Re: “Letter to the editor: Party politics just another sign of political enslavement” (June 8):

In his narrative of the virtue and innocence of the Republican Party with respect to the treatment of African-Americans from Abraham Lincoln forward, Art Sears conveniently omits a few events:

The Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and forced integration of schools in the 1960s, which were not carried out by Republican presidents.

 The subsequent loss of the White House to Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” (a successful Republican appeal to previously Democratic segregationists who were furious at their own party for its support of racial equality).

The era of dog-whistle scapegoating politics, with Ronald Reagan’s imaginary “welfare queen,” George Bush Sr.’s race-baiting Willie Horton ad and the horrible racist spectacle of George Bush Jr.’s nonresponse to Hurricane Katrina, mixed in with relentless efforts by the Republican Party to gut safety net programs and undermine the aforementioned Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts.

There’s more, but I’m out of breath.

There is plenty of uncomfortable history to go around, and it’s not ancient, not something from which we can just “move on.”

I hope this helps fill in any gaps folks might have.

Jeffrey Hotchkiss

Portland