February 15, 2013

White sheets and wheelchairs

History is a fluid thing. Facts come and go out of fashion. Today's popular narrative is that the Democrats are the party of Civil Rights. Somehow Lincoln and the radical Republicans who ended slavery are dismissed.  The Republicans who passed the various Civil Rights Acts in the 1890's, 1950's and 1960's are overlooked and LBJ gets the credit.

Today's modern Liberal points to FDR as the end-all, be-all; the scion of progressive policy.  He is the consummate Democrat. Current historical fashion paints a picture of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt as the defenders of the common man, the model uber-rich who democratized America, the author of Social Security, and pioneers in women's rights. Somehow, the fact that Roosevelt was a racist never enters the conversation.  Despite recommendations of the Joint Chiefs, he kept the military segregated. It was Truman who opened up the military.

Perhaps you may not know that FDR only invited white Olympians to the White House following the 1936 Olympics. History tells how the black American Jesse Owens humiliated Hitler and his notions of Aryan Supremacy.  It is reported Hitler refused to shake Owens hand. Yet FDR did not even acknowledge Owens' miraculous winning of four gold medals in a single Olympic Games.

"Hitler didn't snub me -- it was [FDR] who snubbed me," said Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals. "The president didn't even send me a telegram."

It is too bad history is not taught in school any more. 

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