How Did We Get Here? A Look Back On History

November 24th, 2008 | By

O.K. class let’s get started. Today, we are going to test your history. This is not a graded test, it is just a guage to see how far you are in your lessons. Just relax and answer each question to the best of your ability. This not a timed test, so don’t be in a rush to finish. Just take your time. Anytime you have a question, feel free to ask. Here we go.

Question #1: The Republican party was started in 1854. What was it’s main mantra?

Lil Timmy: The Party of Holding a Black Man Down. (Class Laughs)

Anybody else? (No hands go up) Actually the Republican party was formed as the “Anti-slavery party”. From 1792-1865, the Democrats were feverishly fighting for individual states rights to own slaves. The Republican party was formed in opposition to that.

Question #2: Before the Civil War, there were many laws enacted to stop blacks from escaping plantations. What was the impact of the 1856 Dred Scott decision?

(No hands go up)

The Dred Scott decision officially made slaves property. It stated that no African decendent, a slave or free man, could ever become a citizen of the United States. With that Dred Scott, a black slave, who was carried from free state to free state would still remain a slave. No slave owner could lose his slave without due process.

Question #3: During the Civil War, The Union fought The Confederacy over what?

Lil Timmy: Slavery

That’s right. Extra Credit. Who formed the Confederacy?

(No hands go up)

Democrats in the South formed the Confederacy. They were willing to succeed from the United States just to keep their slaves. They were also fighting to expand slavery through out the United States. The country was very divided at this time. It was also heavily impacted by our large expansion. New states needed new workers, the question became how to get them. Allow free men to work for wage or have slaves you didn’t have to pay.

Question #4: Who was the President during the Civil War?

Lil Timmy: Abraham Lincoln. I bet you gonna tell me he was a Republican too.

You are right on both counts. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. He was willing to fight to end slavery, even though it was threatening to pull our country apart. This did not please many Democrats. Do you ever wonder why you never hear a Democrat praising Abraham Lincoln. He stood against everything they represent.

Question #5: After the Civil War, three new amendments were added to the constitution. Does anyone know what they were?

Lil Timmy: 13th freed slaves, 14th gave citizenship, and 15th gave the right to vote.

Very good. Extra Credit. What was the period called after the Civil War?

Lil Timmy: Reconstruction. It was just a set up though. Republicans wanted slaves free but they didn’t want to treat them like equals.

Why do you say that?

Lil Timmy: Because they promised ‘forty acres and mule” and we never got it.

Correct. The ten years after the civil war was a good time to be black. That was until Andrew Jackson took office. The Democrat wanted the country to heal desperately, so he made many concessions to the South. Democrats in the South found new ways to enslave blacks; i.e. sharecropping.

Question #6: Can anyone tell me what K.K.K. stands for?

Lil TImmy: Klu Klux Klan

Correct. Do you know when and why they were formed?

(No hands go up)

They were formed in 1866 by Democrats in Tennessee as a social club. I’m guessing I don’t have to fill you all in on the deeds of the Klan. But I will tell you they were the military strength of those who didn’t agree with other races being on the same level as whites.

Question #7: In 1894, Democrats passed the Repeal Act. What were they trying to undo?

(No hands go up)

They were repealing the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and 1875. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was passed by a Republican Congress, Veteoed by Democratic President Andrew Jackson, and then the Republican Congress over ruled the President’s Veto. This Act gave blacks the right to make contracts, sue, bear witness in court, and own property.

The Civil Rights Act of 1875 guaranteed all men, no matter the color or previous condition of servitude, held the same rights in public accomodations. This Act was also brought forth by two Republicans, Charles Sumner and Benjamin Butler.

As soon as Democrats got control of the Congress, they repealed both of these Acts.

Question #8: I’m sure everyone has heard of the NAACP.

Lil Timmy: If you are going to tell me the NAACP was formed by Republicans, I don’t want to hear it.

Fine. Then I’ll instead tell you, the NAACP was formed by whites.

Lil Timmy: You have got to be kidding me.

No. I’m not kidding you. The NAACP was formed by three white people, all Republicans. They formed the group in an effort to stop Lynchings and help blacks fight for their Civil Rights.

Extra Credit. Do you know who wrote the Black National Anthem, “Lift every voice and sing”?

(No hands go up)

A black Republican, James Weldon Johnson. He was the first black general secretary of the NAACP.

Question #9: Does anyone know when the largest number of bills supporting racial segregation and discrimination were introduced?

(No hands go up)

Around 1912, when Democrat Woodrow Wilson was in the White House and Democrats controlled Congress. Extra Credit. Does anyone know what happened to black people who held government jobs during this time.

(No hands go up)

They were pushed out of their positions.

Question # 10: Does anyone know who desegregated the Military?

Lil TImmy: Hah. That wasn’t a Republican. That was Democrat Harry Truman.

I’ll give you half the credit. Truman did sign the 1948 Executive Order to desegregate the military. But it wasn’t until Republican Eisenhower that the order was effectively enforced. Truman was busy making sure anti-lynching laws and the establishment of a permanant Civil Rights Commission never came to fruition.

Question #11: O.K. Let’s talk about Martin Luther King Jr. Does anyone know his party affiliation?

Lil Timmy: Let me guess, He was a Republican.

Yes. Extra Credit. Does anyone know who Dr. Kings main opposition was?

Lil Timmy: Democrats

You are right again. Dr. King was under fire from Democrats Lester Maddox, the governor of Georgia; Eugene “Bull” Connor, the Public Safety Commissioner in Birmingham; and George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama. They wanted to stop blacks from eating in restaurants. They let dogs attack protesters and used water hoses to disturb peaceful marches. They stood in front of State Buildings shouting, “Segregation Now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”.

Extra Credit. Does anyone know if Democratic President John Kennedy agreed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

Lil Timmy: I know the answer to this one. Hell No. He didn’t want Martin Luther King Jr. to march on Washington.

Correct. He also ordered Dr. King to be wire tapped by the FBI. Only begrudgingly made a phone call to have Dr. King released from a Birmingham Jail at the request of the King family

Lil Sally: So when people say “they” were out to get Martin Luther King Jr, they are talking about Democrats?

We’ll get to the opinion part later. But that is a very astute thought.

Question #11: Has anyone ever heard of “Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka”?

Lil Timmy: Yes. That was the Supreme Court ruling that desegregated the schools.

Right. Can you name the Supreme Court Justice that made the ruling?

Lil Timmy: I don’t know his name, but I bet he was a Republican.

Let’s just say Chief Justice Earl Warren was appointed by Republican President Eisenhower.

Lil Timmy: Are you saying the Democrats didn’t support desegregating the schools?

The Democrats took the side of the Topeka, Kansas school board. There was also a Democratic Governor of Arkansas Orville Faubus, who was opposed to desegregating the schools, forcing Eisenhower to send federal troops to prevent violence against blacks.

Question #12: Who was President when the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed?

Lil Timmy: Are you going to tell me Lyndon Johnson was a Republican?

No. Johnson was a Democrat. But there was so much opposition from the Democrats in Congress, Johnson had to reach out to Republicans to get the bill passed. Instruamental in this effort was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois. Dirksen was praised by Dr. King for his “able and courageous leadership”.

Democrats like Robert Byrd from West Virginia, a still sitting Democrat Congressman, rallied against the Civil Rights Act. Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan member, gave a 14 hour filibuster speech in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the Civil Rights Act from Passing.

Extra Credit. Can anybody tell me what Robert Byrd thought of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

(No hands go up)

After a riot in Memphis, Tennessee where teenager was killed, Byrd said; King is a “trouble maker” that starts trouble, then runs like a coward when trouble is started.

Lil Timmy: That’s what made Dr. King go back to Memphis where he was assassinated. And you’re trying to tell me that man is still in office.

Not only is he still in office, if Bush, Cheney, and Pelosi were unable to serve, Byrd would be our President.

Lil Timmy: You are full of it. You are trying to force your opinion down our throat.

No. Since our time together is coming to an end, let me explain my purpose. I’m going to give you my opinion. Then as your homework assignment, you are all to write me a paper with your opinion. The subject, Which political party has done more for the Civil Rights of Black Americans?

I want you to take everything you’ve heard today and try to prove me wrong. I want you to go home and research your local politicians. Most of all the real changes in our local communities is done on the local level. What is the political affiliation? What changes have occurred in your community since that party has had control? Then I want you to form an opinion like the one I’m about to share with you.

My Opinion

Democrats have had a long history of trying to deny Civil Rights to black Americans. Times have changed and so have the tactics of the political party.

Often it is said that the racist Democrats switched to the Republican party because the Democratic Party was the new party of black Americans. I don’t believe that to be true. I think Republicans switched to the party of values because they realized that was were true blending of the races existed.

You have Democrats focusing on the things that divide us. While Republicans focus on all the things that connect us. I’ll give you one example.

Democrats believe we should focus on the Dollar Amount that divides us. If you are rich you should pay more, if you are poor you should get more. Republicans focus on getting what you keep, on every level. But you have to work for it. A common thread. Look back at the focus of our Black Ancestors. It wasn’t “Give me.” It was “Give me the chance to get it for myself.”

Think back on everything you’ve learned about black history. The men and women who fought to get their name on a patent of something they invented. When did the fight become “Getting Something For Free” instead of getting equal access and pay for something we have created.

Was it right around the time Democrats started controlling the black vote. They know they can no longer deny Civil Rights to anyone, so instead they focus on keeping you right where you are instead of showing you how to move forward. They rail against free markets but that’s where millionaires are born. They make is sound like a dirty word, so you are to afraid to find out how easy it is.

They don’t want you to invest and make real money because then you would not like the idea of high taxes and bigger government. Your desire to be in control of your own life would kill the Democratic Party.

No one ever got rich from public assistance. I know everyone needs help sometimes but I’m talking about those that get on and stay on welfare. These people will never be Millionaires. These people will become dependent. These future doctor’s, lawyers, or judges become satisfied just getting by. Like I said, all they have to do is keep you in your place.

They no longer have to fight against housing discrimination. They can tell you they are building homes for low income families for no or low cost. Poor blacks will voluntarily stay out of white neighborhoods. Then to look fair, they push for loans they know most low income families can’t afford. So once you own a house and lose a house, you are even more satisfied never to take a risk on self dependence again.

Democrats main attack has always been fear. They make black Americans fear the man in the white coat waiting to come and steal all your hopes and dreams. Yet, they forget to mention they were the party of the guy in the white coat. And the white hood.

So maybe the focus shouldn’t be on which party has done more. Maybe the focus should be what each and every individual has done with the history they have been given. Will black people continue to encourage our children to write papers on Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. DuBois but forget to tell them the philosophy held by both men? Basic self reliance.

Or will the Democrats get their way by our own ignorance? Will we continue to follow a path that has done nothing but tried to deny us of our basic Civil Rights? Can we look at Robert Byrd and really believe he represents our best interest? I don’t think so. What’s your Opinion?


Lil Timmy is an example of my knowledge in High School. All the questions he answered, I could’ve answered. When no hands went up, I didn’t have a clue. You get the point.

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