The Southern Strategy and Birds of a Feather
The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the south, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans.
Espoused by Kevin Phillips, a political advisor to Richard Nixon during the presidential campaign of 1968, the GOP’s Southern Strategy provides the historical context for the racial, gender and cultural politics of today. It also explains the political two-step; the wink and a nod of publicly denouncing avowed racists while catering to their racism.
Prior to the Southern Strategy, blacks were aligned with Lincolns Republican Party well into the 20th Century. Southern whites were equally committed to the Democratic Party. It was they who formed the Klu Klux Klan in 1866. However, these alliances began to shift and change during the Civil Rights era and with the passage of the Civil Rights and Voter Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, respectively.
Enacted during the presidency of Southern Democrat Lyndon Johnson, the Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, required equal access to public places and employment, and enforced the desegregation of schools and the right to vote. While it did not end discrimination, it opened the door to further progress. http://www.nps.gov/subjects/civilrights/1964-civil-rights-act.htm.
The Voting Rights Act was enacted to overcome state and local legal barriers that prevented African-Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment. The act significantly widened the franchise and is considered among the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history. http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/voting-rights-act.
In fact, both were revolutionary pieces of legislation. And both were reviled and resisted by Southern whites. This hostility and the shift in political affiliations did not go unnoticed. Thus was born the Southern Strategy, a calculated plan to lock up the South by appealing to white racism.
Fast forward to today. The Presidential candidacy of Donald Trump is nothing but the Southern Strategy revisited.
Take for example, his endorsement by former KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke. According to Duke, for a white person to vote against Mr. Trump is really treason to his or her heritage. When initially questioned about the endorsement, Trump feigned ignorance. I don’t know anything about David Duke, white supremacy or what is going on.
However, during an August 2015, interview with Bloomberg News, Trump specifically rejected Duke’s endorsement. In 2000, he decided against a Presidential bid as a Reform Party candidate because among other things, the party included a Klansman, Mr. Duke. And in a 2000, statement reported by the New York Times Trump said, David Duke is not company I wish to keep.”
He blamed a faulty earpiece for his initial memory lapse, an excuse which is rubbish, atop garbage, surrounded by manure. Trump knew exactly who Mr. Duke and the KKK were. And David Duke is not the only white supremacists to endorse Mr. Trump.
William Daniel Johnson of the white nationalist American Freedom Party contributed financially to the Trump campaign and founded a super PAC that made pro-Trump rob calls in early voting states. See http://qz.com/626918/some-of-the-worlds-most-infamous-racists-are-endorsing-donald-trump/.
Andrew Anglin, the 30-year-old publisher of a neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, supported Trumps anti Muslim plan with the headline, Heil Donald Trump, The Ultimate Savior. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/heil-donald-trump-racists-support-donald-trump-policy-article-1.2459327.
Right wing French politician and founder of Frances anti-immigration National Front Party, Le Pen, who once argued that the Nazi occupation was not particularly inhumane and that there are too many non-white players on Frances football team tweeted, [I]f I were an American, I would vote Donald Trump. May God protect him! http://qz.com/626918/some-of-the-worlds-most-infamous-racists-are-endorsing-donald-trump/.
On Sunday, February 28, 2016, Trump re-tweeted a quote from Italian fascist Benito Mussolini who said it is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep. When asked about his embrace of a Fascist dictator Trump responded what difference does it make whether the statement was from Mussolini or somebody else, it’s certainly a very interesting quote. http://qz.com/626918/some-of-the-worlds-most-infamous-racists-are-endorsing-donald-trump/.
And Trumps son just gave an interview to a white Supremacists radio host. Said interview was tapped during and from within a Trump campaign event. Odd how one so picky about the company he keeps is so beloved by those he claims to abhor.
The truth is obvious. The religious, social and racially intolerant comprise a significant part of the Trump coalition.
Recent data and polling from YouGov and Public Policy Polling show that 33% of Trumps backers in South Carolina support barring gays and lesbians from entering the country in addition to the Japanese internment of World War II. Almost as many (31%) believe that whites are the superior race while 70% think the Confederate Flag should still fly on the statehouse ground. More astonishingly, nearly 20% disagree with Abraham Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/upshot/measuring-donald-trumps-supporters-for-into.
Be not mistaken. Trump knows full well to whom he is appealing, the sentiments they hold, the buttons he pushes and the hatred he stirs. He knows exactly who will respond to the dog whistle of equating Hispanics to criminals and rapists. He knows precisely who will applaud his call to build a fence along the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. He is more than cognizant that to his supporters, Mexican immigrants are Spanish-speaking Darkies and Muslims are but Sand Negros. And he is neither the first nor the last politician to appeal to racism and bigotry in order to win votes.
Hence, his eventual denouncement of David Duke matters not. It is but a political wink and a nod; a dance performed by demagogues since time immemorial. Neither the Klan, nor any other white supremacist will abandon him. And he shall do nothing to offend or forsake them. Birds of a feather do indeed flock together.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder ad CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum