The Seed, the Roots, the Fruit, and the History of Racial Politics in AmericaSubmitted by KMX on Mon, 07/09/2012 - 10:50
A friend of mine wrote this and I would like to share it with everyone. If you would like a quick refresh on History please read. VERY GOOD READ!
Knowledge is power!
The Seed, the Roots, the Fruit, and the History of Racial Politics in America
Written by Brian Ganges, Deputy Editor ~ Brotha Magazine
The purpose of this article is to bring awareness of the forgotten past to the present-day black community. I believe that understanding a proper historical perspective will help us to correct some of our thinking, and it will help to clear up some of the misconceptions that have plagued our community for so long. For most of the 20th century until the present, the black community has been the group that has given unbridled allegiance to the Democratic Party. My main questions to the black community are: Why do most of us support the Democrats, and how is this support benefitting our community? Some supporters of the Democratic Party might respond, “Well, there are no perfect political parties. Besides, I’d rather support the Democrats, who care about the poor, than those racist Tea Partiers and Republicans?” I’m not telling anyone which group to support. My goal is to bring everyone’s political bias or level of favoritism to zero, and based upon the facts and one’s core values system, each person can force the Democrats, the Republicans, or some other group to earn his/her support, rather than expect his/her support.
In this article, I will provide some historical facts for your personal consideration. After taking an objective look at and verifying all of the information presented, if the Democratic Party is still your Party of choice, then at least you were honest and bold enough to take the intellectual challenge; and I can respect that. But as it stands today, the black community has a very dysfunctional relationship with the Democratic Party. It’s a relationship in which the Democrats get and expect the black community to deliver 90%+ nationwide support for every major election cycle; and there is no incentive for the Democrats to make a case to win us over, because they already have us. That is a recipe for disaster, and we have been traditionally setting ourselves up for the Democrats to take advantage of us, to take us for granted, and to throw proverbial crumbs of appeasement at us if we get disgruntled. This political climate has got to change.
I know that many of us have our signature issues that really press our buttons, such as: education, job creation/unemployment, healthcare, etc. But too often, many of us get into a political comfort zone and just coast along with the status quo because everyone who looks like us is following a certain line of thinking. That is a sign that we have turned off our “thinking caps” and we have quit engaging in the political process. We can’t adopt the beehive mentality and go-along-to-get-along any longer; we must stay engaged and get more informed with our core (moral) values and principles in tact.
I will admit that I intentionally wrote this as a one-sided article, and I will make some points regarding some very sensitive historical facts. The reason for this one-sided presentation is because the black community has had such a lob-sided bias towards the Democratic Party for so long, that I had to make a serious statement in order to get people’s attention. I hope that the content of this article causes each person to read and to research the points objectively so that the true spirit in which I am writing this article is captured. I know that it is easy to misrepresent people or things, or to put them into a terrible light. But again, please believe that my goal is NOT to be disingenuous, but to bring everyone’s bias or level of favoritism to zero. At that point, we will have a more level political playing field, we can make our politicians earn our support, and then we can make more informed decisions.
Dissent, debate, and compromise are all a part of the political spectrum, and whether you agree with one side or not, civil discussion is healthy for the political process. I’m sure that we would all agree that neither Party has the black community’s best interests at heart. More importantly, both Parties have consistently proven to us that neither Party has the American people’s best interest at heart. But it is interesting to note that when free blacks were first allowed to vote, their descendants and they did so (overwhelmingly) in favor of the Republican Party for decades. Today, the results in the black community are just the opposite. As I mentioned earlier, the black community supports the Democratic Party at 90%+ levels nationwide, and has done so for many decades. Why is that? Well, let’s look at some of the seeds and the historical roots of the Democratic Party and let’s ask that question again later, because seeds and roots always produce a tree that produces fruit.
The seeds and the roots of the Democratic Party:
1. In the 19th century, the black community was grateful to President Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans for the Emancipation Proclamation. As a result, blacks voted for the Republican Party for decades. But did you know that the Democratic South opposed the 15th Amendment (granting blacks the right to vote)? So the reaction of many white Southerners was the creation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to either stop blacks from voting for Republicans, or to force them to vote for Democrats. Many modern-day folks look at Republicans like David Duke as the symbol of the KKK But history is crystal clear regarding the KKK and its creator.
2. Did you know that many abolitionists of the 19th century helped to form the Republican Party to combat the Pro-Slavery agenda of the Democratic Party? Slavery was an integral part of the Southern economy, and Democrats were not going to let their slaves go without a fight.
3. Did you know that the Black Codes (later called Jim Crow laws), which were enacted by many Democratic states, were created in order to minimize the freedoms and economic opportunities of blacks after the 13th Amendment (the abolition of slavery) was passed?
4. Did you know that Southern Democrats instituted poll taxes and subjective literacy tests to restrict the voting rights of poor and/or undereducated blacks?
5. Did you know that the grandfather clause was enacted by several Southern Democratic states to deny blacks the right to vote? The clause stated that a person whose father or grandfather was registered to vote prior to the passage of the 15th Amendment, would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting. Since the former slaves had not been granted the right to vote until 1870, this clause worked exclusively to exclude blacks from voting, while it assured the right to many impoverished and illiterate whites. In 1915, (Republican justices of) the U.S. Supreme Court declared the grandfather clause unconstitutional because it was in violation of the 15th Amendment.
6. Did you know that Anti-Civil Rights Legislation was the creation of the Democratic Party? Did you also know that the President was a Democrat, and there was a 2/3 Democratic majority in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate during the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Act of 1965? Did you know that there wasn’t enough Democratic support (with a clear majority in both Houses of Congress) to pass either piece of legislation without Republican help? And the Republicans are called racists?
7. Did you know that the Democratic justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Dred Scott Decision that blacks were not U.S. citizens?
8. Did you know that the Democratic Party historically opposed the 13th Amendment (abolition of slavery), the 14th Amendment (citizenship for blacks) and the 15th Amendment (issued blacks the right to vote)? But today, black support for the Democrats is through the roof.
9. Did you know that The Three-Fifths Compromise in Article 1, Section 2, and Paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves would be counted for representation purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives? The Compromise never meant that blacks were 3/5 of a person. Rather, it meant that since the Democratic South didn’t want to count the black slaves as people, the North made it harder for the South to send more Pro-Slavery representatives to Washington. Under normal circumstances, for a population of 30,000 there was 1 person sent to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Under the 3/5 Compromise, for a population of 50,000 there was 1 person sent to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. (For the sake of clarity) For a non-slavery population of 150,000, that district would send 5 representatives to Washington. For a pro-slavery Southern population of 150,000, that district would send 3 representatives to Washington. In essence, the 3/5 Compromise was an anti-slavery compromise in order for the Northern lawmakers to fight the racist Southern Democratic agenda.
10. Did you know that Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Senator Hugo Black, a known and admitted Klansman at the time, to the Supreme Court in order to help solidify the South as part of the Democratic coalition?
11. Did you know that Margaret Sanger, the founder of the 1939 Negro Project and Planned Parenthood, set out to recruit black ministers and doctors in her efforts to spread her message of population reduction, contraception, sterilization, and abortion among the “less fit”, “inferior races” such as “Negroes” in the early 20th century? She referred to blacks, immigrants, and others as “human weeds, reckless breeders, spawning . . . human beings who never should have been born.” Sanger also stated, “The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” She also was an inspiration to Adolf Hitler in his views of eugenics and “murdering socially undesirable people.” Today, the barbaric abortion agenda is disproportionately pushed in the black community (by the Democrats) as if it is a normal and caring practice. As a result, the black community is approximately 13% of the U.S. population, but black babies account for more than a third of all abortions performed in this country. Millions of black babies have been murdered since the 1970’s. These are bad seeds and bad roots that are giving us bad trees and bad fruit.
12. Did you know that most of the founders of the Texas Republican Party were black?
13. Did you know that Malcolm X reprimanded the black community in parts of his April 12, 1964 “Ballot or the Bullet” speech? Mostly speaking to black Americans about black nationalism, he said: “The Democrats have been in Washington D.C. only because of the Negro vote...You put them first, and they put you last, 'cause you're a chump, a political chump…The Party that you backed (the Democrats) controls two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and still they can't keep their promise to you, 'cause you're a chump. Anytime you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that Party can't keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you're dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that Party, you're not only a chump, but you're a traitor to your race… You, today, are in the hands of a government of segregationists, racists, white supremacists who belong to the Democratic Party, but disguise themselves as Dixiecrats. A Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat…These Northern Democrats are in cahoots with the Southern Democrats. They’re playing a giant con game, a political con game…Whenever the Negroes keep the Democrats in power, they’re keeping the Dixiecrats in power. Is this true? A vote for a Democrat is nothing but a vote for a Dixiecrat.” I wonder if anyone will call Malcolm X an Uncle Tom or a sell out.
14. Did you know that Democratic President Woodrow Wilson arranged for a private White House screening of the Pro-KKK movie Birth of a Nation? He also enacted pro-segregation policies within his administration via his appointed department heads, and he made it a felony for blacks and whites to marry in Washington D.C.
15. Did you know that many of today’s news programs and the political pundits who favor the Democratic Party are quick to label their opponents as racists? After reading these points, no Democratic supporter should ever play the race card or call anyone a racist again.
16. Did you know that the Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal and the Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society helped to decrease the number of black nuclear families in the U.S., and to increase the number of black people in the welfare system? Some families were helped temporarily by some of these Government programs. But many families have become the victims of these programs and are now generational recipients of Government assistance. What is the big picture fruit that the black community has received (as a whole) from the seeds, the roots and the tree of the Democratic Party?
Now, if this short list of historical punches to the eye doesn’t raise a few questions in your mind about the relationship between the Democratic Party and black people, then you are not being objective. This list could have easily been fifty points long. How can the Democratic Party and their undisputed racist history command such loyalty from the very people they have historically been oppressing? This kind of reminds me of the Stockholm Syndrome, a condition in which the victims support, love, defend, and/or emotionally bond with their abusers and controllers.
Many of you might be thinking, “The issues addressed in this article are from decades and centuries ago. Everyone makes mistakes, and we should all be willing to forgive the past and give folks a chance to learn and grow from the mistakes of their predecessors. Why don’t you just let the past be the past?” Right? Well, let’s be consistent. Would you buy a house that suffered flood damage or had known structural damage? Would you let the past be the past in that instance? Would you buy a car that was once totaled? Just let the past be the past. Right? Would you let your daughter marry Charles Manson? That was years ago; get over it. Right? What about an abusive husband that almost kills his wife but he continually tells her that he loves her? People can change. Right? Again, let’s be consistent and let’s think about this information. When people look for jobs, they send a resume (a snapshot of their professional past), and the employer uses that information as a consideration regarding one’s potential employment. When people want to finance a car, the dealership and/or the lending institution will pull their credit (a snapshot of their financial past), and they will make a determination based upon that information. Why do we judge everything by the past except our allegiance to the Democratic Party? Why, because the Democrats care about us now?
We have a moral obligation to hold our elected officials and political parties accountable, and much of the fruit that is blossoming today is a result of the seeds and the roots of yesterday. We might not be able to blame today’s politicians for the sins of the Party members from the 19th and the 20th centuries, and I sure don’t want to hear another tired apology for slavery and discrimination. But what we can and must do is examine the fruit of today’s political agendas and verify whether or not this fruit is a result of those bad seeds and roots. If we don’t, then we will continue to get flawed results with good intentions. If we like what we have been getting, then let’s continue on the current path.
This article does put the Democrats in a bad light, and if we supported the Republicans to the degree that we do the Democrats with the same past as the Democrats, then this article would focus solely upon the Republicans. But those of you who are black and die-hard Democrats, you have to come to terms with your political roots. You also have to ask yourself if history is important, and if history is in any way connected to the present. Moreover, don’t mistake the points listed above as a gold star for the Republicans because they are so good, and a sentence to Hell for the Democrats because they are all bad. That is not the case at all, because both Parties have done some good things and some bad things. We just have to put some things into perspective and analyze whether we are getting a favorable return on our political investment or not. We have to ask “Why” and “How” more often. How did the political transition in the black community occur from the Republicans to the Democrats? And why? We need to ask more questions, do some more research, and let’s continue to have an intellectual discussion so that we can be more informed as we move forward. Hopefully, this article will get you to see some things in a new light.
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