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Washington Post gets race story half right … or is it half wrong?

Washington Post gets race story half right … or is it half wrong?

In an apparent response to the mass shooting at the Highland Park, Illinois Independence Day Parade, the Washington Post published a historic flashback headlined, “July Fourth parade led to a massacre of Black people in Hamburg, S.C.”  It is a subject I researched extensively for an upcoming book on race history in America.

Post writer Ronald Shafer gives a fairly good blow-by-blow account of the events as they unfolded in 1876.  What is not included in the article, however, may be the most important information in putting the events into proper perspective.

What became known as the Hamburg Massacre involved the murder and wounding of a group of Black militia men in the small minority community of Hamburg, South Carolina by a group of approximately 200 White vigilantes known as the “Red Shirts.”  They were one of the scores of paramilitary groups that would forcefully take over the old Confederacy for the Democratic Party – the most notable being the Ku Klux Klan.  Others included the White Citizens Councils, the Knights of the White Camellia and the Red Shirts. 

And that is Shafer’s first journalistic sin-of-omission.  Not once in his 1300-word article does he mention by name those who bore the primary responsibility for the massacre – and for all the other terrorist activities that characterized the south for more than 100 years.  Namely, the Democratic Party.

If you read the full article linked above, you will have a much clearer picture of the importance of the Hamburg Massacre if you mentally replace “white men” with Democrats.  It is not an unreasonable or unfair exercise because this event – and the many other terrorists and racist acts in the days of southern segregation — were for the benefit of the reigning Democratic Party.

The Hamburg Massacre was one of THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS in the transition of the old south from the era of Reconstruction – that empowered Black citizens – to the reign of terror that took away their newfound rights and oppressed them with violence and injustice.

1876 was an election year.  President Grant was finishing up his second term – and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was vying with Democrat Samuel Tilden for the presidency.  It was a close election, and as happens on occasion, it became very controversial.  Tilden won the popular vote, but the nation was on edge over the legitimacy of the election in the Electoral College.  

Tension had been rising in the south over the continuing presence of the United States military – and the enforcement of the Republican Reconstruction plans that enabled Blacks to open businesses, vote and even hold office – even in the United States House and Senate.  The presence of the militia was particularly upsetting to the defeated Democrats.

The Hamburg Massacre became the hot point of southern resentment.  To gain an Electoral College victory by one vote, Hayes agreed to remove the military from the southern states.  Almost instantly, the Democratic Party, and its terrorist paramilitary units, began forcibly taking over the local and state governments – often by driving out Republican and Black government officials at the end of a gun.  It was the beginning of the Democrats’ 100 years of racial terrorism on the Negro population.

One of the murderers of the Black militia men was a young Democrat named “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman (pictured above).  He not only admitted killing the soldiers, but he also bragged about it.  He said the massacre was nothing more than “having the whites demonstrate their superiority by killing as many of them as was justifiable.”

He added that it was “the first opportunity that the Negroes might offer to them to provoke a riot and teach the Negroes a lesson.”  

In reflecting on his murders when later campaigning for the Senate, Tillman said, “We have scratched our heads to find out how we could eliminate the last one of them.  We stuffed ballot boxes.  We shot them.  We are not ashamed of it.”

Tillman was never held accountable for his actions because the Democrat leadership held the same views.  Tillman went on to be the Democrat governor of South Carolina and then the United States Senator.  

It was a time when progressive economic policies were inextricably tied to racial prejudice. In the Senate, Tillman was part of the racist Woodrow Wilson progressives.  Though Tillman died 14 years before the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt, he was retrospectively referred to as the “first New Dealer.”

As far as I know, Tillman’s statue still remains in a place of honor on the grounds of the South Carolina capital in Columbia.

The racist influence of Tillman even flowed into mid-20th Century Chicago.  A racist Irish social club devoted to beating and allegedly killing blacks who did not know their place was named the Hamburg Athletic Club in remembrance of the Hamburg Massacre.  That Club was headed by a young future mayor of the Windy City … Da Boss Mayor Richard J. Daley.  It has been widely rumored that Daley participated in at least one murder.  Local historians often wondered why the Irish boys picked a German name.  Now they should know.

There were innumerable atrocities against Negro Americans for generations – many massacres.  But as bad as they were, none held the significance on an epic scale as did the relatively unknown events in Hamburg, South Carolina.  It was an unfortunate transition from Negro rights and freedoms to violent oppression.

Shafer brought some necessary light on the subject, but he totally missed the BIG PICTURE.  But he is not alone.  Virtually all recounts of structural racism in America today fail to name the institution most responsible – the Democratic Party.  Ignoring that fact in favor of today’s false racial narratives is the reason why we have not yet eradicated the last vestiges of institutional racism in our Democrat-controlled segregated cities.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Miles collins

    An interesting story. The truth is that the democrats are still the same lowlife bigoted assholes as they were in the old south. No, they couldn’t get away with as much as they did then. But don’t be fooled. The democrats have their thugs committing violence and harassment today. It’s clear why they want people disarmed. It’s interesting how that they still try to make people of color into victims and push the idea that they are too stupid to be free thinkers and can’t get picture ID to vote. The democrats are cheerleading the efforts to harass and intimidate people who don’t agree with their Marxist agenda. It’s like people don’t have a right to speak out anymore. I thank God for the recent scotus decisions. They also made one that most conservative people disagree with. They ended Trump’s remain in Mexico rule. But we won’t protest and raise hell over it. Our country’s future is hanging in the balance. We must vote them out and see that they don’t cheat. Speaking of which, democrats in Arizona are in legal trouble and going to jail over voter fraud. And another state Supreme Court tossed ballot harvesting. So Ben and Frank can squawk about a big lie if they want. The truth is coming out. At least we can help prevent future elections being stolen. And it damned sure better not happen again. So I encourage the people of color to really take a look at the history of the democrats. Then decide.

    • Perry

      All of this “history “ should run people away from the democrats

    • larry Horist

      Tom … I have researched it as part of my book. I have researched virtually every racist incident in American history — including the number of lynchings.

  2. frank stetson

    Wow, so that was the same Democratic Party as we have today in the South?


    And now they have moved North to affect the same racism in Northern cities?


    Speaking of leaving things out…..the author full well knows that today’s Democrats and Republicans are nothing like the 19th century versions, except for name. What’s important is what they said, what they did. And by the late 60s, the national Democratic Party national platform had already abandoned its former formal support for legal segregation. At that point, Republicans were enthralled by the white voter response they were getting by embracing the white backlash to voting rights and civil rights to grow their party in the South filling the void left by the Democratic Party platform change. Lincoln had left the room.

    So the Democratic Party for a lot of the 1800’s were white supremacists disdaining Black votes. They were also controlled by the Bourbons, a ultra conservative group. Matter of fact, even in the 1900’s, Alabama’s Democratic and Conservative Party of Alabama ran the show — that’s right —- white, racist and conservative. Like peas on a pod. Unlike the multi-racial progressive Republican party of the radical right of the 1800’s.

    During the 1800’s, Blacks were active Republicans and they made sure voting rights and civil rights were central planks in the platform. After the SCOTUS killed the Civil Rights Act in 1883, a number of Republican Northern state governments passedn State-level civil rights laws. John W.E. Thomas, a former slave, Republican, became elected to the Illinois General Assembly, introduced the civil rights act for Republicans.

    Then, white Republicans became more interested in big business than voter or civil rights, much less Black civil rights. In 1878, the party even announced: “Republicans started taking the Black vote for granted, and the Republicans were always divided,” “There were those who said, ‘We’ve really got to defend the Black vote in the South.’ And others said ‘No, no, we’ve got to appeal to the business-minded voter in South as the party of business, the party of growth.”

    So there it tis, there it was, and it wasn’t always so. The author knows that, yet spins away from it to make his partisan points.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … you should not be writing about things you apparently know nothing about. If you have even lived near an segregated inner city, you would know that the institutional racism is still happening. And as far as the 1950s and 1960s, it was the GOP that were responsible for the civil rights acts. There are the two Eisenhower civil rights acts — the first since Reconstruction. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed ONLY because the GOP senators were able to defeat a Dem filibuster. The 1965 Voting rights bill will authored and introduced in the Senate by a Republican. I hate to say it, but Frank, you are state-of-the-art stupid. And if you want to look at the south in terms of Dems and GOP, take a long look. No more Jim Crow. No more everyday lynching. The Dems terrorist organizations are gone. Compare the thousands of murders of blacks … the beatings….. denial of justice … etc. Yeah … things are a lot different in the South since the GOP took over. And that is a FACT.

      • frank stetson

        “Frank Stetson … you should not be writing about things you apparently know nothing about.” “I hate to say it, but Frank, you are state-of-the-art stupid.”

        Just makes me want to toss burgers at the wall.

        Too bad you opted for such a civil discussion. Still wondering why you left the discussion about changing party platforms and politics out, but you partisan biased spin here seems to say all. Oh I know, pot-kettle, I started it, it’s all my fault, blah de blah.

        I said “late 60’s;” nothing you upchucked says different. Certainly the Civil Rights Bill filibuster was a major turning point and sea change in all that.

        You say Republicans took over the South all is well, civil rights wise. I agree with the taking over part, that civil rights got better, but still are much worse than the treatment by Northern Democrats. I say it may not be as prevalent in the South, but it’s still happening, too frequently, and more in the Republican South that the Democratic North. You say Dems responsible for Black inner city segregation. Using a woke definition, I agree, but that’s real different from the treatment of Blacks in the South where they are segregated as well —– this time by Republican rulers.

        But the bottom line is I basically asked you your thoughts on changing party politics over time and you spewed vomit all over the place.

        Thanks, great discussion. Wish you would honor your own words and just stop replying.

        And yes, I know your response — vomit vomit name call vomit demean vomit repeat. Got it.

        • Perry

          Exactly how do the southern republicans treat blacks that is racist? You made a statement. So back it up or shut up.

          • Frank stetson

            Which statement?

          • frank stetson

            Hmmm. There’s not enough room Perry…. Let’s just go with Nixon’s strategy as defined by his top strategist, Kevin Phillips: “From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

            In 1963, after Wallace did his thing in the doorway, John F. Kennedy went on TV and sold his Southern constituency down the racist river when he famously said: “One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free,” Kennedy said. “They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression.”

            In two months his Southern popularity went from 55 to 20% The racist Democrats left in droves and 20 years later, by Reagan, Democrats had fallen from 80% of the electorate to 40% as voters moved to the Republican side. Do you think they magically left their racism behind or that Nixon’s Republican doctrines didn’t just beckon them? Today, the white vote in the South is decidedly Republican.

            Do you think the racists just moved? Converted?

            No, “Southern whites are consistently more likely to choose the symbolically racist answer than non-Southern whites are.

            “Southern states’ use of preemption is disproportionately harming residents of color, women, and low-wage workers.”

            Today the South, controlled by Republicans, is fighting CRT, and winning. CRT sounds really evil but it’s the teaching that the U.S. is inherently racist with teachings on conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression. They would rather groom their kids to racism. Completely avoiding the subject of racism in itself is a strong statement about racist attitudes.

            Nope — the south is Republican, the South is more racist, and therefore….

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … You have got to be kidding.

          You write: “You say Republicans took over the South all is well, civil rights wise. I agree with the taking over part, that civil rights got better, but still are much worse than the treatment by Northern Democrats.”

          That statement absolutely amazes me. You think blacks in the segregated communities in the North are better of than southern blacks. Did you check the schooling … the housing.. the jobs … the crime .. the deaths of thousands of black citizens being murdered every year. There is nothing in the South where blacks suffer more than they to in the segregated cities run by Democrat political machines for generations (including the southern big cities.)

          How can you expect to be taken seriously when you say such nonsense. Have you ever been in a segregated neighborhood?

          • frank stetson

            Larry notes: “You can see the deprivation of schooling, housing, jobs, equal justice and crime” which he blames on Democratic management of urban areas. When I noted that the Northern urban areas are still less racist than Larry’s Republican South, he adds: “That statement absolutely amazes me. You think blacks in the segregated communities in the North are better off than southern blacks. Did you check the schooling … the housing… the jobs … the crime… the deaths of thousands of black citizens being murdered every year? There is nothing in the South where blacks suffer more than they to in the segregated cities run by Democrat political machines for generations (including the southern big cities.)”

            Thanks Larry. I did check.

            Many times, I have asked Larry what policies, laws, other urban choices by urban Democrats have caused that. For generations apparently. He has responded everyone knows it, I should look it up myself. I did, and what I saw was a woke definition of system racism via unintended outcomes of laws and policies, not the overt “let’s lynch the jungle-bunny” type of racism practiced throughout Larry’s racist South. I noted to Larry that yes, systemic racism exists, it’s really harmful in the Northeast, but it probably exists in most areas, Republican and Democratic.

            Many times, I have asked Larry how do Republican cities, and there are some in the top 100 cities, do better. He has not responded.

            He tells us about thousands of blacks murdered in cities each year; I can only point to the top-ten-gun murder states which include, in order, Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Missouri, and Alabama. That’s based on rate, not total volume. Of course, larger populations have a larger volume value too, just not necessarily a larger rate of murders.

            I honestly don’t want to fight here; I just want to know. Larry is not very forthcoming in offering supporting facts instead offering just his sermon from Mount Republican. I do think there is systemic racism in all of America and contend it’s even worse in Northern Cities, especially the Northeast. But I do not think it’s the overt racism, often with violent actions, that you will find on top of this in the South. I think system racism is probably as prevalent in Republican cities as well as Democratic. Beyond bellowing, Larry offers no facts to contest that. Except Larry says that everyone knows it, what’s Frank’s problem.

            Next, I will narrow this to education and will examine Larry’s beloved city that he could not save, Chicago versus a Southern State. I just picked Chicago out of the air. I will use High Schools to further focus on a limited set to begin. For the South, we have MS where education is ranked by US News & World Reports rankings as lowly number 46 of all 50 US State. We then have MO 42, LO at 41, TN 39, AL 38, SC 28, FL 3, and GA at 19. IL is at 21 so that’s where Chicago will be ranked against.

            Chicago features 5 of the top High Schools in all of Illinois, same rating system, as in number 1 though number 5. The number one school is number nine in the nation. Nine schools are in the top twenty in IL and 20 CPS’s are in the nation’s top 100. Good job by your favorite city Larry!

            For CPS high schools and all schools, 500 of them, there are certainly CPS schools in need of intensive support, 10% according to this report, or 50 schools from the 500 and certainly there must be High Schools in that.

            For all Chicago schools, “Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today released its School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) results for 2019-20, which show a similar percentage of schools achieving the three highest school ratings compared to last year. For the 2019-20 school year, 78 percent of schools earned the three highest ratings, compared to 80 percent of schools last year and only 68 percent of schools when SQRP began in 2014-15.”


            The number 1 high school in Chicago is number 9 in the nation, they have 20 in the top 100. The number 1 school in Mississippi is 723 in the nation. The number 1 school in Alabama is 17th in the nation, the next one is number 126. The top Florida school is indeed number 5 in the nation and they have 9 schools in the top 100. Larry moved to a State with a very good public education system, almost as good as my New Jersey. Actually, that’s the freaking story here, how does Florida rate one step behind New Jersey at 50% of the cost per pupil? And you can’t blame NJ high prices for all that, fer sure.

            On this one though, Larry, I am not sure I am seeing the education shortfall in this urban city against the entire South. Just not jumping out for me like it is for you. I do agree that systemic racism, or even economic-ism hurts urban schools just like it affects schools of lower-income whites in rural, exurban, or urban regions. But I contend it’s basically the same laws and policies everywhere, and that affects the entire country, just perhaps more prevalent in the NorthEast which may be a NorthEast Democrat problem, but I don’t know what laws and policies would cause that.

            But it’s hard to look further into your claim without knowing what that means and what Democratic laws or policies you mean that cause this

    • Chipper

      I wondered when he was going to crawl out of the woodwork!

  3. Ted

    No, the democrats didn’t abandon segregation. They just do a good job of hiding it and deceiving morons into believing their bullshit. They care nothing about freedom and equality. Just power. People should listen to the rhetoric that comes from the left. The message is that people of color are too stupid to make it without the democrats sticking their commie noses in their business But we are going to call them out. Many people are already seeing it

    • larry Horist

      Ted …. not only have the Democrats not abandoned segregation, the are not hiding it. You can see it in every major city Dems have governed over for generations. You can see the deprivation of schooling, housing, jobs, equal justice and crime.

      • Ben

        Why don’t the blacks believe you Larry?

        • larry Horist

          Ben … You know not of what you speak. Have a very large Black following … here …on Facebook … and in the political sphere. I have spoken to hundreds of black audiences over the years. When I ran for office, I had the endorsement of one of the largest black unions. I have received honors from black … Hispanic and native American organizations for my civil rights work. But enough about me… what about you?

          • frank stetson

            Larry, I have no doubt you are a great black speaker, black endorsee, black honoree, and civil rights warrior.

            I was actually discussing your piece, not you. And, based on current polling, voting, and political party affiliations, most blacks apparently do not believe your contentions on how Democrats been doin them wrong.

            It was not personal, I have said “great work” for your efforts before, try not to be so defensive all the time. It most likely is not about you. At least from me.

        • Perry

          Why would they believe a race baiting asshole like you? Boy.

    • Harold blankenship

      The democrats would be attacking blacks today if we didn’t have stronger laws. But they have been successful in destroying black families for years with their drugs and planed parenthood. By the way, the republicans got the laws passed and the democrats were pulled in kicking and screaming

      • Poorgrandchildren

        Harold Blankenship, and by paying women to have babies and remain unmarried.

  4. Poorgrandchildren

    “The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood that he was one of them.”–Turkish Proverb

  5. Buckwheat

    I don be trustin democrats. Theys stupid We ain’t supporting em