Dinesh D’Souza has been on numerous programs lately preaching his Manichaean political gospel of an unsullied, unracist Republican North and a soiled, dirty, no-good, racist Democrat South. Now, trying to defend either of these parties is absurd on its face since both are controlled by the same globalist corporate donors. But D’Souza’s charges of racism do need to be dealt with. Thankfully, a new essay at the Abbeville Institute has appeared that does so. Among other things, the author writes,
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As for white supremacy in regard to blacks, it pervaded the exclusively Northern GOP every bit as much as it did the Democrats in the 19th century. In fact, by today’s standards of race, the whole country believed in white supremacy, save a handful of racial egalitarians, but they were an extremely rare find.
Aside from Lincoln’s oft-quoted racist views, the examples of Northern bigotry are numerous:
The French traveler Alexis de Tocqueville observed in the 1830s that racial prejudice was stronger in the North than in the South. “The prejudice of race appears to be stronger in the states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists; and nowhere is it so intolerant as in those states where servitude has never been known.”
Republican Leland Stanford, who, as a wealthy railroad magnate began Stanford University, said in 1859 in his campaign for governor of California, “The cause in which we are engaged is one of the greatest in which any can labor. It is the cause of the white man…I am in favor of free white American citizens. I prefer free white citizens to any other race. I prefer the white man to the negro as an inhabitant to our country. I believe its greatest good has been derived by having all of the country settled by free white men.”
Republican Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, a good friend of Lincoln, also labeled the GOP a party for whites. “We the Republican party, are the white man’s party. We are for the free white man, and for making white labor acceptable and honorable, which it can never be when negro slave labor is brought into competition with it.” He also said, “There is a very great aversion in the West – I know it to be so in my State – against having free negroes come among us. Our people want nothing to do with the negro.”
Republican Senator John Sherman of Ohio said on the Senate floor in 1862, “In the State where I live we do not like negroes. We do not disguise our dislike.” Sherman also admitted that the creation of a national bank was a greater cause than freeing the slaves and to have the former he would gladly give up the latter.
Republican William H. Seward, who would become Lincoln’s Secretary of State, said while still in the US Senate, “The motive of those who protested against the extension of slavery had always really been concern for the welfare of the white man, and not an unnatural sympathy for the Negro.”
New York Senator John Dix, who was a Democrat but became a Republican and served as a general in the war, and was later honored with the naming of Fort Dix, said in 1848 during a Senate debate over slavery in the territories that “free blacks would continue to be an inferior cast and simply die out.”
Hearing Dix’s remarks, a slaveholding Democratic Senator from Mississippi named Jefferson Davis rose to counter his colleague:
With surprise and horror I heard this announcement of a policy which seeks, through poverty and degradation, the extinction of a race of human beings domesticated among us. We, sir, stand in such a relation to that people as creates a feeling of kindness and protection. We have attachments which have grown with us from childhood – to the old servant who nursed us in infancy, to the man who was the companion of our childhood, and the not less tender regard for those who have been reared under our protection. To hear their extinction treated as a matter of public policy or of speculative philosophy arouses our sympathy and our indignation.
And it was because of the racist attitudes prevailing in the North that segregation pervaded that region throughout the 19th century and into the next. As C. Vann Woodward has written in his book The Strange Career of Jim Crow, it was the North that began segregation, not the South. “One of the strangest things about the career of Jim Crow,” he writes, “was that the system was born in the North and reached an advanced age before moving South in force.” By contrast, the South’s slave society by its very nature was integrated.
D’Souza credits Republicans for launching what he calls the “original civil rights revolution” in the 1860s and 1870s. At the end of the war, the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery garnered 100 percent Republican support, he reminds us, but just 23 percent from Democrats. Congress then passed the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866 to overturn Dred Scott and grant citizenship to blacks, with exclusive Republican support and not a single vote from Democrats.
The Fifteenth Amendment, which would grant voting rights to black men, passed in 1868 by a vote of 39 to 13 in the Senate, with all 39 coming from Republicans, while all 13 “no” votes came from Democrats. But D’Souza never mentions the significant fact that most Northern states prohibited black voting, even during the same period of Reconstruction when Congress was imposing it on the South, first with the Reconstruction Acts of 1867, then the Fifteenth Amendment. In fact, only a few Northern states allowed blacks to vote, and in the same year that the South was being forced to grant voting rights to male freed slaves, the Northern states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Connecticut rejected proposals to grant voting rights to black men.
D’Souza also cites Southern Democrats for their “infamous Black Codes,” approved by whites-only state legislatures and state constitutional conventions to greatly restrict the rights of newly freed slaves.
Fairly typical is the code Democrats adopted in South Carolina. Blacks were permitted to work only in certain professions, thus granting whites a labor monopoly in the remaining ones. White masters could whip young black servants. Blacks could not travel freely; if they did, they ran the risk of being declared “vagrants” in which case they could be arrested and imprisoned. Sheriffs could then assign hard labor or hire them out to white employers to work off their sentence. Black children could be apprenticed to white employers against their will.
Blacks were also prohibited from serving on juries, voting, carrying firearms, selling alcohol, or marrying whites. “Indignant at what they perceived as a southern Democratic attempt to nullify emancipation, Republicans struck down the Black Codes and began the process of Reconstruction,” a plan “aimed at rebuilding the South on a new plane of equality of rights between the races,” writes D’Souza.
But absent D’Souza’s polemic is another crucial fact: the North also had their own version of black codes which, in many cases, were worse than their Southern counterparts. In fact, Professor Tom Woods, in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, states that the harsh Jim Crow laws were modeled after the Northern black codes.
Of these severe Northern “black laws” Robert Self Henry wrote that “there was hardly a feature of the apprenticeship and vagrancy acts of Mississippi, and of the other Southern states, which was not substantially duplicated in some of these Northern laws, while many of the Northern provisions were more harsh in their terms than anything proposed in the South.” Black vagrants in many Northern states could get anywhere from ninety days to three years in prison.
Free blacks were also prohibited from residing in several Northern states and, in the case of Lincoln’s Illinois, migrant blacks, as well as those who brought them into the state, faced stiff punishment, including whippings or being hired out as a laborer for a year. And it was not until the end of the war that the law forbidding free blacks from residing in the Land of Lincoln was repealed, an act that fined free blacks fifty dollars if caught in the state. It should be noted that Lincoln himself supported these Illinois black codes.
As for the often-cited votes on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 percent of House Democrats supported it, while 73 percent of Senate Democrats did. But the percentages were higher among Republicans, and LBJ did credit Everett Dirksen and the GOP with pushing it over the top, which has given modern pundits all the political fodder they need.
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Source: Ryan Walters, https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/party-truths/, opened 5 Sept. 2017
We don’t have any particular axe to grind with Mr D’Souza. He seems to be your typical Washington City insider, having worked in the Reagan administration. But we do hope he will restrain himself from lying about the South and the North in the days ahead.
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!