My latest at PJ Media:
The controversy over Joe Biden saying, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re voting for me or Trump, then you ain’t black” isn’t dying down, but as much political damage as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is sustaining, one much-overlooked fact amid the brouhaha is that even though Donald Trump has made historic gains in support from black Americans, most will likely agree with Biden and vote for him or whomever the Democrats put up this November, no matter what, no questions asked. This is how it has been for a long time, but it wasn’t always thus. Historically, the strongest defenders of the civil rights of black Americans were Republicans.
Now, it is generally known that the Republican Party was founded as an abolitionist party and that a Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, is responsible for freeing the slaves. Generally known, that is, among those who care to know it. Some prefer politically correct fantasies, like the Northeastern Illinois University plaque honoring “Abraham Lincoln Democrat.”
However, even those who admit that the Republicans freed the slaves while most Democrats were fighting a civil war to keep them enslaved then fast forward, in their potted history of civil rights in America, to the 1960s, when the parties supposedly switched places as the Republicans embraced a “Southern strategy” that involved taking up the racism that the Democrats were in the process of discarding.
There are two things wrong with this scenario: Republicans didn’t forget about black Americans after Lincoln was shot, but actually stood up for the civil rights of black Americans consistently from the Civil War on, and there was no “Southern strategy.” It is a historical myth like so much of what is taught as American history today, designed to ensure that students will grow up to be convinced and loyal leftists. But like all propaganda initiatives, it founders on the facts.
The forthcoming book Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look At Who Was Best, Who Was Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster tells the real story. In the wake of the Civil War, while Southern states resisted Reconstruction measures, denied blacks the right to vote, and allowed the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize black populations, a president sent federal troops to restore order and enforce the law. A Democrat, of course, no? No. It was a Republican, Ulysses S. Grant.
Grant also engaged in serious negotiations to annex the Dominican Republic as a haven for black Americans from the South, so that, he said, “the Southern people would learn the crime of Ku Kluxism, because they would see how necessary the black man is to their own prosperity.” Grant sent Frederick Douglass to Santo Domingo as part of a commission to study the matter; this commission returned with a report saying that most Dominicans favored annexation, but nothing came of it….
There is much more. Read the rest here.
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