Byron Donalds, Debating Jim Crow, Foolish Rhetoric and the Alarmingly Irresponsible and Dishonest Commentary Among Some Black Conservatives!

Elwood Watson, Ph.D.
The Polis
Published in
4 min readJun 10, 2024

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Andrew Harnik / AP file

Earlier this month, during an event in Philadelphia supporting Donald Trump and the Republican Party on June 4, Florida Representative Byron Donalds made the attention-grabbing assertion that Black families were stronger and Black people more conservative under the Jim Crow era. “You see, during Jim Crow, the Black family was together,” Donalds said. “During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative — because Black people have always been conservative-minded — but more Black people voted conservatively.” Huh?!

His commentary was challenged by Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) https://youtu.be/IHquX0OFf5k?si=mMnDAclWpmdLcp2O, the House minority leader. The Biden campaign publicized the comment, and a Democratic National Committee spokesperson said it was “absurd to suggest” the Jim Crow era “was anything but a horrific stain on our country’s history.” The NAACP’s president, Derrick Johnson, denounced the remark.

According to the Jim Crow Museum at Michigan’s Ferris State University, “Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively, in southern and border states between 1877 and the mid-1960s.” It was both a legal framework…

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Elwood Watson, Ph.D.
The Polis

Historian, Syndicated Columnist, Public Speaker, Social-Cultural Critic. Professor of Black Studies and Gender Studies, at East Tennessee State University.