WASHINGTON, October 23, 2013 — After appearing on MSNBC this week where he compared the Tea Party movement to the Ku Klux Klan, Democrat Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Florida) stirred controversy when his KKK-themed fundraising email surfaced featuring a burning cross, men in white sheets, and the words Tea Party spelled out in flaming letters.
If anyone would know what the Ku Klux Klan stands for, it would be Grayson and his Democrat Party.
After all, it was a group of southern Democrats who founded the KKK.
In fact, a thorough check of the publicly-available legislative record dating back to the mid-1800s demonstrates that the Democrat Party voted against every critical piece of civil rights legislation since 1866.
Allow me to take you, Mr. Grayson, down memory lane.
It was the Republican Party which was founded in the year of 1854 as the “anti-slavery party” – the party which gave us President Abraham Lincoln and subsequently, the Emancipation Proclamation which was responsible for freeing slaves in Union states. It was the Democrat Party at that time that fought the Emancipation Proclamation in order to keep African Americans in slavery.
According to public records which can be found in the Library of Congress, it was members of the Republican Party who amended the Constitution with the 13th Amendment that officially freed the slaves, the 14th Amendment which gave them citizenship, and the 15th Amendment which granted them the right to vote. In fact, it was Republicans who passed the Civil Rights laws of the 1860s – including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Reconstruction Act of 1867 – and we have stood for civil rights ever since.
Sadly, the majority of Democrats fought every single passage of every single Civil Rights law dating back to the 1860s all the way through the 1960s. That’s nearly 100 years of the very sort of hatred which Representative Grayson now accuses the Tea Party of, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Even in the more modern 20th century, the Democrats’ dismal record on civil rights continued. Prominent Democrats such as John F. Kennedy actually voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Act while serving in the U.S. Senate. So did then-Senator Al Gore, Senior. With the exception of President Lyndon B. Johnson (a Democrat) who forced the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act in the wake of the assassination of President Kennedy, Democrats by and large have been the single biggest blockade to civil rights legislation in this country.
Mid-century it was the Democrat Party that was responsible for passing controversial Jim Crow laws and so-called Black Civil Codes that gave America separate drinking fountains, swimming pools and other segregated facilities. However, it was Dwight D. Eisenhower – a Republican president – who appointed Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, which resulted in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education which ended school segregation once and for all.
Republicans actually authored the legislation which created black colleges and universities, the very institutions which are a source of historic pride for the African American community.
And it was a group of black Republicans who founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
It was a Republican, Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois, the “Land of Lincoln,” who drafted legislation on numerous civil rights acts including the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which banned discrimination in housing.
Even Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has long been reported to have been a Republican. For example, his father Martin Luther King, Sr. was not only a registered Republican but he publicly endorsed Richard M. Nixon, a Republican, for President. According to Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Caucus, Dr. King, Jr. himself battled “Democrats who stood in the schoolhouse doors, turned skin-burning fire hoses on blacks and let loose vicious dogs.”
Furthermore, it was A. Phillip Randolph, an African American and a member of the Republican Party, who coordinated the famous “March on Washington” for Dr. King, where King gave his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech for which we just celebrated its 50th anniversary.
It was Republican President Richard M. Nixon who introduced “the Philadelphia Plan,” the blueprint for what is known as Affirmative Action today. And it was President Ronald Reagan, another Republican, who in 1984 signed into law the holiday known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
But Representative Grayson is not about to let the facts stand in his way, as he continues to spew his hate speech. On MSNBC this week, Grayson told the Reverend Al Sharpton that “the Tea Party is about as popular as the Klan.” Perhaps that’s considered charming talk in the South, but in states like California and Colorado we don’t talk like that. In California especially, we embrace diverse cultures.
As for the Tea Party, I can only speak as someone who helped start the Tea Party movement in California, the most populous State in the nation. When I served as the event director responsible for one of the largest Tea Party events in the nation, an event which was televised LIVE on the FOX News channel as an open book for all to see, I can personally attest that I never – not once – saw a single racist sign nor heard a single racist remark from any member of any Tea Party. If I had, the attendees would have been summarily dismissed.
Grayson’s hate speech appears to have been dismissed thus far by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the White House, both of which have remained quiet on the matter. Sadly, while Grayson’s manner of hate speech may have historically had a place in Democrat politics, I strongly suggest this sort of language and inflammatory imagery have no place in American politics.
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