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OPINION

Democrats and Racism

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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If you listened to a contemporary Democrat, you’d believe Republicans are responsible for all of society’s race problems, past and present. Say what you will about individual conservatives, but the Democrats have a dirty past Republicans could easily use. Dinesh D’Souza does his part in Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party to prove that it is the Democratic Party that is the party of racism.

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Democrats have a storied history of supporting the worst human rights atrocity in American history. As Dinesh D’Souza points out, Southern Democrats promoted the idea that slavery was good for all parties involved. Democrats held the Supreme Court when the infamous Dred Scott decision was handed down.

By portraying the Civil War as a purely North/South dispute, Democrats fail to acknowledge their party was a driving force in the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis? Democrat. John C. Calhoun? Democrat. Chief Justice Roger Taney? Democrat.

As for Republicans? Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln. This “Republican equals racist” rhetoric the left throws around doesn’t stand the test of time.

Succeeding Lincoln was Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Democrat. In his 1867 congressional address, Johnson described blacks as having “less capacity for government than any other race of people.” When he voted the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Republicans sought to impeach him, but fell one vote short of doing so.

The GOP responded by over-riding Johnson’s veto. How did Democrats respond? They created the Black Codes, which included limiting black individuals to certain jobs, allowing whites to whip their black servants, not allowing blacks to travel freely lest they be labeled “vagrants,” thus being subject to harsh labor or other consequences. Blacks in most southern areas couldn’t serve on juries, and minor crimes such as assault yielded the death penalty for blacks.

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It’s rather ironic that it’s members of the party that helped prop up the Ku Klux Klan and defended the hideously racist film Birth of a Nation (which led to the rebirth of and some of the deadliest attacks committed by the Klan) now calling for black reparations.

Hillary’s America also points out that Democrats played a big role in stifling the rights of African Americans during the 20th century, as well. Democrats blame blue-collar southerners for being racist bigots, but the “South” they claim to hate became their stomping grounds post-Reconstruction.

Senator Ben Tillman of South Carolina once said, “Republicanism means equality, while the Democratic Party means that the white man is superior.” Meanwhile, Alabama Governor George Wallace (also a Democrat) was blocking a black man from entering his state’s flagship university. Just a year after Wallace’s famous “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” President Lyndon B. Johnson, another Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act. D’Souza reminds us Johnson saw this as a way to keep “n*ggers” down.

I could go on… and I’m tempted to. But I think the hideous racism that has been endemic in the Democratic Party for two centuries speaks for itself. Just remember, the next time a Democrat accuses Republicans of being racist, history’s already won the debate for you.

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