Michael Medved: Northam, Democrats and the KKK

The Ralph Northam case illustrates, among many other things, the long entanglement of the Democratic Party with the Ku Klux Klan. In the same year that Northam posted his hateful yearbook photo of a clown in blackface next to a figure in a KKK hood, the Democratic leader in the US Senate was a former Klan leader: Robert Byrd of West Virginia. He led the Democrats in the Senate for 8 years, from 1981 to ’89, even though he wrote to a US Senator during World War II: “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side” or allow America to be “degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

In contrast to Democratic embrace of Byrd, when former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke ran for Louisiana Governor as a Republican in 1991, leaders of the GOP, statewide and nationally, united to ensure his defeat.