I am not an educator, and I do not have a degree in history. But every now and then when I post I feel that I have to give my friends in A-merry-ca a history lesson. Why? Because some folks just never seem to learn. Or, it's just really convenient for them to forget. I was inspired to give tonight's lecture because of the following tidbit from an oped by a wingnut named Billy Hallowell writing for some website called The Blaze.
"..Then, last night, Chris Matthews made a startling association — that Rick Perry is like “Bull Connor with a smile.”
For those who don’t know, Connor was a Democrat and the Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama during the civil rights era. He infamously directed the use of fire hoses and attack dogs against peaceful, African American protestors — extreme brutality that was rooted in sheer racism.
This bizarre statement came after Matthews’ guest, Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News, reacted to Perry’s criticisms of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Slater explained that entitlements are only the beginning in the push for “states rights.” According to The Daily Caller, he said:
“The question is the attack on Perry is ‘Social Security is a Ponzi scheme,’ ‘Medicare needs to be changed or potentially abolished,’ which is not precisely what he said. Raising questions about the Voting Rights Act saying it is just a tool for gerrymandering in the South and the Civil Rights Act — the terms under which we’ve established — this has the look of someone who when he talks about states’ rights, states’ rights, states’ rights could make some voters, again — very nervous.” [Source]
OK, let's try this again for the...oh, I don't know...millionth time.
Yes, Bull Conner and others like him were dumbocrats. In fact, most of your white southern racist during the Jim Crow era were dumbocrats. That fact is undisputed. What is also undisputed is that most (if not all)of those racist southern whites, fled the dumbocratic party in droves and became....wait for it wait for it..... REPUBLICANS! And this was done, thanks in part, to a wonderfully crafted political ploy called "The Southern Strategy." It was where white politicians exploited the racism felt towards blacks by fellow whites to vote against the political party which had now become the party of African Americans.
"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats."]
That was Richard Nixon's version of David Axelrod giving us a little insight into the strategy that now works so well for the "party of Lincoln."
Of course it all started before that, when Southern dumbocrats like Richard Russell and Herman Talmadge boycotted the 1964 party convention in Atlantic City. All because Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Many of the southern delegates at that time refused to support the national ticket because of Johnson's actions. Throw in our boy, Barry Goldwater, --who joined the southern dumbocrats to filibuster the Act-- and the rest, as they say, is history.
That is your republican party today, the one that ran away from all things civil rights and never looked back. So no matter how much you hear wingnuts try to revise and revisit history, just remember who they were back then and why they switched. It's why
“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.” ~ reublican strategist, Lee Atwater~
Some things never change.