“Lynching” Furor and the Forgotten Racial History Of America

“Lynching” Furor and the Forgotten Racial History Of America

by Bob Bennett •

In these days of deliberate racialism by Democrats, who call the president—and the entire GOP racists—It’s time for black Americans and Republicans to learn their joint history.

The Civil War was not only between North and South, but between Republican and Democrat.

After they lost the War, Democrats created the Ku Klux Klan to control and subjugate blacks and fight Republicans. Famed American historian, Dr. Eric Foner, Professor of History at Columbia University, wrote:

“Founded in 1866 as a Tennessee social club, the Ku Klux Klan spread into nearly every Southern state, launching a ‘reign of terror’ against Republican leaders black and white….In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy.”

The Klan was founded in 1867, in Pulaski, Tennessee by former Confederate soldiers John C. Lester, John B. Kennedy, James R. Crowe, Frank O. McCord, Richard R. Reed, and J. Calvin Jones.

We hear incessant reminders of “home-grown American terrorism” in Oklahoma, but the first organized terrorist group that possessed real power was the Invisible Empire—the Ku Klux Klan. Soon after its founding, Klan terrorism made a mockery of Lincoln’s martyrdom by robbing American blacks of the most precious gifts of America, the right to pursue happiness and the right to vote.

The Klan’s hallowed mission was to suppress the Black vote. Over 2,000 people were killed and wounded in Louisiana during the run-up to the Presidential election of November 1868. The Republican candidate was Ulysses S. Grant.

The events in Louisiana’s St. Landry Parish were emblematic of the impact of the Klan. The parish had a registered Republican majority of 1,071. But after the murders, not a single Republican voted in the election.

The entire vote of the parish was cast by white Democrats, for Grant’s opponent. The KKK’s assault on St. Landry’s resulted in more than 200 casualties among black Republicans.  Twenty-five bodies were found in a shallow grave in the woods.

But Grant won anyway and made it his hallowed mission to destroy the Klan. In 1869, a federal grand jury affirmed that the Ku Klux Klan was a terrorist organization. In 1871, The U.S. Senate investigated and reported on the lawless suppression of the rights of Negro citizens in the “former insurrectionary states.”

In the spring of 1871, President Grant asked Congress to give him the power to fight the Klan and enforce the right of freed slaves to vote. Within a month, Congress responded with the Ku Klux Klan Act, which Republicans introduced “to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The Act also gave Grant the power to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus, to combat the violence of the Klan. This he used only a single time, in October of that year, in ten North Carolina counties that were racked with widespread Klan terrorism.

The results were the virtual obliteration of the Ku Klux Klan until about 1915, when it rose again, reaching full flower in the 1960s. The Klan’s mission, then was opposing the Civil Rights Movement.

Republican President Eisenhower desegregated public facilities in the Nation’s capital, desegregated the armed forces; and like his fellow-Republican President Grant, he used Federal troops—this time, to desegregate the schools.

Today, Democrats back-slap one another over the great things their party has done for Blacks, but conceal from America their not-so-distant past.

President Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on Oct 5, 1953, capping his sweeping reform of the Federal courts—particularly in the South—with appointments that would bring about and enforce the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which was to come on May 17, 1954.

That is the day the Warren Court declared unanimously that “separate but equal” schools were unconstitutional,  overturning Plessy v Ferguson, the 1896 decision that upheld the constitutionality of  segregation and the “separate but equal” principle. On August 29, 1957 Eisenhower succeed in getting passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1957—after a bitter struggle with 18 southern Democrats, including Senator Sam J. Ervin, who would later confront Nixon over the Watergate scandal, complained passage of the law would give the president the power to send troops into the South.

Lyndon Johnson, who was later given credit in revisionist history for helping pass the Act, had in fact worked with the southern segregationists to limit the bill’s scope to voting rights.

New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. issued a press release declaring that Eisenhower had “kept his word to me 100 Percent.” Powell related that on October 11, 1956 Ike had promised him, that in his next State of the Union speech, he would call for passage of civil rights law; spell out specifically what he wanted in it and get his allies in Congress to fight for its passage.

Powell added: “After 80 years of political slavery, this is the second emancipation.” This act, together with Brown v Board of Ed., are the forgotten history of black America and the Republican Party.

Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.

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