Where I Stand Roots of racism and white supremacy
President Trump has been a useful foil for the Institutional Left for the past three-plus years. They’ve been predictably promiscuous in playing the race card as part of their godless plank known as identity politics.
However, if one looks past the revisionist history peddled by the public (i.e. government) schools and college campuses, from its early days until now, real history shows that the Democratic party is the party of racism and white supremacy.
The Democratic Party was founded in 1829 by Andrew Jackson, a slave owner who despised abolitionists and, as president, called for laws prohibiting circulating abolitionist publications which he believed would incite slaves to insurrection.
Pre-Civil War Democrats in the South led by Sen. John C. Calhoun invented the “positive good” theory arguing that slavery was good for slaves as well as their masters. Sen. Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln’s opponent in the 1860 presidential election, created the “popular sovereignty” doctrine, which would allow each state or territory to decide whether it wanted slavery.
All in all, Democratic presidents from Jackson through the Civil War were protectors of the institution of slavery.
The momentous Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857 declared that slaves were property thereby upholding the legality of slavery.
The seven Justices affirming the decision, including Chief Justice Roger Taney, were Democrats. The two dissenting Justices were Republicans.
This should come as no sur prise. When the Republican Party was founded in 1852, one of the stated missions of the nascent party was the elimination of “those relics of barbarism” — slavery and polygamy.
Six weeks after Lincoln’s Inauguration, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the union. The defenders of the Confederacy were the defenders of slavery. During the Civil War, many northern Democrats — referred to as Copperheads or Peace Democrats — urged Lincoln to make a deal with the South allowing them to maintain slavery.
After Lincoln’s assassination, President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Congressional Republicans overrode the veto.
Democrats opposed the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, as they did with the 14th, and 15th Amendments, which established citizenship and voting rights for freed slaves.
Democrats opposed Reconstruction, during which federal troops secured rights for formers slaves in the South from 1865-77.
In spite of these efforts, white supremacy remained the policy of the Democratic Party.
Democrats codified the Black Codes, referred to as “neo-slavery” by some historians. The Black Codes were created to prevent blacks from owning property, running businesses and traveling freely. The Republicans established the Freedmen’s Bureau, which struck down the Codes along with opening schools for blacks and providing food, health services and legal protection.
In 1866, former Confederate army officer (and Democrat) Nathan Bedford Forrest was a founder of the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize not just blacks, but also whites who they believed to be allied with them, particularly Northern Republican “carpetbaggers.”
Columbia University professor Eric Foner, himself a Democrat, wrote “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”
Republican President Ulysses Grant signed laws collectively known as the Ku Klux Klan acts of 1871, also known as the Force Bill. Military governors appointed by Grant helped enforce the bill by restricting money and weapons from flowing to the Klan and cracking down on Klan organized violence. By 1873, the Klan was defunct for the next 25 years until a new generation of bigots revived it.
With Grant’s military governors in place, more than 1,500 blacks were elected to federal, state and local offices. The first black members of Congress were elected in 1870. In contrast, the first black Democrat congressman was elected in 1935.
Today’s Democrats use Jim Crow Laws as a talking point to highlight alleged Republican bigotry. The truth is that Jim Crow laws were written, codified and enforced by white Southern Democratic “Redeemer” governments after the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and carried forward in some form until 1965.
The Jim Crow Laws created racial segregation and suppressed black voters by poll taxes, literacy tests and other administrative obstacles.
As America entered the Twentieth Century, Democrats continued to maintain Jim Crow as well as concoct new discriminatory policies.
Todd Peterson is a resident of Washington Depot.