This post is a sequel to HAVE YOU EMBRACED A LIE? ARE YOU TYRANNICAL?
Are you familiar with the word, innuendo? When someone uses innuendo to attack the character of others, we generally refer to that as gossip. The mass media has always been filled with a great deal of gossip. That is one of the costs of freedom of the press. To reduce the amount of gossip we find in the mass media, we each have to discern between a factual/logical presentation and innuendo. That is, if we don’t want to read gossip, then we have to honestly think about what we are reading and refuse to read writers who produce gossip. We must wisely discern whether a writer is appealing to our biases or actually telling us something we might find useful.
Here is an example, The 11 Most Racist U.S. Presidents (huffingtonpost.com) by Ibram X. Kendi (en.wikipedia.org). Kendi is a history professor. What is the objective of Kendi’s article? Here he doubles as Santa Claus. He tells us which presidents most deserve black, filthy coal in their Christmas stockings.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t read the minds of live people, much less dead people. Did some of our presidents, including some of those Kendi lists, believe racial differences should be considered in public policy? We know that some did because they said as much, but not all of them advocated racism, including some on Kendi’s list. Yet that problem did not stop Kendi from making his list even though his first obligation as a historian is to set aside his own biases. The very fact he presumes to put together such a list suggests he does not realize that.
Racial politics, unfortunately, has a profound grip on many people. All of us? God knows, but most people struggle with biases of some sort, even supposedly brilliant history professor.
This one deserves an answer of its own. I have lost count, how many times this argument has been offered to me by Republicans. To get it right out of the way, yes, the KKK was founded and supported by racist white people, many/most of which were Democrats. You have also had the Dixicrats. However, party character has changed since then.
When it comes to being called racists, do you want to know how wimpy Republicans can be? That link, Party Realignment And The New Deal (history.house.gov) is on a Congress’ own website, and Republicans run Congress, at least until we get the latest recruits from the last election. Here is some of the nonsense.
The political realignment of black voters that began in the late 1920s proliferated during this era. This process involved a “push and pull”; the racial policies of Republicans alienated many black voters, while those of the northern wing of the Democratic Party attracted them. In 1932, incumbent President Herbert Hoover received between two-thirds and three-quarters of the black vote in northern urban wards, despite his attempts to ingratiate himself with southern segregationists and his failure to implement economic policies to help blacks laid low by the Great Depression. (from here)
If you read this article, Niggers in the White House (en.wikipedia.org), it becomes obvious the situation was a bit more complex. Moreover, Hoover did not segregate America. It was already segregated. In fact, one of his predecessors, Woodrow Wilson, resegregated the federal government (see Woodrow Wilson resegregated the federal government (vox.com)).
Is Vox a reliable source? Not exactly, but cited a Vox produced video in his comment. So let’s assume Vox tries to be reliable. Other sources confirm that Wilson did in fact resegregate much of the Federal Government (see here (en.wikipedia.org) and here (usatoday.com)). So let’s consider the video referenced.
There is much in that Vox video that is not true. Was Barry Goldwater a racist, for example? Urban Legend: Goldwater Against Civil Rights (freedomsjournalinstitute.org) argues against that idea.
One of the most prominently held urban legends of our time is that Senator Barry Goldwater, the GOP candidate for president in 1964, was against civil rights because he voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This vote of Goldwater marked the start of when “the GOP began to go against civil rights” according to CNN’s Roland Martin’s version of the legend.
The truth is, the GOP has always been in favor of civil rights. From the creation of the party, which opposed slavery; to this present day, you cannot find a single plank on the GOP platform that indicates anything otherwise. In fact, it was Republican President Eisenhower who proffered the first civil rights act of 1957, which was watered down by White Southern Democrats [see Eisenhower on Civil rights]. (continued here (freedomsjournalinstitute.org))
Goldwater opposed the bill because it was UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Here is how Goldwater described his position.
Here is a video that provides direct opposition to that VOX video.
The Myth of ‘the Southern Strategy’ (nytimes.com) argues that the South turned to the GOP for economic reasons. Here is how that article ends.
To be sure, Shafer says, many whites in the South aggressively opposed liberal Democrats on race issues. “But when folks went to the polling booths,” he says, “they didn’t shoot off their own toes. They voted by their economic preferences, not racial preferences.” Shafer says these results should give liberals hope. “If Southern politics is about class and not race,” he says, “then they can get it back.” (from here)
Gosh! Does someone at The New York Times think it possible that Liberal Democrats might be calling people racists who aren’t racists? Not likely, but it is possible.
The myth of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ (thehill.com) is an article by Dinesh D’Souza. Since no one can point to an explicitly racist pitch by Richard Nixon, D’Souza wonders what the proponents of The Southern Strategy are talking about.
So progressives insist that Nixon made a racist “dog whistle” appeal to Deep South voters. Evidently he spoke to them in a kind of code. Really? Is it plausible that Nixon figured out how to communicate with Deep South racists in a secret language? Do Deep South bigots, like dogs, have some kind of heightened awareness of racial messages — messages that are somehow indecipherable to the media and the rest of the country?
This seems unlikely, but let’s consider the possibility. Progressives insist that Nixon’s appeals to drugs and law and order were coded racist messaging. Yet when Nixon ran for president in 1968 the main issue was the Vietnam War. One popular Republican slogan of the period described the Democrats as the party of “acid, amnesty and abortion.” Clearly there is no suggestion here of race. (from here)
I am old enough to remember what that election was about. I was facing the prospect of going to Vietnam in a couple of years. So I was deeply interested. That election was about a war, not racial issues.
What separates America? It is what people believe, but it has little to do with racism. The primary separation is religious. The people in some parts of our nation cling to their Bibles more resolutely than do those in other parts. What is the Bible Belt? (gotquestions.org) and The Most Religious US State Is … (livescience.com) take different approaches to describing America’s “Bible Belt”. Given that Democrats and Republicans have significant differences over the propriety of religion in the public square, should we wonder whether the charges of bigotry have more to do with religious bigotry than racial bigotry?