I often come into argument that because the Democratic party had many racists and Southern slave owners aligned with it during and after The Civil War, that therefore the "core" of the Democratic party is racist. And that because the Republican party was the party of reconstruction, that therefore the "core" of the Republican party is antiracist.

But in response I heard that there was a "great switch" where the racists flipped and joined the Republican Party and the antiracists joined the Democratic Party.

What is the consensus among historians on this subject?

closed as off-topic by rs.29, Denis de Bernardy, Jos, Steven Burnap, Lars Bosteen Jul 28 at 2:25

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave these specific reasons:

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    "What is the consensus of historians on… "? If there is in fact a secret cabal of historians that dictates opinions on history, nobody has informed me of it, and they don't hang out on H:SE, or to quote the Baltimore writer, "For every question, there is a simple answer. And it is usually wrong" This question is going to be unanswerable without a lot more definitions and citations, and even then it won't be the secret cabal of historians, it will be someone's opinion. Both parties claim to be anti-racist. Racism is one of those words you apply to others. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 27 at 22:08
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    The history of political parties in the United States makes far more sense once you realize that there are (approximately) three major political affiliations, but only two parties. – Mark Jul 27 at 23:10
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    @MarkC.Wallace: Racism is one of those words you apply to others. - What a racist thing to say. ;-) – Lucian Jul 27 at 23:44
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    @DenisdeBernardy Michael Tesler has a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in political science (not history), Matthew Blackwell has a double-major B.A. in political science and economics and a Ph.D. in political science (not history), and Sen has an A.B. in economics, a J.D. in law, and a Ph.D. in government & statistics (not history). None (please correct me if I'm wrong) is a member of the American Historical Association or the Organization of American Historians. So I don't see any evidence that any of those three are historians. – BalancedTryteOperators Jul 28 at 2:03
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    As you can see, you're not going to get any agreement on "racism". There is an interesting question here, but you might approach it by looking at either which party got African American support at what points in time, or looking at which parties espoused policies that we today would view as either helping or hurting African Americans. But even then, you'll find it's far more complex then a binary question as stated here. – Steven Burnap Jul 28 at 2:11