Since coming home for spring break there has been a lot of talk in the news about the Cincinnati Police Department. The Assistant Chief, Dave Bailey, was forced to retire last week after the city manager accused him of undermining the Police Chief. Since then the Head Chief has also been under a lot of scrutiny.
What makes this whole situation interesting is the fact that both Dave Bailey and the head Chief, Eliot Isaac, are both African American. Shortly after being forced to retire Bailey accused the department of trying to get rid of him and Isaac because they are black. This accusation has caused a lot of problems within the police department and with city leaders. This whole situation has shown that the Cincinnati Police department is corrupt but it still has yet to be proved if the Department and city leaders were trying to force the two men to retire because of their race.
I found this situation particularly interesting after some of the discussions we have had in class. Regardless of what happens, I feel this situation shines a light on the fact that America has an institutional racism problem. While they may ultimately decide that race did not play a factor in City leaders forcing Bailey to retire I found it hard to believe that Bailey would make up this accusation especially because the Mayor of Cincinnati is African American. With the mayor also being black it would not make sense for Bailey to make up this claim because without solid evidence it would be hard to prove. Because of this, I think there is definitely something going on with the City leaders and that them trying to force the two men out may ultimately have been because of race.
This whole situation highlights America’s institutional racism problem and will be really interesting to follow as new information comes out.
“Race, Racism, and Southern Myths”
by William Sturkey
“In 2010, two historians edited a collection of thirteen essays written by white historians about “The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism.” Admittedly, I am not fully aware of the process of selecting the contributors to this volume, nor am I suggesting that this is an isolated intellectual exercise. In publications and conference rooms across the world—including those on my own campus—scholars of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have debated the notion of Southern distinctiveness. The most common device employed in such debates is the observation that racial segregation, oppression, and activism also existed outside the South.
For millions of African Americans, however, there has never been any question that the South is indeed exceptional. The South’s exceptionalism exists in Black memory and imagination because it is the only place in the United States where such high numbers and percentages of the Black population were enslaved. Further, it is the only place in the United States where the Southern system of racial apartheid known as Jim Crow pervaded Black life for nearly one hundred years after Emancipation.
When Mississippi migrant, Gus Courts, testified to a Senate Subcommittee in 1957, he called himself and other Black migrants, “American refugees from the terror in the South.” A voting rights activist, Courts fled Mississippi for Chicago soon after he was nearly killed in a drive-by shooting in retribution for his activism. One of Courts’ closest friends, Reverend George Lee, had been killed just six months prior. In Chicago, as in Mississippi, Gus Courts was not free to live anywhere he wanted because he was Black. Nonetheless, Courts saw the South as exceptional because of the pervasive state-supported and community organized anti-Black violence that undergirded Southern Jim Crow. In Chicago, unlike Mississippi, he could at least vote without being shot.
In 1967, over 100 cities, large and small, exploded in fire and violence, the result of decades of discrimination against black populations in places like Cleveland, Nashville, Boston and Newark. The biggest riot at the time was in Detroit. After five days of rioting, 33 blacks and 10 whites were dead and property damage totaled more than $100 million.
“I Live Paycheck to Paycheck”
By Jess Bidgood
“Public schools in West Virginia were closed for a sixth day on Thursday, as teachers striking over health care costs and pay largely rebuffed a deal this week between Gov. James C. Justice and union leadership aimed at getting them back to school.
Mr. Justice has ordered a task force to examine health care costs and the State House passed a bill raising wages by 5 percent. But with the bill’s fate in doubt in the Senate and scant details on health care funding, many teachers remained angry, and they flooded back to the Capitol, wearing red and black, to protest on Wednesday and Thursday.
We spoke on Wednesday night with Katie Endicott, 31, a high school English teacher from Gilbert, W.Va., about why she and many other teachers are not yet prepared to return to school. The interview has been edited and condensed.”
What are the origins of the strike?
They told us that essentially if you weren’t a single person, if you had a family plan, your health insurance was going to rise substantially. As a West Virginia teacher — and I’ve been teaching 10 years — I only clear right under $1,300 every two weeks, and they’re wanting to take $300 more away for me. But they tell me it’s O.K., because we’re going to give you a 1 percent pay raise. That equals out to 88 cents every two days.”
Restrictive Covenants Stubbornly Stay on the Books
“RICHMOND, Va. – NEALIE PITTS was shopping for a house for her son three years ago when she spotted a for-sale sign in front of a modest brick bungalow here. When she stopped to ask the owner about it, at first she thought she misheard his answer.
“This house is going to be sold to whites only,” said the owner, Rufus Matthews, according to court papers filed by Ms. Pitts, who is African-American. “It’s not for colored.”
Mr. Matthews later testified before the Virginia Fair Housing Board that he believed a clause in his deed prohibited him from selling to a black buyer. A 1944 deed on his property restricts owners from selling to “any person not of the Caucasian race.”
Such clauses have been unenforceable for nearly 60 years. But historians who track such things say that thousands of racist deed restrictions, as well as restrictive covenants governing homeowner associations, survive in communities across the country.”
Why Is America’s Housing so Segregated?
Interview with Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
“How New York City became the capital of the Jim Crow North” by Brian Purnell and Jeanne Theoharis
“Ninety years ago, Donald Trump’s father was arrested at a Klan parade — in Queens. Fifty-five years ago, more than 10,000 white mothers marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to protest a very modest school desegregation program. Fifty years ago, 16,000 people packed into Madison Square Garden to cheer George Wallace’s candidacy for president. And a mere three years ago, New York City settled a federal lawsuit that had branded the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional and a form of racial profiling.”
I attended a lecture called “White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race”. The lecturer was Matthew W. Hughey, a sociologist, and associate professor at the University of Connecticut. His research has led him to write several books and main focus is on studying whiteness. As a white male, I dislike attending these lectures due to the fact that I’m ostracized and put into categories like Hughey provided. Hughey literally hand-picked samples from his months of research to examine how a white nationalist group and a white antiracist group have a lot more similarities than what meet the eye. He also provides 3-4 categories that he put white people into that eventually the outcome is different forms of racism. I understand that this was just a lecture as well as a brief summary of his research, but his arrogant attitude leads to the conclusion white people are all racist indefinitely. I just was curious since he is white, what category did he fall into? Oh wait, when asked that question he twisted it and never really answered it but gave excuses like the white antiracist group did. So, was he racist?
This lecture pertains to the class in the following ways: learning about groups from different sides of the spectrum within the white community and their attitudes towards people of color. The class has talked about at certain points of white people’s role in the movement, and this lecture gave certain insight of possible views certain groups had.
Throughout all the essays we have read in class there is one thing that almost always comes to my mind and that is how our education system teaches the Civil Rights Movement versus what really happened in the movement. In my experiences, the Civil Rights movement was something that was always brought up at least once a year in a history class throughout middle school and high school. Despite the movement being discussed many times, the way it is discussed is very different than what we have learned in this class and from the essays we have read. Many people have the perception that the movement was solely about racism and that the movement ended quickly. I believe they have this idea because of the way the movement is taught in schools. These topics obviously have been discussed frequently throughout class so we know these things are not true but in my opinion, the civil rights movement is something that everyone should have an in-depth knowledge of and is something that needs to be focused on more at the middle and high school levels.
In my experience, discussing the movement at the high school level was just simply going over the major names involved with the movement like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Up until this class I had very little knowledge about the movement at a local level because we only focused on the major names. I also didn’t realize how much more the movement was about then just racism. After just being in this class for a few weeks it became apparent to me that the education system had kind of “failed me” in a way. I didn’t know this information because it was never taught. In order for people to have a better understanding of the movement and a better appreciation for it, we need to change the way the movement is taught in our schools. Instead of talking about the big names, schools should focus on the local movement and what all the movement was actually fighting for.
I can’t help but wonder, especially after today’s discussion about if reading more essays like The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past would have affected the election, how differently recent events would have unfolded if our students were taught the Civil Rights movement in a more in-depth way.
I went to Dana Schutz’s exhibition at Cleveland Museum of Art in the late January and attended the interview of Dana Schutz by Nell Painter, who is a historian and a painter. The issue they specifically discussed was associated with a particular painting, Open Casket (2016), which depicts a disfigured Emmett Till lying in the casket. Historically speaking, Emmett Till was lynched after a white woman insisted that she was offended by Till. In the conversion between Painter and Schutz and in tandem with various articles that discuss this issue, I have to acknowledge and be aware of the fundamental tension that lies in the core of the racial problem.
The problems of this painting that generate a monolithic dissent to it mainly reside in two aspects: a white woman paints a black issue, and the portrayal of a black man is abstract. Various activists went to the show and called the work to be removed, or even destroyed. Among them, Hannah Black wrote a letter to the museum, in which she argues that the painting is evidence of white insensitivity; that “a painting of a dead Black boy by a white artist” cannot correctly represent white shame.
In my eyes, Hannah Black relies on the wrong notions of cultural property and generalizes the meaning of the work to cultural producers and consumers on the basis of race. This issue came back to me again when I read the interview with Judy Richardson, conducted by Emilye Crosby, during which Richardson discusses the dilemma of white women trying to get involved in the civil rights movement. Here again, the fact of Dana Schutz, a white woman, trying to demonstrate the brutal reality that happened to a black man becomes paradoxical.
In brief, the attempt by a white female cultural producer to represent racial issue through the expression of black pain should not be viewed as malicious. Instead, the effort of achieving racial equity and reciprocal comprehension by any people should be recognized not by their gender or race, but by their intentions.