Exceptions to general party alignments

Released Sunday, 2nd February 2020
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https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publicat…
The realignment of black voters from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party that began in the late 1920s proliferated during this era. This process involved a “push and pull”: the refusal by Republicans to pursue civil rights alienated many black voters, while efforts—shallow though they were—by northern Democrats to open opportunities for African Americans gave black voters reasons to switch parties.26
The 1932 presidential contest between incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt was something of a turning point. During his first term, Hoover had tried to ingratiate himself with southern segregationists, and his administration had failed to implement economic policies to help African Americans laid low by the Great Depression. Still, Hoover received between two-thirds and three-quarters of the black vote in northern urban wards.27 Most black voters sided with Republicans less out of loyalty than because they were loath to support a candidate whose Democratic Party had zealously suppressed their political rights in the South. African Americans mistrusted FDR because of his party affiliation, his evasiveness about race in the campaign, and his choice of a running mate, House Speaker John Nance Garner of Texas.28

As late as the mid-1930s, African American Republican John R. Lynch, who had represented Mississippi in the House during and after Reconstruction, summed up the sentiments of older black voters and upper middle-class professionals: “The colored voters cannot help but feel that in voting the Democratic ticket in national elections they will be voting to give their endorsement [sic] and their approval to every wrong of which they are victims, every right of which they are deprived, and every injustice of which they suffer.”29

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Episode Details
Length
15m 57s
Explicit
No

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