At a 2019 Sunday Service in Salt Lake City, Kanye seemed to imply that the Republican Party as we know it today is the party of Lincoln, the group of folks that freed the slaves. Many a Kathy with a Nancy Grace haircut has made the same claim on Facebook. Lincoln as the benevolent savior of Black people is obviously a whole other myth that needs debunking. However, many Republicans claim their connection to Lincoln as the great redeeming quality to refute any claims of racism the party faces. In response, many confused middle school students in the midst of US history wonder why these people haven’t understood that at some point the parties, their ideologies and their voters literally crossed-over like Mr. Peanut Butter on an episode of Horsin’ Around or when Yeezy and Jay sang about each other's neighborhoods in "Gotta Have It." This information is so obvious and established that it’s literally its own Wikipedia page. No research required: issa click to.
So let’s take a look at the Kanye/Kathy claim that the Whig Party that issued the Emancipation Proclamation is the party called Republican in 2020.
Abraham Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party that met it’s demise in the face of the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act that allowed for the expansion of slavery into certain U.S. territories. Whigs were split over the issue, and opponents of slavery expansion formed the new Republican Party. Lincoln joined that party and became the first president of the Republican Party as we know it. Now a rose is a rose is a rose but a Republican is not a 2016 Republican is not an 1854 Republican. Technically speaking, the "Republican Party is the party of Lincoln" but this distinction is mostly nominal in nature. Let’s take a look at the history.
The Republican Party, in its early years of defending the Union, embraced the notion of a strong federal power to keep the Union in tact, and further crystallized the idea of large government in the Reconstruction Era. A strong force in Washington could help protect the recently-freed slaves from racist policies that would function as a thinly-veiled return to slavery or a new subjugating system in the South. As well all know, Reconstruction worked perfectly and the close of the Civil War saw the end of all racial inequality in this great nation... Reconstruction fell a part and America further solidified its racial caste system that prevails today.
At the same time, the Democratic Party wanted to limit Congress’ reach and protect the racialized social system. White Southerners' embraced the Democratic Party in response. Everyone was racist but Democrats were more racist! Much like today, only backwards, which is my whole point!
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the parties started to trade ideological talking cards, though some look to William Jennings Bryan of your freshman year English unit on Inherit The Wind as a sort of early pinpoint. Bryan hated evolution in the classroom but he loved workers' rights. We are a complex life form. While the parties began to turn flip-flop-upside-down around the start of the 20th century, the political cliques as we know them really solidified their Burn Book content around the New Deal Era.
During the industrialization period, Republicans got bored of protecting Black people and turned towards protecting the interests of big business, which was all well and good for their party until the Depression hit and people were pissed. Unfortunately Adam Mckay wasn’t around at that point to help us make sense of it all, but FDR, whose racial scorecard sucks, used the anger at Republican and their intimacy with big businesses to garner support from ailing Americans looking for help from the federal government. Thus the New Deal was born. I just took Constitutional Law so I’m sick of talking about this topic, but you get the (new) deal: FDR creates a whole bunch of government programs to help the folks and we get a huge push towards the not-so-Progressive Era we know today. Southerners began flocking towards the Republican Party; their loyalties previously committed to the Democrats. While the New Deal legislation didn’t benefit Black people as extensively as it did white people, Black Americans still recognized that the progressive involvement of the government could lead to increased civil rights and equality in the country. Having previously supported Republicans, they began casting their ballots for Democrats. Quite obviously, the parties switched @ye.
Side bar: Eleanor Roosevelt pushed her husband to be more receptive to including Black people in his legislative policy, and Congress had its own Kanye at the time, Rep. Arthur Mitchell (below) who refused to support legislation backed by the NAACP. Cute!
So the next time Kathy in your twitter mentions call herself part of the Party of Lincoln, newly-emboldened by Yeezy talking his shit again, check her.
More reading to use to check said-Kathy: