Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Trappings of Racisim (Updated)

A bit of late blogging on this topic. It was only a week ago that Harry Reid, obviously no student of history, charged from the Senate floor that GOP Senators were like lawmakers who opposed abolishment of slavery in pre-Civil war America. Then the NYT comes up with a whole range of gifts for "People of Color." They are, as more than one wry commenter has stated, apparently separate but equal gifts.

Just as a reality check, it pays to understand the historical record. I blogged this long ago, but I think it worth repeating:

- The Republican Party - the party of Abraham Lincoln - was born in 1854 out of opposition to slavery.

- The party of Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan was, as Jeffrey Lord points out in an article at the WSJ, the Democratic Party. And Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) is the only living member of the Senate who was once a member of the KKK.

- The 13th (abolishing slavery), 14th (due process for all citizens) and 15th (voting rights cannot be restriced on the basis of race) Amendments to the Constitution were enacted by Republicans over Democratic opposition.

- The NAACP was founded in 1909 by three white Republicans who opposed the racist practices of the Democratic Party and the lynching of blacks by Democrats.

- In fairness, it was the Democrat Harry Truman who, by Executive Order 9981 issued in 1948, desegregated the military. That was a truly major development. My own belief is that the military has been the single greatest driving force of integration in this land for over half a century.

- It was Chief Justice Earl Warren, a former Republican Governor of California appointed to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower, also a Republican, who managed to convince the other eight justices to agree to a unanimous decision in the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education. That case was brought by the NAACP. The Court held segregation in schools unconstitutional. The fact that it was a unanimous decision that overturned precedent made it clear that no aspect of segregation would henceforth be considered constitutional.

- Republican President Ike Eisenhower played additional important roles in furthering equality in America. He "proposed to Congress the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 and signed those acts into law. . . . They constituted the first significant civil rights acts since the 1870s." Moreover, when the Democratic Governor of Arkansas refused to integrate schools in what became known as the "Little Rock Nine" incident, "Eisenhower placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent Army troops to escort nine black students into an all-white public school."

- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was championed by JFK - but it was passed with massive Republican support (over 80%) in Congress and over fierce opposition from Democrats who made repeated attempts at filibuster. Indeed, 80% of the vote opposing the Civil Rights Act came from Democrats. Women were added to the Act as a protected class by a Democrat who thought it would be a poison pill, killing the legislation. To the contrary, the Congress passed the Act without any attempt to remove the provision.

- Martin Luther King Jr. was the most well known and pivotal Civil Rights activist ever produced in America. His most famous speech, "I Had A Dream," was an eloquent and stirring call for equality. If you have not read the speech or heard it, you can find it here. I would highly recommend listening to it. Rev. King was, by the way, a Republican.

. . . Nothing that I say here is to suggest that racism and sexism could not be found in the Republican party or among conservatives at any point in American history. But if you take any period in history and draw a line at the midpoint of racist and sexist attitudes, you would find far more Republicans than Democrats on the lesser side of that line. And you would find a much greater willingness on the part of Republicans, relative to the time, to effectuate equality. That was as true in 1865 as in 1965 - and in 2008.

Sometime about 1968, the far left movement emerged as a major wing of the Democratic Party. This far left wing hijacked the civil rights movement and made it, ostensibly, the raison d'etre of their wing. Gradually, the far left has grown until it is now the dominant force in Democratic politics. JFK, Truman and FDR would recognize precious little of today's Democratic Party.

The far left fundamentally altered the nature of the Civil Rights movement when they claimed it as their own. They imprinted the movement with identity politics, grossly distorting the movement's goal of a level playing field for all Americans and creating in its stead a Marxist world of permanent victimized classes entitled to special treatment. The far left has been the driver of reverse racism and sexism for the past half century. That is why it is no surprise that, with the emergence of a far left candidate for the highest office in the nation, Rev. Jeremiah Wright should also arise at his side and into the public eye preaching a vile racism and separatism most Americans thought long dead in this country. Nor is it any surprise that the MSM, many of whom are of the far left, should collectively yawn at Obama's twenty year association with Wright. Wright is anything but an anamoly. To the contrary, he is a progeny of the politics of the far left.

What we see in the comments of Harry Reid is a reflection of just how successful the left has been in rewriting public perception of history. It truly is a travesty.

As to the NYT decision to provide gift ideas based on race, it is at once a tempest in a teapot and a window into the soul of the left. When they see a person, their natural reaction is to attempt to categorize them into a victim group which, thereafter, becomes their defining characteristic. It is in itself a form of racism - more belevolent then that practiced by Democrats of old, but a form of racism nonetheless. That fact is lost on the left, but it is easy to spot as it manifests in so many ways, the NYT decision to run a seperate but equal page of gift ideas being but a minor one. Affirmative action is another, as is the left's fanning of the flames of reverse racism discussed in the quote above.

I would love to see a poll that asks what it is you think of each time you, for example, look at Obama. I see a man. The fact that he is black never makes it into my consciousness unless brought to my attention by an outside source. I would imagine that is what the vast majority of conservatives also experience. On the flip side, I wonder how many on the left see a "black man." It would be interesting to know from a psychological standpoint, would it not.


Nemesis said...

Succinctly put, and every word true!

We are all now paying the price for not recognizing the emergent left during the sixties and seventies. And for not being outspoken enough against their ideological policies at a time when united conservative forces could have easily shouted them down.

OBloodyHell said...

I provide you with something I wrote a while ago. I'm providing it as-is, but you will find at least a couple more data points, to wit, the juxtaposition of the 1940 GOP vs. the 1948 Dixiecrats, and the chicanery at the 1964 Dem national convention, which led directly to the various riots and racial tensions of the late 60s, as disenfranchised blacks realized they'd been utterly played by the Dems all along.


I think the Democratic party's Racial Con of making the GOP out to be the racists is perhaps the greatest con job in human history.

The Dems gained very real major power in the 1870s -- by appealing to the racists in the South angry over Republican plans for the Reconstruction -- ones which involved "40 acres and a mule" and such, to actually provide reparations and a measure of equality to the former slaves -- policies which the Dems gradually chipped away at and a boulder which the GOP finally got tired of pushing uphill. The Dems used this to gain the entire South as a power base for over sixty years.

Further, the Dems have had two major schisms in the last 60 years over race -- in the 1948 (the Dixiecrats) and the 1964 Dem conventions (the latter in which legally elected black representatives from the South were disenfranchized at the convention by machinations of Humphrey and Johnson -- which led directly to the subsequent violence in the 60s, including the 1968 convention and the Watts riots. Details here).

The Dems also continue to promote victimhood and class warfare memes and policies which are divisive and have led to nothing good for American blacks -- the fruits of their attitudes are clear: ignorance, illiteracy, and futility, leading to a ridiculously large number of black males being incarcerated (correctly, mind you), massive levels of black illegitimacy (presence of a balancing fatherhood figure is a strong indicator of later success in life), and, through the prisons, widespread AIDS in the black populace.

When a black man or woman succeeds without their help, the Dems feel nothing whatsoever about denigrating them and their accomplishments by using offensively pejorative memes and terms -- terms like "stepinfetchit", "Uncle Tom", and "pickaninny".

It is particularly telling that the Kerry campaign had no prominent black people on it until someone noticed this and commented on it, only AFTER which were "a few token darkies" given visible places of "import".

Who are the racists, again?


OBloodyHell said...

In contrast, I suggest you consider the following:

We pledge that our American citizens of Negro descent
shall be given a square deal in the economic and political
life of this nation. Discrimination in the civil service,
the army, navy, and all other branches of the Government
must cease. To enjoy the full benefits of life, liberty
and pursuit of happiness universal suffrage must be made
effective for the Negro citizen. Mob violence shocks the
conscience of the nation and legislation to curb this evil
should be enacted.

-- from the 1940 GOP platform

Contrast especially with:
We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial
integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose
one's associates; to accept private employment without
governmental interference, and to learn one's living in any
lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the
repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private
employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed
civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government
and a minimum interference with individual rights.

We oppose and condemn the action of the Democratic Convention
in sponsoring a civil rights program calling for the elimination
of segregation, social equality by Federal fiat, regulations of
private employment practices, voting, and local law enforcement.

-- from the 1948 Dixiecrat's Platform

Just who is the friggin' racist bunch, again?

The Truth needs to be put before the people and make it clear to all around that the Dems are not only the party who represents racism and racist policies, but have been for not less than 140 years and counting.

And, while that won't change all the minds, it's the Truth, and they won't be able to do much more than counter it with still more and ever blatant lies... which we will re-counter with still more Truth.

And I have faith in the Truth's power to win hearts and minds in the long run.

P.S., one of the more obvious claims in response of that last part is that "The Dixiecrats" were not "Democrats".

Yeah, right.
They were Democrats in 1944.
They were Democrats again in 1952.

Ergo -- They were a significant part of the Democratic party both before 1948 and again after 1948.

There was no equivalent power faction in the GOP, ever.

OBloodyHell said...

The "MLK was a Republican" link doesn't work, you might want to update and fix.

This appears to work, though, until then.

GW said...

Thank you all for the comments, and thanks for the additional information OBloodyHell. I trot this essay out once in a while and shall update it with the info you have provided.

I have fixed the link on MLK.

OBloodyHell said...

BTW, you may find this piece of interest, also:

The Democratic Party’s Legacy of Racism

(H/T: Dr. Sanity)