Dienstag, August 19, 2008

And This Is Even More Ironic...

Nice article in the WSJ here.

Imagine a political party that was heavily supportive of slavery; which then supported segregation and was instrumental in passing Jim Crow laws; which even had a para-military organization serving the interests of the party to actively intimidate opponents (and enough times to kill them); which actively opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution (overturning slavery, reversing Dred Scott, giving blacks the vote); which actively tried to deny blacks with the right to own private property, sign contracts, sue and serve as witnesses in a legal proceeding; that were curiously silent on discrimination, lynchings and voting rights; which actively opposed integrating the US military; which formed 3/4 of the opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act; the party whose members unleashed dogs and fire hoses on protestors demanding their rights under the Constitution (and yes, I mean Birmingham's Bull Connor).

Now, imagine this party demanding that there be an apology given to blacks in the US, in the name of the US government, for these perfidious acts and policies: not in the name of the party, but extending the guilt that is duly and heavily deserved for these actions from that party to the total of the United States.

Thus denying that the other major party was heavily critical of slavery; supporting the black franchise; which worked with the system and condemned the use of para-military thugs to intimidate; which sponsored and was able to implement the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments; which actively supported blacks in their fight for the right to own private property; sign contracts, sue and serve as witnesses; which actively supported the integration of the US military; which fought for and passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act; the party that supported ordering in the US military to end segregation in Alabama...

Making their historical mistakes and party legacy not something that merely besmirches them, but rather to turn the tables on the other party, making it share the blame for their own errors and abhorrent behavior and policies.

Now, which party is which? Which party plays the role of the heavy-handed thug, the oppressor and supported of an intolerable status quo?

Anyone with a sense of history knows that this party is the Democratic Party.

It's one of the great, great ironies of US history. The party that fought for their rights is shunned by those, at the end of the day, benefited most from their actions. Blacks in the US vote heavily Democratic, although the Democrats did their very best to deny them the right to vote...

Let me quote form that article:

After all those Democratic platforms and conventions that championed slavery and segregation, what do you think the chances are they will use the occasion of Mr. Obama's nomination to have the Democratic platform formally apologize for the active, frequently violent and decidedly official support of the Democratic Party for slavery, segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan and all the rest?

Better yet, do you think they'll pass a resolution promising to use the funds raised from all those Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraisers to pay reparations for slavery? (Did I mention that while the DNC discusses party co-founders Jefferson and Jackson, it neglects to mention that between them the two owned an estimated 360 slaves?)

Will the NAACP and other groups seeking reparations from nongovernment entities for their role in supporting slavery (companies like Aetna, Wachovia and Chase along with educational institutions like Brown University) finally zero in on the prime historical mover behind some of the worst chapters in American history? Will they sue the Democrats?

The Democrats are poised to nominate a black man for president of the United States. But will they apologize for slavery? Will they start paying reparations not from tax dollars but their own dollars for what they have done?

Do they have the guts to publicly admit what serious history records of their deeds? Are they capable of running a campaign without playing the race card as they have played it for the better part of two centuries? Can they even escape the race psychology that has indelibly branded them as America's Party of Race?

Or, when it comes to their own responsibility for race relations in America, will they order up more of what, under the circumstances, is a very appropriate word for the DNC website?


Now that's ironic.

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