Historically Ignorant Campus Crybabies
Protesting students are missing the racist Democrat forest for a few trees.
If one likes ideologically inspired faux indignation, Washington Post writer Karen Attiah is hard to top. “A fascinating, uncomfortable and purifying wave is sweeping through America’s college campuses,” she writes, characterizing the protests at various universities as “agitating for racial justice.” And what does such purification entail? At Princeton, students are demanding the removal of President Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus due to his racist legacy. All well and good, but genuine purification demands the casting of a far wider net. If these students are to be true to their grievance-mongering school, the Democrat Party itself must be eliminated from the national ethos.
No doubt our Millennial Marauders, who voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the last two elections, would find such a prospect inconceivable. Yet as University of Richmond associate history professor Eric S. Yellin reminds us, the lessons we learn from these outbursts “must not be about the actions of singular bad men only.” Instead, he continues, “They must force us to consider the broad and often quotidian effects of the inequality that pervades many of our national institutions.”
So let’s consider the institution known as the Democrat Party. Its members established the Ku Klux Klan, which became the principal agent of often violent resistance to the Republican Party and its efforts to promote political and economic equality for blacks. The same Republican Party that established itself as the antislavery party.
By contrast, the Democrat Party embraced political platforms that either supported segregation outright or were silent on the subject from 1868 through 1948. In 1924 the Democrat Convention known as the “Klanbake” was held in Madison Square Garden, during which a plank condemning Klan violence was defeated outright. Afterwards a KKK celebration attended by 10,000 hooded Klansmen was held in New Jersey directly across the Hudson from the convention site.
Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, banning slavery, guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves, and granting black Americans the right to vote, respectively. They also provided the lion’s share of the opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with 75% of House Democrats voting against the legislation, only to be topped by the 80% of Senate Democrats who also opposed it.
Today’s “students” might also discover that while Wilson did segregate the federal government, a majority of blacks voted for him because he promised to treat them fairly. They also voted overwhelmingly for Harry Truman, who was a KKK member, and gave 71% of their vote to FDR in 1936. That would be the same FDR who spoke at the Klanbake convention and appointed pro-segregationist James Byrnes and KKK member Hugo Black to the Supreme Court — when he wasn’t busy placing Japanese Americans in internment camps during WWII.
And how many of these students can forget — or is that discover — it was Democrat Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Conner who turned the dogs and the water hoses on on black protesters in 1963 in Birmingham, or that Democrat Mississippi Gov. Ross Robert Barnett denied James Meredith entry to Mississippi University?
We’re getting quite an enemies list aren’t we, kids? But it’s OK, because today’s Democrats are different — right? “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision,” stated Hillary Clinton, when she accepted the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in 2009. That would be the same Margaret Sanger who insisted birth control was all about the “release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”
Can you guess who those “human weeds” might be, protesters? No doubt it’s inconvenient to consider that the ultimate expression of “white privilege” might be the reality that black women are five times more likely to abort than white women, and that 80% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics are located in minority neighborhoods.
It might be equally inconvenient to note this wholesale disdain for black life was engendered by Democrat President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” which institutionalized black victimization and the destruction of the black family. “Few people today know that marriage rates and rates of labor force participation were once higher among blacks than among whites — all of this during the first century after slavery,” black American columnist Thomas Sowell explains. “In later years, a reversal occurred, largely in the wake of the welfare state expansions that began in the 1960s.”
None of it matters, writes the Post’s Attiah: “Simply put, black students across the globe are forcing universities to go beyond simplistic notions of diversity as a panacea to address racial injustices, past and present.”
No, they’re not. They’re embracing a 50-year legacy of victimhood cultivated by the Democrat Party, along with the selective indignation that attends those for whom a carefully constructed narrative is far more important than the truth. A narrative nurtured by the likes of Professor Yellin, who maintains that America’s universities remain hotbeds of “institutional racism that makes even our most ‘enlightened’ quarters hard places for people of color to live two generations after the fall of Jim Crow.”
That would be Jim Crow laws relegating blacks to inferior status, enforced by murders and lynchings perpetrated by Democrats.
Additional snippets of inconvenient history include then-Senate Majority Leader LBJ’s blocking of the GOP’s 1956 civil-rights bill, his subsequent gutting Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Act, the Democrat Senators’ filibuster of the GOP’s 1960 Civil Rights Act, and the two-time elevation of the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WVA) to Senate Majority Leader, despite the fact he was the leader of a 150-member chapter of the Klan in the 1940s.
That would be the same Robert Byrd who refused to join the military during World War II because, as he stated in letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), he might have been forced to serve with “race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” The same Robert Byrd The New York Times referred to as a “pillar of the Senate” when they wrote his obituary in 2010.
In short, the ideological cleansing demanded by the historically ignorant arbiters of racial injustice and their cowardly enablers among university administrators and faculty will continue to ignore the proverbial Democrat forest, even as they excoriate the occasional tree. Moreover it is virtually certain they will vote for Hillary Clinton, all the historical evidence notwithstanding.
Why? Because the Democrat Party allows them to cherish their victimhood, in all its shopworn glory. These are the “revolutionaries” who demand safe spaces and trigger warnings to protect them, lest they collapse in a pile of trembling helplessness, reminiscent of Victorian-era vapors. They demand “diversity” not of ideas, but race-based quotas for faculty and administration.
They demand “reparations” for a history of racism while remaining willfully oblivious to the reality that America was one of the first nations to reject slavery at a time when it was practiced by every culture in the world. And they do so while they remaining aligned with a Democrat Party that sought to preserve black oppression, long after the War Between the States was over.
“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child,” stated Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero. To be willfully ignorant is far worse.