Unemployment for African Americans is projected to reach a 25-year high this year, according to a study released Thursday by an economic think tank, with the national rate soaring to 17.2 percent and the rates in five states exceeding 20 percent.
Blacks as well as Latinos were far behind whites in employment levels even when the economy was booming. But throughout the recession, the jobless rate has grown much faster for African- Americans and Latinos than for whites, according to the study by the Economic Policy Institute. The unemployment gap between men and women also has reached a record high — with men far outpacing women in joblessness.
The first meeting of African-Americans for Sen. Harry Reid was more like a religious revival than a political rally, with shouts of “Amen” filling the air.
Donna Brazile, the Democrats’ most prominent black female operative, told the crowd of about 400 blacks from all walks of life that Reid is “a fighter, a warrior, a good, honest, decent man, a person who doesn’t look at the color of our skin but the content of our character,”
The Obama machine that registered 100,000 new Democrats in the state is back working to save Reid’s Senate seat.
The latest January Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows Reid losing to Republicans Danny Tarkanian, Sue Lowden and Sharron Angle. According to the poll, Reid has about one-quarter of the independent vote, and his GOP rivals have more than half the nonpartisans.
In 1850, Democrats passed the Fugitive Slave Law that denied any person accused of being a slave (approximately 11 percent of blacks were free before the Civil War) the right to representation by an attorney, the right to trial by jury, and the right to habeas corpus.
In 1854 Democrats passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act to allow for the importation of slaves into the territories. Responding to the Act, free-soilers and anti-slavery constituencies in the Whig and Democratic parties founded the Republican Party to abolish slavery.
In 1865, the 13th Amendment emancipating the slaves was passed with 100 percent of Republicans (88 of 88 in the House, 30 of 30 in the Senate) voting for it. Only 23 percent of Democrats (16 of 66 in the House, 3 of 8 in the Senate) voted for it.
In 1868, the 14th Amendment was passed giving the newly emancipated blacks full civil rights and federal guarantee of those rights, superseding any state laws. Every single voting Republican (128 of 134 — with 6 not voting — in the House, and 30 of 32 — with 2 not voting — in the Senate) voted for the amendment. Not one Democrat (zero of 36 in the House, zero of 6 in the Senate) voted for it.
In 1870, Congress passed the 15th Amendment guaranteeing blacks the right to vote. Every Republican voted for it, and every Democrat voted against it.
In the 1872 congressional investigations, Democrats admitted they started the Ku Klux Klan to stop the spread of the Republican Party and to re-establish Democrat control in the South. Southern Democrats formed the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1865 to intimidate through violence blacks and Republicans who tried to win political power. The most prominent of these.”
Following the Civil War, 23 blacks — 13 of them ex-slaves — were elected to Congress, all as Republicans. The first black Democrat was not elected to Congress until 1935, from the state of Illinois. The first black congressional Democrat from a Southern state was not elected until 1973.
Between 1870 and 1875, the Republican Congress passed many pro-black civil rights laws. But Democrats took control of the House in 1876 and no further race-based civil rights laws were passed until 1957.
In 1892, Democrats gained control of the House, the Senate and the White House, and repealed all the Republican-passed civil rights laws, which enabled the Southern Democrats to pass the Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, and literacy tests in their individual states.
In the mid-1960s, the Republican Party devised the “Southern Strategy” to marginalize racist Southern Democrats. The Party was to be based on the on a foundation of states’ rights, human rights, small government, and a strong national defense and leave the Democrat Governors Lester Maddox, George Mahoney, and George Wallace with the rotting corpse of racial injustice.