January 11, 2009

The Party of Lincoln - The Betrayal

Quite often the question to Black folk asks why we support the Democratic party when there have been racist among them. Mostly asked by folk who are Republican, as if there were no racist among them, especially in the south. Perhaps a reasonable question, since the first party of Black folk was the party of Lincoln. As I see it, there are two answers to this question; after the Great Depression, Black folk who could vote, voted their self interest and the betrayal by the Republicans.

What Republican forget, is during the Great Depression most Blacks lived in the south. Their jobs were mostly dependent upon service in middle class and rich white homes, share cropping and picking cotton. For the most part, they were poorer than the poorer whites. Most of their destiny was dependent upon white people's fortunes. People without, can not depend upon ideology to provide for them and the programs of FDR offered, appeared to them a better way than do nothing market theory. Still there were many Blacks who remained, quite a few because they were comfortable with the changes that had occurred since Reconstruction. They believed in self determination and the free market model, but they also were aware of the inequality of Black people and the need to be your brother's keeper at times.

The March to Montgomery
March 25, 1965

There is no doubt from the sign in the picture, that "States Rights" is synonymous to "Racial Integrity". It is very clear that it is a code word meaning to keep segregation. That was the Republican Party's stance on desegregation "States Rights." Trying to take the high road with ideology, when every southerner knew what that meant. The liturgy of the racist Democrats, Dixiecrats, who had tainted the Republican Party when they moved their party affiliation. When they were accepted with open arms, that was the final betrayal of Black folks after it became too hard for Republicans to support Black folk after Reconstruction. More recently they have perfected Black bashing, as part of their fight in the cultural wars. It is interesting that those asking the question don't see this or realize that even though some blacks may be conservative, their reaction to racism trumps any other ideology.


2 comments:

Emil said...

You make a very significant point, in your concluding sentence.

Anonymous said...

You have explained it so well and with words and images that anyone can understand easily. Thank you for your postings. I have found your site by reading the Field Negro site and seeing your occassional comments there. January is a good month to be born in I always thought since it is my birth month as well.
Do something special for yourself on your special day, one needs to learn how to treat themselves well; I learned that from my Mom before she finally passed away at 101.
Makaii from Maui