Congressman: Recent Police Shootings a Backlash to Electing a Black President

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who pulled a ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ stunt on the House floor earlier this week, claims that the police shootings in Ferguson, Staten Island, and Cleveland are another in a long line of racial backlash, this time because of the election of a black President.

CNN’s Chritiane Amanpour asked the Congressman if he agreed with comedian Chris Rock when he said the election of Barack Obama was not black progress, but “white progress.”

After running off a litany of alleged examples of such backlash, Jeffries mentions Barack Obama and follows it up with the examples of Ferguson, Staten Island and Cleveland, as yet another instance of a backlash.

Jeffries:  We’ve gone from slavery to Emancipation to Reconstruction, and then a backlash resulted in Jim Crow which was basically institutionalized segregation in the deep South.  We then eradicated that to some degree with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but then there was another backlash to the efforts to make integration a reality all across the country. Anti-bussing, anti-Affirmative Action.  And so every time we’ve made progress in America – and we have – there’s always a backlash to that progress.  And so the election of Barack Obama was historic and will remain historic, but clearly while we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go and this is not a post-racial America.  And the instances in Ferguson and Cleveland where a young 12-year-old boy is being gunned down by a police officer, and then of course in Staten Island show that we still have work to do.

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It should be noted that the instances Jeffries uses to make his point were actually instances of Democrat backlash.  It was Bull Connor, an Alabama Democrat who used attack dogs and turned firehoses on black civil rights demonstrators in the early 1960s, who took nefarious actions to counter the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The party of segregation, the party of Jim Crow, has always been the Democrat party. Jeffries’ Democrat party.

Here’s a little reminder courtesy of Human Events and Jesse Jackson Jr. of all people:

… Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D.-Ill.) explained in an interview with Fox News contributor Angela McGlowan in her book Bamboozled:

“There is no doubt that the Democratic Party is the party of the Confederacy, historically, that the Democratic Party’s flag is the Confederate flag.  It was our party’s flag.  That Jefferson Davis was a Democrat, that Stonewall Jackson strongly identified with the Democratic Party, that secessionists in the South saw themselves as Democrats and were Democrats.  That so much of the Democratic Party’s history, since it is our nation’s oldest political party, has its roots in slavery.”

How did the same Jim Crow Democrats who fought tooth-and-nail with segregationists to keep blacks on a virtual plantation become the party that now wins 95% of the black vote?  Republicans passed Civil Rights laws, Democrats wrote revisionist history.

Also, when the FDR White House passed a federal anti-lynching bill in the ’30s, it was the entrenched Democrat senators in the south who “filibustered it to death.”

Share your thoughts on Hakeen Jeffries insinuating that Ferguson and Staten Island were just another example of ‘backlash’ to racial progress.


Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss