Race & Politics Timeline – 1789-2015

February 23, 2005

History can be an annoying, pernicious thing. Especially for those who try to hide it.  Posted on the Democrat Party website is the following:

For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights, and women’s rights. We are the party of Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, FDR, and the countless everyday Americans who work each day to build a more perfect union. Take a look at some of our accomplishments, and you’ll see why we’re proud to be Democrats.

The film Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution (2006) and the historical timeline (below) fills in some of the blanks.

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In 1789, Congress passes, and George Washington signs, a law stating that no territory could become a state if it allowed slavery.

  • In 1792, the Democrat Party is formed. They are, essentially, the party of slavery.
  • In 1808, Congress abolishes the slave trade in America.
  • In 1818, the Democrats become the majority in Congress. Using their majority, they begin to undo these anti-slavery decisions…
  • In 1820, the Democrat Party passes the Missouri Compromise, institutionalizing slavery in half of the territories.

For thirty years, Democrats pass multiple laws promoting and protecting slavery, culminating in 1850 with the Fugitive Slave Law. This law takes away all rights to jury trials, representation, and habeas corpus from any black who was so much as accused of being a slave.

  • radical-membersIn 1854, Democrats pass the Kansas-Nebraska act, opening up those territories to slavery, thus exceeding even the limits of the Missouri Compromise.
  • In 1854, the REPUBLICAN party is formed to end slavery. Six of the nine planks in their fledgling platform statement deal with civil rights issues.
  • In 1857, the Supreme Court rules in Dred Scott v. Sanford that blacks are considered inferior and thus not covered by the phrase “all men” in the Declaration of Independence; that they are property covered by the 5th Amendment; and that no black—not even a free black—could ever become a citizen of the United States. The Democrats support the decision.
  • In 1861, Democrat Party splits the nation asunder and caused a war in order to maintain slavery. Innumerable horrors and 650,000 deaths are required to free the slaves and restore the union.
  • In 1865, REPUBLICANS pass the 13th Amendment, ending slavery.

100% of Republicans vote for it.  Even among northern Democrats, it only receives the support of 23%.

frederickdouglassIn spite of the 13th Amendment, Southern Democrats continue to deny blacks their citizenship rights, so…

  • In 1868, the 14th Amendment was passed, establishing citizenship for all in Federal law.

100% of Republicans vote for it.
0% of Democrats vote for it.

In spite of the 14th Amendment, Southern Democrats continue to prevent blacks from enjoying the real fruits of this citizenship, especially the right to vote, so…

  • In 1868, the 15th Amendment is passed, establishing the right to vote for all people, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

100% of Republicans vote for it.
0% of Democrats vote for it.

  • From 1866–1875, the REPUBLICAN Congress passes 19 civil rights laws. Democrats oppose them all.
  • In 1876, Democrats take control of the House. No more civil rights legislation is passed until 1964.
  • In 1892, Democrats take control of the White House, the Senate, and they keep control of the House. They immediately begin establishing Jim Crow laws and repealing all civil rights legislation passed by the Republicans. Any laws or amendments they cannot repeal, they skirt with poll taxes and literacy tests.

booker-t-washington-on-race-baitersBeginning after the War, and thenceforward until 1935, ALL blacks elected to Congress are REPUBLICANS. In addition to those elected to Federal office, 100s of blacks—all of them REPUBLICANS—are elected to state legislatures in the South.

In 1866, Democrats form the KKK with the express purpose of preventing the election of Republicans in the South. Democrats admit—under oath in Congressional hearings in 1872—that the Klan is a Democrat creation intended to restore Democrat control of the South. The Klan carries out this plan by means of a series of massacres at Republican Party meetings.

In the 1920s, REPUBLICANS propose anti-lynching legislation. The legislation passes the house but is killed by the Democrat-controlled Senate.  The legislation passes by a slim margin in 1939.  The opposition speech was given by a Democrat Congressman from Texas, Lyndon B. Johnson.

  • In 1956, Democrats express their opposition to the desegregation decision of Brown v. Board of Education in the “Southern Manifesto.” One hundred members of Congress, all Democrats, sign the manifesto.
  • In 1957, REPUBLICAN President Eisenhower authors a Civil Rights Bill, hoping to repair the damage done to blacks and their civil rights by Democrats since 1892. Passage of the bill is blocked by Senate Democrats.
  • In 1959, REPUBLICAN President Eisenhower authors a Voting Rights Bill, again, in an effort to undo the disenfranchisement of blacks by Democrats through poll taxes, literacy tests, and threats of violence by the KKK. And once again, passage of the bill is blocked by Senate Democrats.
  • In 1964, Congress passes, and President Lyndon Johnson signs into law, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is the law originally authored by Eisenhower in 1957. Democrats, including still-serving Senator Robert Byrd (a former KKK member), employ a filibuster of the bill. Once the filibuster is overcome, a larger percentage of Republicans vote for passage than do Democrats.
  • In 1965, Congress passes, and President Lyndon Johnson signs into law, the Voting Rights Act of 1964. This is the law originally authored by Eisenhower in 1959. A filibuster is prevented, and passage of this bill also enjoys support from a greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats.

hugo-black-FDRCongressional civil rights legislation—authored by Republicans, designed by Republicans to undo a century of damage done by Democrats, and voted for by a greater percentage of Republicans—is wisely voted for by a Democrat president. The President of the United States having a much higher public profile than the collective members of Congress, this vote has a powerful effect.

At the same time, Barry Goldwater foolishly votes against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As the standard bearer for the Republican Party at the time, this too has a powerful public effect.*

Earlier, John F. Kennedy, recognizing the need to place himself on the correct side of the civil rights question, employed the talents of Senator Harris Wofford to pursue this aim. Among other initiatives, Wofford encouraged Kennedy to make a comforting phone call to Coretta Scott King when her husband was in jail. This had a profound effect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s father, who had previously been a Republican and supported Nixon. King Sr. throws his support to Kennedy, and brings “a suitcase full of votes” with him.

Meanwhile, the 1960s sees a profound expansion in the left’s control of much of the three primary means of information dissemination: the mainstream press, Hollywood, and academia. This control provided the ability to spin things like Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” into something it was not—namely an appeal to racist Southern Democrats. Meanwhile, Democrat governors are standing in school doorways to prevent the court-ordered integration of those schools.

These are among a small number of events spun by a media serving the aims of the left’s power structure, whose elite were and are solely concerned with implementing neo-socialist principles and maintaining electoral viability. Using a powerful combination of information control, spin, and revisionist history, the left managed to engineer a massive electoral shift in which blacks, once exclusively Republicans, began voting Democrat in numbers greater than 9 out of 10.

During the period from 1885 to the 1960s—in spite of impediments imposed entirely by Democrats—blacks enjoyed significant achievements. Through their own mettle and without government aid, blacks made strides, politically, economically, and socially.  In the 1930s, Democrats began increasingly to embrace and implement semi-socialist economic and governmental policies. This embrace intensified during the 1960s.

Once black Americans began voting for Democrats in greater numbers and thus became a constituency, the Democrats began employing a set of socialist, welfare-state principles to the problems effecting blacks throughout the nation. This had the disastrous effect—as socialism always does—of discouraging initiative, encouraging a sense of entitlement, and creating a permanent dependency class.  Through 50 years of paternalism, the left has been infantilizing American blacks, fostering a sense of perpetual victimhood.

democrats-founded-racismThrough 50 years of institutionalized welfare, everything that might result in personal, social, or economic advancement has been discouraged, and everything that keeps the cycle of dependency going has been encouraged.

These effects have been exacerbated by the radicalization of “black culture,” such that one is only “authentically black” if one exists within or aspires to be among a narrow range of inner-city caricatures: gangstas, playas, and pimps… the majority of whose portrayals include the glorification of violence, drugs, and maltreatment of women.

Up until 1965, 82% of black households had both a mother and a father in the home—a statistic on par with or even slightly higher than white families. After 1965 (the year the Democrats decided it was time to stop oppressing blacks and start “helping” them), the presence of black fathers in the home began a precipitous decline, to the point where today, the American black out-of-wedlock birthrate is at 69%. A welfare state that pays money when there is no father—and takes that money away if the father returns—has done a great deal to bring about this appalling statistic. And of course, the vast majority of all U.S. prison inmates of any color share one thing in common: absent fathers.

As Dennis Prager said in his article of the same title, Socialism makes people worse, and the neo-socialist policies the Democrats have been inflicting on black Americans have done nearly incalculable damage.

Rank-and-file Democrats have been convinced, or have convinced themselves, that the major electoral shift of the 1960s is due to the fact that they, the Democrats, care about and espouse policies designed to help blacks. And indeed, the vast majority of them have good intentions and believe that they are helping. But they aren’t helping—they are in fact causing profound harm.


They have been causing nearly all of that harm since the very beginning. From slavery to secession to Jim Crow to the KKK… to the supposedly well-meaning policies of today, any overall negative context in which black Americans currently find themselves can be laid squarely at the feet of the Democrat Party.

*It has been argued that Goldwater opposed the bill for reasons unrelated to his position on civil rights—and given the fact that he used his own money not once but twice to keep an Arizona chapter of the NAACP afloat, it can hardly be argued that he was racist or opposed to civil rights in principle.

Images from The Right Planet.