Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Democrat Party Legacy of Racism & Segregation: Part Two

By Tom Correa

Picking things up from PART ONE, after the Civil War, Republicans in control of Congress set up reconstruction efforts in the South, this period is known as the Reconstruction Era. 

During this period coalitions of freedmen (freed slaves), recent black and white arrivals from the North (carpetbaggers), and white Southerners who supported Reconstruction (scalawags) cooperated to form Republican bi-racial state governments.

They introduced various reconstruction programs, including the founding of public schools in most states for the first time, and the establishment of charitable institutions.

They raised taxes, which historically had been low as wealthy planters preferred to make private investments for their own purposes usually offered massive aid to support railroads to improve transportation and shipping.

Were there widespread corruption? Yes. But worse there was a violent opposition towards freedmen and whites who supported Reconstruction.

It first emerged under the name of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a secret vigilante organization, which led to federal intervention by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871 that suppressed the Klan.

It also emerged as the White League and the Red Shirts who were not secret organizations. They were both armed para-military organizations who openly supported the Democrat party.

Democrats calling themselves "Redeemers" regained control state by state, sometimes using fraud and violence to control state elections. Their goal was to limit blacks and run off those helping them.

A deep national economic depression following the Panic of 1873 led to major Democratic gains in the North, the collapse of many railroad schemes in the South, and a growing sense of frustration in the North. The end of Reconstruction was a staggered process, and the period of Republican control ended at different times in different states.

With the Compromise of 1877, Army intervention in the South ceased and Republican control collapsed in the last three state governments in the South. This was followed by a period that Southerner Democrats labeled "Redemption".

They saw it as a time which white-dominated state legislatures enacted Jim Crow laws. And yes, after 1890 they disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites through a combination of constitutional amendments and electoral laws.

Democrats in the South used Reconstruction controls to foster their desire to impose a system of white supremacy and second-class citizenship for blacks, known as the age of Jim Crow.

Democrats love to tell Americans how the Democrat Party has always been on the side of black-Americans and other minorities. But that'a the big lie!

Democrats fail to mention incredibly huge number of Democrats who fought tooth and nail against Civil Rights Bills - all to keep segregation in place. And yes, even so far as to swear an oath to fight it.

Several historians have described Democrat President Woodrow Wilson's policies as racist, and have even gone so far as to describe Wilson personally as a racist. Here was a Democrat who was a supposed "intellectual," yet he was a staunch racist and segregationist. He was not only for segregation -- he expanded it to the federal level.

In 1912, "an unprecedented number" of African Americans left the Republican Party to cast their vote for Wilson, a Democrat. They were encouraged by his promises of support for minorities. But, once he entered office, Wilson's cabinet members expanded racially segregationist policies.

Black leaders who had supported Wilson in the 1912 election were angered when Wilson placed segregationist Southerners in charge of many executive departments, and the administration acted to reduce the already-meager number of African-Americans in political-appointee positions.

Wilson's cabinet officials, with the president's blessings, proceeded to establish official segregation policies in most federal government offices. In some departments this was taking place for the first time since 1863. And yes, those policies had an effect on new buildings and facilities in the federal government, they were being designed to keep the races separated while working.

Historian Eric Foner wrote: "[Wilson's] administration imposed full racial segregation in Washington and hounded from office considerable numbers of black federal employees."

The Democrat's concept of segregation was also quickly implemented at the Post Office Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. as many African American employees were downgraded and even fired. And yes, the segregation implemented in the Department of Treasury and the Post Office Department involved not only screened-off working spaces - but separate lunchrooms and toilets.

Some segregationist federal workplace policies introduced by the President Wilson's administration would remain in place through Harry Truman administration - only to be stopped by a Republican president by the name of Dwight S. Eisenhower.

Other steps were taken by the Wilson Administration to make obtaining a civil service job more difficult for blacks. Primary among these was the requirement, implemented in 1914 and continued until 1940, that all candidates for civil service jobs attach a photograph to their application further allowing for discrimination in the hiring process.

President Wilson did not interfere with the well-established system of Jim Crow -- and in fact backed the demands of Southern Democrats that their states be left alone to deal with issues of race and black voting without interference from Washington.

In 1914, Wilson told The New York Times, "If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it."

Wilson drafted hundreds of thousands of blacks into the army, giving them equal pay with whites, but kept them in all-black units with white officers, and kept the great majority out of combat. When a delegation of blacks protested the discriminatory actions, Wilson told them "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen."

Some Democrat Party allies started way back then. The NAACP is a great example of talking about fighting racism and segregation -- yet supporting those who are directly responsible for it. To show how even the NAACP could be bribed back then, even after seeing the racism coming from the Democrat Party, take a look at NAACP leader W. E. B. Du Bois.

Du Bois, believe it or not, actually went out and campaigned for Woodrow Wilson in 1918. He did so after being offered an Army commission in exchange for his support. DuBois accepted, but he later failed his Army physical and did not serve.

Wilson's segregationist stance as president should perhaps not have come as a surprise. While holding the position of president of Princeton University, Wilson had discouraged blacks from even applying for admission, preferring to keep the peace among white students than have black students admitted.

In Wilson's History of the American People (1901), he supported the Ku Klux Klan of the late 1860s by saying that their rise was as the natural outgrowth of Reconstruction. 

Democrat President Woodrow Wilson made excuses for what the KKK was doing. He even went so far as saying that the Klan was "a lawless reaction to a lawless period."

Wilson excused the Klan's actions by saying that the Klan "began to attempt by intimidation what they were not allowed to attempt by the ballot or by any ordered course of public action".

That my friends, is a real load of crap! But wait, President Wilson was the perfect Democrat for many reasons. He was touted as being a University intellectual, a die-hard liberal, a progressive, supposedly enlightened and refined, and he cared about people.

Of course the Democrat Party seem to conveniently look the other way over the facts that Wilson did not care for black people or any of the new European immigrants that were showing up from across the Atlantic. This guy hated all sorts of Americans.

Wilson had harsh words to say about immigrants in his history books, but after he entered politics in 1910, Wilson worked to integrate immigrants into the Democratic party - some say because he was told they needed the votes.

During World War I, all Irish and Italian and other immigrants who wanted to join the United States military were forced to repudiate any loyalty to enemy nations - as if their joining our military wasn't enough of a statement all by itself.

Irish Americans were becoming very powerful in the Democratic Party and opposed going to war as allies of their traditional enemy Great Britain, especially after the violent suppression of the Easter Rebellion of 1916. Wilson won them over in 1917 by promising to ask Britain to give Ireland its independence. At Versailles, however, Wilson reneged.

It was something that Democrats learned to do early on. It has been the Democrat Party method of operating for years. It is their political philosophy: To get votes, or money, or favors, make promises with no intention of fulfilling them. then re-neg on those promises with lame excuses. It's the way they have operated for well over a 100 years -- with no change in sight.

As a result of Wilson going back on his word, much of the Irish-American community denounced him. But Wilson didn't care because in turn he blamed the Irish Americans and German Americans for lack of popular support for the League of Nations. But please don't think that President Wilson was the lone Democrat in Washington who was a hardcore racist as he was. He had lots of company.

Democrat Ellison DuRant "Cotton Ed" Smith who represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1909 until 1944 was one of them. During Smith's time in Congress, he had a goal "to keep the Negroes down and the price of cotton up."

Known for being a reputed showman, Smith would publicly promote this goal by riding to Washington on a wagon-load of cotton waiving the banner of white supremacy. Isn't it sort of queer how Democrats today fail to mention him?

Smith also developed a reputation for having a violent temper while speaking in Congress and would at times stand on his feet and try to get the floor speaker's attention by repeatedly hacking his armchair with a penknife whenever the speaker angered him.

In 1944, Olin D. Johnston challenged Smith in the Democratic Primary. During the campaign, Johnston, Governor of South Carolina, was able to the snatch the "flag of white supremacy" from Smith by boasting how he countered the US Supreme Court's recent Smith v. Allwright decision - which ruled that racial segregation in state primaries was unconstitutional.

You see, as Governor of South Carolina, Olin Johnston passed a series of laws to make the South Carolina Democratic Party "a private club" - which could keep blacks from voting in the state's primary.

Democrats have always been devious that way. And honestly, you've got to love it when Democrats one up each other, even if it means boasting about how many slaves they own or how they screwed over the next guy - in this case black Americans in South Carolina.

To me, the Democrat that was the biggest racist of them all was probably Theodore Gilmore Bilbo who twice served as Governor of Mississippi and later was elected a U.S. Senator from 1935 to 1947).

This Democrat made his name a synonym for "white supremacy". He was proud of being a racist in the old style of the Slave Owner Democrats in the South. And like other Democrats who created the Ku Klux Klan after the Civil War, Bilbo believed that black people were inferior. So he vehemently defended segregation.

He also had another distinction, while serving as a U.S. Senator -- he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. And frankly, I bet you thought Senator Robert Byrd was the only Democrat to be in Congress and the Klan at the same time.

Nope, Senator Theodore Bilbo was a true racist from the get go. He was the real deal. He even wrote a book entitled, "Take Your Choice: Separation or 'Mongrelization'." And in the Senate, Bilbo became attracted by the ideas of black separatists such as Marcus Garvey.

In fact, he was such a racist that on June 6th, 1938, Senator Bibo even went so far as to propose an Amendment to the Federal Work-Relief Bill of 1938 -- proposing that Americano deport 12 Million black-Americans to Liberia at Federal expense. All with the excuse that this was being done to help relieve America's unemployment problems.

But wait, it wasn't only Bibo. You see, there was a group of Democrats who were led by Senator Theodore Gilmore Bilbo who all wanted to deport 12 Million black Americans to Liberia at government expense - with the excuse that it would relieve unemployment problems during the Great Depression.

And believe it or not, Democrat Senator Bilbo even wrote a book advocating the idea. Black separatists such as Marcus Garvey praised him in return, saying that "Bilbo had done wonderfully well for the Negro".

The Senate assigned Bilbo to what was considered the least important Senate committee, one on governance of the District of Columbia. It was an attempt to limit his influence. But even banishing him to some obscure job didn't help, instead Bilbo used his position to advance his white supremacist views.

Bilbo was against giving any vote to district residents, especially as the district's Black population was increasing during the Great Migration. After re-election, he advanced to sufficient seniority. Bilbo revealed his membership in the Ku Klux Klan in an interview on the radio program Meet the Press.

Democrat Senator Bilbo said, "No man can leave the Klan. He takes an oath not to do that. Once a Ku Klux, always a Ku Klux."

Bilbo was outspoken in saying that blacks should not be allowed to vote anywhere in the United States, regardless of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.

It's a fact that African-American World War II veterans complained of longstanding disfranchisement in the South, which Mississippi had achieved in 1890 by changes to its constitution related to electoral and voter registration rules. Other Southern states followed with similar changes through 1910, which survived most court challenges. After all, Democrat politicians and Democrat judges -- how could blacks in the South ever hope to be free and equal.

Bilbo's campaign was accused of provoking violence related to voting. He was a prominent Democrat participant in the lengthy Southern Democratic filibuster of the Costigan-Walker Anti-Lynching Bill before the Senate in 1938.

If you want to hear what a real Democrat racist sounds like, listen to the things Democrat Bilbo came up with!

Bilbo said,: "If you succeed in the passage of this bill, you will open the flood-gates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousand-fold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate."

A real charmer huh! But of course Democrats tell a different story as to who really held down black-Americans. Maybe now you see why I say that history tells a different story than what Democrats are today.

As for Democrat Senator Bilbo, well everyone except those Democrats voting for him took him to task for his denouncing Richard Wright's autobiography, Black Boy, on the Senate floor.

Bibo said, "Its purpose is to plant the seeds of devilment and trouble-breeding in the days to come in the mind and heart of every American Negro.... It is the dirtiest, filthiest, lousiest, most obscene piece of writing that I have ever seen in print. I would hate to have a son or daughter of mine permitted to read it; it is so filthy and so dirty. But it comes from a Negro, and you cannot expect any better from a person of his type."

Bilbo was re-elected to a third Senate term in November 1946. Based on a request by liberal Democratic Sen. Glen H. Taylor of Idaho, the newly elected Republican majority in the United States Senate refused to seat Bilbo for the term because of his speeches.

Republicans believed that Bilbo was responsible for inciting violence against blacks who wanted to vote in the South. In addition, a Republican controlled Senate committee found that he had taken bribes.

And those he was as famous a racist and white supremacist as there was, Democrats rushed to the defense of Bilbo and a filibuster by his supporters delayed the seating of the Senate for days. It was resolved when a supporter proposed that Bilbo's credentials remain on the table while he returned home to Mississippi to seek medical treatment for cancer.

But don't let Democrats make you think that Senator Theodore Bilbo was an oddity in Congress, because that simply was not the case. Take for example Democrat Howard Smith of Virginia, who was Chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Just like the Democrats who controlled the South after Reconstruction, Howard Smith routinely used his influential position to stop any sort of Civil Rights legislation. In fact, Smith often shuttered committee operations by retreating to his rural farm to avoid deliberations on pending civil rights reform bills.

So now, let's talk about White-Supremacist Democrat Congressman John Rankin who has monuments named after him -- including the Senate Office building.

John Elliott Rankin was a Democratic congressman from the U.S. State of Mississippi who supported racial segregation tooth and nail! On the floor of the United States House of Representatives, he voiced racist views on African Americans, Jews, Japanese, and even accused Albert Einstein of being a Communist Agitator.

In 1944, following the Port Chicago disaster, the U.S. Navy asked Congress to give $5,000 to the victim's families. He was fine with that, that is until he found out the those who died were black sailors.

After he learned most of the dead were black sailors, Democrat Rankin insisted the amount be reduced to $2,000. He was such a major player in Congress that his influence caused the compromise which lowered the amount to $3,000 because most of the dead sailors were black. Friends, that's a racist!

So how long does an openly racist Democrat last in Congress? As you will see, a very long time!

Fact is House Member John E. Rankin of Mississippi defended southern white supremacy and openly fought against Civil Rights on the floor of Congress for 16 Terms.

Later in Rankin’s Congressional career, fellow Democrat Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., of New York, who was black, regularly needled Rankin by sitting as near to him as possible in the House Chamber. As a fellow Democrat, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was a pastor who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives. He was the first person in the state of New York of African-American descent elected to Congress, and became a powerful national politician. Rankin is said to have hated the mere idea that a black man was in Congress, nevertheless as a Democrat. 

Of course there is the Democrat racist who has a Senate building is named after. I'm talking about racist Senator Richard Brevard Russell Jr. from Georgia.

While Democrats are today attacking symbols of the South such as the Confederate Battle flag, they hide the fact that their own Senate building named after Russell who in fact was one of the Democrat Party's biggest racist to ever work in Washington DC. No kidding!

The building was first occupied in 1909 by the Senate of the 61st Congress, but after millions of dollars of renovation, in 1972, the building was named for former Democrat Senator Richard Brevard Russell Jr. who was an ardent racist. He was in fact a key Democrat who fought against Civil Rights for black and women. 

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