Monday, October 10, 2011
Diamond Six II : The forgotten legacy of Democrats
The book Diamond Six inadvertently demonstrates the truth about the Democratic Party: it has been built on manipulation of minority groups, especially blacks, and has always taken advantage of their inexperience and lack of information. If you are white, you probably already know this. You either hate it like I do, or you think it is “the way things are.”
This is a blog, so I’ll do my best to make this concise. I’m not going to read you the book, and you probably will never find a copy of it. It was written in 1958 by a third generation Texan and reflected the typical arrogant, unreconstructed Southern mentality, and yet because of that, the author was willing to spill the beans on his own family history that tells us a great deal today. Diamond Six not only reveals a great deal about the political and racial climate in Montgomery County Texas, but can serve well as a textbook example of the environment that all of us lived in for nearly one hundred years. And that environment, one of racism, race oppression, inequality, and lawless and violent persecution of blacks was a DEMOCRATIC controlled environment.
After Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, successfully drove slavery into the ground at the point of a gun, and only with the loss of three hundred-thousand American lives, he was assassinated by a conspiracy of Southern Democrats. Lincoln’s model for reconstruction of the South after the War Between the States was bastardized and finally abandoned. Because after the Civil War, Southern Democrats led a war of terrorism against the Federal occupation in the South, and against black enfranchisement which was started there.
What resulted was a lawless, murderous takeover of the South by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups, county by county, that resulted in black disenfranchisement throughout the South and other parts of America as well. In Diamond Six, Confederate veterans put on their sheets and attended a swearing-in ceremony in 1867 of Reconstruction appointees, many of them black, and summarily executed the fifteen new public servants, the ten military guards “protecting” them, and the judge who did the swearing in. Wesley Smith, hero of the book, and aware of the plan, was a block or so away, distracting a Federal Army officer whom he liked, so that he would not be killed.
These Texas Democrats reasoned that General Phil Sheridan had rewritten the laws, and they just unwrote them. The book makes no apologies for the massacre, and admits that some of the men under the sheets were Diamond Six cowhands. Soon the Democratic Party was spreading this form of control by violence and intimidation all over the South.
This event really upset me when I first read about it, and it still does. And not just the event, but the callous telling of it. Over the years I have mulled it over, and finally begun to believe that the event actually happened, even though you cannot find any other record of it. A Democratic run Press failed to record much of the outrages of this era. I realized that it might be true when I began to study the happenings next door in my own Grimes County.
Grimes County was almost 50% black right after the war. Many slave owners from coastal counties had removed their slaves into the interior of Texas in case of a Federal invasion. Many plantations from other states had sent their considerable equity in human flesh to central Texas, a region considered safe from the reach of the Abolitionists. After the war blacks, now freedmen, had no place to go and no way to get there. They hunkered down and made a place right here.
As Confederate veterans were disenfranchised, Grimes County was soon being run by a black or Scalawag government. Black and white Republicans were able to amass a political majority for a couple of decades, and by the 1880’s, white Populists moved in and partnered up with the black Republicans. By 1899, the Confederates and their sons, Yellow Dog Democrats, finally responded with a plan that changed that for about sixty years. The leading citizens arranged something called the “White Man’s Union,” which handpicked the nominees to run on the Democratic ticket. Of course, no blacks would ever be nominated. Then they set out to exterminate the elected officials in the County. Yes, I said exterminate.
Little has been recorded from this period, but we know that members of the White Man’s Union, some fifty strong, invaded the Sheriff’s office with Winchesters after their successful election and began to try to assassinate the Sheriff. They did kill his brother in a deadly shoot out in downtown Anderson, and managed to wound Sheriff Garrett Scott bad enough that he had to be carried out of the County in a wagon bed… after a violent siege, with a military escort. The research done on this period has only revealed the names of a few of the black elected officials that were murdered. But one startling fact tells us much more of the carnage. The murders had their effect, as census records reveal that thousands, perhaps as much as 50% of Afro-Americans left Grimes County between the 1900 census and the 1910 census.
The White Man’s Union, the gatekeeper for the Grimes County Democratic party, proceeded to rule the County, either directly or by shear momentum for the next sixty-plus years. This kind of thing happened in many counties, until blacks were eventually intimidated to give up their freedoms, and their participation in the political system, county by county, state by state. This began the infamous “Jim Crow” years throughout the South, when Democrats assured blacks they would take care of them, and insisted they were really their benefactors, and as long as the black population behaved, there would be no trouble. But there was trouble and many blacks were hung for insubordination or alleged crimes without the benefit of the legal system. Farmers suddenly had an evil edge over their workers, who had few rights and no recourse. This was a completely Democratic inspired and instituted system.
Then after WWII, there began to be movement to enfranchise blacks again. After all, they had fought in our wars, shed blood for our Country… In 1963, in the blink of an eye, an old time Texas Democrat aligned with John F. Kennedy who was running for President. Lyndon Johnson, a full blooded Jim Crow politician and the blue collar champion in Texas, partnered up with the Northern liberal Democrats ruling the Democratic vision and delivered a stunning upset for the Democrats. Johnson spent the rest of his political life, as Vice President and then President, instituting the Kennedy vision of America. The Kennedy regime wanted Civil Rights for blacks, and they wanted them ASAP. The movement took off and through the campaigning of Martin Luther King and other fearless black leaders, the right to vote and to be treated as equals was finally made possible, county by county. That Democrats were in power during these historic days turned out to be an important fact in the minds of black Americans. Yet these new rights came with a price... as President Johnson drafted and sent record, disproportionate numbers of black soldiers into the jaws of Viet Nam; A war escalated by the Democrats and today shrugged off as a pointless mistake. His "Great Society" was a noble ambition, but it was built on the premise that tens of thousands of the best and brightest young black men be sent on a one-way tour of Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile the fact that many Republicans supported the Civil Rights movement has been lost on blacks today. Just as Lincoln had given them freedom, (forget all those dead guys) Kennedy and Johnson had given them full Citizenship. But actually, since Democrats were the dominant Party since the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, some twenty five years before, It seems to be a miracle that they were seen as the heroes. In a more realistic characterization of the events as they happened, Democrats, who had been in control of the Country for two generations, finally got around to doing the right thing. When it served their interests; They saw votes, ands lots of them. Importantly, eighteen-year-old black men could not vote in those days.
Lyndon Johnson had learned in his experience in Texas; give a poor, uneducated underclass a little improvement and hope, and they will be loyal for life. Johnson had brought electricity to the Hill Country and became a savior of sorts to the (mostly white) people of central Texas. He would win every election after this idea was established; This guy will get us stuff. Not that what he did was wrong, it just began a new era of bargaining for votes by promises of tangible prosperity and a government that takes care of the “little guy.” It was the shrewdest political play in American history.
Luckily for Democrats, most "little guys" are not big students of history.
Republicans, shell-shocked at the events playing out during the '60's, watched as the "Party of Lincoln" became the Party of Stinkin’. Having been fighting Roosevelt and his Socialistic legacy for years, Republicans could not see any justification for spending money the government did not have to appease any segment of society, no matter how worthy. This could only mean spiraling taxes and eventual financial ruin. But Democrats had cleverly found a political honey hole, and they OWNED it. Somehow, up until now, every time Republicans would protest the irresponsible superfluous printing of money, the robbing of Social Security to pay for government excess, the unfair taxation of upper middle class, who were suddenly on a program that intended to skim off as much as half of their annual earnings, they were called racists, lacking in compassion, selfish and un-American. And blacks listened to the same bastards that had oppressed them for one hundred years, and voted for whom they were told to, just like they had in the Jim Crow years.
The same devils that had taken away their rights, murdered them and threatened them and kept them down were still in power. The only thing that had changed was that blacks began to vote, but as they were instructed by black leaders and labor leaders, who demonized the REPUBLICANS! Any black person who bothers to study history will find that this is true.
Democrats systematically oppressed black people for one hundred years, and yet bargained for complete and enthusiastic loyalty, all for a Civil Rights movement that took nearly ten years and BOTH houses of Congress to even make a dent in the American Psyche.
Blacks since then have been hard to impress as a group, and have ignored the truth about who actually put them in the high places first. Clarence Thomas in the Supreme Court. General Colon Powell, Secretary of Defense. Condi Rice, Secretary of State. All placed by Republicans. Up until the most recent Administration, there were few blacks assigned to such positions by the Democratic Party.
The Party of Lincoln is the friend of whites and blacks, and always has been. Black politicians who choose to be Republicans should not be demonized because they do not choose the same path that Democrats, who have traditionally controlled blacks or their votes, insist they must. The distrust or fear that blacks have towards Republicans is unfounded, even contradicted by history, and is just another manipulation of blacks by Democrats.
A few years ago I approached a friend and local black politician about helping him get elected to a local position he wanted. At the local level, party affiliation has little to do with national party platforms. The terms Democrat or Republican are just ways to give order to a Two Party System. I explained to him that he could win easily, if he would break with tradition and run as a Republican. There was a formidable white opponent in the Democratic Primary, who would beat him, and I urged him to skip that step and run as a Republican and meet him in the General Election. I knew he enjoyed considerable approval from the town, and a lot of the voters were white Republicans, who would support him. But they could not help him until the General Election, as they would be voting in the Republican Primary. He thought about it, but the idea was unthinkable. He did not want to leave his “constituency.” He could not wrap his brain around me, a white guy, asking him to be a Republican, offering to use my abilities to get him elected, and promising that there were others like me. He did not want to believe it.
Perhaps he just did not believe me, but he got beat in the primary just as I told him, and went down in flames, because he would rather go down in disappointment as a Democrat than soil his blackness by running as a …. Republican. I would say that it was he that had racist attitudes, and not me. Winning and serving his people was second to maintaining his identity. When people like him finally wake up, and perhaps Herman Cain will be the catalyst, we will finally have a color-blind society, and both white and black will finally be “reconstructed.”
And the stubborn legacy of Diamond Six will finally be buried.