Today’s progressives push the revolutionary Marxist/Black Lives Matter narrative against the Constitution and its alleged “White Supremacy,” but the pro-slavery/anti-Reconstruction progressives were denouncing it in 1868 for its “Negro Supremacy.” Which begs the question, is this an example of progressivism in conflict with itself, or this an example of progressivism attacking the Constitution for the same anti-freedom/anti-liberty reasons, just from opposite sides?
Either way, as today’s progressives continue to blame the Constitution as the source and enabler of slavery and white supremacy — past and present — actual pro-slavery white supremacists seceded from it because they knew it to be otherwise. As Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stephens declared himself in his famous Cornerstone Speech:
“[T]he prevailing ideas entertained by him (Thomas Jefferson) and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away.
“Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
If there was ever proof that our Constitution was incompatible with slavery, it’s in the fact that the Confederacy had to secede from the Union and write one of its own that was compatible.
Another aspect of the narrative against America enjoying nearly universal political support and capitulation is that the only victims of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) lynchings were Blacks hanged solely because they were Black. Yes, lynching was indeed a message being sent to Black people. But to suggest that it was a ‘Black only’ experience is disingenuous at best, and an outright high-jacking of history at worst. It was about crushing the pro-Constitutional Republic vote — black or white — by any and all means necessary following Reconstruction. This is the reason and purpose the KKK did so.
In arguing for an 1871 civil rights bill against Klan violence, Rep. Robert Brown Elliot, a Black Republican, said this:
“I shall expose the animus of the Democratic party of the South’s…declared purpose to defeat the ballot with the bullet and other coercive means, and also the acts of organized lawlessness perpetrated pursuant to that purpose of the Ku Klux organization
“I do not wish to be understood as speaking for the colored man alone when I demand instant protection for the loyal men of the South. No, sir, my demand is not so restricted.
“The white Republican of the South is also hunted down and murdered or scourged for his opinion’s sake, and during the past two years more than six hundred loyal men of both races have perished in my State alone. Yet, sir, it is true that these masked murderers strike chiefly at the black race. And here I say that every southern gentleman should blush with shame at this pitiless and cowardly persecution of the Negro.”
Arguing for the same civil rights bill, another Congressman of color, Joseph H. Rainey, added:
“If the Negroes would only cast their votes in the interest of the Democratic Party, all open measures [of violence] against them would be immediately suspended and their rights as American citizens recognized. But I can only say we love freedom more – vastly more – than slavery
“I say to the entire Democratic Party, that upon your hands rests the blood of the loyal men of the South. Disclaim it as you will; the stain is there to prove your criminality before God and the world in the day of the retribution, which will surely come.”
As to why blacks were lynched at higher rates than whites, another black representative, John Roy Lynch testified that:
“More colored than white men are thus persecuted simply because they constitute in larger numbers the opposition to the Democratic Party.”
If you’re looking for a reckoning with some truth, there it is. As it turns out — per stats provided by the Tuskegee Institute — most, if not all of those lynched in many states outside the immediate Deep South were white. Even when averaging all of the 4,743 lynchings documented in all states between 1882 and 1968, including those of the deep south, white Republicans, abolitionists, the carpet-bagger, and the scalawag account for nearly a third of them.
Included in that number was 70-year-old Dr. John Winsmith, a white Republican senator who, as Rainey told it, was attacked because “He joined the Republican Party in the fall of 1870; and for this alliance – and this alone – he had been vehemently assailed and murderously assaulted. Because he had dared become a Republican, he has become the doomed victim of the murderous Ku Klux Klan”
You probably won’t find him among the stats, as he miraculously managed to survive the seven bullets shot into him. This is history conspicuously missing from the revolutionary Black Lives Matter/Equal Justice Institute (EJI) narrative that many are scrambling to surrender to. As The Guardian explains, “EJI has identified more than 4,384 lynchings by white people of people of colour in the main era when such racial terrorism stalked the land, 1877 to 1950.”
If there is an absolute, eternal, and objective truth and liberty which that truly sets us all free, then with Providence, for the freedom and liberty of us all, we have much work to do together in seeking them out.
Joe Marshall was born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY. He is a married father of two grown sons, an outdoorsman, a landscape contractor, a former stock car owner and driver, a certified 4H firearms instructor, and a retired New York State corrections officer.
Joe is the author of the book, Last Call for Liberty