Learn of the progressives’ racist history (BHM – Part 4)
As we continue down the road of Black History Month, one of the many historic surprises is the racist history of the American progressive movement. Today’s Democrat progressives wrap themselves in the mantel of tolerance and civil rights activism. – even as they rule over virtually the last remnants of institutional racism in America’s major cities. In times past, however, progressives were not in denial of the movement’s fundamental racism. They expressed it openly.
The progressive movement had its start in the late 1800s – and enjoyed a rise to national power in the first half of the 20th Century. The early progressivism was more about power and economics than civil rights and justice. Then – as now – the primary motivation of progressives was the establishment of a strong elitist-run regulatory central government in Washington. It reached its peak in the administrations of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. But it was deeply planted in the grassroots.
One of the prominent players in the early Democrat progressive movement was a fellow referred to as “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman – the United States senator from South Carolina from 1895 to 1918. He got his nickname because when seeking the senate seat, he said he would go to Washington and stick President Grover Cleveland in the butt with a pitchfork.
Tillman was a prominent member of the Democrat progressive caucus in the Senate – and a staunch ally and supporter of Wilson. But it is Tillman’s rise to political prominence that makes the story illustrative. To cut to the chase, he gained his fame by murdering five United States black militia men who were occupying the south after the Civil War. It was not in battle. He and a gang of whites gunned them down in cold blood in what became known as the Hamburg Massacre.
Tillman was indicted but never prosecuted — even though he openly bragged about killing the young men — “having the whites demonstrate their superiority by killing as many of them as was justifiable.”
And talk about voter suppression … According to Wikipedia:
“On Election Day in November 1876, Tillman served as an election official at a local poll, as did two black Republicans. One arrived late and was scared off by Tillman. As there was yet no secret ballot in South Carolina, Tillman threatened to remember any votes cast for the Republicans. That precinct gave 211 votes for the Democrats and 2 for the Republicans. Although almost two-thirds of those eligible to vote in Edgefield were African Americans.”
While Tillman is just one example of the level of racism that permeated the progressive movement, there were the major players.
Wilson and Roosevelt were both the national leaders of the progressive movement – and both were white supremacist racists. Not everyone knows about Wilson’s racism – his segregating the American military (with the help of FDR, by the way), his segregation of the Executive Branch of the federal government, his praise for the Ku Klux Klan, his blocking blacks from federal employment, his early blocking blacks from admission to Princeton University when he was president of that institution of higher learner.
Wilson was the epitome of progressive racism. One can only wonder why today’s Democrats hold him in such high esteem. The intelligentsia of the contemporary elitist progressive movement proudly gather at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for scholars. (And who but elitists could come up with a name like that?) The academic progressive leaders of Princeton University still honor Wilson.
Fewer folks are aware of the white supremacy and racism of FDR. His entire relief program was crafted by southern Democrats – including members of the Ku Klux Klan – to take jobs away from blacks and give them to whites. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) referred to Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act (NRA) as the Negro Riddance Act.
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, the progressive Hugo Black was instrumental in crafting major portions of FDR’s racists programs. Contrary to his polished progressive reputation, Black was a one-time member of the Ku Klux Klan and a hardcore racist.
Another influential progressive was Margaret Sanger – the founder of Planned Parenthood. Her goal was to reduce the birth rate of inferior human beings through abortions – forced and voluntary – and forced sterilization in which the women were not informed of the procedure. Blacks came to call those operations “Negro appendectomies.” Sanger’s efforts were nothing less than genocide.
It was also under progressive policies that black men were infected or not treated for venereal diseases in southern clinics as part of “medical research.” The practice continued until terminated by President Nixon.
Sanger was also a believer in the racist pseudo sciences of Phrenology and Eugenics – very popular among progressives. She was a favorite speaker before the KKK’s ladies’ auxiliaries – and was praised for her work by Adolph Hitler.
Modern progressives will say that the movement’s past is “old history.” Of course, this is the month to explore “old history.” And it is fair to say that modern progressives are not as open and virulently racist as their forbearers.
But there is still a measure of hypocrisy and duplicity in their claim to be the uncompromised champions of civil rights. It is seen in the turning of a blind eye to the reality of residual racism and black oppression that exists in today’s Democrat-run major cities. It is the institutional racism that has kept millions of black Americans segregated in areas of generational poverty, lack of education, high unemployment, police brutality, high crime, substandard housing, and deprivation of municipal services. These are not natural outcomes, but the result of institutional racism.
The hardcore progressive movement has never been a true friend of black Americans – but rather a beneficiary of their subservience. Many blacks have come to rightfully know them as “limousine liberals.” And Black History Month is a perfect time to learn that part of black history that the left keeps avoiding in its call for “a dialogue on race.”
So. There ‘tis.