Denver City Councilman Wayne New says he feels like an idiot for once belonging to the Dixiecrat Party, actually bragging about it during a political forum last week, and now contending he never knew the history of the party or what it stood for.
New stopped short of apologizing for once belonging to the Democratic Party, which had its own shady past in race relations beyond the Dixiecrat timeframe.
The short-lived Dixiecrats came about in the 1940s, when Democrats split over the civil rights plank in the party platform and southerners formed the State’s Rights Democratic Party, nicknamed the Dixiecrats.
In short, Dixiecrats supported segregation, but their efforts failed.
However, Democrats went on to block the Civil Rights Act in the 1950s and 60s, and was the party of segregationist George Wallace who ran for president in 1968.
Also of note, Democrats were the party of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd who served from 1959 through 2010, and was a one-time recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan.
“If I have offended anyone with the use of the word, I apologize and can assure all that it will never be used again,” New said in a statement.
He didn’t specify exactly which word he meant — Dixiecrat or Democrat.