Once upon a time former Governor, Presidential candidate, and Chairman of the Democrat National Committee called the GOP the “White Party.” CNN commentator Lou Dobbs took Dean to task for his language.
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So was Dr. Dean, and those among the Left who share his understanding of history, accurate? Is the GOP the party of white people? Let’s test the good doctor’s diagnosis.
Fifteen questions follow. The correct answers are provided at the end. No peeking!
Question #1. During whose administration did the signature of an African-American first appear on U.S. currency? During that of a Republican or a Democrat President?
Question #2. Was the first African-American diplomat appointed by a Republican or a Democrat President?
Question #3. Was the first African-American popularly elected U.S. Senator a Republican or a Democrat?
Question #4. During the late 1950’s, William Monroe “Willie” Rainach, Sr., a Louisiana state legislator, led the “Massive Resistance” to desegregation in his state. Was Willie a Republican, or a Democrat?
Question #5. In 1957, nine African-American students attempted to enroll in Little Rock’s Central High School. When they were barred entry by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, the President of the United States ordered federal troops to the school to assure their access to an education. Was Faubus a Republican, or a Democrat? Was that President a Republican or a Democrat?
Question #6. In September 1962, U.S. Air Force veteran James H. Meredith enrolled as the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi. Governor Ross Barnett strongly opposed his entry into the school. Was Barnett a Democrat or a Republican?
Question #7. In 1965, the nation’s eyes were focused on the Selma Voting Rights Movement and three Selma-to-Montgomery marches. Marchers were opposed by the White Citizens’ Council and the Ku Klux Klan. On “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, about 600 civil rights marchers left Selma and walked east. At the Edmund Pettus Bridge they were confronted and attacked by state troopers and sheriff’s deputies. During this time, Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner, became infamous for his brutal tactics against Civil Rights activists. Was “Bull” a Republican or a Democrat?
Question #8. A sitting U.S. Senator once held the position of Exalted Cyclops in the Klu Klux Klan. Although he never served in the Armed Forces, he once wrote, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side.” Of which party is he a member? Republican or Democrat?
Question #9: In the U.S. Senate’s passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which political party had the highest percentage of its Senators vote for the Act? Republicans or Democrats?
Question #10. Was the first female African-American Cabinet member appointed by a Republican or a Democrat President? (Trick question.)
Question #11. When you compare the makeup of the Cabinet members who served under Democrat President Jimmy Carter with the Cabinet members appointed by Republican President George W. Bush, which President appointed the highest percentage of African-Americans to his Cabinet?
Question #12. Was the first African-American popularly elected Governor a Republican, or a Democrat?
Question #13. When was the race barrier broken with regard to the position of Secretary of State of the United States? Under a Republican or Democratic administration?
Question #14. When was the race barrier broken with regard to the position of Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces? During a Republican or Democrat President’s administration?
Question #15. When the first African-American member of the U.S. Armed Forces engaged in action for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was the President at the time a Democrat or a Republican?
The answers follow. Grade your own papers..
Answer #1. In 1881, Republican President James A. Garfield appointed Blanche Bruce as Register of the Treasurer, making him the first African-American whose signature appeared on U.S. paper currency. In 1880, at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, when he received 8 votes for nomination as the party’s vice presidential candidate, Bruce became the first African-American to win any votes at a major party’s nominating convention.
Answer #2. In 1869, Republican President U.S. Grant appointed Ebenezer D. Bassett (1833-1908) as the first African- American ambassador representing the United States. He was Ambassador to Haiti.
Answer #3. In 1966, Edward Brooke was the first African-American elected by popular vote to the U.S. Senate. He was a Republican Senator from Massachusetts.
Answer #4. “Willie” Rainach was a Democrat.
Answer #5. Orval Faubus was a Democrat. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Republican.
Answer #6. Ross Barnett was a Democrat.
Answer #7. “Bull” Connor was a Democrat.
Answer #8. Robert Byrd, Democrat Senator from West Virginia, is the longest serving Senator in U.S. history. Once upon a time he wore the white sheet and hood, but has since repented.
Answer #9. 82% of the Republican Senators voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while 69% of the Democrat Senators voted “Yes.”
Answer #10. Patricia Roberts Harris, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and then Secretary of Education, was appointed to Democrat President Carter’s Cabinet.
Answer #11. Just 1 of the 21 persons Carter chose for his Cabinet, Patricia Harris, was an African-American, or 4.7% of his appointees. Of the 33 persons appointed by Bush to his Cabinet, 4 were African-Americans, or 12.1%. Bush’s cabinet also included several other persons of color.
Answer #12. Democrat Lawrence Douglas Wilder was the first African-American popularly elected as governor of a U.S. state. Wilder served as the 66th Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. (Fair is fair.)
Answer #13. During the Republican administration of George W. Bush, Colin Powell became the first African-American Secretary of State. He was followed by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, also appointed by Bush, who was the first female African-American Secretary of State.
Answer #14. Republican President George H. W. Bush appointed General Colin Powell as Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1991. Earlier, Republican President Ronald Reagan appointed Powell as his National Security Advisor.
Answer #15. Sergeant William Harvey Carney (1840-1908) of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Civil War Battle of Fort Wagner on July 18, 1863. The action of the 54th that day was depicted in the movie Glory. The citation for his medal read,
When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.
The President was a Republican named Abraham Lincoln.
Let’s hope Dr. Dean was a better physician than he is an historian. As well as those who think like him.