A few weeks ago former president Bill Clinton stated "the Democratic Party is the party of Civil Rights and the Party of Opportunity". I can agree with Mr. Clinton on the civil rights part - after a certain period of time that is.
Mr. Clinton's pronouncemnt, as expected went unchallenged. I expect a proponent of a given party to tell the world about all of the good stuff about his respective party. I also expect, in this case, for the Black journalists and opinion writers to say "No so fast Mr. President - you haven't told the complete story". So is the case here. Unfortunately most Black journalists are also either Democrats or they are Independents who favor Democrats. There was little chance that Mr. Clinton's words would be challenged.
Here is an interesting article on former President Woodrow Wilson. If you read the main-line history books you will see Wilson as a progressive and a triumphant character. Unfortunately for Black people at the time of his tenure the world "tyrant" would come to replace the word "triumphant". I had my eye on Wilson for several years having seen his documentrary and noted his racist antics.
Though many would like us to believe that the Democrats who become Dixiecrats all left to become Republicans (and thus THEIR party just loves Black folks) the truth of the matter is that Wilson was a progressive and a liberal on most other causes besides the cause of civil rights for Black folks. This truth cannot be allowed to be washed away as modern day Black folks seek to defend their party's honor
Article: Dixiecrats triumphant: the secret history of Woodrow Wilson
Wilson's historical reputation is that of a farsighted progressive. That role has been assigned to him by historians based on his battle for the League of Nations, and the opposition he faced from isolationist Republicans. Indeed, the adjective "Wilsonian," still in use, implies a positive if hopelessly idealistic vision for the extension of justice and democratic values throughout the world. Domestically, however, Wilson was a retrograde racist, one who attempted to engineer the diminution of both justice and democracy for American blacks--who were enjoying little of either to begin with. (In fact, Wilson reportedly struck a racial-equality clause from the League of Nations charter as well.)
What Wilson's election meant to the South was "home rule"--that is, license to pursue its racial practices without concern about federal interference. That is exactly what the 1948 Dixiecrats wanted. But Southern "home rule" was only the beginning of the administration's racial politics. Upon taking power in Washington, Wilson and the many other Southerners he brought into his cabinet set about changing the way the federal government handled its own race matters.
For example, one Legacy of the post-Civil War Republican ascendancy was that Washington's large black populace had access to federal jobs and worked with whites in largely integrated circumstances. In some departments, white clerks worked under black supervision. Wilson's cabinet put an end to that, bringing Jim Crow to Washington.
Wilson allowed various officials to segregate the toilets, cafeterias, and work areas of their departments. One justification involved health: White government workers had to be protected from contagious diseases, especially venereal diseases, that racists imagined were being spread by blacks. Black federal supervisors, along with most black diplomats, were replaced by whites; numerous black federal officials in the South were removed from their posts; the local Washington police force and fire department stopped hiring blacks.
Wilson's own view was that federal segregation was an act of kindness. In historian Friedman's paraphrase, "Off by themselves with only a white supervisor, blacks would not be forced out of their jobs by energetic white employees."
Indeed, Wilson said as much to those appalled blacks who protested his actions. He told one unhappy black delegation that "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen." When the startled journalist William Monroe Trotter objected, Wilson essentially threw him out of the White House. "Your manner offends me," Wilson told him.
Blacks all over the country complained angrily about the administration--Wilson had actually courted the black vote in the 1912 campaign, and they felt betrayed. The president was unmoved. "If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me;' he told The New York Times in 1914, "they ought to correct it."