The Democratic Party – not quite colorblind

Ted Hamilton

One of the standing arguments against the GOP is that the party is filled with racists, while the Democratic Party is the pinnacle of colorblind equality. I was reminded of this the other day in class during a heated discussion when a holier-than-thou Democrat made a statement how Republicans would never elect a black man or a woman for president.

While the Democrats are blind in other ways (or maybe just ignorant when it comes to areas such as economics) they certainly are not a party filled with people of all colors standing side by side and singing “Kumbaya”. The Democratic Party is, and has been, a vehicle of such blatant racism that it is more scary than funny how the black vote swings toward it.

That a pillar of the Democratic Party, Franklin D. Roosevelt, knowingly appointed former Klansman Hugo Black to the Supreme Court is just one example. While there are many other examples from the first half of the 20th century, many Democrats will argue the party went through a dramatic change in the ’60s and became the party for the black community. That is denial at best, disillusion at worst.

Today we have black Republicans being called “Uncle Toms” for not following the sheep into the opposing party while Democrat Robert Byrd keeps getting re-elected, even though he filibustered and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to a study by Ebonya Washington and published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Democrats are “38 percentage points less likely to vote Democratic if their candidate is black,” so in essence, 38-percent of voting Democrats cross the party line when a white Republican faces a black Democrat. While “white flight” happens among Republicans as well, it is only at 25 percent. That is still a frightening number, but no where near as frightening when the party catering to minorities sees almost four out of 10 of their members vote against their party because of race.

Society seems to forget, however, there is also prejudice geared toward all people, no matter their skin color. Democratic candidate hopeful Barack Obama needs to remember this now after his close association with his racist spiritual adviser. Although Obama supposedly is trying to remove race from politics, I find it hard to believe when he stereotypes his white grandmother as a “typical white person.”

What the hell is a typical white person? Do we all sit around eating macaroni and cheese while listening to country music as we try to bring minorities down?

I hope my inbox does not get flooded with e-mails about how racist the Republican Party is because, frankly, I do not care. Show me instances where the Libertarian Party is racist because that is where my colors lie. It is either craziness or stupidity to say the Democratic Party is less racist than the Republican Party; if anything, it is more so.

Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got to get back to my heavy metal and hot wings.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].