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When you say you are from the deep south, there was a time people had all kinds of
images come to mind.   Many had images of culture, hospitality and warmth.  The reality was many had images of fear, poverty, hate, jail, segration and ignorance.
Much of this has changed but not enough.  In the veins of the true racist, there still runs the blood of some of those beliefs.  

The black jockey  ornament was seen on the lawns of many a well to do white person.
My family never owned a black jockey lawn oranment but there was plenty of racism all around me  that I can identify with  as the signs of those times.

I recall so much ugly that I still have nightmares of those times.  I remember the N word being used regularly by just about everyone I knew, including preachers, doctors, and many professionals.   I recall people not even being given the dignity of being recognized for achievement or personality or character but were identified only by the color of their skin.   The schools were segragated, as well as every public place was segragated.  I can still see the White only and Colored signs displayed proudly.   I still remember women who behaved as they did in the movie " The Help".   Below the squiggly I will explain to many of you the feelings of a child of the fifties from the right side of the tracks with the right color of skin.  It did affect me.

I remember asking how come Annetta could not go to the movie with me.  Annetta was my best friend.   She was " the help's little girl".  Of course our relationship with Frances, the lady who helped raise me ate with us at the same dinner table.  Shades
drawn of course.   Frances would talk to me and be my friend when Mama was always too busy.  She listened to my songs.   She laughed when I made up little stories about my little friend who lived in the Mailbox.   She taught me not to be afraid of thunderstorms.  Her little girl shared her Mama with me.  I do not recall my parents ever disrespecting Francis in any way.  That did not stop the word N..ger being used in family circles without one word being said against those using it.

I remember subtle things being said about how The Roosevelts, especially Elanor being a N lover by someone in the extended family.  That kind of talk was around me.   I remember saying, " but N,,,ers are my friends.   My parents did use the N word but not in front of the the blacks, just in conversation with  people they probably perceived as their own kind.   I never even knew racism was about using that word.  Not back then.

When the conversation of race had to be discussed during the Civil Rights Movement, my parents took the side of the oppressed but still had the culture of inequality in their being.  I knew Mama loved Francis and she loved her as a sister.  She would fight for her but she did not recognize her as an equal the more I think about it.  When Francis's house burned down and lost a child, Mother took our clothes and her furniture and gave it to Francis to much frowned faces.  Still, she thought I am sure before MLK, she thought her race was superior.   I have thought about this over the years and even after posting a diary of how my family were not racists but
as I look back with a clearer truth about me, I realize, there was a superiority among them and simply based on the color of their skin.  What a hard thing to realize at this time of life.   Had they not been part of the problem, they would have joined the march in Selma.  They would have done more to correct the language especially using it in conversation with friends.  Even if it was, " Those N...ers are not done right.
Francis is a good N.   Things like that. This word should never have been used around children. Where was their backbone to stand for justice?  Why did they have to fit in?
Was it fear, was it ignorance?

 I was brought up in a bigoted home.  I never thought that was true until I sat down and really thought about some things.  Why was it thatblack and white had to hide under tables to play?  Why did I get such a mixed message regarding black people?  Why did my parents tell me it was wrong to disrespect people and yet they did.  Why did they not march in Selma?  How could Mama cry for days over an illness Francis might have, or her sadness over her loss, or tears shed after seeing black people being beaten down on the streets but not do one thing to stop it?   They might as well have had a lawn jockey.

I grew up loving Francis and her family.  I did learn at a very young age that the N word did not feel right.  I grew away from Annetta.  We did not go to the same school.
She went to RL Cousins, school for the colored as it was called in those days.   We never went to the same church, or parties or dances.  We were separate.  When the children were bombed in the church in Birmingham, I started reading about MLK.  I heard all the talk about what a trouble maker he was from certain family members but not from my own immediate family.  The murder of JFK seemed to have affected them and MLK  must have impacted their lives.   They were not stupid people.   I don't recall my Mother referring to blacks as Ni..ers again after the church bombings.  I don't recall my parents showing a difference in the races after MLK and the blacks were marching.   I know they hired more blacks in their business and paid them the same as whites and I know after the Civil Rights Marches, there was a different atmosphere in our daily lives.  I still do not recall race being talked about.  There was something stirring inside of me that felt helpless and sad during the Jim Crow era.  I was confused and I felt so very bad for the black community.  I was just a young girl but I remember
feeling like a coward not to do something.

I started playing and singing Peter Paul and Mary songs.  I was standing up for the marchers and was met with no resistance at home.   I started going to churches that did have black people in attendance.  I did not speak out against racism but I did not embrace it.   I walked out of rooms when people used the N word.  The world was changing but not fast enough but it had to start somewhere and MLK took it head on.
I stopped my car at 17 when a wagon train rolled through Douglasville, Ga. on Interstate 20 and admired the people in the wagon train for freedom.    Mother was visiting her old friend Francis regularly in the 80's and stayed with her some before Francis died in the 90's.
Dot, was a woman who worked for Hospice and even after she quit, stayed with my Mother as she lay dying in Florida in 2000   My Mother had her funeral arrangements orginally planned to be done with a funeral director who primarily had black deceased clients.
Mother, as she lay dying changed her plans due to some of her family (brothers and sisters) saying she was wrong.   She wasn't wrong because the shade of the skin  didn't matter anymore and her moving out of Ga culture and her regular attendance in a black church had reshaped her thinking.  She knew her friend Francis was her best friend in life.  She was not able to really publicly display that until the eighties.  Daddy, well he never said much about anything other than loving his fellow man with the exception of trying to say that red birds did not marry blue birds when he found out our eldest daughter was dating a fine young black teenager.  I counted that off as alzheimers but I really don't know for sure.  

Mother's funeral was not done correctly in the funeral home she finally ended up at and she would have been much happier with her orginal plans but her uppity family would have never came and supported her children, I guess, she thought in her final days. Her friend Dot helped her change her plans.  The funny part was, only one family membr showed up anyway.  

Martin Luther King made an impact on my family.  He made a huge impact on me.
I have listened to his sermons and joined the SPLC, been given a certificate for my stand against hate, and will stand up to predjudice and bigotry.  I have completely corrected and cut off old classmate tea party types and wish it had not taken a half a century to stand against hate.

When I say that I know that 20 miles in any direction of Atlanta is really the old south, it is because I have lived it.   Things came to a head again with the election of Barack Obama, twice because ignorance and bigotry is still rampid.   There are people who still think nothing of segragation or the N word.   They have closed their eyes and their minds to the future and ignorance of the past prevails of which they so clearly want to cling to, along with their guns.    Martin Luther King had a dream.  It is taking a very long time for many to wake up to his dream.  Much too long.

 This MLK holiday,Celebrate his life .   Celebrate the inauguration of This president and recognize and celebrate your shedding of bigotry.   There were many heros in the Civil Rights Movement but they had a great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King.  There is much leading to be done regarding racism and we too have a great leader.  His name is Barack Obama and his grassroots movement.

Originally posted to Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 02:59 PM PST.

Also republished by RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Was Born In Baton Rouge In 1969 (10+ / 0-)

    My father finishing his PhD there. In the early 90s I went back myself to college to work on my PhD. Now I was raised in the midwest most of that time. Military brat. Honestly I can't recall any racism. I am sure it might have been there, but not in your face.

    I recall the first day of class, not long after the riots in Los Angeles at LSU. A dude in the class asked me if I wanted, cause I guess it was clear I was a Yankee (oh calling me that is a whole other related story), to get a tour of town.

    At one point we started to talk about the riots. He reached down under this seat, while driving, and pulled out a gun. Then said:

    That would never happened here. I'd do stop those niggers.
    Now I use that word here cause I think people need to hear it. I was totally confused.

    I don't think the deep south is less racist then where I live in the midwest, but they are at least open about it.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:24:02 PM PST

  •  i debated with myself whether to use (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman, glorificus, texasmom

    the N word and maybe you are right, maybe if more people heard it, they would know how uncomfortable for haters of hate, or how comfortable  racists get with it.

    You are also right about yankee being a whole other diary.  So right.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:28:42 PM PST

    •  I Can Only Talk About 91-93 (6+ / 0-)

      But I was often called a Yankee in the deep south. About the first 20 times I had nothing to say. Stunned. I have an accent that is different. Midwesterner.

      Then later I used to say so we kicked your asses, cause clearly this was a Civil War thing, how did that work out for you?

      That never went over well.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:37:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No..and still doesn't. Isn't that sad? (3+ / 0-)

        They can be kind people and yet rage of hate for anything that is not just their way.  Their talk, their culture, their color, their gender, their choice of love.  They are very intolerant of change or difference in mind thought.  I have a good friend from HS school or was a good friend and noticed she married a black man and has been married for years, has children and I am not sure how many of her old classmates really is her friend or just an old name from HS on a facebook page.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:41:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  good way to have to do it all over again (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        on a separate basis; however, having to fight your way through a state, one racist at a time is no way to spend a vacation

  •  Thanks for this diary Vetwife (6+ / 0-)

    A very strong story. Your parents may not have been as brave as you wanted them to be, but they sound like very decent people, who were fair and respectful to those around them, despite living in an intolerant atmosphere.

    I spent a few years as a child in Jamaica, and felt strongly the injustice of poverty around me. I couldn't understand why I was allowed to live better than the poor people around us. I felt that if I was braver, I would leave my family, and live with them. I was disappointed that my parents didn't set a stronger example of christian sacrifice, but in hindsight I appreciate their choice to bring us to Jamaica, expose us to different cultures, and work for justice and fairness in their way.

    •  There was never any doubt in my mind (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic, glorificus, greengemini, texasmom

      they would never deliberately hurt someone based on race.  I know they had black friends but were so secretive about it.   It was very unusal for a black person to sit at the same table and have lunch with a white family but they did insist on it.  Francis was very brave and raised all professional children.  Her children are judges, teachers, lawyers and doctors.  She worked and sent them all to college.   We did not do that well with our oh so fair skin and  blue eyes.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:49:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The secret black friends... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        That's a sad aspect of racism -- white people hiding their friends from family from fear that family would disapprove.  The rest of the family finds out about the secret friend only at the wake.  

        (This is why I particularly hate "Everyone says..."  I have seen it keep friends and family apart until somebody is in the coffin.)

        "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

        by Yamaneko2 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:00:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did not understand (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          texasmom

          Seems like I spent so much of my youth under something.  At school duck and cover fearing the nuke.
          On Saturdays, Annetta and me hid under the table or under her house but when she came with her Mama, her Mama or mine would close the curtains and shades for a cup of coffee.   It was more than disapproaval...Back in those days we would have had crosses burned or our homes bombed.  

          White kids who had black friends and there were not many, learned the older they got to stay away from different in the deep south.  I saw cross burnings from the Klan meetings at the old Rock quarry...Scared me and I was white.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:00:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for your kind words... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, erratic, texasmom

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:34:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Vetwife nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, glorificus, texasmom
  •  Wonderful diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, webranding, glorificus

    Whenever I hear someone use the N*** word I automatically think of them as 'white trash.'
    I grew up as an Air Force brat & racism wasn't tolerated.
    When I saw it off base it made me sad & mad & glad I lived on base.

    Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

    by CA wildwoman on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:59:14 PM PST

    •  I actually think Ignorant now...I thought it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus

      was an actual word back in the fifties.  Not in the 60's.

      Thought this was odd in Wikepedia

      As recently as the 1950s, it may have been acceptable British usage to say niggers when referring to black people, notable in mainstream usages such as Nigger Boy–brand[citation needed] candy cigarettes, and the color nigger brown or simply nigger (dark brown); [11] however, by the 1970s the term was generally recognized as racist, offensive and potentially illegal along with the unambiguously offensive "nig-nog", and "golliwog". As recently as 2007, the term nigger brown reappeared in the model label of a Chinese-made sofa, presumably from an out-dated translation source.[12] Agatha Christie's book Ten Little Niggers was first published in London in 1939 and continued to appear under that title until the early 1980s, when it became And Then There Were None.[13][14]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:07:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Live In The Town I Grew Up In (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, glorificus, greengemini

      near a huge Air Force base my dad was last stationed at. You know in like 1986 the smartest and most popular people were African American or Asian in my highschool. When I first saw racism in college I was confused. Very confused. I couldn't compute.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:09:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand how I accepted (4+ / 0-)

        so many things as normal when I was young.  My 7 year old would never tolerate bigotry or racism or bullying.  
        She would speak up in a heartbeat.   Kids are smarter today I guess.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:11:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good For You! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife, glorificus

          If I could take you back to where I lived in Leavenworth KS (1976 time) when my father was a professor at the Army War College  to the school I went to and show you the way I used to run home to get away from being bullied.

          That your kid will stand up for those having that done to them is about the coolest thing I've heard today.

          Later my father when I told him what was happening he taught me to defend myself. To break your arm or make you  "tap" out. But before that, it was about the most terrible thing in the world.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:24:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  even stranger would be that many of the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife

          victims of racism defended the system of racism as being the natural order of things.  Especially among older African Americans in the 1950s, upstarts in the civil rights movement were seen as trouble makers and only making things worse

          •  yes... There was so much confusion (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glorificus

            as the natural order of things was easier than change.
            I heard the president speak in 04 and my eyes lit up.  I told my husband when he spoke at the onvention.. You are watching the future and rising greatness.   He recalled that talk when he got the nomination.
            I knew then, that he was a star on the rise.  

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:40:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  My little girl is about the bravest child (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, glorificus

        I know.  She is in tune to so very much..I try to shield her as much as possible from the wrongs but she never leaves my side so, she knows quite a bit for a child her age...except to go to school and then she talks about the wrongs of people....One of a kind with a peace sign on everything.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:31:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I remember Jim Crow: 2 sets of buses, schools (5+ / 0-)

    water fountains, restaurants and bathrooms.  I can remember when African Americans carefully planned trips to town so they would not have to use the bathroom because there was none.
    I remember naked children playing in the dirt as their families delayed buying clothes until they were old enough to go to school.  I remember hogs rooting in dirt streets in the Quarter and chickens pecking in the yards. I remember the share cropping system and I remember the advent of civil rights.  I remember the riots and the countermeasures by whites.

    I remember Jim Crow but somehow, I think other generations might doubt such a thing ever existed just because it seems so foreign today  

    •  I remember the chickens and I remember (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus

      the near naked or all naked children in the rural south.
      There was also outhouses that looked like they might fall in and the houses that holes in the walls.  It was not that long ago and looked like a foreign country as I think back.  Kids playing under the house stacked on blocks.  Yes I remember.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:29:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  houses were really sited on stumps or (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, glorificus, texasmom

        heart pine blocks.  Usually when a homesite was cut out, there were stumps left to form a foundation.

        I think in this county, there were still something like 40% of homes lacking plumbing, depending upon a communal handpump.  Sewage from the outhouses usually flowed into ditches and there into a communal ditch that ran to the river.  During the summer, quicklime was spread in the outhouses to reduce the flies

        •  Bois d'arc stumps (4+ / 0-)

          were very common as house foundations in Texas - particularly in the eastern part where they were plentiful.  The chicken house on our family farm was set on bois d'arc stumps that looked ancient and felt like concrete.  Within the last 15 years we saw houses set on stump foundations with outhouses behind and cookstoves set up in the front - occupied by families in deep East Texas.  They did appear to have wells, so I presume/hope there was running water.  We haven't driven that way since the 90's, though.

          Bois d'arc branches made the best fence-posts, according to my stepdad, because they almost never rotted, even in the black gumbo soil in our area. Osage orange is the proper name, I believe.

          The truth always matters.

          by texasmom on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:00:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  People still live or exist this way but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            texasmom

            those who think America's streets are paved with gold live in the middle of nowhere with a butane heater dreaming of days they can order room service and feel somehow they will achieve Romney status while thumbing their noses at the poor person with no heat saying their lot is middle class and the homeless and near homeless brought it upon themselves.  I guess it makes thier lot in life look less dismal.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:20:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I Was WatchingA News Program A Few Years Ago (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, sponson, glorificus, texasmom

        they brought on this African America as the concersative from the Chicago Suns Times.

        I think it was Clearnce Page.

        They started to talk about race and he freakout.

        Said that he recalled his parents would not drive south as a kid during the night casue their was no hotel to stay at. Now I know much worse things happened, but it stuns me folks are alive today that say there is no racism.

        Heck there are family members of mine alive just a few years ago that knew other family members of mine that had slaves.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:40:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Everyone knew where Cummings, Ga was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glorificus

          Black or white.  Oprah did  a show there in the 80's.
          BAD BAD place.. more than a sundown town.  I at least was not brought up there.

          Mae Crow was assaulted on Sunday, September 08, 1912. She died Monday, September 23, 1912. Rob Edwards was indicted for the rape of Mae Crow. On Tuesday September 10th, 1912 Edwards was shot, drug from the Cumming, GA jail and hung up on the telephone pole at the intersection of Main Street and Tribble Gap Road (the northwest corner of the Square). The coroner's inquest held Wednesday, September 18, 1912 found the cause of death to be a gunshot.[9]
           ”
          —Donna Parrish, Shadow of 1912

          The governor then declared martial law, but the effort did little to stop a month-long barrage of attacks by night riders on the African-American citizens. This led to a diaspora of African-Americans, and the city had virtually no black population.[10]

          Racial tensions were strained even more in 1987 when a group of blacks were assaulted while camping at a park on Lake Lanier. This was widely reported by local newspapers and in Atlanta. As a result of this a local businessman decided to hold a "Peace March" the following week. Reverend Hosea Williams joined the local businessman in a march along Bethelview and Castleberry Road in south Forsyth County into the City of Cumming when they were assaulted by whites. The marchers retreated and vowed to return. During the following "Brotherhood March" On January 24, 1987, another racially-mixed group returned to Forsyth County to complete the march the previous group had be unable to finish. March organizers estimated the number at 20,000, while police estimates ran from 12-14,000. Civil rights leader, Hosea Williams, and former senator, Gary Hart, were in the demonstration. A group of the National Guard kept the opposition of about 1,000 in check. Oprah Winfrey featured the Cumming and Forsyth County on her show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. She formed a town hall meeting where one audience member said this:

          “ I'm afraid of [blacks] coming to Forsyth County," he said to Oprah at the meeting. "I was born in Atlanta, and in 1963, the first blacks were bussed to West Fulton High School. I go down there now and I see my neighborhood and my community, which was a nice community, and now it's nothing but a rat-infested slum area because they don't care.[11]  

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Notice the name?  Wonder if her husband was named Jim?

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:45:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The little SW Louisiana town (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, entlord

      where my husband was born and grew up still has a white and black side. The oldest white people might still call the black side "N***town" amongst themselves. The kids say "Blacktown."

      The schools are integrated, but white parents spend the money to send their kids to parochial or other private school if they can possibly afford it, so only poorer whites and blacks go to public school. The Catholic school is integrated too, so black parents who can afford it send their kids there. There are two Catholic churches -- not officially segregated, of course, but people go where they feel comfortable.

      The welfare office is on the black side of town. White people who need those services wouldn't dream of walking there if they could possibly help it.

      There's such a strong, unspoken undercurrent of racism -- it's hard to describe. It makes the culture kinda schizophrenic I think. When half a town's great-grandparents were OWNED by some of the rest of the town's ancestral population, and such an obvious thing as skin-color attests to who owned who, and no one's ever really spoken openly about the situation, it's hard to see how anyone can bear the tension.

      Abolishing open segregation is only the first step to real integration and the end of racism, and in at least that small southern town it doesn't seem like anyone's moved much past the first step.

      (I'm a true Northerner (white) by birth, lived in Louisiana for about 18 years, more or less against my will -- loved lots of things about it, but felt the tension of historical and present-day racism as a real psychological stress on me and my children, almost as much as on those born and bred there.)

      "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more." - Popeye the Sailor Man

      by congenitalefty on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:49:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still, and it should not be. (0+ / 0-)

        Oppression....Other than shameful, and evil, no other word desribes this kind of depressed life.  Still these folks smile through the tears of feeling less owned as so beautifully put, as their grandparents.  From the Dakota Indian tribes to the bayous of Louisiana, we should hang our heads in shame.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:24:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have told some of my stories here on dKos (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom, Vetwife, janetsal

    and would be happy to tell them again. My parents moving into a block-busted neighborhood in Newark NJ in 1960 so that my brother and I would have have some experience of reality. My Peace Corps training in Nashville TN in 1966 when I met people who had been in the Civil Rights fight since the 1930s. My own multi-ethnic minority status, which is rather complicated.

    Feel free to ask, or to look up my diaries and comments here.

    I want to let everybody know how we know that we are doing gradually better, as we have been ever since the Civil War. The rate of progress was at first glacially slow, as those who were not racist initially had to find ways to recognize each other and communicate without being found out, or risk violence from the Klan and others.

    Today, racism is in decline by about 1% of the US population annually, which still seems glacially slow, but in reality is huge progress. We can tell that it is happening not so much by asking people whether they are racists, but by looking at behavior. Specifically, we can look at rates of inter-ethnic and inter-racial marriage state by state. Hawaii is the most open, but even darkest Alabama and Mississippi are making progress.

    Most social advances, such as votes for women or ending slavery in the British empire, or LGBT rights, take about 50 years from the first widely recognized public statement to actual legal status. Racism is a much harder nut to crack. Jim Crow lasted a hundred years, and even fifty years after that, many in the the South mean to rise again. As I read it, they are actually going down for the third time.

    A second line of evidence is opinion on other social issues, where we can see in the polls over time a steady shift, that also shows up in segmenting polls by age. The shift in recent decades approaches a percent a year on various issues, so that people under 30 and people over 60 can differ by 25% or more.

    Unfortunately, when the racists and others perceive that they are losing, they become louder and nastier. In this case, they are throwing everybody even faintly reasonable overboard, allowing the remainder to get even louder and even nastier. The best I can tell you is that this current outburst can only last so long before we get past it.

    That means that we have to get to a clear Democratic majority, so that the racists cannot win national elections any more, at least not in numbers that matter. State legislatures and governorships, also, as many as we can.

    That in turn means that we have to reform the filibuster and outlaw the gerrymander again, and this time make it stick. Congress will not act on its own, and the courts are not reliable on this matter. That means that it is up to us to create enough public pressure to change those unacceptable facts.

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:26:01 PM PST

    •  The whole comment sums up the problem (0+ / 0-)

      not one black president, nor congress of mult ehtnics can get rid of this poison.   It has to be we the people and a generation or two will have to expire.  ( Better worded) than die off.   The problem is those dying off pass their hatred down through the generations and economic racism is causing more problems than we know.
      People need whipping boys ( not to be disrespectful) and who better than a black, or brown man or woman.
      The blacks like West is a reminder of those who had rather join with the enemy as those who did not want to rock the boat back during the civil rights movement.

      Our behaviors and attitudes are so important and EDUCATION.   How can a child have self esteem and now in this climate of poor not being as discriminatory as in the past, the process of equality could actually slow since the white has to blame something for their lack of accomplishment.   The uppity black as they would say got the food stamps and the breaks.   It isn't true of course but there is another form of racism and hate brewing.    This time the evil black will be the cause of all the ills of the world, IMO.  We must have a movement of race relations and we must speak with one voice.   The hate is also growing stronger with the gay and lesbian community but back in the 50's I know in the south the gays were more accepted than the blacks.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:15:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not just the south.... they took it with them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        when they moved up into the Midwest to work in the factories in Indiana and Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois.

        There's a lot of racism here among my parents' generation. I was raised in a Quaker household where overt racism was entirely banned and wrong... but there wasn't any challenge to the institutional racism that had black churches and white churches, a largely black quarter of town and the rest of it a white area. The schools were integrated, but the black kids sat at one table and the white kids at another. As an adult, I made black friends and learned a lot, but this separation that no one questioned definitely meant that I really felt awkward when I started talking to people who were of a different culture.

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:29:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They did take it with them..Missouri is horrible (0+ / 0-)

          with their racism as well as some of Michigan.  Bad part, in the south it is just so OPEN. Worst yet, it is still accepted. ( twenty miles in any direction outside of Atlanta)

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:06:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I love your diaries by the way ! (0+ / 0-)

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:24:28 PM PST

  •  Pic worth a thousand words and look at the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal

    comments... SICK !

    WAR on POVERTY NOW !   Right NOW !

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:49:34 PM PST

  •  Our Church was firebombed in the 60's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    our minister and a black minister were arrested for sitting together at a downtown lunch counter.  
    Many of the elders in our Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga went down to Selma for the civil rights marches.  Our piano was burned and badly damaged during the firebombing, but we have it still there for people to remember what went on 50 years ago in Chattanooga.  

    •  Sandy....think about it...not that long ago (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal

      and glad we are around to remember.   The hatred on the right are stoking those fires again and I just don't want my child to go through it.  I think next time woud be worse because living a life of acceptance and then being pushed back to that era would be more trauma than most could imagine..Alien.  At least back in our day, we knew what would happen.. NOW?  I dunno.
      I know I would die probably fighting this stuff again.  Some of us could not revisit it.  Too painful.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:09:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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