By Colonel Mike Angley
As a younger man and even to today this author has struggled to understand how the Republican Party, the Grand Old Party (GOP), became the perceived ‘racist party.’ It is particularly troubling considering the GOP has consistently fought for civil rights and for the protection of minorities, whereas the Democrat Party historically has railed against civil rights, enacted racist and segregationist laws, engaged in violence to suppress minorities and were the original slave owners in America.
Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza writes extensively on this subject, and this author certainly cannot cover in a short article the same level of detail but encourages readers to explore Mr. D’Souza’s research more. One of the more poignant facts he lays bare is that not a single Republican in America owned slaves. Nearly every slave owner was a DEMOCRAT. That’s a good starting point for discussion.
The Civil War was not just about states’ rights; it was on its highest moral ground a war to end slavery. Arrayed on the side of the abolitionists was the newly-formed Republican Party which successfully elected the first GOP President, Abraham Lincoln. Defending slavery were the DEMOCRATS, primarily in the southern states where slaves were an important part of the agrarian economy.
Following the Civil War came a series of Reconstructionist Era Constitutional Amendments (AMTs). The 13th AMT codified Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and formally abolished slavery. The 14th AMT ensured citizenship status and equal protection of the law to former slaves and back Americans. Finally, granting the right to vote to all citizens regardless of former slave status was the 15th AMT.
What all three Amendments had in common besides the enshrinement of civil rights and equal protection for black Americans, was that they were crafted by Republicans, introduced by Republicans, and their passage came almost exclusively from GOP votes. With FEW exceptions, each Amendment received virtually NO support from DEMOCRATS. In fact, DEMOCRATS vehemently fought against each one.
Despite the weight of the Constitution behind former slaves, the DEMOCRATS were not finished with trying to suppress the civil rights and liberties of minorities. Southern DEMOCRATS resorted to a variety of violent intimidation tactics to suppress black Americans from enjoying their freedom and to threaten any Republicans who continued to advance civil rights.
The DEMOCRAT Party created the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the 1860s as a terrorist arm to engage in intimidation, assaults, vandalism (cross burnings were popular), kidnapping, and even murder with lynching as its signature method. Even white Republicans who stood in the way of the KKK became its target on many occasions. Although the KKK still exists today, it is a tiny fraction of what it once was, although its hatred and racism still burn within.
Still not to be outdone in the racism arena, southern DEMOCRATS instituted a variety of bullying, segregationist laws commonly known as Jim Crow laws. They were designed to frighten blacks, coerce them away from voting, and make their lives as miserable as possible. One of the more infamous enforcers of Jim Crow laws was Bull Connor, a Birmingham, AL Commissioner of Public Safety from the late 1930s to the early 1970s. A DEMOCRAT, Connor oftentimes used fire hoses and attack dogs on blacks who gathered in protest of laws that denied them what the Constitution granted.
Fast forward to 1964 and the Civil Rights Act that was crafted by Republicans to end a variety of segregationist laws and practices that still lingered 100 years after the Civil War. DEMOCRATS fought it vigorously. Led by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV and former KKK recruiter), and joined by Al Gore, Sr. (D-TN) and William Fulbright (D-AR), a filibuster lasting nearly 60 days almost doomed the bill.
One of the things today’s DEMOCRATS point to as ‘proof’ that it is not a party of racism is the fact that DEMOCRAT President Lyndon B, Johnson (LBJ) signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Of course, what DEMOCRATS fail to note is that their own party went through all manner of gyrations to stop that law from ever landing on LBJ’s desk. So why did LBJ sign it? After all, he was openly racist and used the N-word as casually as most people say ‘God bless you’ when someone sneezes.
Johnson was an opportunist who recognized that by revising history – something the left is skilled at doing – he could ‘own’ the Civil Rights Act on behalf of his party simply by signing it. Convincing African Americans that only DEMOCRATS had their best interests at heart, and by crafting the Great Society that provided all manner of welfare, LBJ created a permanent underclass that was designed to vote DEMOCRATS into power into perpetuity. It has worked well.
Finally, there’s what this author calls the Myth of the Great Party Switch. Liberal DEMOCRATS, uncomfortable with their own history of racism choose either to deny it ever happened and erase it from history, or they acknowledge it was real but claim it’s all in the past. In order to attribute racism exclusively to the GOP, DEMOCRATS claim that the parties simply reversed their approaches to race. Today’s DEMOCRATS want you to believe that at some point in time the GOP took on the mantle of racism and relieved DEMOCRATS from their ‘burden.’ Just like that.
There are several ways this Great Party Switch is purported to have occurred, depending on which left wing historian you read. Some say it began in the 1930s; others claim it was in the late 1960s. Let your brain process this nonsense: once they enshrined the Civil Rights Act and again helped African Americans secure the blessings of liberty, Republicans said, “Okay, we’re done being nice to blacks. We’ll take over racism and let you DEMOCRATS have a shot at being the good guys.” It is actually that absurd.
A few days back this author wrote a piece called, ‘Occam’s Razor and Hillary Clinton’s Failed Presidential Campaign.’ Occam’s Razor is a principle in philosophy that holds that among competing theories, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Applying it to the Myth of the Great Party Switch, isn’t the simplest explanation that a ‘switch’ never happened? After 150+ years of fighting FOR the civil rights of black Americans, isn’t it more likely the GOP is still NOT the party of racism? Following the logic through, wouldn’t that mean that the DEMOCRAT Party REMAINS the party of racism?
The only thing that switched was the perception, and that’s a shame. The author faults Republican leadership for not challenging the lies vociferously and consistently. Republicans must continue to fight against the misperception that it is a racist party by using facts and history.
The party’s leadership should pushback against false allegations by the left each and every time (includes the fake news its Propaganda Arm, the mainstream media promulgates), refuse to accept the racist narrative, and expose the very REAL racism that remains in the DEMOCRAT Party today. After 150+ years of hatred, bigotry, oppression and violence against black Americans, DEMOCRATS have not yet, nor are they likely anytime soon, to change their stripes.
Colonel Michael (“Mike”) Angley is retired from the United States Air Force, a published thriller author, and a conservative writer who fashions himself as Attila the Hun with a laptop. Mike wrote for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government and Big Peace blogs before the Breitbart consolidation, receiving superb feedback and kudos for typically weaving in pop culture references with his far right perspectives. He enjoys writing about military affairs, national security issues, and politics and is an avid Second Amendment advocate. When he’s not writing, he’s busy annoying liberals with FaceBook posts and Twitter tweets that point out the obvious flaws and fallacies of the left.
During his 26-year USAF career, the Colonel was a Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). The OSI is a sister agency to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and has an identical mission that includes felony-level criminal, fraud, and narcotics investigations as well as counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations. His USAF experiences spanned multiple regions around the globe with five command assignments and duties at foreign, regional, theater and national levels.
He is a seasoned counterintelligence and counterespionage officer from the Cold War era, and if you ask him he’ll tell you the spy-vs-spy days were indeed the heady, glory era of espionage. During the latter half of his career he focused on counterterrorism missions in the Middle East and the Far East and operationalized many of today’s concepts for this unique arena while working the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and a few other “choice” locations. When Colonel Angley retired in 2007, he was a Senior Supervisory Special Agent and was in command of all worldwide OSI matters at Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, CO.
Mike Angley is also a published, award-winning author of three thriller novels in the “Child Finder” trilogy. His debut novel, “Child Finder,” received a glowing review from the Library Journal which placed it on its Summer Reading list in 2009. “Child Finder” and its companion sequel novels all won various awards from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) and the Public Safety Writers Association. In 2012, Mike was named MWSA’s “Author of the Year,” largely for work on his third novel, “Child Finder: Revelation.”
As an avid user of social media, Mike can be found and friended on Facebook (mike.angley) and followed on Twitter (@MikeAngley). His website is www.mikeangley.com. Following his USAF retirement, Mike and his family stayed in Colorado Springs, CO where they enjoy daily, majestic views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains.