Every now and then on various comment boards across America, a list of the hard facts of the Democrats’ true record on civil rights, slavery and racism in the United States surfaces. The list itself is rather bare, and makes some inflammatory claims, so in the interest of producing a quick fact sheet of talking points, CL is going to flesh it out in parenthesis with some details, and give links to more information.
Yes, this is all really true.
- Democrats fought to expand slavery while Republicans fought to end it. (Can you say Civil War?)
- Democrats passed those discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. (Both were southern Democratic attempts to constrict black freedom after the Civil War.)
- Democrats supported and passed the Missouri Compromise to protect slavery. (Missouri was let into the Union at the same time as Maine. The main reason was to keep the number of slave states and free states even in 1820.)
- Democrats supported and passed the Kansas Nebraska Act to expand slavery. (1854. Popular sovereignty in the territories for whether or not they would allow slavery. Designed by an Illinois Democrat.)
- Democrats supported and backed the Dred Scott Decision. (1856. Orginally decided in St. Louis, the case made it to the Supreme Court in 1857 where the place was stacked with southern Democrats who prevailed in a 5-4 decision.)
- Democrats opposed educating blacks and murdered our teachers.
- Democrats fought against anti-lynching laws.
- Democrat Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, is well-known for having been a “Kleagle” in the Ku Klux Klan.
- Democrat Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, personally filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for 14 straight hours to keep it from passage.
- Democrats passed the Repeal Act of 1894 that overturned civil right laws enacted by Republicans.
- Democrats declared that they would rather vote for a “yellow dog” than vote for a Republican, because the Republican Party was known as the party for blacks.
- Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, reintroduced segregation throughout the federal government immediately upon taking office in 1913. (He also was instrumental in getting multiple planks of the Communist Manifesto instituted in American law, namely the 16th amendment to the Constitution.)
- Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first appointment to the Supreme Court was a life member of the Ku Klux Klan, Sen. Hugo Black, Democrat of Alabama. (Oops. Thought FDR was a saint.)
- Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s choice for vice president in 1944 was Harry Truman, who had joined the Ku Klux Klan in Kansas City in 1922. (So much for his image as a good guy.)
- Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt resisted Republican efforts to pass a federal law against lynching. (1935. FDR refused to speak out in favor of Costigan-Wagner Act, which attacked one of the main aspects of lynching. The legislation proposed federal trials for any law enforcement officers who failed to exercise their responsibilities during a lynching incident.)
- Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt opposed integration of the armed forces. (Can you say the honorable Tuskegee Airman????)
- Democrat Senators Sam Ervin, Albert Gore, Sr. and Robert Byrd were the chief opponents of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
- Democrats supported and backed Judge John Ferguson in the case of Plessy v Ferguson. (1896. Decision upheld constitutionality of state segregation laws. Details here.)
- Democrats supported the School Board of Topeka Kansas in the case of Brown v The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. (Whoops.)
- Democrat public safety commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor, in Birmingham, Ala., unleashed vicious dogs and turned fire hoses on black civil rights demonstrators.
- Democrats were who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other protesters were fighting. (Yes, MLK was a Republican.)
- Democrat Georgia Governor Lester Maddox “brandished an ax hammer to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant.
- Democrat Governor George Wallace stood in front of the Alabama schoolhouse in 1963, declaring there would be segregation forever.
- Democrat Arkansas Governor Faubus tried to prevent desegregation of Little Rock public schools.
- Democrat Senator John F. Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil rights Act.
- Democrat President John F. Kennedy opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. King.
- Democrat President John F. Kennedy, had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI.
- Democrat President Bill Clinton’s mentor was U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, an Arkansas Democrat and a supporter of racial segregation.
- Democrat President Bill Clinton interned for J. William Fulbright in 1966-67.
- Democrat Senator J. William Fulbright signed the Southern Manifesto opposing the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision.
- Democrat Senator J. William Fulbright joined with the Dixiecrats in filibustering the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1964.
- Democrat Senator J. William Fulbright voted against the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Southern Democrats opposed desegregation and integration.
Not mentioned in the list is that in 1876, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and no Civil Rights legislation made it to the floor until 1957.
Go to the next page for how the Democrats voted on Constitutional Amendments, and other legislation before 1964 when President Lyndon B. Johnson made black Democratic voters for the next 50 years. Look for the link below.