government took president over the rights of an individual state. Today, it seems that most Republicans believe exactly the opposite of Lincoln era Republicans.
Most black people vote democratic because the Democratic Party is the party trying to help the poor and the middle class. Democrats support equal rights and see affirmative action as a way to give a boost to people who were kept down and ignorant for a hundred years by Jim Crow laws.
There are, of course, black people who are fiscal conservatives who vote Republican, campaign for Republicans, and actually run for office as Republican candidates. We can’t say all blacks are this way, all whites are that way, all women act this way, and men are all suffering from testosterone poisoning. We can say that the racism that was wide spread among Civil War Democrats is not, generally found within the opinions and positions of Republicans. Most racism today tends to be subtle, better hidden, but if you look carefully you will see that racism is alive and well and while it is not exclusively a Republican problem, it is also true that Republican racism exists and is not nearly as rare as it ought to be.
Article submitted Friday, July 03, 2009 & read 1201 times.
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