Discuss: Racism in America

This is a thread dedicated to discussion of race issues in the US. Tony and rq are the curators, and they will be posting news and links here. Please feel free to add to the conversation, but this is not the place for argument; increase the information, not the conflict.

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  1. Larry says

    but I have read another book from the era, though I can’t remember the title

    From your description, it sounds like H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, written in 1885. Yes, these suffer the same cultural racism as the Tarzan. Great White Hunter tames or kills the wildlife, awing the natives with his pure, white, goodness and with his technology.

    Interestingly, however, the 1950 movie, starring Steward Granger, did show some of the natives with dignity and some respect. Another movie, She, made in 1965 and based on the Haggard book, is incredibly racist, along the same line as the book.

  2. A Masked Avenger says

    Libby Anne posted this today, about race and political party affiliation.


    Ante-bellum Democrats were indeed the pro-slavery party. Abolitionists were Whigs, but Whigs weren’t abolitionists. The Whig party collapsed shortly before the Civil War, giving rise to the Republican party. Republicans gave zero fucks about the plight of African Americans: Lincoln opposed slavery primarily as a tactic in the Civil War; Republican opposition to slavery in states like Kansas were aimed at protecting poor whites from competition with slave labor.

    Black people became Republican because at least they weren’t the PRO-slavery party. Republicans betrayed them, however, by prematurely ending Reconstruction and clearing the way for Jim Crow in the South. Black people remained loyal to the Republican party for some time anyway, in part due to its association with Lincoln. Their loyalty shifted to the Democratic party particularly under Hoover and Roosevelt, due to Hoover’s blunders in race relations and Roosevelt’s New Deal, which was at least somewhat beneficial to black people. The shift in loyalty was mostly completed during the Civil Rights era.

    Her whole post is an excellent read.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a historian. If anyone disputes any part of Libby Anne’s account, or has something to add, I’ll be interested to learn more about it. I realize that “Lincoln didn’t really care about the slaves” is probably a controversial statement.I do agree with that statement, based on my own understanding of things. It’s not a coded reference to the “lost cause” theory of the Civil War, or anything like that.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    A Masked Avenger @ # 3 – thanks for spotlighting that post from the ever-enlightening Libby Anne!

    Republicans gave zero fucks about the plight of African Americans…

    A slight exaggeration: abolitionists formed a minority faction within the new party, as within the Whigs.

    Lincoln opposed slavery primarily as a tactic in the Civil War…

    He issued an unenforceable edict emancipating slaves in the rebel states (not those in Union states) as a war propaganda move, but his statements against slavery during & before the 1860 election campaign had been strong enough to convince the plantation owners (probably erroneously) that he would attempt abolition once in office. Thus, they promoted the movement to secede, and ended up producing the situation they feared.

  4. says

    I recently read a book called “Our man in Charleston” about the British consul in Charleston,South Carolina.
    The impression I got from it is the secessionist leaders were not just interested in preserving slavery where it existed, but wanted it to spread, and also wanted to reopen the Atlantic Slave trade (which still had private American participation).
    It also seems the hardening Union stance against slavery may have been partly to keep Great Britain neutral. The British noticed early on that nothing was done against slavery in the Border states, and that the Union still objected to British warships boarding American flagged slavers, demanding only US warships stop US flagged ships. It wasn’t until after the Trent affair that British warships could stop US flagged slavers without protest from Washington.
    As far as African Americans supporting the Republican Party for so long, remember most black politicians during Reconstruction would have been Republican. One thing I like to ask today’s Republicans is why they aren’t putting up statues to Reconstruction era Republicans in the Southern states. Put them up next to the statues of Lee and Longstreet.

  5. LicoriceAllsort says

    Colorlines highlighted the release of a new book that sounds good: Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill. Excerpt:

    To be Nobody is to be abandoned by the State. For decades now, we have witnessed a radical transformation in the role and function of government in America. An obsession with free-market logic and culture has led the political class to craft policies that promote private interests over the public good. As a result, our schools, our criminal justice system, our military, our police departments, our public policy and virtually every other entity engineered to protect life and enhance prosperity have been at least partially relocated to the private sector. At the same time, the private sector has kept its natural commitment to maximizing profits rather than investing in people. This arrangement has left the nation’s vulnerable wedged between the Scylla of negligent government and the Charybdis of corporate greed, trapped in a historically unprecedented state of precarity.

    Colorlines also excerpted a heartbreaking passage about Michael Brown that’s worth a look-see.

  6. LicoriceAllsort says

    Also, fyi for the Overlord et al.—the Previous Thread link is returning a 404.

  7. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Just dropping this here: my days don’t always permit continuous focus, so my post on the TV show “2 Broke Girls” will have to come a bit later. I’ll probably put it here unless it expands to a major length (which, given me, is a real possibility), but expect it somewhere in the next 24 hours.

  8. katybe says

    I know it’s off topic for US racism, but there doesn’t seem to be a live World Politics thread and I figured signal boosting was the least I could do. There’s a new UK Black Lives Matter group being set up, on Twitter as @ukblm, if anybody wants to follow it. I thought this might be the best off topic place for finding people with overlapping interests.

  9. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Colin Kaepernick who has willingly and knowingly immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
    where they dis him, for pointing out where police are murdering blacks, by saying he should not be concerned about that, when more blacks are more frequently killed by other blacks.
    Like frequency of killing gives them a pass. (as in police kill blacks at a lower frequency than blacks killing blacks, so let the police kill. they most likely are killing the killers anyway)

    Disregarding everyone’s (even the guilty’s) “Right to Fair Trial”.
    apparently the only right that actually exists is one only thought of later and had to be recorded in the 2nd Amendment, all others are balderdash (apparently), And rather than prevent guns from getting into the hands of the “bad guys”, let them buy guys easily and just kill them without consequence by a nearby civilian also armed.

    And What The Hell is so bad about not standing for the Nat Anthem anyway because one is not so proud of ones country?
    and it was just a effin futeball game anyway. WTH

  10. Saad says

    Sam Harris police racism and Black Lives Matter

    I worry that Black Lives Matter, if it got all the attention that it wants, could set race relations back in this country a generation. Obviously I’m not aware of everything that is said under the banner of Black Lives Matter, and it could be that some highly rational and impeccable people are advocating in the stream of this movement. But I’ve seen it filtered through the left-wing media that is largely, if not entirely, sympathetic to the movement. And most of what I have heard—in particular about these videos and the cases about which we don’t have videos but which have been well described, like the Michael Brown shooting—has struck me as dangerously and offensively irrational.

    Here’s the core issue for me: These cases run the full gamut of police malfeasance and culpability on the one end to completely predictable and even rational uses of force on the other, and everything in between. So on the one end you have cops who are quite obviously guilty of murder, whether it’s from racism or some other deranged motive, and I would put the Walter Scott and Laquan McDonald shootings there. These cops, to my eye, clearly should never have been given a gun and a badge, and they belong in prison. And if I’m not mistaken, the cops involved in those shootings are actually being prosecuted for murder, so the system appears to be working in the right direction in those cases.

    But on the other end, you have legitimate uses of force that would have happened 99 times out of 100 in the presence of any sane cop, and race surely had nothing to do with it. I would put the Michael Brown case pretty close to that end of the continuum. We don’t have a video of what happened, but the facts as reported suggest that he attacked a police officer and was trying to get his gun.

    If you’re trying to get a cop’s gun, it is only rational for him to believe that you intend to kill him with it. Whatever the color of your skin, you’re going to get shot. And if you don’t get shot, it’s either because you got very lucky, because the cop had amazing hand-to-hand skills and he just decided to spare your life, or because there were enough cops on hand to physically overpower you without requiring lethal force.
    In the rest of these cases, you see almost every variety of incompetence, bad luck, poor training, and just basic human chaos, and I would put all these recent incidents, like Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling, and frankly even Eric Garner somewhere in the middle here.

  11. HappyNat says

    completely predictable and even rational uses

    Look at the rational white man judging things only by facts*. No way to say race had anything to do with it. There’s just no hard proof** ya see? And they system is working*** because a few of the “bad” cops are being punished****. So blame the brown people protesting amiright?

    *facts given by police officers
    **unless you study history/sociology/etc.
    *** it’s not working
    ****they won’t be punished

  12. Saad says

    He thinks the slow choking to death of Eric Garner in broad daylight was incompetence, bad luck, poor training and “basic human chaos”.

  13. tkreacher says

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg tells black man it’s “dumb and disrespectful” for him to kneel in protest during a song written by a slave owner. A man who said that black people were “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

    Stand up, Negro. Stand up in reverence and silence during that song, written by a Massa, Negro. You be a good Negro and show some god damn respect you motherfucking dumb ass. Stand up.

    You stand up, boy.