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Response to GaryCnf (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2018, 08:49 AM

80. I saw this when it was first posted

and refrained from commenting. Mainly because there were things in it that raised red flags and then of course current events intervened that required my attention.

But be that as it may, there are a number of us here who have similar family histories as Effie and thanks to the availability of the internet and a good search engine, one can often gather further details of one's ancestors right online (which I have been doing on and off for years).

But a couple things immediately stood out to me including this (in bold) -

The author's mother's accomplishments are no less unique. The first time US Marshals were used to escort black students into a college was 1963 and the author states that their mother started college a few years after that. If you know about the history of the integration of formerly all-white institutions of higher learning, you will also know that it didn't occur all at once. It wasn't like James Meredith was escorted the University of Mississippi and the next year black students by the dozens were admitted into formerly all-white universities. It was long and it was painful. While it varied, it is likely that the author's mother would have had no more than a dozen people who looked like her in the entire school. What's more, their mother would not have started college until 1965-66. 20 years after her husband returned from WWII. If she was anywhere near her husband's age, she would have been almost 45. Think about that for a second, starting college at age 45, as a black woman, with almost no one who looks like you sitting in class. Like the author's father, she would have been one in a million. Then, to turn around and raise a family with at least three kids? That is absolutely amazing.


First be aware that the "integration" and "marshals" were mainly reserved for segregated southern schools and not northern/western ones. My mother graduated from Temple University in 1954, a school that was and continues to be predominately white. As it was, her high school (which was also my alma mater) had only 2 blacks per class (year/term). Temple, as an urban school, is more diverse nowadays as are many similar schools, but there were no southern-style "all white" segregation laws here in Philly, although restrictive "quotas" at these white schools, were rampant. What WAS an issue was trying to teach at a school here in Philly at the secondary level, and it took Brown v Board to change that. I.e., my mother and her friends had degrees in the '50s in secondary education, yet were not permitted to teach in the high schools in Philly, despite being educationally qualified and certified to do so. So they were either forced to change careers (as my mother did) or put up and shut up and teach at the elementary level until after Brown v. Board... And at that point, they had to decide whether to fight that fight to move up to sec ed positions (some did) or just stay were they were (as some did).

And as it is, I have posted before that when I was at UMASS, I was one of only 400 black students on a campus (in Amherst) of 25,000 undergrad/grad students. So 9 out of 10 times, I was usually the only black in my class. It never really bothered me as I grew up in a rare (unusual/unique) integrated neighborhood in the city. Basically, despite our slight population increases of late, blacks are still only 12% - 13% of the U.S. population and when you leave the urban/rim-suburban microcosm, that becomes obvious.

And then this -

I cannot tell you how moved I was when I read this story. It was particularly moving for me because our fathers must be about the same age. My father was going to join the Army when WWII in '42, a couple of years before it ended, when he was 23, but stayed home to help my grandma. He died in '98, when he was 81. When I read Effie say that her dad, who has to be right about 100 years old by now, still gets mistaken for a bus boy, I have to ask myself how stupid some white people have to be. Even as I write this, I am filled with anger. The people she described were unbelievably accomplished people of color and anyone who can't recognize that needs some help.


Now I expect there may have been some "exceptions to the rule" here, but I do know that in 1943, while in college at Lincoln University, my father was DRAFTED into WW2 in the army. Pulled right out and sent to the Pacific theater. There was no choice to "stay home" to help a relative. And college certainly didn't qualify as an exemption, which was something that came as part of the reform of the selective service by the time of the Vietnam War (where college enrollment became a means to defer, and was used by almost all of our favorite RW fakers who didn't try to 4F it). What was also missing here was that those black men who did end up in WW2, were in segregated units.

Similarly, his father (my grandfather) was also drafted into WWI while in college. Both were "only sons".

Another red flag is this -

Even after the Civil War and the requirement that any state taking advantage of the land grant program provide for AA education spurred the creation of HBCUs very few offered degrees in any discipline other than divinity until after the turn of the century.


Um no. The two oldest, which are located here in PA in suburban Philadelphia - African Institute 1837 (and after various name changes now Cheney University as of 1983) & Ashmun Institute 1854 (renamed to Lincoln University in 1866), taught all the subjects that one saw taught in the white colleges/"normal schools".... in the mid-1800s, well before "the turn of the century". My great-grandfather and his future wife (my great-grandmother) graduated from Atlanta University (now part of the Clark-Atlanta U system) in the mid-1880s and with B.A. degrees in teaching subjects (no not in "divinity" ).

And this -

BUT it is just a fact that a majority of AA experience have not had the astounding level of accomplishment Effie described. Yes, many of us have have achieved, but, in 2009, only 45% of us made more than $35K/year and our median household net worth was less than $5700. Most of us suffer that same degradation Effie described her family suffering AND those brothers and sisters are escorted by federal marshal to federal prisons, NOT universities. Michael Brown had not caught up to white people when he was gunned down like a dog and his family watched as a DA who was supposed to be on our side whitewashed the whole thing and a US Senator who was supposed to be on our side wouldn't call him out. Ricky Rector had not caught up to white people when prison guards cut his arms open so they could find a vein to use to execute him during the middle of what many here still claim was a magnificent change for the Democratic Party. Families living in abject poverty who are cut off after 2 years of benefits will NEVER catch up to whites.


not unexpectantly slides in a breathtaking Bill Clinton hit piece.

And finally (because the entire post is really a farce) -

Obviously Effie and others are right when they say money doesn't deter racism (well, money in the amounts any of us are willing to really discuss), not even for AA who have achieved what Effie described. On the other hand, when folks start talking about how the Voting Rights Act, or the Fair Housing Act, or even the Civil Rights acts, those marvels of centrist cooperation, can erase the damage far to many of our supposed allies have signed onto, they are no more right than the white politician they have singled out as whipping boy.


What does the bolded mean exactly? And of course the back-handed "marvels of centrist cooperation" is just obvious code talk.

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LineReply I saw this when it was first posted
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