Waving The Bloody Shirt
January 15, 2011Posted by on
It’s amazing, a week after the shooting in Tuscon and the NYT is still trotting out the meme that hate speech is something that comes from the right. You can clearly see this from this column here:
I have written about violent rhetoric before, and I’m convinced that it’s poisonous to our politics, that the preponderance of it comes from the right, and that it has the potential to manifest in massacres like the one in Tucson.
Which just goes to show that like most other liberals out there, they have an utter lack of knowledge of history and are too lazy to use Google to find this out. You see, historically, the political speech was much more vitriolic and hateful in our country’s past then today and it actually did inspire violence. Matter of fact what we saw happen with the Tuscon shooting is something named for Civil War era politics: Waving the Bloody Shirt.
In the history of the United States, “waving the bloody shirt” refers to the practice of politicians referencing the blood of martyrs or heroes to criticize opponents. In American history, the phrase gained popularity with a factitious incident in which Benjamin Franklin Butler of Massachusetts, when making a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, allegedly held up a shirt stained with the blood of a carpetbagger whipped by the Ku Klux Klan. (While Butler did give a speech condemning the Klan, he never waved anyone’s bloody shirt.)
Now take a guess which party Mr Butler was from and which party made up that story to try and suppress that other party’s stance against the KKK?
Southerners mocked Butler, using the fiction of his having “waved the bloody shirt” to dismiss KKK and other white atrocities committed against freedpeople and Republicans.
Hmm, look at that. Actual violence committed against Republicans and freed people, whipped up by the Democratic Party.
The Red Shirts or Redshirts of the Southern United States were white paramilitary groups in the 19th century, active primarily after the formal Reconstruction era of the United States. They first arose in Mississippi in 1875, when Democratic Party private militias adopted red shirts to make themselves more visible and threatening to Republicans, both whites and freedmen. Similar groups formed in other Southern states also adopted Red Shirts.
Among the most prominent Red Shirts were supporters of Democratic Party candidate Wade Hampton during the campaigns for the South Carolina gubernatorial elections of 1876 and 1878. The Red Shirts were one of a number ofparamilitary organizations, such as the White League in Louisiana, that arose in the continuing insurgency of white Democrats in the South in the 1870s. Such groups acted as “the military arm of the Democratic Party.” While engaging interrorism, in contrast to secret vigilante groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Red Shirts and other paramilitary groups worked openly, were more organized and directed their efforts at political goals: to restore the Democrats to power by turning out Republicans, and repressing civil rights and voting by blacks.
You got that now? The Democrats not only fostered a “Climate of Hate” their political party formed Militias and performed actual violence against their political opponents including keeping African Americans in their place.
However that isn’t the first time Democrats used violence to further their political goals, they even beat a Senator on the floor of the US Senate:
Preston Smith Brooks (August 5, 1819 – January 27, 1857) was a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina, known for severely beating Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate with a cane in response to a speech Sumner had given that referred to Brooks’s cousin, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler
On May 22, 1856, Brooks beat Senator Charles Sumner with his Gutta-percha wood walking cane in the Senate chamber. The cause was a speech Sumner had made three days earlier, in which he had singled out a relative of Brooks, Senator Andrew Butler. Butler was not in attendance when the speech was read, but Sumner compared Butler with Don Quixote for embracing slavery, and mocked Butler for a physical handicap. Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, who was also a subject of criticism during the speech, suggested to a colleague while Sumner was orating that “this damn fool [Sumner] is going to get himself shot by some other damn fool.” (Jordan et al., The Americans)
At first intending to challenge Sumner to a duel, Brooks consulted with fellow South Carolina Rep. Laurence M. Keitt on dueling etiquette. Keitt instructed him that dueling was for gentlemen of equal social standing, and suggested that Sumner occupied a lower social status comparable to a drunkard due to the supposedly coarse language he had used during his speech. Brooks thus decided to attack Sumner with a cane.
Two days after the speech, on the afternoon of May 22, Brooks confronted Sumner as he sat writing at his desk in the almost empty Senate chamber. Brooks was accompanied by Keitt and Henry A. Edmundson of Virginia. Brooks said, “Mr. Sumner, I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine.” As Sumner began to stand up, Brooks began beating Sumner with his thick gutta-percha cane with a gold head. Sumner was trapped under the heavy desk (which was bolted to the floor), but Brooks continued to bash Sumner until he ripped the desk from the floor. By this time, Sumner was blinded by his own blood, and he staggered up the aisle and collapsed, lapsing into unconsciousness. Brooks continued to beat Sumner until he broke his cane, then quietly left the chamber. Several other senators attempted to help Sumner, but were blocked by Keitt who was brandishing a pistol and shouting “Let them be!” (Keitt would be censured for his actions and later died of wounds in 1864 fighting for the Confederacy during the US Civil War.)
Sumner was unable to return to his Senate duties for more than three years while he recovered. He later became one of the most influential Radical Republicans throughout the conduct of the American Civil War, and on through the early years of Reconstruction.
So as shown it was common for people to fight duels back then over political rhetoric, but this man attacked a defenseless man with a weapon while his buddy (another Democrat) stopped people from helping by threatening them with violence of a gun. Now what was the reaction of the newspapers? Did they cry out about the hate and violence of the Democrats? Hardly they cheered it:
The Richmond Enquirer crowed: “We consider the act good in conception, better in execution, and best of all in consequences. These vulgar abolitionists in the Senate must be lashed into submission.” The University of Virginia’s Jefferson Literary and Debating Society sent a gold-headed cane to replace Brooks’s broken one.
As shown the Democratic Party has a long running love affair with hate, violence and making false accusations to try and get its own way. As then, here now the Democrats are Waving the Bloody Shirt because their ideas and values have been found bankrupt by the American people and they desperately want to regain their lost power by any means necessary. How much they have forgotten what their party is founded on, how they have forgotten their leaders of today hangout and call friend acknowledged left wing terrorists. How they have forgotten their assassination fantasies of President G.W. Bush from the moment he won election and of murdering Gov. Palin when she was nominated for V.P in 2008. Until the Democrats realize they are the party of hate and violence and renounce it there will be no new tone, there will be no civility for they have none. Don’t want to believe it? Just take a trip down memory lane of Democrat left wing hate and violence here: