New efforts to end racial progress and justify bigotry.

Byron Donalds, the US Representative for Florida and contender for the position of Vice President under Trump, suggested that the Jim Crow era had a silver lining: “You see, during Jim Crow, the Black family was together.”

Rep. Donalds joins Joy Reid to discuss the backlash.

Donalds made the remark during a Black voter outreach event held for the former president, suggesting that Jim Crow had positive aspects despite it being a time of brutal social and political oppression for African Americans.

A vast majority of Black people had limited resources and opportunities during Jim Crow. Donalds’ “family values” talking point suggests that creating a strong family can protect Black people from racism, but it can’t. Jim Crow institutionalized economic, educational, political, and social disadvantages and second class citizenship for most African Americans living in the United States.

Donalds also claimed that “Black people were more conservative-minded” and “voted conservatively.” While the majority of Black registered voters supported Republicans during that era, their political ideology did not align with modern conservativism.

In 1868, White men killed nearly 250 Black people in Opelousas, Louisiana, to stop them from exercising their right to vote. by 1900, black voters were reduced to 5,320 on the rolls, although they comprised the majority of the state’s population. By 1910, only 730 black people were registered, less than 0.5% of eligible black men.

Donalds’ misguided belief that Black families were better off during Jim Crow is rooted in a narrow interpretation of history, one that overlooks the atrocities inflicted upon the Black community. Ida B. Wells, a Republican anti-lynching advocate and renowned journalist, stated, “Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.”

 

 

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