Vail Daily letter: Race and politics |

Vail Daily letter: Race and politics

From the perspective of a legal immigrant, arriving in 1978 from New Zealand, the US seemed an ideal place for a Kiwi at 25, then distant from a very beautiful but welfare state country. Dependency, crime and racial issues were and still are political rugby football, vacillating back and forth according to the whim of either party, National or Labour (GOP and DNC, respectively.)

Jimmy Carter was the president then, a philanthropic man with a big heart for his country. He would be remembered, however, for foreign policy blunders with our servicemen in Iran. He also pardoned draft-dodgers, gave away the Panama Canal, and then allowed Cuba to send their asylum and prison inmates.

Jimmy’s agenda within race relation context was fuzzy, confusing most with his endorsements for racial segregationists, whilst courting black votes in Georgia. So why does this matter inside the historically democratic blueprint (no pun intended) that they be minority-friendly? Bear with me, as I’ve researched our Constitution for answers I wasn’t expecting, given the grief Hillary Clinton gives Donald Trump as a GOP racist.

• The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, was supported by 100 percent of Republicans and only 23 percent of Democrats.

• The 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship to freed slaves, was supported by 100 percent Republicans and 0 percent by Democrats.

• The 15th Amendment, which gave freed black men the right to vote, was supported by 100 percent Republicans and 0 percent Democrats.

I discovered that Dems are the party of George Wallace, the KKK, Bull Conner, black codes and Jim Crow laws, while the Republicans championed civil rights acts in the 1960s. Martin Luther King’s father himself was a Republican. LBJ’s Great Society has been vilified by left and right for decades for the dependency legacy left for successive administrations to argue about.

I’m confused. Are you?

Pat Mitchell


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