GOP Candidate: The Civil War Was Reparations For Slavery
JT Lewis is running to represent his district in the Connecticut state Senate. On Sunday, he declared discussions of reparations for the ongoing effects of generations of slavery moot — saying that the white lives lost in the Civil War are reparations enough.
Lewis tweeted on Sunday to address the idea of reparations. He suggested there’s no need for such an action, since half a million Americans died in the Civil War.
Didn’t we already pay reparations for slavery when 500,000 Americans died to free the slaves during the Civil War?
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) July 5, 2020
While estimates of the death toll from the Civil War vary, the National Park Service has some interesting and relevant data, including that around 180k Union soldiers were African Americans, and that nearly another half million Americans — Confederates — died fighting to maintain the institution of slavery, not eliminate it.
Lewis, Courant reports, lost a brother, Jesse Lewis, in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, and says he was inspired to run for office by his brother’s heroism. Police say Jesse, who yelled, “Run!” may have saved the lives of many classmates who were able to escape when gunman Adam Lanza’s weapon jammed.
He has previously weighed in on slavery and the Confederacy, holding them as evidence that the Democratic party should be eliminated as a racist organization.
If we want to get rid of racist groups, let’s start with the Democrat Party, the party of slavery and the Confederacy.
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) June 29, 2020
As History.com explains here, the ‘Southern Strategy’ is the name for a movement in which Southern Democrats left the party when Harry Truman pushed a Civil Rights platform, calling themselves ‘Dixiecrats.’ These former Democrats who opposed equal rights would gradually switch over to support Republican candidates in a shift that is often simplified as the two parties ‘switching sides.’