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An Important Bit of Black History
So, February is Black History Month. Most people are unaware that the first 21 black US Congressmen and the first 3 black US Senators, were all, entirely, Republicans.
Wikipedia lists them here:
List of African-American United States representatives
List of African-American United States senators
Now, if the Republican Party organization wasn’t completely nonfunctional, they would be celebrating this as much as possible. Nope, not happening.
Maybe Ricochet can help. Anybody want to write up posts on the early black congressmen and senators? Use this post to organize.
My favorite would be Robert Smalls:
Damn!Published in General
Not only that, but whenever FJB bloviates about George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis, not one of them has the gumption to yell at him “ALL DEMOCRATS!!!”
Republican elected officials who might be reading this: Start doing both of these things, now. And do not stop.
It was a dark day when Reconstruction ended and the Democrats began their systematic oppression of black citizens. The Judicial branch has yet overcome the shame of their failure to protect the rights of citizens.
Nobody knows about these men because all that is ever taught about Reconstruction is carpetbaggers and the birth of the Klan. And as a research tip, I would go to an actual brick and mortar library and read first editions from the 19th Century and old newspapers (if they haven’t been thrown away to make room for more…ahem…contemporary sources). Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it is true. Know your sources.
With that said, people also don’t know that there were many accomplished black Americans in the South during Reconstruction. And it all started with literacy. Someone took the time to teach them how to read. Illiteracy was a scourge of both black and white people. Many learned to read the Bible because someone either wanted to evangelize or because that was the only book available. Abraham Lincoln was an autodidact whose knowledge of the Bible shone through.
Now if only people could stretch their ability to read more than 140 characters at a time we might be on to something.
Any young black who feels he can’t make it because the system is racist and against him should learn about Smalls’ story . . .
Any time a Republican brings up its record on defending the rights of African Americans the response is either “yabbut, Southern Strategy, you filthy racist” or “yabbut what have you done for me lately” so why bother?
Because facts are facts and those men lived in a treacherous era and succeeded. Their stories deserve to be told. Whether someone listens and internalizes the lessons of those men’s lives is up to them. What a shame it would be for someone to say “I didn’t know about that. Why didn’t you tell me?”
Prager U does a lot of this sort of thing.
Which is the approach that has been in use by the aforementioned completely nonfunctional Republican Party organization. And it’s an excuse to do nothing.
A separate post on effective responses to such accusations would be helpful.
Demand evidence of the Southern Strategy. They have none because there is none. Election results? The South stays solidly in the D column well into the 80s…for that matter, even and most of the Mountain states and Texas stay D for House, Senate (or both) and Governor until 1994 (!). Gosh. Sure took those damned racists a long time to start voting for us /sarc off.
Agree with Tom on this. The Southern Strategy thing is a lie. The argument by the Dems is the parties switched positions on the race issue in the 1960’s – the Republicans becoming the racist party and the Dems becoming the party of racial equality and this is patently false. Forget the exact numbers now – but many more Dems than Republicans voted against the 1964 & 1965 Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and the Dems that voted against these laws stayed in the Democrat Party (and many had progressive voting records) until the end of their political careers in many cases decades later.
Democrat Robert Byrd who opposed both laws (I think he may have filibustered them) was in the Senate (as a Dem) until the early 2000’s and was the Democrat Senate leadership for decades and was the President pro tempore of the Senate. The only Democrat who switched parties to the Republican and voted against these acts was Strom Thurmond. Most of the Republicans who opposed these laws did so based on Constitutional grounds not racial bigotry such as Barry Goldwater- Goldwater had integrated his family’s Department stores a decade or two earlier and had also made sure that the Arizona Air National Guard be an integrated unit from its inception.
Also, regarding the Southern Strategy thing, why was it OK for the Dems to engage in a Southern Strategy for a century when these states practiced segregation?
How Republicans talk about race and their amazing history of defending black Americans.. *crickets* ..so who wants a tax cut!?
In the movie, he would have to be trans, played by a female actor and he/she/they would need to thwart the Confederates’ plan to destroy the environment out of religious extremism. And he/she/they cannot be a Republican. If Lincoln is depicted in the flick, he will need to be and independent.
At least remake Glory.
There are blacks who are looking for something better, but very few Republicans/conservatives are showing up to tell them about it and ask for their vote. Lee Zeldin had a great interview about how NY Republicans never show up in black neighborhoods or events but that he was willing to do it and that is what got him record turnout in the black and Hispanic communities.
Was there something wrong with the original?
I mean, other than starring Ferris Bueller?
I wish I could add to the post in a significant way because Edward Brooke was a Republican senator from Massachusetts, my own state, from 1967 to 1979, but I don’t know more than what has been written about him on Wikipedia:
He was highly respected in this state. My parents admired him greatly.
A couple of years ago, I read a book written for middle school kids on black heroes, and the book included every elected Democrat black person the authors could think of. No mention of Ed Brooke. I was saddened by that. He was a brilliant man.
Almost all of the 3 Senators and 21 Representatives listed were elected during the Reconstruction or early post-Reconstruction period, from southern states.
Do you think that those were free and fair elections?
Well Democrats always cheat so I can’t be sure.
I’m suggesting that these black Senators and Representatives were the result of “cheating” by the Radical Republicans in the Reconstruction era. That’s pretty much what was going on, right?
I don’t know, but let’s check out our first black congressman, Joseph Rainey…
Wikipedia: South Carolin’s 1st Congressional District:
Following the Civil War and granting of citizenship to former slaves, in 1870, Charleston’s population was 53 percent black; and Charleston County had a 73 percent black majority. The city’s large population of free people of color had developed many leaders who advanced in the changing society. These population majorities protected freedmen against some of the election-related violence that occurred in other parts of the state in the 1870s as white Democrats worked to suppress black voting and regain political control of the state. During Reconstruction, the mostly black Republicans from this district supported Republican candidates, including four terms for Joseph H. Rainey as US Representative to Congress, a record by an African-American legislator not surpassed until the 1950s.
After the Democrats regained control of the state in 1876, during an election season marked by violence and fraud, and Reconstruction ended in 1877, they passed laws establishing racial segregation and making voter registration and voting more difficult, such as the “eight-box law”.
I don’t know how much Republicans cheated shortly after the Civil War. Maybe a lot, I don’t know. But the Democrats had the KKK to harass, terrorize, and even lynch Republicans — black and white. I’d say that slightly crosses the line into election interference.