Posts Tagged ‘history’

 Today is the ten year anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana as a category 3 hurricane. By this time, most of the damage had already been done by the storm surge. 

Most people think of New Orleans first when Katrina is mentioned. While the Big Easy did suffer from the largest loss of life, it was the less talked about Mississippi Gulf Coast region that had the most property damage.

This is likely due to the fact that the less densely populated Mississippi coast was home to countless casino barges that were pushed inland into homes and businesses. 90 percent of Mississippi’s beachfront towns were flooded with water reaching up to 12 miles inland. 

This single storm changed the way that a major city and a state’s entire coastline looked. Ten years after the fact and there are still parts of New Orleans that have not been rebuilt. It was thanks to the less than perfect recovery effort that brought us Kanye West’s famous quote, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” So on this great Saturday morning take a minute to remember the devastation… and Kanye’s penchant for ridiculous comments. 

In Part 1 I told you the truth about the beginnings of the “modern” Democrat Party, which began with Woodrow Wilson. When he left office in 1921 the American public didn’t elect another Democrat until 1933 when Franklin D. Roosevelt was selected as the 32nd President of the United States. I do have to give FDR some credit on civil rights though. In 1941 Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, which created the Fair Employment Practices Committee, which said that the federal government could not hire anyone based on race, color, creed, or national origin. Although this order only applied to government jobs.

In September 1942, at Eleanor’s instigation, Roosevelt met with a delegation of African-American leaders, who demanded full integration into the forces, including the right to serve in combat roles and in the Navy, the Marine Corps and the United States Army Air Forces. Roosevelt agreed, but then did nothing to implement his promise. Leaving integration up to his successor Harry Truman.

Even though I’m basing this blog on black history I feel that when talking about FDR and civil rights one must mention the internment camps set up by the War Department after Pearl Harbor. On February 19, 1942 Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which ordered Secretary of War, and military commanders to designate military areas “from which any or all persons may be excluded.” Japanese-American citizens as well as non-citizens were removed from their homes on the West coast and placed in camps until 1944. This is one of the more controversial moves made by FDR, even though there was evidence of espionage compiled by code-breakers that decrypted messages to Japan from agents in North America and Hawaii before and after Pearl Harbor. This was known only to people with the highest security clearances at the time to prevent Japan from finding out their code was cracked. Even with evidence from these messages some people still say that this move was racially motivated. In 1925 Roosevelt had written about Japanese immigration: “Californians have properly objected on the sound basic grounds that Japanese immigrants are not capable of assimilation into the American population… Anyone who has traveled in the Far East knows that the mingling of Asiatic blood with European and American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results”. Did Roosevelt go to the extreme with the internment camps based on racial motivation? I can’t say for sure.

Harry Truman was the next Democrat President when he replaced Roosevelt after he died in office April 12, 1945 as FDR’s third VP. Truman’s wife, Bess, told that while they were dating he told her he believed one person was as good as any other person….. as long as they aren’t black. He also criticised the Chinese in America, the Jews – to whom he referred to as “Kikes” and the Italians in America who he called “wops”. When he first entered politics he did what any good Democrat would do, he paid his $10 to join the KKK.

While running for reelection for Senator in Missouri he changed his tune a little, it’s not known if he really changed his beliefs or, if like Wilson before him, he was just pandering for the black vote. He said while running for re-election, “I believe in brotherhood….of all men before the law….if any (one) class or race can be permanently set apart from, or pushed down below the rest in politics and civil rights, so may any other class or race……and we say farewell to the principles on which we count our safety…….The majority of our Negro people find but cold comfort in our shanties and tenements. Surely, as free men, they are entitled to something better than this.” Truman never did anything about his statement but was chosen as VP by FDR anyway.

In 1945 the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC), set up by Roosevelt, was involved in a case against a Washington DC transportation company and Truman did not give the FEPC any support over this issue and nothing was done to enforce the will of the FEPC in this instance. Truman could not even persuade Congress, which was dominated by Democrats, to finance the FEPC. In 1946 Truman finally issued an executive order to desegregate the armed forces, unfortunately he did not implement this order and it wasn’t until 1948 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) finally put the order into effect.

In Part III I’ll talk more about Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, MLK, and the role of the two parties in civil rights.

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Since writing part one of My Black History Month Celebration I came across an article written by Francis Rice called Why Martin Luther King Was Republican. I highly recommend you check it out. It is along the same lines as what I’m writing about, only from the perspective of a black Republican. She offers some valuable incite into the problem of racism being attributed to the Republican Party, which is a problem of misinformation.

Black History Month Part 2 is coming soon so stay tuned and remember….

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It’s that time a year again when the History Channel plays all their documentaries on the KKK, MLK, and skinheads, all the news channels play their specials, and for the entire month we are over saturated with Black History Month.

You hear some people complain about it, some people go all in on it, but most only learn part of the story. So in honor of Black History Month I’m going to inform YOU of the things you don’t really see on the specials or learn in school. Since the Democrat Party is so commonly associated with civil rights and the like I’m going to dispel this misconception with some actual historical facts, with part 1 of my Black History Month Celebration.

Most people learn in school that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President, but most think that at some point the Republican and Democrat parties just got together one day and decided it might be fun to switch parties at some point. I don’t know maybe FDR lost a bet with Herbert Hoover?

I’ll start with the 1850’s, the decade leading up to the War Between the States. The Democrat Party became divided over the slavery issue and under pressure from the Fugitive Slave Law and the Kansas-Nebraska Act the anti-slavery Democrats left the party and joined with members of other dwindling parties to form the Republican Party.

In 1860 the Democrat Party split again when the pro-slavery party couldn’t decide if they wanted to force slavery on new western states or to allow a vote in each new state deciding the issue. The Northern Democrats nominated Senator Stephan A. Douglass (IL.) the “pro-states decide guy”, the Southern Democrats nominated incumbent VP John C. Breckinridge (KY.) the “pro-slavery for all guy” while some left the party and joined the Constitutional Union Party nominating Secretary of War John Bell (TN.) which split the Democrat vote and helped elect Lincoln.

When the Democrats decided to start their own country they didn’t have political parties, in essence becoming an all Democrat nation, and we know how that turned out.

After the war the Democrats benefited greatly from the resentment Southerners felt for Reconstruction and their subsequent hostility toward the Republican Party. After the end of Reconstruction in the 1870’s and the violent disenfranchisement of blacks led by white-supremacist Democrats the South became loyal Democrat voters.

Fast forward to 1913 and the beginning of the “progressive movement”, the election of Woodrow Wilson, and the point at which modern liberals attribute the switching of the parties. One of my personal favorite Woodrow Wilson quotes is from his History of the American People: “The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation…. until at last sprang into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern Country.” In 1912 an unprecedented number of blacks left the Republican Party to help elect Woodrow Wilson after his campaign promises of support for minorities, but once in office Wilson expanded on racial segregation policies, and placed white segregationist Southerners in many executive appointed positions while acting to reduce the already meager number of blacks in appointed positions. For the first time since 1863 Wilson instituted official segregation in federal government offices, and designed new facilities to keep the races working separately. During this process many black federal employees were downgraded while more were fired. He didn’t stop there though, taking steps to make obtaining a civil service job more difficult for blacks. Primary among these was the requirement, implemented in 1914 and continued until 1940, that all candidates for civil service jobs attach a photograph to their application further allowing for discrimination in the hiring process.

In 1914, Wilson told The New York Times, “If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it.” When a delegation of blacks protested the discriminatory actions, Wilson told them “segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.” Wilson’s History of the American People (1901) explained the Ku Klux Klan of the late 1860s as the natural outgrowth of Reconstruction, a lawless reaction to a lawless period. Wilson wrote that the Klan “began to attempt, by intimidation what they were not allowed to attempt by the ballot or by any ordered course of public action.”

So the man credited with the beginning of the progressive Democrat Party wasn’t what liberals today want you to believe. I’ll continue, in my next post, to tell you about more of the “dirty secrets” of the Democrats.

Happy Black History Month

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