A Letter to the Editors
Feeling better. Went to the doctor and this time I got my regular physician who is a real sweetheart! I love her to death. The guy I got last time was a real cold fish. My sweetheat doc put me on another drug that does not have horrible side effects. I'm still not gonna write anything on my own tonight.
Tim sent me a copy of a letter that he sent to the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation. Not much chance of it getting published, but I will post it in full here.
Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman are trying to convince you that the GOP
is a party of racists. They are lying to you to perpetuate a myth
started 40 years ago, when Republicans were instrumental in passing
civil rights legislation. The truth is, and we know and can prove this,
racism in American politics has largely been a southern white problem,
and substantially a southern white DEMOCRAT problem.
To prove their point, they both point to a few southern white men and
recount acts starting from 40 to 60 years ago. Namely, Strom Thurmond,
a Democrat, turned Dixiecrat, turned Republican. Barry Goldwater, a
failed Republican Presidential candidate (Mr. Goldwater carried only six
states and 36 percent of the popular vote in 1964, hardly a resounding
fact for labeling the entire Republican party racist). And now, Sen.
Trent Lott, a segregation sentimentalist Republican from Mississippi.
Fine, let's compare notes. First, I'll name three Democrats with a
racist past. Then, we'll look at the history of the Democrat Party here
in Georgia. Finally, I'll point out lies of omission by both writers.
The 3 Democrats:
Let's start with Sen. Robert Byrd, senior Democrat from West Virginia.
Sen. Byrd was a "Kleagle" -- an official recruiter who signed up members
for $10 a head. He said he joined because it "offered excitement" and
because the Klan was an "effective force" in "promoting traditional
In a letter dated April 8, 1946 (three years after his alleged break
with the Klan), Sen. Byrd wrote a letter addressed to Klan Imperial
Wizard Samuel Green of Atlanta. It stated in part: "I am a former
kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County and the adjoining counties
of the state .... The Klan is needed today as never before and I am
anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia .... It is necessary
that the order be promoted immediately and in every state of the Union.
Will you please inform me as to the possibilities of rebuilding the Klan
in the Realm of W. Va .... I hope that you will find it convenient to
answer my letter in regards to future possibilities."
In another letter, Sen. Byrd vowed never to fight "with a Negro by my
side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled
in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours
become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen
from the wilds."
The ex-Klansman later filibustered the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act
for more than 14 hours. He also opposed the nominations of the Supreme
Court's two black justices, liberal Thurgood Marshall and conservative
Last year, on the Fox News Channel, Sen. Byrd said, "There are white
niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I'm going to use
September of this year, while appearing on Fox News Channel's "Hannity &
Colmes," Reps. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.,
refused to condemn Byrd's Klan past
Next, let's move on to Sen. Fritz Hollings, junior Democrat (at age 80)
from South Carolina. As a lawyer, Sen. Hollings appeared on behalf of
South Carolina in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, arguing
for the doctrine of "separate but equal" that made segregated schools
While Governor of South Carolina, Sen. Hollings oversaw the raising of
the Confederate flag over the Statehouse on April 11, 1961, the
anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter. As James Shannon wrote on
July 31, 2002, this "mischief was the work of Democrats since virtually
everyone who held elective office in South Carolina, and most other
Southern states in 1961, were members of the Democratic Party." Let's
take a brief look at the 1961 celebration of the Confederate War.
The centennial delegations from New Jersey and Missouri included blacks
who were refused entrance to the segregated Francis Marion Hotel, where
the events were to be held. The South Carolina hosts refused to allow
the black delegates to participate.
The situation was only partially resolved when President John F. Kennedy
(not Gov. Hollings) issued an executive order moving the centennial
meetings to the Charleston Navy Base, one of the few integrated
facilities in town. South Carolina led the South in leaving the
national commission, and holding its own segregated events in the hotel.
I'm curious, did then Gov. Hollings attend the events at Charleston Navy
Base or the Francis Marion Hotel, or both?
The dais in the ballroom of the Francis Marion was festooned with
Confederate flags when state Democrat Sen. John D. Long, who had
sponsored resolutions that placed the flag over the House and Senate
rostrums, warmed up the crowd: "Out of the dust and ashes of War with
its attendant destruction and woe, came Reconstruction more insidious
than war and equally evil in consequences, until the prostrate South
staggered to her knees assisted by the original Ku Klux Klan and the Red
Shirts who redeemed the South and restored her to her own."
To discourage African Americans from registering as Democrats, the party
in South Carolina made a "loyalty oath" of allegiance to white supremacy
and racial segregation a requisite for participation in the primary.
This loyalty oath was still a requirement for Democrats when Sen.
Hollings was Governor of South Carolina, did he sign one?
More recently, Sen. Hollings has reportedly used the slur "wetbacks" to
derogatorily refer to Hispanics and "darkies" to derogatorily refer to
blacks. He also once disparagingly referred to the Rainbow PUSH
Coalition as the "Blackbow Coalition," and called former Senator Howard
Metzenbaum of Ohio "the Senator from B'nai B'rith.". He gained
international criticism for his remarks about the African Delegation to
the 1993 Geneva GATT conference, where he crudely remarked "you'd find
these potentates from down in Africa, you know, rather than eating each
other, they'd just come up and get a good square meal in Geneva."
Finally, there's House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, who spoke
before a prominent St. Louis white-rights organization during his first
run for Congress and attended two of the group's picnics after his
election. "Gephardt is one of many local officials who dropped by the
Metro South Citizens Council's gatherings in the early 1980s," according
to a March 7, 1999, report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Metro
South Citizens Council was a group concerned primarily with "states'
rights" and forced busing and when it disbanded, many of the members
joined his Council of Conservative Citizens, according to Gordon Baum,
head of the Council of Conservative Citizens in 1999. Rep. Gephardt
later denounced the organization in 1988, but talking before the Council
of Conservative Citizens is considered proof of being a racist by
It's true that the Republican Party inherited a few segregationalist
southern Democrats in the post-Reconstruction era, but the majority of
them remain Democrats.
The Georgia Democrat Party:
The racist record of the Democratic Party in Georgia is best described
by Laughlin McDonald in "A Voting Rights Odyssey, Black Enfranchisement
in Georgia." Georgia, a state ruled by the Democrat party for over 100
years, has been "in the forefront of the efforts to block the expansion
of the franchise to blacks. It fought passage of the Civil Rights Acts
of 1957, 1960, and 1964. Members of its congressional delegation and
the staff of the state attorney general argued before Congress that the
proposed Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional. A former
president of its state bar association denounced the act as a violation
of states' rights. Its governor wrote directly to President Lyndon
Johnson urging defeat of the voting rights bill."
Not one Democrat senator from Georgia voted for the Civil Rights Act of
1957. Only five southern senators voted for the Civil Rights Act of
The 1964 Civil Rights Act, after a three-month filibuster, passed in the
Senate with the vote of only four Southern Democrats. Senator Richard
Russell (D-Ga.) began a filibuster against the bill on March 9, 1964,
just days after it was introduced in the Senate. At 9:51 on the morning
of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert C. Byrd completed an address that he
had begun fourteen hours and thirteen minutes earlier. Of the 26
Southern senators (including the two in West Virginia), 22 voted against
the Act (exceptions: Cooper and Morton, both R-Ky.; Yarborough, D-Tex.;
and Randolph, D-W.Va.). Overall, 80% of Republicans (138 to 34) voted
for the Act as opposed to 61% of Democrats (152 to 96). In the Senate,
82% of Republicans (27 to 6) voted for passage along with 69% of
Democrats (46 to 27).
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 received overwhelming support from
Republicans in both houses of Congress - with 82% Republican support in
the House of Representatives and 94% in the Senate. Only three
southerners voted to support the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Among those
voting against the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were 17 southern Democrats,
including President Bill Clinton's political mentor, J. William
Fulbright of Arkansas.
The Lies of Omission:
Cynthia Tucker writes, "The simple fact is that the modern Republican
Party has built a Southern power base by accommodating racists..As
political scientists Earl and Merle Black note in their book, 'The Rise
of Southern Republicans,' the ascension of the Republican Party in the
South can be traced to Barry Goldwater, who ran for president in 1964 on
a states' rights platform that rejected desegregation." Interesting, in
a review of the book by CBS News Senior Political Editor Dotty Lynch,
she writes, "'The Great White Switch' didn't happen until the presidency
of Ronald Reagan when massive numbers of white Southerners felt
comfortable calling themselves Republicans" She quotes the authors,
"His optimistic conservatism and successful performance in office made
the Republican Party respectable and useful for millions of Southern
whites." According to Ms. Lynch's review, "A combination of positions
on civil rights and demographic changes that brought a number of
anti-government, anti-tax suburban voters into the South formed the
basis of Republican Party's appeal."
Jay Bookman writes, "Lott's resignation will not, for example, change
the fact that of the 51 Republican senators and 225 Republican House
members who will serve next year, not a single one will be black." The
reason Mr. Bookman adds next year is Representative JC Watts, will
retire from the U.S. House of Representatives this year after
representing the 4th District of Ohio for eight years. Congressman
Watts received the following letter concerning his retirement.
"Dear Congressman Watts, thank you for your years of service to the
United States House of Representatives. Many people are proud you have
been dedicated to an opportunity few people of African-American descent
have in this land. If you can, please remain as a pioneer on the
Republican side until others come to assist you. I am glad I stayed in
my seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus December 1, 1955. I did not know at
that time people would rally as they did. I was pleased about their
support, but it has sometimes been lonely.
"Through the years my life has had peaks and valleys, but I have never
been sorry about my decision. The Lord has always provided.
"I would also like you to keep your seat and not think of your mantle as
heavy, but think that you are chosen to prepare the way.
"Peace and prosperity,
Representative Watts is an amazing man. I can only hope he continues to
speak publicly and actively, in America and in our party. You may also
have heard about Condolezza Rice, our National Security Advisor, whose
wisdom and grace are vitally important to our country during this
troubled time. And our Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who I was once
proud to have served under as our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and now
even more proud as a citizen to have him represent us to our allies, and
our enemies, given the importance of our foreign policy. I can think of
no one I would rather have doing this critical job at this time. You
might not have heard of some others. Roderick R. Paige is our Secretary
of Education. Alphonso Jackson is the Deputy Secretary to Housing and
Urban Development. Claude Alien is the Deputy Secretary of Health and
Human Services. Leo S. Mackay, Jr, is the Deputy Secretary of Veterans
Affairs. Larry D. Thompson is the Deputy Attorney General. Stephen A.
Perry is Administrator of General Services Administration. Rev. Steve
Gordon, was the Republican nominee for the U.S. House of
Representatives, 5th Congressional District of Kansas. Jennette Bradley
will become the first African American female to serve as Ohio's
Lieutenant Governor. In Maryland, Lieutenant Governor-elect Michael
Steele will become the first African American to hold statewide office.
Other African American candidates elected to office under the Republican
Kenneth Blackwell, OH Secretary of State
Cynthia Calhoun, Dallas County Clerk
Linda Douglass, Guadalupe County (TX) Treasurer
George Hanks, Jr., TX District Judge 157
Bill Hardiman, MI State Senate, District 29
Lisa Hembry, Dallas County Treasurer
Dianne Jones, Dallas County Criminal Court 11
Ed Jones, CO State Senate, District 11
Sherman Parker, MO State Rep., District 12
Jane Powdrell-Culbert, NM State House, District 44
Michael Williams, TX Railroad Commission Chair
Jackie Winters, OR State Senate, District 10
Others ran but did not win election, such as Rev. Steve Gordon, the
Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives, 5th
Congressional District, Missouri. He was defeated by Rep. Karen
McCarthy, D-Mo., the incumbent. And last year, Pittsburgh mayoral
candidate James Carmine, was defeated by incumbent Democrat Tom Murphy.
Where do we go from here?
Republicans are outraged by Sen. Lott's statements. There's a
temptation to defend Sen. Lott against the political hypocrisy of a
Democrat Party that could find no disqualifying faults with their own
members who have committed similar offenses, and worse. I don't know if
he'll hold on to the Majority Leader position or not. I hope not.
Whether the "conservatively biased" media and Democrats can convince you
the GOP is a party of racists, or not, is ultimately up to you. You may
already hold that opinion. As for me, I'll continue to vote for the
best candidate, regardless of race, religion or gender. And I'll
continue to pray that someday, maybe through our children, we can move
one more step closer to better race relations in this country.
I couldn't have said it any better myself, which is why I let Tim do it. Now let me give you a few examples of the difference between Republicans and Dimocrats.
- When Richard Nixon was facing impeachment for obstruction of justice (He knew nothing about the Watergate break in until after the fact. The cover up was to protect his subordinates. Contrast this with Clinton using his subordinates to protect him.), three Republican senators went to Nixon and asked him to resign for the good of the country. Nixon could have stayed and fought it out and might have even won, but for the good of the country he resigned. When Clinton was facing impeachment, there were no honorable Dimocrat senators to ask Clinton to resign for the good of the country. And in my opinion, the crimes of the Clinton administration were much worse. (One thousand FBI files where Nixon only requested one that he didn't even get. Nixon tried to use the IRS on his enemies with no success. Clinton was successful. ) Anyway, Clinton only cared for the good of Clinton, not for the good of the country.
- When Robert Byrd, a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his earlier days, used the word nigger on national television, where was the outrage from the Congressional Black Caucus? Where was the call for him to resign from his position as President Pro Tempore of the Senate or from his position as the Chairman of the Senate
give as much federal money to West Virginia as possible Appropriations Committee? Where was the wall to wall press coverage? Byrd has a history of racism. Certainly more so than does Trent Lott. One of the nattering nabobs on the left said that Trent Lott as Senate majority leader was fourth in line for the presidency. Nope. It is the racist Robert Byrd, who as President Pro Tempore (until the Republicans take control) is fourth in line for the presidency. I have read the Constitution. Republicans have called for Trent Lott to resign as majority leader. I never heard any Dimocrat suggest that Byrd resign as President Pro Tempore.
I did a fisk last week of a colum by E. J. Dionne where he claims that there is now a right wing bias in the media. If there were, we surely would have heard at least an equal amount of noise about Robert Byrd's racism and Klan membership.
Did I miss that?