Historical Facts For MLK Day
I wrote a post in 2008 opining that, with Obama’s run for the presidency, we stood at a “crossroads” between the melting pot and MLK’s dream of a colorblind society on one hand and the ascendancy — if not permanency — of dystopian identity politics on the other. As part of that post, I noted that the progressive left has, since 1968, been furiously rewriting history to portray conservatives and Republicans as inveterate racists. Here is the opening of that post, just to remind us of some of the actual historical facts:
Liberal African American NYT columnist Bob Herbert recently had this to say in extolling the virtues of the left:
“Without the many great and noble deeds of liberals over the past six or seven decades, America would hardly be recognizable to today’s young people. Liberals (including liberal Republicans, who have since been mostly drummed out of the party) ended legalized racial segregation and gender discrimination.”
Mr. Herbert pretty much sums up what has been the far left / liberal / progressive line for decades. But then how to explain all the vicious, ad hominem and unhinged Palin-bashing coming from the left? To take it one further, how to reconcile that Palin-bashing with the left’s acceptance of people like Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a part of their stable? It seems quite the conundrum unless one knows a bit of history and can identify the massive deceits. Here are some facts, some of which you might not be aware:
– The Republican Party – the party of Abraham Lincoln – was borne 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 1940, the GOP Platform read:
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.
– 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. 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.
– “Bull” Connor was not a Republican.
– and finally, as an aside, Mr. Herbert does not name a single Republican – and I can find none from 1854 to the present – that has ever been drummed out of the Republican party for their embrace of civil rights. That charge is libelous. . . .
Victor Davis Hanson on Trump and the American Divide
When I wrote in 2008 that electing Obama as President would mean the ascendancy of identity politics, even I didn’t envision how true that would be, nor how disastrous it would be for race relations in America. Victor Davis Hanson’s latest offering touches on that issue as he explains how the most unlikely of men, Trump the 70 year old billionaire from NYC, could become the “tribune of rustics and the deplorables“:
. . . As political analyst Ron Brownstein puts it, “Of all the overlapping generational, racial, and educational divides that explained Trump’s stunning upset over Hillary Clinton . . . none proved more powerful than the distance between the Democrats’ continued dominance of the largest metropolitan areas, and the stampede toward the GOP almost everywhere else.”
“Everywhere else” basically means anywhere but the two coasts. After the election, in liberal, urban America, one often heard Trump’s win described as the revenge of the yahoos in flyover country, fueled by their angry “isms” and “ias”: racism, anti-Semitism, nativism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and so on. Many liberals consoled themselves that Trump’s victory was the last hurrah of bigoted, Republican white America, soon to be swept away by vast forces beyond its control, such as global migration and the cultural transformation of America into something far from the Founders’ vision. . . .
Barack Obama’s two electoral victories deluded the Democrats into thinking that it was politically wise to jettison their old blue-collar appeal to the working classes, mostly living outside the cities these days, in favor of an identity politics of a new multicultural, urban America. Yet Trump’s success represented more than simply a triumph of rural whites over multiracial urbanites. More ominously for liberals, it also suggested that a growing minority of blacks and Hispanics might be sympathetic with a “country” mind-set that rejects urban progressive elitism. For some minorities, sincerity and directness might be preferable to sloganeering by wealthy white urban progressives, who often seem more worried about assuaging their own guilt than about genuinely understanding people of different colors.
Do read the whole article.
A Prof. Calls For An End To Microaggression Training
In the absence of actual racial animus, the progs changed the definition of racism from the objective — i.e., acts that a reasonable third party would believe were animated by the victim’s skin color — to the subjective, where the intent of the actor no longer matters, only the feelings of “victim.” It’s all the rage on campuses. But finally, amongst the rotten and corroded ivory towers, there is a small voice of reason. From the article:
One of the core premises of microaggression theory, for example, is the idea that unintentional slights “exert an adverse impact on recipients’ mental health,” but Lilienfeld argues that it is “premature to advance strong causal assertions regarding the ties between microaggressions and mental health” because research into that question has historically neglected the impact of confounding factors.
Lilienfeld also called into question the belief that microaggressions “are interpreted negatively by most or all minority group members.”
“There is no systematic research support for this hypothesis,” he points out. “[Microaggression theory] largely overlooks the possibility—indeed, the probability—that individual differences color recipients’ interpretations of, and reactions to, microaggressions.”
Additionally, despite the belief that microaggressions reflect “implicitly prejudicial and implicitly aggressive motives,” Lilienfeld counters that “there is no evidence that microaggressions are correlated with indicators of either prejudice or aggression in deliverers.”
Compare and Contrast:
Minn. Rep. Keith Ellison: Trump is bringing white supremacy back to the White House
Alveda King, Niece of Martin Luther King, Jr: I voted for Trump
This Ought To Be Interesting
The BLM movement has announced that they want to rewrite Martin Luther King, Jr. as a “radical.” I am sure more than a few grievance theater professors will be willing to support that, but it is going to take a lot of editing to change Martin Luther King’s famous line from:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character
I have a dream that all white children will one day acknowledge their white privilege, judge my children solely by the the color of their skin, and pay me reparations.
Could the race hustling get any worse?
It is important to remember that many, if not the majority of blacks, are far more inclined to Martin Luther King’s dream than BLM’s, and we do a great disservice to our nation by letting the radicals and progs attempt to speak for all of black America. I lived much of my life in a milieu — first military college in SC, then as an Infantry officer — where MLK’s dream of a fully integrated, colorblind society was a reality. At any given time, the majority of my soldiers and NCO’s were minorities, and a good third of my fellow officers were as well. I never saw nor heard racism in action until the day I left the military and made the mistake of listening to a speech on the idiot box delivered by the odious Louis Farrakhan. I’ve since become incensed with the race hustling in civil society and the horrendous impacts it has on society as a whole, but more importantly, that bottom economic half of black society stuck in cyclical poverty, high crime, single parent households, and, because of substandard education, left with little hope of changing their plight. Progressives are doing less than nothing for these people, as many of the policies are keeping them in place. Worse yet, progs are trying to blame their plight on imaginary white racism. It is not merely obscene, but morally, the single biggest challenge facing our nation today. We abandon that half of black America to their plight — and the progressive narrative of rampant racism — at everyone’s moral peril.
I would venture to say that you can divide blacks into several categories today. If you ever have a chance to hear a retired black soldier opine on race, 99% will say that we are all Americans. If you delve into black civil society, you will find a number, and I have no idea whether it is a majority or minority, who feel likewise. But then you get into the political, where the progressive’s own the civil rights movement and race hustlers push the party line for power and dollars. The latter have damn near won under Obama, and that is horrendous. I do so hope that it can be turned around. Just when I think the war lost, along come reminders that it is not:
. . . I had no interest in engaging this debate, but I did call a Lyft car this morning and my driver, a black woman raised in poverty, was very interested in doing so. The news was on and blaring how Trump was attacking the CIA, which made me laugh, and I said, “I’m no Trump supporter but that’s funny.”
She immediately shot back, “What do you not like about Trump?” I said a few things about his trade policies, but she was having none of it.
“Here it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I’m supposed to be all upset that Trump attacked John Lewis, but Trump is right. Lewis said he is not a legitimate president, so yeah Trump got upset. What exactly is Lewis doing to improve the lives of the poor in this town? Nothing. At least Trump has some ideas. He seems to care.”
Ok, now I’m listening.
“I’m glad Lewis marched in the protests so long ago,” she continued, “but you have to do more than march. That’s all these people do is march. Meanwhile, there are sections of Atlanta I’m afraid to drive in. And I say that as a black woman! It’s not even about race. Many blacks in this town live better than white people anywhere in the world. But there’s whole communities that have been forgotten. They are paid off with welfare checks but they don’t have skills or jobs, and they fear for their lives on their own streets.”
She was just getting going, so I wondered how far I could push this. What about Obamacare? . . .
Do read the whole article. Now for the lighter side of the news:
Why Did The Alligator Cross The Road?
I have no idea. But he is quite the impressive sight.