Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

How Did The GOP Get To Be So White?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 8, 2020

1872 Currier & Ives print, First Colored Senator & Representatives

Here is an 1872 Currier and Ives print depiction of the first African American GOP U.S. Senator and Representatives:

[LEFT to RIGHT] Sen. Hiram Revels (R-MS), Rep. Benjamin S. Turner (R-AL, 1), Robert DeLarge (R-SC, 2), Josiah Walls (R-FL, at large & 2), Jefferson Long (R-GA, 4), Joseph Rainey (R-SC, 1) and Robert B. Elliott (R-SC, 3).

Note that they’re ALL from the Deep South (MS, AL, FL, GA, SC).

Today, Blacks in the GOP are as scarce as hen’s teeth – particularly, and especially in the South.

It begs the question:

What happened politically since that time so that there were essentially NO Blacks after them in the U.S. House, or Senate (Congress), and today are especially absent from the GOP?

At the GOP’s 2000 Philadelphia convention, only 4.1% of the 2,066 delegates gathered in the City of Brotherly Love – 85 conventioneers – were African American.

And, according to a June 1 email from Telly Lovelace addressed to undisclosed recipients, the National Director for African American Initiatives and Urban Media for the Republican National Committee wrote that only 18 of the 2,472 delegates at the GOP’s 2016 Cleveland convention would be Black – 0.7281553398058253%.

Not even 1%.

And, in our nation’s 244-year history – since its 1776 founding to 2020 – there have ONLY been 10 African American Senators – 10.

Just ten.

The United States Senate website states this about African American Senators:
“To date, 10 African Americans have served in the United States Senate. In 1870 Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first African American senator. Five years later, Blanche K. Bruce of Mississippi took the oath of office. It would be nearly another century, 1967, before Edward Brooke of Massachusetts followed in their historic footsteps. Carol Moseley Braun broke new ground in 1993, becoming the first African American woman to serve as U.S. senator. In 2005 Barack Obama of Illinois became the fifth African American to serve and third to be popularly elected. Upon Obama’s resignation to become the nation’s first African American president, Roland Burris was appointed to fill the vacancy, becoming the sixth African American senator and the third to occupy the same Illinois Senate seat. Tim Scott of South Carolina was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2013, becoming the first African American since Reconstruction to represent a southern state in the Senate. He won a special election in 2014 to complete the term and was elected to a full term in 2016. The appointment of Massachusetts senator William “Mo” Cowan on February 1, 2013, marked the first time that two African Americans have served simultaneously in the United States Senate. Cory Booker of New Jersey became the ninth African American senator when he won a special election to replace Senator Frank Lautenberg on October 31, 2013. Booker won election to a full term in 2014. Kamala Harris became California’s first African American senator on January 3, 2017, bringing the number of African Americans serving simultaneously to three and the total number of African American senators to 10.”

Hiram Revels was a Republican.

Mr. Blanche K. Bruce was a Republican.

Edward Brooke was a Republican.

Carol Moseley Braun is a Democrat.

Brack Obama is a Democrat.

Roland Burris is a Democrat.

Tim Scott is a Republican.

William “Mo” Cowan is a Democrat.

Cory Booker is a Democrat.

Kamala Harris is a Democrat.

What has happened to cause the GOP to become the party of xenophobia, racists, and bigots?

It didn’t help things that the now-infamous Three-Fifths Compromise in the 1787 Constitutional Convention – Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 – ensconced into law that all non-White people were legally sub-human.

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

Of course, Section 2 of the 14th Amendment (ratified in 1868) explicitly repealed Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3, and states that “representatives shall be apportioned … counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.”

So, what has happened to the GOP?

Oh, I know – Jim Crow laws…

And Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” which was initiated in large part by SC Sen. Strom Thurmond, who along with many others at the time switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP, and then with assistance from convicted Watergate co-conspirator/obstructor of justice H.R. Haldeman (WH Chief of Staff), assisted Nixon in emphasizing that “the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognized this while not appearing to.”

Thurmond, a former Democrat, decided to leave the party when President Harry Truman urged Congress to implement the recommendations of his Committee on Civil Rights, in their document To Secure These Rights, which called for ending economic discrimination, desegregation of all public facilities, establishment of regional offices of the Civil Rights Section, a strengthened Justice Department, passing an anti-lynching law, and creating permanent civil-rights commissions in every state to monitor civil rights.

In that process, Thurmond created the States’ Rights Democrats political party, popularly known as the Dixiecrats Party. In his first speech as the party’s presumptive president, Thurmond said, “There’s not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.” And it marked the first move in an effort that would later see practically the whole South migrate to the GOP.

In 1981, Lee Atwater (1951-1991), the native Georgia political strategist who helped Reagan and Bush win their respective elections to the Presidency, and aide to Reagan, helped refine that strategy, was anonymously interviewed by Associate Professor of Political Science Alexander P. Lamis, Ph.D., J.D., a Political Scientist with Case Western Reserve University, as part of research for his book which was initially published as “The Two-Party South.” (Read the 1986 edition online at Internet Archives.) Atwater was infamous for playing political “dirty pool” and for his use of deceptively misleading tactics to win at any cost.

Following Atwater’s 1991 death from brain cancer, aged 40, Lamis’ then-anonymous interview with Atwater a decade earlier was revealed as having been with him, and he was then quoted in full as having said,

“Here’s how I would quote that as a statistician or a political pundit, or no… as a psychiatrist – which I’m not. It’s how abstract you handle the way it’s meant. In other words, you start out as – y’all don’t quote me on this – you start in 1954 by saying ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘Nigger.’ That hurts you. It backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states rights and all that stuff and you get so abstract. Now you talk about cutting taxes and these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, Blacks get hurt worse than Whites. And subconsciously maybe that’s part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract and that coded, we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. Obviously sitting around saying we want to cut taxes and we want this, is a lot more abstract than even the busing thing and a hell of a lot more abstract than nigger nigger. So anyway you look at it, race is coming on the back burner.”

As a member of Reagan’s administration in 1981, Atwater gave an anonymous interview to Political Scientist Alexander P. Lamis. Part of the interview was printed in Lamis’ book The Two-Party South, and later reprinted in Southern Politics in the 1990s with Atwater’s name revealed.

The very next day after Bush’s election, Atwater joined the political consulting firm of Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (yes, Roger Stone & Paul Manafort) as a Senior Partner.

So now…

It’s time to play Trivia!

How many Black Republicans are in the United States Senate?

BONUS points if you can…

Name them!!!

Tim Scott (R), U.S. Senator from South Carolina

Tim Scott of South Carolina, was first elected and served in the Charleston County Council 1995-2009, then to the SC State House of Representatives 2009-11 making him the first Black to serve the state since Civil War Reconstruction, and the first Black GOP member since 2003 following the retirement of Oklahoma’s GOP Representative J.C. Watts.

U.S. Representative from Oklahoma Julius Caesar Watts Jr. (R-4)

Scott was then elected to the U.S. House 2011-13, then in 2013 was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to replace retiring SC Senator Jim DeMint, and later won a special election in 2014 and was then elected to a full Senate term in 2016.

Yes, Tim Scott of South Carolina is the ONLY GOP Senator.

Again, what is wrong the GOP that they are so blatantly un-American?

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