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Conflict Of Interest
A Weekly Column By Walter B. Hoye II
In the abortion debate, is there a "Conflict of Interest" within the Black community and among her leaders?
Issue No.: 2012.142
Environmental Products (3)
Ulysses S. Grant And The Invisible Empire President Grant Was A Radical Republican Politican
Membership card of A.F. Handcock in the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. This certifies that the bearer, whose signature appears hereon, has been found worthy of advancement in the mysteries of Klancraft. 1
Radical Republican President Grant Destroyed The First Klan
"My support for your organization must remain completely invisible." — Confederate General Robert E. Lee, a member of the original Ku Klux Klan (KKK) whose statement inspired the Klan's nickname: "Invisible Empire." 2
Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States from 1869– 1877. 3 As President he led the Radical Republicans in their effort to eliminate all remaining vestiges of Confederate nationalism, slavery and effectively destroyed the first incarnation of Ku Klux Klan in 1871. 4 The First Klan founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by six veterans of the Confederate Army flourished in the South following the American Civil War and has been called America's first true terrorist group. 5 Members utilized white costumes: robes, masks, and conical hats, designed to mystify, terrify and hide their true identities. 6 Today the Ku Klux Klan is splintered into several independent chapters with no apparent connections between them and is rightly classified as a hate group with an estimated membership between 3,000 and 5,000 as of 2012. 7
Former Black Slaves Endorsed The Radical Republican Party
"Yes, sir. [The Ku Klux Klan] is a protective political military organization. I am willing to show any man the constitution of the society. The members are sworn to recognize the government of the United States. It does not say anything at all about the government of Tennessee. Its objects originally were protection against Loyal Leagues and the Grand Army of the Republic; but after it became general it was found that political matters and interests could best be promoted within it, and it was then made a political organization, giving it's support, of course, to the democratic party." — former Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, in a Cincinnati Commercial, August 28, 1868 Interview. 8
After the North's victory and during Reconstruction, The State of Tennessee ratified the Fourteenth (14th) Amendment and gave Black American's the right to vote. 9 As a result, Tennessee's August gubernatorial election of 1867 was the first time in the Tennessee's history that Black Americans would be allowed to vote. Actually and more significantly, this was the first time since President Abraham Lincoln's Friday, January 1st, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation that Black American's in the South would vote at all. Nevertheless, in the dark background of election politics, former Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest who was serving as the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was keeping his Klansmen in line in an effort to deflect the attention of the United States Military
(i.e., Union soldiers) away from the Klan's terrorist program that sought to restore White Supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against freed Black Slaves and White Republicans. 10 Working with "Conservatives" (a coalition of Democrats and old-line Whigs) Lieutenant General Nathan Forrest tried to convince former Black Slaves that their former Slave Masters were their best friends and that they held their best interest at heart. 11 To the Klans surprise, the former Black Slaves in Tennessee did not believe them and overwhelmingly voted for the Radical Republicans. Knee deep in denial, the Ku Klux Klan believed that freed Black Slaves voted Republican because "carpetbaggers" (a derogatory term Southerners gave to Northerners who moved to the South) and "scalawags" (a derogatory term for Southern Whites who supported the Radical Republican Party) told them to and once freed from such, former Black Slaves would gladly return to being the "good niggers" they were before the American Civil War. 12 However, nothing was ever farther from the truth. Below is an explanation for why freed Black Slaves endorsed the Radical Republicans by a delegation of freed South Carolina Black Slaves.
"ADDRESS TO THE NATIVE WHITES"
By the Colored People of South Carolina to the Charleston Democratic Party From the American Missionary, Vol. XII., October 1868, No. 10.
[You] derided the idea of granting us the right to vote; when your legislature met in 1865-66, you passed that infamous Black Code … Your laws provided for taking and binding-out our children and subjecting us to all manner of disabilities. We could not pursue any trade or calling in this State without written permission from some White man; we could not sell any article of barter without the consent first obtained from some magistrate. With all these facts before us, and your Negro Code before us … do you not see
why we have been constrained to trust in strangers rather than to those who claim that they are our natural friends? Can you have the heart to ask colored men to vote for men who deny that they are capable of voting intelligently? Can you ask us to vote our liberties away forever? Can you ask us to sustain a party which is pledged to divest us of all privileges in law which we now enjoy? Can you hope that we will be frightened at your threat of extermination because we wish to enjoy the same rights in common with other men? We do not feel assured that to vote for your party will be advantageous to us and our children. 13
After the 1867 Radical Republican victory in Tennessee the former Confederate Lieutenant General and then present Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest released his army of Klansmen and by October 1867 twenty-five (25) murders, thirty-five (35) assaults with intent to kill, eighty-three (83) assaults and batteries, four (4) rapes and four (4) arsons were reported to Major General Oliver Otis Howard of the United States Army (formerly the Union Army) in Tennessee. 14 Thank God for the former Commanding General of the Union Army and then present Radical Republican President Ulysses S. Grant.
Who Were The Radical Republicans?
"The war will not end until the government shall more fully recognize the magnitude of the crisis; until they have discovered that this is an internecine war in which one party or the other must be reduced to hopeless feebleness and the power of further effort shall be utterly annihilated. It is a sad but true alternative. … How, then, can the war be carried on so as to save the Union and constitutional liberty? Prejudices may be shocked, weak minds startled, weak nerves may tremble, but they must hear and adopt it. Universal emancipation must be proclaimed to all." — Thadeus Stevens, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 9th District (March 4th, 1859 – August 11th, 1868) 15
The Radical Republicans were a small group within the Republican Party from about 1854 until the end of Reconstruction in 1877. 16 They called themselves "radicals" because they strongly opposed slavery, distrusted ex-Confederate politicians and demanded harsh policies for Reconstruction 17 such as the: Civil Rights Acts of 1866 Declared that people born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power are entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude. 18 Fourteenth (14th) Amendment Provided a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the 1857 United States Supreme Court Dred Scott decision and installed the "Due Process Clause" which prohibited state and local governments from depriving persons of life,
liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. 19 Force Act of 1870 Restricted the first wave of the Ku Klux Klan by banning the use of terror, force or bribery to prevent people from voting because of their race. The First Ku Klux Klan was all but eradicated within a year of federal prosecution. 20 Civil Rights Acts of 1871 Protected Black Americans from the Ku Klux Klan by providing a civil remedy for abuses then being committed in the South. 21
Are There Any Radical Republicans Today?
"I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people." — Frederick Douglass, September 24, 1847 Speech on American Slavery Delivered in Syracuse, New York 22
It is not difficult for me to imagine what life would be like for Black America today without the righteous and right-minded efforts of the Radical Republicans of the past. Still, the question before us is: are there any Radical Republicans today? Today our country is split over the incontestable evil of abortion on demand and same-sex marriage. The answer will not be found in compromise legislation that restricts, regulates or reduces abortion or the promotion of homosexuality. The answer will be found in the hearts of men and women who are steadfastly committed to an uncompromised biblical worldview that can not only see the end of abortion on demand and same-sex marriage but also see a day where the needs of women, children and communities of color are met. The Radical Republicans of the past picked a platform to stand on and refused to settle for anything less than "equality of man before his Creator," 23 even at the expense of their public office.
Nevertheless, I have long wondered what happened to the Radical Republicans of the past? It seems to me history suggests that after 1868 the "Radicals" lost interest in the fate of the Freedmen, became more concerned about fiscal policies, began to view Black Americans as "potentially dangerous to the economy because they might prove to be labor radicals" and jumped the Radical Republican ship to become members of the Liberal Republican camp. Furthermore, I cannot help but wonder if conservative fiscal policies that lead to the preservation of personal profit is where the heart and soul of the Republican Party is today? With the moral compass of our country broken and November quickly coming into view, I've been asked on more than one occasion: Are there any Radical Republicans today? The truth is, I'm still looking. Brothers, we really need to talk.
Reference(s): 01. Ku Klux Klan membership card #402463. From the USF Tampa Library Special & Digital Collections (http://bit.ly/KddUFD). 02. Confederate General Robert E. Lee, From the Indiana Historical Research Foundation (http://bit.ly/J3Zmb6). 03. Ulysses S. Grant, The White House (http://1.usa.gov/gC1noa). 04. Ulysses S. Grant, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/110cKI). 05. Ku Klux Klan, The First Klan, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/fCGx2A). 06. Op. cit., Introduction to Ku Klux Klan, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/Uh74t). 07. Ku Klux Kontraction, "How did the KKK lose nearly one-third of its chapters in one year?" by Brian Palmer, Posted Thursday, March 8, 2012 (http://slate.me/yNWtZr). 08. "Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma," authored by Eddy W. Davison, Daniel Foxx (http://bit.ly/JA6b6U). 09. Blacks vote for the first time in the South, from the University of Richmond (http://bit.ly/KhWSDS). 10. "The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America," authored by Wyn Craig Wade, page 44. (http://bit.ly/LbZyUl). 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid. 13. "The American missionary, Volume 12," from the Congregational Home Missionary Society (http://goo.gl/dzglF). 14. Op. cit., "The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America," authored by Wyn Craig Wade, page 46. (http://bit.ly/Jk8MUB). 15. "The life of Thaddeus Stevens: A study in American political history, especially in the period of the civil war and reconstruction," authored by James Albert Woodburn, page 178. (http://bit.ly/Kxn43c). 16. Radical Republicans, authored by John Simkin (BA, MA, MPhil), Spartacus Educational (http://bit.ly/nmHD3V). 17. "Reconstruction of the South," Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/JWsX8O). 18. Civil Rights Act of 1866, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/b4oSht). 19. Fourteenth Amendment, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/37bn). 20. Force Act of 1870, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/JkI2Cv). 21. Civil Rights Acts of 1871, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/GP0HW). 22. Frederick Douglass (http://bit.ly/4CQWHR). 23. Thaddeus Stevens Biography, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology (http://bit.ly/JWu8oW). See also Thaddeus Stevens: Statesman, Philanthropist, Visionary (http://goo.gl/maLJI).
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