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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat May 29, 2021, 02:31 PM

2. Black leaders were gradually pushed out of the GOP.

Percentage of Southern black delegates to Republican National Conventions, 1868-1952. (Figure: Boris Heersink & Jeffrey A. Jenkins)

For a generation after Reconstruction’s end, these Southern state parties had a significant number of black Republicans in leadership positions. In Texas, for example, Norris Wright Cuney — a black man — was the state party “boss” between 1884 and 1896.

But over time, white-supremacist Republicans — known as the Lily-Whites — pushed black leaders like Cuney and their white allies — known as the Black-and-Tans — out of the party.

In some states — like North Carolina, Alabama and Virginia — the purge of black leaders was quick and lasting. Other states fended off the Lily-Whites for a time. Mississippi, for example, remained under the control of Perry Howard, a black man, until 1960 — and consistently sent majority black delegations to the GOP convention.

During Reconstruction, when black voters were the Republican Party’s core Southern constituency, a whiter party leadership resulted in the GOP losing votes. Black voters were paying attention and punished their state GOP if black leadership declined.

However, after Southern Democrats passed legislation to disenfranchise black voters, that switched. The whiter the party leadership was, the better the GOP did in elections — whether those were presidential, congressional or gubernatorial elections.

Although this fight was mostly over control of federal patronage, the Lily-Whites argued that the only way for the GOP to win elections in the region again was to become a “white” party and purge its black leaders. This was because black voters were largely disenfranchised and white Southern voters were unwilling to vote for a “Negro” party.

Many have noted that whiteness is a fundamental part of today’s Republican Party. Our results suggest that this is nothing new and show where it came from. The Southern GOP consciously decided in the early 20th century to make itself white by excluding blacks from the party leadership. This was a necessary condition for making the Southern Republican Party viable — and ultimately dominant — in elections in the late 20th century.

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Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 29 OP
llashram May 29 #1
LineNew Reply Black leaders were gradually pushed out of the GOP.
Marcuse May 29 #2
stillcool May 29 #3
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