‘Study’ Suggests Slavery ‘Turns White People Into Republicans 150 Years Later’

Jeffrey Meyer
By Jeffrey Meyer | September 9, 2013 | 4:28 PM EDT

Did you ever wonder why you were a Republican or hold conservative values? Well if you were born below the Mason Dixon line the answer might be pretty simple: slavery. At least that’s the ridiculous conclusion published by a study hyped on the ultra-liberal Think Progress website.

The “study” written by three professors of political science at the University of Rochester contends that the reason President Obama did poorly among white voters in the South might be explained by slavery.

The authors claim that, “the larger the number of slaves in his or her county of residence in 1860, the greater the probability that a white Southerner today will identify as a Republican” and “express opposition to race-coded policies such as affirmative action, and express greater racial resentment towards African Americans.”

Neither the authors nor Think Progress’s Ian Millhisher explain exactly why opposing “race-coded policies such as affirmative action” are equivalent to pro-slavery sentiments. In fact, the most one could say is that opposition to policies such as affirmative action merely illustrate a rejection of liberalism.

Despite this, the “study” goes on to attempt to justify their findings that slavery drives conservatism today, arguing that the cause is, “the sudden enfranchisement of blacks was politically threatening to whites, who for centuries had enjoyed exclusive political power. In addition, the sudden emancipation of blacks substantially undermined whites’ economic power by suddenly increasing blacks’ wages and threatening the plantation economy.”

Ironically, such sentiments the authors expressed align with southern Democrats of the 1960s, who were ardent segregationists and pushed for Jim Crow laws. Think Progress disgustingly wants to conflate racist segregationist policies implemented by Democrats with Republicans in the South today.

Instead of distinguishing between southern Democrats who actually racially discriminated against African-Americans, and Republicans who oppose liberal policies falsely disguised as racial justice policies, Think Progress wants their readers to equate slavery and racism with Republican policies.

In fact, Think Progress fails to portray Republicans as hostile to minorities, quoting the study which actually describes racist Democratic attitudes which “led Southern white elites to promote localized anti-black sentiment by encouraging violence towards blacks, propagating racist norms and cultural beliefs, and, to the extent legally possible, pushing for the institutionalization of racist policies (such as Jim Crow laws). In turn, these racially hostile attitudes have persisted as each successive generation has, to some degree, inherited the attitudes and beliefs of the previous generation.”

Think Progress’s shameful attempts to rewrite history to shift blame for racist southern policies onto Republicans is wrong and exposes the disgusting lengths Democrats will go to, to cover up their racist history of disenfranchising and segregating minorities in the South.