Mr Bohannon.. I do look forward to reading your book. However.. it comes as something of a shock to me that someone with even a CASUAL read of american history would think that the NAACP would in some way need to be educated about the Republican Party or its role in championing the end of slavery. After all.. most politically active blacks WERE members of the Republican Party into the 1950s when the support for the Party was almost nonexistent among WHITES who lived in the south… that is Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Lousiana, Arkansas, and Texas. Any child can open a history book and show you that several blacks served in the United States Senate in the post civil war era and they were all Republicans… in fact they were called RADICAL REPUBLICANS and if Rush Limbaugh had had a radio show then… he’d have spit out those words with the same contempt he says “LIBERAL” today(incidentally… why beat around George Bush… when you say Liberal you are actually saying “northeastern secular jew” or it’s equivalent).
We know the south was solidly Democratic and solidly racist and that the Northern Democrats generally maintained peace within the party by being mealymouthed, as they are today. on the very divisive and fundamental issues that face us. Meanwhile.. the Republican Party was mainly the party of the north and west… it abandoned it’s abolitionist and anti racist elements from the period including the election compromise of 1876 through the split in the party in 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt ran on his own Bull Moose Party ticket while his protege Taft ran with the support of big business creating the business wing of the Republican Party and the remnant of liberal and moderate Republicans who are being run out of the party nowadays like McCain, Snowe, Nelson Rockefeller et al.
Strom Thurmond who was a lifelong democrat through his siring an illegitimate black child, storming the beaches of Normandy to fight for freedom justice and democracy, then promptly returned home to run for Governor of South Carolina and then in 1948 ran a campaign for President on a Segregationist ticket in a challenge to the Democratic Party then being led by Roosevelt’s succesor Truman who apparently wasn’t QUITE racist enough for Thurmond’s liking. Thurmond, Jesse Helms and the various dixiecrats who serve as the villains in the civil rights movement were ALL Democrats it’s true. However… after their fellow dixiecrat Lyndon Johnson claimed he would see through the mealy mouthed northeastern Liberal President John Kennedy’s pledges on civil rights and then signed the civil rights act of 1964 and 1965 what did all those Southern Democrats do? Well.. as I hope I will see noted in your book. You will come to grips with the fact that the solid Democratic south is now solidly Republican. That the black political leaders who served as mayors of Atlanta and made changes which created that city, temporarily, as a black mecca, were indeed Democrats in the 1970s. That the last Democratic President before Bill Clinton was a Governor of Georgia who had spoken out against segregation. That Georgia had no Republican Party to speak of(except for the blacks who registered as republicans for decades after the party ceased being the “party of Lincoln” in 1912… as MOST blacks, if they COULD register to vote, registered Republican). Hopefully your book will be honest about the oft used Republican talking point “a greater percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Democrats and Lyndon Johnson thanked the Republicans who voted for the civil rights act as he couldn’t have gotten it through without them.”… well we all know about lies, damned lies and statistics! The Republicans made up a minority of the Senate and House at the time as their party almost did not exist in the SOLID SOUTH. The greater percentage of Republicans represented a LESSER NUMBER of actual Senators and Congressman as Democrats made up a wide majority of both houses and indeed NORTHERN DEMOCRATS and PRE-1965 REPUBLICANS did indeed stand together to support Civil Rights.
But WHY did Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Trent Lott et al LEAVE the Democratic Party and all become Republicans after 1965? Was it the Democratic stance on the windfall profits tax or abortion? No… it was Civil Rights. The Republican Party went from being a minority party to near parity with the larger Democratic Party based on THE WHITE MALE RESPONSE TO LEGALLY ENFORCED EQUITY BY THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. All the talking points in the world can’t overcome that truth. One need only look at what the Republican party does, emphasizes, activates for, and says.. to see behind it an agenda based on WHITE MALE RULE over all the Empire of the United States sees and surveys. That is the right-wing and republican parties disease and why black conservatives, no matter how well intentioned, spoken, or educated ultimately rest on a foundation of clay and why black americans who are indeed relatively traditional and conservative DO make a more or less correctly informed pull of that lever for Democrats. We may not like the variety of issues included under the Democratic tent… racist labor unions, communists, poorly thought out radicalisms, or militant gay activists… but we ALSO know that all of these things MUST be dealt with within a body politic where all people stand equal OR else it doesn’t make a difference WHAT any of us think. The black community.. perhaps reflexively if it errs… it errs on the side of EXPANSION of rights and openness of the political process, legislatures, and courts to those seeking that expansion. We may share a culture and christian tradition with the southern white man and get along with him well on a one to one basis, but we go 90% to 95% percent or BETTER voting against any agenda that makes him and his interests sovereign over all who come under the American umbrella. That is an honorable role for our people to play and while I feel we MUST indeed hear conservatism well and logically articulated, we do well to avoid ‘talking points’, talk radio, and bumper sticker so-called “conservative” philosophy being aimed into the american body politic by the Rush Limbaugh’s and Tony Snows of the world and their spiritual forebear Goebbels.