The Democrat Party has a hard lock on political support from the black community. They have been wonderfully effective in getting black voters to blindly vote for Democrats despite the fact that Democrat policies that created the modern welfare state and abortion industry have devastated black families throughout the nation. A look at history is equally perplexing considering that it was Republicans who were responsible for abolishing slavery, it was Democrats who created the Ku Klux Klan, and it was Republicans who provided the votes needed to pass Civil Rights legislation in the 1960's when a large block of Democrats in Congress opposed it.
We might expect a Virginian like Woodrow Wilson to oppose greater rights for blacks. He prevent blacks from attending Princeton University when he was the university president and he supported segregation of blacks in government jobs. Wilson also chose the racist film ¨Birth of a Nation¨ to be the first movie shown at the White House.
Meanwhile a northern liberal, Franklin Roosevelt, should have found it much easier to promote civil rights. His wife Eleanor was a big supporter of equal rights for blacks, but President Roosevelt was a political coward and made no major steps to fight racism and bigotry. If he was worried that helping blacks would hurt his reelection efforts in 1936, that might be a bad reason to hold off on any action, but once he was reelected, there should have been no reasons at all to do what was right.
Though decreasing in numbers, black lynching in the South were still happening in the 1930s. New York Democratic Senator Robert Wagner introduced federal anti-lynching legislation in 1937. Public support for the bill was 72% in the North and even 57% in the South. Eleanor Roosevelt supported the bill. President Roosevelt gave the bill zero support.
A few years later when advocates of the bill tried to get Roosevelt's support for the bill and pointed out that polls showed it would result in more votes gained than lost, Roosevelt still refused to throw in his support. To clarify, Roosevelt was fine with blacks being lynched even if it cost him votes.
At the time blacks where prevented from voting by poll taxes. Roosevelt also opposed doing away with these laws that suppressed black votes and he wouldn't pressure unions to allow blacks to join.
Jessie Owens, perhaps the best know black man of the 1930's, and hero of the Berlin Olympic games where he won four gold medals was not invited to the White House or even sent a presidential congratulations. Instead, he and fellow black Republican Joe Lewis, the world champion boxer, were investigated by the IRS.
And of course, we had to wait for Harry Truman to desegregate the military.
If these facts are news to you, blame it on a liberal bias in history that tends to whitewash the failings of liberal icons like FDR. As detailed previously in this blog (FDR Flubbed Depression's Recovery, Get Ready To Pull Your Hair Out - How Social Security Got Started, IRS Abuse Began with FDR, A Communist Sympathizer in the White House), Roosevelt was a far worse president than he gets credit for.
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