GLENN: As we look back into history of the parties, the racist history of the Democratic Party has been very well documented. While it is a fact that Democrats avoid it at all costs, when pushed, they will admit the truthfulness of it. But they quickly claim that the racist Democrats in the South became Republicans who then became the racists. They'll tell you that they now are the party of racial acceptance and inclusion.
Unfortunately, the problem is that statement is vastly untrue. In saying that, it is important to remember that we're not talking about Democrats as your neighbors. We're talking about Democrats as the institution.
And while Democrats like to claim that they are the party for a century now that has helped minorities and women get ahead, that they are the party of the downtrodden. The facts simply don't back it up.
Not to put too fine of a point on it, but the opposite is actually the truth.
During the past 200 years, Democrats simply shifted their actions from overt racism to covert racism.
The tactics that they used to control minorities in America just changed. They shifted from actual slavery on the cotton plantations to making sure that blacks remained on the plantation of government assistance. Ever dependent on their Democratic overseers.
Republicans, meanwhile, as a general rule, have always fought for the rights of self-determination for minorities, any minority. They tend not to promise that the government will take care of them. Instead, the G.O.P., if true to its nonprogressive roots, has a philosophy that allows people to have the opportunity to take care of themselves, to chart their own course, make their own destiny, to thrive, rather than just survive on the handouts from supposed benevolent masters. And the G.O.P. did this, first, as abolitionists. Then they were the party that was opposed to the Jim Crow laws, the party in favor of women's suffrage and black civil rights. Finally, the party that favors less government intervention in the lives of minorities and everyone else in this country.
On our last episode, it took us to the American Civil War. It's just an interesting quick side note, the Confederate flag that is so hated today, is such a symbol of hatred and racism, but it was created and used by Democrats.
Even though the Union won the Civil War and the Republican president Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, still in the South, the rights for blacks were ignored, and oppression continued as Democrats passed laws to keep them down.
1866, Republicans went to work to put a stop on the southern lawlessness and to strengthen the newly passed 13th Amendment, which had finally constitutionally banned the practice of slavery in America.
VOICE: By the time Congress convened in 1866, anti-slavery Republicans dominated both houses, led by men like John Bingham in the House, along with senators Charles Sumner and Jacob Howard, radical Republicans enjoyed complete control of Congress.
VOICE: They have the power to amend the Constitution, and they are determined to use it. They were faced with an unending series of abuses in the reconstruction of the south. State and local governments had responded to the new 13th Amendment ban on slavery by trying to deprive newly freed slaves and their white supporters of any meaningful freedom, especially economic freedom.
GLENN: This was a societal change that southern Democrats were passionate about stopping.
VOICE: Economic liberty, the right to pursue a livelihood of your own choosing and to keep the money you earn was the opposite of slavery. And the real opportunity for freed slaves to lead a free life. The pro-slavery forces knew this. So in the South, freed slaves weren't just banned from pursuing particular occupations, but in some places, it was actually illegal for black people to leave their employer's property without written permission. In others, breaking a labor contract was punished by whipping. The 14th Amendment was supposed to stop rights violations like these.
GLENN: The Democrats in the South had lost the war, but they were determined that nothing in the states they controlled was going to change.
So it was up to Congress to try to do something about the deep schism that divided the nation.
VOICE: The 14th Amendment protects three distinct interests: Due process, equal protection, and the privileges or immunities, meaning rights, of United States citizens.
Of those three, privileges or immunities are by far the most important because that clause protects individual rights from government infringement.
GLENN: In Congress, as was the case with the abolition of slavery with the 13th Amendment, every single Republican voted for the amendment. All Republicans. 23 percent of Democrats in Congress voted in favor of the 13th Amendment, but not one Democrat in the US House or US Senate voted for the 14th Amendment.
100 percent Republican support, zero support from the Democrats. Now, these are not opinions. They are historical, provable facts.
They may be uncomfortable for some Democrats to hear, but they are indeed the truth.
David Barton explains why the 14th amendment was so important.
VOICE: You get to the end of the Civil War, shortly after you abolish slavery, now you have all these states who separated to have slavery, and they have to come back to the Union somehow. But you have to convince them that if you're going to get back in, you have to do so, upholding the 13th Amendment. Slavery has got to be offered. Well, they wouldn't. They said, all right. So what. You freed all the slaves, but they're not going to be citizens of our state. We're not going to let them be citizens of Louisiana or Georgia or Texas or whatever. So Congress says, let's do a little arm twisting here.
GLENN: And that set the stage for another amendment for the Constitution.
VOICE: So they came up with a 14th Amendment that says that a freed slave is a citizen of the state in which he lives. So what had happened in the South, you had two types of citizens. You had state citizens, and you had others just living there, free blacks who can't be citizens. Federal constitution says, no, no, no, that stops right now. You live in a state. You're a citizen of that state. That's the end of it.
So that when it came time to vote on that in the federal Congress, 14th Amendment that says that these former slaves get civil rights, not a single Democrat in Congress voted for the 14th Amendment.
GLENN: Democrats were losing the battle constitutionally and legislatively. But they were finding other ways around their perceived problem.
VOICE: You have all the slave owners, all these racist mentality people, who were willing to form their own nation on the basis of race. And now you're trying to say that my elected representatives are black. I'm not going to do this.
Well, in Democratic states, not only do you have Republicans, you've got black Republicans.
So nationally, in 1866, to stop this forward progress, there was a group that was started to keep Republicans out of office. The group that was started in 1866, we recognize today. But it was the Ku Klux Klan
GLENN: The early days of the Klan was marked by violence against blacks, of course. But white Republicans were not spared their wrath either.
VOICE: In 1871, a black US congressman from South Carolina, Joseph Hayne Rainey, reported an instant concerning an elderly man named Dr. John Winsmith, a white Republican state senator.
VOICE: The doctor, a man nearly 70 years of age had been to town. Returning home late, he soon afterward retired. A little after midnight, he was aroused by someone knocking violently at his front door.
VOICE: The Klan shot down the state senator, a white state senator because he was a Republican and was fighting for the rights of blacks of his state. In that hail of bullets, Dr. Winsmith was hit seven times. However, he survived the shooting and lived to testify before Congress about the attack made on him by the Klan.
GLENN: The Klan was really after the Republican, black or white. And the Democratic Klan only got worse from there.
The shameful history of the Democratic Party is one of America's best kept secrets. From the party's inception with its founder Martin Van Buren and President Andrew Jackson, the Democrats desperately tried to take away the rights and in many cases, the lives of many minorities. Blacks and Indians. From the devastating war against the American Indians to the continued scourge of slavery, seceding from the Union, igniting Civil War, fighting against the Constitutional rights gained by blacks after the war, and starting the KKK, wow, the Democrats were to this point, a century-long blight on the United States.
Whether that blight would continue during the next century is a topic that we have to explore. However, listen to today's Democrats, and much of their supportive media. The Democrats are positioned as the keepers of the flame of liberty. The ferocious fighters in defense of the underdog. But honestly, if you look at the facts, nothing could be further from the truth.
Next time, let's examine how the Klan lost its steam, and then became reinvigorated by an American Democratic president. We look into the men who furthered the racism of the party and started the ideological radicalism of the progressive Democratic Party.
VOICE: Tomorrow on the Glenn Beck Program in chapter three of the history of the Democratic Party, you'll learn how the progressives elected the most bigoted president we ever had, Woodrow Wilson. Listen live or online at GlennBeck.com/serials.