The Future of the Democratic Party Depends on Getting It Right on Race

The Democratic Party has a mixed legacy on race, to put it charitably. But the lines may never have been set up more favorably for it than today.That's one reason the controversy over racism in Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's past is so important, and why his quick departure is so important.Divisions have not always been as they are today.In the post-Civil War era, Democrats passed laws to block Republican moves supporting the South's newly emancipated black population. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson re-segregated the federal government. Southern Democrats led efforts against federal civil rights legislation into the mid-20th Century.And even Franklin D. Roosevelt, the greatest Democratic president of the last century, made only minimal moves toward recognizing black Americans' rights, concerned about maintaining his support among Southern lawmakers who provided strong support for his international policies in an era of isolationism.  Continue reading...

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