little green footballs

Demolishing the Right Wing's "Democrats are the Party of Racism" Meme

Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 2:01:35 pm

This image and others like it are making the rounds within conservative and other Tea Party-affiliated social media.

Rightwing meme on race

In favor of accuracy, below is a fact-check on each of these points:

Who started the KKK?

Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Confederate Lieutenant General and war criminal (Fort Pillow massacre). He held no political office during his lifetime, so there is no indication as to what party he belonged to.

Who supported the KKK?

Southern conservatives formerly with the Confederacy.

To make this point perfectly clear, the KKK-affiliated "White Citizens Councils" are now known as the "Council of Conservative Citizens," and have not changed their racist views at all. Claiming they are associated at all with modern Democrats is pure fantasy.

Who created Jim Crow laws?

Southern conservatives known as "Dixiecrats". (See "KKK" entry for further details.)

Who enforced them?

Southern governments and law enforcement under the guise of "States' Rights" - which is still a favorite among the Tea Party Republicans.

Who arrested MLK?

Assuming this is directed toward his most famous arrest in Birmingham, Alabama in April 1963. The Commissioner of Public Safety who directed the arrest, the denial of King's Constitutional rights during and after the arrest, as well as directing acts of violence toward African-American protestors was Eugene "Bull" Connor, a pro-segregationist "Dixiecrat" who ran for Governor several times in the 1940s-1950s. He also was responsible for the arrest of (former) progressive Democratic Vice President Henry Wallace on the charge of violating segregation laws.

Who opposed Civil Rights Legislation?
Who fought against the right of black Americans to vote?

Southern segregationist conservatives. Here's the actual voting record, broken down by party and geographic region:

Congressional vote on Civil Rights Act - by party and region - Source: Wikipedia (click to enlarge)

As a result of this vote and the one for the Voting Rights Acts - both of which membership of the Republican Party TODAY are fighting tooth and nail to repeal - Harry Dent, Sr, Pat Buchanan and Lee Atwater orchestrated the Southern Strategy to get Southern conservatives into the fold of the Republican Party. With the election of Ronald Reagan, this takeover of the party succeeded.