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Recently, Tumblr was removed from the Apple app store due to an incident involving child pornography. This incident is incredibly unfortunate, but it doesn’t stand alone. Tumblr was also removed from the app store due to the large influx of porn bots and pornographic spam, users claiming to be proud to be pedophiles, blatant Nazism, racists who are not deleted for sending hate and harassing users, and more. I myself reported someone for harassing me, but because I had blocked the person and couldn’t access the messages where they harassed me, they were still able to send me anonymous asks. Your support staff, with back doors to the website (presumably), claimed they could not access the messages, and I was left SOL. Many features on this website do nothing to actually protect your users from harassment, racism, homophobia, transphobia, Nazis, pedophiles, predators, porn bots, and more.
You claim in your statement to us that you “have been working on these problems for a long time”. This is blatantly untrue. Please do not lie to us and patronize us. We’ve been here. We’ve seen you do nothing over, and over, and over again.
We complained to you for months and months about the rampant porn bots, and you did nothing except add a report button on mobile which only reported sensitive content or spam at best. You could have addressed this problem with an effective algorithm, but you did not. We complained to you about being harassed and sent hate speech for being LGBT+, and you did nothing. We complained to you about blogs being randomly deleted, and sometimes you’ve restored them, other times you have not. We complained to you that there were people proudly claiming to be “Minor Attracted Persons”, or pedophiles, and you did nothing. We complained to you about people proudly claiming to be white supremacists, and you did nothing. All of these things are “against the community guidelines”, and yet over and over, you have not found effective ways to handle these problems or suppress the feeling of welcome that these users claim to get here. You have had a long time to work on these problems, but you haven’t addressed them. To say you have is untrue.
Multiple other social networking websites, such as Wordpress, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others have effectively dealt with rampant pornography, racism, pedophilia, and other problems without causing massive issues for their users who are not misusing the platform. They are continuing to find new, effective ways to deal with these issues without causing problems for their userbase as a whole. There is no reason that you are unable to do this effectively other than that you wanted to do it quickly. You have once again chosen your stock holders over your users. And we have had enough.
You have already started to ban “Adult” content with a new algorithm. Here are screenshots of just a fraction of the posts you have flagged as containing adult content:
Your new system of simply tackling everything at once is not working. At all. And each of these screenshots is proof of your utter incompetence. None of these posts contain pornographic acts, “female nipples”, or any community violation of any kind.
We, the users, have been asking you for months to deal with these problems - particularly, the porn bots and bots that spam. In order to block a bot from a side blog, I have to do it manually, even though they are in my side blog’s feed. This is a huge issue for mobile - only users. They keep cropping up in droves, taking over our posts and tricking google into making it look like a legitimate blog linked to a pornographic website. We have complained to you for months and months now, and your solution to simply “ban all adult content” is ineffective. I agree that children should not be able to access pornography - but this is not how you tackle a porn bot problem. Your system is utterly useless, allows for racists, pedophiles, porn bots, and Nazis to remain untouched. It also harms sex workers and real people who may use this website for some forms of adult content responsibly. Moreover, as seen above, it harms plenty of users who have in no way violated your terms of service.
If you keep this up, you threaten your website and company as a whole. Many of us are backing up our blogs and planning places to go to.
You already have a content filter for “sensitive” content (content inappropriate for younger viewers). You could have improved this, instead of attacking your entire user base. It seems to be a very lazy “solution”, if you could call it one at all, and one that harms your entire userbase.
If you are going to keep this filter in place and make Tumblr, a website that has never been known for being family friendly and has never claimed to be, you are going to lose millions of your users. We are already planning our exodus. It isn’t hard to follow. Censor us, and we will go somewhere else. That is not a threat. It is a promise.
The users of your website.
They flagged this post immediately and I’ve submitted it for review… this is… quite a week.
If you believe these words, reblog it, please. I want this to be right in their face because I couldn’t email them directly.
While we are at it, you might as well express the truth of this change of policy. Given that you claimed this was begun over six months ago, it clearly has nothing to do with the federal legislation or the Apple Store ban or any number of other things. Tumblr has been losing money for years. Even when it was purchased by Verizon from Yahoo oh, it was in trouble. Now Verizon has very little interest in net neutrality and is one of the biggest antagonist to net neutrality. And this company wants to increase its advertising revenue. So it has chosen to eliminate a major revenue stream in order to theoretically improve the likelihood of Verizon’s usual advertisers to make money on Tumblr. Please do not lie to us about trying to make a safe place for everyone. As has been pointed out in many ways, you have made it extremely unsafe for bloggers and content creators. This is no longer a safe place to express oneself when one has to think about whether a finger has just barely missed covering a nipple. This phrase, female-presenting nipples, and absolutely meaningless phrase, is sexual discrimination. You cannot justify it on the base of any religious bias. With apologies to gay men for the use of an offencive term from the Bible, you permit sodomites to post images showing nipples. So what makes female nipples so offensive. If I showed a picture of a nipple and areola but showing no other part of the body would you ban it because of the assumption that it was female? Your code makes no sense. It was not made in discussion with your users as you claim. Or Cherry Picked the users.
@verizon Such a predatory behavior…
This ridiculous, worn-out, uneducated argument again?
Dude, if you don’t know that the parties switched platforms decades ago, if you are so incapable of empathy and understanding that you think Democrats and more importantly people of all political stripes, are simply mad and not terrified of the completely corrupt and immoral horror shows that are running things, you should probably go back under your rock.
Ain’t nobody got time for your ignorance, sugar.
So you really want to play that poor hand huh, princess?
June 17, 1854
The Republican Party is officially founded as an abolitionist party to slavery in the United States.
October 13, 1858
During the Lincoln-Douglas debates, U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas (D-IL) said, “If you desire negro citizenship, if you desire to allow them to come into the State and settle with the white man, if you desire them to vote on an equality with yourselves, and to make them eligible to office, to serve on juries, and to adjudge your rights, then support Mr. Lincoln and the Black Republican party, who are in favor of the citizenship of the negro. For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. I believe this Government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity for ever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men, men of European birth and descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians, and other inferior races.”. Douglas became the Democrat Party’s 1860 presidential nominee.
April 16, 1862
President Lincoln signed the bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia. In Congress, almost every Republican voted for yes and most Democrats voted no.
July 17, 1862
Over unanimous Democrat opposition, the Republican Congress passed The Confiscation Act stating that slaves of the Confederacy “shall be forever free”.
April 8, 1864
The 13th Amendment banning slavery passed the U.S. Senate with 100% Republican support, 63% Democrat opposition.
January 31, 1865
The 13th Amendment banning slavery passed the U.S. House with unanimous Republican support and intense Democrat opposition.November 22, 1865
Republicans denounced the Democrat legislature of Mississippi for enacting the “black codes” which institutionalized racial discrimination.
February 5, 1866
U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (R-PA) introduced legislation (successfully opposed by Democrat President Andrew Johnson) to implement “40 acres and a mule” relief by distributing land to former slaves.
March 27, 1866
Democrat President Andrew Johnson vetoes of law granting voting rights to blacks.
May 10, 1866
The U.S. House passed the Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the laws to all citizens. 100% of Democrats vote no.
June 8, 1866
The U.S. Senate passed the Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the law to all citizens. 94% of Republicans vote yes and 100% of Democrats vote no.
March 27, 1866
Democrat President Andrew Johnson vetoes of law granting voting rights to blacks in the District of Columbia.
July 16, 1866
The Republican Congress overrode Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto of legislation protecting the voting rights of blacks.
March 30, 1868
Republicans begin the impeachment trial of Democrat President Andrew Johnson who declared, “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men.”September 12, 1868
Civil rights activist Tunis Campbell and 24 other blacks in the Georgia Senate (all Republicans) were expelled by the Democrat majority and would later be reinstated by the Republican Congress.
October 7, 1868
Republicans denounced Democrat Party’s national campaign theme: “This is a white man’s country: Let white men rule.”
October 22, 1868
While campaigning for re-election, Republican U.S. Rep. James Hinds (R-AR) was assassinated by Democrat terrorists who organized as the Ku Klux Klan. Hinds was the first sitting congressman to be murdered while in office.
December 10, 1869
Republican Gov. John Campbell of the Wyoming Territory signed the FIRST-in-nation law granting women the right to vote and hold public office.
February 3, 1870
After passing the House with 98% Republican support and 97% Democrat opposition, Republicans’ 15th Amendment was ratified, granting the vote to ALL Americans regardless of race.
February 25, 1870
Hiram Rhodes Revels (R-MS) becomes the first black to be seated in the United States Senate.
May 31, 1870
President U.S. Grant signed the Republicans’ Enforcement Act providing stiff penalties for depriving any American’s civil rights.
June 22, 1870
Ohio Rep. Williams Lawrence created the U.S. Department of Justice to safeguard the civil rights of blacks against Democrats in the South.
September 6, 1870
Women voted in Wyoming in first election after women’s suffrage signed into law by Republican Gov. John Campbell.
February 1, 1871
Rep. Jefferson Franklin Long (R-GA) became the first black to speak on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
February 28, 1871
The Republican Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1871 providing federal protection for black voters.
April 20, 1871
The Republican Congress enacted the Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawing Democrat Party-affiliated terrorist groups which oppressed blacks and all those who supported them.
October 10, 1871
Following warnings by Philadelphia Democrats against black voting, Republican civil rights activist Octavius Catto was murdered by a Democrat Party operative. His military funeral was attended by thousands.
October 18, 1871
After violence against Republicans in South Carolina, President Ulysses Grant deployed U.S. troops to combat Democrat Ku Klux Klan terrorists.
November 18, 1872
Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting after boasting to Elizabeth Cady Stanton that she voted for “Well, I have gone and done it — positively voted the straight Republican ticket.”January 17, 1874
Armed Democrats seized the Texas state government, ending Republican efforts to racially integrate.
September 14, 1874
Democrat white supremacists seized the Louisiana statehouse in attempt to overthrow the racially-integrated administration of Republican Governor William Kellogg. Twenty-seven were killed.
March 1, 1875
The Civil Rights Act of 1875, guaranteeing access to public accommodations without regard to race, was signed by Republican President U.S. Grant and passed with 92% Republican support over 100% Democrat opposition.
January 10, 1878
U.S. Senator Aaron Sargent (R-CA) introduced the Susan B. Anthony amendment for women’s suffrage. The Democrat-controlled Senate defeated it four times before the election of a Republican House and Senate that guaranteed its approval in 1919.
February 8, 1894
The Democrat Congress and Democrat President Grover Cleveland joined to repeal the Republicans’ Enforcement Act which had enabled blacks to vote.
January 15, 1901
Republican Booker T. Washington protested the Alabama Democrat Party’s refusal to permit voting by blacks.
May 29, 1902
Virginia Democrats implemented a new state constitution condemned by Republicans as illegal, reducing black voter registration by almost 90%.
February 12, 1909
On the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, black Republicans and women’s suffragists Ida Wells and Mary Terrell co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
May 21, 1919
The Republican House passed a constitutional amendment granting women the vote with 85% of Republicans and only 54% of Democrats in favor. In the Senate 80% of Republicans voted yes and almost half of Democrats voted no.
August 18, 1920
The Republican-authored 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote became part of the Constitution. Twenty-six of the 36 states needed to ratify had Republican-controlled legislatures.
January 26, 1922
The House passed a bill authored by U.S. Rep. Leonidas Dyer (R-MO) making lynching a federal crime. Senate Democrats blocked it by filibuster.
June 2, 1924
Republican President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill passed by the Republican Congress granting U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans.
October 3, 1924
Republicans denounced three-time Democrat presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan for defending the Ku Klux Klan at the 1924 Democratic National Convention.
June 12, 1929
First Lady Lou Hoover invited the wife of black Rep. Oscar De Priest (R-IL) to tea at the White House, sparking protests by Democrats across the country.
August 17, 1937
Republicans organized opposition to former Ku Klux Klansman and Democrat U.S. Senator Hugo Black who was later appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by FDR. Black’s Klan background was hidden until after confirmation.
June 24, 1940
The Republican Party platform called for the integration of the Armed Forces. For the balance of his terms in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) refused to order it.
August 8, 1945
Republicans condemned Harry Truman’s surprise use of the atomic bomb in Japan. It began two days after the Hiroshima bombing when former Republican President Herbert Hoover wrote that “The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul.”
May 17, 1954
Earl Warren, California’s three-term Republican Governor and 1948 Republican vice presidential nominee, was nominated to be Chief Justice delivered the landmark decision “Brown v. Board of Education”.
November 25, 1955
Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration banned racial segregation of interstate bus travel.
March 12, 1956
Ninety-seven Democrats in Congress condemned the Supreme Court’s “Brown v. Board of Education” decision and pledged (Southern Manifesto) to continue segregation.
June 5, 1956
Republican federal judge Frank Johnson ruled in favor of the Rosa Parks decision striking down the “blacks in the back of the bus” law.
November 6, 1956
African-American civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy voted for Republican Dwight Eisenhower for President.
September 9, 1957
President Eisenhower signed the Republican Party’s 1957 Civil Rights Act.
September 24, 1957
Sparking criticism from Democrats such as Senators John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, President Eisenhower deployed the 82nd Airborne Division to Little Rock, AR to force Democrat Governor Orval Faubus to integrate their public schools.
May 6, 1960
President Eisenhower signed the Republicans’ Civil Rights Act of 1960, overcoming a 125-hour, ’round-the-clock filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats.
May 2, 1963
Republicans condemned Bull Connor, the Democrat “Commissioner of Public Safety” in Birmingham, AL for arresting over 2,000 black schoolchildren marching for their civil rights.
September 29, 1963
Gov. George Wallace (D-AL) defied an order by U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson (appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower) to integrate Tuskegee High School.
June 9, 1964
Republicans condemned the 14-hour filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV), who served in the Senate until his death in 2010.
June 10, 1964
Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticized the Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act and called on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced and approved by a majority of Republicans in the Senate. The Act was opposed by most southern Democrat senators, several of whom were proud segregationists — one of them being Al Gore Sr. (D). President Lyndon B. Johnson relied on Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader from Illinois, to get the Act passed.
August 4, 1965
Senate Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) overcame Democrat attempts to block 1965 Voting Rights Act. Ninety-four percent of Republicans voted for the landmark civil rights legislation while 27% of Democrats opposed. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent blacks from voting, was signed into law. A higher percentage of Republicans voted in favor.
February 19, 1976
President Gerald Ford formally rescinded President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s notorious Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of over 120,000 Japanese-Americans during WWII.
September 15, 1981
President Ronald Reagan established the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to increase black participation in federal education programs.
June 29, 1982
President Ronald Reagan signed a 25-year extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
August 10, 1988
President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, compensating Japanese-Americans for the deprivation of their civil rights and property during the World War II internment ordered by FDR.
November 21, 1991
President George H. W. Bush signed the Civil Rights Act of 1991 to strengthen federal civil rights legislation.
August 20, 1996
A bill authored by U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) to prohibit racial discrimination in adoptions, part of Republicans’ “Contract With America”, became law.
July 2, 2010
Clinton says Byrd joined KKK to help him get elected
Just a “fleeting association”. Nothing to see here.
Only a willing fool (and there quite a lot out there) would accept and recite the nonsensical that one bright, sunny day Democrats and Republicans just up and decided to “switch” political positions and cite the “Southern Strategy” as the uniform knee-jerk retort. Even today, it never takes long for a Democrat to play the race card purely for political advantage.Thanks to the Democrat Party, blacks have the distinction of being the only group in the United States whose history is a work-in-progress.
The idea that “the Dixiecrats joined the Republicans” is not quite true, as you note. But because of Strom Thurmond it is accepted as a fact. What happened is that the **next** generation (post 1965) of white southern politicians — Newt, Trent Lott, Ashcroft, Cochran, Alexander, etc — joined the GOP.So it was really a passing of the torch as the old segregationists retired and were replaced by new young GOP guys. One particularly galling aspect to generalizations about “segregationists became GOP” is that the new GOP South was INTEGRATED for crying out loud, they accepted the Civil Rights revolution. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter led a group of what would become “New” Democrats like Clinton and Al Gore.
There weren’t many Republicans in the South prior to 1964, but that doesn’t mean the birth of the southern GOP was tied to “white racism.” That said, I am sure there were and are white racist southern GOP. No one would deny that. But it was the southern Democrats who were the party of slavery and, later, segregation. It was George Wallace, not John Tower, who stood in the southern schoolhouse door to block desegregation! The vast majority of Congressional GOP voted FOR the Civil Rights of 1964-65. The vast majority of those opposed to those acts were southern Democrats. Southern Democrats led to infamous filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.The confusion arises from GOP Barry Goldwater’s vote against the ’64 act. He had voted in favor or all earlier bills and had led the integration of the Arizona Air National Guard, but he didn’t like the “private property” aspects of the ’64 law. In other words, Goldwater believed people’s private businesses and private clubs were subject only to market forces, not government mandates (“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”) His vote against the Civil Rights Act was because of that one provision was, to my mind, a principled mistake.This stance is what won Goldwater the South in 1964, and no doubt many racists voted for Goldwater in the mistaken belief that he opposed Negro Civil Rights. But Goldwater was not a racist; he was a libertarian who favored both civil rights and property rights.Switch to 1968.Richard Nixon was also a proponent of Civil Rights; it was a CA colleague who urged Ike to appoint Warren to the Supreme Court; he was a supporter of Brown v. Board, and favored sending troops to integrate Little Rock High). Nixon saw he could develop a “Southern strategy” based on Goldwater’s inroads. He did, but Independent Democrat George Wallace carried most of the deep south in 68. By 1972, however, Wallace was shot and paralyzed, and Nixon began to tilt the south to the GOP. The old guard Democrats began to fade away while a new generation of Southern politicians became Republicans. True, Strom Thurmond switched to GOP, but most of the old timers (Fulbright, Gore, Wallace, Byrd etc etc) retired as Dems.Why did a new generation white Southerners join the GOP? Not because they thought Republicans were racists who would return the South to segregation, but because the GOP was a “local government, small government” party in the old Jeffersonian tradition. Southerners wanted less government and the GOP was their natural home.Jimmy Carter, a Civil Rights Democrat, briefly returned some states to the Democrat fold, but in 1980, Goldwater’s heir, Ronald Reagan, sealed this deal for the GOP. The new “Solid South” was solid GOP.BUT, and we must stress this: the new southern Republicans were *integrationist* Republicans who accepted the Civil Rights revolution and full integration while retaining their love of Jeffersonian limited government principles.
Oh wait, princess, I am not done yet.
Where Teddy Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dinner, Woodrow Wilson re-segregated the U.S. government and had the pro-Klan film “Birth of a Nation” screened in his White House.
Wilson and FDR carried all 11 states of the Old Confederacy all six times they ran, when Southern blacks had no vote. Disfranchised black folks did not seem to bother these greatest of liberal icons.
As vice president, FDR chose “Cactus Jack” Garner of Texas who played a major role in imposing a poll tax to keep blacks from voting.
Among FDR’s Supreme Court appointments was Hugo Black, a Klansman who claimed FDR knew this when he named him in 1937 and that FDR told him that “some of his best friends” in Georgia were Klansmen.
Black’s great achievement as a lawyer was in winning acquittal of a man who shot to death the Catholic priest who had presided over his daughter’s marriage to a Puerto Rican.
In 1941, FDR named South Carolina Sen. “Jimmy” Byrnes to the Supreme Court. Byrnes had led filibusters in 1935 and 1938 that killed anti-lynching bills, arguing that lynching was necessary “to hold in check the Negro in the South.”
FDR refused to back the 1938 anti-lynching law.
“This is a white man’s country and will always remain a white man’s country,” said Jimmy. Harry Truman, who paid $10 to join the Klan, then quit, named Byrnes Secretary of State, putting him first in line of succession to the presidency, as Harry then had no V.P.
During the civil rights struggles of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Gov. Orval Faubus used the National Guard to keep black students out of Little Rock High. Gov. Ross Barnett refused to let James Meredith into Ole Miss. Gov. George Wallace stood in the door at the University of Alabama, to block two black students from entering.
All three governors were Democrats. All acted in accord with the “Dixie Manifesto” of 1956, which was signed by 19 senators, all Democrats, and 80 Democratic congressmen.
Among the signers of the manifesto, which called for massive resistance to the Brown decision desegregating public schools, was the vice presidential nominee on Adlai’s Stevenson’s ticket in 1952, Sen. John Sparkman of Alabama.
Though crushed by Eisenhower, Adlai swept the Deep South, winning both Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Do you suppose those Southerners thought Adlai would be tougher than Ike on Stalin? Or did they think Adlai would maintain the unholy alliance of Southern segregationists and Northern liberals that enabled Democrats to rule from 1932 to 1952?
The Democratic Party was the party of slavery, secession and segregation, of “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman and the KKK. “Bull” Connor, who turned the dogs loose on black demonstrators in Birmingham, was the Democratic National Committeeman from Alabama.
In 1956, as vice president, Nixon went to Harlem to declare, “America can’t afford the cost of segregation.” The following year, Nixon got a personal letter from Dr. King thanking him for helping to persuade the Senate to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Nixon supported the civil rights acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968.
In the 1966 campaign, as related in my new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority,” out July 8, Nixon blasted Dixiecrats “seeking to squeeze the last ounces of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice.”
Nixon called out segregationist candidates in ‘66 and called on LBJ, Hubert Humphrey and Bobby Kennedy to join him in repudiating them. None did. Hubert, an arm around Lester Maddox, called him a “good Democrat.” And so were they all – good Democrats.
While Adlai chose Sparkman, Nixon chose Spiro Agnew, the first governor south of the Mason Dixon Line to enact an open-housing law.
In Nixon’s presidency, the civil rights enforcement budget rose 800 percent. Record numbers of blacks were appointed to federal office. An Office of Minority Business Enterprise was created. SBA loans to minorities soared 1,000 percent. Aid to black colleges doubled.
Nixon won the South not because he agreed with them on civil rights – he never did – but because he shared the patriotic values of the South and its antipathy to liberal hypocrisy.
When Johnson left office, 10 percent of Southern schools were desegregated.
When Nixon left, the figure was 70 percent. Richard Nixon desegregated the Southern schools, something you won’t learn in today’s public schools.
Not done there yet, snowflake.
1964:George Romney, Republican civil rights activist. That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century.
Perhaps even worse, the Democrats have been allowed to rhetorically bury their Bull Connors, their longstanding affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, and their pitiless opposition to practically every major piece of civil-rights legislation for a century.
Republicans may not be able to make significant inroads among black voters in the coming elections, but they would do well to demolish this myth nonetheless.
Even if the Republicans’ rise in the South had happened suddenly in the 1960s (it didn’t) and even if there were no competing explanation (there is), racism — or, more precisely, white southern resentment over the political successes of the civil-rights movement — would be an implausible explanation for the dissolution of the Democratic bloc in the old Confederacy and the emergence of a Republican stronghold there.
That is because those southerners who defected from the Democratic Party in the 1960s and thereafter did so to join a Republican Party that was far more enlightened on racial issues than were the Democrats of the era, and had been for a century.
There is no radical break in the Republicans’ civil-rights history: From abolition to Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, there exists a line that is by no means perfectly straight or unwavering but that nonetheless connects the politics of Lincoln with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
And from slavery and secession to remorseless opposition to everything from Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, there exists a similarly identifiable line connecting John Calhoun and Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Supporting civil-rights reform was not a radical turnaround for congressional Republicans in 1964, but it was a radical turnaround for Johnson and the Democrats.
The depth of Johnson’s prior opposition to civil-rights reform must be digested in some detail to be properly appreciated.
In the House, he did not represent a particularly segregationist constituency (it “made up for being less intensely segregationist than the rest of the South by being more intensely anti-Communist,” as the New York Times put it), but Johnson was practically antebellum in his views.
Never mind civil rights or voting rights: In Congress, Johnson had consistently and repeatedly voted against legislation to protect black Americans from lynching.
As a leader in the Senate, Johnson did his best to cripple the Civil Rights Act of 1957; not having votes sufficient to stop it, he managed to reduce it to an act of mere symbolism by excising the enforcement provisions before sending it to the desk of President Eisenhower.
Johnson’s Democratic colleague Strom Thurmond nonetheless went to the trouble of staging the longest filibuster in history up to that point, speaking for 24 hours in a futile attempt to block the bill.
The reformers came back in 1960 with an act to remedy the deficiencies of the 1957 act, and Johnson’s Senate Democrats again staged a record-setting filibuster.
In both cases, the “master of the Senate” petitioned the northeastern Kennedy liberals to credit him for having seen to the law’s passage while at the same time boasting to southern Democrats that he had taken the teeth out of the legislation.
Johnson would later explain his thinking thus: “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. Now we’ve got to do something about this — we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
Johnson did not spring up from the Democratic soil ex nihilo.
Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fourteenth Amendment.
Not one Democrat in Congress voted for the Fifteenth Amendment.
Not one voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1875.
Dwight Eisenhower as a general began the process of desegregating the military, and Truman as president formalized it, but the main reason either had to act was that President Woodrow Wilson, the personification of Democratic progressivism, had resegregated previously integrated federal facilities. (“If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it,” he declared.)
Klansmen from Senator Robert Byrd to Justice Hugo Black held prominent positions in the Democratic Party — and President Wilson chose the Klan epic Birth of a Nation to be the first film ever shown at the White House.
Johnson himself denounced an earlier attempt at civil-rights reform as the “nigger bill.” So what happened in 1964 to change Democrats’ minds? In fact, nothing.
President Johnson was nothing if not shrewd, and he knew something that very few popular political commentators appreciate today: The Democrats began losing the “solid South” in the late 1930s — at the same time as they were picking up votes from northern blacks.
The Civil War and the sting of Reconstruction had indeed produced a political monopoly for southern Democrats that lasted for decades, but the New Deal had been polarizing. It was very popular in much of the country, including much of the South — Johnson owed his election to the House to his New Deal platform and Roosevelt connections — but there was a conservative backlash against it, and that backlash eventually drove New Deal critics to the Republican Party.
Likewise, adherents of the isolationist tendency in American politics, which is never very far from the surface, looked askance at what Bob Dole would later famously call “Democrat wars” (a factor that would become especially relevant when the Democrats under Kennedy and Johnson committed the United States to a very divisive war in Vietnam).
The tiniest cracks in the Democrats’ southern bloc began to appear with the backlash to FDR’s court-packing scheme and the recession of 1937.
Republicans would pick up 81 House seats in the 1938 election, with West Virginia’s all-Democrat delegation ceasing to be so with the acquisition of its first Republican.
Kentucky elected a Republican House member in 1934, as did Missouri, while Tennessee’s first Republican House member, elected in 1918, was joined by another in 1932.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the Republican Party, though marginal, began to take hold in the South — but not very quickly: Dixie would not send its first Republican to the Senate until 1961, with Texas’s election of John Tower.
At the same time, Republicans went through a long dry spell on civil-rights progress.
Many of them believed, wrongly, that the issue had been more or less resolved by the constitutional amendments that had been enacted to ensure the full citizenship of black Americans after the Civil War, and that the enduring marginalization of black citizens, particularly in the Democratic states, was a problem that would be healed by time, economic development, and organic social change rather than through a second political confrontation between North and South.
As late as 1964, the Republican platform argued that “the elimination of any such discrimination is a matter of heart, conscience, and education, as well as of equal rights under law.”
The conventional Republican wisdom of the day held that the South was backward because it was poor rather than poor because it was backward.
And their strongest piece of evidence for that belief was that Republican support in the South was not among poor whites or the old elites — the two groups that tended to hold the most retrograde beliefs on race.
Instead, it was among the emerging southern middle class.
This fact was recently documented by professors Byron Shafer and Richard Johnston in The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South (Harvard University Press, 2006).
Which is to say: The Republican rise in the South was contemporaneous with the decline of race as the most important political question and tracked the rise of middle-class voters moved mainly by economic considerations and anti-Communism.
The South had been in effect a Third World country within the United States, and that changed with the post-war economic boom.
As Clay Risen put it in the New York Times: “The South transformed itself from a backward region to an engine of the national economy, giving rise to a sizable new wealthy suburban class.
This class, not surprisingly, began to vote for the party that best represented its economic interests: the GOP. Working-class whites, however — and here’s the surprise — even those in areas with large black populations, stayed loyal to the Democrats.
This was true until the 90s, when the nation as a whole turned rightward in Congressional voting.” The mythmakers would have you believe that it was the opposite: that your white-hooded hillbilly trailer-dwelling tornado-bait voters jumped ship because LBJ signed a civil-rights bill (passed on the strength of disproportionately Republican support in Congress). The facts suggest otherwise.
There is no question that Republicans in the 1960s and thereafter hoped to pick up the angry populists who had delivered several states to Wallace.
That was Patrick J. Buchanan’s portfolio in the Nixon campaign.
But in the main they did not do so by appeal to racial resentment, direct or indirect.
The conservative ascendency of 1964 saw the nomination of Barry Goldwater, a western libertarian who had never been strongly identified with racial issues one way or the other, but who was a principled critic of the 1964 act and its extension of federal power.
Goldwater had supported the 1957 and 1960 acts but believed that Title II and Title VII of the 1964 bill were unconstitutional, based in part on a 75-page brief from Robert Bork.
But far from extending a welcoming hand to southern segregationists, he named as his running mate a New York representative, William E. Miller, who had been the co-author of Republican civil-rights legislation in the 1950s.
The Republican platform in 1964 was hardly catnip for Klansmen: It spoke of the Johnson administration’s failure to help further the “just aspirations of the minority groups” and blasted the president for his refusal “to apply Republican-initiated retraining programs where most needed, particularly where they could afford new economic opportunities to Negro citizens.”
Other planks in the platform included: “improvements of civil rights statutes adequate to changing needs of our times; such additional administrative or legislative actions as may be required to end the denial, for whatever unlawful reason, of the right to vote; continued opposition to discrimination based on race, creed, national origin or sex.”
And Goldwater’s fellow Republicans ran on a 1964 platform demanding “full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes, to assure equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen.” Some dog whistle.
Of course there were racists in the Republican Party. There were racists in the Democratic Party. The case of Johnson is well documented, while Nixon had his fantastical panoply of racial obsessions, touching blacks, Jews, Italians (“Don’t have their heads screwed on”), Irish (“They get mean when they drink”), and the Ivy League WASPs he hated so passionately (“Did one of those dirty bastards ever invite me to his f***ing men’s club or goddamn country club? Not once”).
But the legislative record, the evolution of the electorate, the party platforms, the keynote speeches — none of them suggests a party-wide Republican about-face on civil rights.
Neither does the history of the black vote.
While Republican affiliation was beginning to grow in the South in the late 1930s, the GOP also lost its lock on black voters in the North, among whom the New Deal was extraordinarily popular.
By 1940, Democrats for the first time won a majority of black votes in the North. This development was not lost on Lyndon Johnson, who crafted his Great Society with the goal of exploiting widespread dependency for the benefit of the Democratic Party.
Unlike the New Deal, a flawed program that at least had the excuse of relying upon ideas that were at the time largely untested and enacted in the face of a worldwide economic emergency, Johnson’s Great Society was pure politics.
Johnson’s War on Poverty was declared at a time when poverty had been declining for decades, and the first Job Corps office opened when the unemployment rate was less than 5 percent.
Congressional Republicans had long supported a program to assist the indigent elderly, but the Democrats insisted that the program cover all of the elderly — even though they were, then as now, the most affluent demographic, with 85 percent of them in households of above-average wealth.
Democrats such as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze argued that the Great Society would end “dependency” among the elderly and the poor, but the programs were transparently designed merely to transfer dependency from private and local sources of support to federal agencies created and overseen by Johnson and his political heirs.
In the context of the rest of his program, Johnson’s unexpected civil-rights conversion looks less like an attempt to empower blacks and more like an attempt to make clients of them.
If the parties had in some meaningful way flipped on civil rights, one would expect that to show up in the electoral results in the years following the Democrats’ 1964 about-face on the issue.
Nothing of the sort happened: Of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the 1964 act, only one would ever change parties.
Nor did the segregationist constituencies that elected these Democrats throw them out in favor of Republicans: The remaining 20 continued to be elected as Democrats or were replaced by Democrats.
It was, on average, nearly a quarter of a century before those seats went Republican. If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so. They say things move slower in the South — but not that slow.
Republicans did begin to win some southern House seats, and in many cases segregationist Democrats were thrown out by southern voters in favor of civil-rights Republicans.
One of the loudest Democratic segregationists in the House was Texas’s John Dowdy.
Dowdy was a bitter and buffoonish opponent of the 1964 reforms.
He declared the reforms “would set up a despot in the attorney general’s office with a large corps of enforcers under him; and his will and his oppressive action would be brought to bear upon citizens, just as Hitler’s minions coerced and subjugated the German people.
Dowdy went on: “I would say this — I believe this would be agreed to by most people: that, if we had a Hitler in the United States, the first thing he would want would be a bill of this nature.” (Who says political rhetoric has been debased in the past 40 years?)
Dowdy was thrown out in 1966 in favor of a Republican with a very respectable record on civil rights, a little-known figure by the name of George H. W. Bush.
It was in fact not until 1995 that Republicans represented a majority of the southern congressional delegation — and they had hardly spent the Reagan years campaigning on the resurrection of Jim Crow.
It was not the Civil War but the Cold War that shaped midcentury partisan politics.
Eisenhower warned the country against the “military-industrial complex,” but in truth Ike’s ascent had represented the decisive victory of the interventionist, hawkish wing of the Republican Party over what remained of the America First/Charles Lindbergh/Robert Taft tendency.
The Republican Party had long been staunchly anti-Communist, but the post-war era saw that anti-Communism energized and looking for monsters to slay, both abroad — in the form of the Soviet Union and its satellites — and at home, in the form of the growing welfare state, the “creeping socialism” conservatives dreaded.
By the middle 1960s, the semi-revolutionary Left was the liveliest current in U.S. politics, and Republicans’ unapologetic anti-Communism — especially conservatives’ rhetoric connecting international socialism abroad with the welfare state at home — left the Left with nowhere to go but the Democratic Party. Vietnam was Johnson’s war, but by 1968 the Democratic Party was not his alone.
The schizophrenic presidential election of that year set the stage for the subsequent transformation of southern politics: Segregationist Democrat George Wallace, running as an independent, made a last stand in the old Confederacy but carried only five states.
Republican Richard Nixon, who had helped shepherd the 1957 Civil Rights Act through Congress, counted a number of Confederate states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee) among the 32 he carried.
Democrat Hubert Humphrey was reduced to a northern fringe plus Texas.
Mindful of the long-term realignment already under way in the South, Johnson informed Democrats worried about losing it after the 1964 act that “those states may be lost anyway.”
Subsequent presidential elections bore him out: Nixon won a 49-state sweep in 1972, and, with the exception of the post-Watergate election of 1976, Republicans in the following presidential elections would more or less occupy the South like Sherman.
Bill Clinton would pick up a handful of southern states in his two contests, and Barack Obama had some success in the post-southern South, notably Virginia and Florida.
The Republican ascendancy in Dixie is associated with several factors: The rise of the southern middle class, The increasingly trenchant conservative critique of Communism and the welfare state, The Vietnam controversy, The rise of the counterculture, law-and-order concerns rooted in the urban chaos that ran rampant from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, and The incorporation of the radical Left into the Democratic party.
Individual events, especially the freak show that was the 1968 Democratic convention, helped solidify conservatives’ affiliation with the Republican Party. Democrats might argue that some of these concerns — especially welfare and crime — are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism. However, this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades. Indeed, Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing. Johnson informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures.
So don’t ever go there again, ya little douche canoe. You have no idea what you are talking about, know nothing of actual history and you certainly have no business perpetuating the lie and myth that the parties magically switched. You could never be more wrong than you are….here that sound? That is called a <<mic drop>>. Game, set, match. So go back to your drug induced coma of whatever drug you are on and go watch Twilight again…this arena is not where the ill-informed play.
I always reblog this….its too important not too!!!
Read this history bomb.
You can edit the settings page to change it.
This is my naughty blog right now. Notice how the icon is that snazzy default thing?
That’s because it’s set to explicit, a setting that was locked after the great purge:
If you right-click on that toggle and click “inspect element”, you can change that.
Notice how the input tag has a disabled attribute? Just remove that whole thing:
The toggle is now active
And now, after a quick refresh, my old (crap, but real) icon and header image are back, and the blog is no longer treated as hidden or explicit.
The goggle also disappears after the refresh, but it’s worth noting that you can also edit the toggle back into the settings panel and change your blog back to explicit if you so desire.
This is a perfect example of the laziness of tumblr’s devs. They haven’t removed the functionality, they’ve just kinda-sorta hidden it a bit; the end-point that the explicit toggle hits is still there.
Please reblog this and post this is discords where people are having trouble with their blogs
THIS IS HOW YOU CAN SAVE YOUR BLOG
Did that work?
It fucking worked.
Yay! Thank you for sharing!