Tag Archives: history

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 3 A Little Property History

plantation houseThis is the third post in a series that started because of a white person’s question on Facebook: What have whites ever done to blacks —  after slavery — to keep them from succeeding? Don’t they have exactly the same opportunities as we?

Read the introduction to the series here.

(For this post I rely heavily on Ned and Constance Sublette’s eye-opeing book: The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry.)

In America, one of the main ways to build assets is through home ownership. In the previous post I already laid out the many ways government on every level, together with the housing industry, kept African Americans segregated from whites, how they kept them out of middle-class neighborhoods and how they refused to give them mortgages. A century of segregated neighborhoods, racially restrictive covenants and redlining have left African Americans far behind where home ownership is concerned.

If we’re going to talk about real estate, though, to really understand the scope of the injustice done to African Americans, we need to go back to the very beginning of white land use in America. Continue reading

But That Was Then, This Is Now : Part 2 Housing Inequality

redlining

Image: HousingWire.com

The first African-American disadvantage I want to address is housing, because housing determines access to education, healthcare, jobs, fresh vegetables, even, and the ability to build assets.  (For an introduction, see the previous post.) A lot of white people think, or like to think, that de jure segregation, i.e. based in law — the official segregation of blacks and whites — was something of the Deep South and the distant past, and that the segregation we see today ‘just happened’, because of black people’s personal choices and circumstances — that it’s voluntary, de facto segregation. Continue reading

American Eugenics and the Holocaust

images

Image: labdish.cshl.edu

I came across an article yesterday on Timeline.com: “The Nazi Breeding and Infanticide Program You Probably Never Knew About”. The article describes the Nazi breeding program that involved encouraging and forcing “pure Aryan” women to get pregnant from “pure Aryan” men and taking the babies to be educated by the SS, as well as the active euthanasia of “impure” babies.

There is a reason you may never have known about this. Continue reading

When I was a Kid : Showing my Age

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When I was a kid my mother was against school uniforms.

When I was a kid we emigrated to Australia in a BOAC plane that had to stop three times to refuel.

When I was a kid my parents rented a television for one night. They watched a movie that had something to do with a leaking submarine. Continue reading

Fascism in America 8: Violence and Intimidation

militia charlottesville

Image: slate.com

Fascists don’t consider violence to be per definition bad, as long as they are the ones meting it out, through violent and intimidating government actions and policies, armed militias and/or war. In Germany the Nazi Party quickly became militarized and bullied and intimidated its way into power.

But first, let’s look at America’s history of violence and intimidation. Continue reading

Fascism in America 5: A Little Detour to the Dutch Police

amsterdam rellen 1966

Image: anp-archief.nl

At first this post was going to be about authoritarianism. It is, but only in the Netherlands. When I write the next post about authoritarianism in America, a lot of it will deal with the police, and before discussing that, it’s important for you to know where I’m coming from. So, first a brief history lesson and a tour of my first workplace as a librarian. Continue reading

Neither Racist Nor Responsible?

20160423_130914Okay, there’s no way I can keep up with everything that’s going on, so I’m just going to write about what I was going to write about.

In the wake of Charlottesville there’s been a lot of talk on social and main stream media about white privilege and white responsibility for blacks’ uphill battles in America. Many white people claim not to be racist, but they also don’t feel responsible for race problems that they were not directly involved in. Continue reading