So we can judge for ourselves:
Carl M. Franklin, PhD, my new friend from New Orleans, listened patiently to the patronizing arguments of his Yellow Dog Democrat friends, then breathed a sigh and commenced to deliver one of the most impressive and impassioned speeches I have heard in my entire life. His words were eloquent, articulate, and profoundly earnest. I recount them to the best of my recollection:
"My grandfather was born a slave. His fathers, going back five generations, had been slaves, brought to America from Africa in the late 18th century. My grandfather moved to the north after the Civil War and struggled to make a living. My father struggled, too. He left my mother and his children when I was very young, and I never saw him again. My mother struggled to raise us, but she never let us feel sorry for ourselves. She insisted that we go to church. She insisted that we go to school. I was the first in my family to go to college. I worked multiple jobs all through college until I achieved my doctorate. It wasn't easy. I was subjected to lots of prejudice. When I was in college, there were many students and professors who, quite sincerely, did not believe blacks could even do basic mathematics, let alone electrical engineering. But I stuck with it, and notwithstanding the discrimination I encountered from time to time, I overcame all the obstacles in my path and eventually got to where I am today, in an America that has, to a great extent, moved past the racism I faced when I was younger. Now I am an old man. I have lived a rewarding and satisfying life. I have enjoyed the love of a great woman for almost fifty years. Our children are educated and prosperous."
And then his voice softened in volume and intensified in tone as he looked straight at his "Yellow Dog Democrat" acquaintances who were, moments before, advocating that he be rewarded for the suffering of his ancestors in slavery.
"I thank God Almighty that he saw fit to snatch my forefathers from the darkness of their lives in Africa and plant them here in this land where, after not many generations, the majority of them are finally breaking free from the bondage of ignorance and dependence. Yes, slavery is inherently evil. Many suffered, not the least the slave traders and slave owners stained by its shame. But there was a divine purpose in these things, and I refuse to mock God by failing to see His hand in all things. And, most of all, I refuse to see my children returned to the slavery of dependence on those who condescendingly view themselves as our superiors."
The Yellow Dog Democrats sat silently as Dr. Franklin concluded his impressive oration, then summarily finished their drinks and excused themselves from our company.
I stood and extended my hand to Dr. Franklin, who then stood himself and embraced me warmly.
"You are a great man Dr. Franklin, and I count myself fortunate to have made your acquaintance."
"And I yours."