A History of Liberal White Racism
100 years ago political parties were inverted on issues of race.
Probably the most bracing aspect of Ira Katznelson’s new history of the New Deal, Fear Itself, is his portrait of the marriage of progressive domestic policy and white supremacy. I knew the outlines of this stuff, but for a flaming commie like me, the extent of the embrace is hard to take:
Far more enduring was the New Deal’s intimate partnership with those in the South who preached white supremacy. For this whole period — the last in American history when public racism was legitimate in speech and action — southern representatives acted not on the fringes but as an indispensable part of the governing political party.
It actually starts much earlier with Woodrow Wilson who forged a “composite of racism and progressive liberalism” which “came to dominate the Democratic Party, and, with it, the content and boundaries of social reform.”