GOP Texas congressman calls on US House to ban Democrats from chamber
WASHINGTON (KWTX) – U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, introduced a resolution Thursday that calls on the U.S. House to bar Democrats from the chamber because of the party’s historical ties to slavery and racism unless the party is renamed.
The resolution, introduced in response to the Democratic-backed push to remove Confederate-era symbols and statues from the U.S. Capitol, isn’t likely to gain much traction in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House, however.
“Efforts by Democrats to destroy all public traces of their own history of supporting slavery, the Confederacy, and segregation in an attempt to shift blame onto Republicans must no longer go unchallenged,” Gohmert wrote in an article published on the conservative Breitbart website.
“It is time for Democrats to play by their own rules, and accept the standards they have forced onto everyone else. They must divest themselves of their name that has denied so many the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Gohmert points out the Democratic Party, the country’s oldest existing political party, defended the rights of states in the years before the Civil War to decide the issue of slavery for themselves and supported the expansion of slavery into U.S. territories.
After the Civil War the party resisted Reconstruction-era measures from a Republican-controlled Congress to protect the civil and voting rights of blacks and by the mid-1870s Democratic-controlled state legislatures in the South managed to roll back reforms and implement Jim Crow Laws, suppressing black voting rights for decades.
Democrats pivoted in the 1960s, however.
After Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, he told his aide, Bill Moyers, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.”
Southern support for the Republican Party grew through the 1970s and 1980s, fueled in part by evangelical support for the party’s stand on such social and cultural issues as abortion.
Gohmert’s resolution calls on the speaker of the House to “remove any item that names, symbolizes or mentions any political organization or party that has ever held a public position that support slavery or the Confederacy from any area within the House wing of the Capitol or any House office building, and shall donate any such item or symbol to the Library of Congress” and says “Any political organization or party that has ever held a public position that supported slavery or the Confederacy shall either change its name or be barred from participation in the House of Representatives.”
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