Re “Democrats’ hoodwinking of blacks” column by Walter E. Williams.
That column was an insult to the intelligence of the black population. It is Williams who is doing the hoodwinking.
He uses the events prior to 1964, mentioning then Southern Democrats like George Wallace and former governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, among others.
Even in the case of Wallace, it took a Democratic president, John Kennedy, to make Wallace back down by federalizing the Alabama National Guard. Later, President Lyndon Johnson continued Kennedy’s work and got civil rights and voting right bills passed. Williams completely ignored their roles.
In Southern states before 1964, the black population was treated with unacceptable discrimination. They were denied access to public facilities and decent housing. Their schools did not have the same resources as their white counterparts.
True, Democrats in the South were mostly segregationists before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, after 1964, most of them accepted and welcomed black voters. The segregationists who did not switched parties and became Republicans. A prime example was the late Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, in 1964.
When I was growing up in South Carolina, I heard many such Republicans saying "we did not leave Democratic Party;, the Democratic Party left us." In this context, you don’t need a doctorate in political science to interpret "Democratic Party left us." They meant that the Democratic Party accepted the change from being a party that excluded blacks to become a party of inclusion.
As the time moved on, a sweet symbiosis evolved between black voters and the Democratic Party.
Mr. Williams, it is not hoodwinking, it’s symbiosis.
Anita Ginski, Chicago