WorldNetDaily columnist James Zumwalt has always had a shaky grasp of facts, and he demonstrates it again in his March 6 column. After pushing right-wing talking points about the death penalty and abortion, he turns to another subject he thinks he can bash Democrats over:
The third death link issue involves recalling history and a violent group Democrats helped foster 153 years ago – the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). While Democrats’ relationship with the KKK – a most violent supremacist group – no longer exists, today, liberals have replaced their support for one supremacist group seeking the death of non-members with another group having a similar mindset.
To entice the black vote today, Democrats falsely accuse Republicans of racism. But it was the Democratic Party that gave rise to the KKK in 1866 as Republicans struggled in the post-Civil War era to implement political and economic equality for blacks. Ironically, as Democrats rallied to support the KKK, blacks rallied to become Republicans. The first seven blacks elected to Congress were, in fact, Republican candidates.
Interestingly too, one of the Democratic Party’s most respected serving senators until his death in 2010 was Robert Byrd of West Virginia – a former senior KKK official. Today, listening to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters hurl venomous racist charges at President Donald Trump, it is hard to believe she is the same person who mightily defended Byrd in 2003.
Of course, the Democratic Party of the post-Civil War era is not the Democratic Party of today; as we've previously pointed out, the KKK was never an exclusively Democratic organization.
Further, Zumwalt ignores that Byrd repeatedly apologized for his Klan affiliation , something Waters highlighted upon his death: "Senator Byrd often spoke about his regret over participating in racist and anti-civil rights activities as a young man. I appreciated his willingness to publicly repudiate his membership with the Ku Klux Klan, and later his filibuster of the Civil Rights bill in the Senate. He often referred to his decade as a Klan member as the greatest mistake of his life."
Zumwalt then dipped into his usual Islamophobia to rant that "political Islam" is just like the KKK because they share "two foundational beliefs":" that "1) The world exists in only two parts – one in which its ideology thrives now and one in which it eventually, by force, will so thrive; and 2) every believer has a duty to convert non-members to this ideology – and, if they do not, to force them to pay a tax or kill them."