Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 4 days ago

Why have Democrats been the historically racist ones?

Slavery: A liberal Democrat legacy 

Confederate party: A Democrat legacy 

The KKK creation: A Democrat legacy 

Lynching in the 1920s: A Democrat legacy 

Jim Crow laws: A Democrat legacy 

Internment of Japanese Americans: A Democrat legacy 

Suppressing the civil rights Movement: A Democrat legacy

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. Rosa Parks was a Republican.

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and freed the Slaves. Harriet Tubman was a Republican.

12 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    3 days ago

    Because many of these aren't "Democratic Legacies". 

    Slavery was not the creation of Democrats.  It was introduced to America about 200 years before the Democratic Party was formed and was a dominant institution in the American South by the time of the Revolution.  It's certainly true that the Democratic party in the Antebellum period generally supported slavery, but that wasn't unique to Democrats.  It was also true of the Whig party, their main opponent in the Antebellum period.  Both parties in what's known as the Second Party System, were national parties with strong Southern wings which required fealty to slavery as a national policy.  When crises did arise of slavery the voting was almost always on sectional and not partisan lines.  Northerners tended to oppose slavery regardless of party while Southerners supported it regardless of party.  The compromises of the Antebellum era which helped preserve slavery were authored by Whig Henry Clay.

    The Confederacy was also not a Democratic legacy.  As already mentioned, the South had a robust Whig party as well as a Democratic party and members of both parties supported the creation of the Confederacy.  In fact, in states where plebiscites were held on whether to secede, the Whig portions of the state usually supported secession more than the Democratic ones.  This was in large part because support for secession was tied to the prevalence of slavery and areas with lots of slaves also tended to be more Whiggish. Andrew Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederacy, and a major proponent of secession before the formation of the Confederacy, was a Whig.  He had been a roommate and friend of Abraham Lincoln when the two had served in Congress together. 

    This lack of association between the Democrats and the Confederacy adheres on the other side too.  While Northerners who wanted to appease the Confederacy were almost all Democrats, the Democratic party was overwhelmingly behind the war effort.  Their 1860 presidential candidate, Stephen Douglass was a big booster of the war effort once it happened, as was former President and Democratic Party founder Martin Van Buren.  Many of the members of Lincoln's government were anti-slavery and anti-Confederate Democrats and a good chunk of the Republican party at the time were former Democrats who had joined the Republicans to protest slavery, such as Navy Secretary Gideon Welles.  Many of them would return to the Democrats once the slavery issue had been settled. 

    The Jim Crow era and all the attendant racism was the responsibility of Democrats.  But that's not so much because of Democratic ideology.  Instead it's because the Democrats were the dominant party in the South and the South drove racism and Jim Crow.  Except for a brief period during Reconstruction, the Republican party was exclusively a Northern endeavor.  After the end of Reconstruction, when blacks lost the right to vote, the South became almost exclusively Democratic.  White Southerners just weren't going to vote for the Republican party, which they blamed for the Confederacies defeat in the Civil War.  So the Democrats were the only option for them.  Thus it wasn't anything in Democratic ideology, but rather a lack of other options for white Southern voters, which lead to the Democrats dominating the Jim Crow South. 

    We can see this in the Civil Rights era.  You're absolutely right that the most die hard segregationists in the 50s and 60s were Democrats.  But so were the most die hard anti-segregationists.  The Democratic party in the 1960s embraced both the most committed defenders of segregation, like West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, and the majority of African American politicians, like New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr.  Again, as in the Antbellum era, we see that the real dividing line wasn't party but section.  Within the South, the Democratic party was dominated by racist whites.  But outside of the South, the Democratic party was willing to court the votes of African Americans, particular in urban areas dominated by Democratic party machines.  An example of this is Frank Murphy, a Mayor of Detroit and Governor of Michigan.  As a local judge, Murphy had presided over the acquittal of Ossian Sweet, a black doctor who had used lethal force to defend himself from a white mob after moving into a white neighborhood.  Later, Murphy would be nominated to the Supreme Court by Franklin Roosevelt and would issue a scathing dissent in the case of Korematsu v United States, which upheld Japanese internment.  Murphy's dissent would include the first use of the word "racism" in a Supreme Court opinion.  A few years later we would see Democratic President Harry Truman anger white Southerners by desegrating the Armed Forces.  In the 1950s, the Democratic controlled Senate, run by future president Lyndon Johnson, would pass a Civil Rights bill.  Although watered down and not very effective, it was the first major piece of civil rights legislation since the Reconstruction era.  Most significantly, when Johnson became President in 1963 he led a wholesale Democratic effort on Civil Rights.  Again, as had always been the case, voting was mostly sectional in nature.  Southerners overwhelmingly opposed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills and Northerners overwhelmingly supported them.  But within the sections, Democrats were more likely to support the bills than Republicans.  Indeed, the few Southern Republicans in Congress at the time all opposed the bills while the handful of Southerners who voted for them were all Democrats.  In addition, some prominent Northern Republicans opposed the bills, such as Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP candidate for President.  While Goldwater supported the Voting Rights act, he opposed the Civil Rights Act, because he valued private businesses right to be racist over the right of black people to equally compete in the marketplace.

    1964-65 was a watershed.  Racists were on notice that they were no longer welcome in the Democratic party.  The 1968 election saw a slew of Southern states vote for arch-segregationist George Wallace, who fled the party because it was not longer safe for racist.  After that, the South has voted monolithically for Republicans in presidential races with the exceptions of 1976 and the 1990s when Democrats ran white Southern governors.  Only now, 50 years after the Civil Rights era, are Democrats beginning to make some serious inroads into the South as the demographic growth of black and brown populations in the South makes a few states more competitive.  Republicans cheered this on by adopting a "Southern Strategy" designed to appeal to racists, nationwide but especially in the South, through coded appeals to racism.  As Republican strategist Lee Atwater admitted in the early 1990s, open racism wasn't acceptable anymore, so they had to resort to arguments and language which was superficially race neutral but which would appeal to people's racial concerns.  The Willie Horton ad, which Atwater created for VP George Bush's 1988 election, wasn't racist on it's face.  But it deliberately played into white people's fear of black criminality, including by artificially darkening Horton's skin.

    What we can see here is that racism isn't an issue of Democratic ideology.  After all, in 2008 Democrats elected the first black man ever as President.  Republicans responded in 2016 by electing the most openly white supremacist candidate in decades.  The issue is, instead, racist constituents, especially white Southerners.  The Democratic party supported racism for so long because it had a huge base of support in the South, where race was a huge issue.  Once the Democratic party made itself unacceptable to racists in the 1960s, these same Southerners decamped to the Republican party, which in turn became the racist party as it catered to the concerns of its new base.  The difference can be seen in the careers of two Southern politicians.  Robert Byrd, who I already mentioned, had opposed the Civil Rights Act.  But afterwards he repented his racism, and admitted that he made a mistake.  He remained a Democrat and remade himself as a champion of Civil Rights, earning a 100% approval rate from the NAACP.  On the other side is Strom Thurmond, also a Democratic Senator in the Civil Rights era.  In 1948, Thurmond ran as "Dixiecrat" in the presidential election, in opposition to Harry Truman's desegregation of the military.  Thurmond left the party in 1964 after the Democrats became the party of Civil Rights.  Instead he joined the Republican party and remained an unrepentant racist for the rest of his days, voting against a slew of civil rights legislation. 

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    4 days ago

    You are a fool to think white FOLKS were not prejudice then. A bigger fool to think GOP are now racist Now...

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    4 days ago

    That's all false propaganda. All those examples are the legacy of Southern Democrats in the days the Democratic party was split in two factions, Northern Democrats (anti-slavery) and Southern Democrats (pro-slavery). 98% of the people living in the southern states were Democrat during the 1800s. MLK and Rosa Parks were not Republicans and neither was Harriet Tubman, she wasn't even permitted to vote when she was alive, and during the Civil War she supported the anti-slavery North against the pro-slavery south.

    • blu
      Lv 7
      3 days agoReport

      Good job at simplifying the equation. Too bad it's still too complicated for people who don't want the facts because they already made up their mind.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    4 days ago

    The whole country was largely racist in 1865 ... even Lincoln ... "Our republican system was meant for a homogeneous people. As long as blacks continue to live with the whites they constitute a threat to the national life. Family life may also collapse and the increase of mixed breed bastards may some day challenge the supremacy of the white man." ... -Lincoln.

    The KKK could have been started by dems or reps as people in BOTH parties thought blacks were inferior (the north simply thought slavery was too much). 

    Once the slaves were freed, the bridges across racism began getting built one brick at a time as noteworthy blacks like GW Carver, Jack Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Jesse Owens etc. began debunking the myth of white supremacy. 

    The issue of black equality surfaced as a political priority w/ the advent of civil rights (mid 1950s). The dems (Kennedy/Johnson) promoted it while the opposition came f/ the reps and the south. MANY people swapped party over this highly divisive issue. The reps nominated Goldwater in 1964 (he voted against civil rights). 

    Martin Luther King weighed in on the Republican party during his lifetime. In Chapter 23 of his autobiography, King writes this about the 1964 Republican National Convention:

    "The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism. All people of goodwill viewed with alarm and concern the frenzied wedding at the Cow Palace of the KKK with the radical right."

    The 113th Congress featured one black rep (Tim Scott), the 114th featured the first black rep female (Mia Love), this after 56 yrs. and at least 22 dems later. How do you explain that w/o right wing racism? I have too much more evidence of right wing racism to itemize here. 

    It's a sign of desperation when you need to back several decades to make a meaningless point. Plus some of your assertions are false/misleading.

    You're welcome for the history lesson.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 days ago

    This is either propaganda or an ignorant troll who forgets about the great political shift by FDR and the southern shift to Nixon in 1968.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    4 days ago

    ’Muricans sho are dumb.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 days ago

    Division by racial class has always been a Democratic ideology where they have operated under different political groups to fulfill this agenda.

    The groups include Communism, Socialism, and Zionism - all of which use race or ethnicity as a tool of subversion. And often they'll play against each other in order to elicit support from both sides of the issue - commonly referred to as "divide and conquer". 

    They follow a 3-point doctrine:

    1) Create a problem.2) Blame it on someone else, and3) Offer a solution.You left out the creation of the NAACP. The NAACP was created around 1905 for the purpose of dividing the blacks and whites in order to weaken America. It was created to oppose Booker T Washington's efforts in helping blacks to assimilate into the white culture through hard work, education, and mutual respect.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 days ago

    You are failing to distinguish between Northern Democrats and Southern Democrats. From 1832 to 1936, a two thirds vote was required to obtain the Democratic nomination for President. Thus, the South could control, or at least exercise a veto, over the nominee. The result was long, fractured conventions, the most notable being the 1924 convention, in which it took 103 ballots to nominate John W. Davis, who promptly lost to Calvin Coolidge. The two thirds rule was repealed in 1936. After the Second World War, in 1948, the feud between the Northern Democrats and the Southern Democrats broke out into the open, with Strom Thurmond running as a Dixiecrat. Oh sure, the Southerns continued to call themselves Democrats, but the difference between them and the Northern Democrats was like night and day. Labels do not mean anything, because Henry VIII considered himself a good Catholic even after he broke with Rome and persecuted Protestant heretics. Also, the Southern Democrats wanted to part of the majority in Congress When Republicans gained control of the House and Senate in 1995, that is when many of the Southern Democrats became Republicans.

    Also, in the 1964 Presidential election, the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, opposed the civil rights act, while the Democratic candidate, Lyndon Johnson, is the one who signed it into law. Oh, yes, I know, old Barry had "constitutional" objections to the bill. Sure he did. He thought a business had the "constitutional" right to exclude blacks from a place of business based solely on the color of their skin.

    Aside from Arizona, Barry carried only five states (in the Deep South) primarily on account of his opposition to the civil rights act. It was from that the Republicans had to rebuild their party. Thus, the Southern Democrats became Republicans, if not in name until 1995, certainly in spirit.until then.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • RockIt
    Lv 7
    4 days ago

    and that's not the worst Democrats did.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Go read up on the Southern Strategy that the Republicans implemented.  It's funny...to find racism in Democrats you have to go back a hundred years.  To find it in the Republican party you just need to read some GOP politician's tweets.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.