To mark Martin Luther King Day, some prominent “civil rights activists” are rebuking Republicans, from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, for quoting the civil rights leader’s most famous statement ever about the virtues of a truly color-blind America. In his August 1963 “I have a dream” speech, King powerfully appealed to the conscience of Americans when he said: “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.”
Yet in an article on Axios, Republican politicians citing King’s memorable line are accused of misrepresenting and dishonoring MLK, and advised to stop. The article cites numerous scholars extoling critical race theory, affirmative action and other reverse-discrimination methods of achieving racial justice in America, claiming that King was sympathetic to these means, and that America is still “systemically racist.” Republicans and those on the political and cultural right, they believe, are holding America back from finally attaining true racial justice and equality, while the left, whose stronghold is today’s Democratic Party, constitute the true champions of racial justice.
However, there’s a big problem with that analysis: The Democratic Party has historically been the enemy of racial equality, and in fact, was the party of slavery, opposition to Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the KKK and segregation – right on into the era of the civil rights movement King led.
Carol Swain, a professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University and herself a black woman, summarizes in a devastating, six-minute PragerUniversity.com video the Democratic Party’s true history of overt racial discrimination and opposition to every major civil rights initiative since its founding in 1829:
The Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynchings, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s. In contrast, the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party. Its mission was to stop the spread of slavery into the new western territories, with the aim of abolishing it entirely. This effort, however, was dealt a major blow by the Supreme Court in the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford. The court ruled that slaves aren’t citizens; they’re property. The seven justices who voted in favor of slavery – all Democrats. The two justices who dissented – both Republicans.
(Watch Carol Swain’s video):
Ending slavery in America, of course, ultimately came at the expense of a bloody Civil War. “The commander in chief during that war,” notes Swain, “was the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed the slaves. Six days after the Confederate Army surrendered, John Wilkes Booth, a Democrat, assassinated President Lincoln.”
While the slaves were legally freed, explains Swain, as soon as Reconstruction had ended and the federal troops had gone home, “Democrats roared back into power in the south”:
They quickly re-established white supremacy across the region, with measures like “black codes” – laws that restricted the ability of blacks to own property and run businesses – and they imposed poll taxes and literacy tests used to subvert black citizens’ right to vote. And how was all of this enforced? By terror – much of it instigated by the Ku Klux Klan, founded by a Democrat, Nathan Bedford Forrest. As historian Eric Foner, himself a Democrat, notes: “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”
Lest one imagine this is all just “ancient history,” and that during the actual civil rights movement led by MLK, which culminated in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Democrats were the champions of the rights of blacks, reality is very different.
As Swain recounts, “the only serious congressional opposition to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 came from Democrats.” In fact, she says, “Democratic senators filibustered the bill for 75 days until Republicans mustered the few extra votes needed to break the logjam.”
What about today, when Pew Research confirms that 90 percent of American blacks faithfully vote Democrat? Explains Swain:
When all of their efforts to enslave blacks, keep them enslaved, and then keep them from voting had failed, the Democrats came up with a new strategy: If black people are going to vote, they might as well vote for Democrats. As President Lyndon Johnson was reported to have said about the Civil Rights Act, “I’ll have them n*ggers voting Democrat for 200 years.”
As always, today’s Democratic Party prospers on the votes of the very people it has spent much of its history oppressing. Democrats falsely claim the Republican Party is the villain, when in reality, it’s the failed policies of the Democratic Party that have kept blacks down: Massive government welfare has decimated the black family; opposition to school choice has kept them trapped in failing schools; politically correct policing has left black neighborhoods defenseless against violent crime.
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