Democrats well-represented in slavery, segregation

Of the 10 U.S. presidents listed by Gary Dielman in his opinion piece “The White House and slavery” (Baker City Herald, Sept. 8) three were members of the Democrat Party. They were Andrew Jackson (seventh president), Martin van Buren (eighth president), and James K. Polk (11th president). All other presidents listed were of political parties which no longer exist. Please note that none of the 10 listed were members of the Republican party. Also, it should be noted that the great emancipator of the slaves was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican party member.

Other noteworthy Democrats in regards to slavery and civil rights were:

1. Jefferson Davis, Democrat, and president of the Confederacy. A slave owner and slavery advocate.

2. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Democrat and Civil War cavalry general was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

3. Woodrow Wilson, Democrat and 28th president of the United States, imposed segregation on the federal civil service system

4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Democrat and 32nd president of the United States placed 120,000 United States citizens in internment camps during World War II based only on their Japanese heritage.

5. Theophilus “Bull” Connor, Democrat and commissioner of public safety in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s and is known for the notorious use of attack dogs and fire hoses on Black civil rights marchers.

6. Orval Faubus, Democrat and governor of Arkansas refused to comply with the landmark decision “Brown versus Board of Education” which decreed segregation of public schools unconstitutional. He used the National Guard to prevent Black students from attending Little Rock Central High School.

7. Robert Byrd, Democrat and U.S. senator for 51 years ending in 2010. He was an exalted cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan and helped the KKK’s return to West Virginia.

So, since Dielman points to centuries old history and slavery it is obvious what is the common denominator.

Neal Jacobson

Baker City

Let’s be inclusive in our blessings of people

Black Lives Matter is a phrase that rubs some folks the wrong way. The response is often All Lives Matter, and locally, an All Lives Matter billboard.

Black Lives Matter attempts to raise awareness of a long history of killing and devaluing the lives of Blacks, from slavery to lynching to you-can’t-vote to terrible schools to don’t-use-white-drinking-fountains to don’t-touch-a-white to redlining real estate to job discrimination to biased imprisonment to immoral harassment and killing by police.

Yet Black Lives Matter still bugs some people who say we shouldn’t single out Blacks. What about White Lives? BLM is just not right! A phrase so exclusive of most people is plain wrong!

For those who feel this way, I recommend you never say God Bless America again — it obviously singles out a certain people. What about Canada? What about Norway? What about Botswana? Why exclude most of the good, God-fearing people throughout the world? That’s just not right! A phrase so exclusive of most people is plain wrong!

If you wish to request a blessing from God, I recommend Tiny Tim — “God bless us, every one.”

Charles Jones

La Grande

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