America, the “promised land.” Remember, Civil Rights Acts had been passed in 1866, 1870, 1871 and 1875. Plus, the 15th Amendment, specifically granting black men the right to vote, had passed in 1870. Hurrah! The promised land!
But wait, if we had reached the “promised land” back in the 1800s, why did I, as a black man serving in the U.S. Air Force (who overseas had carried loaded weapons in support of foreign freedoms) have to wait until 1964 to get my civil rights and 1965 to obtain unrestricted voting rights? Who was responsible for the delay? The answers to these questions shocked me. One of the advantages of ignorance is that a measure of peace accompanies it; if you don’t know something, it cannot upset you. Where was the president? Where was Congress? Where was the Supreme Court?
Although there were barriers, modern blacks did vote freely in the North and with severe restrictions in almost all areas of the South. From voting 71 percent for FDR right up to 96 percent for Obama, blacks, when they did vote, cast their ballots in the Democrat bloc. There is a reason for that, and while “the truth makes free,” it can also unsettle.
As pointed out, Roosevelt scored 71 percent of the black vote in 1936; earlier, however, in 1932, he had only generated 23 percent. Had blacks voted prior to 1932? Yes, and this is where I began to uncover information that I’d not known heretofore. Remember, blacks had gotten the right to vote in the 1800s and had served in the 41st and 42nd sessions of Congress. Blacks in Congress in the 1800s? Not only so, but black Sen. Blanch Kelso Bruce from Mississippi actually received a number of votes for vice president at a presidential convention in 1888. What? So, who were blacks voting for prior to FDR?
In research for my book, “Black YellowDogs,” I came upon some revelatory information. Here’s a hint from Robert Flournoy written in 1868: “I am a considerable sort of Negro man and talk with Negroes wherever I go. I have never met in all my intercourse with the Negroes of Mississippi but one single Negro who professed to be a Democrat.”
What was that – a rare black Democrat? Yes, the facts of the matter are simply that from Lincoln to FDR, blacks voted exclusively for Republicans. The reason was very simple. In 1854, a political group calling itself “Democratic Republicans” was formed specifically to prevent the spread of slavery into new federal territories. Later, they changed the name to “Republican” and selected Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for president. Seven of the planks in their platform, directly or indirectly, called for the abolition of slavery. No question, the Republican Party was founded and rested squarely on its opposition to slavery.
Democrat “Redeemer” governments took over the South after the Civil War ended. Southerners were once again in power. Thanks to the “3/5th Clause,” Democrats soon controlled Congress, packed the Supreme Court and, with control of every congressional committee, they systematically refused to enact, enforce or support a single provision of any civil rights bills passed by the outgoing Republicans.
In 1883, a sympathetic Supreme Court declared the 1875 Civil Rights Act “unconstitutional,” and every single black office holder was removed and all civil rights legislation was nullified. Redeemer governments at the state level, powerful Democrats in D.C., and a packed Supreme Court ignored, circumvented or overturned every single civil right that had been guaranteed to blacks by the amended Constitution and Civil Rights Acts.
No university degree is required to ascertain that the reasons blacks voted “R” was that only Republicans would allow blacks to vote. With these Democrat redeemer governments firmly ensconced throughout the South and re-elected year after year, not one single piece of civil rights legislation remained, or was passed, until – are you ready for this – 1964!
From the time I was old enough to pay attention to voting patterns, I was aware that blacks, when they did vote, voted for Democrats. A black Republican was as rare as the aforementioned black Democrat in Mississippi. Unfortunately, owing to a biased press and left-leaning liberal educators (the reason? the ’60s conservatives went to business and Wall Street and the leftists went into media and education), blacks were ignorant of the anti-black posture of the Democratic Party.
Just review the Jim Crow days and see which party controlled the South. Seems we have forgotten it took Republican President Eisenhower to send in troops to get the Democrat governor out of the door to integrate Little Rock High School. By the way, that same political party (Democratic Party) was in power throughout the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s civil rights struggles.
Remember the aforementioned Civil Rights Acts, the 15th Amendment, up to and including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act? All were introduced and passed by Republican majorities.
Blacks voting 93-97 percent for Democrats today apparently are not aware of the voting patterns associated with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Yes, Democrat President Lyndon Johnson signed them, but here’s how it went down:
1) Voting in favor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Senate (D) 60 percent, (R) 82 percent; House (D) 61 percent, (R) 80 percent
2) Voting in favor of the 1965 Voting Rights Act: Senate (D) 74 percent, (R) 97 percent; House (D) 80 percent, (R) 85 percent
Guess who got, and still gets, credit for the victory from our free unbiased press? Aw, you guessed, the Democrats.
The Republicans were the authors of all anti-slavery, pro-civil rights legislation from the 1800s to the 1960s. And did I forget to mention that it took threatened marches on D.C. to force Democrat Presidents Roosevelt and Truman to sign anti-discrimination legislation? Or that Republican President Eisenhower sent in federal troops to desegregate a southern high school in a Democrat-controlled state? And, oh yes, lest we forget, a Republican senator named Everett Dirksen sacrificed his health for, and Republicans voted almost in lockstep to pass (over Democrat opposition), the first civil rights legislation in over 100 years.
Apparently forgotten by, or unbeknownst to, many – especially African-Americans – it was Republicans, not Democrats, who have demonstrably been the sponsors of all pro-civil rights legislation for blacks in America.
History is defined as “the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.” We have just observed Black History Month; so lest we forget, as George Santayana wrote in “The Life of Reason”: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”