It’s Not About “Fighting Hate”: The Long History of Democrat Deplatforming Stretches Back to the 1830s
Contrary to modern Woke talk that “we must censor the internet or the Nazis will take over, led by evil #OrangeManBad,” the Democrats have a long history of deplatforming reaching back for as long as there has been a Democratic Party.
Democrats banned their enemies’ speech long before their recent parrot-slogans of “no free speech for fascists” and “changing the terms.” Democrat party founder Martin Van Buren helped arrange the gag rule to end abolitionist debate in Congress, and Andrew Jackson, the first Democrat President, “ordered his postmaster general to direct Southern postmasters to destroy abolitionist literature and asked Congress for a law banning it from the mails.” (Michael F. Holt, The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party, 1999, p.44)
Today’s cancel culture caps a long history of Democrat authoritarianism.
Democrats deplatformed abolitionists and smashed their printing presses, Woodrow Wilson censored antiwar literature from mail, FDR weaponized the FCC against his radio critics, and Segregationist Democrats targeted the jobs and loans of Southern civil rights activists. Democrats today weaponize fake compassion for fake victims as a pretext, doing real damage to good people for fake reasons. “Hate speech,” the go-to excuse, is a double standard, thus disproving that “hate speech” is even a thing. Democrats vilify America, conservatives, businessmen, white people, Christians and men without qualm, their woke conspiracy theories make them ruthless in persecuting America’s bill payers.
“They’re inciting violence!” is another old ploy. Any right-wing attack punctuating regular Democrat violence becomes a basis to suppress conservative ideas. It began early. Nat Turner’s rebellion occurred 7 months after the abolitionist Liberator started publishing. The planter class and their pet Democrats blamed the abolitionist press, organizing mob attacks on abolitionist printers, anticipating the present Democrat-donors Facebook, Twitter, and Google banning effective conservatives.
Lincoln’s election guaranteed the ability to appoint Southern postmasters, meaning an end to censorship of antislavery literature. (Larry Schweikart & Michael Allen, A Patriot’s History of the United States, 2004, p.298) Democrats, then as now, favored censorship. This continued postwar, against both Republicans and Populists. ” ‘There is a record,’ says [historian Cornelius Vann] Woodward, ‘of Populists being turned out of church, driven from their homes, and refused credit because of their beliefs…A Southern Populist leader told a Western writer, “The feeling of the Democracy against us is one of murderous hate. I have been shot at many times. Grand juries will not indict our assailants. Courts give us no protection’ ”
Not only were Populist leaders subjected to these pressures. In Augusta, Georgia, for example, the ” ‘Job-lash’ was used…to force mill employees, white and black, to vote ‘regular’: Some who refused to heed the warning were discharged.” (C. Vann Woodward, Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel (New York: MacMillan, 1938), 223, 154, cited in V.O. Key, Southern Politics, 1949, p.553) winning a Democrat primary equaled Southern election, but “being a Republican could mean the loss of jobs, business contracts, or social connections and involvement.” (Terrel L. Rhodes, Republicans In The South, 2000, p.38) “In those days, Democrats bought gasoline only at service stations owned by Democrats, and Republicans shopped only at stores owned by Republicans. Parents in Democratic families frowned on their offspring marrying or even dating Republicans and vice versa. Last names immediately told one the party to which a person belonged. All Taylors, Brysons, Dentons, Carvers, Plotts, and Millers were Democrats; all the Corns, Wests, Shooks, Woods, and Berrys were Republicans.” (Zell Miller, A National Party No More, 2004, p.22) Democrat Woodrow Wilson deplatformed antiwar literature, and jailed his critics, including Socialist Eugene Debs, for being the wrong flavor of Leftist (Republican Warren G. Harding pardoned him).
FDR knew his New Deal Tammany-on-the-Potomac was morally indefensible. Thus, his goons at the FCC required radio stations to submit transcripts of all programs that dealt with “public affairs” for FCC clearance, and threatened to revoke broadcast licenses of stations defying FDR, a 1930s Deplatforming Scheme. “In the first weeks of the Roosevelt administration, NBC instituted a policy barring the president’s critics from broadcasts. Henry Bellows of CBS told Roosevelt’s press secretary immediately after the inauguration that “the close contact between you and the broadcasters has tremendous possibilities of value to the administration, and as a lifelong Democrat, I want to pledge my best efforts in making this cooperation successful” “Both CBS and NBC continued to ban critics of the New Deal through the 1930s and into the war.” FDR’s court packing scheme never made it on air; the Philadelphia Inquirer brought it to light. An angry FDR sent the IRS after the paper’s owner–and Obama clearly took notes. (Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Three New Deals (New York: Henry Holt, 2006), 79; Thaddeus Russell, “The Surprising History of What Europe’s Dictators Thought of the New Deal,” August 4, 2011, AlterNet, Renegade History 256-257)
Democrats used deplatforming to protect segregation, such as with the Citizens Councils–and Kevin M(ountebank) Kruse’s hallucinations aside, their utterances and tactics distinguish them from today’s Republicans. Jim Crow imposed big government social engineering on free markets, enforced by both law and deplatforming, often working in tandem. For example, the State of Alabama, post-Montgomery Bus Boycott, demanded a list of NAACP members as condition of letting them operate in the state, all the better to harass and deplatform.
Yet Alabama, despite its racist crudities, was not Mississippi, where the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission funneled taxpayer money to the Citizens Councils. (Maryanne Vollers, Ghosts of Mississippi: The Murder of Medgar Evers, the trials of Byron de la Beckwith, and the Haunting of the New South. (Little, Brown, April 1995), 75) The White Citizens Council (D-MS) used the same cancel culture tactics seen today; they threatened opponents’ jobs, got them fired or evicted, lined up boycotts, and made sure activists couldn’t get loans. (“White Citizens’ Council aimed to maintain ‘Southern way of life’ “, The Jackson Sun; David Halberstam, “The White Citizens Councils: Respectable Means for Unrespectable Ends,” October 1, 1956, Commentary Magazine; John Dittmer. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (University of Illinois Press, May 1, 1995), 46-48) Despite proclaimed nonviolence, violence often accompanied such segregationist Democrat cancel culture campaigns. (Charles M. Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle (University of California Press, March 16, 2007), 34-35)
“The Citizens’ Councils systematically attempted to suppress dissent at home. From the start, they employed economic intimidation as a form of suasion when African Americans supported desegregation, voted, or otherwise forgot their place. A council leader in Alabama was blunt: “We intend to make it difficult, if not impossible, for a Negro who advocates desegregation to find and hold a job, get credit, or renew a mortgage.” When Black parents petitioned for desegregated schools during the summer of 1955, the councils published the names of petitioners and encouraged an employers’ blacklist. Although effective, the reprisals commanded media coverage, and blacks fought back with their own economic boycotts. After the mid-fifties, the pronouncements of council officers became more guarded.
“We do not recommend economic pressure,” Robert Patterson, the executive secretary of Citizens’ Councils of America, told a journalist. “That’s false propaganda from the press. But of course we don’t denounce freedom of choice in business arrangements. If employers fire their help, that’s their business.” (Alston Keith quoted in Southern School News, January, 1955; Patterson quoted in Dan Wakefield, Revolt in the South (New York, 1960), 45; “the Southerner [likely Republican] opposed to segregation: “Don’t let him eat at your table, don’t let him trade at your filling station, and don’t let him trade at your store” (Herman Talmadge, quoted in The Citizens Council (Pamphlet, 1956)) (Numan V. Bartley, The New South: 1945-1980, 1995, p. 204-205)
Behavioral continuity on display: Democrats cancelled and doxed then, as they do now, only the national media today favors the doxers and cancellers. Even the later pivot to “but they’re a private company” (as they engage in nakedly political, non-economic firings) parallels “wrong opinion-get fired” cases like James Damore’s. The “Cotton Curtain” still had non-Southern press to contend with. (The Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Passage of the Law That Ended Racial Segregation, edited by Robert D. Loevy, 1997, p.41) Democrat segregationists, their violence caught on tape, often then attacked reporters, just like Antifa today. Only today, the DNC press helps big tech remove any counterweight, and makes excuses for the Democrat-controlled Antifa.
Herbert Marcuse, a Frankfurt School communist and notable promoter of the “Nazis are right wing” hoax, created the trendiest abuser excuses and double standards, among them, that speech suppression could have stopped Hitler. But Weimar Germany did have hate speech laws. They failed. Only debate stops tyranny. Anyone stopping debate wants to start tyranny, not stop it. No idea is too dangerous for mere discussion. Regardless, Marcuse published Repressive Tolerance in 1965, its over-jargoned sophistry excused, nay, encouraged Leftist violence while condemning conservative speech.
This 1965 plan and supporting…”sensibility”, builds on the 1830s-originated pattern, and predates Trump by decades. Trump is the incident, Marcuse is the cause.
Marcuse’s excuses graduated from radical classrooms to establishment newsrooms, who smear their competitors to get them banned. (Make Libel Laws Great Again, so they have to broadcast news, not smears.) Democrat party press once stirred up mobs and lynching with lies about Blacks, aka, Republicans, paralleling violence against modern conservatives, such as the Trump supporter assassinated in Portland, or the hundreds of documented attacks on Trump supporters.
Democrats have a monopoly on lasting organized partisan political violence. They deny any connection to their violent front organizations, yet few can fail to connect the dots, then, or now. From the Klan to mafia-allied union thugs to radical SDS bombers to Antifa and BLM today, the Democrats alone used organized political terror, again undercutting “the parties switched” conspiracy theories. Underscoring this, no Republican equivalent exists to either the Klan, or any lasting (as in “more than one over-hyped incident”) organized political violence. Likewise, we never saw Federalists, Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans, or Whigs organize any equivalent to the Klan or Antifa to attack their opponents; only one party ever did this. Militias, insofar as they’re even Republicans as opposed to unaffiliated fringe, aren’t significant, aren’t a national force, and never have been.
Isolated instances, selective reporting, and inflation of politically useful incidents notwithstanding, most of political violence in American history came from the political left. This is concealed through constant reporting of the man-bites-dog stories, sleight-of-hand in defining “terrorism” and “political violence,” and deceptively defining Southern Democrat violence of old as “conservative,” even though they hated capitalism and voted for the New Deal.
Today’s toughguys, the ironically-named “anti-fascists” of Antifa, are neoliberal foot soldiers who riot when Republicans win and when Los Angelinos protest corona restrictions…but never when the DNC screwed Bernie…TWICE. And no 2020-style mayhem followed any of Establishment Joe Biden’s actions. Antifa are the fakest revolutionaries ever, who never attack anything the Democrat establishment cares about. This gives them away.
Most claims for suppressive aims prove false. Gabby Giffords’ attacker wasn’t a Republican, nor 2010 IRS building kamikaze pilot Joseph Stack, nor 90%+ of the maniacs the press blames Trump for. The attackers’ online statements blast Trump (like the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter) or, like with the Christchurch, New Zealand shooter, contain obvious satire: he claimed inspiration from Candace Owens…and the video-game character “Spyro the Dragon.” Guess which part the 90% Democrat-29% trusted media reported. These people are sick and twisted!
Finally, fraudulent history fuels false claims used to ban present conservatives, it’s the excuse for bad people doing bad things to good people for fake reasons. The Magical Switching Parties Conspiracy Theory enables the slavery-Jim Crow party to call everything and everyone “racist,” while also de-legitimizing election verifiability laws–only Democrats ever suppressed Black votes, so “party switch” claims prove invaluable to DNC media and DNC lawyers.
Needless to say, it is time for the American people to realize their own moral authority, and no longer be so impressed by the non-producer narcissists of the screechy preachy cringe fringe trying to tell them what to say, or trying to decide who even gets to talk. This is all part of the long Democrat con of ginning up pressure mobs, pretending those mobs speak for the majority rather than for a well-organized fringe, and then demanding their opponents be banned. None of this silencing has any connection to civil rights or any kind of actual justice; it is a style of organized intimidation campaign that goes back as far the Democrats themselves do.
This is an excerpt from pages 95-98 of “The DNC Media’s Playbook, or “Everything We Can’t Answer is Racist / Nazis” available for free download at narrativebusters.org