What Color is Racism?

This whole racism thing is getting out of hand. Politicians have normalized the practice of pandering to people of one race or another, changing their tune to say what they think the specific crowd to whom they’re speaking will consider being “good” for those of their ethnicity. In doing this, they seem to forget one thing: that practice in itself is racist!

Presumptive Democrat nominee for President Joe Biden slipped a bit at the end of a radio interview with an African American host. As the interview was concluding, Biden became a bit testy. In doing so, Biden slipped and may have shown something he’d prefer the world not know.

Appearing on the syndicated program “The Breakfast Club,” the Democratic presidential nominee told co-host Lenard McKelvey, known professionally as Charlamagne tha God, that there were “multiple” black women on his shortlist for VP. Biden has pledged that he will select a woman to be his running mate.

The conversation was initially for Biden to defend his record of helping African Americans and advancing civil rights and voting rights. As the interview was ending, Biden concluded by telling the black radio host that if he can’t decide whether to vote for Biden or Trump, then he “ain’t black.”

The African American community has gone nuts in response.

Just the Facts, Please!

Democrats claim that they have always supported equal rights for black Americans and that Republicans are racists who always oppose them.

Both claims are flat out lies. From its founding in 1854, the Republican Party led the fight to end slavery and then eradicate the racist Jim Crow system that held blacks down right up to securing the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Democrats opposed the Republicans at every turn.

So, let’s take an honest look at the history of civil rights in America. On the legislative level, congressional Republicans proposed, and Democrats opposed, a series of Reconstruction-era laws intended to elevate blacks, in particular, to force Southern states to enforce the Constitutional amendments extending full civil rights and voting rights to blacks. These included the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Reconstruction Act of 1867, the Enforcement Act of 1870, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875.

Democrats consistently opposed legislative efforts to confer voting rights and other civil rights on blacks, including the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, and even the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

Here are the facts:

April 8, 1864

The 13th Amendment banning slavery passed the U.S. Senate 38 to 6, with 100% Republican support amid Democratic opposition.

January 31, 1865

The 13th Amendment banning slavery passed the U.S. House by a vote of 119 to 56 (with eight abstentions), with all 103 Republicans voting yes, along with 16 Democrats. Republican President Abraham Lincoln signed it, sent it on to the states, with final ratification on Dec. 18, 1865.

March 27, 1866

Democrat President Andrew Johnson vetoed a bill granting citizenship to blacks.

June 8, 1866

The U.S. Senate passed the Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the law to all citizens. Nearly all Republicans voted yes, and 100% of Democrats voted no.

June 13, 1866

The U.S. House passed the U.S. Senate’s version of the Republican-sponsored 14th Amendment by a vote of 120 to 32. All Republicans voted yes.

January 10, 1878

U.S. Senator Aaron Sargent (R-CA) introduced the Susan B. Anthony amendment for women’s suffrage. The Democrat-controlled Senate defeated it repeatedly before the election of a Republican House and Senate that guaranteed its approval in 1919.

February 8, 1894

The Democrat Congress and Democrat President Grover Cleveland joined in repealing the Republicans’ Enforcement Act, which had enabled blacks to vote.

May 6, 1960

Republican President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960, expanding protections for blacks in voting. In the House, the measure was approved by 89% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats. After a Democrat filibuster, the Senate approved it 71-18. No Republicans opposed. All 18 “no” votes were from Democrats.

A History of Shame

The Democratic Party’s militant arm following the Civil War was the Ku Klux Klan, of which prominent Democratic West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd was a high official, as was Hugo Black, a Democrat. The latter became a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

For 88 years, Democrats in the South enforced a vicious Jim Crow system of outright discrimination against blacks, particularly measures aimed at preventing them from voting. They opposed Republican-sponsored civil rights legislation at the state and federal levels.

In 1964, a Republican U.S. Senate majority introduced and passed the Civil Rights Act despite a filibuster by Democratic senators.

Similarly, Republicans led the fight for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, when 94 % of GOP lawmakers in the House voted for it, while 27% of Democrat House members opposed it.

Today, Democrats would like us to forget that they were the party of Jim Crow, the Klan, and racists such as Woodrow Wilson, the globally-thinking progressive who, upon taking office as president, promptly segregated the U.S. Civil Service and instituted policies designed to discriminate against blacks and other minorities.

Democrats defended tooth and nail, a plantation-style racial spoils system right up to 1964, and then converted it into a federal version, with welfare policies that destroyed the black family and institutionalized dependence on government. To this day, the party promotes destructive, addictive welfare policies that keep its constituents dependent.

Summary

Do you realize that 300,000 white men died to set blacks free from slavery in the Civil War? I mention that fact for one reason only: racism has NO color. It never has. What’s tragic is that in the political world, we have allowed the use of weaponization of racism for political purposes. Instead of our confronting such cases and making public examples of such for our kids and grandkids, we sit quietly, shaking our heads. Shaking our heads won’t do anything.

“But…”

There’s always someone who, in such a conversation, feels compelled to correct statements like mine above. And those “buts” come from white and African-American “experts” on race.

I’m no expert. I’m just an old white guy from South Louisiana who grew up in a small town where we lived racially blended. We had no all-white or all-black schools. We just went to school. We participated in sports, sang in the choir, joined the debate team, and, for the most part, race seldom was a “big deal.” I discovered real racism when I moved to north Louisiana in 1970 right in the middle of desegregation. That’s when I discovered REAL racism.

I hate it. But more than that, I hate the fact that so many try to find ways to use it for personal benefit. Yes, it’s a “human thing” to try and make oneself seem superior to others. (That applies to much more than race, but that’s a story for another day)

A wise teacher once told me “insecure people feel compelled to make themselves look better by putting others down.” Is that part of racism? Again, I’m no expert. But it seems to me that is a HUGE part of this problem.

So how can we end this? Again, the answer to that is WAY above my pay grade. I can only deal with myself and those with whom I interact. I would NEVER say to a person of color, “I know how you feel.” I think that in itself is racist.

I hate when I hear a minority American blast white people saying, “You cannot know how we feel. That’s impossible! Only African-Americans understand.”

That’s true: to a point. But we should treat that the same way we treat many such characterizations of non-racial issues. I don’t need to know how it feels to drive a car off a cliff to know the results are going to be bad. I don’t need to know how it feels to have my legs ripped off by a Great White shark to know the outcome is probably death.

How should we deal with racism personally? 

I have racially blended family members who I adore. They are no less or more in any way than am I. But I accept there are things in their lives that I can never understand just as I have things they can never understand. Why? Because we ARE different. 

Racism ends when we choose to even consider that we “know” what they feel about certain things. If we can do that one person at a time, we will quickly move far down the road to handling racism.

I doubt we can ever eradicate racism. But what we can do is teach others in our circles of influence how to stop looking at those of different races with any perspective other than that of their being fellow humans.

Yes, they’re different! But so are we. Adopting this practice is NOT specific to people of one or two or three or four races. It applies to everyone.

Am I so naive to believe what I’ve said will be heard and adopted by many people, or ANY people? Absolutely not. We all struggle throughout our lives with finding and “doing the right things.” This is one of those.

What I DO know is that if we all — or even most of us — adopt that thought process, a world of social problems will melt away fairly quickly. Along with that melting would come the dissolution of social barriers which human nature dictates that we erect to keep distance between ourselves and others. The racial trust would begin to be adopted: slowly, but as results appear, it would happen.

And to determine where someone is in a paradoxical dilemma, just listen to them. After all, “The mouth speaketh from the abundance of the heart.” That includes presidential candidates, every other politician, and every other American, no matter race, creed, or social standing.

It begins with the determination of what’s in our hearts.

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