The Democratic Party and the Sin of Slavery
President Barack Obama belatedly, and perhaps gratuitously, has slapped Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on the wrist for omitting a condemnation of slavery in the Governor's proclamation making April Confederate History Month in the Old Dominion. Governor McDonnell amended the proclamation on Wednesday to include a condemnation of slavery.
But before Mr. Obama starts slapping Republican wrists over what is or isn't said about slavery, he may want to slap his own Democrats for annually celebrating slaveholders. Every Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner or celebration held by Democratic parties across the country is a tribute to not just two outstanding presidents, but two conspicuous southern slaveholders.
About the need for consideration of African-American sensitivities over slavery, Mr. Obama said this:
"[T]he controversy was "a reminder that when we talk about issues like slavery that are so fraught with pain and emotion, that, you know, we'd better do so thinking through how this is going to affect a lot of people."
From now on, President Obama may want to think twice before accepting another invitation to a Jefferson-Jackson Day event. Hoisting a glass to plantation slaveholders is bound to be "fraught with pain and emotion" for all those African-Americans who are the descendants of slaves (count Mr. Obama's bride, Michelle, among those African-Americans).
In fact, it may be good for Mr. Obama to offer a public apology for all the sins of slavery committed by the Democratic Party. The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) authored by Illinois Democrat Stephen Douglas permitted the territories to decide to be "slave or free." Douglas' legislation was a major contributor to bringing about the Civil War. The south's post Civil War Jim Crow laws were of Democrats' doing. The Ku Klux Klan had a long history of involvement with the Democratic Party.
And many early progressives, including Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, were quiet racists, who subscribed to the eugenics of Margret Sanger (Planned Parenthood founder). Sanger considered African-Americans inferior and fitting subjects for population control.
Conservatives and Republicans need to call on President Obama to publicly condemn his party's Jefferson-Jackson Day celebrations and to pledge, in the interest of African-American sensibilities, to never again attend such events.
Hat tip: Mark Levin