In an interview on NY1′s “Inside City Hall” Wednesday, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) called Tea Party members “mean, racist people” who are descendants of slave owners in the South and still love to wave around the Confederate flag:
We can do a lot about it because this is the President’s program. It’s hard for me to explain how you work with a president that thought that he could really deal with the Republican leadership. He really thought and maybe it was the water they drink at Harvard [President Obama’s alma mater] that he could deal with the Tea Party. They are mean, racist people. Now why do I say that? Because in those red states, they’re the same slave-holding states. They had the Confederate flag. They became Dixiecrats; they had the Confederate flag. They’re now the Tea Party; they still got the Confederate [flag]. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. There is nothing the president can do–not love of country, not love of party–that they’re not prepared to kill themselves to get to him.
Charlie Rangel knows better than to peddle these historical falsehoods.
But don’t take my word for it. Read what former Congressman Jessie Jackson jr. (a Democrat) said in an interview with Fox News contributor Angela McGlowan in her book Bamboozled:
“There is no doubt that the Democratic Party is the party of the Confederacy, historically, that the Democratic Party’s flag is the Confederate flag. It was our party’s flag. That Jefferson Davis was a Democrat, that Stonewall Jackson strongly identified with the Democratic Party, that secessionists in the South saw themselves as Democrats and were Democrats. That so much of the Democratic Party’s history, since it is our nation’s oldest political party, has its roots in slavery.”
Rangel is running for reelection. Decrying all Tea Party members as racists is a Democrat Article of Faith and is likely being used by the 22-term Congressman to rile up his base. Nevertheless, Rangel knows better than anyone that the GOP was responsible for virtually every piece of civil rights legislation to come out of the US Congress.
He claims that Tea Party people from former Confederate states are a bunch of blindly racist bigots. But the one common denominator that codified sound support of Jim Crow and Black Code Laws in southern states was that they all resulted from Democratic legislators of the “Solid South.”
Congressman Rangel, 83, in his dotage, probably forgot (or was too embarrassed) to mention that it was his own Democratic Party of segregation waving the Confederate flag, threatening the lives of civil rights advocates, and blocking civil rights bills in Congress.
Historian Wynton Hall:
Indeed, the closer one looks across the arc of black history, the more ironic it seems that voters would associate civil rights with the Democratic Party. Founded as the anti-slavery party, the Republican Party was responsible for winning passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, the Reconstruction Acts, and the 1866, 1875, 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts. In fact, had Democrats not overturned the 1875 Civil Rights Act, the strikingly similar 1964 Civil Rights Act might never have been necessary.
Myriad reasons are often cited for the rift between African American voters and the Republican Party. Some blame Richard Nixon’s so-called “Southern strategy.” Others cite the GOP’s presidential nomination of Barry Goldwater who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on philosophical grounds of federal overreach. And still others point to a radicalized professoriate as the source of some Americans’ historical amnesia.
Congressman Rangel is wrong to smear millions of American’s whom he disagrees with as Confederate flag-waving racists. It is disgusting and beneath his office for him to twist and contort history as a means to reach his own politically expediant ends.
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