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1 sagehen  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 9:36:18am
The black experience is a living reminder that government is not alone as a potential threat to personal liberty. It is possible, as in the Jim Crow South, to build a government so weak that no one’s personal liberties can be protected.

Do these people have no understanding of history AT ALL??

Jim Crow wasn’t a coincidental confluence of lots of white people’s choices, IT WAS THE LAW. Those “whites only” schools and public restrooms and train station waiting rooms, those weren’t private sector individual choices, those were state law and city ordinance and enforced by the police.

The problem wasn’t “a government so weak”, it was what the local governments chose to do with their power. The whole reason Eisenhower had to send national guard troops into Arkansas is because state government was plenty strong enough

2 Destro  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 12:14:37pm

So bigger federal govt ended local govt prejudice. Thus why Blacks don’t trust state’s rights and the notion that local law should trump the federal govt and that the federal govt is bad for you.

3 HappyWarrior  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 1:12:24pm

re: #1 sagehen

Do these people have no understanding of history AT ALL??

Jim Crow wasn’t a coincidental confluence of lots of white people’s choices, IT WAS THE LAW. Those “whites only” schools and public restrooms and train station waiting rooms, those weren’t private sector individual choices, those were state law and city ordinance and enforced by the police.

The problem wasn’t “a government so weak”, it was what the local governments chose to do with their power. The whole reason Eisenhower had to send national guard troops into Arkansas is because state government was plenty strong enough

Exactly, in Plessy Vs Ferguson, Homer Plessy was arrested for being on a whites only railroad car. It was as you say law.

4 EPR-radar  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 4:22:19pm

re: #3 HappyWarrior

Exactly, in Plessy Vs Ferguson, Homer Plessy was arrested for being on a whites only railroad car. It was as you say law.

And the mindless tropism response of a devout libertarian that weakening the state governments would have alleviated Jim Crow also fails.

With sufficiently weak state governments, oppression of blacks would have been enforced by local custom (e.g., lawless gangs of KKK thugs). This might have been even worse than Jim Crow.

5 majii  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 4:55:02pm

As long as these tools keep pushing their odious, freedom destroying, soul killing, bigoted, racist, grandma, grandpa, and kid starving, corporation worshiping, misogynistic policies, they can forget about this black woman voting for ANY of their politicians. In general, we People of Color know when people don’t like us, we know when they’re trying to use us to advance their own objectives, we’re smarter about politics than they think we are, and we’re having none of it. A snake is a snake is a snake, and one is a fool if one thinks it won’t bite you.

6 majii  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 5:15:34pm

re: #1 sagehen

Thanks, sagehen.
I lived under Jim Crow laws in Ga for the first 18 years of my life, and it was just as you described in your post. I was 18 years old before I could enter restaurants and theaters that I had been banned from in the past. I think that some republicans think that segregation and Jim Crow laws weren’t so “bad, and it’s because these things had no impact on their lives. They have zero experience in living under segregation and Jim Crow laws, so it makes it difficult for them to understand how abusive the social/legal structures were. It also didn’t help that things changed very little here after the CRA of 1964 was signed into law. The vestiges of racism and bigotry still have heavy influence here in the South. One can see this in the fact that one is still looked upon with suspicion based on the amount of melanin one’s skin contains. I still get followed around in some stores and some still refuse to ride on the same elevator with me. Recently, I withdrew some funds from my IRA account, took the check to the bank where I’ve banked for over 40 years, and the teller asked me whether I knew where the funds came from. I guess she had never seen a black person with an IRA account from which he/she could withdraw a substantial sum of money. She showed just how small-minded she was. Even my former colleagues thought their degrees were worth more than mine, even though they were from the same colleges and graduate schools. Racism and bigotry still permeate every part of life in many southern states. If the republicans want to attract minorities to their party, they need to begin with giving us the respect we are due, stop the stereotyping and scapegoating and make sure that equal opportunity isn’t only a word. Most of my friends and associates are college graduates and professionals, and their kids are either in college or have graduated and are working, but none of this matters to most folks here because for them, one’s race determines one’s worth, character, work ethic, values, etc. This is why so many of them have a serious problem with accepting the fact that Barack Obama is a legitimate POTUS. The constant obstruction, nit-picking and birtherism are the “tells” that let me know that despite what many republicans may say, the president’s race matters a whole lot to certain people in this country. If you’ve experienced a certain thing, you recognize it when you see it happening again.

7 HappyWarrior  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 7:35:44pm

re: #4 EPR-radar

And the mindless tropism response of a devout libertarian that weakening the state governments would have alleviated Jim Crow also fails.

With sufficiently weak state governments, oppression of blacks would have been enforced by local custom (e.g., lawless gangs of KKK thugs). This might have been even worse than Jim Crow.

Excellent point. Really, the Civil Rights era is exhibit A) when I hear people saying local governments know best and the federal government knows worst. I sincerely think that if the feds hadn’t intervened. We’d still have a lot of segregation today.

8 HappyWarrior  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 7:39:24pm

re: #6 majii

Thanks, sagehen.
I lived under Jim Crow laws in Ga for the first 18 years of my life, and it was just as you described in your post. I was 18 years old before I could enter restaurants and theaters that I had been banned from in the past. I think that some republicans think that segregation and Jim Crow laws weren’t so “bad, and it’s because these things had no impact on their lives. They have zero experience in living under segregation and Jim Crow laws, so it makes it difficult for them to understand how abusive the social/legal structures were. It also didn’t help that things changed very little here after the CRA of 1964 was signed into law. The vestiges of racism and bigotry still have heavy influence here in the South. One can see this in the fact that one is still looked upon with suspicion based on the amount of melanin one’s skin contains. I still get followed around in some stores and some still refuse to ride on the same elevator with me. Recently, I withdrew some funds from my IRA account, took the check to the bank where I’ve banked for over 40 years, and the teller asked me whether I knew where the funds came from. I guess she had never seen a black person with an IRA account from which he/she could withdraw a substantial sum of money. She showed just how small-minded she was. Even my former colleagues thought their degrees were worth more than mine, even though they were from the same colleges and graduate schools. Racism and bigotry still permeate every part of life in many southern states. If the republicans want to attract minorities to their party, they need to begin with giving us the respect we are due, stop the stereotyping and scapegoating and make sure that equal opportunity isn’t only a word. Most of my friends and associates are college graduates and professionals, and their kids are either in college or have graduated and are working, but none of this matters to most folks here because for them, one’s race determines one’s worth, character, work ethic, values, etc. This is why so many of them have a serious problem with accepting the fact that Barack Obama is a legitimate POTUS. The constant obstruction, nit-picking and birtherism are the “tells” that let me know that despite what many republicans may say, the president’s race matters a whole lot to certain people in this country. If you’ve experienced a certain thing, you recognize it when you see it happening again.

This is a really powerful post. I regret I only have one upding for you.

9 CuriousLurker  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 8:28:44pm

re: #8 HappyWarrior

This is a really powerful post. I regret I only have one upding for you.

Seconded.

10 CuriousLurker  Wed, Jan 30, 2013 8:46:20pm

re: #6 majii

This is why so many of them have a serious problem with accepting the fact that Barack Obama is a legitimate POTUS. The constant obstruction, nit-picking and birtherism are the “tells” that let me know that despite what many republicans may say, the president’s race matters a whole lot to certain people in this country. If you’ve experienced a certain thing, you recognize it when you see it happening again.

The way President Obama is treated really upsets me a LOT. It’s one of the reasons that I almost always refer to him as President Obama instead of POTUS or just Obama. It’s bad enough that we have the stain of slavery and institutionalized racism on our history (the latter not being confined to blacks), but now we’re faced with the unconcealed disrespect of a freely, democratically elected president simply because of his skin color. It’s shameful and embarrassing and I cringe when I think of how it’s going to look 50 or 100 years down the road when our grandchildren & great-grandchildren look back at how our first black president was treated.

What bothers me most is that the disrespect comes from the top down, from politicians and others who are in a position of leadership and should be more responsible. They set the tone and could have nipped all this ugliness in the bud if they’d wanted to, but they clearly didn’t. They were more interested in keeping/getting back power. Being a “brown person” I’ve experienced bigotry, so when President Obama was elected I knew it would get ugly, but I never dreamed it would be this bad. It has certainly taught me a thing or two.

11 Decatur Deb  Thu, Jan 31, 2013 5:28:03am

re: #10 CuriousLurker

The way President Obama is treated really upsets me a LOT. It’s one of the reasons that I almost always refer to him as President Obama instead of POTUS or just Obama. It’s bad enough that we have the stain of slavery and institutionalized racism on our history (the latter not being confined to blacks), but now we’re faced with the unconcealed disrespect of a freely, democratically elected president simply because of his skin color. It’s shameful and embarrassing and I cringe when I think of how it’s going to look 50 or 100 years down the road when our grandchildren & great-grandchildren look back at how our first black president was treated.

What bothers me most is that the disrespect comes from the top down, from politicians and others who are in a position of leadership and should be more responsible. They set the tone and could have nipped all this ugliness in the bud if they’d wanted to, but they clearly didn’t. They were more interested in keeping/getting back power. Being a “brown person” I’ve experienced bigotry, so when President Obama was elected I knew it would get ugly, but I never dreamed it would be this bad. It has certainly taught me a thing or two.

I mix up the usage, depending on the attitude of the post. (My fav is still “The Prez”—I like saying that.) For a curiosity, the Army Dictionary (Army Regulation 310-25) specifies that “The President” is always capitalized.


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