February may be our shortest month, but it’s filled with notable events. This month, we celebrate Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year and Washington’s Birthday. We also commemorate President’s Day as well as every lover’s favorite, Valentine’s Day. February has also been reserved as Black History Month. After doing just a little digging, I was struck by the significant role the Republican Party played in not only emancipating slaves in the antebellum South, but also in accepting and elevating them into American society. I was also amazed by how often the Democratic Party thwarted the GOP’s efforts.
After the Civil War, the 13th Amendment, putting an end to slavery, was passed by a 100 percent Republican vote; only 23 percent of the Democrats joined in. Amendment 14, granting blacks the civil rights enjoyed by all citizens, passed with 94 percent Republican participation; this time, not a single Democrat voted for it. The 15th Amendment, which gave blacks access to the voting booth, was passed with 98 percent of Republicans voting for it, and 97 percent of Democrats voting against it.
During Reconstruction, 23 blacks were elected to Congress — all Republicans. The first black Democrat wasn’t elected until 1935 — from Illinois. The first Southern African-American Democrat wasn’t elected to Congress until 1973.
Are we beginning to see a trend here? Buckle up; I’m just getting started.
Read more by Michael Dorstewitz at DebatingPolitics.thoughts.com