NAACP Chairman Julian Bond probably spoke for most blacks and liberals last week when he said the Republican Party is equivalent to the Nazi Party.
"The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side," he told an audience at Fayetteville State University.
Also last week, a new "scientific study" was released showing that Republicans are racist by nature. "The study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did," The Washington Post reported.
For decades, it has been a template of the major media that Republicans are the party of racism. It repeats uncritically any charges of Republican racism, no matter how unfounded. Democrats, on the other hand, are always given a pass whenever they commit racist offenses. Even a cursory review, however, will show that the media template is totally contrary to history.
Slavery is the greatest evil ever to beset black people in this country. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, there was intense political debate on what to do about it. The Republican Party was founded in 1854 for the express purpose of ending slavery. The Democratic Party, by contrast, defended it to the bitter end.
Just to show how far Democrats would go to defend slavery, it's worth remembering what happened to Sen. Charles Sumner, Republican of Massachusetts. After giving a speech denouncing slavery in 1856, he was viciously beaten by Rep. Preston Brooks, Democrat of South Carolina, for daring to question the right to own slaves. Being a coward, Brooks waited until the elderly Sumner was seated alone at his desk in the Senate and, without warning, struck him repeatedly with a cane. It took months for Sumner to recover.
In 1858, Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat of Illinois, debated Republican Abraham Lincoln on the question of slavery. Said Douglas during one of those debates: "For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. I believe this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men, men of European birth and descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians and other inferior races."
Bruce Bartlett is a former senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis of Dallas, Texas. Bartlett is a prolific author, having published over 900 articles in national publications, and prominent magazines and published four books, including Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action.
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