Last year, former Vice President Joe Biden was criticized for comments he made about working with other senators. As MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt put it, “Joe Biden references his relationships with two former Republican colleagues at an event in New York City. The only problem? They were both segregationists.”
New York Times writer Astead Herndon weighed in as well, observing that the figures Biden worked with were “racist and segregationist,” and noted how Biden’s supporters wondered, “why not mention other Republicans” rather than “the most controversial of them.”
The senators in question were Herman E. Talmadge and James Eastland, and they definitely were racists who supported segregation. But one thing that they weren’t?
The Republican Party was founded in 1854 with the goal of fighting slavery. After the Civil War, Republicans passed the 13th Amendment and supported anti-lynching laws. In contrast, Democrats defended slavery and Jim Crow. Campaign advertisements like the one below was commonly used by the Democrats in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
However, leftists will claim that the parties traded places about 50 years ago; racist Democrats became Republicans and non-racist Republicans turned into Democrats. As an example, they’ll point to Sen. Strom Thurmond. Thurmond became a Republican in 1968 after decades spent fighting civil rights. His decision to cross the Senate aisle is famous.
It was also unique.
None of Thurmond’s Senate contemporaries followed his lead. Critics say that while anti-civil rights Democrats may not have formally switched parties, they were already conservatives anyway. The facts say otherwise.
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The Declaration of Independence holds that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Those principles were cited by early Republicans like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Anyone wishing to conserve America’s founding creed will know that Jim Crow was antithetical to it.
What’s more, “Dixiecrats” often stood with liberals on other issues. While Talmadge opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, he did support the 1968 Gun Control Act. Senators Harry Byrd, Jordan Benjamin, Samuel Ervin, Joseph Hill, Albert Gore, and John Sparkman all did the same. That isn’t surprising given how gun control was used as a tool to disarm blacks. Condoleezza Rice has recalled how her father used his gun to defend the neighborhood from Klansmen. Without it, she would have been at their mercy.
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In addition to filibustering civil rights legislation, former Klan member Robert Byrd complained about “white n—gers” during a 2001 television interview. He also voted against banning immigrants from using welfare and opposed a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade. These aren’t the actions of a radical conservative. And while Democrats may have eventually ditched Jim Crow, their other policies continue to hurt minorities.
Black and brown children are more likely to get trapped in failing schools but have a better chance of going to college when they participate in school choice programs. Unfortunately, Democrats have consistently opposed school choice, with President Obama even attempting to shutdown DC’s voucher program. In contrast, the Trump administration has sought to give parents more options.
Democrat sanctuary policies prevent local law enforcement from co-operating with immigration authorities. That's a big help to transnational gangs like MS-13, and while it put everyone at risk, victims are disproportionately Latino or black. They can be decapitated, carved open, or raped and labeled as “property.”
Then there's the economic cost of illegal immigration. Studies show illegal immigrants suppress wages in blue collar jobs, with black and Hispanic men the hardest hit. That doesn't seem to bother presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren: she wants to decriminalize illegal border crossings.
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Whether it's Lyndon Johnson complaining about “n—ers” or Maxine Water's embrace of Louis Farrakhan, Democrats have a shameful past and hypocritical present when it comes to race. And of course left-wing media figures like Kasie Hunt and Astead Herndon will try to cover it up. The good news?
We're not going to let them.
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