Americans, in general, don't know their history. But it's not really our fault. For the most part, we're taught history by teachers with a liberal agenda and that bias is reinforced by a liberal media and entertainment complex. And it's hard enough to remember REAL history, let alone distorted history.
Take for instance the common "meme" that Republicans are racist, that somehow the GOP INVENTED racism, and was the sole cause of its tragic consequences. I actually believed that as a liberal Democrat. How wrong I was ...
What I didn't realize, because it's never really taught or broadcast: Democrats actually are the party of racism. Democrats practiced slavery, and fought to keep slavery. Democrats fought the 14th and 15th Amendments that gave blacks rights as citizens. Democrats enacted Jim Crow laws that segregated the South. Democrats fought integration. A MAJORITY of Democrats fought the Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s. Were it not for Republican support, pro-civil-rights Democrats would not have been able pass this legislation. For more than 100 years, blacks had always aligned with the Republican party, the party of Lincoln, the party of emanicpation, the party of Frederick Douglass.
So, where did Democrats become the sole champion of civil rights and Republicans began being tarred as bigots?
It obviously began after the tumultuous 60s, and the social revolution that occurred then. Republicans resisted the changes occurring with the student movements that became increasingly radical and self-destructive. These were not movements FOR expanded rights, these were movements AGAINST the established order, against anything deemed traditional, including moral and political values. Hence, we see the birth of the anti-war movement, the sexual revolution, and the environmental movement. We also saw women burning their bras and the rise of the radical Black Panthers and other far-left minority groups. I was just a child, but I heard about all this later.
So, Republicans who stood for traditional conservative values were seen as impediments to racial (and gender) progress. Not because they opposed rights for blacks and women (they did not) but because they opposed the radical agenda of fringe social groups.
Where did the old Democratic racists go? Some of them branched off into third parties. Some became Republicans. Many remained in the Democratic party.
But the Democratic party, through its promotion of social welfare, was able to convince blacks that they were better off as Democrats. Where has that gotten them the past 40 years? Has welfare achieved ANYTHING for blacks? What about the breakdown of the black family? Isn't that directly a result of government handouts? What about the collapse of inner cities and the despicable lack of quality education in many inner city schools? Doesn't that trace to liberal corruption in local government and the complete domination of the teachers' unions over education?
Are there bad Republicans out there? Sure. Are there racists in the Republican party? Unquestionably. But is the Republican Party the party of racism? Absolutely not. This is the party that judges people as individuals. This is the party of Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King.
We Republicans (and I'm proud to count myself a member now) need to do a much better job enlightening the public about our proud tradition. We need to remind people that two Republican presidents did more for blacks in this country than all the Democrats combined: Eisenhower, in addition to appointing pro-civil-rights judges, enforced Brown v. Board of Education, standing up to Democrat governors, to integrate Southern schools, which laid the groundwork for the civil rights laws of the 1960s.
And Abraham Lincoln paid the ultimate price: a martyr for freeing the slaves.
We must remember our heroes. We must tell their stories.