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Tue Jun 18, 2019, 01:43 PM

Wilson's Attack On the Black Middle Class In Federal DC 1913; White Supremacy, Rollback

'How The Black Middle Class Was Attacked By Woodrow Wilson’s Administration,' Eric S. Yellin, 2/8/16, The Conversation. EXCERPTS:

When Woodrow Wilson arrived in the nation’s capital in March 1913, he brought with him an administration loaded with white supremacists. Wilson’s lieutenants segregated offices, harassed black workers and removed black politicians from political appointments held by black men for more than a generation. Racism had always been a part of life in Washington and its government buildings, but the U.S. civil service had never been formally segregated prior to Wilson’s inauguration.

After the Civil War, thousands of African Americans took the national civil service examination and pulled political strings to land good jobs with decent pay in federal offices. That route to social mobility for educated and hard-working black Americans was closed off by the time Wilson convinced Americans to fight for democracy in World War I. Wilson’s administration saw not just the end of a few careers of black Republicans and its impact was not merely the result of one man’s prejudice. Instead, in its attack on a nationally known and symbolic black middle class, “federal segregation” signaled the U.S. government’s support for a national racial regime in which African Americans were not only politically disfranchised but also professionally and economically hobbled.

Wilson’s policies halted growth of black middle class in DC: Black men and women who worked in Washington, DC, at the turn of the 20th century were functional members of the national government doing the nation’s business. Their numbers grew steadily well into the new century. The decent salaries of government clerks supported a full and dynamic life in a capital city with comparatively little racial discrimination. Washington was an island of possibility for ambitious black men and women at a time when racism cordoned them off from most of the economy and set ceilings on the jobs they could get. Never free of racism or hardship, DC and its federal offices offered nonetheless a promising future for African Americans in a nation in which disfranchisement, peonage, violence, and terror were becoming the hallmarks of black life.

Egalitarianism in Washington was becoming more difficult as Theodore Roosevelt began his second administration in 1905. White Republicans had begun to acknowledge the disconnect between the southern electorate, by then almost entirely white and Democratic, and the national prominence of black Republicans from the South. As a result, the party establishment permitted and even justified black disfranchisement in southern politics, especially during William Howard Taft’s presidency. Under Taft, the patronage network that had protected and promoted black clerks began to break down. Calls for reform and economizing within the administration seemed to fall hardest on black employees.
In the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, for example, administrators froze the wages of female employees, a large portion of whom were African American. Even those with the very best Republican connections found it harder to maneuver.

Wilsonians erased, at least from white minds, 50 years of black accomplishments in Washington, and in doing so, managed to provide the justification for progressive racism for decades to come. Even when Republicans returned to power in 1921, administrators continued to explain away discrimination under the mantle of “good government” and administrative necessity...

Read More, https://theconversation.com/how-the-black-middle-class-was-attacked-by-woodrow-wilsons-administration-52200



James Carroll Napier, Register of the Treasury



1913 Inauguration of Pres. Woodrow Wilson (D) with outgoing Pres. William Howard Taft (R)



Wiki. The Birth of a Nation (originally called The Clansman) is a 1915 American silent epic drama film directed and co-produced by D. W. Griffith. The screenplay is adapted from the novel and play The Clansman, by Thomas Dixon Jr. The film was released on February 8, 1915. The Birth of a Nation is a landmark of film history. Its plot, part fiction and part history, chronicling the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth and the relationship of two families in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras over the course of several years. It was the first American motion picture to be screened in the White House, viewed there by President Woodrow Wilson, who called the film "history written with lightning."

The film was controversial even before its release and has remained so ever since; it has been called "the most controversial film ever made in the United States". Lincoln, who Dixon saw as a Southerner, was portrayed positively, unusual in a "Lost Cause" environment. But it portrayed black men (many played by white actors in blackface) as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women. It presented the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) as a heroic force. There were widespread black protests against The Birth of a Nation, such as in Boston. The NAACP spearheaded an unsuccessful campaign to ban the film...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_a_Nation

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Reply Wilson's Attack On the Black Middle Class In Federal DC 1913; White Supremacy, Rollback (Original post)
appalachiablue Jun 18 OP
Dennis Donovan Jun 18 #1
appalachiablue Jun 18 #2
Dennis Donovan Jun 18 #5
appalachiablue Jun 18 #7
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 18 #3
appalachiablue Jun 18 #6
Cary Jun 18 #4
appalachiablue Jun 18 #8

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 01:48 PM

1. Wilson also held a special WH screening of Griffith's "Birth of a Nation"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_a_Nation

The Birth of a Nation (originally called The Clansman) is a 1915 American silent epic drama film directed and co-produced by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The screenplay is adapted from the novel and play The Clansman, by Thomas Dixon Jr. Griffith co-wrote the screenplay with Frank E. Woods, and co-produced the film with Harry Aitken. It was released on February 8, 1915.

The Birth of a Nation is a landmark of film history. It was the first 12-reel film ever made and, at three hours, also the longest up to that point. Its plot, part fiction and part history, chronicling the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth and the relationship of two families in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras over the course of several years—the pro-Union (Northern) Stonemans and the pro-Confederacy (Southern) Camerons—was by far the most complex of any movie made up to that date. It was originally presented in two parts separated by another movie innovation, an intermission, and it was the first to have a musical score for an orchestra. It pioneered close-ups, fade-outs, and a carefully staged battle sequence with hundreds of extras (another first) made to look like thousands. It came with a 13-page "Souvenir Program". It was the first American motion picture to be screened in the White House, viewed there by President Woodrow Wilson, who called the film "history written with lightning."

The film was controversial even before its release and has remained so ever since; it has been called "the most controversial film ever made in the United States". Lincoln, who Dixon saw as a Southerner, was portrayed positively, unusual in a "Lost Cause" environment. But it portrayed black men (many played by white actors in blackface) as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women. It presented the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) as a heroic force. There were widespread black protests against The Birth of a Nation, such as in Boston, while thousands of white Bostonians flocked to see the film. The NAACP spearheaded an unsuccessful campaign to ban the film. Griffith's indignation at efforts to censor or ban the film motivated him to produce Intolerance the following year.

It was a huge commercial success and became highly influential, to the point of reinventing the medium. The film's release has also been acknowledged as an inspiration for the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan only months later. In 1992, the Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

</snip>


Mind you, this was BEFORE he had the stroke.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:05 PM

2. History minds think alike! I just finished adding 'Birth' to the OP.

As a grad student in DC I worked p-t as an interpreter at the Wilson House in Kalorama, a couple doors from Bezos' new home. At the time I didn't know all this history but there were some interesting artifacts of the period there such as early Victrola records, papers, clothing, etc. W's stroke was serious, but hidden from the public at the time.

''The Birth of A Nation' also fueled a large revival of the KKK which by the 1920s was active and virulent across America.



- KKK members hold a march in Washington, DC on Aug. 9, 1925.

> NPR, 'When The KKK Was Mainstream,' 3/19/2015.
https://www.npr.org/sections/npr-history-dept/2015/03/19/390711598/when-the-ku-klux-klan-was-mainstream

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:18 PM

5. Any white, pointy hats on his coat rack?



I know FDR was a Wilson disciple. Another factoid regarding FDR and Wilson involves a bombing:

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (Washington D.C.)
Palmer was already the recipient of a mail bomb in April, were attacked in the new wave of violence. None of the targeted men were killed, but one bomb took the life of New York City night watchman William Boehner and the bomb intended for Attorney General Palmer's home prematurely exploded and killed Carlo Valdinoci, who was a former editor of the Galleanist publication Cronaca Sovversiva and close associate of Galleani. Though not seriously injured, Palmer and his family were shaken by the blast and the house itself was largely demolished. Two near-casualties of the same bomb were Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, then living across the street from Palmer. They had passed the house just minutes before the explosion and their residence was close enough that one of the bomber's body parts landed on their doorstep.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:26 PM

7. Not that I saw, just some of Woody's tophats, canes and

Edith's generous clothing wardrobe. ~ The Palmer home bombing, awful! The late teens & early 1920s was such a dangerous time.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:07 PM

3. The continuing mystery: why is there still a bridge named after him?

There's no one else they can think of?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:22 PM

6. That and the National Airport statue of Reagan and more in the capital!

The airport already named for a president, 'Washington'!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:10 PM

4. Shameful

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Response to Cary (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 02:27 PM

8. Totally, an awful era of regression and oppression that's too little known.

'Separate and Unequal,' severe Jim Crow and more, yet coinciding with other racial advances.

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