No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Dec 2019, 4:04pm

WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 3:26pm
There was a project in the 1930's where the government sponsored an effort to collect oral histories from formerly enslaved African-Americans. These stories are brought to life at Whitney through a collection of sculptures of children. It's moving.
The WPA narratives. A remarkable collection for anyone seeking to understand American slavery from the slave's perspective (albeit some seven decades removed). It's especially valuable for the development of African American culture in America—the stories, songs, and rituals that served to unify and resist.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by WestwayKid » 11 Dec 2019, 4:48pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 4:04pm
WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 3:26pm
There was a project in the 1930's where the government sponsored an effort to collect oral histories from formerly enslaved African-Americans. These stories are brought to life at Whitney through a collection of sculptures of children. It's moving.
The WPA narratives. A remarkable collection for anyone seeking to understand American slavery from the slave's perspective (albeit some seven decades removed). It's especially valuable for the development of African American culture in America—the stories, songs, and rituals that served to unify and resist.
It was a great place to visit and all too rare. We visited Sullivan's Island outside of Charleston this year. This was the single largest point of entry foe enslaved Africans in the United States and there was really nothing calling out the history. There was a single wooden sign that provided a brief summary. There is far more signage discussing the island's role in the Civil War than anything else.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Wolter » 11 Dec 2019, 4:59pm

WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 4:48pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 4:04pm
WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 3:26pm
There was a project in the 1930's where the government sponsored an effort to collect oral histories from formerly enslaved African-Americans. These stories are brought to life at Whitney through a collection of sculptures of children. It's moving.
The WPA narratives. A remarkable collection for anyone seeking to understand American slavery from the slave's perspective (albeit some seven decades removed). It's especially valuable for the development of African American culture in America—the stories, songs, and rituals that served to unify and resist.
It was a great place to visit and all too rare. We visited Sullivan's Island outside of Charleston this year. This was the single largest point of entry foe enslaved Africans in the United States and there was really nothing calling out the history. There was a single wooden sign that provided a brief summary. There is far more signage discussing the island's role in the Civil War than anything else.
Fun fact: I grew up on the island right next to it, and learned none of this until I was in college.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Wolter » 11 Dec 2019, 5:01pm

(I think you mean revolutionary war, btw. The biggest battle fought there was the battle of Ft. Moultrie)
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by WestwayKid » 11 Dec 2019, 5:06pm

Wolter wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:01pm
(I think you mean revolutionary war, btw. The biggest battle fought there was the battle of Ft. Moultrie)
I believe it saw action in both wars. I didn't know about the Revolutionary War battle until we visited, but the Confederates used Moultrie to shell Fort Sumter at the beginning of the Civil War and the US Navy in turn reduced it to rubble.

I had hoped to visit Morris Island which was where Battery Wagner of "Glory" fame was located, but it's apparently not easy to get to. Boat access only.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Dec 2019, 5:10pm

When we lived in Greensboro, our apartment complex was right beside a national park commemorating the Battle of Guilford Court House, the second last battle of the AmRev. We were there for about a year and a half before we found any public literature that explained that the American colonists, in fact, lost to the British in that battle (tho Cornwallis' army suffered significant casualties, leading to the final defeat Yorktown). Public history!
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by WestwayKid » 11 Dec 2019, 5:28pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:10pm
When we lived in Greensboro, our apartment complex was right beside a national park commemorating the Battle of Guilford Court House, the second last battle of the AmRev. We were there for about a year and a half before we found any public literature that explained that the American colonists, in fact, lost to the British in that battle (tho Cornwallis' army suffered significant casualties, leading to the final defeat Yorktown). Public history!
We're good about telling the history we want to tell... :mrgreen:
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Wolter » 11 Dec 2019, 5:49pm

WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:06pm
Wolter wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:01pm
(I think you mean revolutionary war, btw. The biggest battle fought there was the battle of Ft. Moultrie)
I believe it saw action in both wars. I didn't know about the Revolutionary War battle until we visited, but the Confederates used Moultrie to shell Fort Sumter at the beginning of the Civil War and the US Navy in turn reduced it to rubble.

I had hoped to visit Morris Island which was where Battery Wagner of "Glory" fame was located, but it's apparently not easy to get to. Boat access only.
It did see action, but as someone who went there all the time and had to take SC history in school, the battle of Ft. Moultrie is stressed a lot more at the site.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Dec 2019, 5:58pm

WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:28pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:10pm
When we lived in Greensboro, our apartment complex was right beside a national park commemorating the Battle of Guilford Court House, the second last battle of the AmRev. We were there for about a year and a half before we found any public literature that explained that the American colonists, in fact, lost to the British in that battle (tho Cornwallis' army suffered significant casualties, leading to the final defeat Yorktown). Public history!
We're good about telling the history we want to tell... :mrgreen:
This is why I mostly hate museums—they're ideological (which is fine) but usually seek to mask it as neutral, or just plain excise complicating evidence or information.

A few years ago, the Boss was part of a consulting group to revamp parts of Canada's national museum. One of the other members sought to downplay the white supremacist zeal of John A. Macdonald, the country's first prime minister. Macdonald believed Canada was destined to be a great power and part of the destiny required exterminating the indigenous people, be it thru starvation or more gradually by placing them on isolated reserves. This person wanted Macdonald's words to this effect scrubbed because of their negative connotation in today's political climate. Among the perversities of this is that if Macdonald were reanimated, he'd want those words to stand—he was a loud and proud white supremacist. Yet this historian wanted that downplayed if not excised. Luckily, the other members stood against this person. But it's a good cautionary tale about how public history is constructed.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by WestwayKid » 11 Dec 2019, 9:35pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:58pm
WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:28pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:10pm
When we lived in Greensboro, our apartment complex was right beside a national park commemorating the Battle of Guilford Court House, the second last battle of the AmRev. We were there for about a year and a half before we found any public literature that explained that the American colonists, in fact, lost to the British in that battle (tho Cornwallis' army suffered significant casualties, leading to the final defeat Yorktown). Public history!
We're good about telling the history we want to tell... :mrgreen:
This is why I mostly hate museums—they're ideological (which is fine) but usually seek to mask it as neutral, or just plain excise complicating evidence or information.

A few years ago, the Boss was part of a consulting group to revamp parts of Canada's national museum. One of the other members sought to downplay the white supremacist zeal of John A. Macdonald, the country's first prime minister. Macdonald believed Canada was destined to be a great power and part of the destiny required exterminating the indigenous people, be it thru starvation or more gradually by placing them on isolated reserves. This person wanted Macdonald's words to this effect scrubbed because of their negative connotation in today's political climate. Among the perversities of this is that if Macdonald were reanimated, he'd want those words to stand—he was a loud and proud white supremacist. Yet this historian wanted that downplayed if not excised. Luckily, the other members stood against this person. But it's a good cautionary tale about how public history is constructed.
We approached our local historical society to have a discussion that are village included racist housing laws. African-Americans were barred from moving here through a series of racial covenants, but they refused to have anything to do with it. They said it was too political.

I live in the Village of Greendale. It was a public works project created by FDR during the Depression. There are 2 other "Greenbelt" towns in the US. They literally created the entire town from scratch and for the first decade it was owned by the government. You rented your house from Uncle Sam and all of the business were co-ops...so it was essentially a big experiment in socialism. People like to now take that history and paint it as very perfect and quaint. They don't want to muddy it up with discussing anything unsavory like racism. Sure, Greendale was a great opportunity if you were a poor white family, but if you were a family of color you need not have applied.
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Dec 2019, 9:46pm

WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 9:35pm
We approached our local historical society to have a discussion that are village included racist housing laws. African-Americans were barred from moving here through a series of racial covenants, but they refused to have anything to do with it. They said it was too political.

I live in the Village of Greendale. It was a public works project created by FDR during the Depression. There are 2 other "Greenbelt" towns in the US. They literally created the entire town from scratch and for the first decade it was owned by the government. You rented your house from Uncle Sam and all of the business were co-ops...so it was essentially a big experiment in socialism. People like to now take that history and paint it as very perfect and quaint. They don't want to muddy it up with discussing anything unsavory like racism. Sure, Greendale was a great opportunity if you were a poor white family, but if you were a family of color you need not have applied.
There's a book by a historian named Ira Katznelson called When Affirmative Action Was White that deals with the fundamentally racist nature of the New Deal. Gaining the necessary support of Southern Democrats, who dominated the Congressional leadership, FDR had to allow for racial exclusion in the implementation of the early welfare state (not that he needed a whole lot of pushing). The good old days that the MAGA crowd romanticize was that herrenvolk social democracy, before Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson ruined it all—which is to say that they sought to expand the rewards of citizenship.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Marky Dread » 12 Dec 2019, 8:20am

WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:28pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:10pm
When we lived in Greensboro, our apartment complex was right beside a national park commemorating the Battle of Guilford Court House, the second last battle of the AmRev. We were there for about a year and a half before we found any public literature that explained that the American colonists, in fact, lost to the British in that battle (tho Cornwallis' army suffered significant casualties, leading to the final defeat Yorktown). Public history!
We're good about telling the history we want to tell... :mrgreen:
Britain has the most shameful history. Then they just add "Great" and it makes everything OK. :rolleyes:
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by WestwayKid » 12 Dec 2019, 8:46am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 9:46pm
WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 9:35pm
We approached our local historical society to have a discussion that are village included racist housing laws. African-Americans were barred from moving here through a series of racial covenants, but they refused to have anything to do with it. They said it was too political.

I live in the Village of Greendale. It was a public works project created by FDR during the Depression. There are 2 other "Greenbelt" towns in the US. They literally created the entire town from scratch and for the first decade it was owned by the government. You rented your house from Uncle Sam and all of the business were co-ops...so it was essentially a big experiment in socialism. People like to now take that history and paint it as very perfect and quaint. They don't want to muddy it up with discussing anything unsavory like racism. Sure, Greendale was a great opportunity if you were a poor white family, but if you were a family of color you need not have applied.
There's a book by a historian named Ira Katznelson called When Affirmative Action Was White that deals with the fundamentally racist nature of the New Deal. Gaining the necessary support of Southern Democrats, who dominated the Congressional leadership, FDR had to allow for racial exclusion in the implementation of the early welfare state (not that he needed a whole lot of pushing). The good old days that the MAGA crowd romanticize was that herrenvolk social democracy, before Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson ruined it all—which is to say that they sought to expand the rewards of citizenship.
It feels like a very passive form of racism. We don't have many Greendale "pioneers" left, but we have some of their kids still around and they're the biggest opponents of the equity work we're trying to do. They're in the 70 to 80 year old range (some a decade younger) and they take a lot of offense to any notion that Greendale is or ever has been racist.

Here's an example of the madness we're talking about. Because Greendale was planned, all the neighborhoods have streets that start with the same letter. I live in the "E" section (Enfield Avenue). It's kind of a cute thing that Greendale is known for. There is an "A" section and a "B" section and so on.

Following a racial incident at the high school, we put together a parents group to push for a more equitable community and from that we've worked with the village and the school board to create an equity and inclusion action plan. It's good stuff and I'm hopeful about where it takes us.

The plan itself has an introduction where the ideal Greendale of 2030 is described and the first sentences mentions a Greendale where the citizens don't talk about what section they're from and people have suddenly gone crazy about that. First of all, none of them actually took part in the public sessions to create the action plan. Secondly, I don't think any of them actually read the action plan because there is nothing in the plan itself about taking away their silly section identities.

What it is (in my opinion) is something they can complain about without complaining in a way that exposes them for what they really are: mean old racists who don't want people of color moving into their community.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by Dr. Medulla » 12 Dec 2019, 9:42am

WestwayKid wrote:
12 Dec 2019, 8:46am
It feels like a very passive form of racism. We don't have many Greendale "pioneers" left, but we have some of their kids still around and they're the biggest opponents of the equity work we're trying to do. They're in the 70 to 80 year old range (some a decade younger) and they take a lot of offense to any notion that Greendale is or ever has been racist.

Here's an example of the madness we're talking about. Because Greendale was planned, all the neighborhoods have streets that start with the same letter. I live in the "E" section (Enfield Avenue). It's kind of a cute thing that Greendale is known for. There is an "A" section and a "B" section and so on.

Following a racial incident at the high school, we put together a parents group to push for a more equitable community and from that we've worked with the village and the school board to create an equity and inclusion action plan. It's good stuff and I'm hopeful about where it takes us.

The plan itself has an introduction where the ideal Greendale of 2030 is described and the first sentences mentions a Greendale where the citizens don't talk about what section they're from and people have suddenly gone crazy about that. First of all, none of them actually took part in the public sessions to create the action plan. Secondly, I don't think any of them actually read the action plan because there is nothing in the plan itself about taking away their silly section identities.

What it is (in my opinion) is something they can complain about without complaining in a way that exposes them for what they really are: mean old racists who don't want people of color moving into their community.
Yeah, passive racism as a Stage 1 kind of thing. If the "wrong people" move in, then it can develop into the more active kind. Tell ya a story about my dad. I grew up in a middle-class neighbourhood in a predominantly white town in Saskatchewan that has five First Nations reserves within 30 kms or so of it. By the mid-80s, when I was in my teens, more aboriginal people were leaving the reserve and moving into town, which, big surprise, greatly concerned the solid citizens of North Battleford. Around '84 or '85, our next-door neighbour put his house up for sale and, much to me curiosity, my dad bought it. The reason was that he was scared the town or province would buy it and make it available to Indians and, well, there goes the neighbourhood. And he wasn't alone in this fear—other people on our street were grateful to him for maintaining the block's integrity. For the next decade or so, until he sold it, he rented it out. The funny thing is, most of the renters ended up being First Nations people. But in his mind he was able to screen for "good ones" and had the power to evict troublemakers.

My dad was a racist, no doubt, but not in the cartoonish hateful way, but rather that duty-to-civilize-the-savages way. He was a more mannered version of Archie Bunker. And he was a properly colonized guy himself. His parents were Norwegian and Danish immigrants, but he fully absorbed the idea of the British colonial mission to civilize the world, including Scandis, Slavs, and other backwards white people. He never had a problem (as far as I know) with my brother marrying a Thai woman or me a Metis woman. He ended up being a pretty solid lesson for me in the varieties and contradictions of racism.
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Re: No, No, Don't Worry. Racism is Pretty Much Over.

Post by oliver » 12 Dec 2019, 11:23am

WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 9:35pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:58pm
WestwayKid wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:28pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Dec 2019, 5:10pm
When we lived in Greensboro, our apartment complex was right beside a national park commemorating the Battle of Guilford Court House, the second last battle of the AmRev. We were there for about a year and a half before we found any public literature that explained that the American colonists, in fact, lost to the British in that battle (tho Cornwallis' army suffered significant casualties, leading to the final defeat Yorktown). Public history!
We're good about telling the history we want to tell... :mrgreen:
This is why I mostly hate museums—they're ideological (which is fine) but usually seek to mask it as neutral, or just plain excise complicating evidence or information.

A few years ago, the Boss was part of a consulting group to revamp parts of Canada's national museum. One of the other members sought to downplay the white supremacist zeal of John A. Macdonald, the country's first prime minister. Macdonald believed Canada was destined to be a great power and part of the destiny required exterminating the indigenous people, be it thru starvation or more gradually by placing them on isolated reserves. This person wanted Macdonald's words to this effect scrubbed because of their negative connotation in today's political climate. Among the perversities of this is that if Macdonald were reanimated, he'd want those words to stand—he was a loud and proud white supremacist. Yet this historian wanted that downplayed if not excised. Luckily, the other members stood against this person. But it's a good cautionary tale about how public history is constructed.
We approached our local historical society to have a discussion that are village included racist housing laws. African-Americans were barred from moving here through a series of racial covenants, but they refused to have anything to do with it. They said it was too political.

I live in the Village of Greendale. It was a public works project created by FDR during the Depression. There are 2 other "Greenbelt" towns in the US. They literally created the entire town from scratch and for the first decade it was owned by the government. You rented your house from Uncle Sam and all of the business were co-ops...so it was essentially a big experiment in socialism. People like to now take that history and paint it as very perfect and quaint. They don't want to muddy it up with discussing anything unsavory like racism. Sure, Greendale was a great opportunity if you were a poor white family, but if you were a family of color you need not have applied.
Greendale is listed on the Sundown Towns website but unconfirmed as officially blocking non-whites... I'm sure they'd appreciate the info you have even if the local historical society didn't
https://sundown.tougaloo.edu/sundowntow ... php?id=519
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