Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Who is racist? A look at the "Southern Strategy"

I recently refuted one part of the popular civil rights myth that, following the 1960s, racist “conservative” Democrats realigned with the Republican Party. Another point perpetrating the myth is the so-called Republican “Southern Strategy.”

To be sure, there was indeed a Southern Strategy, but it differs from the popular myth. As is natural in the course of politics, Republicans desired a political strategy to capture Southern votes from Democrats. The popular myth, however, says that Republicans, beginning with Richard Nixon, abandoned their support for civil rights and deliberately appealed to Southern racists as a means to winning the South. This is proved, the argument goes, by observing both racial “code words” employed by Republicans and the fact that the GOP won the core of the South. But neither point is persuasive.

Who is racist? More myths and facts about the ‘party of white supremacy’

My last post demonstrated that, contrary to popular belief, Democrats, not Republicans, opposed virtually every civil rights advancement since the Civil War era. A related historical myth nearly as seldom examined is that, around the 1960s, liberal Democrats pushed racist “conservative” Democrats out of their party and over to the GOP, where racism has since taken its natural refuge.