Jan 19, 2010

The Real History of Race Politics in America

Jack KinsellaBy Jack Kinsella

The quickest and most effective way to stifle dissent in the Obamanation is to find some way to link it to racism. If one opposes unrestricted immigration, it is because one is a racist.

If one opposes anything proposed by the Barack Obama administration, it is because one harbors racist tendencies. When Joe Wilson shouted "you lie!" as Obama was lying to a joint session of Congress, he was called a racist.

If one supports ethnic profiling Muslims as a method of preventing terrorist attacks one is labeled a 'racist' - despite the fact that Islam is a religion, not a race.

In 2002, Mississippi Senator and Senate Majority Leader Trentt Lott was giving a little impromptu speech in honor of Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party.

The party was in the style of a 'roast' in which everybody tried to say something nice about the Senator, but with tongue in cheek.

Thurman was a Democrat for the first half of his political life, running for President in 1948 as a "Dixiecrat". The "Dixiecrats" were an offshoot of the Democrat Party that was born out of opposition to FDR's socialist New Deal in the 1930's.

The South had been a Democrat stronghold for more than a century, but the New Deal imposed federal economic intervention and introduced federal laws that many southern states felt infringed on states' rights.

That isn't to deny that the Dixiecrats were Southern segregationists. They were. They were also all Democrats. The real history of racism in America is not what the liberal revisionist historians would have you believe.

When George Wallace blocked the entrance to the University of Alabama, he was the Democrat governor of Alabama. When Orville Faubus blocked the desegregation of Little Rock High School, he was the Democrat governor of Arkansas.

The party of racism in American history has always been the Democrat party. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Jefferson Davis was a Democrat. Racism, as a political platform, was the exclusive domain of the Democrats until the mid 1960's.

The 'Dixiecrat' party, whose official name was the "States Rights Democratic Party' was racist, but race was only part of their platform.

The principle plank in the Dixiecrat platform was states' rights under the Constitution, as it was in 1860. Slavery was peripheral to the question of whether or not the federal government had exceeded its Constitutional authority.

That is important to understand when interpreting Trent Lott's remarks at Thurman's 100th birthday roast. What Lott said was this:

"You know, if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today,"
Lott protested in his apology that what he was referring to wasn't the "mess'' caused somehow by desegregation - it was the mess caused by the federal government being permitted to ignore the Constitution and exceeding its Constitutional authority.

No matter. The Congressional Black Caucus refused to accept Lott's serial apologies - he had publicly apologized on four separate occasions in the first week after his comment was made.

The Democrats piled on Lott, with Mary Landrieu saying that, had a Democratic leader made such a remark, he would be forced to resign his leadership position.

Harry Reid also called for Lott's resignation, suggesting that if Lott made racist jokes, it was an indication of his true racist tendencies. Eventually, after taking a pounding from his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Lott stepped down in disgrace.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-Ct) once feted Democrat Senator Robert Byrd of W. Virginia on the occasion of his 17,000th vote in the Senate. Senator Byrd is the nation's longest serving senator, having occupied his Senate seat as a Democrat since being first elected in 1959.

Byrd became the first senator to serve continuously for more than fifty years in Congressional history. When Dodd was lauding his accomplishments, he sounded a lot like Lott did when Lott was celebrating Strom Thurmond.
"I do not think it is an exaggeration at all to say to my friend from West Virginia that he would have been a great senator at any moment… He would have been right at the founding of this country. He would have been in the leadership crafting this Constitution. He would have been right during the great conflict of Civil War in this nation. He would have been right at the great moments of international threat we faced in the 20th century."
The right man for the Civil War. Hmmmm. In 1942, Robert Byrd was unanimously elected the "Exalted Cyclops" of his local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1944, Byrd wrote his Senator, Theodore Bilbo, [D-Miss] to complain:
"I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."
In 1947 as a kleagle or, recruiter, Byrd wrote:
"The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation."
Byrd's defenders point out that he left the KKK in the late 1940's before running for Senator. Perhaps. But as Senator, Robert Byrd was one of the Senate's leading opponents of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill.

When some feckless Republican reminded Dodd of Byrd's KKK past, Dodd offered the following non-apology:
"If in any way, in my referencing the Civil War, I offended anyone, I apologize."
Dodd's apology was immediately accepted and the matter dropped.

Joe Biden, while still Obama's running mate during the campaign, made headlines with this racist comment:
"In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."
But since Biden is a Democrat, any suggestion of racism was quickly quashed. The founder of the Indian-American Republican Council, Dr. Vijay, said Biden's "recent gaffe is clearly over the top."

Biden's 'apology' was to deny any racist intent, saying instead, "It was meant as a compliment."

Senator Lott intended his remarks to be complimentary. Senator Chris Dodd intended his remarks to be complimentary. Joe Biden meant his remarks to be complimentary.

And that is also Senate Majority Harry Reid's defense for his recently-revealed racist comment from 2008 in which he said he supported Barack Obama because he was a 'light-skinned black man with no Negro accent unless he wanted to have one."

And I believe him. I believe every single one of these comments was intended to be complimentary. But I don't see racism behind every comment. Probably because I'm not a racist.

Having grown up in relatively color-blind Canada, my first exposure to racism was when I was in Marine boot camp. It didn't make any sense to me.

And since I wasn't race-conscious, I made a number of gaffes that could have gotten my brains beaten out, had the guys wanted to take it that way.

But they were charitable and several of the black guys in my platoon took me under their wing to instruct me on the topic.

I don't believe Harry Reid meant to be racist. I also don't believe that Harry Reid believed Trent Lott intended to be racist, either. What kind of idiot politician would deliberately make a racially-charged remark?

Reid knows better. And given the instantaneous and unflinching forgiveness extended to Reid by his partisan colleagues, by the liberal media, and even by the likes of Al Sharpton, they know better, too.

But they forced Trent Lott from his leadership role and hounded him right out of the US Senate.

The charge of 'racist' has been leveled by the Democrats at every possible opportunity as a response to political criticism.

The word racism no longer means what it used to. It is an ugly, emotionally-charged word, but if it still meant what it used to, then it wouldn't be a political term.

Reid isn't a racist. Nor is Senator Dodd, or Vice-President Biden or even former KKK Grand Cyclops and civil rights opponent Robert Byrd, or they'd have been drummed out of the Senate like Trent Lott.

Or so one might assume. But the charge of 'racism' is misplaced. The more accurate charge is that of rank hypocrisy.

Paul could have been addressing this exact circumstance when he penned his 2nd letter to Timothy concerning the social and political conditions that would exist during the last generation before the return of Christ:
"This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful,unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God." (2nd Timothy 3:1-4)
I highlighted the characteristics I think most relevant to this particular story. But the fact is, I could have highlighted them all.

Related Links

Americans Now Doubt Obama Presidency Has Helped Race Relations - U.S. News & World Report (Blog)
What does the Bible say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination? - GotQuestions.org
One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism - Ken Ham (Book)
Reid Isn't Racist - American Spectator
Fewer see Obama advancing racial ties - Reuters