The Proud “Black Republicans” and the Democrat Chairwoman’s Ignorance

by Norman Berdichevsky (September 2011)

Congressman Allen West (R-22, Florida) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-20 Florida) were unfortunately involved in a heated exchange of views and personal attacks in June of this year, made all the more poignant and media-worthy because both are from Florida and both are recent migrants to the state. As a Black and a Jew, their constituencies represent the two strongest components of the Democratic coalition in Congress. Their conflict reflects a much deeper cleavage – one between No-Nothing Northern carpetbagger ultra-liberal ignorance and deeply held prejudices against the South on the one hand, and West’s symbolic image as a return, after a gap of a hundred years, of the historic ties of common interests between African Americans and the Republican Party.

On the eve of the Civil War, countless editorials in Southern newspapers referred to the probable election of Abraham Lincoln as the candidate of “The Black Republican Party” using “Black” as a symbol of evil and as a sign that the black slaves looked to that party and its candidate Abraham Lincoln as the source of eventual betterment. During Reconstruction, 1865-77, the term was used with even greater vehemence by white Southerners at the spectacle of liberated slaves serving as Republican Congressmen in Washington. 

The Dispute Between West and Wasserman Schultz

The DNC chairwoman’s remarks linking the Republican Party to “Jim Crow” caused an immediate double take among anyone familiar with American history but not among all those totally and willfully ignorant liberals, Northern Democrats and many Jews, for whom the period of Reconstruction, the Republican fight against the three S’s that characterized the Democrat Party for the first hundred years of its existence – Slavery, Secession and Segregation- are just a blank page. Only someone as colossally brainwashed as Democrat Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz could make the statements that…

“You have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws – and very transparently-block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. Photo I.D. laws, we think, are very similar to a poll tax. Just look at African-American voters as a snapshot. About 25 percent of African-American voters don't have a valid photo I.D … the reason it's similar to a poll tax is because you've got the expense. You've got the effort.”

This remark came from a woman whose 20th Congressional District in Florida is the most gerrymandered in the country (see map below), Nobody has since ventured to ask the question why it is that the Democrats continually suppress the Military vote by not allowing ballots counted even though they were legal in the states that received the ballots yet always agitate for convicted felons in prison to have the vote. 

She also went on record with unconditional backing to fellow Democratic-Liberal Anthony Weiner, the well known victim of a “Republican Conspiracy” excusing his behavior until just before resigning under enormous pressure from fellow Democrats. The democrats thus feign ignorance about their own history in instituting and institutionalizing poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests, tolerating lynch mobs and simple strong armed tactics to prevent blacks from voting in most Southern states for almost a hundred years after the end of the Civil War.  

Wasserman Schultz made her incendiary comments on June 6, 2011 during an interview with Roland Martin, known for his regular CNN political commentaries, on TV-One. She half-retracted her comments the next day after someone probably referred her to an elementary book on the history of the United States. The National Republican Committee Chairman released a statement in response charging that …”Wasserman Schultz will literally say anything,” and called the congresswoman's statements “absurd accusations” and “offensive remarks” leading her to admit that she had “used the wrong analogy” (foot in mouth disease). This put her in the same category as the recently defeated and fellow Jewish bleeding heart Democrat (and millionaire) Alan Grayson, who claimed on the House floor that the Republican plan was for the elderly to die quickly and used the Holocaust as another wrong analogy (for which he was also forced to apologize).

The Dispute Between Representatives West and Charley Rangel (D-New York)

On the Bill O’Reilly Factor program of news commentary on June 18, Democrat Representative Charlie Rangel representing New York's Harlem where he has been re-elected for 19 consecutive terms since 1971 responded to West’s comments that traditional black community leaders and political representatives form the overseers running a plantation on which the rank and file cannot challenge the monopoly of the Democrat Party. True to form, the congressman who recently was given a slap on the wrists for ethics violations resorted to condescension of the worst kind by referring to West as “new” and a “freshman” and that …“this is the sort of thing such rookies resort to get television time”  and then went even further (confident that the Democrats also have the women’s vote locked up) and exasperatedly told interviewer Laura Ingraham…” that Bill O’Reilly told me he had a secret weapon– I didn’t know it was just a pretty girl.”

Why The Angry Words? 

Wasserman Schultz has been carrying on a campaign of invective against Alan West since he was elected, accusing him of old fashioned prejudice against women, a lack of care about Florida’s senior citizens and failure to protect voting rights for minorities. On July 19 on the House floor after Congressman West had left, Wasserman Schultz made these critical remarks and poured oil on the fire… “The gentleman from Florida. who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries, unbelievable from a Member from South Florida.”  Alan West was painted with the broad brush of callousness toward the elderly, women and – get this – “minorities.”

She then repeated the Democrat mantra that attempts to cut cap and balance …”slash Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas.”

But the real reason is obvious. It is not because she is the protective angel of the poor and elderly and West wants to deny them a remedy because he is heartless. He is a neighbor in Broward county and a proud BLACK REPUBLICAN (the very name causes panic among Democrat campaign hustlers like David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel) and challenges the entire Democratic monopoly on the “minority voters” and the constant appeal of the Democrats to elderly voters posing as their protector. They are assumed to be wards of the state whose welfare benefits need to be safeguarded from the grasp of evil Republicans. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, like defeated demagogue Alan Grayson, pervert Anthony Weiner and, of course, the President, have always idealized the support of Blacks, Jews, women, and senior citizens for the Democrat Party. West upset the applecart. This was his unforgivable sin. He has challengeed the near 40 year old monopoly of the ruling Democrat puppets – the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Congressman Charlie Rangel. These three have presided over the African-American community as “leaders” and led their followers into an ever deeper hole of dependency on the federal government.

Wasserman-Schultz’s remarks stem from the tradition of retaining the black and Jewish vote in the pocket of the Democrat Party for the past three generations since the Depression and from the fact that anything that does not support that political alliance is absolutely beyond the pale. I now live in Florida. I am a Jew and a conservative. Friends and family who have lived in Florida for decades are still amazed and unbelieving when they are told that Jews, although a small minority in the South were well respected and even elected as mayors in towns such as Ocala and Tampa in the 1890s long before the post World War II mass migration to the state! The fact that these mayors were all conservative businessmen does not fit the “image” of the natural tendency of American Jews towards liberal/Left and radical politics.   

 The Democrat liberal/Left world-view ignores two fundamental facts:

1) From its foundation through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Republicans were so identified in the public mind in the South with the anti-slavery cause, with opposition to secession and segregation and in favor of civil rights that they were labeled “The Black Republicans” whether or not they were racially white or black.

2) Prior to the mass immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe and Russia beginning in the 1880s, the American Jewish community historically was predominantly Sephardi (of Spanish-Portuguese origin ands who later emigrated to Holland and then the New World), and German-Alsatian. For these Jews in the South, this meant loyalty to their adopted country and region, even among those who opposed slavery and secession, all supported the Confederate cause. Later, it also meant Jewish support for Republican candidates in most congressional elections or even for the socialists rather than for the Democrat Party identified in large parts of the country with prohibition, Sunday “blue laws,” discrimination against blacks, segregation, and under President Wilson, a rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in the South.

The fact that at least 95% of American Jews are of East European descent and whose parents or grandparents still had some attachment to Yiddish language and culture automatically identify the adjective “Jewish” with everything they identify as part of their own heritage and they are oblivious or condescending to Jews of Spanish-Portuguese, Italian, Iranian, Arab, Greek, Yemeni, Ethiopian, or Central Asian/Caucasus mountain background. Many also tend to be condescending to those who are not from New York, Chicago and L.A.

Asked to name the first Jewish Secretary of State and first Latino/Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, almost all of them will automatically respond Henry Kissinger and Sonia Sotomayor but the correct answers are Confederate Secretary (1863-65) Judah Benjamin of New Orleans appointed by Jefferson Davis and Justice Benjamin Cardozo of New York City (served 1932-38), both of veteran Sephardi families. The same applies to the first Jewish Senator, David Levy who served in the Senate from Florida 1845-51 and 1855-61 (Levy County is named after him). He was a strong supporter of secession and slavery. In this Jewish Hall of Fame of “first timers,” some will give half a nod to New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia whose mother, Irene Coen Luzzatto, was Jewish (from a distinguished family in Trieste), and also had the honor of becoming the first Italian-American elected to Congress. He spoke fluent English and  Italian and good Yiddish and Hebrew (as well as passable French, German and Hungarian).

Compare such honorable Jewish politicians and judges of integrity and honesty then -La Guardia, Lehmann, Cardozo, Frankfurter and Javits (and Joe Lieberman today who switched parties and is now an independent) with the current crop of scoundrels and phonies among Jewish democrats. The current crop of Jewish politicians on the Left wing of the Democrat Party reads like a list of apparatchniks, Scott Stringer the Manhattan Borough President who fully endorsed the mosque at ground zero and blindly hurled charges of anti-Semitism at both the Tea Party and Sarah Palin; Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee who compared the Republican opposition to Obamacare to Goebbels and Nazi propaganda (how's that for a wrong analogy?); Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumentahl who lied about having “served in Vietnam.” It used to be said that patriotism is the last refuge of soundrels, but for some Jewish liberals, it is to charge their opponents with antisemitism and trivialize the Holocaust. Just as bad are those like Weiner and former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer who used their high office to cater to their sexual needs.

Permit me to carry this “Gotcha! Quiz” one step further. What locality was the first to elect both a black to the U.S. Congress and the first to accord Jews the full and equal rights including the right to vote and be elected to public office?

The answer is…Georgetown, South Carolina! Yes, in deepest Dixie in a county which was the center of the rice growing plantation economy where blacks (mostly slaves) outnumbered Whites in 1860 by a ratio of 10:1. Of course, under Reconstruction, blacks, now citizens, would obviously elect a fellow black. Joseph Rainey from Georgetown was the first black representative elected who was not unseated in the aftermath of a white backlash and even enjoyed some white support. He was a moderate Republican and and not one of the ‘Radicals’ determined to punish the South. Rainey was of mixed race. His father had been a barber who had earned his freedom. In Representative Rainey’s inaugural address, he vowed to improve the lives of all South Carolinians and to benefit the state he loved.

During his term in office, Rainey supported legislation to protect the civil rights of Southern Blacks and promote the economic reconstruction of South Carolina. In May 1874, he became the first African American to preside over the House of Representatives. By 1878, Reconstruction was ended when the white Democrats regained control of all southern state legislatures and used paramilitary violent groups such as the Klan and the “Red Shirts” to suppress black voting.

All the early black congressmen and senators elected during Reconstruction were members of the Republican Party. The Democrats objected to many of the newly elected black officials and managed to unseat several of them who had been elected in 1870. Thirteen of the twenty-two blacks elected to Congress during Reconstruction were ex-slaves and all were self taught or family trained. There were seven lawyers, three ministers, three college presidents, two school teachers, one banker, and one publisher.

The Jews of Savannah, New Orleans, Charleston and nearby Georgetown were wealthy, conservative, very educated and cultured and predominantly of Sephardi origin who gravitated towards Reform but were determined to maintain a strong sense of communal identity. As late as 1820, Charleston had the third or fourth largest Jewish population in the United States.     

Colonel West’s anger is both justifiable and understandable. He was told in effect to remember that, as a Black, he should “know his place” (i.e. the Democrat Party). Other “traitors” who arouse the same ire and passions among Democrats are black Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, newly elected Florida Senator Marco Rubio of Cuban oriign, Jewish Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor (from Virginia), conservative women like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, and the Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Nikki Haley, the Indian-American female Republican governor of South Carolina, is also a first generation American, the child of immigrant parents and also a member of the other Democrat constituency on which a monopoly is claimed – immigrants – thus effectively throwing three strikes against her. Allen West refused to have more called strikes against him by a partial umpire and warned the pitcher he was about to throw the bat at her.  

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Norman Berdichevsky contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all his contributions, on which comments are welcome.


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