Drain The Swamp




(Photo)  Benjamin Harrison in 1850 



NYC 2020

The Black Lives Matter movement is not a new movement. The name is new, but the concept is old. Black lives mattered in Britain, for instance, where there was never any slavery, and where William Wilberforce, an MP in the Independent party, argued against the slave trade and made it illegal.

He died in 1833, and as if to spring up in his place, there came unto this world Benjamin Harrison, the grandson of a US president, and himself one, the 23rd such person to head up the White House. He arrived in DC in 1889, and one of his main issues was black rights – he was always at odds with a strange party called the Democrats who opposed black rights. When the GOP gained
the majority in both Houses, many Republicans, led by this president, tried to pass laws to protect the rights and lives of African Americans. The Attorney General, William H. H. Miller ordered prosecutions for violation of voting rights in the South; however, white Democrat juries often failed to convict.  Harrison urged all parties to enact legislation that would “secure all our people a free exercise of the right of suffrage and every other civil right under the Constitution and laws”. Harrison endorsed the Federal Elections Bill, written by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge and Senator George Frisbie Hoar in 1890, but it was defeated in the Senate with major resistance from the Democrats. After this failure, Harrison continued to speak out strongly for civil rights in addresses to Congress. On 3 December, 1889, Harrison went to Congress and stated on record:


“The colored people did not intrude themselves upon us; they were brought here in chains and held in communities where they are now chiefly bound by a cruel slave code…when and under what conditions is the black man to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law? When is that quality of influence which our form of government was intended to secure to the electors to be restored? … in many parts of our country where the colored population is large the people of that race are by various devices deprived of any effective exercise of their political rights and of many of their civil rights. The wrong does not expend itself upon those whose votes are suppressed. Every constituency in the Union is wronged.”


Harrison gave total support to a bill drafted by Senator Henry W. Blair, which would have granted federal funding to schools regardless of a student’s race. He also endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in the Civil Rights Cases (1883) that declared much of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional. None of these measures gained congressional approval, thanks to the opposition from the Democrat party.

Just thought I’d mention this is anyone is really interested in black lives. The  GOP was, it freed the slaves, and is continuing today to fight for civil rights. The GOP could well call itself the BLM party, after all, it was the party of MLK.


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