When WorldNetDaily decides to write about a book by right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton, you just know the results are not going to be pretty – or accurate:
KKK’s 1st targets were Republicans: Dems credited with starting group that attacked both blacks and whites
The original targets of the Ku Klux Klan were Republicans, both black and white, according to a new television program and book, which describe how the Democrats started the KKK and for decades harassed the GOP with lynchings and threats.
An estimated 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites died at the end of KKK ropes from 1882 to 1964.
The documentation has been assembled by David Barton of Wallbuilders and published in his book “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White,” which reveals that not only did the Democrats work hand-in-glove with the Ku Klux Klan for generations, they started the KKK and endorsed its mayhem.
“Of all forms of violent intimidation, lynchings were by far the most effective,” Barton said in his book. “Republicans often led the efforts to pass federal anti-lynching laws and their platforms consistently called for a ban on lynching. Democrats successfully blocked those bills and their platforms never did condemn lynchings.”
And on and on is goes about how “the Klan was established by Democrats and that the Klan played a prominent role in the Democratic Party” until Barton finally gets around to accusing the Democrats of hiding from their own history:
“Why would Democrats skip over their own history from 1848 to 1900?” Barton asked. “Perhaps because it’s not the kind of civil rights history they want to talk about – perhaps because it is not the kind of civil rights history they want to have on their website.”
That is a good question – almost as good as the question we raised in our report on Barton asking why his “history” of the Democratic Party’s animosity toward African Americans suddenly stops after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and makes absolutely no mention of the political transformation that overtook the country in its wake and the rise of the Republican Party’s “Southern Strategy”:
Having been so eager to recount every historical Democratic disgrace, Barton falls silent when it comes to mentioning the split that emerged within the Democratic Party in the 1960s between the growing number who embraced the civil rights movement and those who continued to oppose it. Barton does not mention that President Johnson risked his career and his party’s future to do the right thing, nor does he mention that racist and segregationist southern Democrats left the party and were welcomed by the national Republican Party as part of its “Southern Strategy” to building power. Nor, of course, does he mention a particularly shameful modern-era example of that strategy – presidential candidate Ronald Reagan launching his 1980 bid for the presidency with a visit to Philadelphia, Mississippi to declare his support for states’ rights – with no mention of the town’s notoriety as the place where civil rights workers were murdered and townspeople jeered federal investigators.
Even an amateur historian like Barton shouldn’t be able to ignore that sordid history. In fact it’s so well documented that even RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman once openly acknowledged it in the context of his efforts to recruit African Americans into the Party. Mehlman gave an apology of sorts, saying “By the ’70s and into the ’80s and ’90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out. Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.”
Even President Bush acknowledged that whatever prestige the Republican Party once had with African Americans has been squandered, telling the NAACP on July 20, 2006 that he understands why “many African Americans distrust my political party” and that he considers it “a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African American community. For too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African Americans wrote off the Republican Party” – admissions which were met with rousing applause from the audience.
Barton, for reasons known only to him, didn’t seem to think this crucial piece of information warranted inclusion or mention – but, rest assured, it is not because he has any sort partisan agenda. After all, he “told WND his comments are not a condemnation or endorsement of any party or candidate, but rather a warning that voters even today should be aware of what their parties and candidates stand for.”