NAACP jettisons Jefferson and Jackson: Why not the Democrat Party?

Democrats are doing their best to erase any history that connects them to slavery and their shameful role in it.

President Thomas Jefferson - President Andrew Jackson
President Thomas Jefferson - President Andrew Jackson

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2015 – The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) has finally gotten a moral consciousness. The organization announced that it is dropping Thomas Jefferson’s and Andrew Jackson’s names from its annual fundraising dinner in Connecticut because of the two presidents ties to slavery.

It has not, however, distanced itself from the Democrat Party, despite its role in slavery.

Jackson was known to be a no-nonsense slave owner, and active slave trader, and was not above using violence to remind his slaves who was in charge. In 1804, one of his slaves escaped his Hermitage plantation. Jackson then offered a reward for his return, including an additional amount to anyone who administered 300 whiplashes on him.

Female slaves were treated no differently.

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Jackson’s attitudes towards his slaves changed after the death of one of his frequent runaways named Gilbert. After his recaptured, by one of Jackson’s overseers named Ira Walton, Gilbert managed to free himself from the ropes that bound him. In a violent struggle with Walton, Gilbert was stabbed repeatedly, and died a short while after his throat was cut.

The loss of his slave upset Jackson who unsuccessfully tried to have Walton indicted for murder. From that moment on, Jackson ensured that his slaves were treated with humanity.

Jackson is looked upon as the father of the Democrat Party, a party of rich, mostly slave-owning men. But should that be a reason to banish Jackson’s name? Little known is that thirty years before the Civil War and President Lincoln’s effort to preserve the union, Jackson played an important role in preserving the United States of America, too.

In 1832, Vice President John C. Calhoun argued vehemently in support of a law passed by his home state, South Carolina which said it had a constitutional right to “nullify” any congressional act it didn’t like. The law included a provision for South Carolina to secede from the Union if it didn’t get its way.

Jackson, who as a general won the Battle of New Orleans to culminate the War of 1812, fought the secessionists with brilliant rhetoric. In summation, he noted that while America was an amalgamation of many states, it was one people with one government.

To give his argument more backbone, Jackson got Congress to pass the Force Act, which gave the President authority to employ state militia and federal troops to crush any rebellion. South Carolina subsequently backed down and repealed its nullification law. Though that particular battle was over tariffs, Jackson predicted that the looming fight over slavery would be the true test of the Union’s strength.

Much liked other Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves too; reportedly up to 200 of them. He even had a lifelong affair with one and fathered several children with her, all whom he eventually freed.

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Much like slaves born into slavery, many future presidents were born into the slave culture. Their families already owners of slaves. And just like slaves did not want to live a life of servitude, there were men who did not relish their role as slave owners.

Owning slaves was not a cheap venture.

You had to clothe them, feed them, shelter them and provide some degree of medical care for them. Notwithstanding these things, you had to first purchase them. One slave could cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 dollars, which was a lot of money, and some slave owners owned well over 100 slaves.

And let’s not forget, there were times the slave owner felt a need to discipline them.

The fact that someone was born into a certain situation does not mean that person approves of it. Though there were malevolent slaves owners, they were also kind and benevolent owners. Few people know that in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote and gave notice to England that the Colonies were intent on doing away with slavery which had been allowed to take root under the king’s rule.

Directed solely at King George III, for creating and sustaining the slave trade, describing it as “a cruel war against human nature,” Jefferson wrote:

“He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.”

The passage, however, was edited out by request of the delegates from South Carolina and Georgia. Jefferson remained upset about this removal of the condemnation of slavery right up until his death.

Of the thirteen states that voted on this measure in the original draft, eleven of the states actually voted to do away with the institution of slavery in America. In other words, the same Founding Fathers that are reviled and demeaned and treated with disdain today for owning slaves were actually prepared to abolish slavery back then. But two southern states managed to block its passage.

If one’s connection to slavery is now the standard the NAACP uses to decide affiliation with, then this organization should immediately disassociate itself from the very party it now supports: the Democratic Party.

It was Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Democrat, who founded the Ku Klux Klan. It was President Woodrow Wilson, a progressive democrat, who segregated civil service jobs after 50 years of integration and economic opportunities under largely Republican administrations.

It was Wilson who was the first president to screen a movie at the White House named ‘The Birth of a Nation’, a movie that glorified the KKK. It was the Democrat Party in the South that instituted Jim Crow Laws. It was the Democrat Party in the South that instituted “separate but equal”. It was the Democrat Party in the South that effectively backed the Ku Klux Klan as its military force. It was George Wallace and the Democrat Party that said “Segregation Forever”.

It was Orval Faubus and the Democrat Party that wanted the Arkansas National Guard to enforce segregation. It was Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican President, that sent the 101st Airborne to integrate the schools.

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It was Bull Connor, a member of the Democrat National Committee, who turned the hoses on the marchers in Birmingham, and it was the Republicans who made up the majority that passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act over the filibuster of such Democrat paragons as Senator’s William Fulbright and Al Gore Sr. and Robert ‘KKK’ Byrd.

Historically, the Democrat Party vehemently fought every civil rights bill brought up by the Republicans. And no, the Dixiecrats didn’t join the Republican Party – less than a handful did.

If the NAACP is serious about removing itself from that which has connected its party to slavery, will it finally remove its support and affiliation with the very party that instituted slavery and caused the mistreatment and deaths of thousands of Blacks and White Republicans who supported freeing them?

Not likely.

Remember, this is a party that never apologized for its role in slavery. This announcement is nothing more than another effort to show that democrats have the moral high ground in the discussion on slavery, while totally dismissing the fact that their party was the architect of it.

Again, democrats are doing their best to erase any history that connects them to slavery and their shameful role in it.

What will be next?

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CS Bennett
A world traveler hailing from Philadelphia, this author is a decorated war veteran (Desert Shield/Desert Storm - United States Navy). Author has degrees in Social Science from Bethel College (now Bethel University), in Criminal Justice from the University of North Florida and in Political Science/Public Administration, also from the University of North Florida. Author graduated from UNF in 2012 with honors (Magna Cum Laude). Author resides in a small colorful rural town named Interlachen, Florida (pronounced Inter-lock’n). His books can be found on and Barnes & Noble Online Bookstore.