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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Author: Republicans should recall history

    The Republican Party’s civil rights heritage has been downplayed or slanted in textbooks written by Democrats and by liberal professors, author Michael Zak told a small group of students and Tucson community members Saturday night.

    Zak, author of “”Back to Basics for the Republican Party,”” was in town for the Pinal County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln Day Luncheon and stopped by the Student Union Memorial Center to give an informal talk before continuing with his speaker series.

    The event was sponsored by the Pima County Young Republicans and the UA College Republicans.

    Zak said Black History Month is a time for Republicans to be proud of their heritage and achievements and said the party has always been the true party of civil rights.

    “”The Republican Party began as a civil rights movement,”” he said. “”It began as the antislavery party.””

    Civil rights leaders Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. were all Republicans, he said.

    Most textbooks are written by Democrats who choose to downplay the Republican Party’s

    The Democrats chose to become the slavery party –
    don’t let professors slide that one past you… No Republican ever owned a slave.
    – Michael Zak, Republican author

    history of trying to achieve social justice, Zak said.

    An example of this is framing the Civil War as a North versus South issue when it was really a Democrat versus Republican issue.

    Zak noted that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were all passed by the Republican Party, despite fierce opposition by Democrats.

    “”The Democrats chose to become the slavery party – don’t let professors slide that one past you,”” he said. “”No Republican ever owned a slave.””

    The Republican Party continued to fight for equal rights after President Abraham Lincoln’s death, but were stopped by Democratic President Andrew Johnson, who Zak described as the villain of his book.

    “”We were trying to achieve social justice for all Americans and were stopped by a Democrat,”” he said. “”That’s not something you ever hear.””

    Something also left out is how members and leaders in the Democratic Party are known to have been behind the beginning of the Ku Klux Klan, he said.

    Zak said the Republican Party remained the party of civil rights, passing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts.

    He said the Republican Party has forgotten its own history and needs to revitalize it.

    “”We should be using our rich heritage to promote our policies now,”” he said.

    Zak dismissed the argument that although the Republican Party started out as the civil-

    We were trying to achieve social justice for all Americans and were stopped by a Democrat. That’s not something you ever hear.
    – Michael Zak,
    Republican author

    rights party, there has been a fundamental shift in the ideologies of the two parties, making the Democratic party the new champion of civil rights.

    “”That’s like saying ‘abracadabra’ and making the truth go away,”” he said. “”It slides past reality in an attempt to hide the past.””

    Zak speaks around the country and said his goal is to teach people about the true history of the Republican Party.

    “”I wrote the book for Republicans so Republicans know their own story and don’t have to rely on Democrat professors,”” he said.

    Tyler Mott, a member of the Pima County Young Republicans and a UA graduate, said he’s been trying for a year and a half to get Zak to speak.

    “”He’s a sought-after speaker, so we’re lucky to have him,”” Mott said.

    Political science sophomore Michael Sistak said people in both parties don’t seem to remember or fully recognize the civil rights history behind the Republican Party.

    He said he thinks liberal professors do try to slant the truth.

    “”This semester I’ve had some clearly liberal professors,”” he said. “”I think they do downplay stuff to a great extent.””

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