HONORING THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEGACY OF THE GOP

Statement from the Rockland County Young Republicans

February 1st marked the beginning of Black History Month. Known as the “Father of Black History,” the national distinction was started in 1926 by black historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson, to commemorate the birthday of abolitionist and fellow black Republican Fredrick Douglass.

The Rockland County Young Republicans honor historically important black Republicans who have forever made a positive imprint in the shaping of America. Among these black Republicans was former slave and Civil Rights advocate Booker T. Washington, first African-American baseball player Jackie Robinson, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, agricultural scientist George Washington Carter, and abolitionist Sojourner Truth. Many modern civil rights leaders of the 1950s and 60s were also registered Republicans.

The organization would also like to honor some of the “Radical Republicans” (Republican politicians who were radically opposed to the institution of slavery and sought its demise) Charles Sumner, Salmon Chase and Thaddeus Stevens, and celebrate the civil rights achievements of the GOP which include: the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments and the Civil Rights Acts of the 1950s and 60s, which the Republican Party supported in numbers greater than the Democratic Party. These milestones afforded African-Americans the right to be part of the American fabric through citizenship and freedom.

Today, African-Americans enjoy far more rights and a better quality of life than what has been the historical reality in America. It is to the betterment of both the American and the human spirit to continue down the path of mutual respect and freedom as a people. The Rockland County Young Republicans believe it is important to salute historical great Americans and to applaud the Republican Party for its rich civil rights heritage. It is a heritage that is rarely spoken of nor attributed to the GOP but one worthy of acknowledgment nonetheless.

The African-American story is one of the most unique in our history as a nation. It embodies our struggle as a people to fight against the darkness of the human soul to live up to the assertion so elegantly enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, that: “all men are created equal.” From the birth of our party, Republicans have strived for a nation where all could be born and live freely. It is this legacy and the eventual realization of this dream that we Republicans hold as our firm commitment.

The Rockland County Young Republicans invites all young Republicans and any youth interested in the organization to visit www.rocklandyrs.com or Rockland County Young Republicans on Facebook. If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Chairman Jason Rielly, please call Jason Rielly at 315-704-8216 or e-mail Jason at jason.rielly@yahoo.com.