GOP Should Lead the Celebration of Juneteenth
There is no issue where Republicans and conservatives have fumbled the ball more than on the issue of race. I was hoping that with the election of President Trump, the Republican Party would grab onto the race issue and tell the GOP’s longstanding support for civil rights. For too long, Democrats and the media have been selling the false narrative of their support of civil rights in one of the most amazing and effective hypocrisies in American history.
Unfortunately, Trump failed to serve as an effective messenger of the Republican civil rights message. When he hung that portrait of Democrat racist President Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office and then visited the Jackson gravesite in homage to the 7th President of the United States, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Trump blew it.” It was exactly what Trump should NOT have done.
Republicans should have jumped aboard the effort to replace Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill with devout Republican Harriet Tubman, the Negro civil rights and suffragette activist who personally led thousands of run-away slaves to safety in the northern Republican states.
It is a fact that Trump proved to be one of the better presidents for the blacks who have been relegated for generations to oppressed second class citizenship in those brutally segregated neighborhoods in the major cities run by longstanding Democrat political machines. Metropolitan America was largely characterized by one-party racist governance of the kind that dominated the old Confederate states until the mid-20th Century. To this day, we see the same deprivation of education, employment, public safety, equal justice and social mobility that was in both slavery and southern institutional racism. The momentum of those racist policies is still reflected in the oppression of the millions trapped in segregated ghettoes … slums.
At the time Trump came into office, the Republican Party was already in the process of removing the symbols of the Confederacy from places of honor in the south. Republican administrations began the process of removing Confederate battle banners from state flags in several states. In South Carolina, Republican State Senator Paul Thurmond, son of the former Dixiecrat U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, led the successful call to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House during the administration of Republican Governor Nikki Haley. The State’s Republican Senator Lindsey Graham supported the effort.
Republicans led the fledging effort to take the icons of American racism – statues and monuments — out of places of honor – relegating them to historic setting, where we could reflect on their infamy without adulation.
During those times, I humbly proposed that Republicans should expose the Democrats racial hypocrisy by educating the public on the racist backgrounds of many of the Democrats’ most revered historic figures. If we demote the Confederate flags and statues, we should also demote honors provided to such hardcore racists as Andrew Jackson. But Democrats memorialize him anually throughout the nation in Jackson Day Dinners.
We should have criticized Democrats for honoring President Woodrow Wilson – a white supremacist activist. Democrat elite still gather at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. And progressives at Princeton University honor him. That is where Wilson used his position as the school’s president to block blacks from attending.
Less appreciated is the fact that President Franklin Roosevelt was also a white supremacist whose New Deal was crafted by former and then-current members of the Ku Klux Klan to take jobs away from working Negroes and give them to unemployed white folks. He also believed that the offspring of a relationship between and Caucasian and Asian would result in “an unfortunate” human.
Democrats were the Party of institutional racism – de jure and de facto — for more than 100 years after the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. And the residual of de facto segregation and oppression of masses of black Americans is characteristic of the cities that remain under longstanding one-party Democrat rule to this day.
So, what about Juneteenth – the new national holiday?
Juneteenth is historically a day of Republican racial triumph over the Democrats’ long defense of slavery. Rarely in history has there been such a stark difference between the political parties on such a fundamental constitutional – and civil and human rights – issue.
Juneteenth occurred only because the Republican Party defeated the Democratic Party in a bloody Civil War that decided the issue raised in President Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech – whether America would be all slave or all free.
They say that Juneteenth is an educational opportunity. It brings to the public consciousness and conscience the true history of America’s original sin of slavery and racism. But we should not abridge that history by censoring out the malignant role of the Democratic Party. That is key to the TRUE history.
The Republican Party should memorialize Juneteenth – as well as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass – in dinners, parades, awards and educational material.
Republicans need to remind America that it was the GOP congressional majorities that ended slavery. The GOP was responsible for the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – the latter of which was authored and introduced by the Republican Minority Leader in the Senate, Everett McKinley Dirksen. It was Democrats in Congress that fought against all of the aforementioned legislation – including mounting a filibuster.
A complete history would remember that Martin Luther King vote Republican as part of his fight against Democratic Party institutional racism in the south and in northern cities, such as Chicago. He never found cause to march or protest against Republican-led governments.
For too long, Democrats and the media have canceled all references to the Republican contributions to civil rights and equal justice.
They present false historic narratives that are guilty of the sin of omission. Juneteenth and Martin Luther King Day should be days of major Republican celebration.
And for those who would call all this “ancient history,” let us remember that the greatest examples of institutional racism are where black citizens protest and riot – the major Democrat-controlled cities.
President Lincoln once said that you cannot fool all the people all the time. In terms of our racial history, it is time for the Republican Party to stop letting those on the left – Democrats, the media and academia – fool ANYONE any longer.
So, there ‘tis.