Bucknam: Own your history, Democrats

Democratic Party oppressed southern blacks for 140 years, until GOP ‘Southern strategy’ ousted it

By Deb Bucknam

Vermont Democrat Party Chair Bruce Olsson published a commentary recently proclaiming yet again that Republicans are racist. This is particularly rich since the Democrat party is the oldest and most enduring racist political party in history, and its racism continues to this day.

Deb Bucknam

The Democrat Party was founded in 1828. Its first national party platform, ratified during the 1840 Presidential election, stated: “ that all efforts by abolitionists or others, made to induce congress to interfere with questions of slavery…are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people …and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our political institutions.”

The message was clear: the Democrat Party did not consider Black Americans to be “people” deserving of “happiness.”

That same language was in every national Democrat party platform for the next 16 years.
Democrat party leaders acted on their racist principles, committing high treason against their country and their fellow Americans between 1861-1865 in order to preserve the system of Black human bondage.

In 1868, the Democrat Party platform urged amnesty for the traitors who, during the Civil War, killed hundreds of thousands of Americans for the purpose of preserving slavery. The platform also called for “ the abolition of the Freedmen’s Bureau; and all political instrumentalities designed to secure negro supremacy”:

In 1904, seventy six years after its founding, the Democrat party’s platform complained about the Republican platform:
– “The race question has brought countless woes to this country. The calm wisdom of the American people should see to it that it brings no more.
– “To revive the dead and hateful race and sectional animosities in any part of our common country means confusion, distraction of business, and the reopening of wounds now happily healed. We therefore deprecate and condemn the Bourbon-like selfish, and narrow spirit of the recent Republican Convention at Chicago which sought to kindle anew the embers of racial and sectional strife, and we appeal from it to the sober common sense and patriotic spirit of the American people.”

The Republican party’s “hateful” rhetoric in their party platform that the Democrats condemned? Here it is:

“We demand equal justice for all men, without regard to race or color; we declare once more, and without reservation, for the enforcement in letter and spirit of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution which were designed for the protection and advancement of the negro, and we condemn all devices that have for their real aim his disfranchisement for reasons of color alone, as unfair, un-American and repugnant to the Supreme law of the land.”

Throughout most of the 20th century, Democrats condoned or excused policies of apartheid and disenfranchisement of Black Americans. Senate Democrats successfully filibustered a Republican led anti-Lynching bill in 1934, and a Republican led effort to ban the poll tax in 1940.

At the time, the poll tax was so effective in the American South that only 3% of Black Americans were registered to vote there. Elected Democrats fought tooth and nail against anti-racist legislation, filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and engaging in so-called “massive resistance” against school integration into the early 1970’s. A century and ½ of racist policies vigorously supported by Democrat party leaders. No other political party in history comes close.

Olsson’s commentary included the perennial claim that Republican President Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” –an effort to bring two party rule to the South in the 1960’s—was racist. I lived in Tidewater Virginia in the late 1960’s. Coming from New England, I was shocked at the abject poverty of Black American families and the rigid segregation of virtually all the institutions there, despite the heavy federal military presence. The South was truly, as one historian put it, a third world country in a first world nation.

Since the successful Republican Southern strategy, the South is no longer a third world country, but a first world economic powerhouse. And today, the South is more integrated than the northern cities run by Democrat machines. Some “racist” strategy.

The Democrat party has never shed its racist past. Today the party fights vigorously against school choice and voter ID laws, both overwhelmingly supported by minority communities. Its leaders support abandoning crime ridden Black communities by its “defund the police” movement. It zealously supports expensive and unreliable “renewable” energy which hurts the poor and minorities, and its environmental land use policies are the equivalent of yesterday’s restrictive covenants that redlined minorities. The Democrats’ latest racist push is critical race theory, which denigrates the courage, sacrifice and enormous achievements of Black Americans, while pushing for re-segregation through so-called “affinity groups.” As they say, a tiger doesn’t change its stripes.

It’s time for a racial reckoning. Democrats insist on apologies and accountability from the rest of us. Democrats must take their own advice and own up to their own endemic racism. Then perhaps real racial healing can take place.

The author is a lawyer in St. Johnsbury, vice-chair of the Vermont Republican Party, and 2016 party nominee for Vermont Attorney General.

Categories: Commentary

6 replies »

  1. Democrats greatest strengths are to manipulate, divide, lie, deflect blame, cheat, steel & circumvent the law and Constitution…They do it because there’s no benefit to them being honest and truthful…Without their chaos, they’d have less of a role in governing and less opportunity to get rich on inside deals.

  2. You’d think that a fine, upstanding, respectable groupof lawmakers like the Congressional Black Caucus would be honest enough to admit that the Democrats are the root cause of all of the issues that BIPOC political activists challenge. From Jefferson Davis, and Nathan Bedford Forrest to Richard Byrd, Strom Thurmond, and George Wallace the Democratic Party’s stand on racial issues is questionable at best. Oh, and of course you have the guy that stated “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”. I guess according to him that there had never been any African-Americans who were articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking. Now who was that silver tongued devil ????

  3. There maybe Democrat voters who know not what they do, but they can be sure their leaders know their goal is to take down our great country, that is the leader of the free world, in order for communist/Marxist China to fly it’s flag in our school yards along with BLM and teach CRT. The Democrat leaders will then be the “halves” who govern over the “have nots.” I suggest all Democrat voters take a look at the end results of your vote and be sure you are getting what you voted for. Take responsibility for your actions…white kids being forced to say they are racist because of the color of their skin, sex change being taught to grade school children. What to hell is worng with our teachers? Killing babies in the mothers womb right up until the time of birth. Forcing American workers to take an experimental drug for COVID or be fired. Force kids to wear mask that are proved scientificially harmful. Defund Police protection. Shut down our places of worship. Cost of living skyrocketing, especially gas. Need I say more…Etc. etc. etc…You get what you vote for!

  4. Anti-racist ideology is the most we will get from them. Anti-racism is based around the idea that everyone everywhere is racist all the time, even if they don’t know it. Anti-racism is racist apologizing…and sadly also accepting it as the norm. They have dragged the whole country into their own state of shame.

  5. Great piece Deb – now can we multiply you times a 1000 and get this show on the road to recovery?

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