Monday, August 18, 2008

The racial story Democrats won't tell

When the Democratic convention opens Aug. 25 in Denver, expect to hear party chest-pounding on the history that will play out there: Democrats are expected to designate an African American as their candidate for the White House.
The nomination of Barack Obama will be an exciting moment for a nation with a history of deep racial inequality.

But, as an article in the Wall Street Journal points out, the Democratic party has whitewashed its own racial history.
A commentary linked here by Jeffrey Lord, creator, co-founder and CEO of a conservative video site and a Reagan White House political director and author points out the party built its success in the 19th century on a platform that supported slavery and its success in the 20th century supported segregation and discriminatory Jim Crow laws that make blacks second class citizens.

He writes:

The missing history raises the obvious question of whether the Democrats, unable
or simply unwilling to put their party on record as taking direct responsibility
for one of the worst racial crimes of the ages, will be able to run a campaign
free of the racial animosities it has regularly brought both to American
presidential campaigns and American political and social life in general.

The article fails to mention that a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, was the pivatol political player in enacting the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts in the 1960s, which undid the most substantial legal barriers blacks faced in America.
Yet Lord raises a good point: Why aren’t the Democrats being honest about the party's checkered past? Can that past really be overcome?


Tom said...

Anyone with a high-school education knows that the Republicans and Democrats effectively swapped positions in the mid-20th Century. You don't hear the Democrats talking about their 19th Century politics for the same reason you don't see Republicans touting Abraham Lincoln as their great icon.

Like so many other issues, it's inane to blame living people for the mistakes of 150 years ago.

Rob said...

Are you seriously calling the Democrats to task on things that happened over a 100 years ago? Who in the world is old enough to be responsible for those actions?

No one.

Let it go already.

Anonymous said...

Ignore history and you're bound to repeat it. Democrats have given up on the Jim Crow laws, and are enslaving the black community with welfare and other government handouts that encourage apathy, laziness, and a beakdown of social and moral fabric.

Bill said...

Lord's commentary is ample evidence of how concerned Republicans are, and should be, abut the potential of Obama's appeal.
He has a rare opportunity to move us beyond race which many Americans sense in their guts even if they do not report it to pollsters.