darkoshi: (Default)

My President Was Black, By Ta-Nehisi Coates
- mentions a "brown-paper-bag test".

Brown Paper Bag Test (wikipedia entry) -
The Brown Paper Bag Test was a type of racial discrimination in the United States. A brown paper bag was used as a way to determine whether or not an individual could have certain privileges; only individuals with a skin color that is the same color or lighter than a brown paper bag were allowed. The test was used in the 20th century within many social institutions such as African-American sororities, fraternities, and churches.

What?? Even African-American organizations discriminated based on how dark a person's skin was?!

The Wikipedia "See Also" section for the above entry includes:
High yellow ...
...is a term used to describe persons classified as black according to the one-drop rule, despite having primarily white European ancestry. It is a color reference to the yellow undertone of some mixed-race people. ... It is reflected in such popular songs of the era as "The Yellow Rose of Texas".

What?! The Yellow Rose of Texas?! You mean the original song wasn't metaphorically comparing someone to a beautiful good-smelling yellow rose?

The Yellow Rose of Texas (song) ...
The song is written in the first person from the perspective of an African-American singer who refers to himself as a "darkey," longing to return to "a yellow girl," a term used to describe a light-skinned bi-racial woman born of African-American and white progenitors.
darkoshi: (Default)
I had never heard about this before. The first piece on it which I read this evening left me thinking it must be a fake story. But unfortunately, like most things about human history, it's not fake.

Tulsa, 1921 - 1921 article by Walter White for The Nation

TULSA RACE RIOT - Oklahoma Historical Society

A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 - a very detailed report from 2001, with photos, which I haven't had time to read.

Wikipedia article - Summary:
The Tulsa race riot, or Tulsa race riot of 1921, occurred between May 31–June 1, 1921, when a white mob started attacking residents and businesses of the African-American community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in what is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States. The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the wealthiest black community in the nation. More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and more than 6,000 black residents were arrested and detained, many for several days. The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 39 dead, but the American Red Cross estimated 300, a number supported by historians since then.


Sunday, April 12th, 2015 02:13 pm
darkoshi: (herne)
I was dismayed to read about the Walter Scott shooting, particularly as it happened here in SC where I live. I'm just glad that someone caught it on camera; otherwise it might not have even been reported.

I only found out about it on Thursday night, after seeing it mentioned on the BBC website while browsing something else. I don't regularly watch the news, and I haven't had the TV on since last weekend... and that was for watching a DVD, not TV. I wonder if our household is unusual in that way, or if many other people don't watch much news/TV either.
darkoshi: (Default)
I've been thinking of an analogy in regards to how the media announces the presidential election winner before all of the votes have been counted, in fact before all the votes have even been cast.

It's like a sports game is in progress - let's say American football (forgive me if my terminology is off; I don't pay much attention to sports). Suppose Team Hackensack is playing against Team Puckenball. Suppose the game is in the beginning of the fourth quarter, or maybe even in the middle of the third. It's as if, while a player is in the midst of throwing the ball across the field, the loudspeakers blare out, "The game is over! Team Hackensack has won! Congratulations to the Hackensacks!" The spectators jump up, cheering in glee and/or groaning in dismay. Then they start filing out of the stadium. Meanwhile, the players on the field are left standing and scratching their heads, wondering what happened.

I mean, really. Even if one team has a large lead, and the other team has a poor track record, it's standard practice to wait until the game is over, before announcing the results. Even if there's no way that the losing team could possibly win enough points in the time remaining, to gain the lead, the winner isn't announced until the end. The media may say that one team is winning, and is nearly certain to win the overall game. But they don't announce that the game is over before the game is actually over. Whereas, with the presidential elections, they do.


(The below was a comment I posted on another journal, but I originally intended to post about it here on mine.)

I came across the below document, which fascinates me and also disturbs me in how precisely legislative districts are drawn to meet desired criteria. From what I was able to glean from it, there was a lot of redistricting going on in the 1970s and 80s. Somewhen in the 80s or early 90s, the Department of Justice told the SC legislature that it had to create more black-majority districts. This was subsequently done by means of racial gerrymandering. A district court then declared the new districts invalid, as districts should not be drawn on the basis of race, except under certain conditions which were not met.

Smith v. Beasley opinion

"Gerrymandering has been a part of our political system since the word was coined more than 175 years ago. The drawing of district lines for political purposes has often been criticized, but it is not illegal. However, the Supreme Court has determined that gerrymandering which divides voters according to race violates the Equal Protection Clause. In Miller, the Court explained, "When the State assigns voters on the basis of race, it engages in the offensive and demeaning assumption that voters of a particular race, because of their race, 'think alike, share the same political interests, and will prefer the same candidates in the polls.' "

"Constitutional prohibition against dividing or segregating citizens by race applies equally to districting cases, and state's assignment of voters according to race is subject to court's strictest scrutiny under equal protection clause."

"Both the Senate and the House had sophisticated computer equipment that was maintained for the purpose of drawing election district lines. These machines were equipped with software that showed precincts, streets, population and racial composition of all areas based on the 1990 federal census data base. Technicians could show legislators how moving district lines could increase or decrease the racial makeup of a particular district."
darkoshi: (Default)
Based on the current vote tally, in South Carolina, Romney got 54.67% of the vote, and Obama got 43.98%. Here in Richland County, one of the state's more urban areas, Obama got 65.77% and Romney got 32.86%.

Based on some census figures, South Carolina's population is 68.4% white and 28.1% black. Richland County is 48.9% white and 46.3% black. As a kid, it always surprised me to hear that blacks were a minority in SC, as at my schools (also in Richland County), it seemed that at least half the students were black. It still surprises me sometimes, considering how many black people I see in my day to day life (other than at work).

In spite of Richland County having almost the same percentage of blacks and whites, some neighborhoods and institutions are mostly one or the other. At my place of employment, I'd estimate that 10% or less of the people I work with are black (I'll use that term here for simplicity, rather than "African-American"). That's probably true, even without counting the people who are here from our India and Vietnam offices on temporary work visas. On the other hand, the support personnel (security guards, cleaning crew) are nearly all black. Most of the people in higher paying jobs, with higher education, seem to be white. Even at the hospitals, from what I've seen, most of the nursing and medical staff are white.

Many churches (in my limited experience) are mostly white or black. When I go to some grocery stores, nearly all the other people I see there are black. In other grocery stores, there's a more even mix of races.

My neighborhood must be mostly black, although it doesn't seem that way to me, as two of the nearby neighboring families are white. Whenever I go to vote, nearly all the other voters are black. It was the same way in my last precinct, when I was still living with Forestfen. During last week's vote, that is one of the reasons I would have felt very uncomfortable having been allowed to skip standing in line, due to Qiao's (temporary) disability. It would have felt like I was being given privilege due to my skin color, even though I know it wouldn't truly have been due to that. Other than me and Qiao, there might have been 1 or 2 white people standing in line (possibly not even that) during the entire time we were there, compared to probably over 100 black people.