The following is from Peter Churins, editor of The Charles City Conservative (Newsletter)

The banner above is apparently a political advertisement in favor of Joseph Biden in his bid to become president in the November 3rd election. It implies that “Joe” is the compassionate one and President Trump is not. I find it to be grossly disingenuous in both real time and from a historical perspective.

Ain’t No Compassion Here

The Democrat Party was the party of slavery predominantly centered in the American South and controlled by an oligarchy comprised of the owners of slave-holding plantations. Cotton was “king” and provided enormous profits both to southern plantation owners in America and textile manufacturers in England. Between the two, they maintained world monopolies on the production of cotton and textiles. Slaves were considered nothing more than the machinery used for the creation of that wealth.

However, by the mid-19th Century an industrial revolution was in progress; the world was becoming wealthier; and the controlled minions of the world questioned their status as serfs, peasants, and workers while a select few men achieved huge wealth from their labor. It was also when Marx and Engels published The Communist Manifesto in 1848 that promoted worldwide revolution. It predicted that capitalism would eventually be replaced by socialism. It was widely distributed throughout the countries of Central Europe, but not published in America until 1872.

In opposition to Marx and Engels, the American Revolution underscored the fact that men could overthrow the bonds of their masters. They could govern themselves, prosper, and chart the course of their own destiny. The Declaration of Independence signed on July 4th, 1776 specifically stated:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The problem for America, however, was that the promise of equality, as stated above, was diametrically opposed to the ownership of slaves. This dilemma had deep moral and economic ramifications that would come to a head with the election of President Abraham Lincoln, a northern Republican from Illinois.  His cross-party vice president, Andrew Johnson, was a southern Democrat.

It also came at a time when the American West had opened to settlement and both U.S. citizens and immigrants from Europe flocked to the West in large numbers. The problem for the south was that this expansion of territory would in time create new abolitionist states. This would upset the political balance in Congress and slavery would go out of existence due a lack of political support.

With the election of Lincoln, the south expected that the number of slave-holding states would be capped. Hence, they preemptively seceded from the Union and became the Confederate States of America (CSA).  Shortly thereafter, Fort Sumpter was attacked and the Civil War officially began. The intent of the Confederacy was to either conquer the North by force or negotiate an agreement that allowed the CSA to expand slavery as an institution all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Neither occurred. The South lost and was ushered back into the Union under new rules that included emancipated blacks, reparations, and a severely diminished Democrat Party in the South. Sadly, President Lincoln was assassinated five days after the end of the war and plans for reconstruction were subverted by his former vice president, Andrew Johnson, a Democrat and staunch supporter of slavery. Although Johnson could not undo emancipation, he would support the slave-holding oligarchy by whatever means possible. So much for compassion.

This preserved the power and control of the southern Democrat Party. It led to the subversion of blacks through the use of Jim Crow Laws, Poll taxes, forced public segregation and the use of terror. The Ku Klux Clan was a southern Democrat invention. These combined methods were so effective, that from 1901 to 1929, there were no black congressmen or senators on Capitol Hill to represent blacks in America. The Democrat Party controlled not only the former slaves in the South, but also managed to stonewall and dilute any reform policies emanating from the North. Although large numbers of African Americans were lynched, no anti-lynching laws were ever able to be passed in Congress.

Racist control policies were carried well into the 20th Century from the most local level all the way to the White House. Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, was elected in 1913 as President of the United States and served two terms ending in 1921. He was a racist and did whatever he could to reverse gains made by Blacks in America. He resegregated the Federal Government, praised the Clan and demonized reconstruction.

In spite of these efforts to block the advancement of African Americans, significant changes were occurring. The need for wartime workers in northern cities during World Wars 1 & 2 created a mass migration of African Americans to the North for jobs and good pay. This occurred during two separate time periods with a pause in between for The Great Depression. See map.

The freedom found in the North, although not without discrimination, gave African Americans the space to grow and organize. It was the inclusion in northern politics and a promise of “fuller participation in American life” that energized black political aspirations and these aspirations were accommodated by the Democrat Party of the north to capture their votes.

By the early 20th Century African Americans participated as fully as possible in a society that marginalized them. Significant milestones were the founding of advocacy groups such as the NAACP, Black contributions to World War 1 and the intellectual flowering of the Harlem Renaissance. “Faced with a repressive system of segregation in the South, African Americans sought new opportunities outside the region, as an ever-stronger current of southern black migrants arrived in northern cities. This demographic shift and the nascent political activism of northern and urban African Americans portended change for the future.” (U.S. House of Representatives History, Art and Archives)

However, cultural change does not come quickly, and it was not until the 1960’s, one hundred years after the civil war, that this promise would materialize with the coming together of a number of factors. The civil rights movement led by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. pressured the federal government to enact legislative reforms. His, “I have a Dream Speech” on August 28, 1963 to an estimated 250,000 attendees at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom had a tremendous effect on public opinion. 75-80% of the marchers were Black.

August 28, 1963, Washington, D.C.

Also, President John F. Kennedy (JFK) with the power of his brother, Robert Kennedy, as attorney general, heralded in a powerful attempt at enforcing civil rights in the South. Together they set the stage for raising the stature of African Americans specifically and the poor of all races in general. Unfortunately, before President Kennedy could oversee the implementation of his programs, he was assassinated and his presidency is turned over to Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ), a southern Democrat.

Although President Johnson, is credited with signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter Rights Act of 1965 during this period of turmoil, he may have done so more out of political opportunity than any sense of compassion. His attitude toward African Americans was patently racist.

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

His callousness toward Blacks took an especially sinister turn in his over-conscription of African Americans to fight in Vietnam. Between October 1966 and June 1969, as part of “Program 100,000,” education standards for military entry were lowered and statistics soon provided stark evidence of racial discrimination. Of the 246,000 men drafted during this period, 41% were black. Yet blacks only comprised 11% of the U.S. population. Of the 58,000 who lost their lives in Vietnam, 22% were black. LBJ chose not to run for a second term in good part because of public opposition to the Vietnam war and his mishandling of it.

Furthermore, a massive leadership and power vacuum was created by the assassinations of the leaders most vested in the successful incorporation of blacks into American society. President John F. Kennedy, Rev. Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and Malcom X are all murdered within the span of five years from November 1963 to June of 1968. This had an enormous effect upon how the “repatriation” of African Americans into overall society would be structured, supported and perceived.

From this point forward enfranchising African Americans into the political process by the Democrat Party continues. It certainly was morally correct and long overdue – certainly compassionate, at least if only on the surface.

With the power of a landslide victory in 1964 and a Democrat-controlled Congress President Johnson also initiates “The Great Society,” consisting of a wide array of domestic spending programs meant to totally eliminate poverty and racial injustice in America.

He is able to accomplish this because the African American voter at the margin becomes a significant addition to the Democrat Party and not only adds to Johnson’s landside, but also brings in many new liberals to Congress. This makes the House of Representatives in 1965 “the most liberal House since 1938.” The power of the 2/3 vote in both the House and Senate allows the passage of Great Society legislation. It is incredibly expensive and excessively liberal. Aspects of the War on Poverty portion of the Great Society legislation also may have led to unforeseen and counterproductive results which in the future would undermine many of the attempts to bring blacks out of poverty. One such consequence was families without fathers.

The compassion of the Democrat Party will be judged by the party’s ability to raise the status of African Americans to parity with the rest of society. The best indicator of success will be when the achievement gap in education between black and white Americans is

closed. Educational achievement is actually the most important as success in this area

will naturally lead to better jobs, income, etc. Malcom X puts it clearly:

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”  Malcom X
“My Alma mater was books, a good library… I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.”  Malcom X
“Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world.” Malcom X

Emancipation to Nowhere

In retrospect, President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, War on Poverty and a host of liberal initiatives did not “move the needle” in regard to upward mobility for the great majority of African Americans.

The Democrats point their collective finger, with four pointing back, claiming racism, institutional racism, whites, white supremacy, and whatever collective term seems to fit. The problem is that the Democrat Party is a white institution itself and after 50 years of “attempting” to close the gap between whites and blacks, it has not succeeded.

Democrats have just not followed through with their promises to African Americans. It is not that they are unaware because the tracking numbers pertaining to academic achievement and income are very closely watched by a host of organizations such as the Pew Institute, a liberal think tank.

“The economic gulf between blacks and whites that was present a half century ago has not disappeared. Measures of household income, household wealth, and homeownership show that the gaps are as wide or wider today as they were in the 1960s and 1970s. The incarceration rate of black men is more than six times higher than that of white men, slightly larger than the gap in 1960.”

Candace Owens, a black conservative activist, sees the problem as one of implied dependence that leads to irresponsibility for one’s actions and an attitude of victimization when in reality, it is work and study that is needed to close the equality gap between white and black Americans.

“What black Americans needed in 1964, more than anything, was a commitment to education. The only available means for us to close the gap on the many areas that we lagged was through an exertion of hard work and study. Against this reality the president [LBJ] who granted us our rights told us, that we needed help from white Americans to get ahead.”

In further retrospect, the question is whether Johnson’s liberal policies were just a way of furthering expansion of party control; a false expression of compassion; and just a means of securing the vote while keeping the lower classes “on the plantation.” The problem is that Democrat politicians just ignore the results and follow the wishes of their best contributors.

A good example is the present relationship between the Democrat Party and teachers’ unions that overrides any attempt to correct the gap between black and white students’ achievements. The focus is on the well-being of teachers and the Democrat Party. Certainly not African American children.

According to ”Education Next,” the nation’s two top teachers unions have been among the leading financial contributors to national elections since 1990: “They have forged an alliance with the Democratic Party, which receives the vast majority of their hard‐​money campaign contributions as well as in‐​kind contributions for get‐​out‐​the‐​vote operations.” Teachers union members comprise 10 percent of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention, where they represent “the single largest organizational bloc of Democratic Party activists.”

Furthermore, teachers as a block vote in great numbers for the Democrat Party support the party’s liberal initiatives. At the Federal level one of the primary functions of the U.S. Department of Education is to “establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education.” Although the Federal Department of Education is not heavily involved in determining curricula or educational standards, it still has significant influence over state and local school districts which also heavily support Democrats. It becomes one vicious cycle of non-movement.

In a related issue pertaining to the educational development of children in Virginia, the Democrat Governor in 2020 in concert with Democrat control of both the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate have essentially blocked the introduction of charter schools in the Commonwealth. According to the Center for Education Reform, Virginia is ranked 44th in the nation and received an F for its support of charter schools in 2020.

Ironically Charles City, the home of this newsletter, is a poor county and pays over $14,000 per year to educate a student in the public system while a private school, as part of a regional network, has opened in Glen Allen, Virginia. It is in its third year of operation and provides a comparable, if not better education, for $5,300. Their motto is to, “provide a quality education at an affordable cost.” One has to wonder with such a large difference in price, “Where did the money in the middle go?”

On the separate criterion of jobs and wages, the Democrat Party is equally disloyal to their African American constituency. In an effort to build the party’s voter base, the Democrat Party has constantly insisted on open borders, amnesty, and blocking the “Wall.” It appears Democrats believe that by driving down wages for the lowest wage earners in American society helps them improve their mobility up the ladder of success to middle class and beyond. Actually, it appears the party only cares about harvesting votes.

What I can’t understand is why black politicians who have gained prominence due to the efforts of the civil rights movement and the determination of the predecessors before them, now vote in concert with the overarching control of the Democrat Party to the detriment of their own black constituents.

Since 1964, African Americans have consistently voted Democrat between 83 and 95 percent of the time. Yet it appears they have been taken for granted. So much so that one of the candidates in the coming election said: “If you’ve got a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or for Trump, then you ain’t Black.”

Congressman Donald McEachin representing the 4th Congressional District in Virginia has constantly voted in lockstep with the Democrat Party line for open borders and against school choice. Where’s the courage? Where’s the compassion?

Thank you for your attention,

I am a conservative.
I support President Donald Trump
I support Leon Benjamin running for Congress in the 4th Congressional District
I support Daniel Gade for Senate.

Peter Churins, editor

The Charles City Conservative (Newsletter)