Whitewash: The racist history the US Democratic Party wants you to forget, by Bruce Bartlett.
However, if a single mention of states’ rights 27 years ago is sufficient to damn the Republican Party for racism ever afterwards, what about the 200-year record of prominent Democrats who didn’t bother with code words? They were openly and explicitly for slavery before the Civil War, supported lynching and “Jim Crow” laws after the war, and regularly defended segregation and white supremacy throughout most of the 20th century.
Following are some quotes from prominent Democrats largely drawn from my new book, “Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past.” Even with the exclusion of all quotes that contain the N-word, it is clear that many of the Democratic Party’s most important historical figures have long made statements that reduce Reagan’s alleged transgression to a drop in the ocean.
Democrats on race:
Blacks “are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both of body and mind.”
–Thomas Jefferson, 1787
Co-founder of the Democratic Party (along with Andrew Jackson)
“I hold that the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding states between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good–a positive good.”
–Sen. John C. Calhoun (D., S.C.), 1837
Vice President, 1825-32
His statue stands in the U.S. Capitol.
“This is a white man’s country, and will always remain a white man’s country.”
–Rep. James F. Byrnes (D., S.C.), 1919
Appointed to the Supreme Court by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941
Appointed Secretary of State by Harry S. Truman in 1945
“I am a former Kleagle [recruiter] of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County. . . . The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia. It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state in the union.”
–Robert C. Byrd, 1946
Democratic Senator from West Virginia, 1959-present
Senate Majority Leader, 1977-80 and 1987-88
Senate President Pro Tempore, 1989-95, 2001-03, 2007-present
His portrait stands in the U.S. Capitol.
“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”–Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D., Texas), 1957
“Everybody likes to go to Geneva. I used to do it for the Law of the Sea conferences and you’d find these potentates from down in Africa, you know, rather than eating each other, they’d just come up and get a good square meal in Geneva.”–Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D., S.C.) 1993
Chairman, Commerce Committee, 1987-95 and 2001-03
Candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, 1984
Lots more examples at the link.