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Black Republicans
Mr. Temple's US History

Why I am a Black Republican

By Frances Rice

Knowledge is power. Given what I know about the two political parties, it’s easy for me to be a black Republican. From its founding in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for blacks. On the other hand, as author Michael Schereur so succinctly stated, the Democrat Party is the party of the four S's: Slavery, Secession, Segregation and now Socialism.

The knowledge I gained about the racist past and failed Socialism of the Democratic Party came from personal experiences and historical research.

My Personal Experiences

My great-great-grandparents were slaves, and I spent my formative years in poverty in the segregated South during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. I was born in Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, the same hospital where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born, and I occasionally attended Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. was the pastor. I suffered personally at the hands of the Democrats and while in High School participated in civil rights protests inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over the years, using my Republican Party principles of hard work, getting a good education and personal responsibility, I pulled myself out of poverty, earning both an MBA and a Juris Doctorate degree. I am now a retired lawyer and Army Lieutenant Colonel who spent 20 years in the military.

The Hidden History of Civil Rights

The history of civil rights uncovered by renowned historian Dr. Eric Foner and presented in his book A Short History of Reconstruction, shows that it was the Democrats who seceded from the Union, sparking the Civil War, because they wanted to keep blacks in slavery. Democrats fought to prevent the passage of every piece of civil rights legislation, beginning with the civil rights laws of the 1860's, and continuing with the civil rights laws of the 1950's and 1960's. Democrats passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize Republicans, black and white.

It was the Republicans who fought to free blacks from slavery and amended the Constitution to grant blacks freedom (13th Amendment), citizenship (14th Amendment) and the right to vote (15th Amendment). Republicans passed the civil rights laws of the 1860's, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Reconstruction Act of 1867 that was designed to establish a new government system in the Democrat-controlled South, one that was fair to blacks. Democrats fought against anti-lynching laws, and when the Democrats regained control of Congress in 1892, they passed the Repeal Act of 1894 that repealed portions of laws designed to help African Americans.

Inner-city minister Rev. Wayne Perryman conducted five years of research and wrote a book called Unfounded Loyalty. He then sued the Democratic Party for that party’s 200-year history of horrendous racism. Under oath in court, the Democrats admitted their racist past, but refused to apologize because they know that they can take the black vote for granted.

Republicans Started the NAACP and Implementation of Affirmative Action

Few people know that it was Republicans who founded the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Republicans also started the NAACP. Black Republican James Weldon Johnson, who wrote the inspirational song, Lift Every Voice and Sing, was the first black general secretary of the NAACP

It was Republican President Richard Nixon who implemented the concept of affirmative action that was established by the "Philadelphia Plan” during the Johnson administration which set goals and timetables. Black Republican Art Fletcher revised the original plan and supervised the enforcement of equal opportunities for minorities in federally funded contracts. Art Fletcher was known as “the father of affirmative action enforcement” and advised three presidents – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. While Fletcher was head of the United Negro College Fund, he coined the slogan: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Fletcher briefly made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1995.

Under the Nixon administration, the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act was passed which gave the Civil Rights Commission the authority to issue judicially enforceable cease and desist orders in cases involving discriminatory employment practices. Also passed was the 1972 Equal Opportunity Revision Act which prohibited employment discrimination in the private sector, as well as in federal, state and local governments. Further, the 1973 Comprehensive Employment and Training Act was enacted to provide federal funding to employ and train unskilled minority workers in federally assisted programs.

The affirmative action plans and laws were designed to overcome not only the discriminatory practices of labor unions, but also the discriminatory actions by Democratic President Woodrow Wilson who kicked blacks out of federal government jobs after he was elected in 1912. The Congress that was controlled by the Democrats during the Wilson administration introduced the greatest number of bills proposing racial segregation and discrimination than had ever been introduced in our nation’s history.

Martin Luther King, Jr. fought the Democrats

During the civil rights era of the1960's, it was the Democrats who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the protestors were fighting. Democrat Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor in Birmingham let loose vicious dogs and turned skin-burning fire hoses on black civil rights demonstrators. Democrat Georgia Governor Lester Maddox famously brandished ax handles to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant. Democrat Alabama Governor George Wallace stood in front of the Alabama schoolhouse in 1963 and thundered, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." In 1954, Democrat Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus tried to prevent desegregation of a Little Rock public school.

It took a law suit in the 1930’s that went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court to force the Democratic Party to allow blacks in that party. After Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt received the vote of African Americans due to his “New Deal” appeal and took office in 1933, he rejected both anti-lynching laws and the establishment of a permanent US Civil Rights Commission. Democrat President Harry Truman not only rejected Republican efforts to enact anti-lynching laws and establish a permanent US Civil Rights Commission, but also failed to enforce his 1948 Executive Order designed to desegregate the military. It was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who established the US Civil Rights Commission, enforced the desegregation of the military, sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate the schools, and appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision ending school segregation. Eisenhower also supported the civil rights laws of 1957 and 1960.

President John F. Kennedy was not a Civil Rights Advocate

Democrat President John F. Kennedy is lauded as a civil rights advocate. In reality, Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil rights Act while he was a senator, as did Democrat Senator Al Gore, Sr. After he became president, John F. Kennedy opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. King that was organized by A. Phillip Randolph who was a black Republican. President Kennedy, through his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy, had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of being a Communist in order to undermine Dr. King.

In March of 1968, while referring to Dr. King's leaving Memphis, Tennessee after riots broke out where a teenager was killed, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, called Dr. King a "trouble-maker" who starts trouble, but runs like a coward after trouble is ignited. A few weeks later, Dr. King returned to Memphis and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Senator Everett Dirksen, not President Lyndon Johnson, was the Lynchpin for the Civil Rights Laws of the 1960’s

Unknown today is the fact that it was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois, not Democrat President Lyndon Johnson, who pushed through the civil rights laws of the 1960’s. In fact, Dirksen was key to the passage of civil rights legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964 and 1965. Dirksen wrote the language for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Dirksen also crafted the language for the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination in housing.

Today little is known about the struggle to pass the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. The law guaranteed equal access to public facilities and banned racial discrimination by any entity receiving federal government financing. The law was an update of Republican Charles Sumner's 1875 Civil Rights Act which had been stuck down by the US Supreme Court in 1883. The chief opponents of the bill were Democrat Senators Sam Ervin, Albert Gore, Sr. and Robert Byrd. Senator Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, filibustered against the bill for 14 straight hours before the final vote. Former presidential candidate Richard Nixon lobbied hard for the passage of the bill. When the bill finally came up for a vote, the House of Representatives passed the bill by 289 to 124. 80% of Republicans in the House of Representatives voted yes, and only 63% of Democrats voted yes. The Senate vote was 73 to 27, with 21 Democrats in the Senate voting no, and only 6 Republicans voting no.

Equally important was the 1965 Voting Rights Act that authorized the federal government to abolish literacy tests and other means used to prevent blacks from exercising their constitutional right to vote that was granted by the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. With images of violence against civil rights protestors led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shaping the national debate, Democrats in Congress decided not to filibuster the Voting Rights Act of 1965. When the bill finally came up for a vote, both houses of Congress passed the bill. In the House of Representatives, 85% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats voted for the bill. In the Senate, 17 Democrats voted no, and only one Republican voted no.

Notably, in his 4,500-word State of the Union Address delivered on January 4, 1965, Johnson mentioned scores of topics for federal action, but only thirty five words were devoted to civil rights. He did not mention one word about voting rights.

The statement by President Johnson about losing the South after passage of the 1964 civil rights law was not made out of a concern that racist Democrats would suddenly join the Republican Party that was fighting for the civil rights of blacks. Instead, it was an expression of fear that the racist Democrats would again form a third party, such as the short-lived States' Rights Democratic Party. In fact, Alabama’s Democrat Governor George C. Wallace in 1968 started the American Independent Party that attracted other racist candidates, including Democrat Atlanta Mayor Lester Maddox.

Goldwater was a Libertarian, not a Racist

A review of Senator Barry Goldwater’s record shows that he was a Libertarian, not a racist. Goldwater was a member of the Arizona NAACP and was involved in desegregating the Arizona National Guard. He supported the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1960, as well as the constitutional amendment banning the poll tax. His opposition to the more comprehensive Civil Rights Act of 1964 was based on his libertarian views about government. Goldwater believed that the 1964 Act, as written, unconstitutionally extended the federal government's commerce power to private citizens, furthering the government’s efforts to "legislate morality" and restrict the rights of employers.

It is instructive to read the entire text of Goldwater’s 1964 speech at the 28th Republican National Convention, accepting the nomination for president that is available from the Arizona Historical Foundation. By the end of his career, Goldwater was one of the most respected members of either party and was considered a stabilizing influence in the Senate.

Senator Goldwater’s speech may be found also on the Internet at:

The Racists Democrats did not all Join the Republican Party

Contrary to the false assertions by Democrats today, the racist "Dixiecrats" did not all migrate to the Republican Party. With the party slogan: "Segregation Forever!," the Dixiecrats, who were Democrats, (a) formed the States' Rights Democratic Party for the presidential election of 1948, (b) remained Democrats for all local elections and all subsequent national elections, and (c) declared that they would rather vote for a “yellow dog” than a Republican because the Republican Party was known as the party for blacks.

Today, some of those "Dixiecrats" continue their political careers as Democrats, including former Democrat Senator Ernest Hollings who put up the Confederate flag over the state capitol when he was the governor of South Carolina.

Another former "Dixiecrat" is Democrat Senator Robert Byrd who is well known for having been a "Keagle" in the Ku Klux Klan. There was no public outcry when Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd praised Senator Byrd as someone who would have been "a great senator for any moment," including the Civil War. Democrats denounced Senator Trent Lott for his remarks about Senator Strom Thurmond. However, Senator Thurmond was never in the Ku Klux Klan and, after he became a Republican, defended blacks against lynching and the discriminatory poll taxes imposed on blacks by Democrats. If Senator Byrd and Senator Thurmond were alive during the Civil War, and Byrd had his way, Thurmond would have been lynched.

Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” was not a Racist Appeal

Democrats expressed no concern when the racially segregated South voted solidly for Democrats; yet unfairly deride Republicans because of the thirty-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party that began in the 1970's with President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy.” Nixon’s strategy was an effort on the part of Nixon to get people in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were discriminating against blacks. Georgia did not switch until 2004, and some Southern states, including Louisiana, are still controlled by Democrats.

Democratic Party Socialism Hurts Black Americans

The Socialist values of the Democrats include anti-God secularism and dependency on government handouts, rather than faith in God and prosperity through self-reliance which are the core principles that made America great. In their quest to ban God from the pubic square, the Democrats are using the ACLU to sue the Boy Scouts because the Scouts say “God” in their pledge and refuse to allow homosexual men to be in charge of young boys. As part of their Socialist agenda, Democrats promote same-sex marriage, while opposing preserving the sanctity of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Incredibly, Democrats favor the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion where a baby’s skull is cracked open and its brain sucked out, just as the baby emerges from the mother.

Democrats want to tear down our traditional values and remake America in their own version of utopia with the depravity of Hollywood and the perversions of Europe. In order for Democrats to push their anti-God, Socialist agenda on America, they need to maintain their lock on the black vote by keeping blacks poor, angry and voting for Democrats.

Democrats Act to Keep Blacks in Poverty

Examples of how egregiously Democrats act to keep blacks in poverty are numerous. For example, in a deliberate effort to keep the minimum wage alive as a wedge issue, Democrats on August 3, 2006 killed the minimum wage bill passed by House Republicans on July 29, 2006. Then, in 2007 after having taken over the House and Senate, Democrats allowed the minimum wage bill to pass. Blatantly, Democrat Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama voted against the minimum wage bill, knowing that they can take the black vote for granted despite stabbing blacks in the back.

The blockage of the minimum wage bill in 2006 was the second time in as many years that Democrats stuck a legislative finger in the eye of black Americans. Senate Democrats on April 1, 2004 blocked passage of a bill to renew the 1996 welfare reform law that was pushed by Republicans and vetoed twice by President Bill Clinton before he finally signed it. Since the welfare reform law expired in September 2002, Congress had passed six extensions, and the latest expired on June 30, 2004. It wasn’t until 2005 that the Republicans were finally able to reinstitute welfare reform over the objection of the Democrats.

Also opposed by the Democrats are school choice opportunity scholarships that would help black children get out of failing schools. Our education tax dollars belong to the people, not the buildings. The teachers’ union (one of the Democratic Party’s biggest campaign contributors) wants to maintain control over the money, and the Democrats have placed the interest of the teacher’s union over the interest of poor black children. Democrats want blacks to have choice about abortions, but not choice about schools.

Catering to another big campaign donor, the AARP that wants to keep Social Security alive as a wedge issue, Democrats oppose Social Security reform, even though blacks on average lose $10,000 in the current system because of a shorter life expectancy than whites (72.2 years for blacks vs. 77.5 years for whites). Democrats do not want blacks to have the same opportunity as the 3.1 million federal government employees under the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) that was started in 1983 as a substitute for Social Security. TSP allows money to be invested in the stock market, and under TSP, federal employees receive $4,000 per month vs. the $1,300 for Social Security recipients. Blacks would benefit enormously from having Thrift Savings Accounts (TSAs) where their money can be passed on to their heirs, and the blocking of Social Security reform by Democrats is unconscionable.

Democrats Responsible for Deplorable Conditions in Black Communities

Democrats work continuously to harm blacks and fight efforts of Republicans to help blacks get out of poverty because Democrats have built their power base on the backs of poor blacks. Every election cycle, Democrats brazenly blame Republicans for the deplorable conditions created by Democrats in the inner-cities and incite blacks to cast a protest vote against Republicans, not a vote for Democrats.

Democrats have been running black communities for the past 40 years, and blacks are still complaining about the same problems. The failed Socialist policies of the Democratic Party have turned urban black communities into economic and social wastelands.

In the book called Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America, liberal black Democrat Juan William brings to light the crisis condition in urban communities.

Exposed by Juan Williams in Enough is the disturbing fact that 70% of black children are born to single mothers. Additionally, the school dropout rate in black communities is about 50%, and the average black student who gets a high school diploma is doing math and reading at an eighth-grade level. This means that young black people, even with a diploma, are not prepared to compete for a college degree or entry-level jobs. Democrats are quick to blame racism, pointing a finger at Republicans.

Juan Williams points out in his book that racism is not the whole problem, considering that “black people from Africa and the Caribbean, arrive in this country and outperform native-born black people in educational achievement and income.” Notably, only 25% of blacks live in those urban communities run by Democrats, and Juan Williams writes that “the other 75% of black America is taking advantage of 50 years of new opportunities - since Brown vs. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act - to create the largest black middle class in history, with unprecedented wealth and political power.”

According to Williams, “the core group of black people trapped in poverty today is not defined by lack of opportunity as much as by bad choices.”

In order to keep blacks from leaving the Democratic Party’s economic plantation and becoming self-reliant, Democrats call blacks who leave the plantation “sellouts” and denigrate the Republican Party as a party of “rich white racists” who do not care about blacks.

Republicans do not “Disenfranchise” Black Americans

As part of their efforts to keep blacks towing the Democratic Party line, Democrats falsely accuse Republicans of “disenfranchising“ blacks, citing the 2000 election, even though second recounts of the votes in Florida by the Miami Herald and a consortium of major news organizations confirmed that President George W. Bush won the election. Also, investigations by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division found that no blacks were denied the right to vote. If even one black person had been denied the right to vote, that person’s name would have been blasted on the front page of every newspaper in the nation. As for the “felon purge list,” the Miami Herald found that whites were twice as likely to be incorrectly placed on the list as blacks. When Democrats lose elections, they play the race card and accuse Republicans of “stealing” the elections and “disenfranchising” blacks, without presenting a shred of evidence.

Democrats, not President Bush, failed Blacks during Hurricane Katrina

To their eternal shame, Democrats used the tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina for their own partisan political gain. While criticizing President Bush, Democrats turned a blind eye to the failures of the Democrats running the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. The black Democrat officials in New Orleans did not execute the emergency evacuation plan and allowed over 1,000 school buses and city transit buses to stay in parking lots and become ruined by the flood.

Further, the Posse Comitatus Act passed by Congress in 1878 prevents a president from sending federal troops to a state without the governor’s consent. The Democrat governor of Louisiana, a white woman, refused to cooperate with President Bush when the president asked for her consent to begin a mandatory evacuation four days before the storm. The Democrats in the Louisiana homeland security office also refused to let the Red Cross bring truckloads of food, water and supplies to the Superdome. Since 1980, Louisiana emergency personnel knew that the levees in New Orleans would not withstand a category 3 or 4 hurricane. Yet, the Democrats in Congress filibustered President Bush’s energy bill which was introduced in 2001 and contained $540 million for repairing the levees in New Orleans.

Republicans Act to Help Black Americans Prosper

In the face of all that the Democrats have done to harm blacks, Democrats have the gall to claim that it’s Republicans who don’t care about blacks and that Republicans have done nothing for blacks. Ignored is the fact that President Bush has appointed more blacks to high level positions than any time in our nation’s history. Also ignored is the fact that over $7 trillion dollars have been spent on poverty programs since the 1960’s with little, if any, impact on poverty.

The Washington Post reported that as of 2006, the federal government had in place over 80 poverty-related programs costing $500 billion annually. Since President George W. Bush took office, record money has been spent on education, job opportunities, health care and housing for poor blacks.

Over $1.4 billion has been spent on overall education, a record 137% increase. Contrary to the false claim by Democrats that the No Child Left Behind Act was an “unfunded mandate,” the Act was funded to the tune of $13.1 billion. The Act provides money for tutoring and holds teachers accountable for failing to teach black children to read, write and do math. Also, $12.9 billion is being spent for Pell Grants, and $18.8 million for HBCU’s. Additionally, $500 million is being spent for job training, $24 billion for small business loans and grants, and $6 million for minority business development.

President Bush spending $150 million to fight AIDS in Africa, three times the $50 million allocated by President Clinton. With little media coverage, President Bush was the only world leader to declare the situation in Darfur to be genocide. Democrats are criticizing President Bush about Darfur, and the war he is waging to protect Americans from Islamic terrorists as authorized by Congress. Yet, Democrats were silent when President Clinton sent troops to Bosnia to protect the Muslins without UN or Congressional approval, while Clinton was doing nothing to stop the massacre of 920,000 black Rwandans.

In another display of hypocrisy, Democrats accuse President Bush of being a racist, even though President Bush supported the affirmative action decision of U.S. Supreme Court which struck down the University of Michigan’s unfair quota system, but upheld the use of race as an admission factor. Yet, Democrats expressed no concern when President Clinton - whose mentor was J. William Fulbright, a staunch segregationist - refused to comply with a court order to have shipping companies in California develop an affirmative action plan and stop discriminating against blacks.

Despite the opposition by Democrats, President Bush promoted the Faith-based Initiative in order to help black church-run charitable groups compete for federal tax dollars on an equal footing with secular organizations. As a way of helping blacks become homeowners, Republicans enacted the American Dream Down Payment Act pushed by Republican Congresswoman Katherine Harris. Under President Bush, half of black households are now home owners, an all-time high.

Democrats talk the talk, but Republicans walk the walk. Until blacks stop voting monolithically for Democrats and start leveraging their votes, as other groups do, there will be no changes in black communities run by Democrats. Black Americans need to stop having their vote taken for granted, seize control over their own destiny and hold politicians accountable for the content of their policies, not the label of their party.

In order to break the Democrats' stranglehold on the black vote and free black Americans from the Democratic Party's economic plantation, we must shed the light of truth on the Democrats. We must demonstrate that the Democratic Party’s policies of Socialism and dependency on government handouts offer the pathway to poverty. We must show that Republican Party principles of hard work, personal responsibility, getting a good education and ownership of homes and small businesses offer the pathway to prosperity.

Frances Rice is Chairman of the National Black Republican Association and may be contacted at

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