History — revision by omission | Letter

Current spin is that “America is Evil,” can never be healed, therefore must be destroyed. Republicans are right to take issue with this.

The Republican Party was founded to oppose slavery and 11 years later, after a civil war that cost over 600,000 American lives, it was outlawed with House passage of the 13th amendment supported by all Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats. Equality for all Americans was confirmed by the 14th Amendment, with a House vote of 94 percent Republican and no Democratic support and the 15th Amendment with 100 percent Republican and no Democratic support. Activist court decisions meant to salvage “state’s rights” produced Plessey v. Fergusson, and yes Jim Crow laws were passed by predominantly Democratic legislatures.

Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson perpetuated armed forces segregation and barred blacks from the civil service. FDR’s Democrats excluded blacks from new deal programs. The 1950s saw Democrat Orval Faubus defy SCOTUS’ Brown v. Board of Education decision and the Republican President enforced the law with Federal troops. Then we saw Democrats Lester Maddox, George Wallace and Bull Conner brutalizing blacks on TV only to back down when Federal officers were deployed by JFK.

After a 75-day Democratic filibuster the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed the Senate with 82 percent Republican and 69 percent Democratic backing, then the House with 78 percent Republican and 60 percent Democratic support. Bipartisan affirmative action programs were passed as restitution for past wrongs, but bigotry persisted with party stalwarts like Senator Robert Byrd.

Phil Peterson