I saw this meme over at Facebook, and I was perplexed. The person who posted it is a history buff. And it’s a real head scratcher.
My parents invested heavily into their children’s educations. I graduated high school from a small private k-12 Wesleyan school in the south and college at a Presbyterian school.
All my American history courses went into great detail on this topic. At the time, I was the product of a very conservative home. We practically had a shrine to Ronald Reagan. Bush One wasn’t the best of the best. One memory that rocked my world was my older brother reacting to desert storm frightened that HW would enact the draft.
I remember dumping on President Clinton to friends who leaned left, calling him out for all the things he did against the church and my faith.
I voted for President Bush Two. I loved Jesus and telling others about him.
And I was pretty good at school. I graduated third in my high school class and magna cum laude in college.
There’s no reason for me to mis-remember American history as taught in those conservative institutions. Although, truth be told, there wasn’t one black face in my graduating class from high school or college. So there’s that.
It’s a challenge to discuss race or sexuality when at the time, I knew very few black people and little to no gay people. That didn’t stop me from holding superiority views toward both people of color and homosexuals. But that’s a different post.
Yes, republicans were the party of anti-slavery at the time, but they were primarily composed of northern protestants who were already against slavery. The republican party formed in the mid 1800s as an anti-slavery party, so no, republicans would not have owned slaves as a party who opposed slavery in the first place. So it’s accurate on the face of it, for sure. And the parties may not have “switched” like this nice lady seems to say in her very own bumper sticker history lesson.
The values of the parties drifted from their original goals. Or at least that’s what Mr. Barrows taught in 11th grade or sophomore year with Dr. William Forstchen in college.
This is Dennis Prager revised history, though. You can read another academic woman of color repeat these ideas here. But old Carol Swain was cancelled … I mean forced into early retirement for her views and their expressions. So we have that going against me.
I get it. On the face of it, we can read that “Republicans” freed the slaves. And they didn’t own slaves. And democrats were bigots. Holy shit they were bigots. They were the party of the Klu Klux Klan.
But the party of the KKK today? Let’s see. Was it Abraham Lincoln who said, “There are fine people on both sides”?
Oh no, wait. that was the last guy.
But just because a person is black, educated and has a voice can change not only the history, but the present. ,What we were taught about slavery and political parties at a conservative Christian high school and college dismantled this argument thoroughly. Mr. Barrows, Mr. Moffitt, Dr. Forstchen, they all explained in clear terms that the Republican Party’s politics were more aligned with what the democrats started fighting for in the mid 50s to today.
Or maybe I was mis-educated? Maybe my parents and all the white kids with white parents threw their money in the toilet? Maybe the way it went down was that republicans have always been the party that supports people of color. That’s why when you look at a picture of their representatives in congress and in the senate, the vast majority are old white dudes.
This revised history is thrown into the wood chipper further when you study civil rights history (which the woman above tries hard to negate). It’s crazy that an assassinated president fighting for the rights of black Americans would be assassinated for his Civil Rights views (and funny enough, no Republican president lost their life over it except, well, Abraham Lincoln himself. The GREAT republican).
You’re not going to see a republican fighting for the rights of people of color. You will find them scoffing at welfare and drug use and laziness and other racist remarks.
If the modern Republican Party was so pro-black, where were those voices during the 1950s and 60s when segregation separated the front from the back of the bus, bathrooms for colored people and ones for whites, drinking fountains, etc etc etc?
The whole idea that Republicans latch onto being the name of the party who freed the slaves is a desperate attempt to be associated with doing something good.
You have to give it to them; they are smart to try.
But damn. It’s almost as if all my educational funds were thrown down the toilet if people who claim to love history also want to convince themselves and others that the history is somehow in their favor on this topic. Just embrace the reality. It’s not a huge deal. It was something like $2000 to $4000 a year to go there, and my college education was $15k to $20k a year. Did I waste their money?
The turd cannot be painted. The history is the history.
An honest look at our current state in America shows a repressed class of people formed almost exclusively of minorities. And it’s a crying shame that white people and a handful of callous minorities have the gaul to stake claims into demonstrably different information.
It’s stupid for white folks to do anything but listen, really listen, to their sisters and brothers of color. This is time for a reset. To stop arguing over the history and to forge true bonds and make great efforts to improve the future. It’s not doing any good to argue over who, in the mid 1800s, was for or against slavery. Because today, the fight for equality is clearly not a value of the Republican Party.
Let’s say this meme is correct. Let’s pretend that republicans are the anti-slavery crew. What does that prove if we moved forward with that information? It doesn’t change the number of people who are pledged to one party over the other. It doesn’t change how violence toward blacks is inordinately higher by people of power. It doesn’t change the rise of racist violence in this country.
But but but but but but BLM! Look at those violent protests! Look at Antifa! Those anti-fascists are quite the violent crowd.
Big stretch into a loud yawn. A white man kneeling on the neck of a black man for 8 minutes and 46 seconds … the list of white on black violence is damning. My white privilege is painstakingly real.
If the BLM is a problem for you, check in with yourself and really ask why.
I feel safer in a Black Lives Matter town FOXNews shamed for its violence than in the south. I feel more empowered in a black lesbian led city than one with white dudes as leaders.
There’s a reason why big cities attract democrats. Diversity and education are keys to our successes. Our goal is to provide infrastructure and aid, not rhetoric and coverups, to people less fortunate than us. It’s not to sweep dust under rugs.
The world is not perfect. History is not perfect. This country is not perfect. Wanting to be on the right side of history on this one topic is hardly convincing.
The argument against welfare is strong. But if you argue that it’s disservicing minorities than the argument for tax breaks for the rich and corporations also needs to go. Show me a person who is lazy and mishandling welfare and I’ll show you hundreds of thousands of lazy men and women sitting in posh offices not paying their fair share of taxes and don’t deserve their wealth any more than a poor person deserves their empty pockets.
Plastering a black woman’s face on this meme, whether she said it or not (I believe she probably did), just does what it’s supposed to do, ignite a thrill in the white person who posts it and provokes a disagreement in the reader who knows better.
It doesn’t promote friendship. It doesn’t promote unity. It promotes division. It promotes dishonesty. It promotes flagrant lack of excellence. The GOP is floundering to find support. It’s leaking like a sieve. Eighty-one million legal votes can’t be argued against. Two popular vote losses to the last guy.
A party so desperate for minority support reaching into the past and wanting to re-paint it to inflate their numbers? Typical.
Who is the party fighting Critical Race Theory? Hmm? It’s not the democrats. They want people to understand the past. The history of slavery and of people fighting for the same rights that the whites have enjoyed for eons? That’s who again? To understand what white dudes disgracefully did to our human equals, that’s who’s goal?
If Republicans truly wanted the history books to be laid on the table, they’d heave them up themselves and read them together front to back. We would cry at the tragic parts and slap fives at the accomplishments.
We would learn from those past mistakes, whether politically charged or cultural, and find ways to work together to fix the problems. We’d fight lazy cynicism. We would go together hand in hand. We wouldn’t fight the details of history and want desperately for anyone to dig deeper than the surface. Because the culture of surface appearance is clearly what we’re fighting here. It takes a little digging and self-awareness to look back and say, “Hey, people who supported slavery sucked and people who wanted to free slaves and ultimately do away with segregation, whoever they were and whatever party they were associated with … those are our heroes.”
If that takes staking claims in that effort, so be it. Let’s agree to keep fighting together!
We all deserve better. We should all be better. Our children deserve better. Our peers deserve better. You deserve better.