The Democrats call the Republicans racists and bigots any chance they can simply for being Republican and having a difference of opinion than them. In this case, the Democrats were going after Jeff Sessions during his confirmation as Attorney General, but Ted Cruz was quick to defend.
“When the left doesn’t have any other arguments, they go and just accuse everyone of being a racist, and it’s an ugly, ugly part of the modern Democratic Party,” Cruz told Fox News.
The criticism from Cruz comes after Elizabeth Warren was barred from speaking on the Senate floor “after reading a letter by Coretta Scott King, who opposed Sessions’ nomination to a federal judgeship in 1986.”
“The Democrats are the party of the Ku Klux Klan,” Cruz (R-Tex.) said in an interview on Fox News on Wednesday. “You look at the most racist. You look at the Dixiecrats; they were Democrats who imposed segregation, imposed Jim Crow laws, who founded the Klan. The Klan was founded by a great many Democrats. Now, the Democrats just accuse anyone they disagree with of being a racist”:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 9, 2017
Ted Cruz taking shots at the Democrats is nothing new but are his comments entirely true? Was the KKK founded by the Democratic Party?
Cornell William Brooks, a civil rights advocate and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People spoke to USA Today about Cruz’s comments saying that,
“Senator Cruz is a very well educated man, and as such, he is well aware of the fact that the Democrats, Dixiecrats of old are not necessarily the Democrats of present. So to say that the Democrat Party is the party of the Ku Klux Klan past and present is just quite simply inaccurate.”
Politifact reported that,
Carole Emberton, an associate professor of history at the University at Buffalo, wrote in an email that various “Klans” that sprung up around the South acted as a “strong arm” for many local Democratic politicians during Reconstruction. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest — believed to be the KKK’s first Grand Dragon — even spoke at the 1868 Democratic National Convention, said Emberton, author of “Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence and the American South after the Civil War.
But Emberton added a major caveat:
“The party lines of the 1860s/1870s are not the party lines of today,” she wrote to us. “Although the names stayed the same, the platforms of the two parties reversed each other in the mid-20th century, due in large part to white ‘Dixiecrats’ flight out of the Democratic Party and into the Republican Party after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By then, the Democratic Party had become the party of ‘reform,’ supporting a variety of ‘liberal’ causes, including civil rights, women’s rights, etc. whereas this had been the banner of the Republican Party in the nineteenth century.”
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 8, 2017
At the Republican National Convention, Dinesh D’Souza spoke with The Daily Caller about the Democratic Party has been able to shift blame for what their party has done in the past.
“I think that progressive historiography has done a very sneaky job of covering up the crimes of progressivism and the Democratic Party. Many of the worst abuses of American history were done by the Democrats. But in a kind of ingenious scheme, what the left has done is taken the crimes of the Democratic Party and blamed them on the South, blamed them on the Republican Party, blamed them on America. ‘America did this and America did that.’ No. America didn’t do it, you did,” he told The Daily Caller.
Although many historians will say that the KKK was not formed by the party itself you can’t deny the fact that many of it’s members were part of the Democratic Party and that they were responsible for not only segregation in the south but slavery as well. The Democrats were also responsible for the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act which of course did not succeed.
“You take the debate about slavery. If you read textbooks today and you listen to people talk, you get the idea that slavery was a fight between the North and the South,” D’Souza explained. “But most Southerners didn’t own slaves. Most people who fought on the confederate side did not own slaves. The Northern Democrats protected slavery, as did the Southern Democrats. So the real slavery debate, prior to the Civil War, was between the anti-slavery Republican Party and the pro-slavery Democratic Party.”
Townhall also reported that,
“… the closer one looks across the arc of black history, the more ironic it seems that voters would associate civil rights with the Democratic Party. Founded as the anti-slavery party, the Republican Party was responsible for winning passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, the Reconstruction Acts, and the 1866, 1875, 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts. In fact, had Democrats not overturned the 1875 Civil Rights Act, the strikingly similar 1964 Civil Rights Act might never have been necessary.”
History can tell us that the Democratic Party didn’t itself form the KKK but history does tell us that they were responsible for much more than that.
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