EDITORIAL COMMENT

March, 2018

Why are the Majority of 
African/Americans
Aligned with the Democratic Party?

I have, for many yeas, wondered why the great majority of African/Americans vote for the Democratic ticket, when it was Republicans who set their forefathers free from slavery; and the Democratic party was 100% opposed.  Last month (February) was Black History Month, and I was asked this question again, which had actually cross my mind on a number of occasions over the years.  So, I finally decided to look into it; and what a revelation!

After the Civil War, even with President Abraham Lincoln's declaration that all slaves be freed, it didn't happen immediately.  In 1865 Republicans in Congress proposed and then passed through the state legislatures the 13th Amemdment to the Constitution which officially freed the slaves.  Only 23% of Democrats and 100% of Republicans voted to free the slaves.

Now the slaves are free; but you have two casses of residents in the southern states: citizens and non-citizens.  The former Confederate states refused to allow the former slaves to become citizens.  So, in 1868 the Republicans proposed the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which declared that all former slaves were now to be citizens both of the United States and the individual states in which they lived.  Not one Democrat voted for the amendment; all of the Republicans voted for it.

Even though the former slaves had been freed, and had now been made citizens, the southern states refused to allow them to vote.  So, in 1869, Republicans passed the 15th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to vote to all former slaves.  0% of Democrats voted against it; 100% of Republicans voted in favor.

By 1872, seven former slaves had been elected to Congress, or to statewide office in their home states.  One of them, Josiah Walls, a Republican, was elected to Congress, but was refused a seat by the Democrats and sent home.  He was again elected to Congress, and again sent home by the Democrats.

Between 1872 and 1875, Republicans who were in control of the White House and Congress, passed 23 Civil Rights laws.  However, in 1976 the Democrats took control and abolished all 23.  It would be another 89 years before any Civil Rights bills would be passed by Congress.

Let's go back a bit.  After the Civil War, while the Republicans were trying to rebuild the south and the Democrats were trying to prevent the freed slaves from participating in society and politics, an organization was formed which still has adherents today - the KKK (Ku Klux Klan).  Are you ready for this?  The Klan was formed and funded by the Democratic Party Central Committee to act as the military branch of the party.  Most people think it was formed to silence the black population.  That was not it at all.  It was aimed at keeping Republicans from being elected to office; and virtually all freed slaves were Republicans.  In one year in the state of South Carolina, some 4800 lynchings were attributed to the Klan: 1300 white Republican and 3500 black Republicans.  Oh, and by-the-way, the secret ballot was not secret.  Anyone found voting Republican could expect a visit from the Klan.

During the last part of the 19th Century, Republicans did regain the White House and tried to pass Civil Rights legislation, but it failed in the Democratic controlled Congress.  Republicans did succeed, through presidential orders, in desegregating restrooms in federal building in Washington, D.C. and in much of the rest of the country.  In 1910 a huge KKK parade was staged in Washington, D.C.  It was estimated that there were more than 40,000 members of the Klan in the capitol city at that time.  Most of the Democratic elected officials in Washington, including members of the House and the Senate marched in that parade, where they were cheered as heroes.

In 1911 the Democrats were back in control of the White House in the person of Woodrow Wilson.  One of his first acts was to re-segregate all of the restrooms and public water fountains in federal buildings, and to fire all black employees of the federal government.  He also screened a KKK recruiting film in the White House.  Most people don't know it, but it was Wilson who put into play all of the elements which led up to and caused the Stock Market Crash in 1929, long after he was out of office.  That set off the Great Depression.  Republicans got the blame, because Republicans were in office at the time of the crash.  By-the-way, Wilson also wrote a three volume history of the United States in which he eliminated anything religious and everything black.

In 1892, southern states, through their Democratic controlled legislatures began to add requirements in order for African/Americans to vote.  The first was a Pole Tax.  A stiff tax was added for blacks who wanted to vote.  That didn't solve the problem for them, so they added literacy requirements.  The argument was that if they couldn't read, they couldn't read the ballot, and therefore should not vote.  What a ruse!  The literacy tests were as many as 20 pages long; and asked questions like, "What is the difference in an indictment by a state court and a federal court?"  Of course, the white voters did have to pass a literacy test.  They also added what was called "hide and seek" poling places.  Under this scenario Republican ballots would only be available at certain poling places, and they would be moved around from one poling place to another during the day.

It was the 1964 Voting Rights Bill that came out of the Civil Rights demonstrations in the south that turned the majority of African/American voters to the Democrats.  But there is something I didn't know; and I am sure they don't know either.  The Civil Rights Bill that was approved under President Lynden Johnson was first proposed by President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican.  It was defeated by the Democrats in Congress.  During the Civil Rights demonstrations, President John F. Kennedy revived that same bill; but he was assassinated.  President Johnson was certain his two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate would defeat the bill again.  He was right.  Just over half of the Democrats in Congress voted for it - not nearly enough to pass - not even close.  However, 85% of the Republicans in Congress approve it, and put it well over the top.  Because of what was going on in the country at the time, President Johnson reluctantly signed the bill into law.

All of this can easily be found in historical documents; but it has been hidden from us in our modern day history books.
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