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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:20 PM
Original message
Sundown towns: No blacks after dark
Sundown towns: No blacks after dark
Posted 10/1/05

After uncovering all the Lies My Teacher Told Me as well as Lies Across America, James Loewen, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont, takes on another whopper: that racism is a southern problem. Many towns throughout the nation, and mostly outside of the South, adopted the shameful practice of banning African-Americans at night. In Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism ($30), he explains the roots of the practice in the late 1800s, the violent and cruel ways these towns upheld their "law," and the effects today. Loewen, who is white, also explores the similar laws and covenants that kept out Chinese-Americans, Jews, American Indians, and Mexican-Americans.

snip


When I started, I thought I'd have 10 in Illinois because I was focusing my research there and 50 in the whole country, but I found 472 in Illinois and 10,000 across the country.

snip
I would get depressed. It wasn't happy research. I heard that some towns sounded a siren at 6 p.m. each night, and the origin was to tell blacks to get out of town. When I first heard that story, I thought it was an urban legend. But I found enough proof that now I'm suspicious of any town that has a 6 p.m. whistle. Some of them just tell people it's 6 p.m., but originally had a racial connotation.

snip
People I talk with often think I'm doing my research in the South. But very few people in the South ever did this. In Mississippi, I only found six sundown towns. Compare that to Illinois. The South was certainly racist but in a different way. Why would you make your maid leave? Southern whites moving to sundown towns in Indiana or other places were astonished that they couldn't bring along servants.

snip
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/051001/1s...
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. I grew up in a small town in Kansas - pop. under 450.
It was a sundown town. One day (sometime betwen 1952-1954) I went into the local IGA to see my Great Uncle George (the butcher) and he was waiting on a black man - the first time I had ever seen a black person in my town. I was very curious and asked my Mother where he lived. She explained that 3 or 4 black men worked for the railroad and lived in a boxcar at the edge of town and every night at sundown they pushed the boxcar just beyond the city limits.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. My mother grew up near a small town in NE Kansas (pop. a few thousand)
and it was a sundown town in the 1930s-40s. I don't know if that was still true in the 1950s.
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ozarkvet Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. I like the South
Grew up in Arkansas; lived in Mississippi.

I can generally spot the racists, easy. Never had trouble --- because I knew who WAS trouble.

Only had one --- bad, physicial --- racial incident in my life, and that was in Alston(sp?), MA (a suburb/borough of Boston) --- got the tar beat out of me for kissing a white girl.

"course it WAS her boyfriend. But his buddies joined in 'cause I was black.

She kissed like a damn fish, too.



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CornField Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Moved from Oklahoma to Iowa
And, quite frankly, I'll take the redneck approach any day. In most cases, you know exactly where you stand with southern racists because they'll stand toe-to-toe with you and tell you all about it.

In Iowa, I've noticed the racists are much more subversive. For instance, a local grocery store manager bought a nice home and then put it on the market less than a year later -- because a black family had moved into the neighborhood. I felt really sick to my stomach when I overheard his conversation with one of the department managers.
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
59. I grew up in northern Iowa and there never were any blacks
around (or Asians either). So I don't know if we were in sundown towns or not. I think the issue just never came up. Where I lived anyone from the south would freeze their butts off anyway.
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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. Everman, TX
was a sundown town. They had an official sign at the town limit (on the road to Fort Worth) that read: N-----, don't let the sun set on you in Everman!

That was chilling to me as a child because my dad's best friend was black.

And note the name of the friggin' town.

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movie_girl99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
31. my mom said that there was a sign like that in a Dallas
suburb. She said she remembers its very well and how bad black people were/are treated here. jesus H i'm 40 years old and had never heard of a Sundown town until today. That's to DU once again for enlightening me.
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Tomee450 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
42. I believe that kind of
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 04:01 PM by Tomee450
sign could be seen in many parts of the country. My mother used to tell us about them. Another sign was "read N----r and run."
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
53. I never saw one of those signs, but Dad told me about them.
Until now, I had thought it was one of his "stretchers".
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. St. Joseph, Michigan
I think it still is that kind of town.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. I remember reading about the "riots?" a few years ago
about 5-10 years ago?
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
45. The ones last summer?
Those were in Benton Harbor, though. They had every reason to be angry as heck. There's a lot of racist crap still going on in rural Michigan.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #45
61. Yes, Benton Harbor, but I thought it was a few years ago
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #61
67. Maybe it was a couple of summers ago.
It was after we'd been in Kalamazoo for awhile. I just remember how they cracked down so hard that many of us in K'Zoo were shaking our heads.
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. the KKK was very active in the midwest
and jim crow was the law of the land in every state in america. the myth that racism was (is) confied to the south is just that.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. I think it might be still somewhat active in Indiana
at least I heard that a few years ago
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. and in the west
in california, idaho, washington, oregon, etc.
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faithfulcitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
62. Elwood, IN
Has/(or had until recently) a giant billboard that reads "Don't let the sun set on your black ass in Elwood." :(

The KKK does still have some influence I'm sure, but not much. But, there's certainly no lack of racism in the small towns around the state. Actually, you don't have to get far from Indy to see it with names like "Whiteland", "Whitestown", & "Whitesville". :eyes:
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. '30 percent of Indiana's white ... males were card-carrying members of
the Ku Klux Klan... by 1923'

From the Indiana State Museum, at http://www.in.gov/ism/Images/LessonPlans/LessonPlan_47....
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. an acquaintance of mine is from a small town in indiana
his grandparents moved there from the south to pass. he didn't know about the black side of the family until a black aunt came to visit from the south. she didn't stay long.
he said they lived in constant terror that their neighbors would find out about them, naturally, given the social order of the time.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. the only burnt cross I ever saw
(the next morning, not on fire) was in Southern Ohio. THe only place I've ever heard "nigger" used in anger was in a small town in Northwestern Ohio, where a crowd at a basketball game chanted it at our coach.

so yes, it's everywhere.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
46. I had a student during student teaching who was a member.
It was in rural Ohio, and everyone knew he and his family were KKK members. He admitted it during our unit on "To Kill a Mockingbird." *sigh* That was a difficult unit. Heck, that was a difficult school!
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
66. The Klan literally ran Indiana for many years
Mayors, police, sheriffs, governors, school boards... and it was all very, very open.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. Story from Pittsburgh PA
While removing an old tile floor, a friend discovered a newspaper dating from about 1900. On the front page was a small story about a negro who'd been arrested for standing around. The article went on to say that he was released a day or so later when they couldn't find any reason to detain him further (after much searching, I'm sure).

I don't know whether there were any sundown laws, but it's stunning that such detentions went on here at all. Or maybe it's not so stunning, all things considered.


Another friend grew up in Kokomo IN, and he claims that until recently the town's motto was "Nigger don't let the sun go down on you here."

I've never been able to verify that part. Anyone?

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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. Kokomo is not that bad.
That's where my family's from. It has pretty much always had a 25% African-American population since the early 20s; my pediatrician as a child was black, and one set of our godparents are black. GM and Delco both had major plants there so the attitude was more cosmopolitan than hick thanks to the influx of workers for the factories. My great-great-grandparents had a room called the "station" in the basement; Looking at family religious and ethical history, it was probably an Underground Railroad way station. No documentation, though; I have a feeling if anything was written, it was burnt.

My great-grandfather employed several African-American families in the 20s and 30s through the 60s as farm hands. We never had a problem, and we probably would have if the town considered it an issue. In fact, my great-grandfather got some issues from some of the local men who wanted their sons working for my great-grandfather because he paid well; he ended up firing the white boys because they refused to understand that they were not the bosses on the farm and had no right to expect anyone, black, white, woman, child or man, to take orders when they were low on the totem pole.

There's more subtle racism around but it's really not that different from that of anywhere else. Rednecks are not solely the product of the south, and Indiana does have some serious problems with being the most Northerly Confederate state, even if it wasn't Confederate.

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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. What a cool story!
I wish that there were some way to verify your suspicions about the Underground Railroad--that would be the coolest!

I'm also glad to hear that my friend was, ahem, exaggerating.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #9
47. Sounds like gaslight-era police profiling. PA State Troopers do the same
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 04:38 PM by AirAmFan
thing today--except they can't so easily lock people up without evidence. But since they stop cars with Black occupants much more often than other cars, and since they search Blacks' cars much more often than they search other cars they stop, they disproportionately find the evidence they need to do what their grandparents did.

Remember, William Bennett was the Republican cabinet-level "DRUG CZAR"--he wasn't just Joe Sixpack with unscientific, racist views about the nature and origin of crime. During a period of greatest growth in incarceration in world history, Bennett had the means to put his prejudices into action. His office published "profiles" for State Troopers to follow.

Even though scientific surveys show Blacks use drugs no more frequently than Whites, Blacks are much more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced to long prison terms for possession of the same amount of drugs. Loewen shows us that History is Destiny.
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. Fouke, Arkansas... remember the "Boggy Creek Monster" movies?
Some of you may remember the Legend of Boggy Creek movies that came out either in the late 70s or early 80s. These movies were based on the legendary "boggy creek monster". Fact is, the "legend" was started in and around the town of Fouke, Arkansas to keep blacks scared up and to keep them off the streets after dark.

There was (is still?) a sign at the entrance of the town that says something to the effect that "negroes had better not be seen after dark in this town". I will have to do more research to get the exact facts, but I do know the premise of this is story really true and that is how the Boggy Creek Monster legend got started. :scared:
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ozarkvet Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. AK
I don't know if that sign was there in the far past, but it wasn't there 10 years ago.

I have never heard of the Boggy Creek Monster, although it does sound like something my grandmother would make up.
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. AR... Arkansas = AR, Alaska = AK
So, I don't know if we are talking about the same state. Anyway, at least you ought to Google "Boggy Creek Monster". Movies were made in the late 70s, early 80s about it. I live about 30 miles from the town and have heard the stories. I pretty well know the place and am not the least bit dubious of the story about keeping blacks in line with a monster tale... fits right in HERE!!!
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ozarkvet Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. AR!
I actually know this; I just cannot type worth a darn.
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. No prob.. of course you know the diff. ozarkvet.. well you should..
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 02:24 PM by Flubadubya
:-)

I really wish I could find a good link (I'm still looking) for some veracity of this story. I have heard it from the "old-timers" around here (and I'm 56!). Supposedly this was back in the "bad old days" (20s to 30s) etc. that the sign was actually posted and there was a concerted effort to keep blacks off the streets of Fouke after sundown. I am pretty sure the sign is actually gone by now - phew, I certainly hope so. Anyway, I don't think it should be a surprise to anyone who knows Arkansas that such a thing would have taken place here so many years ago.

Peace ozarkvet! :hippie:
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ozarkvet Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Fouke is about 20 miles away!
From where I was born (Bradley, ARARARARkansas!) --- which is a bit closer to LA.

Bradley is about half black and Fouke is almost all white, so it makes sense that Fouke had some racial issues, but I am not personally aware of any.

I googled the story and came up with some Big Foot tails.

Sounds to me like a story made up to sell crap off the highway to stupid Texans.
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. Hah-hah... you may be right!
Stupid Texans... certainly a lot more of them now than there were before. :evilgrin:

Bradley... I know where that is. Hope, AR here! Howdy neighbor!
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ozarkvet Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
48. Don't speed
It is our only source of revenue in Bradley (population circa 1000 on a good day).

Post-Army, found myself in El Paso, so I am a nominal Texan, until I finish up my degree.

Not going back to Bradley --- it is home, but it is a jobless dump.

Still have "Bradley" in on my DL, though.
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Self-delete = dupe
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 02:21 PM by Flubadubya
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. Great post. thanks for posting this, and
and thanks to James Loewen, for bringing to our attention that racism is not JUST a Southern problem.

Having lived in the South all my life, I know there is a lot of racism here. But it's in every one of the 50 states, regardless of how the media portrays it or the general public perceives it.

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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Thanks; I was surprised to see how in many towns he found this
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. I never heard of this.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. It shocked me silly
Duing the 1980's I lived in a small central Missouri town, pop. 376. They had a sundown law. I had moved from an L.A. suburb and had never heard of such a thing. The law was still on the books although no longer enforced, but the racism remained. Death by hanging was the penalty, so I was told.
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
25. My government teacher told me in 1975 about a sign
that stood in Texas and on it said....

N______r Don't let the sun shine on you.


It wasn't too many years after that, they finally took it down....
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Buns_of_Fire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #25
51. My mother told me, that, up until 1965 or so...
...there was a sign at the highway bridge leading into My Little Town (which is also at the edge of the county), saying, "N----r beware. Don't be caught in X County after midnight."

To this day, I still believe that some people around here still wish it was there.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #25
60. There was one of those in Medford, Oregon. Amazing, no?
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
27. "too high" vs. "too near", the two faces of American racism...
I think the full saying is...

"In the North, they don't care how high a (blackperson) gets as long as he doesn't get too near; in the South, they don't care how near a (black person) gets, as long as he doesn't get too high."
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #27
52. That has the ring truth about it.
In a sense, in the country, you would generally have to get along with people, while the pecking order would be more jealously guarded.

In the city, the "pragmatism" doesn't have to be social in the same way. I think people go to work to make money, period. People lead their own, more self-contained lives in towns and cities, and switch off between work and home more completely. Of course, status is still fought for, but "9 to 5" is a time-span, not a community or part of the primary one, as it is in the country.

Urban racism is more noxious and disgusting in some ways, of course, since it festers all the more in concealment, while lending itself more readily to hypocrisy.

Racism is never a solitary sin. Nobody wants to go to Hell alone, and nobody enjoys the lesser hell of irrational hatred on earth, alone. Words such as "nigger" and "Jew" (though the latter is simply formal and descriptive), which have become loaded with a demented hatred, could never be "enjoyed" by the racist, murmuring it to himself. It has to be shared. The hater needs the reassurance of others, even as he lays claim to a superior status.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
28. I was going to ask why post this if it's not the law anymore.
But I didn't know this WAS the law back then. Never heard of it. Thanks for the education.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Police behavior TODAY sometimes reflects the very same principles
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 02:44 PM by AirAmFan
For example, the small village of Golf, Illinois, just outside Chicago, had a reputation for police harassment of EVERY vehicle with Black occupants, driving through on the main drag after dark. And I suspect Golf Illinois is and was not the only culprit in this practice.

Remember, POLICEMEN had to enforce the "sundown" mandate, and many of their sons and grandsons are on the job today. Many of them have the same attitude toward Blacks and crime that William Bennett expressed recently on his "Christian" radio show.

Why else would the incarceration rate for African-Americans be EIGHT to TEN TIMES the rate for Caucasians? The biggest and least-reported scandal in America today is that there are more than two million people incarcerated on any given day, and HALF of them are African-American, although African-Americans make up only about one-eighth of the population.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Yeah, those are sad statistics.
"The biggest and least-reported scandal in America today is that there are more than two million people incarcerated on any given day, and HALF of them are African-American, although African-Americans make up only about one-eighth of the population."

:-(
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. The kind of history discussed in this thread is very important. Ask yourself,
where did William Bennett GET the ideas that spilled out of his mouth onto the airwaves?

Why does a map of "red" states today reproduce almost perfectly the historical map of slave states?

Why are white juries so often willing to convict Blacks on purely circumstantial or no evidence?

Why is there no "Museum of Slavery" on the Malll in Washington DC? Just about every country that has a history of slavery has such a museum, and educates its children to shun the prejudices of their ancestors.

All of these things are legacy of a slavemaster - slave past few Americans ever have been willing to acknowledge.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Very good questions.
You should get on Cspan Washington Journal (Open phones) and ask every last one of them. You won't get an answer but at least the listeners will hear them and get them to ponder them.
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. Their jaws would drop nt
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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
37. James Loewen is so cool, and he's a friend of my dh!
They correspond through email. He's a very smart guy and I adore his books.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. James Loewen is awesome, saw him speak twice at homeschooling conferences.
I HIGHLY recommend his books. Has a cool website - haven't been there in awhile but there used to be an interesting history quiz there...
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
39. Norman OK was a sundown town until at least the 1950s, possibly early 60s.
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Stand and Fight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #39
54. I live in Lawton...
Any other towns like that in Okie?
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GOPFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
41. Goshen, IN, was a sundown town
It was the county seat of Elkhart County. Elkhart was a larger town to the north and it had a relatively large African-American population, and nearby towns went to great lengths to make sure they didn't move to their towns when the railroads job for them dried up (in 1920!). I worked in a factory in Elkhart in the early 60s and there were a number of Klan members working in the factory with me.

Moving away wasn't a hard decision.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
43. Historically, Boston is probably the most racist town in the country
Yes, liberal, blue to the bone Boston, my friends.

Things may be changing but it's still a tense place.

Interesting article:

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/11.07/09-racis...
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
44. The town my college is in was one.
Our history prof told us. It sure explained a lot.
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carolinayellowdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
49. Segregation is a northern invention
Hey,

I'm currently reading the classic study of Southern history, The Strange Career of Jim Crow. Author C. Vann Woodward notes that "one of the strangest things about the career of Jim Crow was that the system was born in the North and reached an advanced age before moving South in force."

Glad this shameful story is getting the attention it deserves.

CYD
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eeyore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
50. Medford, Oregon was one
Medford, Oregon was one. Not sure until when, but still.....
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clichemoth Donating Member (92 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
55. Cullman, AL was one back in the day...
And at least one of the signs (albeit faded and obscured by brush) still stood when I was putting up campaign signs for a local candidate (sorry, wrong party. But he lost if that makes it any better) in 1994.

There's been a lynching (actually, I believe there were 2) this decade, less than 100 yards from my childhood home. Creepy to think this still goes on.

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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
56. The town I graduated in was one--Whitesboro, TX
Even in the early 80's they were stillproudly passing around the pictures of the lynchings there.
Vidor, TX is also one.
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buzzsaw_23 Donating Member (631 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
57. Where I grew up in Illinois
no blacks were "allowed'. One black family moved in, the father was a doctor. They were harassed and ultimately when on vacation their house was set on fire. They moved.

A few "Mexicans" lived along the canal. My father and most of the fathers in our solid blue collar Democratic voting town were racists. They were also bigots. You didn't need to speculate on it, it was in the fabric of the community.

When we moved to St. Louis poverty forced us into a nearly all black area. The people were so awesome. I never understood how someone could dislike a group of people they had no experience with.

Now the beast of racism is kept in the closet and is in many ways more insidious as it is considered this quaint relic. What facing racism in the US ultimately means, if dealt with honestly, (it's not about "rights" or "education" or where you sit) it is about economic power. And that means the white privileged must give up alot. We just don't want to face this as a nation.

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nemo137 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
58. He spoke at my dorm a few weeks ago
and my friend got me his book as a late birthday present. It's illuminating, and scary. I've been through alot of the towns he mentioned (I have family downstate), and it's weird thinking that they had that level of organized racism.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
63. Where are the "Sunrise Towns"?
You know, the kind where white people have to move along when the sun comes up?

My old man was/is a racist. But he wasn't as influential on me as Atticus Finch, thank the gods.

I'm white and I'm starting to wonder what the hell white people are good for. Sometimes I get so damned perplexed at peoples' skewed logic.
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Cats Against Frist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
64. Pocahontas and Highland, IL
Racist as fuck -- then and now. Black people do not move there, or they will be run out of town. Home of one Ms. Gretchen Wilson, country superstar.
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Barking Spider Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
65. North Tonawada, NY
My Great Grandfather owned a construction company in North Tonawanda, NY (just north of Buffalo) during the early-ish 1900's and he had in his employ a large number of blacks. Every night he had to bus them to the edge of town and every morning he had to bus them back. Pissed him off, I guess. He tried to get the law changed, but no luck. It wasn't until he was long gone that it was finally was corrected.
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