Until the end of the Civil War, Democrats were the party of racial human bondage. When slavery and “involuntary servitude” were outlawed by the 13th Amendment on Dec. 6, 1865, Democrats simply switched gears and began a new kind of racial human bondage by denying Black Americans the right to vote. This prompted ratification on Feb. 3, 1870, of the 15th Amendment, making it unlawful to deny any citizen the right to vote based on “race, color or previous condition of servitude.”
Once again, the Democrats pivoted to find new ways of keeping Black Americans in their place with abominable Jim Crow laws. These measures permitted states to impose a poll tax on voters in federal elections — and in many cases required segregated public schools, restroom facilities, water fountains and entrances to businesses, and allowed “separate but equal” access to everything from housing and banking to restaurant seating, entertainment venues, movie theaters, public transportation and even sporting events.