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New Source/Analysis on Brigham Young and Racism


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For the record, I never knew of and never heard of a LDS klucker in western Louisiana and East Texas.

Truly believe every LDS member there would have been horrified of such.

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On 6/27/2020 at 6:37 AM, JamesBYoung said:

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.

Prejudice is as old as humanity itself. Los Gitanos in Andalucia, Spain have been there for over 500 years now and remain second class citizens. Most are "cultural" gitanos since the racial lines have blurred significantly by now. But racial, social and economic animosity against them remains. It's been only 150 years in the US since the emancipation declaration and barely three generations  since the Civil Rights movement. It will continue to be a painful and difficult struggle for many years to come. 

ALL men are sinful, broken creatures; including some that have been called by God to do His work. The scriptures bare witness to that fact. We look at their failures and successes as part of the path they trod and learn from them. So that we are then encouraged to draw closer to God and seek to be guided by His Spirit to adhere closely to His word and counsel in the hope of avoiding those mistakes of the past. 

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On 6/27/2020 at 3:20 AM, JamesBYoung said:

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.

That would be important.

Also, the the author of the analysis in the OP uses Brigham Young's contradictory reported statements to question the scribe's accuracy, as if people cannot or do not contradict themselves in one breath. Yet, we have ample examples today of a prominent person speaking just like that. Unfortunately we know that there are people who speak out of both sides of their mouth, even within the span of minutes and before the same audience in the same speech. One memorable example to me was the speech of the POTUS (before he was elected) after the Pulse shooting in Florida. So leaders do speak like that and even still prevail politically, by the way, in case there is any question on that point.

LDS church member Joanna Brooks has a book coming out very soon, Mormonism and White Supremacy: American Religion and The Problem of Racial Innocence, the Amazon description reads:

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To this day, churchgoing Mormons report that they hear from their fellow congregants in Sunday meetings that African-Americans are the accursed descendants of Cain whose spirits―due to their lack of spiritual mettle in a premortal existence―were destined to come to earth with a "curse" of black skin. This claim can be made in many Mormon Sunday Schools without fear of contradiction. You are more likely to encounter opposition if you argue that the ban on the ordination of Black Mormons was a product of human racism. Like most difficult subjects in Mormon history and practice, says Joanna Brooks, the priesthood and temple ban on Blacks has been managed carefully in LDS institutional settings with a combination of avoidance, denial, selective truth-telling, and determined silence.
As America begins to come to terms with the costs of white privilege to Black lives, this book urges a soul-searching examination of the role American Christianity has played in sustaining everyday white supremacy by assuring white people of their innocence. In Mormonism and White Supremacy, Joanna Brooks offers an unflinching look at her own people's history and culture and finds in them lessons that will hit home for every scholar of American religion and person of faith.

...and in 2018, Brooks published The Possessive Investment in Rightness: White Supremacy and the Mormon Movement (available for free download at JSTOR) which is well worth reading imo and in it she shows that Brigham Young's positions were corroborated by Eliza Snow:

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As Maureen Ursenbach Beecher wrote, “Eliza adopted ideas from whatever source she trusted—Joseph Smith’s utterances would be received without question—and worked them meticulously into a neatly-packaged theology with the ends tucked in and the strings tied tight.”15 In this poem, Eliza R. Snow endorses Brigham Young’s vision of a theocratic Utah governed by white priesthood holders. 

 

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Included in Joanna Brook's essay Invested in Rightness, cited in the previous post, is a journal entry of Brigham Young's from 1852, part of the time period of diaries written in BY's hand:

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I know that they cannot bear rule in the preisthood, for the curse on them was to remain upon them, until the resedue of the posterity of Michal and his wife receive the blessings. . . . Now then in the kingdom of God on the earth, a man who has has the Affrican blood in him cannot hold one jot nor tittle of preisthood; . . . In the kingdom of God on the earth the Affricans cannot hold one partical of power in Government. . . . The men bearing rule; not one of the children of old Cain, have one partical of right to bear Rule in Government affairs from first to last, they have no buisness there. this privilege was taken from them by there own transgressions, and I cannot help it; and should you or I bear rule we ought to do it with dignity and honour before God. . . . Therefore I will not consent for one moment to have an african dictate me or any Bren. with regard to Church or State Government. I may vary in my veiwes from others, and they may think I am foolish in the things I have spoken, and think that they know more than I do, but I know I know more than they do. If theAffricans cannot bear rule in the Church of God, what business have they to bear rule in the State and Government affairs of this Territory or any others? . . . If we suffer the Devil to rule over us we shall not accomplish any good. I want the Lord to rule, and be our Governor and and dictater, and we are the boys to execute. . . . Consequently I will not consent for a moment to have the Children of Cain rule me nor my Bren. No, it is not right. . . . No man can vote for me or my Bren. in this Territory who has not the privilege of acting in Church affairs.

 

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5 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Also, the the author of the analysis in the OP uses Brigham Young's contradictory reported statements to question the scribe's accuracy, as if people cannot or do not contradict themselves in one breath. Yet, we have ample examples today of a prominent person speaking just like that. Unfortunately we know that there are people who speak out of both sides of their mouth, even within the span of minutes and before the same audience in the same speech. One memorable example to me was the speech of the POTUS (before he was elected) after the Pulse shooting in Florida. So leaders do speak like that and even still prevail politically, by the way, in case there is any question on that point.

Brigham Young had many flaws but I would not ascribe to him anything that smacks of that kind of con-artist bull***er rhetoric. I just do not see any evidence of it based on his reported interactions with others or his speaking. 

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32 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Brigham Young had many flaws but I would not ascribe to him anything that smacks of that kind of con-artist bull***er rhetoric. I just do not see any evidence of it based on his reported interactions with others or his speaking. 

Well, I'm not saying they have the same style. I am saying that it would not be improbable for a prominent, successful leader to contradict themselves even on important matters. The article in the OP is suggesting that it is more likely that Young's scribe created changes in the records which might explain at least some of the contradictions.

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1 minute ago, Meadowchik said:

Well, I'm not saying they have the same style. I am saying that it would not be improbable for a prominent, successful leader to contradict themselves even on important matters. The article in the OP is suggesting that it is more likely that Young's scribe created changes in the records which might explain at least some of the contradictions.

It is possible and I try to take the JoD with a grain of salt (I am one of the weirdos who reads it for fun). Watt had an interesting history and future as part of the Godbeite movement that led to a lot of pushback against Brigham Young's vision of an economic Zion but it is probably a stretch to say any of that impacted how he portrayed Brigham Young's teachings on race or that he had a motive to do so. I am not familiar enough with the shorthand used to know how accurate it is.

I gained a new respect for court reporters when I had to transcribe conversations in college. I could not do it 'off the cuff'.

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Just now, The Nehor said:

It is possible and I try to take the JoD with a grain of salt (I am one of the weirdos who reads it for fun). Watt had an interesting history and future as part of the Godbeite movement that led to a lot of pushback against Brigham Young's vision of an economic Zion but it is probably a stretch to say any of that impacted how he portrayed Brigham Young's teachings on race or that he had a motive to do so. I am not familiar enough with the shorthand used to know how accurate it is.

I gained a new respect for court reporters when I had to transcribe conversations in college. I could not do it 'off the cuff'.

My grandmother learned shorthand in highschool and used it in the war effort in WWII. She still writes in it.

Thanks for your input!

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20 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Did not come in here expecting to hear a defense of the Klan as 'not all bad'. Wow.

If that's what you heard, you were listening with the aid of a very crooked ear horn.

There were occasions when even Nazis and Commies did good things. Saying so is not a defense of National Socialism or Communism. Nor is saying the Klan did something with vaguely positive outcomes ("inspiring white trash to do better") a defense of the Klan.

Even Satan serves a purpose in God's plan. This is not a defense of the Devil.

Do you get what I'm saying?

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20 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

If that's what you heard, you were listening with the aid of a very crooked ear horn.

Storm Rider's post seemed rather "not all bad" to me as well.  Racism in the South wasn't really like what we hear.  They were only beating up men who deserved it in his father's town....or so it seems he described it as such.  He uses the example of the complexity of men in the Klan as part of a defense of Brigham Young.  Why would he do that if he didn't see the Klan as "not all bad"?

Would you use the behaviour of Nazis to support behaviour of our prophets?

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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....These topics are much more complex and multi-faceted than the majority report or talk about.  I suspect that goes for Brigham Young also. 

 

Edited by Calm
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19 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

My grandmother learned shorthand in highschool and used it in the war effort in WWII. She still writes in it.

Thanks for your input!

I first heard of it a long time ago when I was watching an old black-and-white movie with Edward G. Robinson playing a journalist interviewing a mob boss or something. He's busy writing something while the mobster talks, and then the mobster catches sight of what Robinson's character is writing: it's just squiggles and curly lines!  The mobster asks him incredously "What is that?!?!"  Something I was wondering, too, at the time! The answer: "Why, that's shorthand!"  As if we should have known. I once obtained a book on Gregg Shortland, and tried it out, but I wasn't interested enough at the time to continue with it. What would I do with it, after all?

I had thought that this was a pretty modern thing, but it turns out that there were a number of shorthand systems that had been developed in antiquity. The famous Roman senator Cicero had two or three servants who would record his speeches in the Senate using a system developed for Latin by one of his slaves, later freedman, Tiro. His system was called the Tironian Notes and was in use for over a thousand years, mostly in in monasteries towards the end, due to Latin dying out as a learned tongue.

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9 minutes ago, Calm said:

Storm Rider's post seemed rather "not all bad" to me as well.  Racism in the South wasn't really like what we hear.  They were only beating up men who deserved it in his father's town....or so it seems he described it as such.  He uses the example of the complexity of men in the Klan as part of a defense of Brigham Young.  Why would he do that if he didn't see the Klan as "not all bad"?

Why don't you ask him?

There's a tendency, and it's probably not a new thing, to vilify someone for merely failing to go "all the way" with the "standard accepted vilification."

One who allows that perhaps, just perhaps, the vilified person or group might incidentally have not been 100% evil 100% of the time. Or that one were to say that some act by a member or members of that group had perhaps in a back-handed way done something that was wrong on its face but that had resulted, perhaps inexplicably, in a good outcome.  Would that be a cause for vilification of the person saying it?  Or would saying it constitute an endorsement of the group?  That seems to be what is happening here to @Storm Rider.

I've gotten hit by this. I remember that in a thread on Facebook that was busy vilifying a certain politician as a racist, a contributor made a statement of fact that was in fact incorrect. My sole contribution to the conversation was to correct the misstatement of fact (that had nothing to do with racism or the politician). I was then accused of being a racist because I failed to join in feigning outrage about the politician's supposed racism.  The instigator of the original post then followed me onto my own timeline and again labelled me as a racist for the crime of failing to explicitly call the politician a racist. He then had to deal with all my friends telling him that he was an idiot who didn't know what he was talking about -- he had to bow out of that conversation because this time the piling on was going against him instead of with him. 

9 minutes ago, Calm said:

Would you use the behaviour of Nazis to support behaviour of our prophets?

 

Why would I? 

Hitler was a vegetarian and loved animals.  Could stating this fact be seen as painting Hitler as "not all bad"?   Would it be OK to use this fact as a vilification of animal-loving vegetarians? "You don't eat meat? And you love animals?  You must be Hitler!"

The plain fact of the matter is this: it's always complicated.  It's complicated by the fact that humans are not one-dimensional.  If a committee of KKK members (or a single KKK member) got together to raise money to donate to the United Negro College fund (unlikely, I know), would reporting it constitute the crime of saying that the Klan is "not all bad"?

Genghis Khan murdered, directly or indirectly, millions of people in his lifetime. Yet the Great Khan was very tolerant when it came to religion, and encouraged religious practice of many faiths. Does saying so somehow commit the crime of saying Genghis Khan was "not all bad"?

I'm not sure what you mean to say by quoting this:

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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....These topics are much more complex and multi-faceted than the majority report or talk about.  I suspect that goes for Brigham Young also. 

Brigham Young was a flaming racist. But he was also a Prophet of God and a good and effective leader of the Saints in the early days of Utah. Does stating this praiseworthy fact constitute an endorsement of racism?  Or is that people, even prophets of God, are complicated?

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Storm Rider's post seemed rather "not all bad" to me as well.  Racism in the South wasn't really like what we hear.  They were only beating up men who deserved it in his father's town....or so it seems he described it as such.  He uses the example of the complexity of men in the Klan as part of a defense of Brigham Young.  Why would he do that if he didn't see the Klan as "not all bad"?

Would you use the behaviour of Nazis to support behaviour of our prophets?

 

Gads, let's misdirect. The topic was racism and how horrible it is and terrible. The example of the Klan that I gave was that THEY DID NOT COMMIT PHYSICAL VIOLENCE TO BLACKS!!!  That was not good enough for you; you run pell mell into the woods because the Klan beat up a drunk that left his wife and children starving. You are not this obtuse. 

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28 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Gads, let's misdirect. The topic was racism and how horrible it is and terrible. The example of the Klan that I gave was that THEY DID NOT COMMIT PHYSICAL VIOLENCE TO BLACKS!!!  That was not good enough for you; you run pell mell into the woods because the Klan beat up a drunk that left his wife and children starving. You are not this obtuse. 

Here's a history of the kkk, so maybe while you lived in the south they didn't but in their history they sure did. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan As you already know, so my c/p isn't really needed I guess. 

C/P:

Klan members adopted masks and robes that hid their identities and added to the drama of their night rides, their chosen time for attacks. Many of them operated in small towns and rural areas where people otherwise knew each other's faces, and sometimes still recognized the attackers by voice and mannerisms. "The kind of thing that men are afraid or ashamed to do openly, and by day, they accomplish secretly, masked, and at night."[68] The KKK night riders "sometimes claimed to be ghosts of Confederate soldiers so, as they claimed, to frighten superstitious blacks. Few freedmen took such nonsense seriously."[69]

The Klan attacked black members of the Loyal Leagues and intimidated Southern Republicans and Freedmen's Bureau workers. When they killed black political leaders, they also took heads of families, along with the leaders of churches and community groups, because these people had many roles in society. Agents of the Freedmen's Bureau reported weekly assaults and murders of blacks.

"Armed guerrilla warfare killed thousands of Negroes; political riots were staged; their causes or occasions were always obscure, their results always certain: ten to one hundred times as many Negroes were killed as whites." Masked men shot into houses and burned them, sometimes with the occupants still inside. They drove successful black farmers off their land. "Generally, it can be reported that in North and South Carolina, in 18 months ending in June 1867, there were 197 murders and 548 cases of aggravated assault."[70]

220px-George_W._Ashburn.jpg
 
George W. Ashburn was assassinated for his pro-black sentiments.

Klan violence worked to suppress black voting, and campaign seasons were deadly. More than 2,000 people were killed, wounded, or otherwise injured in Louisiana within a few weeks prior to the Presidential election of November 1868. Although St. Landry Parish had a registered Republican majority of 1,071, after the murders, no Republicans voted in the fall elections. White Democrats cast the full vote of the parish for President Grant's opponent. The KKK killed and wounded more than 200 black Republicans, hunting and chasing them through the woods. Thirteen captives were taken from jail and shot; a half-buried pile of 25 bodies was found in the woods. The KKK made people vote Democratic and gave them certificates of the fact.[71]

In the April 1868 Georgia gubernatorial election, Columbia County cast 1,222 votes for Republican Rufus Bullock. By the November presidential election, Klan intimidation led to suppression of the Republican vote and only one person voted for Ulysses S. Grant.[72]

Klansmen killed more than 150 African Americans in a county[which?] in Florida, and hundreds more in other counties.[which?] Florida Freedmen's Bureau records provided a detailed recounting of Klansmen's beatings and murders of freedmen and their white allies.[73]

Milder encounters, including some against white teachers, also occurred. In Mississippi, according to the Congressional inquiry:

One of these teachers (Miss Allen of Illinois), whose school was at Cotton Gin Port in Monroe County, was visited ... between one and two o'clock in the morning on March 1871, by about fifty men mounted and disguised. Each man wore a long white robe and his face was covered by a loose mask with scarlet stripes. She was ordered to get up and dress which she did at once and then admitted to her room the captain and lieutenant who in addition to the usual disguise had long horns on their heads and a sort of device in front. The lieutenant had a pistol in his hand and he and the captain sat down while eight or ten men stood inside the door and the porch was full. They treated her "gentlemanly and quietly" but complained of the heavy school-tax, said she must stop teaching and go away and warned her that they never gave a second notice. She heeded the warning and left the county.[74]

By 1868, two years after the Klan's creation, its activity was beginning to decrease.[75] Members were hiding behind Klan masks and robes as a way to avoid prosecution for freelance violence. Many influential Southern Democrats feared that Klan lawlessness provided an excuse for the federal government to retain its power over the South, and they began to turn against it.[76] There were outlandish claims made, such as Georgian B. H. Hill stating "that some of these outrages were actually perpetrated by the political friends of the parties slain."[75]

Edited by Tacenda
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45 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Gads, let's misdirect. The topic was racism and how horrible it is and terrible. The example of the Klan that I gave was that THEY DID NOT COMMIT PHYSICAL VIOLENCE TO BLACKS!!!  That was not good enough for you; you run pell mell into the woods because the Klan beat up a drunk that left his wife and children starving. You are not this obtuse. 

Are you arguing that the KKK didn't commit violence against blacks or that you didn't know of the KKK committing violence against blacks?  I'm confused on what you are trying to say.  Are you saying the KKK isn't a racist group?  That they were just as bad to whites as blacks?  

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3 hours ago, Stargazer said:

If that's what you heard, you were listening with the aid of a very crooked ear horn.

There were occasions when even Nazis and Commies did good things. Saying so is not a defense of National Socialism or Communism. Nor is saying the Klan did something with vaguely positive outcomes ("inspiring white trash to do better") a defense of the Klan.

Yes, and there is a reason the joke about Mussolini making the trains run on time is a joke and not an astute observation. Also, it is false. Someone looked into it and the trains were actually less on time under Mussolini.

3 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Even Satan serves a purpose in God's plan. This is not a defense of the Devil.

By analogy it is arguing that the Klan is somehow necessary which is also disturbing.

3 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Do you get what I'm saying?

Doubt you will think I did.

58 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

The example of the Klan that I gave was that THEY DID NOT COMMIT PHYSICAL VIOLENCE TO BLACKS!!! 

Uh-huh. Some of them just sat back and let the others do it.

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15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Yes, and there is a reason the joke about Mussolini making the trains run on time is a joke and not an astute observation. Also, it is false. Someone looked into it and the trains were actually less on time under Mussolini.

I don't think they were running on time before Mussolini, but it wouldn't surprise me that they got worse during Mussolini.

But I don't seem to have mentioned Benito in my post, so I'm curious as to why you bring him up?

15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

By analogy it is arguing that the Klan is somehow necessary which is also disturbing.

It isn't disturbing at all, because it was not arguing for the necessity of the Klan. It's a non-sequitur and a false analogy, actually.  You might as well analogize it by saying that it argues for the necessity of peanut butter.  <-- item picked at random as it came to me.

15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Doubt you will think I did.

No, I think you did. I think a lot higher of you than you perhaps realize. Despite your sometimes annoying posts, I love your sense of humor and frequently clear-headed thinking. 

15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Uh-huh. Some of them just sat back and let the others do it.

I wouldn't argue with that -- but the question is, did they sit back because they tacitly objected to the action, or were they just too lazy to bother helping out? It may not matter, in the long run.

I once read that there were some members of the Klan who joined it solely in order to placate their neighbors but did not hold the same negative feelings against Blacks, Jews and Catholics. And only gave as much lip service to it as needed to maintain their own safety. I suppose I would put those folks into the same bucket as those Germans who joined the Nazi party during the Hitler time for more-or-less the same reasons. By so saying I'm not excusing any of them (and I'm not their judge in any case). But not everyone has the same courage as the circled gentleman, who may have been August Landmesser:

August-Landmesser-Almanya-1936.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Hitler was a vegetarian and loved animals.  Could stating this fact be seen as painting Hitler as "not all bad"?   Would it be OK to use this fact as a vilification of animal-loving vegetarians? "You don't eat meat? And you love animals?  You must be Hitler!"

There is a difference between stating a fact and using behaviour in an argument to defend other behaviour, especially when there are many examples to choose from. Questioning the choice of a particular example is not an overreaction in and of itself. 

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

I've always loved this shot.  That cantankerous nonconformist, whoever he was, was picked up by the Marvel people for the first Avengers movie here.  Marvelous stuff:

TheAvengers-2.jpg

Edited by USU78
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1 minute ago, USU78 said:

I've always loved this shot.  That cantankerous nonconformist, whoever he was, was picked up by the Marvel people for the first Avengers movie here.  Marvelous stuff:

TheAvengers-2.jpg

That's a great scene!

To say something like that while in a real state of danger takes a degree of courage that I hope to have if ever I am presented with such a situation.

 

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20 hours ago, bluebell said:

Are you arguing that the KKK didn't commit violence against blacks or that you didn't know of the KKK committing violence against blacks?  I'm confused on what you are trying to say.  Are you saying the KKK isn't a racist group?  That they were just as bad to whites as blacks?  

Hello Bluebell, if you read my posts what I initially was trying to convey is that individuals and history are very complex and multi-layered rather than two dimensional characters that fit neatly in whatever label we provide them. 

My father's experience with the KKK in his part of NW Florida was their interactions with white men and making sure they cared for their families properly. They were not nearly as active - as in no history of committing physical violence against Blacks - acting in the manner that we all know about - killing Black people.  

I was not saying the KKK was not racist - they absolutely were racist, but that depending on location their actions could be very different than the reputation they have.

More importantly, I also gave two examples of white families with very close ties with Blacks. The distinction for me was that people may be racist when talking about groups as a whole, but act very differently on a personal level. This is where I find complexity; blacks and whites could be friends and even socialize together when it was one on one, but that almost never carried over to group interactions. 

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8 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Hello Bluebell, if you read my posts what I initially was trying to convey is that individuals and history are very complex and multi-layered rather than two dimensional characters that fit neatly in whatever label we provide them. 

My father's experience with the KKK in his part of NW Florida was their interactions with white men and making sure they cared for their families properly. They were not nearly as active - as in no history of committing physical violence against Blacks - acting in the manner that we all know about - killing Black people.  

I was not saying the KKK was not racist - they absolutely were racist, but that depending on location their actions could be very different than the reputation they have.

More importantly, I also gave two examples of white families with very close ties with Blacks. The distinction for me was that people may be racist when talking about groups as a whole, but act very differently on a personal level. This is where I find complexity; blacks and whites could be friends and even socialize together when it was one on one, but that almost never carried over to group interactions. 

(I grew up in the South, too.)

I think that, to learn about the state of racism in the South during those times of our parents and theirs, we're better asking the perspective of Black people. Because a Black person's experience can be good with most people but then their lives seriously changed by just a few direct interactions. Or systemic differences may not be as visible, either, to those who do not experience them regularly.

That's the thing that was really compelling to me about Charlotte Lartey's experience growing up in Provo. I have shared a couples links top her story. Her life is significantly impacted by racism, although because I did not personally witness her negative experiences I would not have known it, even though I did live in Provo for 9 years when she did.

 

 

Edited by Meadowchik
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2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Hello Bluebell, if you read my posts what I initially was trying to convey is that individuals and history are very complex and multi-layered rather than two dimensional characters that fit neatly in whatever label we provide them. 

My father's experience with the KKK in his part of NW Florida was their interactions with white men and making sure they cared for their families properly. They were not nearly as active - as in no history of committing physical violence against Blacks - acting in the manner that we all know about - killing Black people.  

I was not saying the KKK was not racist - they absolutely were racist, but that depending on location their actions could be very different than the reputation they have.

More importantly, I also gave two examples of white families with very close ties with Blacks. The distinction for me was that people may be racist when talking about groups as a whole, but act very differently on a personal level. This is where I find complexity; blacks and whites could be friends and even socialize together when it was one on one, but that almost never carried over to group interactions. 

Your comments here remind me exactly of the movie,"The Help". Their relations with the maid/nanny were very close but they couldn't ever show that in a white group setting. 

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