10.19.2006

My Granddad was Republican

The issue of my grandfather’s political affiliation came up when one of my uncles got into politics by running for city council. My uncle ran as a democrat. My grandfather always voted. He could barely read and write due to his rural Kentucky upbringing. But he was a very smart man. He just never went to school. He read the newspapers everyday and was the greatest story teller I have ever known. He never said he was a republican, but all my older relatives said he was.

I suspect they were also republicans in that time and place. At that time, the republican party was not referred to as the GOP. It was, really the party of Abraham Lincoln. And it would make sense back in the day for Blacks to be republican rather than democrat.

By the time I was born and grew to adulthood, it did not make sense for Blacks to be republican. When I came of age, the Dixiecrats, southern racists, die hard segregationists, angry at the move to integrate this country, abandoned the democratic party and hijacked the republican party to make it what it is today. The Grand Old Party, home of the Christian conservative right wing.

I bring all this up because a black group of conservative republicans is running radio ads stating that Martin Luther King was a republican. The ads have outraged black liberals, democrats and those who marched with the slain civil rights leader. From an historical standpoint that may have been true. But Martin’s party affiliation was not what was important.

What was important was the color of his skin, period.

The good ole boys who ran rampant in the south in the later part of the 20th century didn’t walk up to a Black person and ask them what political party they were affiliated with, before they turned the dogs loose, or shot them, or beat them or hung them from the nearest tree.

Skin color was it, nothing else counted.

Hell, we weren’t considered smart enough to know the difference between political parties in the first place. Anyone who did was considered “uppity.” You know the term, “uppity nigger.”

Party affiliation only mattered for white people because they have the luxury of telling you what party they belong to. They are camouflaged at birth by their skin color.

Doesn’t matter with us. No matter what you did, doctor, lawyer, merchant, thief....you were still a nigger, first and foremost.

That’s what got you killed, not being a republican or democrat.

A message for my black right wing Christian conservative brothers and sisters....you have to know history, before you can use it to justify your perverted stance against your people.
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