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New Source/Analysis on Brigham Young and Racism


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https://thelatterdayliberator.com/brigham-young-racism-and-slavery/

Interesting insights, including info suggesting the Journal of Discourses cannot be considered the actual words the transcriber heard in their talks, and nothing but that.

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TBDF have always argued that the Journal of Discourses is not "official" because of the scribes and transcribers and whatever.  In terms of the OP, look up who used the n-word in the Journal of Discourses

Nonsense.

Brigham indeed, in the light of his times as well as ours, was a racist, but most people do not examine him through the lens of biblical slavery.  The 1852 Utah Territory slave act enabled laws that were different than those in the rest of the country.  Slaves could not be physically punished beyond a certain limit, slaves had to be taught how to write and read, their children had to be emancipated at a certain age, and if an owner did not go to the County Probate Judge and make out papers of ownership by a certain date, the slave became free.  This Utah slavery was not the brutal kind that existed in my American South during the 1850s.

None of that made BY, imo, a particularly gentler and kindler racist.  It took me a lifetime journey to understand the pitfalls and traps of this journey.  I never spoke to an African American until I was seventeen, and coming from a family prejudiced against race, origin, certain ethnicities and religions, serving under senior officers of color and/or were female was necessary for me to understand that I was wrong and needed to change my ways.  I am a better man because I did.

Not to point fingers: let me just say that this topic is a hard one.

 

Edited by JamesBYoung
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56 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

TBDF have always argued that the Journal of Discourses is not "official" because of the scribes and transcribers and whatever.

Nonsense...................................

Am I correct that those scribes took verbatim dictation using shorthand?  When I was young, shorthand was in normal use in virtually all big businesses and govt, and was the way in which official transcripts were made in every courtroom.

ETA:  Having now read the article by William Douglas, I realize that George Watt was something less than an accurate rapporteur.  The article provides an enhanced sense of perspective on BY's likely motives.  I was disappointed, though, that the author didn't bother to include the strong protestations of Orson Pratt in the matter.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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Orson Pratt Sr. indeed struggled with Brigham on the 1852 legislation.

Watt was not as superb as we would want, yes.  But I read somewhere that Brigham reviewed his talks before they were published in the JOD.

I wish LaJean Carruth would comment on Watt, but she has not and I expect she won't.

Edited by JamesBYoung
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Having grown up in the south, I find much of the talk about racism - when it comes to the south - to be based on what people have read or based on the worst episodes that occurred in the south. I am not saying that the south was not racist, but there is a difference between the feelings of about a people and the feelings for an individual.

My mother had a dear friend that always came by the house. She used to be the principal of the black school - she was bright, funny, wise, and learned. When she came to the grocery store I always made an effort to take out her groceries for her, which always resulted in a conversation out by her car. She never left our home during harvest time without taking home a pile of vegetables or whatever else was in the garden or fruit trees. Mother treated her in the same manner that she treated any of her friends or extended family members.

In another town, we knew another family that were also Mormons. They used to have a house that was used solely for family get togethers. Seems like it was called the honey house. They employed a couple of black ladies that would cook their meals. When the family went fishing, they first stopped at the homes of these women and delivered a mess of fish to each. Whatever fish were left over were then divided between the family.  The parents taught their children to respect these women and they always hugged each other when seeing one another.  There was certainly a feeling of love and appreciation that both sides expressed to one another. Granted, there was a facet of the relationship that was employee/employer, but I think it was only a single facet of the relationship between all of them.

I don't think these were strange or unusual relationships. They were not universal, but not so uncommon that they caused problems for others.  I knew families that would not entertain such a relationship, but I believe there were more that had cordial relationships with blacks. 

One other thing, when I was a young teenager my father and I were out on a drive. He drove by a cement block building and told me that was where the KKK met. I asked him what he saw as a boy and young man living in the community. His recollection was that a few times a year they would parade down main street once or twice a year, but where their influence was most keenly felt was with white fathers that did not take care of their families - drink too much, not work, and not providing for their children and wife. He said they would pick the man up, take him out and beat him pretty good and let him know his behavior would not be tolerated any longer. Not surprisingly, the father returned to being a more productive provider for his family. 

I have concluded that I don't trust almost anything that I hear on the news or that any individual who talks in the media about these topics. They are all entertainers and looking to make a buck. These topics are much more complex and multi-faceted than the majority report or talk about.  I suspect that goes for Brigham Young also. 

 

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3 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

the black school

Says a lot right there. 
 

Quote

Not surprisingly, the father returned to being a more productive provider for his family. 

Yeah, I would like to see actual documentation of that.  More likely they drove the behaviour underground and increased abuse in the family. Beating up drunks isn’t something that cures the behaviour.

That Klan members justified their own violence by making it a privilege and duty to go beat on white guys they saw as inferior to them isn’t a great support for them not being as virulently racist as claimed.  

Edited by Calm
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The unholy mess of race relations in the south is not all that long ago, not even until yesterday.

We were living in Jasper when John King et al dragged James Byrd to death, chained to the back of a pickup, 22 years ago.  We were in the crowd, when he was led away being convicted at the court house, "buh bye, Mr. King; buh bye, Mr. King."

The waste of human kindness among the tragedy of stupid racialism.  It still has some strains among the COJCOLDS in Utah and certainly among the TLC, Allreds, FLDS, etc.

Racism is the cross the USA has always carried and we keep nailing ourselves on it.

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5 hours ago, Calm said:

Says a lot right there. 
 

Yeah, I would like to see actual documentation of that.  More likely they drove the behaviour underground and increased abuse in the family. Beating up drunks isn’t something that cures the behaviour.

That Klan members justified their own violence by making it a privilege and duty to go beat on white guys they saw as inferior to them isn’t a great support for them not being as virulently racist as claimed.  

My, that is about as negative of spin one could put on it.

First, the black school had been shut down by this time; it was after integration. The building still stood, but was not used. When she talked about it shutting down, she always expressed regrets. It was a new building that was built just for the purpose. She felt she and her teachers were doing a good job of teaching the children and they all had jobs. 

I don't think a beating cures behavior in the same way that I don't think incarcerating individuals cures them of bad choices. But it does something else to think about. These guys did not think they were superior, but they were dead set against the behavior of a man not providing for their family. 

Who said anything about Klan members thinking it was a privilege? I have no idea, but it was not part of my dad's conversation. I suspect one of the reasons my dad knew of this was because his father was an alcoholic - he would rent out his boys to help farmers, which was a common practice for poor folks. I never asked and he never said that his father was visited, but I suspect that is how dad knew about it. 

I do not justify the Klan nor excuse them, but as I stated before - the reality is far more complex than most give them. It is far too easy to do as you have done and just assume every Klan member was an evil racist just waiting to bathe in the blood of blacks. That is an erroneous image and a distortion. 

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On 6/26/2020 at 7:43 PM, Storm Rider said:

Having grown up in the south, I find much of the talk about racism - when it comes to the south - to be based on what people have read or based on the worst episodes that occurred in the south. I am not saying that the south was not racist, but there is a difference between the feelings of about a people and the feelings for an individual.

My mother had a dear friend that always came by the house. She used to be the principal of the black school - she was bright, funny, wise, and learned. When she came to the grocery store I always made an effort to take out her groceries for her, which always resulted in a conversation out by her car. She never left our home during harvest time without taking home a pile of vegetables or whatever else was in the garden or fruit trees. Mother treated her in the same manner that she treated any of her friends or extended family members.

In another town, we knew another family that were also Mormons. They used to have a house that was used solely for family get togethers. Seems like it was called the honey house. They employed a couple of black ladies that would cook their meals. When the family went fishing, they first stopped at the homes of these women and delivered a mess of fish to each. Whatever fish were left over were then divided between the family.  The parents taught their children to respect these women and they always hugged each other when seeing one another.  There was certainly a feeling of love and appreciation that both sides expressed to one another. Granted, there was a facet of the relationship that was employee/employer, but I think it was only a single facet of the relationship between all of them.

I don't think these were strange or unusual relationships. They were not universal, but not so uncommon that they caused problems for others.  I knew families that would not entertain such a relationship, but I believe there were more that had cordial relationships with blacks. 

One other thing, when I was a young teenager my father and I were out on a drive. He drove by a cement block building and told me that was where the KKK met. I asked him what he saw as a boy and young man living in the community. His recollection was that a few times a year they would parade down main street once or twice a year, but where their influence was most keenly felt was with white fathers that did not take care of their families - drink too much, not work, and not providing for their children and wife. He said they would pick the man up, take him out and beat him pretty good and let him know his behavior would not be tolerated any longer. Not surprisingly, the father returned to being a more productive provider for his family. 

I have concluded that I don't trust almost anything that I hear on the news or that any individual who talks in the media about these topics. They are all entertainers and looking to make a buck. These topics are much more complex and multi-faceted than the majority report or talk about.  I suspect that goes for Brigham Young also. 

 

It's odd to me  to defend the klan by sharing they are violent with white men.

 

Edited by Rain
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I'm sorry for the meme, but pretty sure BY said this, kind of scary when you think about it. And pretty sure that's what started a lot that has been done in the church as far as discriminating. 

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup, text that says '"ShallI tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." BRIGHAM YOUNG MISSEDIN SUNDAY.'

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

It's odd to me  to defend the clan by sharing they are violent with white men.

 

You missed the point completely. The point was that the story of racism is much more complicated than the simple narrative known today. There is a big difference between personal relationships and what individuals thought or felt about entire races.

Southerners, even those that are supposed to be the most racist, did not spend their time trying to attack black people. In fact, in that small town there was no overt instance of physical violence towards blacks. The violence that was in evidence towards Blacks was having the annual or biannual demonstration of a parade down main street (a single road where 8 to 10 businesses were found).  They were never announced and it consisted of a trailer with five to ten men in garb being pulled down road. 

The topic was racism rather than violence. These were individuals with belief systems that dictated what they thought was right and what was wrong. For them, it was not about Blacks, but about white men that did not care for their families.

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6 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

You missed the point completely. The point was that the story of racism is much more complicated than the simple narrative known today. There is a big difference between personal relationships and what individuals thought or felt about entire races.

Southerners, even those that are supposed to be the most racist, did not spend their time trying to attack black people. In fact, in that small town there was no overt instance of physical violence towards blacks. The violence that was in evidence towards Blacks was having the annual or biannual demonstration of a parade down main street (a single road where 8 to 10 businesses were found).  They were never announced and it consisted of a trailer with five to ten men in garb being pulled down road. 

The topic was racism rather than violence. These were individuals with belief systems that dictated what they thought was right and what was wrong. For them, it was not about Blacks, but about white men that did not care for their families.

I didn't miss the point at all. I simply found the defense odd.  

What happens in a "small town" does not mean it is exactly what happens in a large geographical area. It may be a good example of the area or it may be an anomaly. 

It may be true that no violence happened towards black people in your town. I obviously don't know anything about your town, but violence to white men in the town shows me that it could have happened to black men when you didn't know about it. If people are willing to beat up someone shirking responsibilities what is stopping them beating other people?

Edited by Rain
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6 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

These guys did not think they were superior, but they were dead set against the behavior of a man not providing for their family. 

How is that not thinking they were superior in that they had the right to judge the behaviour of another man and then execute their will upon him without any authority but what they took upon themselves. 
 

They were vigilantes, not a social club. 
 

Quote

do not justify the Klan nor excuse them,

No, claiming they changed deadbeat fathers and husbands into men who provided for their families is a justification. 

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3 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

You missed the point completely. The point was that the story of racism is much more complicated than the simple narrative known today. There is a big difference between personal relationships and what individuals thought or felt 

Nothing you have said has a thing to do with racism and not in a good way. Giving people stuff you don’t need has always been a cover for not including them in other parts of life. The clock  has run out on “I have a black friend”. 
 

The point should be that racism isn’t complicated at all. And the KKK is a terrorist group. 

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2 hours ago, juliann said:

Nothing you have said has a thing to do with racism and not in a good way. Giving people stuff you don’t need has always been a cover for not including them in other parts of life. The clock  has run out on “I have a black friend”. 
 

The point should be that racism isn’t complicated at all. And the KKK is a terrorist group. 

Is there a good faith argument to be made that the present Church, the past Church, or Brigham specifically was a friend of the KKK or its antecedents?

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2 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

The Klan is an abhorrence before the justice of our Heavenly Father.

Are you saying that there is a Klan friendly element within the Church? Or that the Church is Klan friendly?

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2 minutes ago, USU78 said:

Is there a good faith argument to be made that the present Church, the past Church, or Brigham specifically was a friend of the KKK or its antecedents?

Where did that come from?  Who is even coming close to that?

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6 minutes ago, USU78 said:

Are you saying that there is a Klan friendly element within the Church? Or that the Church is Klan friendly?

Maybe you should read the thread again to see how the derailment into the Klan happened.  Ask Storm Rider, the one who brought that Klan into the thread, if he thinks this.

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, juliann said:

The point should be that racism isn’t complicated at all.

People are complicated.  And racism has a long history up to its current versions.  So I think racism is complicated as a topic, though simple in the sense we shouldn't be justifying or making excuses for it and simple in that we should try to the best of our ability to stop it in ourselves.

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48 minutes ago, Calm said:

Where did that come from?  Who is even coming close to that?

Or juliann can answer for herself

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2 hours ago, USU78 said:

Are you saying that there is a Klan friendly element within the Church? Or that the Church is Klan friendly?

Back up, friend.  Where could you possibly get that idea?  For shame.

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10 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

Back up, friend.  Where could you possibly get that idea?  For shame.

My apologies. Juliann trends to bring out the red in me. You're an innocent bystander.

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