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GOHMERT: Hypocritical Democrats Must Take Responsibility for Their Party’s Racist Past

Townhall, By Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01)

Earlier this summer, I introduced a resolution to ban the Democratic Party from Congress due to its racist history of supporting slavery and segregation. There were parliamentary issues raised so I withdrew the Privileged Motion and am re-introducing it today.

Since Democrats and liberals across the country are demanding we remove statues and rename every school, street, sports team, or food product to ensure that the sensibilities of virtue-signaling Leftists everywhere are not offended, surely they would like for those same rules to apply to their own party.  Democrats have embraced racial inequality in America for decades, and are the very embodiment of racial politics and have been since the Republicans split away and formed their own party, leaving their vile racism behind.

Once I recovered from the deafening silence from both Democrats and their countless allies in the media at the news of this resolution, and the dust settled, it was abundantly clear the Democrats had no intention of leaving this history of racial demagoguery behind.

Most surprising, however, was the number of people who reached out and told me they were unaware of just how depraved and morally bankrupt the Democratic Party history truly was. Many had been certain it was the Democrats who represented the party of civil rights and racial equality, yet the truth is, the degrading and inhumane historical facts outlined in my privileged resolution reveal a mere fraction of the disturbing and discriminatory past of the Democratic Party.

A quick comparison of the Republican and Democratic Party platforms of 1856 reveals everything you need to know about the vast differences between the two parties’ early attitudes towards racial equality. The GOP was founded in 1854 as an anti-slavery party in opposition to the expansion of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska territories. The Republican Party’s 1856 platform denied the authority of Congress or any group of individuals to “give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States, while the present Constitution shall be maintained.” Meanwhile, the Democrats' 1856 platform insisted that efforts of abolitionists to “interfere with questions of slavery” have an “inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union.”

In 1857, the United States Supreme Court decision Dred Scott vs. Sanford determined that both free and enslaved blacks were to be considered property, not citizens. Of the nine justices on the court, all seven of the Democrats voted to deny the rights of blacks. The two dissenting justices were Republicans. Democrat Chief Justice Roger Taney (whose bust Democrats recently voted to remove from the halls of Congress) authored the decision and wrote that black Americans "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it."

Despite some arguments to the contrary, there is an undeniable link between racism, the Ku Klux Klan and the Democratic Party. The 1868 Democratic National Convention slogan stated: “This is a White Man’s Country; Let White Men Rule” (A stark contrast, by the way, to the Republican campaign slogan that year: “Let Us Have Peace”). As the American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord aptly points out, the 1868 DNC convention was attended by delegate Nathan Bedford Forrest—one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan and a Confederate veteran.

In fact, the Klan was so embedded within the Democratic Party that Columbia University historian Eric Foner called the group “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy.” University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease drew a similar conclusion, writing that the KKK was the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.”

The 20th century ushered in decades more racism on behalf of the Democratic Party with perhaps one of the most glaring examples being President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s appointment of a former Ku Klux Klan member to the Supreme Court. You read that correctly: FDR—the Left’s progressive poster boy—willingly and knowingly appointed a former KKK member to the highest court in the land.

Bruce Bartlett points out in his book, "Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past," that Roosevelt appointed Alabama Senator Hugo Black to the Supreme Court in 1937. Black became a member of the Klan in 1923 and began marching in parades, speaking at Klan meetings, and donning Klan attire. According to Bartlett in his well-documented book, Black’s Klan membership was widely known among Washington insiders, but his nomination was “rammed through the Senate so quickly that there was no time to investigate or publicize the matter.” About a month after he was sworn-in to the Supreme Court, news broke of Black’s Klan ties and Democratic politicians began to rally behind him and support him. Roosevelt claimed he was unaware of Black’s membership in the Ku Klux Klan, however, in a 1968 memo, the Supreme Court Justice admitted the president knew of his associations with the group, writing, “President Roosevelt…told me there was no reason for my worrying about my having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He said that some of his best friends and supporters he had in the state of Georgia were strong members of that organization.”

Perhaps if our schools focused less on Marxist indoctrination and more on actual education, the facts would be more widely known. The propaganda that has been fed to American children for decades is precisely why we are currently seeing so many of our “educated” youth wreaking havoc in our cities and rioting under the guise of “social justice.” There is no such thing as social justice in a free society. There is justice and there is injustice-- no modifier is required for a self-governing people. The history of the Democratic Party is most decidedly a first-tier example of injustice.

The examples of racism are plentiful and the Democrats’ willingness to turn a blind eye to its past atrocities whilst calling upon the rest of the country to adhere to their politically correct authoritarian agenda reeks of the worst kind of hypocrisy. If Democrats wish to truly repent for the sins of their party’s past, they surely have to know that removing a couple statues of their leaders from the halls of the U.S. Capitol could not possibly be enough. It is time for Democrats to accept responsibility for their conduct, and if they are truly serious about reparation payments, they should have those payments coming from the political party that so egregiously destroyed black communities by their actions and prejudice.

Read the opinion piece on, here.