NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 15, 2008

As Democrats prepare to nominate Sen. Barack Obama to be the first black president, the Democratic National Committee and its chairman, Howard Dean, have whitewashed the party's horrific and lengthy record of racism, says Jeffrey Lord, a Reagan White House political director and author.

The omission is in the section of the DNC Web site that describes the party's history.  In fact, it is scrubbed clean of the not-so-little dirty secret that fueled Democrats' political successes for over a century and a half and made American life a hell on earth for black Americans, says Lord.

So what's missing?  Only 52 years of Democratic history, says Lord: 

  • There is no reference to the number of Democratic Party platforms supporting slavery (six from 1841-1860) or to the number of Democratic presidents who owned slaves (seven from 1800 through 1861).
  • There is no reference to the "Jim Crow laws," or reference to the role Democrats played in creating them.
  • There is no reference to the fact Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, or to the fact that Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and of 1875.
  • But the DNC acknowledges that the Democrats created the Federal Reserve Board, passed labor and child welfare laws and created Social Security.

The summarized history raises the obvious question of whether the Democrats, unable or simply unwilling to put their party on record as taking direct responsibility for one of the worst racial crimes of the ages, will be able to run a campaign free of the racial animosities it has regularly brought both to American presidential campaigns and American political and social life in general, adds Lord.

Source: Jeffrey Lord, "The Democrats' Missing History," Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2008.

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