>Roots of Republican racism

>The Republican Party of 2010 often cites itself as “The party of Lincoln,” in an effort to increase the size of its tent. They even went to far as to hire an African American to be the number 3 guy, (#1 – Rush, #2 – Sarah). Michael Steele is RNC chairman.

In the years after the Civil War ended, Republicans apparently began to re-think their positions (emphasis mine):

But the succeeding years would come as if the masses of poverty stricken whites
and blacks were twin siblings of a parent indulgent to one and venomous to the
other. A new national white consensus began to coalesce against African
Americans with shocking force and speed. The general white public, the
national leadership of the Republican Party
, and the federal government, on
every level were arriving at the conclusion that African Americans did not merit
citizenship and that their freedom was not valuable enough to justify the conflicts they engendered among whites. Blackmon, Douglas; Slavery by Another Name;
pages 86-87.

Blackmon follows with (emphasis mine):

As early as 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Union army of liberation, conceded to members of his cabinet that the Fifteenth Amendment,
giving freed slaves the right to vote, had been a mistake: “It had done
the Negro no good, and had been a hindrance to the South, and by no means a
political advantage to the North. Blackmon; p 87.

Grant, of course, was a Republican, first elected in 1868 and re-elected in 1872.

Grant’s 1868 campaign poster, created with early “photoshop,” by superimposing his image onto the platform of the Republican Party. Library of Congress public domain

So just a decade after the Civil War the systematic disenfranchisement of the new franchisee began, under the leadership of the Republican Party. We know where this led. Segregation. Jim Crow. Plessy v. Ferguson. 1901 Alabama Constitution.

It would take a Democratic President (Lyndon Baines Johnson)to lead the way to the breakdown of Jim Crow and separate but equal, with the signing of the Civil Rights act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and Brown v Board of Education in 1954).

(As a side note some are trying to re-create the “separate but equal” ideology in relation to same sex marriage, where certainly civil unions and domestic partnerships are not equal to marriage, in spite of what people are saying).

The Republican Party of 1876 has evolved into the Tea Party of 2009/10

Tea party leader Dale Robertson at a Tea Party.

Oh, but that’s not the Republican Party, you say.

Michelle Bachman (Republican – MN) (emphasis mine):

Well, it’s embrace the tea party movement with full arms and hold as many open forums as they possibly can to bring people in and listen to them because the
leadership right now is truly coming from the tea party movement … there’s
no question that the heartbeat of the tea party movement would be more in line
with the mission state of the Republican party certainly than that of the
Democrat party. So if the Republican Party is wise, they will allow
themselves to be re-defined by the tea party movement
. And I hope that
that will be the case.

Here’s a classic picture taken at a Tea Party.

My sources tell me the kid got out alive. “This sign is the brownest thing on this entire block” it reads.

OK. That’s enough for today. But rest assure there will be more.

New feature on Bessemer Opinions. The latest comments are now shown on the left and you can click on them to see the post from which they came. Now if you comment, others are more likely to see them. Isn’t that a good thing?

Update: The comments feature doesn’t seem to be updating as it should. I am going to leave it up and see what it does, but there have been more comments posted today on blog posts from a couple of days ago.

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