So let me tell you the story about how not impeaching a racist president is a BIG reason why white supremacy lingers in America
(See? There's always hope)
But the story of Johnson starts during the War for White Supremacy,
or the War of White Traitors
or the First Race War
or World War Wypipo
or the War for White Tears
or the War of Lazy Whites
(I can do this for days)
Now, Andrew Johnson was racist AF.
But that's kinda why he was vice president.
Lincoln chose Johnson because he was a white redneck from Tenn.
In an attempt to keep the US together, Lincoln, a Republican, selected Johnson, a Southern Democrat as VP
So after Lincoln was killed, a Southern redneck ascended to the presidency.
Seriously, he might be the only president dumber than Trump.
After he became president, he went around the country holding political rallies where he just talked about himself and vilified his opponents. In one speech, he referenced himself 200 times
This disastrous "Swing Around The Circle" tour was one of the major reasons Republicans were wiped out in the 1866 elections.
Does any of this sound familiar?
2. They had to allow the military to occupy their state.
The reason for this was simple:
I don't know if you knew this, but White people in the South were kinda racist back then. Only the military could stop them from massacring blacks
So... remember that part I said about Johnson calling his opponents "traitors" and saying they should be hanged?
Remember, back then, black people LITERALLY were not considered citizens. The group of people who wanted to grant them rights called the "Radical Republicans"
I know this is gonna sound too on-the nose, but there were four particularly liberal "radicals" in the "squad" that Johnson hated:
Sumner also called the man's cousin a "pimp for slavery."
James Hinds was also one of the squad. He was only in Congress for four months though. He became the first member of Congress to be assassinated when the KKK killed him for advocating for civil rights.
Last but not least is Thaddeus Stevens.He was gathering support for a seriously radical plan:
Called the "Evil Genius of the Republicans," Stevens believed formerly enslaved, not-yet citizens should be compensated for their labor.
He wanted to take every Southern plantation over 200 acres and divide it up amongst the formerly slaves. Now, there was already a Freedmens Bureau that gave newly freed blacks food, clothing, jobs and sometimes transportation
He issued executive orders offering amnesty to Confederates and pardons for war crimes.
Johnson HATED this "squad" for offering civil rights. That's why he thought they should be hanged. To Johnson's dismay, the requirements for the Confederate States to re-join the Union still passed through Congress.
1. Ratify the 14th Amendment and subject themselves to military rule.
2. Allow black people to vote.
3. Agree to military occupation.
And then they passed a bill extending the Freedmen's Bureau
Then they passed another one.
Johnson vetoed every single one of these bills.
But Johnson had an ace up his sleeve.
Now back then, there was a position called the Secretary of War who was in charge of the Army. Johnson's Sec. of War was Edwin Stanton, who was appointed by Lincoln.
He was a Radical Republican, too.
All over the South, emboldened by Johnson's ignoring white supremacist traitors, racists started murdering black people
In Memphis, in 1866, black soldiers were sending messages to Stanton that the white police officers were treating them poorly, arresting them for nothing.
Essentially they were being racially profiled.
But Stanton couldn't DO anything because Johnson wouldn't let him. Then on May 1st, a fight between cops and soldiers resulted in mob violence.
The Tennessee Attorney General came with his own mob and encouraged them to kill and burn more people.
Johnson didn't do ANYTHING.
Finally one of Stanton's generals declared martial law.
For the first time, black people would be allowed to vote. But when New Orleans had their constitutional convention (Remember, they were going to ratify the 14th Amendment) police, Confederates & KKK started killing blacks
Johnson did nothing.
Johnson did nothing.
So, when the new Congress passed the new laws, Stanton RODE OUT!
The army basically went to war with the KKK.
Seriously, that's what happened.
Racists actually overthrew the gov't (I've done a thread about it already)
Instead, Johnson SUSPENDED Stanton and put his own Sec of War in place: Lorenzo Thomas
Lorenzo HATED Stanton. See, Stanton and Lorenzo had a falling out back in the day and, just for pettiness' sake, Stanton gave Lorenzo a terrible job for a General:
Lorenzo was put in charge of black troops.
Thad 'nem drew up impeachment articles QUICK:
One of my favorite quotes is from William Kelly, one of the dudes who founded the Republican Party:
Billy K had BARS!
They got 35.
No senator who voted to acquit Johnson ever held an elective office again.
But it was too late.
And not only did Southern Blacks not get reparations, they had to live in fear.
Lyman's friends thought that Thaddeus Stevens and his squad were too radical
They EACH wrote their own version of the Fourteenth Amendment
Lyman and the moderates won.
To be fair, Thaddeus Stevens' radical version was a lot like Lyman's except for one part
He didn't like the 14th amendment making slaves citizens.
He didn't like the 15th Amendment giving people the right to vote.
But Johnson didn't like this version of the constitutional amendment. Some people thought that this was why Stevens hated Johnson and vice versa.
Segregation would have never existed and Jim Crow couldn't have happened.
He didn't think there was ANY way that those Southern States would agree to one extra sentence
It never has been.
People have been fighting for years to get it included.
It's SEVEN WORDS
It's why we still have to pass laws against LGBT discrimination and hate crimes, but it was proposed in 150 years ago BEFORE slavery was outlawed