Our Readers' Opinions
December 7, 2012
Bet you didn’t know

Fri, Dec 7, 2012

Editor: It is almost shameful that with so much information available at the touch of a button, so many persons refuse to utilize the tools to educate themselves, thereby arming themselves with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions on issues. Radio, except for religious programs, has not been used to its greatest potential and we can say the same of television.{{more}} You may blame that shortcoming on the owners and programmers of both, but there is a medium now available, just bursting with information on any subject matter on earth which should make ignorance almost obsolete. Any person armed with a computer and Internet has no excuse. In the next few articles, you will be given a history lesson — Republican Party and blacks — from 1858 to 2012.

I bet you didn’t know:

October 13, 1858: _During Lincoln-Douglas debates, U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas (D-IL) states: “I do not regard the Negro as my equal, and positively deny that he is my brother or any kin to me whatever”. Douglas became Democratic Party’s 1860 presidential nominee.

  • April 16, 1862:_ President Lincoln signs bill abolishing slavery in District of Columbia; in Congress, 99 per cent of Republicans vote yes, 83 per cent of Democrats vote no. Frederick Douglas appointed advisor to President Lincoln — a first for any black. “If the Negro knows enough to fight for his country, he knows enough to vote; if he knows enough to pay taxes to support the government, he knows enough to vote,” Frederick Douglass, who later became Ambassador to Haiti (1889 -1891).
  • July 17, 1862:_ Over unanimous Democrat opposition, Republican Congress passes Confiscation Act stating that slaves of the Confederacy “shall be forever free.”
  • January 31, 1865: _13th Amendment banning slavery passed by U.S. House with unanimous Republican support. The Democrats opposed.
  • April 8, 1865: _13th Amendment banning slavery passed by U.S. Senate with 100 per cent Republican support, 63 per cent Democrat opposition.
  • November 22, 1865: _Republicans denounce Democrat legislature of Mississippi for enacting “black codes,” which institutionalized racial discrimination. The first “Jim Crow” law.
  • February 5, 1866: _U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (R-PA) introduces legislation, successfully opposed by Democrat President Andrew Johnson, to implement “40 acres and a mule” relief by distributing land to former slaves.
  • April 9, 1866: _Republican Congress overrides Democrat President Johnson’s veto; Civil Rights Act of 1866, conferring rights of citizenship on African-Americans, becomes law.
  • May 10, 1866: _U.S. House passes Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the laws to all citizens; 100 per cent of Democrats vote no.
  • June 8, 1866: _U.S. Senate passes Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the law to all citizens; 94 per cent of Republicans vote yes and 100 per cent of Democrats vote no.
  • January 8, 1867:_Republicans override Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto of law granting voting rights to African-Americans in D.C. Thus making it possible for Barack Obama to become US President in 2008.
  • July 19, 1867: _Republican Congress overrides Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto of legislation protecting voting rights of African-Americans.
  • March 30, 1868: _Republicans begin impeachment trial of Democrat President Andrew Johnson, who declared: “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men.” These Republicans were described as “radicals” perhaps today’s extremists. Mr Johnson failed to be convicted by one vote. He was the first president to be impeached.
  • September 3, 1868: _25 African-Americans in Georgia legislature, all Republicans, expelled by Democrat majority; later reinstated by Republican Congress.
  • September 12, 1868: _Civil rights activist Tunis Campbell and all other African-Americans in Georgia Senate, everyone a Republican, expelled by Democrat majority; would later be reinstated by Republican Congress.
  • October 7, 1868: _Republicans denounce Democratic Party’s national campaign theme: “This is a white man’s country: Let white men rule.”
  • October 22, 1868: _While campaigning for re-election, Republican U.S. Rep. James Hinds (R-AR) is assassinated by Democrat terrorists who organized as the Ku Klux Klan.
  • December 10, 1869: _Republican Gov. John Campbell of Wyoming Territory signs FIRST-in-nation law granting women right to vote and to hold public office.
  • February 3, 1870: _After passing House with 98 per cent Republican support and 97 per cent Democrat opposition, Republicans’ 15th Amendment is ratified, granting vote to all Americans, regardless of race.
  • May 31, 1870: _President U.S. Grant signs Republicans’ Enforcement Act, providing stiff penalties for depriving any American’s civil rights.
  • June 22, 1870: _Republican Congress creates U.S. Department of Justice — now headed by Eric Holder of Barbadian parentage — to safeguard the civil rights of African-Americans against Democrats in the South.
  • September 6, 1870: _Women vote in Wyoming, in FIRST election after women’s suffrage signed into law by Republican Gov. John Campbell.
  • February 28, 1871:_Republican Congress passes Enforcement Act providing federal protection for African-American voters. Yet in 2012, we got people saying and writing about “Republicans effort to suppress black votes”. How? By requiring that Americans get a voter identification card. Do we need one in SVG?
  • April 20, 1871: _Republican Congress enacts the Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawing Democratic Party-affiliated terrorist groups which oppressed African-Americans.
  • October 10, 1871: _Following warnings by Philadelphia Democrats against black voting, African-American Republican civil rights activist Octavius Catto murdered by Democratic Party operative; his military funeral was attended by thousands.

Bet you didn’t know any of these or this — if you listen only to those who tell you about attempts by Republicans to repress voters — in Rhode Island, where Democrats control both legislative chambers, the bill [Voter ID] was introduced in the Senate by a Democrat and co-sponsored in the House by members of both parties.

Frank E da Silva