MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in a recent debate with former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, called the Republican Party the “grand wizard crowd.” Grand wizard is the title given to the leader of the Ku Klux Klan. It is truly misinformed to call Republicans the party of the Klan. Throughout our history, most Klansmen and most racists have been Democrats. Here are a few racist quotes from major Democratic figures.
The late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., a former Klansman, wrote during World War II: “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side. … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”
When Lyndon B. Johnson was in the House of Representatives, he said that President Harry Truman’s civil rights program was “a farce and a sham — an effort to set up a police state in the guise of liberty.” He continued: “I am opposed to that program. I have voted against the so-called poll tax repeal bill. … I have voted against the so-called anti-lynching bill.” When Johnson had become senator, he observed, “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness.”
Chris Matthews is by no means unique among NBC’s race-baiters. After NBC was caught red-handed doctoring George Zimmerman’s 911 call to a police dispatcher, in an effort to make him out to be a racist, Steve Capus, president of NBC’s news division, said it was “a mistake and not a deliberate act to misrepresent the phone call.” That’s a baldfaced lie, for it’s almost impossible to make such a mistake. Furthermore, the producer who allegedly was fired remains a secret.
When Texas Gov. Rick Perry referred to our national debt as a “big black cloud that hangs over America, (a) debt that is so monstrous,” MSNBC’s Ed Schultz said, “That black cloud Perry is talking about is President Barack Obama.” Matthews chimed in to say that Perry’s vision of federalism is “Bull Connor with a smile.”
In August 2009, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer was discussing a tea party rally in Arizona, where it’s legal to carry an unconcealed weapon. She said: “A man at a pro-health care reform rally … wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip. … There are questions about whether this has racial overtones. I mean, here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns.” All that her audience was shown were a rifle and pistol strapped to a man’s back. MSNBC concealed the fact that the armed man was black and did not show the interview he gave to the reporter. Brewer knowingly deceived her audience because an armed black man didn’t fit the racial narrative.
It’s not just white liberals in the media who are stirring up racial animosity; they have help from black politicians. During last year’s debate on the debt ceiling, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said that argument over the debt ceiling was proof of racial animosity toward Obama. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., said the tea party wishes to lynch blacks and hang them from trees. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Perry’s job creation in Texas is “one stage away from slavery.” While appearing on MSNBC, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter referred to Trayvon Martin’s death as an “assassination.” Nutter had better worry about the 118 “assassinations” in Philadelphia so far this year.
To their own detriment — and that of the nation — black people are being used to further the liberal big-government agenda. Black people have been misled to think that their problems are with white people and government and that black politicians are the solution. There’s not a speck of evidence supporting either vision — despite the election of a white African as president.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.