The Moderate Voice: Obama and Democratic Racism

The Moderate Voice (9/22/08)

Obama and Democratic Racism

Last week, Joe Gandelman wrote an interesting piece regarding the AP – Yahoo News poll taken last week that addressed racial discrimination on the part of some Democrats in their decision whether to vote for Barack Obama. My question to the pundits is the following: did you really need a poll to tell you that some white Democrats are still racists?

Perhaps these politically-knowledgeable people did not take an American history course. For those historically-challenged people, here is the story of Democrats and race in an abbreviated version. It was the Democratic Party in the South that blocked voting rights for African-Americans for 80 years through Jim Crow laws. Most African-Americans were Republicans through the end of the 1950s, and the first post-reconstruction United States Senator was a Republican by the name of Ed Brooke from Massachusetts.

This excerpt is from Frances Rice: “During the civil rights era of the 1960’s, Dr. King was fighting the Democrats who stood in the school house doors, turned skin-burning fire hoses on blacks and let loose vicious dogs. It was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who pushed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools. President Eisenhower also appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision ending school segregation.”

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