20120209

Republicans are Racists - a glimpse at history

"Republicans are racists." I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this statement from black people. This sentiment is being exploited now more than ever, as Republicans try to unseat the nation's first "black" president. Quotes because he is just as much white as black and he is not the descendant of American slavery (Boy, that's a loaded discussion for another day.) Back to the issue at hand.

One would think that the Republican Party has always advocated for the subjugation of black people and other ethnic minorities. A glimpse at just a couple of planks of the Republican Party Platform from 1860 reveals something different.
Republican Party Platform 1860 (from the seventeen declarations -Emphasis added.)
SECOND. That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the declaration of independence and embodied in the federal constitution, "That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," is essential to the preservation of our republican institutions; and that the federal constitution, the rights of the states, and the Union of the states, must and shall be preserved.
The above platform was intended to cover African Americans. See declarations eight and nine.
EIGHTH. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; that as our republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that no "person should be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law," it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.

NINTH. That we brand the recent reopening of the African slave trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity, and a burning shame to our country and age, and we call upon congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic.
Whenever this anti-racist, liberty-focused history of the Republican Party is mentioned to the black people who are wedded to the Democratic Party, the reply is usually: "Oh the Republican Party changed."

That suggestion is based on the faulty assumption that all of the racist Democrats fled to the Republican Party in the 1960s. Pointing out that racist Democrats like Robert Byrd, Bull Connor and Al Gore Sr. remained faithful Democrats has no impact on people so selectively blind.

So let's see if the GOP change to advocacy for unequal protection and subjugation of black people.
Republican Platform in 1960. Under the Civil Rights section of the platform there is this (Emphasis added):
Civil Rights
This nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. It can hardly be reconciled with a Constitution that guarantees equal protection under law to all persons. In a deeper sense, too, it is immoral and unjust. As to those matters within reach of political action and leadership, we pledge ourselves unreservedly to its eradication.
Republican Platform 1964 - (even though Barry Goldwater had opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the party kept support of it in the platform.)

...we pledge:
—full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes, to assure equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen;
—improvements of civil rights statutes
—such additional administrative or legislative actions as may be required to end the denial, for whatever unlawful reason, of the right to vote;
continued opposition to discrimination based on race, creed, national origin or sex. We recognize that the elimination of any such discrimination is a matter of heart, conscience, and education, as well as of equal rights under law.
Hmm...somehow I don't see the racists all running over to take part in this.

In 1968, Nixon won 32% of the black vote, so clearly, many black people looked beyond Goldwater and they did not see the Republican Party as inherently racist. The party gave some acknowledgement to the problems faced by minorities in the platform:
  • "This nation must not blink the harsh fact—or the special demands it places upon us—that the incidence of poverty is consistently greater among Negroes. Mexican-Americans, Indians and other minority groupings than in the population generally." The answer was not necessarily more government but something consistent with a party based on individual liberty: "An essential element of economic betterment is the opportunity for self-determination."
  • Indian Affairs (mentioned in earlier platforms but included for the point) The plight of American Indians and Eskimos is a national disgrace. Contradictory government policies have led to intolerable deprivation for these citizens. We dedicate ourselves to the promotion of policies responsive to their needs and desires and will seek the full participation of these people and their leaders in the formulation of such policies.

    Inequality of jobs, of education, of housing and of health blight their lives today. We believe the Indian and Eskimo must have an equal opportunity to participate fully in American society. Moreover, the uniqueness and beauty of these native cultures must be recognized and allowed to flourish.
What is the point of this little history lesson? Simple. It is to dispel ignorance and counter the lie that it is heresy for a black person to have any political affiliation other than Democrat.

Are there bigots and racists in the Republican Party? Of course. But there are also racists and bigots in the Democratic Party. To not realize that is the height of intentional ignorance.

Democrats succeed and maintain black loyalty by making black people remain victims. Democrats affirm, time and again, that black people are poor, ignorant, desperate little children who must have Democrats/ government take care of them. Democrats somehow convince black people that a return to slavery is just around the corner, and only Democrats can protecting them from the racist hoards.

Republicans are more likely to say: "You are an individual and you can achieve anything." That is racist talk today, NOT ascribing inherent weakness to members of a group. See how we are in an upside down world?

Be an individual. Vote based on your guiding philosophy and interests, not on what others have determined are your interests.

Embrace liberty. Support anyone who respects and advocates for the rights of each and every individual to live to his highest potential.