The Next Time a Republican Claims They’re Not the Party of Racism, Show Them This

Whenever the topic of racism, slavery or the Confederacy is brought up, Republicans will almost always bring up how they’re the “party of Lincoln” and it was actually Democrats who were the racists and segregationists.



Historically, this is true. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and Democrats were the “party of southern racism” for many years.

Here’s the thing: Anyone using this argument is either willfully ignoring key historical facts, devoid of common sense, or completely ignorant about all the factors that disprove their notion that it’s Democrats, not Republicans, who are the real racists – particularly against African-Americans.

In fact, by using just three notoriously racist individuals from our past, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and George Wallace, it’s fairly easy to prove that the modern-day GOP is rooted in racism and bigotry.

Without going into too much detail, the shift in the two parties really began to show itself during Harry Truman’s presidency when he established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, ordering the end of discrimination in the military in 1948. This growing push among Democrats to support civil rights for African-Americans spawned a party that lasted for exactly one year, the Dixiecrats. In fact, in the 1948 presidential election, Thurmond was the party’s candidate winning Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.

Notice the “southern theme” of those states? Keep a mental note because that factors in again here in a bit.

By the time the 1960’s rolled around, the shift of the two parties was in full-swing. After all, this was the heart of the civil rights area, culminating with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was also around the time the “Southern Strategy” was born, a deliberate attempt by Republicans to target and pander to white racism.

Now that I’ve established all of that, let’s get back to Thurmond, Helms and Wallace.

All three of these men were Democrats.

In 1964 (Hm, what else happened that year?), Strom Thurmond ditched his ties to the Democratic party, officially becoming a Republican.

Then in 1968, George Wallace (still a staunch opponent of desegregation), ran for president under the banner of the American Independent party winning Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Notice the same “southern theme” (only larger this time) that we saw in 1948? That’s not a coincidence.



Finally 1970 rolled around, the year Jesse Helms eventually abandoned his ties to the Democratic party and became a Republican.

Now, why in the world would three extremely open racists and segregationists abandon the Democratic party if that party was still so racially bigoted? Not only that, but why would two of them become Republicans if the GOP was the party of “equality”? Then when you factor in the states Thurmond won in 1948 and Wallace won in 1968 were nearly identical (former members of the Confederacy/pro-segregation), and are currently now considered “strongly red states,” what rational person looks at all of that and doesn’t realize the very obvious correlation with all of this?

Hell, even David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the KKK, became a Republican in 1989 and won his election to Louisiana’s 81st district.

Just think about that: 27 years ago (a quarter century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act), the Republican party elected a former Grand Wizard of the KKK and well-known white supremacist

But Republicans really want to try to argue that the modern-day version of their party isn’t rooted in racism?

Seriously?

I could write a small book concerning all the ties to indisputable racism in today’s GOP. The truth is, Republicans can no longer claim to be the “party of Lincoln” – those days are long gone.

But for someone to really look at all these indisputable facts I just listed (again, there are plenty of other examples, but I wanted to keep this somewhat short) and still claim that today’s GOP is the party of “equality,” while Democrats are the party of “racism,” only shows that they’re either in denial, willfully ignorant or just simply crazy.




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • strayaway

    Under Obama, black home ownership, incomes, and personal wealth have declined relative to those of whites. Under Obama, race relations have
    measurably worsened. Obama sounds like the Klan’s dream come true. If Klansmen had any brains they would have been supporting Obama in 2012.

    “”We want Hillary Clinton to win,” (said Will Quigg, a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan’s California chapter) “She is telling everybody one thing, but she has a hidden agenda. She’s telling everybody what they want to hear so she can get elected, because she’s Bill Clinton’s wife, she’s close to the Bushes. Once she’s in the presidency, she’s going to come out and her true colors are going to show. Border policies are going to be put in place. Our second amendment rights that she’s saying she’s against now, she’s not against. She’s just our choice for the presidency.” -US News 3/14/16

    • john

      Under obama there has been unparalleled racism and obstructionism. It’s the do nothing republicans in congress that caused the problems we now face.

      • strayaway

        Unparalleled obstructionism is nonsense. For two years he had a Democratic Senate and House. For the next four years he had a Democratic Senate. He failed to compromise like Bill Clinton did. Congressional Republicans allowed Obama to wage unconstitutional executive wars, unconstitutionally change laws, and run up $9T of deficit spending. That’s $28,000 of Obama debt per family and $74,000 of Obama debt per taxpayer. As far as racism is concerned, 96% of blacks voted for Obama in 2008 as did 43% of whites. Kerry, in the previous election only received 41% of the white vote.

      • Progressive Republican

        Unparalleled obstructionism is not nonsense. There was a filibuster-proof majority for a whopping two whole months! Those refusing to correctly place the blame on the GOP where it belongs are either ignorant or dishonest.

      • strayaway

        PR, I wrote a lengthy reply to your post when I remembered that this is an article about racism so I deleted it because I already pretty much covered what I had to say about this topic and out of courtesy to Allen Clifton. By the numbers, Obama has been bad for blacks as previously mentioned. However, a case could probably be made that Obama broke barriers and otherwise elevated black pride or aspirations. That’s harder to measure but maybe you could come up with a study or some numbers offsetting the economic slide of blcaks under Obama.

      • Progressive Republican

        If you replace ‘Obama’ with ‘GOP obstructionism’, you will suddenly find your missive uncharacteristically accurate.

      • strayaway

        Replacing ‘Obama’ with ‘GOP neocons” or ‘GOP corporatist establishment’ is often accurate but, may I remind you, this thread is about racism. My point was that blacks have measurably gone backwards. in ways previously mentioned, under Obama despite the feel good Democratic rhetoric.

      • Progressive Republican

        This thread indeed about racism. My placing the word ‘obstructionism’ did make it inaccurate.

        Therefore, simply replace “Obama” for “GOP” and it will then not only be as accurate as my previous suggestion ultimately made it, but also avoids the unintended non sequitur.

        While it is true ‘that blacks have measurably gone backwards’ during this administration, your phrasing inaccurately implies that this is the fault of Obama instead of placing the blame where it actually belongs: the GOP.

      • strayaway

        It’s both the mainstream GOP and Obama both promoting the agenda of the US Chamber of Commerce. Obama was promoting the TPP in Germany last week. How is that supposed to help blacks? How was handing out work permits to four million mostly low skilled illegal aliens competing for black jobs supposed to help low skilled blacks? Obama and the mainstream GOP worked together to fashion this devastation of working Americans for their pay masters. Hillary promises to be worse.

      • Tad_Kimball

        Never had a Filibuster proof majority….60 votes for 4-5 months IF the independents voted with the Democrats

      • Dan

        From Forbes, not a left leaning publication…
        “The Treasury projected last week in its monthly report on federal finances that the deficit next year (fiscal 2017) will be more than $25 billion less than it was this year. This will be the seventh consecutive year the deficit will be lower than the year before.

        If the Treasury’s forecast for 2017 is correct, the deficit will be about 2.2 percent of GDP, the lowest since 2007.

        With the deficit falling, federal debt growing more slowly and the debt as a percentage of GDP getting smaller, economists have mostly turned to other issues.”

        Considering how wrong you are on this issue, do you think it will be difficult for folks to destroy the rest of your comment?

      • strayaway

        The federal debt is the sum of federal deficits. Obama’s cumulative deficits have added $9.2T to the federal debt. That’s almost twice as much as the the previous loser President who added $5T of deficits to the federal debt. How am I wrong on those numbers? Our kids are going to get stuck paying the interest on all that debt. Obama is like the deadbeat dad who spends his paycheck at a bar on Friday night whose kids have to deal with an empty refrigerator. Obama is like someone who borrows $28,000 from the bank to park a nice new car on his driveway. All his neighbors think he must be doing pretty good but the problem is that he put his kids name on the debt note. Obama is the President who ran the country $28,000 into debt per family. The last one isn’t an analogy. Its not about race. Its another failure.

      • Dan

        I understand the debt, I also understand that you’re only looking at part of the picture. The Washington Post offers you a much more complete look at the picture without attempting to spin it to support one Party over the other.

        Take a few minutes, read, learn…
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/01/07/the-story-behind-obama-and-the-national-debt-in-7-charts/

      • strayaway

        Ok, I read the apologist Post article. The federal debt has rise $9.2T, not $7.8T, under Obama and Obama has 217 days to make things worse. Our kids are being shackled with twice as much to pay interest by Obama as by Bush. They won’t care about percentages. They will care about actual dollars they will be forced to pay. They aren’t going to fall for that smoke screen. Also, the relationship between GDP and annual debt is academic since wages for the 97% have declined while the GDP was increasing. ‘Lower wages to pay for higher debt servicing costs’ isn’t catchy enough to be a Democratic campaign slogan or even be a tribute to Obama.

      • Dan

        I know it’s hard for some people to see the facts and accept them honestly, well here’s a couple more things to consider…

        As a result of the “Great Recession”, the unemployment rate continued to climb during 2009 all the way to 10%. It has steadily fallen since to where it is now, 5%. We have also experienced 73 months of private sector growth.

        Feel free to twist those facts as well, whatever it takes to make you feel better.

      • strayaway

        Here’s some things for you to consider. Most of the new jobs have gone to aliens, legal and otherwise. The average job created since the nadir of the recession pays less than those lost going into the recession. Many people have dropped out of the work force along the way. Running the country $9.2T into debt and printing money did create some temporary jobs. However, that can’t be kept up indefinitely and the bill will come do. That relates to my analogy of if I borrowed $28,000 from the bank to buy a new car. It will create jobs. It’s just that I have to pay back the bank and can’t use the same money or credit to buy something else. I’m happy for you that you are so pleased with short run pleasures. What does this have to do with this thread though? How has all this spending helped black Americans. Their income, home ownership rates and wealth have declined during this same time period relative to those of whites. That wouldn’t be racism of course unless the Klan did this to blacks instead of Obama.

  • Tery Kay Bailey-Holly

    I’m going with “bat shit crazy” (see below). You can quote whom ever you want (KKK reference). The actual FACT is, she won’t ever even THINK of accepting this kind of “endorsement”. Everything is ALWAYS Obama’s fault. Why is that? I’ll say it. It’s BECAUSE HE’S BLACK. Never mind the actual FACT that he was OVERWHELMINGLY put in to office by the VOTING PUBLIC. There is ALWAYS going to be this racist segment of the population that will be scared into believing that other races/genders/religions are animals that need saving. One of “them” became president. One of them needs to be obstructed to SAVE THE F-ING COUNTRY from RUIN. Just so damn tired of people not accepting and using hate to get their way…

    • strayaway

      Maybe Obama has proved himself incompetent because he is half white. That makes as much sense as because he is half black. More likely, his incompetency is just a personal thing. Bill Clinton had to deal with Newt Gingrich who was more articulate and forceful than anyone in Congress Obama has had to deal with. Yet Bill Clinton did successfully deal with Newt. Obama even tries to avoid Putin who keeps besting him. The amount of melanin in Obama’s skin has nothing to do with his incompetency. If whites had voted 96% for McCain, racism might be assumed but Obama received a higher percentage of white votes than Kerry. I’m just so tired of lame excuses like Obama’s race to explain his behavior as President.

      • Howard Sands

        Actually, Obama has already been noted as one of the best presidents ever, DESPITE the overwhelming uphill battle.
        I find it hard to ignore the racist undertones by even you, when I read things like “The amount of melanin in Obama’s skin has nothing to do with his incompetency”. When you ignore all the things he has accomplished, and refer to him as incompetent, its hard to view you in any other way.

      • strayaway

        Some even say that the Emperor has a wondrous set of clothes but some people are easy to please. Nowhere did I say that Obama was incompetent because he was black but others here say that he is a failure because he was singled out for being black. Receiving a higher percentage of the white vote than Kerry suggests that is rubbish. He was given a chance. He failed. Skip down a couple of my posts. I included some numbers.

      • HumansNeedToWakeUp

        You sir are a racist moron incapable of complex thought. Howard was right about you. You will never learn to overcome your racism!

      • strayaway

        You seem incapable of disputing facts. Better stick to name calling. It suits you. Complex thought often involves numbers. Under Obama, black incomes, home ownership rates, and wealth have declined relative to those of whites. If the KKK had any brains, it would have supported Obama in 2012.

      • Brandon Boggs

        Democrats are flat out retarded. Their brain has veen destroyed from brainwashing through the media. With them, they wake up looking for racism everywhere. Thats why they lost over 1000 seats in govt. across the country and why its been total insanity since they lost. They are finished, just sit back and watch their insanity.

      • Nancy Bowman

        Well said Howard! What else can it be?

  • RadioUranus

    The Right will inevitably respond to this article with, “don’t confuse us with the facts.” Of course, it’s not that they don’t know it’s true, it’s that they are simply too dishonest to admit it.

    • HumansNeedToWakeUp

      Amen brother! 🙂

  • William E French

    People actually believe this shit ! I know better ! You Democrats don’t have a clue they come up with this Urban Legend Switch true is Republicans voted in the Civil Rights act 1964 and LBJ’s tactics didn’t work. LBJ was a Racist pig not one time in history from Lincoln to present day has the Republican party ever been against Black’s . Before 1973 Democrats and the special interest was taking black woman and Aborting their baby’s illegally and also put young black girls asleep and taken away there ability to have children without them knowing . But the loved Democrats got the Supreme Court to legalize Abortion like the do everything else still today but since 1973 the Democrats have killed 15.4 million babies but Republicans have tried to stop it is that what makes a Republican racist???? Since 73 Democrats without even thinking have killed more black people then there KKK ever could dream about and that pisses me off . Plan Parenthood is in 79 % where the minorities live in the United States . When someone who cheats on wife their blaming her for cheating because there guilty not her . It’s the same thing the Democrats do they point there fingers and blame Republicans that some how Republicans are Racist no Democrats play the race card . The Republican do not . Sending back illegal immigrants back is what our immigration laws say to do . That makes Republicans racist???? Radical Islam said there putting there people in with Refugees and Republicans want to stop it until they can make a better system to keep the Radicals from coming in with them because that’s the Presidents job is to keep this country safe . And I guess that also makes Republicans racist . Well it’s apparently clear people that vote Democratic are clueless . There is a wall in Georgia and on the wall it says to get rid of 1/3 of the population . There is something trying to do that and it’s not the Republican Party if you follow the dots back it should paint the picture of there future . Democrats you as a individual person is not racist but sorry to tell you that your party was and still is just as racist as they always have been .

    • HumansNeedToWakeUp

      Yet another racism-enabler!

    • Brandon Boggs

      The WHOLE Democratic party was set up to cause division. Hillary Clinton even called Democrats the stupidest voters in the world. Thats why they do what they do. They think their voters are retarded. The policies they pass dont have to make sense at all and as soon as they bring it up in the media its praised by Democratic voters even if they dont even know what it is

  • Brian

    Incentivise poverty, support the KKK, expect all minorities to vote democrat, pack inner cities with impoverished and reduce benefits if they leave the plantation, infantilize minorities, and run with a candidate that refers to all blacks as “super predators” and you have the audacity to call Republicans racist. There would be no lower class if there were no democrats.

  • darkcorridor

    It’s true that a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, shepherded the 1964 Civil Rights Act to passage. But who voted for it? Eighty percent of Republicans in the House voted aye as against 61 percent of Democrats. In the Senate, 82 percent of Republicans favored the law, but only 69 percent of Democrats. Among the Democrats voting nay were Albert Gore Sr., Robert Byrd and J. William Fulbright.

    The Republican presidential candidate in 1964 also opposed the Civil Rights Act. Barry Goldwater had been an enthusiastic backer of the 1957 and 1960 civil rights acts (both overwhelmingly opposed by Democrats). He was a founding member of the Arizona chapter of the NAACP. He hired many blacks in his family business and pushed to desegregate the Arizona National Guard. He had a good-faith objection to some features of the 1964 act, which he regarded as unconstitutional.

    Goldwater was no racist. The same cannot be said of Fulbright, on whom Bill Clinton bestowed the Medal of Freedom. Fulbright was one of the 19 senators who signed the “Southern Manifesto” defending segregation.

    OK, but didn’t all the old segregationist senators leave the Democratic Party and become Republicans after 1964? No, just one did: Strom Thurmond. The rest remained in the Democratic Party — including former Klansman Robert Byrd, who became president pro tempore of the Senate.

    Regarding Thurmond, Nixon said the following in his memoirs: “On civil rights, Thurmond knew my position was very different from his,” Nixon wrote. “I was for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and he was against it. Although he disagreed with me, he respected my sincerity and candor.”

    There were 99 members of Congress who signed the Southern Manifesto denouncing the Brown vs the Board of Education ruling. Two were Republicans. Ninety-seven were Democrats. It was Republican Eisenhower, not Democrat Truman, who fully desegregated the military. It was Orval Faubus, Bill Clinton’s mentor and the Democratic governor of Arkansas who refused to admit black students to Little Rock high-schools. It was the Republican Eisenhower who sent troops in under the vocal screams of liberal Democrats of the time. It was Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson who undermined Republican Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Right Bill by removing all of the enforcement provisions.

    Democrats did not pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That bill, along with every civil rights bill for the preceding century was supported by substantially more Republicans than Democrats. What distinguishes the ’64 bill was it was the first one Democrats actually supported in large numbers. Way to catch up there Democrats. The South kept voting Democrat for decades after the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The very year Johnson supposedly made the remark about losing the South for Democrats, Republican Goldwater couldn’t even win the South even though Goldwater was one of only 6 Republicans who voted against the bill. Republican Everett Dirksen publicly criticized Goldwater for his vote against the bill.

  • darkcorridor

    It’s true that a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, shepherded the 1964 Civil Rights Act to passage. But who voted for it? Eighty percent of Republicans in the House voted aye as against 61 percent of Democrats. In the Senate, 82 percent of Republicans favored the law, but only 69 percent of Democrats. Among the Democrats voting nay were Albert Gore Sr., Robert Byrd and J. William Fulbright.

    Goldwater was no racist. The same cannot be said of Fulbright, on whom Bill Clinton bestowed the Medal of Freedom. Fulbright was one of the 19 senators who signed the “Southern Manifesto” defending segregation.

    OK, but didn’t all the old segregationist senators leave the Democratic Party and become Republicans after 1964? No, just one did: Strom Thurmond. The rest remained in the Democratic Party — including former Klansman Robert Byrd, who became president pro tempore of the Senate.

    Regarding Thurmond, Nixon said the following in his memoirs: “On civil rights, Thurmond knew my position was very different from his,” Nixon wrote. “I was for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and he was against it. Although he disagreed with me, he respected my sincerity and candor.”

    There were 99 members of Congress who signed the Southern Manifesto denouncing the Brown vs the Board of Education ruling. Two were Republicans. Ninety-seven were Democrats. It was Republican Eisenhower, not Democrat Truman, who fully desegregated the military. It was Orval Faubus, Bill Clinton’s mentor and the Democratic governor of Arkansas who refused to admit black students to Little Rock high-schools. It was the Republican Eisenhower who sent troops in under the vocal screams of liberal Democrats of the time. It was Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson who undermined Republican Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Right Bill by removing all of the enforcement provisions.

    Democrats did not pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That bill, along with every civil rights bill for the preceding century was supported by substantially more Republicans than Democrats. What distinguishes the ’64 bill was it was the first one Democrats actually supported in large numbers. Way to catch up there Democrats. The South kept voting Democrat for decades after the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The very year Johnson supposedly made the remark about losing the South for Democrats, Republican Goldwater couldn’t even win the South even though Goldwater was one of only 6 Republicans who voted against the bill. Republican Everett Dirksen publicly criticized Goldwater for his vote against the bill.

    • Deeto

      Johnson said of the Civil Rights Act, “When I sign this I’ll have lost the south for at least 100 years.”

      • Brandon Boggs

        Actually, he said “ill keep these niggers voting Democrat for the next 100 yrs” and he was a Democrat, of course…

  • Jim Goyich

    It takes 20 minutes to write an article like this, magnifying the ill on both sides of the isle, and to add fuel to the rage that exists over race. Your article does nothing to help, and by the comments it’s clear you’re getting the reaction you’d hoped for from the lemmings that listen to your gospel. I’d challenge you to hire someone of color, give them a chance to succeed, pay for their medical insurance and be part of the solution, and set aside your efforts at finger pointing. If you take your responsibility seriously on this issue, you’d know we have far to many talking about a problem we all know exists, and far too few making any effort to make things better. Enough is enough.

  • ToBeOrNotToBe

    This little back and forth between the Left/Right isquite comedic. You both conceive of yourselves as “the true party of morality”. In fact, both of your parties are inherently hypocritical, petty, and suffer from severe bouts of omission syndrome. Both the Left/Right are bloody stumps of their intellectual and political origins (in Europe). You repeat the same tired mantras, accuse each other of the same charges, and yet, hilariously, accomplish nothing. Interesting how the same problems year after year after year continue to exist in America. “IT’S THE DEMOCRATS!” says the Republican. “IT’S THE REPUBLICANS!” says the Democrat and “WE’RE SUFFERING” said the people, year after year after year.

  • Don Hulvey

    There were hundreds and hundreds of racist southern democrats that held office.
    You named 3 that tried to change parties! Really ? 3?
    Robert “KKK” Byrd was a democrat when elected and a democrat when he died a few years ago. And he was uligized by all democrats including both Clinton’s and Obama.
    If the parties “switched” shouldn’t Byrd have been a republican when he died?????
    That kinda blows your party switch lie right out of the water!