Disinformation attacks this consensus. It warns us that the Democrats are ushering in “socialism” to America, but this warning is a throwback to Reconstruction, when black men began to vote just as the government instituted national taxes. Racist opponents began to argue that African Americans were voting to redistribute the wealth of hardworking white taxpayers into their own pockets through government projects. In this telling, giving men of color civil rights and a voice in their own government meant a redistribution of wealth. In 1871, opponents of black voting began to call this “socialism.”

From February 23, 2020 by Heather Cox Richardson

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