Who’s Your Daddy? It Wasn’t a Joke in Jim Crow Mississippi.

Segregation in the Jim Crow South was about two things: political and economic power, and sex.

The entire system was designed to keep blacks from power in government and business, and black men from intimacy with white women.

This had obvious negative effects on the South’s black population. African Americans were subjected to harsh, even brutal treatment for doing such simple things as trying to vote. But there were negative impacts on white Southerners as well.

Devils-SactuaryWhite Southerners also had to adhere to the South’s code of behavior, or suffer consequences. This is illustrated in a true story from the book Devil’s Sanctuary: An Eyewitness History of Mississippi Hate Crimes. The book is co-authored by Alex A. Alston, Jr., former president of the Mississippi State Bar Association, and journalist James L. Dickerson.

The book details instances of the horrific oppression of Mississippi blacks by white Mississippians and all aspects of the state’s governmental and social institutions.

One of those governmental institutions was the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a quasi-independent spy agency created in 1956 to Mississippi against integration efforts by the federal government. The Sovereignty Commission was basically Mississippi’s Big Brother, and had its eyes out for anything that might imperil white supremacy.

This is a poignant and somewhat scary excerpt from the book:

Early in 1956, Mississippi Governor J. P. Coleman sent a bill to the Mississippi legislature to create a super-secret spy agency designed to protect the state from the encroaching power of the federal government. Under the provisions of the bill, the commission was empowered to “perform any and all acts and things deemed necessary to protect the sovereignty of the State of Mississippi, and her sister states, from encroachment.”

The commission was given the authority to examine the records and documents of any citizen and it was provided with broad-ranging subpoena power that included the authority to enforce obedience “by fine or imprisonment” at the discretion of the commission. It was designed to operate independantly of state govenment, when necessary, and permitted to solicit and use private funds to carry out covert operations.

…while taking the oath of office, Coleman had brought attention to the commission by saying, “I have not the slightest fear that four years hence when my successor assumes his official oath that the seperation of races in Mississippi will be left intact.”

***

When the Sovereignty Commission received word in 1964 that a white woman in Grenada, Mississippi had given birth to a baby of suspicious racial origins, investigator Tom Scarbrough was sent to the small town to conduct an investigation. After touching base with his initial source. who informed him that the 38 year old woman had been having an affair with a 31 year old motel employee who was black, Scarbrough met with the local sheriff, who expressed relief at seeing the investigator in town, since he wasn’t sure what to do about the situation. In his report Scarbrough wrote that the sheriff had told him that the people in Grenada were disturbed about the rumors, all the more since the (woman) and her husband and were from respectable families.

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The GOP Can’t Help It.

I guess the Republican Party just can’t help it. Making crude comments about African Americans, even one who has reached the position of POTUS, seems to be in their DNA. Consider these clumsy remarks by the Republican Party about Barack Obama and his wife Michelle:

• From Newscoma: Tennessee GOP state Senator Diane Black (R-Gallatin) sent an email with this image of our country’s presidents.

GOP_TN_Racism_Presidents

• From the Indigo Journal: Mike Green, a Republican operative who is helping to run the campaign for GOP gubernatorial candidate Gresham Barrett, posted the following joke about President Obama on his Twitter account:

JUST HEARD OBAMA IS GOING TO IMPOSE A 40% TAX ON ASPIRIN BECAUSE IT’S WHITE AND IT WORKS.

Fitsnews.com reports: Republican Rusty DePass, a former SC State Senate candidate, supporter of former President George W. Bush, and Longtime GOP activist, made this comment after hearing about the escape of a gorilla from a zoo in Columbia South Carolina:

“I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless.

And yet they wonder why they can’t get more black votes…

See also:
WTF?!? Racist Insanity
The Hate That Hate Produced: The Demonization of Barack Obama by the Republican Party

Cookie Gilcrhist: Pro Football All-Star, Civil Rights Activist, and Perhaps, Jack Kemp’s Conscience

Carlton Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist is one of the greatest football players you’ve never heard of. Given the recent news of the death of Republican Party leader Jack Kemp, it’s a good time to tell Gilchrist’s story, the story of a sports and civil rights hero who played with Kemp on the Buffalo Bills over 40 years ago.

CookieJack1
Cookie Gilchrist and Jack Kemp, Buffalo Bills, mid-1960s.

Gilchrist, born in 1935, grew up in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where the city of Pittsburgh is located. He was a high school football phenom, and drew some interest from the National Football League. After his high school graduation, he became embroiled in a high school player-signing scandal:

A star player in high school, Gilchrist signed a pro football contract with the Cleveland Browns between his 11th and 12th grades. He was signed by Hall of fame Coach Paul Brown, who denied the signing for years to save face in public. The NFL voided the contract but the damage was done and the 108 colleges who were recruiting him could not give him a scholarship…

Unable to play in college or the pros in the US, Gilchrist went to Canada. At 6’3″ and 250 pounds, with both athleticism and heart, he became a huge success in the Canadian Football League:

In 1956, he joined the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, helping lead them to a 1957 Grey Cup victory. He also played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, rushing for over 1,300 yards, and played 3 years for the Toronto Argonauts, where he was runner up for the 1960 CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award. Gilchrist played fullback, linebacker and placekicker, and gained over 4,800 yards rushing in the Canadian Football League, where he was a CFL All-League player each of his six years in the league.

Gilchrist joined the American Football Leagues’s Buffulo Bills in 1962. Although he played just three years for the Bills, he had some impressive career highlights:

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More Signs of Racist Backlash to Obama Victory

Editor & Publisher chronicles the continuing, disturbing racist pushback to the election of Barack Obama. This is an excerpt:

NEW YORK Earlier this week we started covering (see link at bottom) anti-Obama, often racist, incidents taking place around the country, generally overlooked in the national media — but covered by local papers. This seemed to strike a nerve with many readers so we will continue regular updates.

Local stories show that anti-Obama incidents (including physical and verbal abuse, KKK outfits worn, flags burned on front lawns) are occurring on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

AP reports today that “in a Maine convenience store, an Associated Press reporter saw a sign inviting customers to join a betting pool on when Obama might fall victim to an assassin. The sign solicited $1 entries into ”he Osama Obama Shotgun Pool,” saying the money would go to the person picking the date closest to when Obama was attacked. ‘Let’s hope we have a winner,’ said the sign, since taken down.”

From the Orange County (Ca.) Register, concerning an incident in Fullerton: “Two gang members pleaded not guilty Thursday to hate crime and attempted robbery charges in connection with the beating of a black man who was trying to buy cigarettes at a Fullerton liquor store.” The two men shouted racial and anti-Obama epithets in the attack.

In Snellville, Ga., Denene Millner said that a day after the election, a boy on a school bus told her 9-year-old daughter that he hoped “Obama gets assassinated.” That night, Millner said, in an AP account, someone trashed her sister-in-law’s front lawn, mangled the Obama lawn signs and left two pizza boxes filled with human feces outside the front door.”It definitely makes you look a little different at the people who you live with,” said Millner, who is black. “And makes you wonder what they’re capable of and what they’re really thinking.”

In Idaho, the Secret Service is investigating a “public hanging” sign erected by a man upset with the election outcome, the Bonner County Daily Bee (Sandpoint) reported Thursday.

A handmade sign posted on a tree reads “FREE PUBLIC HANGING” written in large letters beneath a noose fashioned from nylon rope. The sign then names former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, current U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and civil rights activist Al Sharpton. The most prominent name on the sign is “OBAMA,” according to the Bee.

This is just too scary. If hundreds of people are doing this, thousands of others are probably thinking about it, but don’t have the time, energy, or guts to follow through on their feelings.

Our country has come a long way, but clearly, we’ve got a long way to go.

Worldwide Fear of a Black President?

As reported by the Washington Post in its article Racism Rears Its Head in European Remarks on Obama, the election of Barack Obama to US president hasn’t been hailed universally across the globe:

Europe erupted in cheers to celebrate Barack Obama’s election as president, but the continent is seeing its share of insensitive racial blunders, too.

Over the past week, a number of European lawmakers and journalists have made foot-in-mouth comments regarding America’s black president-elect, suggesting that some otherwise respected public figures in Europe are far from enlightened on racial matters.

The day after Obama’s victory, a leading Austrian television journalist said on camera that he “wouldn’t want the Western world to be directed by a black man.” A Polish lawmaker stood up in Parliament and called the election result “the end of the white man’s civilization.”

Some racist comments have come from people who have expressed such views before. “Africa Conquers the White House,” read a headline on the Web site of the National Democratic Party of Germany, a political party that sympathizes with neo-Nazi groups. In an accompanying article, Jürgen Gansel, a party leader and an elected lawmaker in the German state of Saxony, blamed Obama’s victory on “the American alliance of Jews and Negroes.”

WTF?!? Racist Insanity

[1] Louisiana Republican has a novel way to end poverty:

[2] Republican message to Nevada Hispanics: don’t be the new n******.

We don’t want (Hispanics) to become the new African-American community… And that’s what the Democratic Party is going to do to them, create more programs and give them handouts, food stamps and checks for this and checks for that. We don’t want that…

I’m very much afraid that the Democratic Party is going to do the same thing that they did with the African-American culture and make them all dependent on the government and we don’t want that.

– Didi Lima, GOP communications director in Clark County, Nevada, according to USA Today. Lima has since been releived of her duties.

[3] Obama the Anti-Christ, again.

Fort Mill, SC Mayor Danny Funderburk says he was “just curious” when he forwarded a chain e-mail suggesting Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is the biblical antichrist. “I was just curious if there was any validity to it,” Funderburk said in a telephone interview. “I was trying to get documentation if there was any scripture to back it up.”

Funderburk apparently sent the e-mail from his business account at Gastonia Sheet Metal where he works as a business agent.

The e-mail, which has circulated in the last six months since Obama secured the Democratic nomination, claims the biblical book of Revelation says the antichrist will be in his 40s and of Muslim ancestry.

There is no such scripture. And Obama is not a Muslim. But that hasn’t stopped the e-mail.

When asked if he believed Obama was the antichrist, Funderburk replied, “I’ve got absolutely no way of knowing that.” Funderburk said it “probably does give that impression” that he believed the e-mail was true “but that was not my intent.”

“I am curious about current events and their connection to the Bible,” he said.

– From the Charlotte Observer.

[4] Obama Effigy Hung From Tree at Christian College.

So much for the Christian spirit.

A custodian at the Christian school George Fox University found an effigy of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama hanging from a tree on campus on Tuesday, University President Robin Baker told The Associated Press.

University spokesperson Rob Felton said the figure hung from the branch of the tree with fishing line around its neck, an image that recalls lynching of Blacks and Latinos, outraging students and school administrators alike.

Taped to the cardboard cutout of Obama was a message targeting participants in Act Six, a scholarship program intended to increase the number of Black, Latino and low-income students at several Christian colleges, mostly in the Northwest. The message read “Act Six reject,” according to the article.

It is ironic that such an effigy would be hung at George Fox University, a school founded by Quaker pioneers in 1891. (Quakers opposed slavery.) “It has been my dream to establish a university that more adequately represents the kingdom of God,” said Baker at a school assembly, according to the article. “This act causes some to question our commitment.”

From Diversity Inc.com

[5] Fear of a black president?

The content of a racially insensitive flier regarding presidential candidate Barack Obama, distributed in some Roxbury, NJ neighborhoods last weekend did not violate any criminal statutes and is speech protected by the First Amendment, according to a review by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Robert Bianchi, in a formal statement, said he found the flier to be “reprehensible literature” but its distribution and content was not illegal. He pledged, however, to carefully monitor the situation and “aggressively prosecute any person who crosses the line and commits a criminal offense or bias crime.”

The flier was left on driveways in a neatly packaged plastic envelope and distributed by a group named the League of American Patriots, which listed a Butler mailing address. It questioned, “Do You Want A Black President?” and stated “Black Ruled Nations most unstable and violent in the world.”

”Why should we seal our fate by allowing a black ruler to destroy us?” said the flier, which also detailed what it contended to be a series of facts on black unemployment, poverty, HIV and crime rates, while pointing out woes of a couple of predominantly black-populated countries.

From the Star-Ledger

[6] Let them eat cake, er, Obama Waffles:

The Family Research Council is a Christian right non-profit think tank and lobbying organization that was formed by James Dobson. This was a hot selling item at the Council’s 2008 Values Voter Summit, which was held in mid-September in Washington in Washington, D.C:

[7] The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Marianna Middle School is located in Jackson county, Florida, which borders Alabama and Georgia. A teacher there had a special lesson for his students:

The day went as usual at Marianna Middle School, but one thing is different: 7th grade teacher and coach Greg Howard is no longer an employee. He was suspended without pay for 10 days starting Thursday for making racial slurs at presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Our source told us Howard asked his students what “change” stood for and proceeded to write out the acronym “change”- come help a n(word) get elected.

Jackson County’s Deputy School superintendent says he’s received conflicting reports, but he can confirm change and the n-word were used.

According to Jack and Jill Politics, the class had six African American students.

[8] They forget to include a picture of arugula.

The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles. (The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario Metropolitan Area of southern California is commonly referred to as the “Inland Empire”.)

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

[…]

Sheila Raines, an African-American member of the club, was the first person to complain about the newsletter. Raines, of San Bernardino, said she has worked hard to try to convince other minorities to join the Republican Party and now she feels betrayed.

“This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party,” she said. “I’m really hurt. I cried for 45 minutes.”

From Press-Enterprise.com