Grassroots Commentary

The Republican Fight Against the KKK/Democrat Tyranny

By Louis DeBroux · Feb. 19, 2013

February being Black History month, we continue a review of the long relationship between the Republican Party and black Americans. In the previous two articles, we discussed the establishment of the Republican Party for the specific purpose of ending slavery, and the backlash from pro-slavery Democrats (including a slavery critic being beaten almost to death by a pro-slavery senator) which ultimate led to the commencement of the War Between the States. We noted the 13th (ending slavery), 14th (extending rights to former slaves) and 15th (securing voting rights for blacks) Amendments, as well as the first Civil Rights Act (passed in 1866) all have a common thread – they were passed by Republicans and viciously opposed by Democrats. Democrat President Andrew Johnson would refuse to enforce the law, and a Democrat-appointed Supreme Court would later rule them unconstitutional.

Over the next hundred years following the passage of these amendments and the Civil Rights Act, Democrats fought Republican efforts to secure equality for blacks at every turn, often by violent means. When Republicans began impeachment proceedings against Democrat President Andrew Johnson, he famously declared “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men!” It surely must have galled Johnson when, less than two months later, Pinckney Pinchback and James Harris attended the Republican National Convention, the first black men to ever serve as major party delegates. In the fall of that year, the Democrats announced the slogan for their national convention, “This is a white man's country: Let white men rule”. It was roundly denounced by the Republican Party.

The most well-known opposition to black equality (well, other than the Democrat Party itself), was and is the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan originally formed in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, and used violent tactics to terrorize blacks and Republicans into abandoning the pursuit of racial equality. While technically separate organizations, the KKK and the Democrat Party had a symbiotic relationship; virtually every member of the Klan was an active member of, or sympathetic to, the Democrats.

In an effort to combat Democrat efforts, either directly as a party or through their terrorist arm known as the KKK, the Republican Congress established the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute those persecuting blacks, in the process protecting blacks and the rights that had been extended to them. As history chronicles, this turned out to be more difficult than Republicans had hoped, taking another century before widespread and open violence against blacks by their Democrat tormentors would come to a merciful end (by then the party had learned to apply more subtle tactics to keep blacks oppressed).

Though Republicans continued passing laws protecting the rights of blacks, the power and influence of the Democrat Party/KKK rose over the coming decades, often through violent intimidation. High profile blacks and Republicans were targeted for violent reprisals, and injury and bloodshed common. One such incident was the case of Octavius Catto, a black man who had worked within the inner circles of the Republican Party and had helped organize one of the first volunteer companies in the Union Army, comprised of black soldiers. He was a vocal and vigorous opponent of slavery and the Democrat efforts to reinstitute it, which was perhaps why he was such an inviting target. On October 10, 1871, gangs of white Democrat thugs roamed the streets of Philadelphia's black neighborhoods, intimidating them from turning out to vote, beating and murdering those that defied their tyranny. Local police refused to protect the blacks, which only encouraged the thugs.

Yet Catto would not be intimidated, and walked defiantly up the steps to his voting precinct, where he met Frank Kelly, a local Democrat operative and close friend of the Democrat Party boss. As he strode up the steps to vote, Kelly (having recognized Catto) drew his gun and fired several shots at Catto, with one entering his heart and killing him. Catto's murder outraged many of Philadelphia's citizens, and Kelly fled the city. Kelly was found six years later in Chicago and extradited back to face murder charges. Tragically, Kelly was protected from punishment, acquitted by an all-white jury sympathetic to his racist hate, despite the testimony of six eyewitnesses to the murder.

In his book “A Short History of Reconstruction,” renowned historian Eric Foner, Professor of History at Columbia University, said the following of the Klan: “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.* It aimed to destroy the Republican Party's infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.”* Foner would also quote Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan (and descendant of the man of the same name who served as the first Grand Wizard of the KKK) from the September 1928 edition of the KLKK's “The Kourier Magazine,” “I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat. My father…never voted for any man who was not a Democrat. My grandfather was…the head of the Ku Klux Klan in reconstruction days… My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat…My great-great-grandfather was…one of the founders of the Democratic Party.” As one can easily see, the Democrat Party and the KKK were inseparably intertwined, Siamese twins of tyranny in the eradication of blacks and Republicans.

The violence would continue for many years. In 1874, Democrats stormed the Louisiana state house in protest of the racial integration in the administration of Republican Governor William Kellogg, killing 27 people. Ultimately, the Ku Klux Klan and Democrats would murder, oppress, and torment untold thousands of black Americans. Cross-burning and lynching would become synonymous with the groups. One of the most notorious murders was the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, shot and killed by Democrat and Klan member Byron De La Beckwith, who in turn escaped justice for more than thirty years after two all-white juries failed to convict him. He was finally re-tried in 1994 following the exhumation and autopsy of Evers, and was convicted at last, serving only six years in prison before his death in 2001.

After the turn of the century and for many more decades, Democrats unapologetically condemned equality for blacks, proudly declaring their philosophical brotherhood with the Klan in denying equality to blacks. Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, serving from 1959 until his death in 2010, was a former member of the KKK, rising to the ranks of Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops. Byrd famously wrote, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” Byrd was the same man who spoke for more than fourteen hours in a filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen who broke the filibuster, having worked tirelessly to invoke cloture and force a vote on the bill. Democrats often referred to Byrd as “The Conscience of the Senate”.

Despite its history of racist and violent oppression of blacks, including outright murder, the Democrat Party today is seen as the protector of blacks in America. Such a claim could only be the result of stunning ignorance and brilliant propagandizing. In next's week's final article in the series, we'll take a look at what many white Democrat leaders really feel about the blacks who vote for them, and why Democrat policies have led to institutionalized poverty and the destruction of the black family. Stay tuned…


Daryl in Irvine Ca said:

This is brilliant. It does however exclude the mid 1960's and Nixon's southern stratagy. The Republicans reached out to the disgruntled racists from the old democrat south and wecolmed them into the republican party. This article blinks at that time period but doesn't really account for the major switch in both racists from the democratic party to the Republican party and the shift in African american voters from Republican to Democrat.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3:45 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Got news for you Daryl, the Democrats are still the racists, and block every Republican effort to stop the slavery of the welfare state and put a halt to the Marxist agenda. You are an idiot if you can't see the reality of what the Democrat Party of Marx is doing. They are exponetionally expanding the welfare roles and their voting base, shared misery for all, while the economy tanks and the country goes bankrupt.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Louis DeBroux in Cartersville, GA replied:

Actually, this was a 4-part series, and I do address the alleged "Southern Strategy" in the final article, which is easily debunked. No one can explain to me why racist Democrats would suddenly flock to the party whose very existence was brought about to end slavery and racism. Of all of the Democrats in Congress who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act only one, Strohm Thurmond, switched parties. The rest of the racists stayed right where they the Republican Party. You would also do well to remember that MLK, the very symbol of the civil rights movement, was a registered Republican. Blacks began switching to the Democrat Party after being promised a whole host of government goodies, making them slaves to the Democrat plantation. Even today blacks are a monolithic voting bloc for a party who gives hundreds of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood, an organization tracing back to Margaret Sanger, who preached the policy of eugenics, the use of sterilization and abortion to rid the world of blacks and other "undesirables".

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Jim in Western NC said:

If a secret plan was created to destroy the black family and subjugate blacks in America, it wouldn't look too different from what the Democratic Party has already accomplished. That party has become expert at manipulating man's basest impulses and instincts. The worst part is probably the black race hustlers who know better, but undermine their own people's future for a little money and power. It's sad to see how quickly and easily many will sell their God-given freedom and potential (and votes) for government trinkets. One wonders how history will judge this in another hundred years.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Michael Newton in Indiana said:

Funny how this article fails to mention GOP collaboration with the KKK in 1876 to make Rutherford Hayes POTUS after he lost the popular vote (sound familiar?), followed by complete GOP abandonment of Reconstruction and African Americans. Likewise, the author ignores the notorious Nixon-Reagan "southern strategy" of recruiting white racist voters, and the fact that former Dixiecrats are now unanimously extreme right-wing Republicans (some of whom still refer to slavery as a "blessing" for blacks). Presumably history looks better with both eyes shut.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

The article is fact based, but your rebuttal is a perfect example of rewritten indoctrination. Thanks for the expose Michael.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Louis DeBroux in Cartersville, GA replied:

I've never heard of the Hayes "conspiracy", so I'll have to check into it. However, as you can see from my comments above, I did address the false claim of Nixon's "Southerm strategy" in part 4 of this series.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Ron Mathis in Indiana said:

DeBroux misleads his readers by limiting discussion of the KKK and GOP to Reconstruction. In its strongest phase, with 4+ million members during 1920-30, the KKK above the Mason-Dixon Line was overwhelmingly Republican, including President Harding, the governor of Indiana, etc. Today, racist Tea Party spokesmen (calling for murder of "Obama's monkey children," etc.) and members of the CCC (founded and led by officers of the 1960s White Citizens Council) are more closely akin to Klansmen than any surviving Democrats.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Thanks Ron for another missive of misinformation from a low intelligent usefull idiot indoctrinated fool. Cogent argument is regularly esposed in this journal, and it is telling to see the occaisional diatribe of the usefull idiot who believes the fantasy of rewritten history. Thanks for your cluelessness exposed. The Party of Marx is the most racist of entities, and has done more harm to the black population than Satan could do.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Louis DeBroux in Cartersville, GA replied:

Would mind providing empirical evidence for the claim that "the KKK above the Mason-Dixon Line was overwhelmingly Republican"? I'd like to study that some more. As for Harding being a Klan member, there are numerous refutations for the validity of that claim. In his book "Warren Harding", (edited by the NYT's Arthur Schlesinger...not exactly a conservative apologist), author John Dean reports that he could find no evidence for such a claim even after a a review of the White House schedule records, Harding's correspondence, and a host of other records.

As far as the TEA Party being racist, a claim perpetuated by the liberal left, can you also provide evidence of that claim? If you'd like, I can send you pictures of TEA Party rallies I've attended with dozens of blacks in attendance, all very well received. In fact, it was the TEA Party in South Carolina that propelled Tim Scott to victory in the Republican primary over other men with strong Republican pedigrees. These claims of racism are easily made...not so easily proven.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 1:26 PM

BJWright in Lubbock replied:

I know many who claim to be part of the tea party and most are racists and many are blatantly racist with nword jokes and all. And they say they are republicans. Small sample size but they are out there.

Monday, December 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM

wjm in Colorado said:

passed by Republicans and viciously opposed by Democrats
President Johnson recognized briliantly that violence wouldn't work, but handouts and indoctrination, rewritten history would reward the Party of the KKK with support for free stuff. The Great Society (of Marxist Utopia) It still works for them. The useful idiots are so indoctrinated they continue to vote for free stuff and their own slavery. The rot has infected America and the Decline has begun. Just how bad it must get remains to be seen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Lord Kristoffer Jay Martin in Eau Claire said:

Nice revisionist history there...too bad most of what you said is bunk.

First off you ignored one VERY big issue and that is the Civil war was fought over property (in the form of slaves) and it was what we would call today Republicans who fought to keep slavery.

Before the Civil War there wasn't a two party system, but a multiparty system. Democrats and Republicans were one party and not separated yet. The separation of the Republican party and Democratic party was really an evolution in politics as Ex-Wigs primarily made up the Northern State Republican party, which was the liberal part of the time who were anti-slavery.

However, during the Black Rights movement starting in the 1860s post Civil War, there was a shift in terminology, the GOP or Grand Old Party took on a mantle of prejudice and racism. While The Democratic party shifted towards equality and rights. Basically the two parties flipflopped. The Southern Democrat of the Civil War is not the Democrat of today. The GOP actually split factions creating the modern Democratic Party that we have today and the Republican Party we have today.

Democrats pushed for equal rights, desegregation, while Republicans which started tacking on religious ideology pushed for expulsion of freed slaved and segregation.

In any case, I do suggest you go and reread your history books and check your facts because a good deal of what you're presupposing here is wrong.

Monday, October 21, 2013 at 2:31 AM