Republicans push agendas to hide the truth about America’s dark past. If the government’s right-wing, fake conservative branch had its way, much history would be erased. The U.S. is a young nation, and before Donald Trump’s illegitimate presidency, Americans were making strides as we learned about the nation’s dark past.
Mistakes were made that need to be corrected. These fake conservative Republicans would prevent children from learning about the history of slavery in America, the Holocaust, and the struggle for Civil Rights in the mid-twentieth century.
Contrary to today’s Republican Party in name only (RINO), America has never been a great nation, and this was proven once and for all during Trump’s four long years in office. Real Americans witnessed millions of white supremacists crawl out from their slimy swamps to support their leader who lived in the White House.
A country in which pervasive racism and bigotry dominate the beliefs of 40 percent of its people cannot be labeled great.
One of the top three worst Republican governors in history wants to prevent his state’s children from learning the nation’s actual history. Instead, he would allow only the “good things” taught in Florida’s elementary and high schools. This is not a surprise from “Ron DeathSantis.” DeSantis, a die-hard Republican, has been hiding the truth about COVID-19 for the last two years.
He and his incompetent constituents would not only prevent the transmission of information related to the Civil War, slavery, and the continuing struggle for civil rights, they would eliminate all information pertaining to the Holocaust. The following are some facts they would like to hide from younger Americans.
Events in 1619 — 157 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed — are some of the facts Republicans would like to hide. The first 20 slaves arrived in the New World at Point Comfort, Virginia, in late August. This was the beginning of the nation’s history of slavery, which did not start to change until the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. Technically slavery became illegal, but it continues to exist in many forms today.
From the end of the 19th century until 1968, at least 4,743 Black men and women were lynched. Most of these murders were committed in the Southern United States. They were hung for committing supposedly heinous crimes that ranged from Blacks speaking to white women to false allegations of petty crime or violating Jim Crow laws.
Lynching Remains Legal — Technically
Many of these lynchings became celebrations in the white community who attended them in their “Sunday best,” and were entertained in a carnival-like atmosphere. While not as common today, lynchings still happen in this country.
On Feb. 26, 2020, the House of Representatives passed a revised version, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, by a vote of 410–4. However, no anti-lynching bill has been passed by both houses into federal law.
There remain two Americas today, one for Blacks and one for whites. Little has changed over the last century.
Naïve Americans continue to believe that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended the harassment of and discrimination against Blacks, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) in America. Sadly, this is far from the truth. Every black, Hispanic, or Asian American man or woman encountered will likely have a story to tell — how racism and bigotry affected their lives.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was designed to end the hateful policies embedded in the United States. However, the Act signed by Democrat President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964, was only temporary; it was set to expire after 10 years. In 1982 Congress, under Republican President Ronald Reagan, approved the Civil Rights Act for only seven years. It was expanded and reauthorized for 15 years in 1992. Then in 2006, it was once again authorized for 25 years. In 2031, Congress will reconsider approving the Civil Rights Act.
Republican Efforts to Erase the Horrors of the Holocaust
Another event Republicans strive to erase is the WWII Holocaust. In 1933, the Dachau Concentration Camp opened. Many others followed until the end of the war in Europe in 1945. An estimated 11 million Jews, Blacks, mentally challenged, homosexuals, and others the Nazis deemed inferior were slaughtered during the attempt to eliminate all undesirables in Nazi-occupied nations.
The genocide included men, women, and children, many of whom died in the gas chambers, while others were murdered by firing squads and thrown into huge mass graves. But, according to many right-wing Republican conspiracy theorists, the Holocaust never happened.
Republican Party (GOP): No Longer Grand But Definitely Old, Racist, and Dysfunctional
It is undeniable that the Republican Party is composed of racist, old, white men and women. This fact explains why many politicians who call themselves Republicans supported the worst president in history. Trump was exposed as the leader of the white supremacy movement in America.
He was fulfilling his family’s purpose, beginning with the immigration of his grandfather, Frederick Trump, in the early 1900s. His father, Fred, owned several apartment buildings in New York and refused to rent to Black Americans. Donny worked for him after receiving his undeserved diploma from Wharton Business College in the late 1960s.
Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s in Los Angeles, I experienced what is now known as white privilege. But when I switched high schools in 1962, I was shocked by what I learned.
Venice High School was a large public high school with a diverse student body. I knew a few young Black men in my class because we played in a baseball league together. Others became friends thanks to my acceptance onto the school’s basketball team.
I quickly learned about the “two Americas.” My Black friends experienced an entirely different childhood than I enjoyed. They feared every member of law enforcement and were trained by their parents how to act when approached by anyone in authority.
During Trump’s administration, everyone learned once and for all that pervasive racism exists in all law enforcement. After the failed coup on January 6, the country learned that it also exists in the U.S. military. Many active and retired members of our armed forces joined Trump’s neo-Nazi supporters in an attempt to overthrow the government. They forcefully tried to prevent the completion of the 2020 election process.
To call many Americans ignorant is not sufficient because they are ignorant by choice. That makes them dangerous.
America is not perfect or even great, but it could be. In nearly every situation imaginable, racism is learned in families, from close friends or personal experience, which results in a deep-seated hatred for unknown reasons. An encounter with one individual, who happened to be of color, developed into hatred for an entire race.
I have chosen not to have a large number of friends throughout my life. My respect must be earned, and all too often, I learned something about the people I encountered, which made it impossible to allow them into my life. More often than you might believe, racism was at the top of the reasons why I rejected close relationships.
Americans can be better. I was fortunate to be raised by grandparents and one uncle who placed compassion and understanding ahead of anger and hatred. In just a few years, diverse Americans will outnumber pure whites. Then, perhaps the nation will reach its potential, and its people will be one nation, one people; Americans.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
History: The Holocaust
The Guardian: 400 years since slavery: a timeline of American history; by Khushbu and Juweek Adolphe
Daily Kos: DeSantis’ critical race theory attack ensures schools won’t teach about successful slave rebellion; by SemDem
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image by New York Public Library Courtesy of PICRYL.com – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of OpenClipart-Vectors’ Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License
Third Inset Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Fourth Inset Image Courtesy of Gilbert Mercier’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License