We could go on about Democrat Party support for slavery and the Klu Klux Klan, not to mention Jim Crow and the Great Society. All were Democrat attempts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of black Americans.
But since Joe Biden brought up George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis recently, let’s see how the history of his party holds up when it comes to the landmark voting rights legislation of the 20th century. That is, the 1965 Voting Rights Act. First, Rep. Byron Donalds, Republican of Florida, comments on Biden’s recent assertions.
“George Wallace would never give praise to me, but he sure did give it to Joe Biden when he was in the Senate and now being the current president. Let’s be clear about this: This is all politics. The Democrats have nothing to run on. Joe Biden has failed America. And because of this, the only place that Democrats always go are [sic] to these voting rights issues, saying that Black people, frankly, are not going to have the right to vote. That is a lie. Florida has the best election laws in the country, something the Democrats don’t agree with. But there are no issues in my state about allowing Black people or any other ethnic minority to vote in the state of Florida. They should follow our lead, not Joe Biden’s.”
As a black man Donalds likely knows the racist history of the Democrat Party. He also probably knows that George Wallace and Bull Connor, when they brutalized blacks in the early 60s, were members in good standing of the Democrat Party. Jefferson Davis was a Democrat senator from Mississippi. Not surprising, as the Democrats were the party of the Confederacy.
When Voting Rights Act came up for action in 1965 Southern Democrats in the House and Senate led the opposition to reform. They preferred the status quo, as blacks who dared to speak out were lynched, their families threatened, their homes burned. All with the implicit support of racist Southern Democrats.
When it came down to the final vote for the Act in the Senate, 17 Democrats voted against it vs only 1 Republican against. 17 times more Democrats opposed the bill than Republicans. In the House 54 Democrats opposed it with only 20 Republicans against. Given the numbers in both chambers, the Act would not have passed without Republican support. Too many Democrats had sided with vicious racists for the Act to pass with only Democrat support.
So the next time you’re lectured to by a Democrat about how racist conservatives or the Republicans are, remind them about history. Recall for them that Joe Biden was the darling of George Wallace and that Republicans, not Democrats, provided the winning margin of votes for the greatest voting rights legislation of our time. You can throw in slavery, Jim Crow, and the Klan too. Just for fun.