Thursday, October 7, 2010

In Black & White - a book report

Setting the Record Straight
American History
In Black & White
By David Barton

I was informed about this book and immediately ordered a copy from It is only 138 pages long but is chock full of information some of which I was well aware and others that even though occurring in my life time I had forgotten or just never realized how bad it was.
Having just finished reading a book about President Lincoln and the Civil War I was cognizant of the situation during those years but the years following I had never studied
Until the years following WWII the Democratic Party was dedicated to keeping the black people in America in their place.
The Republican Party was created by people who were opposed to slavery. Lincoln became their first President.
Some people have claimed that the Constitution was a racist document. The author disputes that and I concur with him. The reason stated is that black men were counted as 3/5 of a person. The reason was that the Southern States wanted to count them to increase the number of representatives they would have in the Congress. The compromise reached was 3/5. It recognized the reality of slavery at the time we were breaking off the yoke of England. It was not the time to try to eliminate slavery. That would have to wait for another time. It is indisputable that the Democratic Party both North and South supported slavery. The Civil War was fought because of their insistence that slavery be extended into the new States being created in the Western part of the Continent.
Following the Civil War the Southern States were ordered to change their Constitutions prohibiting slavery. This they did. For a few years blacks voted and became legislators in these States but as time went on the Southern Democratic Party removed some of the protections afforded the blacks and began to systematically harass and did all manner of things to keep them from voting in addition to segregating education, housing, eating establishments, etc. They were kept as virtual slaves for over 80 years following the XIII and the XIV Amendments to the Constitution in 1865 and 1868. Not one Democrat voted in favor of the XIV Amendment.
In 1893 Grover Cleveland Alexander was elected President. He was a Democrat and the majority of the House and Senate were Democrats. It was then that the Congress started turning back the clock on rights and actually attempted to repeal the XIII and XIV Amendments in 1900. There were enough Republicans to prevent that from occurring. Think about what I just wrote, Democrats wanted to re-institute slavery in 1900. That is just 110 years ago.
During the decades after the Civil War blacks were controlled not only by legislatures and law enforcement but also by the KKK. The author contends the KKK was synonymous with the Democratic Party.
FDR was the first Democrat to want to do something for the blacks but had his hands full with WWII. His wife Eleanor did resign from the DAR when they refused to allow Marion Anderson to sing at their annual convention. Truman did take action. He desegregated the military. He attempted to pass civil rights legislation which caused the Southern Democrats to break away and form the Dixiecrat Party. President Eisenhower tried to pass civil rights bills and faced stiff opposition from Democrats. It wasn’t until Kennedy that a Democratic President took action to integrate schools and after his death Lyndon Johnson was able to get Kennedy’s Civil Rights programs enacted into law.
He doesn’t explain how in recent years the black voters have turned to the Democratic Party to sustain them. Perhaps it is the never ending give away programs which while giving support at the same time create dependency whereas the Republicans want people to work and sustain themselves without government handouts. I just wonder if keeping them poor, ignorant and dependent is the new age strategy of the Democratic Party.
If you want to be better informed about our history I highly recommend reading this book.

Jack B. Walters
October 7, 2010

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