Discussion between liberals/progressives and conservatives is always difficult because we see the world so differently. What makes it more difficult is when objective facts are left out or worse, stated exactly opposite of reality. Sometimes it is an unintentional misstatement akin to Barack Obama saying during this campaign for president that he had been to all 57 states. I suspect he was aware that there aren’t 57 states in the United State. Sometimes, false claims are made due to a lack of familiarity with the topic. Sometimes, they are just plain lies. I am not sure how to classify Joy Behar’s rewriting of the history of the Republican Party and blacks. Joy is one of the regulars on the ABC’s television show, “The View,” and a couple of weeks ago she claimed the Republican Party hasnt been black friendly over the many centuries in this country’.
Was Behar intentionally dishonest or does she not know history? I don’t know how to answer that question. First of all, this country hasn’t existed for “many centuries. Was Behar just overstating the case or does she really not know? Again, I am unsure. What about the treatment of Blacks by Republicans? Does the history of the Republican party demonstrate that it has not been “black friendly” in the past?
It is true that in the early years of our nation the Democrat and what became the Republican party were in sharp disagreement over the issue of Blacks. But if we look back over history we discover that it was the Democat party that was the pro-slavery party and the Republican party that was working to free slaves. I suppose Republicans might be viewed as not being “black friendly” in those days in those days in the sense that Republicans did not believe Blacks should be forced to live and serve on Democrats plantations but that they should be free to choose where to live and work. A few weeks ago the Huffington Post ran the piece Barbara Walters’ Use Of N-Word Leads To Tense Discussion With Sherri Shepherd (VIDEO) which I found interesting. One of the panelists, Sherri, was offended when Barbara Walters used it but was fine when Whoopi Goldberg repeatedly and with gusto used the word. Sherri continually insisted that Barbara and Whoopi said it differently. The only actual difference the viewer could discern was the color of the skin of the one using the word. While this may be somewhat interesting today, it should be noted that it was was pro-slavery Democrats who referred to anti-slavery Republicans as “Ni***r Republicans.” Was this a “black friendly” term of endearment Democrats were applying to Republicans? I wonder, why didn’t Joy Behar mention this? Is it an inconvenient truth or doesn’t she know this bit of history?
In 2009 blogger “Neecie” at “Screaming Into the Wind” (somehow this is a fitting blog title these days) did a very accurate, concise history of the Blacks and their interactions with the Democrat and Republican Parties in her piece Republican Means Slavery.
In commenting on the history of the Democratic Party on the DNC website she writes:
Just what is this “proud history” they can look back on? Let’s take a look. In that same article, it states:
In 1848, the National Convention established the Democratic National Committee, now the longest running political organization in the world. The Convention charged the DNC with the responsibility of promoting “the Democratic cause” between the conventions and preparing for the next convention.
As the 19th Century came to a close, the American electorate changed more and more rapidly…
Notice how with one little sentence they neatly skip over 50 years of history-from 1849 to 1899. Just what happened during that time? Oh, not much-just the Civil War, Reconstruction, the rise of the Klu Klux Klan, Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, and segregation. That’s all. The article also failed to mention that a couple of years before the DNC was created a rather significant event occurred. In April 1846, Dred Scott a black slave sued for his freedom. He lost his case in the infamous Supreme Court decision Dred Scott v. Sandford. This historic decision which expanded the rights of slave owners was handed down by seven Democratic appointed justices at the urging of the newly elected president James Buchanan (Democrat, of course). Then in 1854 the Democrats, with the help of the Whig Party, passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This act repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened the way to creating more slave states in the western territories.
As “Neecie” pointed out, The Ku Klux Klan grew out of the Democrat Party. It was as a terrorist group in opposition to the Republican Party’s work to end slavery and protect the rights of Blacks. It should also be noted that it was the Ku Klux Klan (Democrats) who were hanging Blacks. This is something that not only Joy Behar should be made aware of but Andre Carson, one of the top lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus apparently needs to know as well. Carson’s recent claim that the TEA party wants to “see Blacks hanging from trees” is another rewrite of history. It was members of Carson’s party that was “hanging Blacks from trees.” Due to this type of false telling of history, minister and community activist, Rev. Wayne Perryman and other Blacks file Class Action Racial Discrimination Suit Against Obama & Democrats
On September 11, 2011, Perryman brought together blacks from the West Coast and the East Coast to sign one of the most comprehensive legal briefs ever prepared for a racial discrimination lawsuit. The suit was to filed on September 12, 2011 in US District Court against President Barack Obama and the DNC. The plaintiffs, who refer to the defendants as the “Father of Racism,” allege that as an organization, the Democratic Party has consistently refused to apologize for the role they played in slavery, Jim Crow and for other subsequent racist practices from 1792 to 2011. Mrs. Frances P. Rice, the Chair of the National Black Republican Association is also a named plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.
I am not saying that modern Democrats are racists or anti-Black. What I am saying is that there is either a dishonesty about the history of the Democrat Party and racism or a lack of knowledge of its history in the area of race relations.
Are they trying to keep Blacks on their political Democrat Party “plantation” as some conservatives claim? Again, I don’t know. Do they believe that Blacks are so intellectually or genetically inferior that they have no hope of advancing themselves and so need plantation protection? I don’t know that either. Those are all questions of motive and more difficult to assess.
What all of this does point out is the pressing need for full public disclosure, education and debate on claims and assertions public figures make, truth in advertising if you will. Many, perhaps most average folks form their opinions based on what they hear and read in local and national media. When such outlandish claims are made with little or no rebuttal, false beliefs are adopted and become part of someone’s worldview. This issue is not exclusive to Democrats. Republicans, liberals, conservatives and moderates are capable of being less than accurate or honest about “the other side.”
Biblically speaking, we are to weigh claims and assertions, whether they are from our representatives or from false teachers whether they are pastors or politicians. For example, the Bereans didn’t simply take the Apostle Paul’s word but “searched the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” They were called “more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica” (Acts 17) False teachers or those with erroneous beliefs work hard to silence detractors and must be confronted for the benefit of those they influence. We need a sort of Elijah moment from time to time. King Ahab was continually trying to silence or even kill the prophet Elijah because Elijah continually exposed Ahab’s false claims. One of my favorites was what we might call the “Whose God is Truly God” contest in 1 Kings 18.
I was glad to see that Elizabeth Hasselbeck did attempt a response on “The View” but more needs to be done. As conservatives and particularly as Evangelicals, it is imperative that we educate those in our influence about history, logic and clear thinking. The truth can stand on its own but does need to be presented and contrasted with falsehood, and, like Elijah, some need to do this in a very public way.