By: Erik Rush
I was asked by a local Republican organization to speak on the morning of Juneteenth (that being the anniversary of June 19, 1865, the date that news of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln reached the last slaves in Galveston, Texas. This date continues to be celebrated in many black communities. Although I regularly take to task RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), GOP hypocrites, sellouts and other invertebrates, politically-active Republicans in my area – particularly the group that asked me to speak – and I are pretty much on the same page most of the time. Being one of the more prominent (if not the most, all humility aside) Black conservatives in the area made me a reasonable choice, I suppose. The group was also gearing up for the 150th anniversary of the first Republican National Convention, which was held on June 17, 1856.
There are a couple of interesting facts I’d like to bring to the fore in light of all this: One, I wound up learning some interesting and encouraging things about the GOP during my research, some of which served to further galvanize my loyalty to the party – and its need to remain as committed to conservatism as possible.
Two: I had never even heard of Juneteenth until 1992, six years after I escaped New York and relocated to Colorado. Now, this could be because New York’s elitist leanings (which to be fair, cross political lines) cause it to be something of a cultural bubble (or vacuum). Most New Yorkers tend to be very disconnected from events that occur outside of the metropolitan New York area. The conspiracy theorist in me would like to believe that the liberal elites deliberately left Juneteenth out of their “reality” and its significance to school children in order to keep Black people under the impression that they were still enslaved. This makes sense in light of the Left’s class envy and dependency agenda, but I won’t belabor that here; they’re obviously not above such action. I don’t consider bashing Democrats to be one of my favorite hobbies, but I do consider doing my part to neutralize the far Left as a moral obligation.
I get a lot of email from angry Democrats, and they’re not usually angry because of something I’ve written. Often, they’re in agreement with me and irate over the fact that the far Left has hijacked their party in a major way. “I’m so damn mad I just don’t know what to do,” some say.
“Switch parties?” I suggest.
Apropos the aforementioned hijacking, this took place over approximately the same time period during which the Democrat Party began cozying up to Blacks. I’d wager most Americans don’t know that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican.
I wrote in a column entitled “Black Noise” in December of 2005: “Throughout the first half of the 20th century, one political party had a reputation as being possessed of an imperious mien, and this was the Democrat Party. It was also widely known as the party of segregation. Riding on the coattails of the affinity Blacks had for Jack and Bobby Kennedy (who were perceived as champions of civil rights), Democrats courted Blacks via corruption of their clergy. Blacks had been among the most socially conservative groups in America, and their leaders, rather than political icons, had been their clergymen. Thus, the ranks of Black leadership emerged from within this body, which was won over either through altruistic con jobs or the promise of personal aggrandizement. Those who gained fame became embroiled in the political machinery: blinded by greed and self-importance, they were groomed as foremen for the White international socialist overseers in the Democrat Party.”
What I hadn’t realized until I began my research for my speech was the degree to which the Republican Party had been dedicatedly involved in civil rights reforms 100 years before the Civil Rights Movement. Yes, it’s true that there were economic and other social factors that led to the Civil War; it wasn’t all about slavery (a point the Left makes at every opportunity given that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican), but quite a number of historical facts regarding the GOP reveal that it has always been the real “party of the American people”, as well as standing for the equality of all Americans.
[Thanks for the historical notations here are appropriate for Author Michael Zak, executive director of the Lincoln-Reagan Freedom Foundation and author of the book "Back to Basics for the Republican Party."]
In March of 1854, several dozen anti-slavery activists met in Wisconsin and called for a new political party, the Republican Party – to stop the Democrat’s pro-slavery agenda.
In July of 1854, in Jackson, Michigan, the first Republican Party state convention of 10,000 anti-slavery activists was held in “The Oaks”. Among the leaders of that meeting was a former mayor of Detroit, Zachariah Chandler, who had protected slaves escaping North in the underground railroad. Chandler would later serve in the US Senate and as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).
In February of 1856, delegates established the Republican National Committee and elected New York’s national committeeman, Edwin Morgan, to be the first chairman of the RNC. Morgan had been governor and would later serve in the U.S. Senate where he helped pass several major civil rights laws.
In 1856, the first Republican Party presidential nominee, a Georgia-born military hero and former senator from California, John C. Fremont, ran on an anti-slavery platform but lost the election to the pro-slavery Democrat, James Buchanan.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the first Republican Party president of the United States of America and took office in 1861.
Whilst attending elementary school in New York, I wondered why the majority of Black students spoke with thick southern accents. This – although I couldn’t know it at the time – was because public assistance was more plentiful and easier to obtain in the more liberal, northern states. These were among the “worldly goodies” that Democrats used to court Black voters – and keep them in a perpetual state of cultural slavery, a condition from which millions of Blacks suffer to this day, many quite willingly, and in which far Left politicos (both Black and White) struggle violently to keep them.
So while Republicans across America celebrate the party’s 150th anniversary, let us recall history and remember that despite our occasional frustration and the fallibility of individuals, the GOP is still the best hope for America given this critical juncture in American history.
Erik Rush is a New York-born Black columnist and author who writes a weekly column of political fare. He is also a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. An archive containing links to his writing is at http://www.erikrush.com. His new book, “It’s the Devil, Stupid!” is ON SALE NOW!!!