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“: