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January 22, 2003

Say It: "Thur-good"

Some ahistorical knuckleheads are suggesting that Earl Warren, a Republican, led the charge for civil rights before King. I have my own problems with the deification of King (and Ron Karenga for that matter), but this is getting ridiculous.

"The Republican Party was born as a protest movement against a very specific outrage perpetrated by the Democrats ... an 1854 law they wrote which allowed slavery to expand into the territories" Zak said. "Opponents of slavery united with a single purpose: 'Enough concessions to the Slave-O-Crats. We draw the line right here. No slavery in the territories.'"
As so many folks have come to learn, honest Abe had little intention of working for public equality. And for quite some time this has left people perplexed. I myself had some difficulty explaining how it was that John Brown could be considered so radical given that Republicans were claiming to be all that for the African. But Balkin's explanation took care of that for me - what we think of civil rights is different from what they thought, back in the day.

What's particularly annoying about this nonsense about what blacks owe the Republican Party is the suggestion that blacks weren't involved in their own liberation. This, coming from an NAACP spokeman, no less - if this article is to be believed. So repeat after me. Thurgood Marshall. Sound familiar? Aside from his ordinary greatness, Thurgood Marshall was frat. So what do you think of that?

I have no problem with Republicans laying claim to some good works, but I do have a problem with a lot of the self-serving rhetoric that passes for political debate these days, especially when it comes at the expense of historical completeness and accuracy.

Posted by mbowen at January 22, 2003 01:33 PM

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