49 Responses to The Republican Party Needs an Image Makeover

  1. An equally great problem is the Latino vote. I give George W Bush tremendous credit for both political acumen and common sense in his (unfortunately unsuccessful) attempts at immigration reform.

    What follows isn’t precisely related, but I think it’s the most compelling anti-abortion video I’ve ever seen. About a 20 second spot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2CaBR3z85c&feature=channel_page

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

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  2. Fit fit says: 2

    Blacks voted for Obama in by a slightly larger margin and in slightly greater numbers than they did previous Democratic candidates. It was Hispanics that put Obama over the top.

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  3. Scott Malensek says: 3

    I’d have to say it’s the apathetic, not-interested-in-politics Americans. People who get their political opinions fed to them from Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, E!, MTV, MTV2, VH-1, Keith Olberman, The Daily Show, and so forth.

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  4. Fit fit says: 4

    Pretending that there is absolutely no racial issues within the Republican Party or pointing fingers at the Democratic Party of fourty years agos ain’t going to cut it either.

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  5. bill-tb says: 5

    It’s really simple, Democrats promise them the most free stuff. The males get the fun and the females get government child benefits. Not complicated.

    The last election proved the point, it’s really easy to make idiot voters out of ignorant people by promising them free stuff. Communists have been luring people into Communism using exactly this formulaic for ages. Obama is just good at the act. And the media didn’t want to break the spell by actually asking a simple question — Who pays — The failure point of all communist systems.

    Hey Obama even has the Kenyans thinking his being elected means they get free stuff in Kenya.

    We would affectionately call what Obama says ‘jive talk’, well understood language in the ‘hood.

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  6. Trying to convince anyone that there are racial issues in the Republican party while your own Democrat party is the one with the sordid, racist past is a futile effort.

    The Democrat party is currently inhabited by a KKK Grand Kleagle.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat.

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  7. Trivia Question:

    Name the only serving member of the U.S. Senate to be elected to the leadership of the Ku Klux Klan.

    What party does he belong to?

    Extra points if you can correctly identify the office he held in the KKK.

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  8. blast says: 8

    Great Post Wordsmith. I think the Republicans lost the black vote post TR. It is interesting however to see all of the traditionally solid southern Democrat states are now Republican.

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  9. Fit fit says: 9

    Wow Aye & Mike, thanks for the textbook examples of blinders and finger pointing.

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  10. @Fit fit:

    I know that you find facts and truth to be elusive strangers.

    You should be grateful that Mike and I are so willing to help you out where you fall short.

    For bonus points Fit fit, tell us which party just swore in a racist Vice President on Tuesday of this week.

    No fair Googling the answer.

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  11. The point of the original post wasn’t that the GOP is racist. The point is about the importance of altering popular perceptions. This is important because, in every election, the GOP starts out behind. It’s as if it were a football game and the score, before the first kick-off, is Democrats 3/Republicans 0. And, with the explosion of the Latino vote, it is getting worse, more like Democrats 7/Republicans 0.

    There are two ways to approach this reality. The first is to ignore it or to say that, public perception be darned, Democrats are more racist than Republicans. The second is to say that, justified or not, Republicans have a real problem, which is getting worse over time. How do Republicans convince both Blacks and Latinos that they have a better future under a government functioning under Republican leadership than under Democratic leadership?

    How about just considering it as an exercise? What precisely could be done, given the premise that it should be done, to increase the percentage of the Black and Latino vote which goes to GOP candidates?

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

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  12. AnnMonterey says: 13

    It seemed McCain/Palin did well until the financial debacle. It went South after that. Never did pick up steam. The fear factor worked well for the Dems.

    I have to laugh at an old friend of mine who loves to complain that “Bush and Cheney used fear against us.” I usually manage to shut her up by reminding her of how Obama and the Dems keep telling us that the country is in the worst shape in history and ready to go under.

    As for the Latin vote. Why do you think Hispanics didn’t go for McCain after his co-authoring the Immigration Reform Bill with Kennedy? I held that against him but hoped we’d be able to bring him into some sort of sanity about illegal immigration if he had been elected.

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  13. AnnMonterey says: 14

    Mike’s Trivia Question: It has to have been Senator Byrd but can’t imagine that he was Grand Wizard.

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  14. Ken Wiebe says: 15

    Image — schmimage: I argue that an “image makeover” for Republicans, at this stage, is akin to polishing a turd. It can’t be done, people. As long as the populace is able to look behind the “image” and see what currently passes as a Republican, conservatives are toast. In other words, please flush the turds. A makeover will do no good whatsoever.

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  15. liam says: 16

    if republicans are turds, then democrats must be the corn.

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  16. Missy says: 17

    @Ken Wiebe:

    Obama would be so proud of this one, eh? Here we have another example of Obama’s weak, weak leadership. Perhaps its a simpleton who is not able to remember what was preached during the 2 year campaign and in his Inauguration speech. Definately not heeding his leader’s advice.

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  17. Ken Wiebe says: 18

    @Missy: What?

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  18. Gary Julian says: 19

    Face the truth. Everyone is a racist to one degree or another. All people want to hang out with their own tribe. It is in the genes.

    But to the point. In my county here in California there are 2 Democratic districts side by side. One district had a retired white GOP cop running and the other a well known GOP Latino businessman and former union president (just like Reagan). Both were working hard to win. When push came to shove the white Republican got the party funding. Wow. Who would have thought it?

    The Democrat incumbent that the Latino GOP businessman was running against knew the threat of a Conservative Latino in a Latino district. He was running TV ads to protect himself. But the GOP can’t find its back side with both hands and then they wonder why they are a minority.

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  19. The republicans are having an identity crisis. Big time too. There is no way they can compete with the democrats. The author is right about the sterotypical image that many minorties have concerning republicans. But I think the bigger issue is how fast minorities are growing in this country. The democrats have captialized on that, and will do so even more in the future if they are smart. Bush saw it, and acted on it here in Texas and got elected as Gov, and the president by appealing to hispanics. One reason he refused to do anything about the border issue. If I was a dem. politician I would refuse to take any action on the border, no action on English as the national language, tax cuts/rebates for the low income people, all kinds of give away programs for those who make under 20.000 a year, do not equire citizenship for welfare, and SSI and disability, etc…. While the republicans are losing ground everyday by catering to those Americans who cannot see the writing on the wall. They want their old supporters but see their voter group getting smaller every year. They are going to have to make a choice and or compromise like Bush did. Sounds cold and calculating but thats politics.

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  20. gramps says: 21

    Demorcratic party founders were slave holders. They put justices on the supreme court who routinely ruled that blacks were not equal and against any measure to give them freedom or rights. For decades the democratic party did everthing possible against the black man. When it came to even agreeing to limit slavery to existing areas, they left the union and went to war to continue to keep the black population from being considered as human beings. When democrats lost the war, they formed the Klan and for the next 100 years they went about lynching blacks and limiting them in any way from being considered equal. FDR, the great democrat knew first hand that they were lynching blacks and refused to go against the desires of his party to end lynching by passing anti lynching laws. Thats right, a president knew blacks were being lynched by members of his own party in white sheets and refused to get involved. Why, because democrats care more about having power than any black man. And the white press never reports this in any meaningful way because they want to keep ignorant blacks lined up voting democrat.

    When it came time to give them rights in congress, the democrats were led by a former Klan member in filibustering any passage, a man who still serves in the democratic party today in the Senate Robert Byrd. With him was the father of Al Gore, Gore Sr. who did everything possible with many others in the party to fight civil rights acts in 1957, 64, and 65. LBJ has to get some credit for finally doing something when the firehoses being turned on blacks trying to march for freedom were on live TV. JFK did not do so and in fact the so called great friend of blacks had his brother wire tap MLK to try and get dirt on him to silence him. So how did freedom and civil rights come to the Black man? By a Republican president and Republicans in Congress acting in their behalf for decades.

    With Civil rights passed by republicans, suddenly blacks now had the vote in the south and here come the democratic party to try and win the black vote in the south. They found out that black votes came with baubles passed out at the behest of the government. Never enough to escape poverty where they might not need the democrats for their vote, but enough to say they care. Kind of like giving them their old clothing so the dems could live in all the new stuff. LBJ you see understood politics and he came out with The Great Society at the same time as Civil Rights. Yes, blacks would now get 2 acres and a sad ol mule under their plan. 40 acres and a new mule might give them so much they might just not need uncle on a yearly basis. The republican party actually tried several programs to give blacks a leg up, home ownership, and good schools through choice. Democrats never did want to give black people a choice to go to good schools, but to keep them trapped in schools that everyone knew were bad. Of course they never sent their own kids to those schools. Where are Obama and Clintons and other dems kids going to school? Certainly not with the field hands kids. So over decades they doled out just enough to keep the black man fooled into thinking they cared but not enough to leave them. And a bonus was that with the handouts, it could set up laws that tore families apart. Nothing like single women trying to raise kids on a government dole. Enough to exist, but never enough to escape. The sad fact is that for generations, the government has known that this produced kids that ended up dead or in jail but most were black.

    Then came abortion and the racist dems saw this as a way to keep the black population down. Black abortions made up 36% of the abortions even though they made up only 13% of the population and a good percentage of black men were in jail. Over a 13 year period, they killed over 11,000,000 black babies. So why is all of this not viewed by the black community as a pure assult on their very existance as a race? Hitler killed 6,000,000 Jews and it is widely known, museums are set up for rememberance, and the media has put this number out endlessly. So why do we not give credit to the democratic party that keeps abortion alive and legal when they have killed almost twice that number of black babies in about the same number of years Hitler was in power? Why do black churches support the democratic party that has this track record toward the black race. We are not talking about a few years or a few bad policy choices, but slavery and murder well over a century and a half.

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  21. @AnnMonterey:

    Ann, I’m a strict grader so I can only award you one point out of 4.

    Robert Byrd is the correct Senator.

    The party to which he belongs is the Democrat Party.

    Now, he was never Grand Wizard in West Virginia, but was elected Exalted Cyclops.

    The Wash Post did an excellent article on the subject:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/18/AR2005061801105.html

    The only cross burning racist to sit in the U.S. Senate is a Democrat but who cares. Everyone knows there are two sets of rules and we just don’t hold Democrats accountable in the same way we do Republicans.

    In fact, according to Democrats nearly every Republican, and certainly every conservative is a racist because we don’t endorse the failed social and race policies of the Democrats.

    But take a look at every major urban center where race is a problem and guess who runs the show?

    Sorry… that last question was just too easy so no points will be awarded for a correct answer.

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  22. That was a good article on the Washington Post. I hope no thinks that I was backing the democrats. Everything is perception. And the dems are excellent at perception, and distortong reality. Look at the so called Kennedy years in the white house. You cannot tell a democrat or even some republicans that JK did not walk on water with-out getting yelled at. Did anyone hear thoe recordings of Kennedy on the history channel awhile back. We have friend who refused to believe them. Just like they refuse to believe that Clinton had affairs. Its that kinda insane loyalty that is so dangerous to any nation. Thats why I get so frustrated with Party people from both parties. All presidents make mistakes. Its how they handled the mistakes that count in my book. Admit them, then resign with a little honor and dignity.

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  23. Cliff says: 24

    http://kliphs-underground.blogspot.com/

    95%? I think it’s closer to 99% this time.
    The Republican party is for individuals taking care of themselves.
    The Democratic party is for the government take care of the people.

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  24. AnnMonterey says: 25

    Mike: Well, thanks. I read over your trivia question so fast, I missed the line about which party. I do know that Byrd is a Democrat and the oldest sitting Senator. I’ll be more careful next time. :) I remembered there was history of him in the KKK but did not know he was a honcho.

    My Grandfather, born and bred in GA during the Reconstruction, was elected Sheriff of his small town as a young, married man and, at that time, father of 5. Two of the locals (KKK members) were seeking some sort of revenge on a couple of black men and wanted Grandfather to join with them. He refused, consequently was not re-elected and soon left Georgia. His family said “under a cloud” but he had to get out or the KKK would have killed him. He had an Uncle in Oklahoma and he was hired by the RR as a Detective. He then sent for my Grandmother and children. They settled in Arkansas and made a good life. He didn’t go back to Georgia for 25 years…until the relevant parties had died. He was a Democrat and yes, he was racist but he was not a murderer.

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  25. @gramps:

    Gramps, sir, you hit the nail right on the head.

    Absolutely. Spot. On.

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  26. southernsue says: 27

    we are living in the end times, imho,. what is right is wrong, what is wrong is right. all i can say is, if you are a believer, you should get your soul right with our LORD. if you want prove of this read the book of Daniel or Revelations. if your not a believer, just read it and see what you think. the king version of the Bible is hard to understand, the Living Bible is a good interpretation.
    our country has to made weak inside for a take over, our military is too powerful. the uniformed, the power grabers, and the welfare crowd is who voted for this guy and now he has filled his cabinet with the same people that helped set up 9/11 by doing nothing about the ME threat.

    i don’t pretend to know when this will happen, maybe in my lifetime, that is for our GOD to decide, however, i do know a storm is coming and the only way the US will be taken down is within.

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  27. Fit fit says: 28

    Maybe the perception problem isn’t with blacks, but with (white) racists.

    While not every Republican I know is racist, every (white) racist I know is a Republican. I’ve known a lot. They were in my family, I went to school with them and even now I work with them everyday. They seem to think the GOP is the party for them…

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  28. Missy says: 29

    Happy to say my history is the complete opposite of yours fit fit. Even as a child my father often invited his black co-workers to dinner at our home way back in the 50’s, we were taught early on of the value of each and every human being God placed upon this earth, color did not matter to any of us. Unfortunately, my democratic in-laws were quite different. They often scolded us for allowing our children to bring their friends into our home for over-nites and birthday parties. My employment history was also free of racism until I worked briefly for Head Start, there I experienced reverse racism, not toward me, it was toward the children. My 20 year history of volunteer work in our public schools was much the same even though our school system went through a deseg case for quite a few years. Not only did we work for our own schools, we expanded our fund raising efforts to upgrade the schools in the poorer neighborhoods and a group of us tutored minority students, I personally had 12 students at one time.

    The majority of people I worked with were Republicans before I became one. I guess it’s all in who you choose to gravitate to. If I had worked in an office with a hint of racism, I would have changed jobs like I did with Head Start.

    In the 90s my husband and I built a home in a small community outside of the city. We had racist skinheads as neighbors. Having been my Representitive’s campaign coordinator I had our district’s voter list. They were democrats and they were vile, hateful people. So, maybe you should put that broad brush away and broaden your horizon a bit.

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  29. Fit fit says: 30

    I work in the construction industry in the south. Racism and Republicanism go hand in hand for 90% of the contractors I deal with. My horizons are pretty broad, I know plenty of Republicans who aren’t racist and I know many black Democrats who are extremely racist. I speak only about what I have seen in my life.

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  30. Elektra says: 31

    Thank you so much, WS, for this piece of history.

    *gush

    Seriously, I could go on about this post. FA is a powerful place. Alfonzo is powerful, too. We need a July 16, 1864 call to arms, as it were. Not only for this issue, but many. It’s only going to get worse.

    Video

    Not to mention the two words plaguing every thinking human being in this Country, I say, the World, ‘Executive Orders’.

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  31. liam says: 32

    its simple: if you want to be popular, you need to also be liberal. If you want to be known as a knuckle dragging neanderthal, you should be a republican. Or at least that is what the popular liberals tell everyone. Seems like a catch 22 doesn’t it? Liberals own the comedy industry: get people to laugh about something, it is easier for them to believe it. Liberals own the music industry: get enough people singing your songs, it is easier for them to believe it. Liberals own the movie industry: if you have many attractive, funny, personalities selling the same thing, it is easy to not only believe it but to create mini-salesmen. Does anyone ever watch E! true hollywood stories? If they can’t run their own lives why would we as a culture idolize and follow them? Easy – people are lost and want to find something to fill that hole.

    With that said, if a black guy was asked, ‘why are you voting for obama?’ and he answered ‘fo rizzle, you know you gotta support the brother’, that could easily be something that people would shake their head and laugh at. If a white guy was asked that and he said, ‘because I support white people’… case and point.. I think in general, if you turn the world on its head, you then have a clear picture of what is right.

    I understand the black community has gone through a lot of crap. I hate that for them. But so have the chinese and in fact, most non-white immigrants. The only community that has made a big deal about it, are black people. Liberals come to the rescue and ‘help’ them by encouraging things like affirmative action, government dependence, and the idea that the only way out of the hood is through basketball or rapping. Liberals for the most part, are not for liberty but for dependency. The government is one of the most bloated, inefficient, entities in existence. It is filled with corruption from every corner and yet, people would want MORE of it?

    With Obama supporting FOCA and international infanticide, are country is quickly turning into pre-WWII germany. Conditioned people in great need, with a powerful orator at the helm.

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  32. bbartlog says: 33

    Your list of historical breakthroughs against racism, spearheaded by the Republican party, is very nice; anyone who wants a sense of the history of racial relations in America should learn some of that history.
    On the other hand – you make no attempt to explain why, if all this is true, do blacks still vote Democrat? It’s kind of a big gap in the story. There was a great change which happened in the period of roughly 1964 to 1972; one intro though by no means complete even as an overview is here.
    An additional factor is likely the urbanization of the black population during the Great Migration(s), from largely rural areas into urban areas that have been Democrat strongholds for a long time.

    I also wanted to point out that anyone who claims that some particular slice of voters had a primary causal role in victory (like fit fit: ‘Blacks voted […]. It was Hispanics that put Obama over the top.’) is just making up stories. All the votes count the same, and last I checked the vast majority of the votes Obama got were from white people.
    Of course, someone who is interested in election strategy would want to know which groups of voters (whether racial groups or any other groups that could be identified and targeted) were most likely to change their vote. While a long view of history might give you reason to hope that the black vote can change, in the short term this mostly means targeting centrist white voters, as the number of white swing voters is very large both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the overall white vote.

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  33. Gary Julian says: 34

    click on the link or paste it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Americans_in_the_United_States_Congress

    Check out this Wikipedia link to Blacks in Congress. There are many great pages on 19th Century Black Republicans.

    Bottom line. The GOP has no right to any Black voter. In Southern district after district Black Republican voters were being denied their right to send Black Republican Congressmen to Washington. . . . . and the GOP did NOTHING. The national Republican Party abandoned Black Republicans to lynchings and the KKK.

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  34. bbartlog says: 35

    The wiki link you provide again shows us some interesting history, but it lends no support whatever to your ideas about Republican culpability for black disenfranchisement and victimization. The southern disenfranchisement is correctly described as a Democratic initiative. Even if we wish that the Republicans had done more to stop this, we would still have to assign primary blame to the Democrats for undertaking it.
    In any case, judging the parties of the present day on the basis of their predecessors’ actions of a century ago is a tricky business. You would really want to show a continuity of ideology and thought, or at least a lack of remorse and contrition, so as to tie together the past and the present day; that the name is the same is something of a minor matter.

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  35. Ron says: 36

    To Missy:

    You’re married? Darnit just my luck. Your husband is a lucky man.

    Ron

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  36. Missy says: 37

    @Ron:

    He knows that, I tell him so quite frequently and he believes every thing I say.

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  37. StephaniePlume says: 38

    Remember that the Democratic party was started by Thomas Jefferson. Not only did he own black slaves, he had sex with atleast one of them.

    But as for the Republicans, their downfall with African Americans begins with the ascent of the conservative movement in the 1950s.
    William Buckley Jr in the National Review supported segregation (http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2005-3_archives/001467.html)
    The Republicans at the time who were supporting civil rights on a national level were more of the liberal Weiker/Rockefeller/Chaffee/Mathias mode, than the state rights crowd.

    And then there is the Presidential election of 1964:
    Democratic candidate Lyndon B Johnson supported the Civil rights Act of 1964.
    Republican candidate Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    As for twenty years later, the overwhelming support by the Democrats in Congress is why President Reagan signed a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Reagan did not initiate support of its renewal.

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  38. Wordsmith says: 39

    @StephaniePlume:

    Remember that the Democratic party was started by Thomas Jefferson. Not only did he own black slaves, he had sex with atleast one of them.

    Stephanie,

    Good grief:

    judging the 18th century by 20th and 21st century moral standards? Easy to do, today, armchaired by the distance of history.

    Thomas Jefferson openly denounced slavery as a profound evil. To actually abolish slavery and free slaves was no simple task. In some places, it was legally impossible to do. Taking into consideration the context of the times that they lived in is vital to understanding why those who were against slavery were often at odds with the abolitionists, let alone with a world that “grew up” on the institution of slavery.

    Thomas Sowell (“The Real History of Slavery”, in Black Rednecks and White Liberals):

    One of the early battles that was lost [in the anti-slavery sentiments growing amongst colonialists] was Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration of Independence, which criticized King George III for having enslaved Africans and for over-riding colonial Virginia’s attempt to ban slavery. The Continental Congress removed that phrase under pressure from representatives from the South.

    When Jefferson drafted a state constitution for Virginia in 1776, his draft included a clause prohibiting any more importation of slaves an, in 1783, Jefferson included in a new draft of a Virginia constitution a proposal for gradual emancipation of slaves. He was defeated in both these efforts. on the national scene, Jefferson returned to the battle once again in 1784, proposing a law declaring slavery illegal in all western territories of the country as it existed at the that time. Such a ban would have kept slavery out of Alabama and Mississippi. The bill lost by one vote, that of a legislator too sick to come and vote. Afterwards, Jefferson said that the fate “of millions unborn” was “hanging on the tongue of one man, and heaven was silent in that awful moment.”

    Three years later, however, Congress compromised by passing the Northwest Ordinance, making slavery illegal in the upper western territories, while allowing it in the lower western territories. Congress was later authorized to ban the African slave trade and Jefferson, now President, urged that they use that authority to stop Americans “from all further participation in those violations of human rights which has been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa. Congress followed his urging.

    Abstract moral decisions are much easier to make on paper or in a classroom in later centuries than in the midst of the dilemmas actually faced by those living in very different circumstances, including serious dangers.

    One way to understand the constraints of the times and their effects on public attitudes is to examine the difference between the way that many in nineteenth-century America saw the slave trade, as distinguished from the way that they saw slavery itself. If the institution of slavery and the presence of millions of slaves were facts of life, within which many decision-makers felt trapped by having inherited the consequences of decisions made by others in generations before them, the continuing trade in slaves, whether from Africa or within the United States, was a contemporary problem that was within their control. Thus, decades before slavery was abolished, the United States joined in the outlawing of the international slave trade. Even many Americans not yet ready to support the abolition of slavery as an institution nevertheless made the bringing of more slaves from Africa a capital offense in the United States.

    The moral distinction between slave trading and the continuation of slavery as an institution might be hard for some in later centuries to understand because, in the abstract, there is no moral difference. Only in the concrete circumstances faced by the people of the times was there a practical social difference.

    wordsmith #19:

    Try putting yourself in the context of the times, and the social constraints of what was possible. Your casting moral judgment is anachronistic. Moral choices can be made only from options that are actually available to be made. More excerpts from Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals:

    We cannot assume twenty-first century options, or even present-day knowledge, when judging decisions made in the 19th century. Nor can we assume that we have superior knowledge of the social realities of an earlier era that we never lived through, compared to the first-hand knowledge of those who confronted those realities daily and inescapably.

    Moral Questions about slavery have been, almost exclusively, Western moral questions.. Non-Western societies had neither moral concerns about slavery nor, in most cases, the power to decide on the continuance or extinction of the institution for themselves during the era of European imperialism, when slavery was suppressed over most of the world by the West. Not only has the West’s crucial role in the destruction of slavery around the world gone largely unnoticed, standards applied almost exclusively to the West have been used to condemn European and European offshoot societies for having once had slavery.

    Even those Western leaders who sought to end slavery are condemned by critics today for not having done it sooner or faster. The dangers and constraints of their times have too often been either ignored or brushed aside as mere excuses, as if elected leaders operating under the constitutional law could simply decree whatever they felt was right.

    ~~~

    Even those slaveholders with aversions to slavery in principle were constrained by a strong tradition of stewardship, in which the family inheritance was not theirs to dispose of in their own lifetime, but to pass on to others as it had been passed on to them. George Washington was one of those who had inherited slaves and, dying childless, freed his slaves in his will, effective on the death of his wife. His will also provided that slaves too old or too beset with “bodily infirmities” to take care of themselves should be taken care of by his estate, and that the children were to be “taught to read and write” and trained for “some useful occupation”.

    This is an important point to highlight, because some like Jefferson and Washington understood that simply freeing slaves without giving them the necessary tools and means to survive in society was more like abandonment than liberation. They did consider the possibility of sending freed slaves back to Africa. But the reality was, many of these slaves no longer had ties to Africa, either.

    One concrete result of the back-to-Africa movement was the establishment of the colony of Liberia on the West African coast, to which freed American blacks were sent during the administration of James Monroe, for whom they named their capital Monrovia. These first settlers were decimated by African diseases to which they no longer had biological resistance- which was just one of the problems of trying to undo the past.

    Frederick Douglass himself, refused the offer to be sent to Africa, seeing himself as an American.

    [Washington’s] estate in fact continued to pay for the support of some freed slaves for decades after his death, in accordance to his will.

    The part of Washington’s will dealing with slaves filled almost three pages, and the tone as well as the length of it showed his concerns.

    The language of the will was written in very legalistic terms; but when it came to speaking about what was to become of his slaves, he spoke with the passionate command of issuing an executive decree: “I do hereby expressly forbid the sale…of any Slave I may die possessed of, under any pretext whatsoever.”

    “There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it.” Washington once said, in regards to slavery as a national issue. The moral question for him was easy; but how to carry it out with compassion and foresight planning was a complex matter. Only through legislation, did Washington see it as a realistic possibility to end the institution; and he said that the legislator who could achieve that, would get his vote.

    During his public life, Washington was known to leave behind slaves he brought with him on his travels to the north, in effect, freeing them. His behavior as a slaveowner is also noted in Richard Brookhiser’s Founding Father:

    Beginning in the early 1770’s, he rarely bought a slave and he would not sell one, unless the slave consented, which never happened. not selling slaves was an economic loss. Slave labor on a plantation with soil as poor as Mount Veronon brought in little or nothing…The only profit a man in his position would make was by selling slaves to states where agriculture was more flourishing. Washington would not. “I am principled against selling negroes as you would do cattle at a market…” From 1775 until his death, the slave population at Mount Vernon more than doubled.

    @StephaniePlume:

    And then there is the Presidential election of 1964:
    Democratic candidate Lyndon B Johnson supported the Civil rights Act of 1964.
    Republican candidate Barry Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    Stephanie,

    This is what happens when you don’t bother to read the actual post. I know the laundry list was a lot to wade through, but if you had done so before leaving the above, I wouldn’t have to highlight it for you:

    [According to Congressional Quarterly, only 61% of Democrats in the House of Representatives supported the act, while 80% of Republicans voted in favor. In the Senate, 69% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans voted in favor. Among the Democratic senators who voted against the legislation were J. William Fulbright (Bill Clinton’s mentor), who was a racist- pg 82, Do-Gooders, Mona Charen]

    *[Senator Barry Goldwater (R., Ariz.) opposed this bill the very year he became the GOP’s presidential standard-bearer. However, Goldwater supported the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts and called for integrating Arizona’s National Guard two years before Truman desegregated the military. Goldwater feared the 1964 Act would limit freedom of association in the private sector, a controversial but principled libertarian objection rooted in the First Amendment rather than racial hatred.]

    Goldwater was also a founding (lifelong) member of the Arizona chapter for the NAACP.

    Satisfied?

    As for twenty years later, the overwhelming support by the Democrats in Congress is why President Reagan signed a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Reagan did not initiate support of its renewal.

    Can you tell me what his reason for not initiating support for its renewal, Stephanie? Or, as liberals have done to Barry Goldwater, will you perpetuate the distortion? Are you implying any racism on the part of Reagan?

    And yet, like the Voting Rights Act, he signed the legislation for MLK Day.

    Who signed Executive Order 12320?:

    In 1981, President Reagan, under Executive Order 12320, established the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which expanded the previous program and set into motion a government-wide effort to strengthen our nation’s HBCUs.

    ~~~

    HBCUs are a source of accomplishment and great pride for the African American community as well as the entire nation. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as: “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.” HBCUs offer all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. These institutions train young people who go on to serve domestically and internationally in the professions as entrepreneurs and in the public and private sectors.

    HBCUs enroll 14 percent of all African American students in higher education, although they constitute only three percent of America’s 4,084 institutions of higher education. In 1999, these institutions matriculated 24 percent of all African American students enrolled in four-year colleges, awarded masters degrees and first-professional degrees to about one in six African American men and women, and awarded 24 percent of all baccalaureate degrees earned by African Americans nationwide.

    In private life, he was definitely not bigoted; as far as policy decisions, you have to look to motive for your answer. There are reasons that go beyond charges of racism.

    @Gary Julian:

    Bottom line. The GOP has no right to any Black voter. In Southern district after district Black Republican voters were being denied their right to send Black Republican Congressmen to Washington. . . . . and the GOP did NOTHING. The national Republican Party abandoned Black Republicans to lynchings and the KKK.

    Must be why they loved the Democratic Party so much back then [/dripping sarcasm].

    As I led off to Stephanie in this comment, can’t apply 21st century morals to the 19th century without trying to understand the cultural constraints of the times. Cultural change doesn’t happen just overnight. What is remarkable, is that slavery as an institution was around for….what? 2000 years? And yet in a short span of time, it was brought to an end….where? In the West. Britain and America led the first anti-slavery movement in the world.

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  39. Gary Julian says: 40

    We cannot judget 19th Century morals???? Like MURDER! Lynchings.

    I suspect “Thou shall not kill” goes back a ways.

    Republican voters were being MURDERED for daring to vote. In violation of the Constitution they were prevented from voting for a Republican Congressman.

    The GOP cut a deal with white Southern Democratic racists for “peace”. Selling out Black Americans for racists to murder.

    No, we can’t judge actions like that. It would be wrong.

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  40. @Fit fit –

    You must not visit America’s deep south very often. White Southern Baptist men and women are the most racist individuals I have ever met. Many of these still hold a Civil War grudge, Reps and Dems alike, but the racist Dems outnumber racist Reps by about two to one. I lived in Dallas from 1975 to 1981, and still keep in touch with a few friends, and I can assure you that the white male racist Democrat is in no danger of extinction!

    JV

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  41. Wordsmith says: 42

    @Gary Julian:

    We cannot judget 19th Century morals???? Like MURDER! Lynchings.

    I suspect “Thou shall not kill” goes back a ways.

    Gary, you’re not thinking it through, but responding with emotionalism. Please try to reach deeper, and understand what is being said rather than seizing on one line to knee-jerk out a response.

    Murder and lynchings were not institutions of accepted societal norms. Slavery, however, was an institution that was practiced all over the world for 2000 years. The remarkable story about the history of slavery, isn’t that it was practiced in America; but that within our short history, it was brought to an end.

    Slavery was common to all civilizations. Put into a world where it was common practice and never questioned by any anti-slavery movement (until the 19th century, and only in the West), what makes you assume you, as a man living before, say, the 17th century, would have felt moral revulsion to the institution? You have the benefit of being raised in the world today, to apply today’s standards of beliefs to yestercentury’s citizens. Today, we recognize the following: That slavery is a profound evil. In the 1800’s, not everyone experienced our sense of moral revulsion. People like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and William Wilberforce went against the grain of established belief and acceptance of a 2000 year-old established institution. Yet they’re still criticized for moving too slow or not being pure enough in their rejection of slavery and what we might hold to be racist viewpoints, today.

    It is arrogant of you to assume you’d fit squarely in their camp of “seeing the light”; and pompously wishful-thinking if you believe you would have led the charge, stronger than Wilberforce in rejecting slavery, and leading the movement to change the world and abolish slavery, and end the slave trade. Today, you have the advantages of 20/20 hindsight morality. Back then, you might have been blind to the suffering experienced by slaves.

    There is no scholarly evidence to suggest that there were any anti-slavery movements anywhere in the world, until the 18th century, beginning in the West, from deeply religious Christian evangelicals.

    Think about some of the other things we apply our standards to, when judging previous generations: Watch an old movie…..I believe in Casablanca, Sam is referred to as “boy” by Bergman’s character. Should we be offended? Only if we forget the contextual restraints of the time. Ever read an Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan novel? Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn? Should Mark Twain’s book be banned from being read in schools? I find it difficult to call ERB a “racist”; yet you can definitely find “racist”-held views/beliefs, or sentences that might come across as offensive today.

    Hope that helps clarify the point.

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  42. Wordsmith says: 43

    @AnnMonterey:

    As for the Latin vote. Why do you think Hispanics didn’t go for McCain after his co-authoring the Immigration Reform Bill with Kennedy? I held that against him but hoped we’d be able to bring him into some sort of sanity about illegal immigration if he had been elected.

    I’m sure Barack “McCain is running negative ads against me” Obama running this campaign ad to Spanish speakers didn’t help McCain’s chances:

    Unfortunately, just like in the case with how the War on Terror gets translated as a war against Islam, the debate over illegal immigration gets to be framed by liberals as: “Republicans are against immigration” and “Republicans hate Mexicans”. Doesn’t matter how soft a stand McCain take on immigration reform is, if the GOP’s image is tarred and feathered like that.

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  43. Wordsmith says: 44

    @Mike’s America:

    Robert Byrd is the correct Senator.

    The party to which he belongs is the Democrat Party.

    Now, he was never Grand Wizard in West Virginia, but was elected Exalted Cyclops.

    Wasn’t he also a recruiter for the KKK? Or is that what an “Exalted Cyclops” is? As opposed to an “Unexalted Cyclops”….

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  44. Wordsmith says: 45

    @Gary Julian:

    Bottom line. The GOP has no right to any Black voter. In Southern district after district Black Republican voters were being denied their right to send Black Republican Congressmen to Washington. . . . . and the GOP did NOTHING. The national Republican Party abandoned Black Republicans to lynchings and the KKK.

    As for your charge suggesting that it’s the Republican Party that has a stronger history of racism against blacks, Reverend Wayne Perryman (check out his book, Unfounded Loyalty) knows that if there is any one single institution that should be sued for reparations- an acknowledged horrible, misguided idea, but if there’s ANY institution out there- then it should be the Democratic Party:

    Inner City Minister Sues Democratic Party For Reparations

    [ Seattle , January 3, 2005 ] On December 10th 2004 , inner-city minister, Rev Wayne Perryman, – filed a class action Reparation lawsuit (in the United States District Court in Seattle Case No. CV04-2442), alleging “that because of their racist past practices the Democratic Party should be required to pay African Americans Reparations. ? Perryman said “he based his case on the research that he gathered during the past five years while writing the three editions of his latest book: (click here to view in pdf format)

    Unfounded Loyalty

    An In-depth Look Into The Love Affair Between Blacks & Democrats

    In his 100-page brief, Perryman concludes that the past racist policies and practices that were initiated against African Americans by the Democratic Party – were no different than the policies and practices that were initiated by the Nazi Party against the Jews. In both situations millions of lives were destroyed (physically, mentally and economically).

    In his brief, Perryman told the court:

    *That in an effort to impede and or deny African Americans the same constitutional rights afforded to all American citizens, the Democratic Party established a pattern of practice by promoting, supporting, sponsoring and financing racially bias entertainment, education, legislation, litigations, and terrorist organizations from 1792 to 1962 and continued certain practices up to 2002.

    *The Democrat’s 210 years of racist practices and cover ups not only negatively affected the entire Black Race; but these practices infected our entire nation with the most contagious and debilitating social disease known to mankind, racism. With landmark litigation, racist legislation and profane defamation, Democrats spent substantial amounts of money to produce racist campaign literature and to support racist entertainment (i.e. Jim Crow minstrel shows, stage plays “The Klansman, ? and movies, “The Birth of a Nation ?), all in an effort to prove to the world that African Americans were a racially inferior group that should be treated and classified as “property ? and not as “citizens ?.

    *During the past 21 decades the Democrats successfully disguised and concealed their horrific acts against the African Americans by operating and committing these acts under the following aliases: “the Confederacy, ? “Jim Crow, ? “Black Codes, ? the “Dixiecrats ? and the “Ku Klux Klan. ? Congressional records, historical documents, and the letters and testimonies from several brave black citizens revealed that these groups weren’t separate independent organizations, but were actual auxiliaries, divisions and/or the legislative efforts of the Democratic Party. The debates on the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 further revealed that these auxiliaries were committed to use every means possible to carry out the Democrat’s racist agenda of “White Supremacy, ? including: lynchings, murders, intimidation, mutilations, decapitations and racially bias legislation and adjudication.

    .

    Perryman said, “To conceal the truth of their racist past (and as part of their effort to deceive the public), the Democratic Party made a conscience decision not to mention or disclose their true and complete history. (See exhibit 1). On their official website they failed to disclose that as a Party:

    · Democrats opposed the Abolitionist

    · Democrats supported slavery and fought and gave their lives to expand it

    · Democrats supported and passed the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 & 1854

    · Democrats supported and passed the Missouri Compromise to protect slavery

    · Democrats supported and passed the Kansas Nebraska Act to expand slavery

    · Democrats supported and backed the Dred Scott Decision

    · Democrats supported and passed Jim Crow Laws

    · Democrats supported and passed Black Codes

    · Democrats opposed educating blacks and murdered our teachers

    · Democrats opposed the Reconstruction Act of 1867

    · Democrats opposed the Freedman’s Bureau as it pertained to blacks

    · Democrats opposed the Emancipation Proclamation

    · Democrats opposed the 13th , 14th, and 15th Amendments to end slavery, make black citizens and give blacks the right to vote

    · Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866

    · Democrats opposed the Civil Right Act of 1875 and had it overturned by U.S. Supreme Court

    · Various Democrats opposed the 1957 Civil Rights Acts

    · Various Democrats argued against the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts

    · Various Democrats argued against the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Acts

    · Various Democrats voted against the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act

    · Democrats supported and backed Judge John Ferguson in the case of Plessy v Ferguson

    · Democrats supported the School Board of Topeka Kansas in the case of Brown v The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas .

    · Southern Democrats opposed desegregation and integration

    · Democrats started and supported several terrorist organizations including the Ku Klux Klan, an organization dedicated to use any means possible to terrorize African Americans and those who supported African Americans. ?

    Congressional records reveal that there wouldn’t be a question of Reparations today had Democratic President Andrew Johnson signed Senate Bill 60 (in 1866) which would have given each African American family 40 acres and a mule. Instead, Johnson vetoed the Bill and continued to block other key pieces of legislation that were designed to bring about equality for African Americans.

    Perryman further argues that:

    During the past 200 years, our government operated under a two party system which directed, developed and determined the policies of our country. Whatever the government did or did not accomplish (particularly as it pertained to African Americans), was directly related to which political party was in power at the time.

    On April 29, 1861 Democratic President Jefferson Davis told his Democratic Confederate Congress that: “Under the supervision of the superior race, their [blacks’] labor had been so directed not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South… [which made the South one of the 16th wealthiest places in the world]; and the productions in the South of cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourth of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to wants of civilized man…. ?

    Seven years later during the 1868 Presidential campaign, the Democratic Party’s campaign poster read: “This is a White Man’s Country – Let the White Men Rule. ?

    At the turn of the century (1913) Democratic Senator Ben Tillman said, “We reorganized the Democratic Party with one plank, and the only plank, namely, that this is a white man’s country, and white men must govern it. ? From 1792 to 2002 (a period of 210 years), the Democratic Party carried out their proud tradition of white man rule by never electing a black man to the United States Senate from their party.

    From 1792 to 1962 the Democratic Party was more commonly referred to as the Party of White Supremacy. This was the period when most of the damage was done to African Americans (economically, physically, socially and mentally). It was during this period that the Democrats exhausted every effort to promote slavery, destroyed Reconstruction and introduced Black Codes, Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan.

    The chronicles of history reveals that the Institution of Slavery and Jim Crow Laws weren’t promoted, protected and preserved by prominent individuals or by the federal government. They were promoted, protected and preserved by one political party and that party was the Democratic Party. Without their powerful political support, the institution of slavery and segregation would have ended long before 1865 and 1965.

    The big question they had during the era of slavery was, whether or not a law or a person’s actions violated the Constitution. The goal of the Democrats was to never allow the Constitution to be amended to include blacks as citizens. They wanted the freedom to treat African Americans as property (not as humans), without federal interference (this was their primary reason for fighting for their so-called States Rights). This was also the reason why Democrats were opposed to adding the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution and why they praised and supported the Dred Scott Decision. Republicans rushed to have these Amendments added to the Constitution while the states that were under Democrat control were still separated from the Union . Republicans knew they would have a difficult time getting these Amendments passed if the Democrats from the Southern States came back and joined their congressional (Democrat) counterparts in the North.

    During era of slavery and Reconstruction the Democrats were primarily interested in what they could do to Blacks, not what they could do for Blacks. From 1792 to 1962 the Democrats as a party, did not support or pass one law that was designed to give African Americans equality (in 170 years). With the exception of Truman’s efforts to integrate the military, every law that was introduced and passed by Democrats during this period was designed to hurt blacks, none were passed to help blacks. Perryman said, “Had the Democrats attempted to pass these same types of laws in 1864 that they claim credit for in 1964, the laws in 1964 would not have been necessary. Instead, in 1866 they passed Black Codes, in 1875 they passed Jim Crow Laws and in 1894 they passed the Repeal Act to repeal various pieces of previously passed Civil Rights legislation that were designed to give African Americans equality.

    Perryman is quick to point out that the Democratic Party of today is not the same party of yesterday. However, like in the case of Michael Skakel (the Kennedy nephew who killed Martha Moxley), the Democrats like Michael Skakel must pay for their past actions. Perryman said, “The Skakels and the Moxleys were best friends and neighbors, but when the Moxleys learned that it was Skakel who murdered their daughter in 1975, they did not excuse his action because of the long term friendship. They made him pay, even though it was 25 years later. The same applies to the current relationship between the Blacks and Democrats. The Democrats should not expect Blacks to ignore the Democrat’s past racist practices, simply because of the current friendship. ?

    Perryman’s research and 100-page brief include the works of our nation’s top history and law professors including African American Historian, Professor John Hope Franklin, Princeton’s History Professor James McPherson, Professor Hebert Donald of Harvard, Professor Allen Trelease of North Carolina, and Professor Bernard Schwartz of New York University’s School of Law, plus congressional records and documentaries from PBS and the History Channel.

    Perryman said, “since our experiences are similar to those inflicted on the Jews by the Nazi Party and since Reparations under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 affords Plaintiffs redress for past injuries; and amends for the wrong inflicted, ? he asked the court for the following:

    WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, on Plaintiff own behalf and on behalf of the Class, prays for judgment as follows:

    1. Declaring this action to be a proper class action and certifying Plaintiff as Class representative under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;

    2. Awarding compensatory damages and rescission in favor of the Plaintiff and other members of the Class against the Defendant for the damages sustain as a result of wrongdoing of the defendants, together with interest thereon;

    3. And as part of the compensatory damages the Plaintiffs recommends the following:

    a. That an education fund be set up equivalent to the amount of $25,000 for every African American age 25 and younger that is currently alive as of the date of this lawsuit. The fund will be used solely for private school, college and trade tuitions and related educational costs.

    b. That under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which authorizes a public education fund, to educate the public of the wrongs that took place, the Plaintiffs ask for funding to fund a major motion picture and film series depicting all of the events that were highlighted in this lawsuit (and others not mentioned) and that this film and major motion picture be distributed to every public and private school in America to be viewed by students as a regular part of their history curriculum for the next 50 years. We further ask that the Lead Plaintiff and the consultants of his choice be paid a consulting fee including traveling and related expenses to help produce the motion picture and the film series. The consulting fee will be the standard consulting fee for similar types of major motion picture projects.

    c. We ask that the Defendant pay each African American citizen ages 26- 35 that is currently alive as of the date of this lawsuit, a total sum of $25,000 in reparations, each adult ages 36-45, $45,000 in reparations, each adult ages 46-55, $50,000 in reparations each and each citizen ages 56 and older $100,000 in reparations.

    4. Awarding Plaintiff fees and expenses incurred in this action, including reasonable allowance of fees for attorneys to administer the Class Action claim and appropriate consultant fees.

    5. Granting extraordinary equitable and/or injunctive relief as permitted by law, equity and federal and state statutory provisions sued on hereunder, including attaching, impounding, imposing a constructive trust upon or otherwise restricting the proceeds of the Defendant’s investments, checking, savings or other assets so as to assure that Plaintiff has an effective remedy.

    6. Ordering a formal apology to African Americans for the wrong that was committed during the duration of the Defendants’ tenure as an organization or political party.

    7. Granting such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

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  45. I just have to relate my own most significant confrontation with the Racism demon; your responses are solicited and very welcome:

    On the outside, I am (obviously?) caucasion, and have always represented myself as such when filling out employment applications and other forms, and my family history had not led me to believe otherwise. My mother is half German and half Scandinavian (Norwegian and Swedish); my last name is believed to be of French origin, but otherwise my father is all Italian.

    Or so we thought. Recently, one of my uncles reported that his study of our geneology revealed ancestors from the African country of Morocco. Once this information was confirmed, it became easier to see why my dark-skinned father and his siblings (especially his brothers) were “mistaken” as African-American (“Negro”, “Colored”, or “Black” in those days). It also helped to exain the difficulties my family experienced moving into the “white bread” far western Chicago suburbs.

    Consequently, I was genuinely concerned that my application on file with my employer at the time, so I explained the situation (including my family’s discrimination experiences) to the woman in charge of Equal Employment Opportunity in personnel – a young, upwardly mobile African-American. Her response was simply “Don’t go there.” She walked away, and I stood stunned By yet another example of the one-way street called Discrimination in America. Apparently, you haven’t experienced discrimination unless your skin color is darker than some arbitrary “standard” (how’s that for an oxymoron?).

    JV

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  46. Wordsmith says: 47

    @me.yahoo.com/a/tgqdcI0Oz: Thanks for sharing your story. It touches upon one of the other problems I see with affirmative action and reparations.

    I do believe that Senator Obama’s ancestors on his mother’s side were slave owners. To my knowledge, and I could be wrong here, since his father immigrated from Kenya, unless he has a slave ancestor on his mother’s side as well, he wouldn’t/shouldn’t have any claims to reparation money (what if Obama has ancestors from Africa who captured and sold slaves?); but given his ancestry on his mother’s side, he should definitely be a contributor if one believes in the whole concept of reparations to descendants of slavery.

    @Fit fit:

    I know many black Democrats who are extremely racist. I speak only about what I have seen in my life.

    When I was in high school living in Austin, Tx., I never had a problem at all with whites as far as racism went; but I got into fights with blacks, quite often, over racial slurs and attitudes coming from them. Back then, my young mind wondered “For a class of people who have been oppressed by racial stereotyping and slurs, you’d think they’d know firsthand the barbs of racist remarks and racial hatred.” Maybe sometimes, we inevitably become what we hate without the wherewithal and self-awareness to realize it.

    In Keith Richburg’s Out of America, pg 15-16:

    After the game, I decided to walk the short distance home. But as my classmates were coming out of the arena to board the bus back to Grosse Pointe, they crossed the path of a group of blacks. Kids from my neighborhood. One of the white girls saw one of the black girls with an Afro comb, a pick, stuck in the back of her hair, and made some ill-advised comment like, “Why do you have that comb in your hair?” Probably not hostile- I didn’t hear it. Maybe she was really just curious. But of course, all hell broke loose.

    So now you’ve got a bunch of white kids, clambering onto their bus back to the suburbs, and a bunch of angry black kids hitting hitting at the windows with chains and bottles and anything else they can get their hands on. There were shouts and slurs flying in both directions. And there I was, on both sides, on neither side- not wanting to have to take sides. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

    When I think back to that incident, I think about how I’ve often felt trapped between two worlds. I suppose I could say that it was always easier to walk away- to run, really- than to have to choose sides. But that would be only partially true. I’ll tell you what I was really thinking then: I was embarrassed. Humiliated. These were my friends and schoolmates- my white friends- who had come into my neighborhood, less than two blocks from the house where I had grown up, where I still lived. And here’s a bunch of black kids smashing the windows of their school bus. This is how black folks in the ghetto behave. This is how they would see me. I was so ashamed that I wanted to cry. Instead I just ran away.

    Do we scapegoat racism and bad behavior on the part of blacks with a chip on their shoulder as “slavery caused it; oppression against blacks by “the system” excuses their lashing out with incivility? And when enough blacks continue to carry “chips on their shoulder”, doesn’t it feed into the negative stereotypes, reinforcing white (and non-white) racism/bigotry against blacks?

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  47. Mark says: 48

    Dang, Wordsmith!

    When you said “partial list” I thought you were going to post a partial list! That’s the whole damn history of the Republican party. It’s ok, though. It bolsters the point I made over at your blog that it is altogether possible to create a new political party with a strong grass roots effort. That’s how the Republican party was created, and they didn’t even have the advantage of the internet!

    All we need is a catalyst, and the election of Obama certainly seems to qualify as a catalyst. We need a Conservative party. One that espouses the values and convictions of the American Conservative. McCain, of course, would only be considered for membership if he can convince us he has changed his ideology. As will most of the other so-called Republican lawmakers in Washington.

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  48. Gregory Dittman says: 49

    Numbers from the 2009 U.S. budget

    End homelessness in one year.
    Number of homeless: Less than 900,000
    HUD budget: $38.5 billion
    Divide that by $400,000 and multiply the common legal limit of 10 people per household and there are 962,500 slots. If the average home bought was $300,000 it would be over 1.8 million slots. Over 100,000 foreclosed would be bought (using the later number) would be purchased. To relieve pressure, more houses would be bought. This should also help ease the housing crises.

    Health insurance for all.
    Obama said 47 million were uninsured. 10 million of those are illegal aliens. 17 million make $50,000 or more. $224 billion Medical and $70.4 billion from United States Department of Health and Human Services adds up to $294.4 billion. divide that by $5,000 and it can fund 58.88 million people. In 2002 there were 39.9 million people on this program. This would fund 18.98 million more. $5.25 billion to fund the rest could come from the $17 billion in farm subsidies that mostly go to rich farm companies.

    Overcrowded prisons? A prison costs about $500 million to house 5,000 and this doesn’t include operating one. $20.3 billion goes to the United States Department of Justice. That could make 10 prisons a year to house 50,000 new prisoners. Much of the job could be picked up by homeland security and the states. Eventually there will be more beds than prisoners and the DOJ could be revived or the money could be used to pay for operating costs. Some of the prisons could be built on old army bases (federal land) to skirt zoning laws.

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