Sean Turner
August 10, 2003
Democratic Party's past, present, and future unkind to blacks
By Sean Turner

For years, the Democratic Party his portrayed itself as the friend of blacks and other racial minorities in America. Its leaders and supporters have proven adept at the art of historical slight of hand, as they have convinced the vast majority of blacks with overwhelming success that Democrats are civil rights champions. However, the “Information Age” has ushered in a new era of awareness for those who seek it, as the ubiquity of the Internet has delivered volumes of historical data right to one’s fingertips. With this awareness comes a new view on the Democratic Party’s true relationship to America’s black population.

To date, only four blacks have ever served in the United States Senate. The first two, Senators Hiram Revels and Blanche K. Bruce, were elected in Mississippi to the U.S. Senate in the 1870’s, and both were Republican. The third was Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, also a Republican, who served two full terms from 1967 to 1979. Lastly, in 1992, Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, the only Democrat, was elected to represent Illinois, and became the first black woman to serve in this capacity. Additionally, in 1870, Joseph Hayne Rainey, a Republican from South Carolina, was the first black to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to the election of FDR in 1932, blacks primarily voted Republican by the margins in which they vote for Democrats today. However, FDR’s “New Deal” programs, which turned out to be a raw deal particularly for blacks, inveigled the black electorate into a Democratic voting trend that has yet to cease. As part of the “New Deal”, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was established which reduced crop production, and forced many blacks out of farming. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) / Wagner Act was established, granting the right of existence to labor unions, who often excluded blacks. The “New Deal” also established the national minimum wage, which has directly contributed to the 36% unemployment rate among black teens in America. As late as 1954, the unemployment rate for black teen-age males ages 16 and 17 was still below that of their white counterparts: 13.4% vs. 14%. Beginning in 1956, when the minimum wage was raised from 75 cents to $1, unemployment rates for the two groups began to diverge. By 1960, the unemployment rate for black teen-age males rose to just under 23%, while the white rate remained below 15%. By 1981, the unemployment rate for black teen-age males averaged 40.7%, four times its early 1950s level, when the minimum wage was much lower with less extensive coverage.

The issue of civil rights proved extremely contentious and divisive for the Democratic Party, when in 1948, a group of Southern Democrats who opposed integration and wanted to retain Jim Crow laws and racial segregation broke from the party to form the Dixiecrat Party. In 1964, it took the leadership of Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen to break the Democratic filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill led by current Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and then Senator Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee. In the Senate, only six Republicans voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, vis-à-vis twenty-one Democrats in opposition. In the House, 40% of the Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act, while only 20% of Republicans opposed it.

Today, nine Democrats have undertaken an effort to win the votes of the American electorate, in the hopes of becoming the next leader of this great nation. All support raising the national minimum wage, despite its insidious history toward black teens and small businesses. Most oppose affording poor families the choice to remove their children from failing schools, which disproportionately affect black and Latino children particularly in urban areas. Some have even opposed welfare reform in 1996, which has succeeded in helping scores of recipients re-enter the labor force and off of government (taxpayer) assistance.

Though the Republican Party is not devoid of improvident policy and legislation, what the Democratic Party offers in the “Notorious 9” presidential candidates is an all-out sprint toward complete socialism, where blacks will bear the brunt of the destruction. Still, the so-called “civil rights establishment” remain ardent supporters of candidates like Dick Gephardt, who according to, 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.

Belafonte’s recent infantile comparison of Secretary of State Colin Powell to a house slave, and other ominous comments by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, reveal an utter contempt for history and the truth by two bitter relics of a dark era in America’s history. They also reveal a tenuous relationship between the Democratic Party and blacks, built on a web of duplicity decades in the making. The time has long expired for this web to be dismantled, the facts to be revealed, and the Democratic spell cast over blacks in America to be broken — never to return.

© Sean Turner


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Sean Turner

Sean Turner is the head of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Georgia, and a member of the Project 21 Advisory Council of the National Center for Public Policy Research... (more)

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