Senator Ted Cruz's Comments
|Texas Senator Ted Cruz|
"When the left doesn’t have any other arguments, they go and just accuse everyone of being a racist. It’s an ugly, ugly part of the modern Democratic Party,” he said on "America’s Newsroom."
"You look at the most racist, you look at the Dixiecrats, they were Democrats who imposed segregation, imposed Jim Crow laws, who founded the Klan,"Cruz said. "The Klan was founded by a great many Democrats."
However, historians say the KKK and its founding had nothing to do with what Cruz called the "modern Democratic Party."
PolitiFact looked into the accusation when it came up in 2013 and called it false.
The KKK was indeed made up largely of Democrats in the South after the Civil War, as most whites in the South were Democrats, but it was not started by the party. In addition, the modern Democratic and Republican parties are not what they were in the 19th century.
The Klan is Established
Radical Republican Reconstruction Policies Energize the Klan
|Freemen Voting in New Orleans in 1867|
|An October 24th, 1874 Harper's Magazine |
editorial cartoon by Thomas Nast
denouncing KKK and White League
murders of innocent blacks
|President Ulysses S. Grant|
Enforcement and Klu Klux Klan Acts
Hayes Ends Reconstruction
Rebuttal of Senator Cruz's Statements
SourcesSen. Ted Cruz Calls Democrats "The Party of the KKK"
PBS - Rise of the Klu Klux Klan
History - Klu Klux Klan
New Georgia Encyclopedia - Klu Klux Klan in the Reconstruction Era
North Carolina Digital History - The Compromise of 1877
Wikipedia - Reconstruction Era
Wikipedia - Klu Klux Klan