Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White – Part 3 – The KKK: Tune in for part 3 today. The Ku Klux Klan, terrorist group murdering Republican Blacks and Whites was started by Democrats. The Republican party was filled with African-Americans. Democrats, therefore, turned to murder and violence. The KKK”s declared purpose was to break down the Republican government and to pave the way for Democrats to regain control in the elections. Since the Klan was targeted against Republicans in general it did not limit its fallen simply to black Republicans. The Democrats called Republicans “radicals” because the Republican Party was bi-racial and allowed blacks to vote and participate in the political process thus making them “radical.” This podcast teaches you the forgotten truth about black history.
Air Date: 02/07/2022
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and politics! This is WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. We are in the middle of an amazing series called Setting the Record Straight, American History in Black and White. A wealth of information there. You can get the entire program on DVD or the book at online at WallBuilders.com and listen to us on WallBuildersLive.com.
Today is the third in a seven-part series. So if you missed the first two parts you can get those at the website right now. We’re going to pick up right where we left off in the last program. Here’s Setting the Record Straight, American History in Black and White.
African-Americans Started The Southern Republican Parties
To elevate the moral issue of poverty, above where God has elevated it, is usurping the authority of God in His Word. Voting records tell a clear story. To vote against faith-based programs, free speech for churches, and traditional marriage to name just a few, is to show an enduring animosity toward religious values.
There are many other votes in Congress demonstrating a general Democratic hostility toward laws protecting public religious expressions. Just as a century and a half ago when they would not join in inviting the Reverend Garnet to deliver his sermon.
The same time that Reverend Garnet preached a sermon in 1865 another first occurred in black history. Republican Senator Charles Sumner nominated black attorney John Rock, who amazingly, was also a licensed doctor and a licensed dentist, as the first black American to become a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar. John Rock was then introduced before the U.S. House of Representatives becoming the first African-American attorney to be introduced in Congress.
Because of the 13th Amendment and the end of slavery, black Americans, particularly in the South, can now enjoy their first real taste of civil rights, their first genuine opportunity for political participation. Within a year blacks were registering to vote and were forming political parties across the south.
For example, at a rally in Houston, Texas on July the 4th 1867, 150 blacks and 20 whites formed the Republican Party of Texas. Black Americans also started other Southern Republican parties as well. At that time, the former rebels who had been almost exclusively Democrats were not allowed to vote in their states until they took an oath of loyalty to the union.
The Republican Party Was Filled With African-Americans
This is that oath. They were required to sign this document in which they swore two things. First, an oath of allegiance to the United States and second, an oath to respect the civil rights of black Americans. If a rebel did not swear this oath he could not vote. Many Democrats could not vote because they refuse to take the oath or because they could not pass other federal requirements. Therefore, for a few years Republicans became the political majority in most of the Southern states.
Those Republican legislatures moved quickly to protect voting rights for African-Americans, prohibit segregation, established public education, and open public transportation, state police, schools, and other institutions to black Americans. Not only were the Southern legislatures at that time Republican, but at least for a few years nearly every Southern legislature included many black legislators.
In fact, the first 42 blacks elected to the state legislature in Texas were all Republicans. In Louisiana the first 95 black representatives and the first 32 black senators were again, all Republicans. Similarly, in Alabama the first 103 blacks elected to the state legislature were all Republicans. In Mississippi, the first 112 black legislators were Republicans. In South Carolina, the first 190. In Virginia the first 46. In Florida, the first 30 and the same in North Carolina. In Georgia 41 blacks were elected to the state legislature, all as Republicans.
Democrats Therefore Turned To Terrorism
So great were the gains of blacks through the Republican Party the Democrats began to fight back and other ways. Recall that black Americans had made huge gains in Louisiana with the election of 127 black legislators and even a black lieutenant governor, PBS Pinchback who later became state governor.
To halt such progress in 1866 Democrats in conjunction with the city place and the Democratic mayor of New Orleans attacked the Republican convention and that city killing 40 blacks, 20 whites, and wounding 150 others.
Democrats even rushed the floor of the Louisiana Legislature to seize by force to power away from the elected black Republicans. But federal troops arrive to restore peace and return African-Americans to their lawfully elected positions.
Similarly, violent, and often deadly attacks by Democrats against Republicans also occurred in other states as well. While much early Democratic opposition occurred on a state by state or local basis, in 1866 Democrats formed a group that became national.
It’s declared purpose was to break down the Republican government and to pave the way for Democrats to regain control in the elections. What was the name of that group? The Ku Klux Klan. Although it is relatively unreported today the historical documents are unequivocal that the Klan was started by Democrats and that the Klan played a prominent role in the Democratic Party.
Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand. See the things they did.”
I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.
Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our library. And under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites. Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.
Ku Klux Klan Started By The Democratic Party
This 13 volume set of congressional investigations from 1872 conclusively and irrefutably documents that fact. Among the many pieces of evidence this was the 1871 appearance before Congress of leading South Carolina Democrat E.W. Cibeles who testified, “The Ku Klux Klan belongs to our party, the Democratic Party.”
The Klan terrorized black Americans through murders and public floggings. Relief was granted only if they promise not to vote for Republican, tickets. Violation of this oath was punishable by death. Since the Klan was targeted against Republicans, in general, it did not limit its fallen simply to black Republicans. In this old illustration, the Klan in North Carolina is about to hang a white Republican.
In 1871 a black US congressman from South Carolina, Joseph Hayne Rainey, reported an instant concerning an elderly man named Dr. John Winsmith, a white Republican State Senator.
“The doctor, a man nearly 70 years of age had been to town. Â Returning home late, he soon afterward retired. A little after midnight he was aroused by someone knocking violently at his front door.”
Reenactment of a scuffle and gunshots.
The Klan shot down the state senator, a white state senator, because he was Republican and was fighting for the rights of blacks in his state. In that hail of bullets, Dr. Winsmith was hit seven times. However, he survived the shooting and lived to testify before Congress about the attack made on him by the Klan.
This is a Klan push card from 1868. About the size of a baseball card, it is entitled radical members of the South Carolina legislature. It shows 63 radicals. They were all Republicans. The Democrats call Republicans radicals because the Republican Party was bi-racial and allowed blacks to vote and participate in the political process thus making them “radical” in the Democrats eyes.
Not One Single Democrat Voted For The 14th Amendment
Of the 63 “radicals” or Republicans of the South Carolina legislature, 50 were black and 13 were white. On the back of this card all the names of the “radical” Republicans were listed. Evidently, if the Klan wanted to pay a night visit, as they had to Senator Winsmith, with the help of this card they would know exactly who they were looking for.
Although much progress had been made because of the 13th Amendment and the civil rights laws passed in Congress Democrats in the South still found ways to ignore those laws. Congress responded with the 14th Amendment, a Civil Rights Amendment to the Constitution declaring that former slaves were full citizens of the state in which they lived and were therefore entitled to all the rights and privileges of any other citizen in this state.
When the 14th Amendment came to a vote 94 percent of the Republicans in Congress voted for the passage of the Civil Rights Amendment. However, the records of Congress reveal that not one single Democrat, in either the House or the Senate, voted for the 14th Amendment.
Perhaps, this lack of support for civil rights is not surprising considering the makeup of the National Democratic Party at that time. Here is a handbell highlighting some of the distinguished notables at the 1868 Democratic National Convention held in New York City on July the 4th of that year.
Democrats Controlled Votes In Elections
Nearly one-fifth of the members of the Democratic National Convention were leaders who had either militarily fought for or politically led the slave holding nation in the South. The hand-bill also featured portraits of two prominent rebel generals who participated in that convention.
One was Wade Hampton. Before the war Hampton had been a Democratic U.S. senator but he left the Senate when the Southern Democrats seceded to form their slave holding nation. In 1876 Hampton ran for the Democratic governorship of South Carolina. One of his active allies in that election was a group called, “The Red Shirts” which essentially was the Klan dressed in red shirts rather than white hoods.
To help win Hamptons governor’s race they issued the following guidelines, “Every Democrat must feel honor bound to control the vote of at least one Negro by intimidation, purchase, keeping him away, or as each individual may determine how he may best accomplish it. We must attend every Republican meeting that we hear of whether they meet at night or in the daytime. Democrats must go in as large numbers as they can get together, and well armed.”
Here’s an illustration demonstrating how Democrats controlled votes in elections. Notice the caption. Â Of course, he wants to vote the Democratic ticket.
In fact, during a congressional hearing about whether southern blacks voted Democratic, the following exchange occurred.
“Were there are many colored Democrats there?”
“Very few indeed. Oh, there were some bombers and a few men who worked in town who pretended to be Democrats.”
“Did you know any colored men who were Democrats from instinct?”
“No sir. Only from the instinct of self-preservation.”
Democrats Tortured Blacks
Even with the massive voter intimidation of Wade Hampton’s election, it was still so close that a recount was required. The Democrat Hampton was finally declared the winner and became governor but only under very questionable circumstances. In fact, the editorial cartoons in Harper’s following that election showed a triumphant Democrat standing over the bodies of slaughtered African American voters.
The other featured portrait of the 1868 national Democratic delegates was that of a rebel general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest, was a slave trader from Tennessee and was the rebel general that conducted the massacre of black soldiers in the infamous incident at Fort Pillow. After the Black Union soldiers had surrendered Forrest ordered them slaughtered on the spot using some of the most barbaric and inhumane tortures and atrocities available, including nailing black soldiers to the sides of buildings and then burning down the buildings, drowning others, and even burying black soldiers alive.
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Joseph Story is one of the most important names in American jurisprudence. Not only was he placed on the U.S. Supreme Court but President James Madison but he also founded Harvard Law School and authored numerous legal works on the Constitution. While today’s revisionist claim that the goal of the First Amendment was absolute religious pluralism. Justice Joseph Story vehemently disagreed.
He declared, “The real object of the First Amendment was not to encourage, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but was to exclude all rivalry among Christian denominations.”
According to Founder Joseph Story, Christianity, not pluralism, was the goal of the Founding Fathers in the First Amendment for only a Christian nation is tolerant and thus is truly pluralistic. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.
They Ignored Constitutional Amendments And Federal Laws
After the war General Nathan Bedford Forrest became the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. And he was an honor leader at the Democratic National Convention of 1868. Given the composition of the Democratic Party it is no wonder that not one of the Democrats in Congress had voted for the 14th Amendment to secure civil rights for black Americans at the state level.
Even though huge steps in obtaining civil rights had been achieved through the 13th and the 14th Amendments as well as through several federal civil rights laws. The staunch and steadfast resistance of the Southern Democratic states to those measures continued. They simply ignored the constitutional amendments and the federal laws.
Congress therefore imposed requirements that before the former Confederate States could be re-admitted as states into the United States they must first approve both the 13th and the 14th Amendments and then must create new state constitutions that guaranteed equal civil rights for black Americans. However, the votes to ratify these new constitutions that granted civil rights to black, Americans were met with massive resistance and widespread riots and attacks by Democrats throughout those states.
For example, in 1868 in Mississippi, Democrats and the Klan attacked blacks on their way to vote for the new constitution. As a result the congressional committee on reconstruction convened extensive hearings. For those who have heard so little of this part of American history or of this part of African-American political history, the hearings provided what perhaps today would be considered shocking information for citizens.
Consider, for example, the testimony of election worker Robert Flournoy given before the committee on December the 15th 1868.
Black Americans Elected To Office
“What means have you had within the last years of knowing the sentiment of the people of Mississippi concerning the Constitution that was framed at the convention?”
“I canvassed a large portion of the state in favor of the adoption of ratification of the Constitution. Of course, I made it my business to ascertain the sentiment of the people from what I could judge in general. From the expressions of approval or disapproval. Of remarks made and I took it upon myself to converse freely with the people. I have never met in all my interaction with the Negroes of Mississippi but one single Negro who professed to be a Democrat and that was in the town of Oxford. He was a waiter in a hotel and he informed me that he was a Democrat. I tried to convert him and failed and left him a Democrat.”
This election official could only find one black American in the entire state of Mississippi that was a Democrat. Significantly, in Mississippi at that time there were 444,000 blacks and only 383,000 whites. Since blacks voted overwhelmingly Republican, only by preventing blacks from voting could Democrats defeat the new state constitution with the civil rights provisions. Hence, the cause of the violence.
Notwithstanding the strident opposition throughout the southern states, the new constitutions were eventually passed and a number of black Americans were elected to national office under those new constitutions. This 1872 print by Courier and Ives shows the first seven black Americans elected to the U.S. Congress.
The Seven Black Americans Elected To The U.S. Congress
Significantly, all seven were Republicans. On the left side of the picture as Hiram Rhodes Revels from Mississippi. Being an ordained minister, he served as a missionary and pastor he recruited three black regiments and was a chaplain during the Civil War. Revels became America’s first black U.S. senator.
Next is Benjamin Turner of Alabama. Turner was a slave during the Civil War but within five years after the war, he had become a wealthy and prosperous businessman.
Next is Robert De Large of South Carolina. Born as a slave, within three years of the end of the war, he was serving in the state House. He also chaired the Republican Party’s platform committee and became a statewide elected official.
Next is Josiah Walls of Florida. Walls was a slave during the Civil War and was forced to fight for the Confederate army. After he was captured by Union troops, however, he promptly enlisted as a Union soldier and even became an officer. After his election to Congress, his credentials were challenged by Democrats and he was twice sent home. He was re-elected after the first challenge but during the second challenge Democrats regained control of Florida and he was prevented from returning.
Next is Jefferson Long of Georgia. Born as a slave he was self-educated and built a thriving business. However, when elected to Congress as a Republican, Democrats boycotted his business causing him great financial losses. Long was the first black American to deliver a congressional speech in the US House.
Next is Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina. Born a slave he actually served briefly as speaker of the U.S. House. He was in Congress longer than any other black American from that era.
The seventh is Robert Brown Elliot, also of South Carolina. He was well educated, reading in Spanish, French, and Latin. In Congress he led in the passage of civil rights bills over the strident opposition of congressional Democrats and he later became speaker of the House and the state legislature.
First Black US Senators Were Republican
Revels took the seat once held by Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis who left the Senate in 1861 and became the president of the Slaveholding Confederate States of America. The editorial cartoons of the day did not fail to note the irony that a black Republican senator had taken the same seat once held by racist Democrat, Jefferson Davis.
Notice all the Republicans gathered around Senator Revels. Who is that skulking in the foreground? Democrat Jefferson Davis, filled with rage and hatred as a black Republican takes his seat.
While the Reverend Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first black American to serve in the U.S. Senate, there have been others as well.The second was Blanche Kelso Bruce, the first to serve a full term in the Senate.
The third black Senator Edward Brooke. Significantly, the first three black U.S. senators Revels, Bruce, And Brooke were all Republicans.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders” library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution. You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.
Keeping Republicans From Voting
Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois was the fourth black American to serve in the U.S. Senate, but only the first Democrat. And Barack Obama, also from Illinois, was only the second black Democratic U.S. senator.
The first African-American elected to the U.S. House was Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina. He was the first of 23 black Americans elected to the U.S. Congress, all as Republicans. Remarkably, of those early black congressmen, 13 had been slaves. Consider the amazing transformation that this represents. In only five years black Americans had gone from being slaves to becoming members of Congress. Not only had 13 of the early black congressmen been slaves but many were home or self-educated.
Additionally, three of that group were ministers. Seven were attorneys. Five were schoolteachers. Â Four were university presidents, and 13 were state legislators. A distinguished group with momentous achievements.
Democrats did not elect their first black American to the U.S. House until 1935. And that black member was from Illinois, a northern state in which blacks had always been free.
It was not until 1973 that the first black American Democrats were elected to Congress from the south. Â Barbara Jordan of Texas and Andrew Young of Georgia. They were elected only after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the gerrymandered district lines, the Southern Democratic state legislatures had drawn that kept blacks from being elected.
While black Americans immediately following the Civil War had indeed begun a distinguished chapter in their history, the opposition to the rapid success grew just as rapidly as had their successes. Many Southern Democrats despised Blacks and Republicans and utilized every means possible to keep them from voting, including not only the use of devious and cunning means but also the direct use of violence.
Passing The 15th Amendment
In fact, after examining the abundant evidence on this violence. US Senator Roscoe Conkling, nominated as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, concluded that the Democratic Party was determined to exterminate blacks and those states were Democratic supremacy was threatened.
As a response to Democratic violence in the south and in order to further secure the civil rights of black Americans, Congress passed the 15th Amendment explicitly guaranteeing voting rights for Blacks.
Like the two previous civil rights amendments, the 15th Amendment was passed also along partisan lines. Not a single one of the 56 Democrats in Congress at that time voted for the 15th Amendment. Not one Democrat either from the North or the South supported granting explicit voting rights to black Americans.
Yet, despite the opposition from the Democrats the 15th Amendment did pass, passed entirely by Republicans. Its passage was greeted by black Americans with great rejoicing.
By 1875, only a decade after the Civil War, Republicans had successfully passed almost two dozen civil rights laws. And black American legislators often played significant roles in the debates surrounding the passage of such laws.
We’re out of time for today, folks. We will pick up right where we left off there in our next program. That’s three of the seven parts of this series, Setting the Record Straight, American History in Black and White.
All three that we’ve aired so far are available right now at WallBuilders Live. And then the next four programs will finish out this incredible series. If you’d like to see the entire series go to WallBuilders.com. The book and the DVD are available. We”re picking up with part four next time you join us right here on WallBuilders Live!