By Dr. Harold A. Black
I have long bemoaned the intellectual laziness of our citizens. I could never understand why Black college students would wear Kinte cloth at their graduation exercises when Kinte cloth was worn by Black slavers in Africa who sold our ancestors into slavery. Similarly, since we are in the midst of cancel culture where those on the left want to erase vestiges of the past, I wonder why they still call themselves “Democrats” or “progressives.” I know that progressives became the term to replace “liberals” but it is curious why the cancel culture crowd would adopt that label or “Democrats” for that matter.
Historically, Democrats were the party of slavery and afterwards were the party of Jim Crow and segregation. One of its most prominent senators, Robert Byrd of West Virginia was a member of the Klu Klux Klan. Prior to FDR and the New Deal, most Blacks were Republicans. That is not surprising since the Republican party was founded on an anti-slavery platform and Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. After the Civil War, during reconstruction, Blacks in the south could vote. I have records showing that my great-great-grandparents were registered voters in Jones County, Ga in 1870. Former slaves helped elect the first seven Black representatives to congress. All were Republicans. Southern whites, on the other hand, were overwhelmingly Democrats. My parents were never converted from Republican to Democrat by FDR. Rather he reinforced their feelings toward Democrats by being denied an FHA loan to purchase their first house. This was commonplace. If the left wants to talk about institutional and systemic racism they need to look at the policies that have kept Black people down – policies that come from governments both federal, state and local. All along during our history, the segregationist bigots were all Democrats. George Wallace, Theodore Bilbo, Ross Barnett, Orval Faubus, Herman Talmadge, William Fulbright and of course Robert Byrd and others. Therefore, if the left wants to tear down statues of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington because they owned slaves, they should purge themselves of the label “Democrats” as well.
Recently, the cancel culture crowd successfully compelled Princeton University to take Woodrow Wilson’s name off of its school of public and international affairs. Wilson was governor of New Jersey, president of Princeton and president of the United States. However, he had well known racist views and those views were what resulted in his name being banished from the school. Wilson opposed Black students being admitted to Princeton and when he became president he took steps to ban Blacks from the federal civil service. However, Wilson was equally known as being a prominent progressive. The progressives favored government intervention to achieve social goals. Wilson’s progressives favored eugenics to rid the society of undesirables. As a result, progressives wanted to impose minimum wages in order to price Blacks out of the labor market so they could not offer their services at prices below that of whites. Before minimum wages were imposed, the Black unemployment rate was actually below that of white workers. When FDR’s New Deal was passed, the resultant minimum wage requirements resulted in over 500,000 Blacks losing their jobs.
So the cancel culture mob has ridded us of certain vestiges of the past. Isn’t it now time that along with Woodrow Wilson, FDR should be also cancelled? Then while we are at it lets cancel the terms “Democrats” and “progressives.” It is inconceivable that anyone serious about whitewashing our culture could call themselves either of those reprehensible labels.