Sometimes I’ll read the news and find something so insane and stupid, that I shut my eyes and gather my sanity for a moment. Ted Cruz inspired such a moment for me this morning in this Washington Post article. He claimed that Democrats are rooted deep in racism. Since it’s Black History Month, I thought the most festive thing to do was debunk his garbage claim.
Cruz takes a pretty hard stance against us Democrats by extension of his apparent stance against Dixiecrats. They were a splinter group of southern Democrats that obstructed racial progress through the 1940s to 1970. Cruz said:
“You look at the most racist — you look at the Dixiecrats, they were Democrats who imposed segregation, imposed Jim Crow laws, who founded the Klan. The Klan was founded by a great many Democrats.”
On the Ku Klux Klan
I’ll start with the KKK lie first. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups in America, made it very clear that the KKK wasn’t or isn’t some left-wing creation. The Klan originally started as a social club of former Confederate solders. There was an association between the KKK and Democrats during the 1920’s, but those members weren’t threatening black people with lynchings and social security. They were a group with dangerous and extreme right-wing stances using modern standards.
Cruz shoddy wordplay makes it seem like the Democratic Party is the KKK’s mother or father. In reality, the Klan is more like a distant cousin who’s awkward and creepy in conversation, lives in the woods to be “off the grid,” then doesn’t get invited to any reunions. Am I happy about my party’s association with the KKK in the 1920s? Of course not, but the Democratic platform today is not even the platform of the 60’s, let alone one from the 1920s or even the during reconstruction. To say otherwise is misleading.
Cruz and Dixiecrats
Cruz’s newfound hatred for Dixiecrats is odd seeing that he praised Jesse Helms in 2013. Helms was a staunch Dixiecrat who, after failing to block the Civil Rights Act, switched to the GOP in 1972. His switch to the party of Lincoln didn’t discourage his efforts to block Martin Luther King Day as a federal holiday or use Affirmative Action as a wedge issue in his 1990 senate campaign.
On Helms, Cruz said in a Heritage Foundation event:
“And you know what? It’s every bit as true now as it was then. We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.”
I’m certain Cruz hasn’t walked this statement back to this day. Honestly I’m not too surprised about Cruz talking from both sides of his mouth on Dixiecrats. From lying about Obamacare to his back-flip on Trump, Ted Cruz says anything to advance his own agenda.
Saying Democrats are the party of racism is disgusting. Covering his lie up with hypocrisy is even worse. We need keep holding Ted Cruz accountable and expose his lies so we don’t have to hear more of him past the 2018 elections.