Do congressional lives matter? 2

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No, congressional live do not matter much when the congressmen and congresswomen are aging hippies trying to revive the thrills of their youth when they staged “sit-ins” at their universities to protest America’s intervention in Communist-threatened Vietnam.

The Democrats in the picture were among some dozens who recently sat on the floor of the House of Representatives all through the night of June 22/June 23, 2016, to protest against the Second Amendment. Who did they think would give a damn?

Reuters reports:

Fueled by Chinese food and pizzas, dozens of [Democrats] stayed on the House floor all night, at times bursting into the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome before giving up their protest after 25 hours.  “It’s not a struggle that lasts for one day, or one week, or one month, or one year,” said Representative John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia and a key figure in the civil rights protests of the 1960s. “We’re going to win the struggle,” said Lewis, who led the House sit-in.

They sang “the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome”, did they?

That’s because they like to pretend that they, the Democrats, were the party that strove for black civil rights.

But they weren’t. They didn’t.

This is from an article in the National Review by Kevin D. Williamson (worth reading in full):

Worse than the myth and the cliché is the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought, and my nominee for the worst of them is the popular but indefensible belief that the two major U.S. political parties somehow “switched places” vis-à-vis protecting the rights of black Americans, a development believed to be roughly concurrent with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the rise of Richard Nixon. That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century. Perhaps even worse, the Democrats have been allowed to rhetorically bury their Bull Connors, their longstanding affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, and their pitiless opposition to practically every major piece of civil-rights legislation for a century. Republicans may not be able to make significant inroads among black voters in the coming elections, but they would do well to demolish this myth nonetheless.

Those southerners who defected from the Democratic party in the 1960s and thereafter, did so to join a Republican party that was far more enlightened on racial issues than were the Democrats of the era, and had been for a century. There is no radical break in the Republicans’ civil-rights history: From abolition to Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, there exists a line that … connects the politics of Lincoln with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower. And from slavery and secession to remorseless opposition to everything from Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, there exists a similarly identifiable line connecting John Calhoun and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Supporting civil-rights reform was not a radical turnaround for congressional Republicans in 1964, but it was a radical turnaround for Johnson and the Democrats.

The depth of Johnson’s prior opposition to civil-rights reform must be digested in some detail to be properly appreciated. … In Congress, Johnson had consistently and repeatedly voted against legislation to protect black Americans from lynching. As a leader in the Senate, Johnson did his best to cripple the Civil Rights Act of 1957; not having votes sufficient to stop it, he managed to reduce it to an act of mere symbolism by excising the enforcement provisions before sending it to the desk of President Eisenhower. Johnson’s Democratic colleague Strom Thurmond nonetheless went to the trouble of staging the longest filibuster in history up to that point, speaking for 24 hours in a futile attempt to block the bill. The reformers came back in 1960 with an act to remedy the deficiencies of the 1957 act, and Johnson’s Senate Democrats again staged a record-setting filibuster. … Johnson would later explain his thinking thus:

These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us, since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this — we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.

Johnson did not spring up from the Democratic soil ex nihilo. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fourteenth Amendment. Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fifteenth Amendment. Not one voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Eisenhower as a general began the process of desegregating the military, and Truman as president formalized it, but the main reason either had to act was that President Wilson, the personification of Democratic progressivism, had resegregated previously integrated federal facilities. (“If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it,” he declared.) Klansmen from Senator Robert Byrd to Justice Hugo Black held prominent positions in the Democratic party — and President Wilson chose the Klan epic Birth of a Nation to be the first film ever shown at the White House. … So what happened in 1964 to change Democrats’ minds? In fact, nothing.

The Republican Party is and always has been the party for Black freedom and civil rights. It is an amazing thing that most Black voters don’t know this. They keep on voting for the party that was for their enslavement and oppression, and now does all it can to keep them poor dependents on the state.

Finally, here’s an answer to the anti-gun congressional protestors:

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The Democratic Party: the party of slavery and black oppression 3

The Left habitually re-writes history – because its own history is appalling. It should not be allowed to get away with it.

Statement of DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

June 22, 2015

For decades community leaders in South Carolina – and across the country – have been calling to get rid of this symbol of hatred, and action has been long overdue. But this is just the beginning of a conversation we as a society need to have about race, bigotry and violence in this country – not the end of one.

Jeffrey Lord writes an open letter in reply, posted at the American Spectator. We quote most of it:

Dear Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz:

I note with interest [your] statement … with regard to the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol.

Good enough. It’s good to know you wish to begin this conversation and I am happy to oblige. Let me begin with this question:

Will the Democratic Party finally apologize for supporting slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan?

Let me recall these lines from some of your party platforms.

From your 1840 platform:

Resolved, That congress has no power, under the constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states, and that such states are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the constitution; that all efforts by abolitionists or others, made to induce congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our political institutions.

And again in your 1844 platform:

That Congress has no power, under the Constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States; and that such States are the sole and proper judges of everything pertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the Constitution; that all efforts, by abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our Political Institutions.

This staunch support for slavery — not to mention the unsubtle threat that accompanied it (there would be “alarming and dangerous consequences” if serious attempts to abolish it were made) is repeated again in your party platforms of 1848 and 1852.

By 1856, your party’s support of slavery was expanded in your newest platform, with several additional sections added including vowing: “That the Democratic party will resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the agitation of the slavery question under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made.”

In 1860 your platform said: “Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional law.” This was, in fact, an endorsement of the infamous Dred Scott decision by the Court, a decision which legal scholars say was designed to write slavery into the Constitution. And your party approved of it.

As the Civil War was ending your party opposed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment — which ended slavery. Among those who opposed ending slavery was Congressman Fernando Wood. Wood (as noted in Bruce Bartlett’s Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past) was not only a member from New York, he was a former mayor of New York. Wood explained why he and the vast majority of the House Democratic Caucus — in which you now sit — opposed ending slavery.

The Almighty has fixed the distinction of the races; the Almighty has made the black man inferior, and, sir, by no legislation, by no military power, can you wipe out this distinction.…The condition of domestic servitude as existing in the southern states is the highest condition of which the African race is capable…

Likewise your party opposed not only the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments that gave legal rights to African-Americans as well as the right to vote, your party supporters banded together to form the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan being described by University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party,” while historian Eric Foner of Columbia University calls the Klan “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.”

For decades your party gave free rein to the Klan and its rabid, racist violence. In 1924 the Klan ran your Democratic Convention in New York’s Madison Square Garden, known to history as the “Klan bake” convention. Time and time and time again your party selected Klan members to represent it in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House as well as state governorships and all manner of local officials.

Your party used this support to win the congressional power that passed everything from the creation of the Federal Reserve to Social Security. One of the latter’s notable supporters, in fact, was Mississippi’s Senator Theodore Bilbo, a proud supporter of Social Security who boasted of his membership in the Klan.

One troubling sign of just how close was your party’s relationship with the Klan was President Franklin Roosevelt’s appointment of Alabama’s liberal New Deal Senator Hugo Black to the Supreme Court. Black held a “golden passport” — aka a lifetime membership in the Klan. Decades later, in 1968, Justice Black wrote:

President Roosevelt… told me there was no reason for my worrying about my having been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He said some of his best friends and supporters he had in the state of Georgia were among members of the organization. He never in any way, by word or attitude, indicated any doubt about my having been in the Klan nor did he indicate any criticism of me for having been a member of that organization.

Black was far from alone with his Klan connections in your party. The notorious Eugene “Bull” Connor, the Birmingham, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner who unleashed both police dogs and fire hoses on civil rights protesters in 1963, was both a Klan member and a member of your Democratic National Committee. There isn’t enough space to list the elected leaders of your party who served under the hoods of the Klan and supported the savage violence inflicted on black Americans for decades.

From the rabidly segregationist President Woodrow Wilson (who showcased the pro-Klan Birth of a Nation film in the White House and also made certain his segregationist and progressive Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels segregated the Navy) to other prominent Democrats, your party has been the home of those who use race to win elections and make public policy. Senators with names like South Carolina’s James F. Byrnes (also an FDR Court appointee and Truman’s Secretary of State) or Georgia’s powerful Richard Russell …  were typical of the honored roles bestowed on the rawest of racists by your party. …

The real damage done by your party with its culture of race and violence has been to create exactly the climate in which the Dylann Roofs of America feel they can operate. Note well that the roommate of the Charleston killer said that Roof was a “segregationist” — which is to say he was precisely emulating the culture that your party has spent two centuries creating and celebrating.

Isn’t it time for your party to finally apologize for all of this horrendous behavior that your party is directly responsible for? Isn’t it time for the Democratic Party to finally own up and apologize to black Americans?

Generally we think it rather foolish for people living now to apologize for what past generations did, but in this case an apology would at least be an acknowledgment of guilt. Our experience is that when Democrats are reminded of their past as slavery supporters, they insist the Party changed so completely that the present one has no connection whatsoever with what the old Party did. Yet they also like to say they are the oldest political party in the world – which implies there was no break. Oh well – the Left never minds contradicting itself. It has no sense of hypocrisy. It has no shame.

Suddenly there is much talk about removing Confederate flags from this or that state capitol where politicians of your party — like South Carolina’s then-governor Ernest “Fritz” Hollings — placed them in the first place. Now talk is abroad about removing statues of “Confederates” — meaning prominent Democrats — from the U.S. Capitol and some state capitols. The statue of Democrat Jefferson Davis — the ex-president of the Confederacy who also served as a Democratic Congressman, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of War in a Democratic administration — has been mentioned for possible removal from its place in Kentucky’s state capitol.

Interesting. A growing mass call to remove the names of one prominent Democrat after another from the public square. One has to ask? Is it time to rename the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that crosses the Potomac from Virginia to Washington, the latter a majority black city? If so, may I suggest the name of Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first black U.S. Senator — in 1870? Oh yes, Senator Revels was also a Republican.

Calls for slavery “reparations” are occasionally heard. And in the spirit of Charleston perhaps the question should be asked directly of you as Chair of the Democratic Party.

Will the Democratic Party itself pay reparations to black Americans? Reparations for those party platforms that supported slavery? Not to mention for passing all those segregationist laws that were deliberately designed to evade the 14th and 15th amendments of the Constitution? Reparations for using the Ku Klux Klan as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party” — with that terror directly targeting black Americans?

We are not for the paying of reparations to people who live now and suffered no injury. No reparation is possible to the dead. But if these questions make Democrats squirm, let them be asked!

You, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, along with President Obama and former Secretary Clinton, talk of what happened in Charleston by mentioning the need to discuss “race bigotry and violence” (you), or saying of racism that “societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior” (President Obama) or calling the Charleston attack “an act of racist terror” (Secretary Clinton). But somehow you never get around to saying just who was doing all of this — your political party. The Democrats.

In fact, as I noted in 2008, the Democratic National Committee — on the eve of the Obama nomination — went out of its way to deliberately erase a full fifty years of Democratic Party history from the official DNC website. What was erased? All reference to your party’s role in slavery, segregation, lynching, and the rest. Those platforms that supported slavery, mentioned above? The number of Democrats who occupied the White House while owning slaves? The platforms that supported segregation — and the Democratic presidents, senators, governors and more who supported segregation? The tie between Democrats and the Klan? All of this and more was simply gone from your website — deliberately and willfully hidden from voters while trying to leave the impression that your party was a historically enthusiastic supporter of civil rights. Which, to understate, is not true.

Amid all the tragedy of Charleston, I would suggest that it is finally time for the Democratic Party — the party you chair — to come forward and admit its role in this long-running national horror. It’s time — way, way past time — for an apology. An apology directly from the leaders of the Democratic Party to black Americans, not to mention the rest of the country, for what your party has done.

And instead of raising all those millions for the next election? How about raising some millions from all your rich donors to pay black Americans for the damage you have done to them since the inception of your slavery/segregation and race-based party in 1800?

Damage that has now, yet again, brought violence and tragedy from someone inspired by your ugly history. It would seem, at a minimum, that now is the time to apologize for — instead of ignore or hide — that history.

White? Be ashamed and repent 1

It’s probably from Christianity that Socialism derives the idea that it’s virtuous to abase oneself. Sociological thinking and the leftist collectivist ideal of leveling require self-abasement.

Sometimes we come across statements or practices by leftist ideologues that sample for us all that is repulsive, anti-human, narrow and dumb about the Left.

Here for instance is a report, by Kyle Olson at Townhall, of just such a sample. It is about education officials prescribing self-abasement for Whites – as St. Paul did for Christians.

Wisconsin Education Officials Want Students to Wear “White Privilege” Wristbands.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction runs several programs that heavily emphasize racial issues in public schools …

Some feel that one of those programs – an Americorps operation called VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) – may go a bit overboard by encouraging white students to wear a white wristband “as a reminder about your (white) privilege.”  …

A  Gloria Steinem quote on the top of VISTA’s Facebook page reads ominously:

 “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”

The webpage also offers a series of suggestions for high schools students to become more racially sensitive. They include:

Wear a white wristband as a reminder about your privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband.

Confess, confess. Confess to being white. Hang your head and be ashamed. Make amends by abasing yourself.

Set aside sections of the day to critically examine how privilege is working.

Put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege.

Examine your conscience. Repent being white.

The Wisconsin DPI also sponsors several similar programs, including CREATE Wisconsin, an on-going “cultural sensitivity” teacher training program which focuses largely on “whiteness” and “white privilege.”

Hating whitey sessions? After which the teachers will be better able to educate the children of Wisconsin?

An opposite way of thinking about race may be found in a column by the wise and great Thomas Sowell. He writes:

There are so many fallacies about race that it would be hard to say which is the most ridiculous. However, one fallacy behind many other fallacies is the notion that there is something unusual about different races being unequally represented in various institutions, careers or at different income or achievement levels.

A hundred years ago, the fact that people from different racial backgrounds had very different rates of success in education, in the economy and in other endeavors, was taken as proof that some races were genetically superior to others.

Some races were considered to be so genetically inferior that eugenics was proposed to reduce their reproduction, and Francis Galton urged [in tune with Marx and Engels – ed] “the gradual extinction of an inferior race.”

It was not a bunch of fringe cranks who said things like this. Many held Ph.D.s from the leading universities, taught at the leading universities and were internationally renowned.

Presidents of Stanford University and of MIT were among the many academic advocates of theories of racial inferiority — applied mostly to people from Eastern and Southern Europe, since it was just blithely assumed in passing that blacks were inferior.

This was not a left-right issue. The leading crusaders for theories of genetic superiority and inferiority were iconic figures on the left, on both sides of the Atlantic.

John Maynard Keynes helped create the Cambridge Eugenics Society. Fabian socialist intellectuals H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were among many other leftist supporters of eugenics.

It was much the same story on this side of the Atlantic. President Woodrow Wilson, like many other Progressives, was solidly behind notions of racial superiority and inferiority. He showed the movie “Birth of a Nation,” glorifying the Ku Klux Klan, at the White House, and invited various dignitaries to view it with him. …

Now, instead of genes being the overriding reason for differences in outcomes, racism [has become] the one-size-fits-all explanation …  [for]  the same false premise — namely, that there is something unusual about different racial and ethnic groups having different achievements. …

Not only different racial and ethnic groups, but whole nations and civilizations, have had very different achievements for centuries. China in the 15th century was more advanced than any country in Europe. Eventually Europeans overtook the Chinese — and there is no evidence of changes in the genes of either of them.

Among the many reasons for different levels of achievement is something as simple as age. The median age in Germany and Japan is over 40, while the median age in Afghanistan and Yemen is under 20. Even if the people in all four of these countries had the same mental potential, the same history, the same culture — and the countries themselves had the same geographic features — the fact that people in some countries have 20 years more experience than people in other countries would still be enough to make equal economic and other outcomes virtually impossible.

Add the fact that different races evolved in different geographic settings, presenting very different opportunities and constraints on their development, and the same conclusion follows.

Yet the idea that differences in outcomes are odd, if not sinister, has been repeated mindlessly from street corner demagogues to the august chambers of the Supreme Court.

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Here’s Thomas Sowell, with Peter Robinson, talking good sense on race, racism, and discrimination