January 13, 2009

"These are not just regular costumes. These are the costumes that remind someone of the plantation in Gone with the Wind."

Edward Vaughn, head of the Alabama NAACP, does not want the Azalea Trail Maids representing Alabama in the Inauguration Day parade.

Here's how they look:



Out of place in the celebration of the first black president? 11 of the 50 Trail Maids are black, by the way.

122 comments:

former law student said...

Wow!
Cool!
They look like giant paper flowers.

If we could only tax grumpy guys for expressing their grievances, we could wipe out the budget deficit. Else, that would channel their energies into productive activities.

Michael H said...

Those are beautiful costumes. How they can be racist is hard to fathom.

The cosutmes are similar to the gowns young black women wear to cotillions.

Are black people not supposed to wear costumes unless approved by the NAACP? Speaking of plantations....

EDH said...

This is called "preparing the battlespace."

jdeeripper said...

Edward Vaughn, the New Mr. Blackwell.

Philadelphia Mummers KO1 Azalea Trail Maids

Meade said...

What you do is you enter your own float, right behind the trail maids, depicting the beating of a slave tied to a whipping post. Presto! Now it's performance art, reminding everyone just how far we have come.

Not just post racial. Whipping post racial.

Hoosier Daddy said...

How they can be racist is hard to fathom.

Well you have evidently failed your required course in racial reconcilliation and penance.

Back to the re-education camp with you.

Original George said...

These also resemble cupcakes, which are fattening and will give children unhealthy ideas.

Cute Cupcakes

sean said...

I think Elena Kagan should wear a dress and hat like that when she appears in front of the Supreme Court.

AlphaLiberal said...

Geez, those are awful and garish. Yuch. Really, is that what Alabama looks like?

Here's my take: Gone with the Wind was based in the racist, slavery-loving south. Having never subjected myself to that movie, I don't know if it's true that the main character loved her the slave-based southern economy and the movie evokes it. But that's a reasonable perspective.

Hey, it's pretty cool that Obama is being inaugurated the day after MLK day.

The Crack Emcee said...

Good God, make it stop,...

traditionalguy said...

On Racial Grievance Plantation, I suppose It's not quittin time until the Head of the NAACP says it's quittin time. Let'see how long it takes for Obama to end this nonsense and give us back our history.

Shanna said...

If you're going to hate those outfits, hate them for aesthetic reasons, not some made up racist claptrap.

Also, it's a parade. Everyone in a parade looks silly.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Having never subjected myself to that movie, I don't know if it's true that the main character loved her the slave-based southern economy and the movie evokes it. But that's a reasonable perspective.

You, having never seen the movie, you shouldn't try to opine about it. You don't know shit about the theme of Gone With the Wind. I suggest you read the book or see the film first before opening your mouth about it. So should the ignorant a-hole from the NAACP who thinks that costume dresses are racist.

They look like the Barbie birthday cakes that are popular for little girls parties

LarsPorsena said...

I see a looming jurisdictional dispute between the Thought Police and the Fashion Police.

bearbee said...

BURP!

Salamandyr said...

For some complaints, the only proper response is a hearty "Mind your own business!", which I think is appropriate in this case.

Michael H said...

Alpha - Here's a brief bio about Margaret Mitchell, the author of GWTW. Perhaps you need to think a bit before reflexively launching a knee-jerk response.

traditionalguy said...

If you have never seen GWTW you have missed a great story centered in and around Atlanta. The story does not glorify slavery, but does tell about humans learning to survive the chaos of the loss of the culture they knew because they were so foolish as to attack the northern half of the American Empire. After WW2 the Japanese related to GWTW as a telling of their story too. Steven Spielberg worked this theme into a WW2 setting in the movie Empire of the Sun. But if "your people" have never lived thru being conquered by another Empire, you will not get it.

fcai said...

Slavery was in the north, too, and racism is everywhere. But thanks for playing the ignorant liberal talking point card.

Original Mike said...

Let'see how long it takes for Obama to end this nonsense and give us back our history.

He does that and I'm voting for him next time. Not holding my breath, though. I think the task is too big even for the messiah.

Original Mike said...

But thanks for playing the ignorant liberal talking point card.

Go easy on him. It was his duty. Lucky's still in bed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Juvenile delinquents! Wearing gang colors!

reader_iam said...

"Mummers" was my first thought, too.

Henry said...

Vaughn is right. These are not just regular costumes.

These are costumes that remind someone of giant revolving marshmallow peeps. Are peeps made in Alabama?

I shudder to think of the dancing pastel quahaug maids sent to represent Rhode Island.

AJ Lynch said...

If only Mort were here.

Shanna said...

Indeed, GWTW is about a lot of things. Also, I believe Hattie McDaniel (?) was the first black performer to win an Oscar for that movie.

AlphaLiberal said...

Fine, maybe because I haven't watched the film and shouldn't have tried to understand what the person was saying in Ann's post.

Maybe if someone wants to show us all how Scarlett O'Hara objected to the racism of slavery, you can help shed some light on her enlightened views.

Show us how she opposed the war of secession and the South's crusade to preserve slavery.

Please, I welcome your education. Do tell.

MayBee said...

Slavery was in the north, too, and racism is everywhere. But thanks for playing the ignorant liberal talking point card.

Yeah, I don't know why people like to pretend otherwise. I think the last slave-allowing law in NY was taken off the books in 1841. For the most part NY slaves had been emancipated in the 1820's. A whopping 40 years difference from Alabama.

vet66 said...

Damn; I keep forgetting about the "White Guilt" I am supposed to embrace. "It's the big one 'lizabeth!"

Oh well...I still enjoy azaleas...

Shanna said...

Show us how she opposed the war of secession and the South's crusade to preserve slavery.

Not at all what the movie was about, but you want to think what you think. I doubt anyone is going to persuade you differently.

AlphaLiberal said...

The story does not glorify slavery, ...

And, despite the scorn heaped on me here, I never said that.

The worst outcome of this is I may actually watch the f*cken thing now.

-------
We are seeing play out here the typical knee jerk conservative response to deny the existence of any racism anywhere.

This is a very old tendency.

Original Mike said...

For the most part NY slaves had been emancipated in the 1820's. A whopping 40 years difference from Alabama.

In New York's defense, they did it with a lot less fuss.

Shanna said...

We are seeing play out here the typical knee jerk conservative response to deny the existence of any racism anywhere.

So you think big stupid dresses are racist?

Original Mike said...

The worst outcome of this is I may actually watch the f*cken thing now.

Let me warn you. It's a little long.

AlphaLiberal said...

Not at all what the movie was about, but you want to think what you think. I doubt anyone is going to persuade you differently.

Look, I just tried to understand what the frick the guy Ann quoted was talking about! You guys dumped shit all over me for that.

Back your shit up, then. You watched it? You tell me.

(Though I think I see my big offense here - to conservatives. My offense was in trying to understand someone's point without rushing to denounce them. Con's skip right over that "trying to understand someone's point" business.)

Chip Ahoy said...

I fell asleep 1/4 of the way through GWTW. It is a long movie. So I tried again a few years later and fell asleep again. Conclusion: it's a wearisome movie. Then saw bits of the end of it on television, the pans of devastated Atlanta. These experiences served me well on a CLEP wherein we were presented with two frames from two separate antebellum films and asked which one was from GWTW. Just looking at a single frame one was able to identify the movie having not seen the whole thing nor having any idea about the other film, it's just that iconographic.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Burgess said...

Thanks to Alphaliberal for demonstating--as if we needed it--that ignorance is no obstacle to opinion!

Perhaps AlphaL should actually bother to watch the film--even better, read the book. Though that's a bit of a slog, it's significantly different from the film and worth reading to note the differences.

And apologies in advance if AlphaL should discover that Mitchell wrote the book she wanted to write, not the one AlphaL thinks she ought to have written.

AlphaL is truly an ignorant putz.

Michael H said...

We are seeing play out here the typical knee jerk conservative response to deny the existence of any racism anywhere.

No. We are watching you play out the typical liberal response of proclaiming the existence of racism where it does not exist.

And decry racism in a movie that you have never watched, based on a book you never read, written by an author whose background you have not studied.

LarsPorsena said...

"We are seeing play out here the typical knee jerk conservative response to deny the existence of any racism anywhere. "

No, what we are seeing is the typical knee jerk 'progressive' response of seeing racism everywhere.

AlphaLiberal said...

Let me warn you. It's a little long.

Yeah. 4 hours of romance. Maybe that's where I get edgy as it strikes close to home.

Me: How about a nice action movie or sci fi?

Wife: Let's watch a Victorian love story (again!)

I better leave it at that.

Tibore said...

"These are not just regular costumes. These are the costumes that remind someone of the plantation in Gone with the Wind..."

Sure. In a flamboyant, garish, paper-mache sort of way.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Though I think I see my big offense here - to conservatives.

Frankly, AL, I don't give a damn.

Shanna said...

I fell asleep 1/4 of the way through GWTW.

It's pretty long. And depressing, really. I think the scene in Atlanta during the war was very frightening when I was a child.

My offense was in trying to understand someone's point without rushing to denounce them.

Oh come on, don't be such a martyr! If you want to know about the movie, Scarlett hates war. She's just not terribly political about it.

reader_iam said...

Don't watch it, Alpha! That damn Scarlett's a Christianist!

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

POP-UP PUNCHLINES™ (#31): "Well, as soon as I caught my breath, I called him precious."

Original Mike said...

Me: How about a nice action movie or sci fi?
Wife: Let's watch a Victorian love story (again!)


I took a date to it, years ago, in a theater. Her request, of course.

Don't remember if it was worth it

Smilin' Jack said...

11 of the 50 Trail Maids are black, by the way.

I'm pretty sure all the maids in GWTW were black. So does this represent progress, or what?

I'm not sure what a "Trail Maid" is, but they look better than most of the things I've seen in most parades.

Christopher said...

Shanna - Hattie McDaniel did indeed win an Oscar for GWTW, as "Best Actress in a Supporting Role." Unfortunately, her Oscar - willed to Howard University - disappeared in the 1960s during a riot and has never been found.

Her most famous quote was (I paraphrase): "I'd rather make seven hundred dollars a week playing a maid than seven dollars a week being one."

And honestly, Alpha, when you start off your post by saying "having never subjected myself to that movie, I don't know. . ." and then proceed to tell us what YOU think GWTW is all about, then you do subject yourself to being dumped on. GWTW, like the much more poisonous "Birth Of A Nation," can be an embarrasing film to watch because of its racial attitudes, but it is nevertheless an important landmark in the history of motion pictures. Reducing it to "the South's crusade to preserve slavery" is arrant silliness. But I suspect that Edward Vaughn doesn't particularly care.

But you, having noted four hours of romance is not your cup of tea. . well, I can see why you wouldn't watch GWTW. You should at least once, though, even if for no other reason than to say "meh. I don't see what the big deal is."

Michael H said...

^^^^^Would it have been better if sex toys were involved?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

Isn't it amazing how many liberals are attention whores? You should see Code Pink when the cameras show up.

Edward Vaughn is trying demonstrate that he and his organization are still relevant. Except that he demonstrates quite the opposite. For that matter, his organization supports the "advancement of colored people" but there's a black man as President of the United States adn there's already been a black man leading the UN. How much further can colored people advance?

It's not conservative white Republicans who keep black people down. It's the type of people who fight NCLB and who fight Michele Rhee's reforms in Washington, DC.

garage mahal said...

Just like Andrew Sullivan equaled EVERYONE in the media that assaulted Sarah Palin, one guy in the NAACP in Alabama equals "the left", and "progressives"! Code Pink Alert!

Meade said...

Wow, reader_iam, even that 2 minute clip seemed to take, like, 4 hours.

As god is my witness, I really do believe poor alphaliberal doesn't know nothin’ bout birth of a nation-ing no babies.

Being that he's one of our few whipping boys, and a very reliable go-to whipping boy at that, we should probably lighten up on him some. Maybe even not make him watch the movie.

Original George said...

Alpha--

I thought you liberal guys liked liberated women....the kind who shoot and kill rapists, have an open mind about madams and will speak to one on the street..run a successful business...have multiple husbands...deliver babies...dance wearing widow's clothes..associate with an outlaw entrepreneur and even visit him in jail...

Hoosier Daddy said...

My offense was in trying to understand someone's point without rushing to denounce them.

No your offense was popping off your uniformed mouth like you usually do. You freely admit to never seeing GWTW yet make a completely uninformed opinion out of it. That's why you were dumped on.

Conservatives don't deny that racism exists, unlike lefties who think it's in every spoken or unspoken word or some stupid parade costume.

Back your shit up, then. You watched it? You tell me.

To quote your buddy Luckymichael, go READ!

Shanna said...

Actually, my favorite thing about the movie is that it spawned a Carol Burnett skit where she wore the drapes dress, including the rod.

Dark Eden said...

So 50 women (11 black!) in big poofy paper dresses is racist and evil and so awfully awful that no sane person should dare wear them in front of the thought police because... why exactly?

I just don't see what has gotten the left's panties in a bunch this time. Not that it ever makes much sense.

traditionalguy said...

The Icon of pretty Planter's daughters going to a Ball was only the set up to GWTW. It was to show what was GONE. The GWTW story, like Doctor Zhivago, is about the humans still doing their best to survive and to love thru all the chaos going on around them. They were racists because that was the only life they had ever known [See Thos. Jefferson's life]. Sure slavery's inherent evil had warped all of their personalities and they should have just ended it themselves, but the emotion comes from watching the survival of Steel Magnolias like Scarlett trying to deal with the chaos of a defeated country. I guess you just had to have been there. In the 1920's the real Scarletts, who were there, were only in their 70's and passing down the family stories thru their grandchildren, like Margaret Mitchell. A true story always reaches into your gut and moves you 10 times more than a made up one

Crimso said...

"How much further can colored people advance?"

Well, there haven't been any that walked on the Moon..

Theo Boehm said...

Shanna: NOW we have a costume for those poor young women!

Crimso said...

And I'm STILL waiting for a name change for the city of Memphis. Glorifying a slaveholding culture and all...

Original Mike said...

Well, there haven't been any that walked on the Moon.

Michael Griffin, call your office.

siyeh pass said...

Maybe we can get Carol Burnett in her spoof of Scarlet O'Hara out there...

But really, it’s not a political statement. It’s a costume. It harkens back to a time that people like to imagine was more gentile, but was beautiful only on the surface. I’m much more interested in the history being made with the election of our first black president (whose wife is a descendant of plantation slaves). Though interesting juxtaposition of history with current events.

William said...

The first recorded slave expedition was sent by the Pharoah to the land of Kush in 2000 BC. For the greater part of the next four millenia the poor people of Africa were afflicted by slave raiders. For the most part the slave raiders and traders were the great kings of Africa and the Arab middlemen. The Europeans made it a large commercial enterprise and deserve their share of the blame for this horrible crime. It is true that slaves in America lived on average 20 yrs longer than those in the Caribbean and Brazil, but the mechanics of how the institution of slavery was administered here make for grim reading. There is nothing in Stephen King (and nothing in GWTW) to match the horror of that narrative.....Here comes my apologia: Slavery was a great betrayal of Christian values. But almost from the very beginning, thinking people realized that it was a grand crime. In the fulness of time the views of these people prevailed. In Africa, there were kings and nobles who thought it would be a great sin if they were to be enslaved. But these same people never made the moral leap of judging slavery itself to be immoral. The abolition of slavery was a western value that British imperialists inflicted on Africa.....The large hoop skirts and corsets were not just the clothes of ante bellum Southern women. They were the uniform of affluent European women. They were uncomfortable and expensive. They should be read as indicative of the extent to which bourgeoise women will go to prove their respectability. Their clothes should not be read as symbols of dominance. They should be read as symbols of how women participated in their own subjugation. There are useful lessons for Africans to decipher in the symbiotics.

Henry said...

I've seen the movie twice and I would say there are a number of cringe-worthy scenes involving Scarlett's loyal house slaves. Yet up to a point these are secondary to the plot and the domestics are still fully realized characters.

Even the larger and more disturbing context, the myth of an antebellum arcadia, is reduced to a stage set for Scarlett's romantic machinations.

So ironically GWTW is most explicitely racist in its presentation of postbellum society; reconstruction is cast in explicitely racial terms.

In an appalling plot sequence, Scarlett's honor is violated by a thuggish ex-slave. This act then triggers the assembly of a lynch mob of southern gentleman.

The movie presents the lynch mob as heroes.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

You seem to forget the whatever the NAACP SAYS is racist, is racist. Leave logic at the door.

I read in a historical work a few years ago that the last slave in the US was freed in 1867 in New York State, but can't find a link. at the time the article gave the impression that his freedom was granted was by action of law in 1867. I'll have to look that up again and find out for sure.

Wikapedia says the last were freed in 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment, so why was there still a slave in New York in 1867?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My offense was in trying to understand someone's point without rushing to denounce them

No... actually your offense is/was knee jerk reaction to your preconceived notions about what some other bigoted person who also has knee jerk reactions to something that he also has no clue about (meaning what the message of Gone With the Wind was conveying).

Engaging the mouth, or in this case the typing fingers, without engaging the brain seems to be a consistant trait of "progressives" (snark)

YOU think that conservatives are denying that there is or was racism because WE don't see racism everywhere all the time as you do. Not being a part of the perpetually offended class, I do acknowledge that there is racism but I also acknowledge that some things are just what they are....stupid dresses that make some women happy.

Sorry. Silly dresses are not racist. Otherwise every high school prom would be a racist event.

knox said...

Those aren't women, those are trannies. It's all good.

Original George said...

Henry--

To this day lots of white people in the South have African-American servants, in rural and urban areas, and these relationships and the behavior of both black and white people has not changed that much.

Cringe if you want, but in lots of places, there are no jobs for unskilled people, black or white. You can go on welfare, or you can work as a cook, nursemaid, maid, or yard man. It's a pretty servile relationship, no matter what races are involved.

The movie is a window into a reality that to some degree still exists. It is unsettling.

In Hilton Head, black small-company owners were furious a few years ago at Hispanics and illegals taking away their livelihoods by underpricing their yard care businesses. Lots of small black-owned businesses bellied up. You don't hear much, if anything, about the ill-will poor white and black people feel towards illegal aliens. It's more fashionable to attack whites.

Also, remember that a Union soldier also tries to rape Scarlett. She shot him in the face.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually, my favorite thing about the movie is that it spawned a Carol Burnett skit where she wore the drapes dress, including the rod.

OMG yes. I love that clip. Where are the Carol Burnettes now when we need them so we can laugh at ourselves and just lighten up.

Some people (like the NAACP guy and Alpha) just take themselves too seriously.

traditionalguy said...

The last "legal"slaves that were freed in the United States were the sugar and pineapple plantation Workers being held in the Hawaian Islands under contracts of indentured slavery. The Chinese and other Oriental merchants/ producers still use that as a viable labor system. God help us if we cannot get out from under the debt we owe to the Chinese thanks to buying slave-labor produced imports at Walmart. The Chinese are now making substantial industrial investments in Georgia. Maybe they intend to run a better operation here than the Irishman Ohara did using Tara's overseer's?

al said...

GWTW is a movie worth watching. Several interesting sub plots. Scarlett's life as it evolves is quite interesting. I think it still plays daily at a theater in Atlanta.

As for the dresses - in GWTW when the ladies dressed up they were busting out all over. The girls in the parade - not so much. No real comparison.

Jeremy said...

In fairness to AL, GWTW is just a shorthand way to refer to the Antebellum South. It's not a bad cultural reference point either, as these things go. Probably better than "that fantasy musical sequence near the beginning of Fletch Lives."

Kurt said...

I guess my mind is in a different place. When I saw the picture of those costumes I thought they looked so strange that I wondered how many of the people wearing them were drag queens.

Michael H said...

Original George said: "To this day lots of white people in the South have African-American servants, in rural and urban areas, and these relationships and the behavior of both black and white people has not changed that much."

Uh huh. And that proves exactly what?

By the by, nice touch excluding the north. You know, racist places like Manhattan and Boston where wealthy liberals also hire domestic help.

You know, people like Kimba Wood who hire minority domestic help then 'forget' to pay their FICA, screwing them out of retirement benefits.

LarsPorsena said...

William:
"...There is nothing in Stephen King (and nothing in GWTW) to match the horror of that narrative."

Try present day Congo, Sudan or Rwanda.

reader_iam said...

We're studying Ancient Egypt around here in homeschool. Yesterday, we got off on a bit of tangent from "first writing" and ended up reading aloud a chunk of the The Code of Hammurabi, which provoked an interesting discussion about slavery.

reader_iam said...

Among other things, of course.

MayBee said...

In New York's defense, they did it with a lot less fuss.

But surely the people that had slaves in NY enjoyed having their slaves as much as Southerners did.

We should find out what they wore and weed it out of the parade.

Original Mike said...

We should find out what they wore and weed it out of the parade.

D.C. is too cold to do the parade in the nude.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

An aside that probably isn't relevant but does illustrate that history is closer than we think

In 1995 I had a client who was 92 years old, making his birthday 1903. He was still sharp as a tack, alert and healthy. His father was 70 years old when my client was born, making the father's birthday 1833. He fought in the Civil War for the North even though they did own slaves. The father lived to be in his 90's as well. And my client's grandfather was 60 when his father was born, making his birthday 1773. The grandfather's father was an indentured servant from Ireland. Basically a white slave.

3 generations that spanned the birth of the US, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, the market crash of 29, the Great Depression. Fascinating stories he had to tell me.

I would listen to my client reminisce about his youth in rural Missouri. They had a farm and some of the older people who still lived on there in the 20's when my client was a teenager, had been slaves owned by my client's father. I asked why they still lived there and he said because they were considered part of the family and had no place else to go after the War. The former slaves didn't want to go live in the cities where it was strange to them and possibly be mistreated, so they just continued to stay on the farm and when his father died in the 20's he willed a good part of the land to his former slaves.

Amazing. History can be so far away and yet so close.

Story over: continue fighting about black slavery and Gone With the Wind.

AllenS said...

I remember reading National Geographic when I was a kid, and black women didn't wear shirts.

Synova said...

My bet is that the ladies are supposed to look like flowers. You know, Azaleas. I can imagine them doing a couple of twirls and moving the parasols together. As silly as they look individually, it's likely quite impressive as they move through a parade.

Heaven help us, when credence is given to a complaint like this.

The Crack Emcee said...

"The grandfather's father was an indentured servant from Ireland. Basically a white slave."

And that's about all you need to know.

ricpic said...

Are we allowed to laugh at the NAACP?

No? Another nail in freedom's coffin.

William said...

The last slaves in North America were on the Indian reservations. These were not freed until a generation after the Emancipation Proclamation.....Germans and white southerners seem to me to be unique not in their participation in monstruous crimes but in their acknowledgement of their participation of monstruous crimes.

William said...

It seems to me that the loose fitting cotton clothes that slaves wore are more typical of our present clothing than those antebellum gowns....Victorian dresses and corsets were barbaric outfits, as restrictive in their way as iron shackles. The frequent fainting spells of Victorian women were not an affectation. That's what happens when your waist is squeezed into the ideal 18 inch circumference of that era. Mrs. Trollope writes of the profound ickiness of wearing floor length dresses in a country where everyone chewed tobacco and very few cared about the final resting place of their expectoration. These dresses were not forced upon women by men. They were forced upon women by women in pursuit of their own idiotic ideals of beauty and respectability.

traditionalguy said...

FYI there has not been a GWTW showing in Atlanta since Ted Turner refurbished it in about 1995. Terrible Ted was then into his Gettysburg movie phase. That story ended badly for slave states too. The area 20 miles south of Atlanta was the site of Margaret Mitchell's family home. This was very near the site of the final Battle at Jonesboro, 14 months after Gettysburg, and where Scarlet Rhett and Melanie in the story were running home to escape Atlanta after Sherman's victory cutting the RR at Jonesboro which caused abandonment of Atlanta by the Confederates. For a subsequent history of Atlanta's race relations,please see Driving Miss Daisey which was a true depiction of the last days of segregation here. It wasn't pretty, but that's what happened.

howzerdo said...

In 1799, the NYS Legislature passed an act that gradually abolished slavery, and in 1817, the legislature passed the law that officially ended slavery, which took effect on July 4, 1827. A loophole in the law that allowed temporary and part-time residents to bring slaves to the state for short periods of time was closed in 1841. The end was later in some of the other northern states, including NJ, CT and RI.

Cedarford said...

Crimso said...
"How much further can colored people advance?"

Well, there haven't been any that walked on the Moon..


I'm not sure if they want to. To some blacks, outer space is racist.

A black legislator wanted to ban discussion of black holes until they were renamed something "less offensive to him". In High School, my athlete colleague Devon Smith purportedly announced in one science class he was forced to take that he had no interest in the moon - because you could only see the white parts of it and the astronauts only visited the white parts.

Howzerado - A loophole in the law that allowed temporary and part-time (NY) residents to bring slaves to the state for short periods of time was closed in 1841. The end was later in some of the other northern states, including NJ, CT and RI.

And later still for some states in the West and MIdwest, and a few Americans know several Border States never gave up slaves prior to the Civil War but stayed within the Union.
My own take is the Civil War was mostly unecessary. Slavery was on it's way out economically, and Europe was beginning to boycott Southern cotton and tobacco as alternate supply opened up in Turkey, Egypt, India.

Aside from Haiti, where black "freedom-lovers" gained their own freedom and quickly turned the place from a wealthy colony to an absolute shithole, only the US ended slavery by war. The last country to end it was Brazil. Legally it was dead except for a few older slaves allowed to be kept by 1868. The last slave was circa 1880.

Considering the US had official and unofficial restrictions on blacks for the next 100 years, had high black anger and criminality and dysfunctional societies - and suffered 660,000 dead and a million maimed (3,300,000 dead and 5 million maimed if we were looking for the relative impact on today's American population)? With 1/4th of America largely ruined and spending almost 80 years poorer, less educated, and a generation behind the rest of the country?

Perhaps we should have waited for slavery to peacefully, democratically, economically work itself out of existence.

Despite all the Lincoln lovers and those that say all the death, pain, and destrution was inconsequential compared to "one lost day of freedom!! for a single black slave - it appears that blacks and whites would have been a hell of a lot better off in America if the Civil War had been avoided, and we had just ended it like Brazil did, ended it like Cuba and Mexico did, but Haiti didn't.

Beth said...

The grandfather's father was an indentured servant from Ireland. Basically a white slave.

Except for the minor details that indenture had a time limit and was not passed on to one's children, of course. Hardly worth mentioning, even.

Ralph said...

My boss says one of his indirect ancestors was breeding his female slaves himself and selling the offspring. He was murdered, to the relief of the neighborhood. No one bothered to find whodunit.

When my mother was ten, she visited our 1790 ancestral plantation near Charlotte. There were still chains embedded in a cellar wall for unruly slaves.

dick said...

Beth,

Indentured servants are still going on with the Chinese and the former USSR sectons. The people come over here to work and then have to pay their way out. In a lot of cases, the vig they have to pay means that their indenture does not end as it is supposed to. Result is they are essentially slaves.

Kirk Parker said...

William,

Good oration, but I really really hope you mean "semiotics" there at the end.

Pogo said...

Florence King on GWTW and race:

"There might be a story here but Mitchell wisely refrained from telling it because inclusion is best left to race junkies and compassionate conservatives. When practiced by writers it violates the artistic principle of selectivity; namely, anything that does not advance the plot or the characterization must come out. Accusing Margaret Mitchell of ignoring this aspect of slavery is another way of saying that she avoided distracting subplots and irrelevant digressions, crafted a coherent story by sticking to Scarlett's viewpoint, and kept control over her material for more than a thousand pages.

Misdepiction of African Americans" is, of course, an unforgivable sin, but if she erred, she erred on the side of inclusion. Race junkies routinely condemn slaveholders for preferring light-skinned blacks as house servants, yet Mammy is described as "shining black, pure African." Pork, Gerald's valet and Tara's butler, is also "shining black," and Prissy, trained originally as India Wilkes's lady's maid, is "a brown little creature.

Mitchell is also accused of making her black characters happily docile, but this is disproved by a trenchant exchange in Chapter 35 that goes by so fast that only real GWTW aficionados remember it.

After the war, Scarlett, in Atlanta to entrap Frank Kennedy, tries to send Mammy out to buy rouge, but the shocked Mammy refuses. Furious, Scarlett orders her back to Tara, but Mammy's retort paints a portrait of social change in one brushstroke:
"You kain sen' me ter Tara ness Ah wants ter go. Ah is free."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Except for the minor details that indenture had a time limit and was not passed on to one's children, of course. Hardly worth mentioning, even

True. Not heriditary slavery but slavery non-the-less.

When your parents owe a debt and exchange you (sell you) into involuntary servitude to pay off their debt and the debt never seems to end because the food you eat while working only adds to the debt, I would call that slavery.

Christy said...

Hmmm. Colorful costumes from an earlier time in a region's history. Reminds me of, say, the Papal Swiss Guards, or every official event to do with the Queen of England, or all the stupid "Welcome to [insert name of European country here]" events one inevitably gets hooked into when traveling with a tour group.

Wonder what traditional outfits embraced by African-Americans reconnecting with their heritage would disappear if we banned of all the styles worn by any group connected with the African genocides we've watched in the last hundred years? Just saying.

Pogo said...

But given the Edward Vaughn -head of the Alabama NAACP- comments, Obama's election has changed nothing.

Stephanie said...

So ironically GWTW is most explicitely racist in its presentation of postbellum society; reconstruction is cast in explicitely racial terms.

In an appalling plot sequence, Scarlett's honor is violated by a thuggish ex-slave. This act then triggers the assembly of a lynch mob of southern gentleman.

The movie presents the lynch mob as heroes.


the post-war period in the south was in fact entirely racial... anyone who had fought in the war was denied voting rights and many state legislatures ended up in the exclusive hands of carpetbaggers from the north. These carpetbaggers registered all the slaves as republicans and got themselves, and some blacks, elected to office. The democrats, out of reprisal for this usurpation, formed the KKK and began lynching carpetbaggers and blacks.

So what you see in GWTW is the beginnings of the current era of politics. That it is currently being rewritten by the revisionists as it doesn't conform to the current narrative of republicans=racists, democrats=liberators is what accounts for your confusion on this issue....

And as for the appalling rape attempt, it was to demonstrate that crimes that would never before be attempted by blacks in the south (they knew the consequences) were now being perpetrated as the consequences were now in extreme doubt. The movie shows what happens when "to the victors goes the spoils" goes too far...

and the hero of the rape tale is another black man (not the ensuing mob) that sees that all this lawlessness isn't changing his circumstance much and he'd prefer to live in an honorable world. Hence his comments that he would rather go back to Tara and live with his former masters knowing that it would bring scorn on him from the other blacks. He is a moral man and would rather take his chances with those he knows than with the criminals he sees in the other blacks.

And in my mind is the greatest hero of the piece. He'd rather go back to Tara and do the right thing by Scarlett and live in whatever circumstance his former masters allow than the "40 acres and a mule" you own the world lawlessness that was overtaking the newly freed slaves...

AlphaLiberal said...

Just curious if conservatives find this to be racist:
DOJer Called Civil Rights Official 'Black and Bitter'

Original George said...

Michael--

It proves nothing, but there are and were people like Mammy in GWTW.

The big, brassy, bold black woman is a huge stereotypical, and not entirely negative, character in American culture....Oprah...Queen Latifah...and so on.

Pogo said...

Just curious if liberals find this to be racist:

CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Katrina's Victims:
BLITZER: "...so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black..."

Stephanie said...

I am "brunette and bitter." Blondes get all goodies..

Zachary Paul Sire said...

WTF? Those are supposed to be maids? I wish I had a maid that came over to scrub my toilets who dressed like that. This is some haute couture high end shit here.

And, those are also the exact same outfits that all my drag queen friends wear when they do their Easter Pub Crawl Parade.

jdeeripper said...

Crimso said..."How much further can colored people advance?"

Well, there haven't been any that walked on the Moon..


But there have been some who could Moonwalk.

AlphaLiberal said...Just curious if conservatives find this to be racist: DOJer Called Civil Rights Official 'Black and Bitter'

"Black and bitter" was a reference to Mary Frances Berry.

Racist? No. Accurate, yes.

Synova said...

The grandfather's father was an indentured servant from Ireland. Basically a white slave.

Except for the minor details that indenture had a time limit and was not passed on to one's children, of course. Hardly worth mentioning, even.

Hardly.

I read something recently that portrayed an incredible hostility between black slaves and indentured servants on the basis of that time limit and on the basis of the fact that the indentured servants were the first ones denied food or medical care.

Who would you put resources into? Black slaves you owned forever, and you could sell their children, or white slaves who just had to serve their time while they expected you to feed their (worthless to you) brats?

Slavery has taken a lot of different forms and I don't think we do anyone favors by deciding that something wasn't slavery that clearly was.

Patm said...

People have GOT to lighten up. It's a ladies club and they wear antibellum dresses. Big freakin' deal. Let 'em be pretty if they want.

jdeeripper said...

Out of place in the celebration of the first black president? 11 of the 50 Trail Maids are black, by the way.

Where have you been? Haven't you heard the news, the war is over. No more race. We're in a "post-racial America".

Do we have to wait till Juneteenth?

Elmer Stoup said...

If you've read GWTW, you know Scarlett would be rolling over in her grave at the thought of the integrated Trail Maids.

Go for it, ladies!

Henry said...

The Azalea maids certainly aren't threatening, but I'm baffled by the idea that slavery gets a pass in their defense.

True, there was slavery in the North, up to a point, but slavery in the South was more widespread and more inhumane by many orders of magnitude. There was good reason for Uncle Tom and Mark Twain's Jim to dread being sold South.

True, slavery is a historical commonplace, but the United States is not. Given our founding documents, slavery doesn't get a contextual pass. This was evident to Southerners at the constitutional convention who responded by erecting elaborate theories of denial to avoid the obvious indictment.

Now Gone With The Wind is a romance that tells a (mostly) non-racial story. But look at Mr. Vaughn's quote. He refers to the plantation in Gone With The Wind as a cultural marker -- an idealized image of antebellum culture -- which is exactly what it is.

Nevertheless Mr. Vaughn's conclusions don't necesarily follow. What the costumes remind him of isn't the same as what they are. As costumes, they have their own history.

chuck b. said...

I've heard those southern white women all want ooonnnnee thing.

TitusLikesBigMandingoDick knows what I'm talking about.


Is that racist?

Methadras said...

AlphaLiberal said...

Just curious if conservatives find this to be racist:
DOJer Called Civil Rights Official 'Black and Bitter'


No more so than when we call you a liberal and stupid. Calling a black man or woman black isn't racism. Calling someone bitter in reference to their color as it relates to slavery is stupid, but not racism. However, it's liberal and stupid people like you that look for things like this to sledgehammer conservatives with because that what you think conservatives are, which only succeeds in making you look liberal and stupid.

rhhardin said...

Cupcake display pic, to be compared.

These are flavored.

Meade said...

"Cupcake display pic, to be compared.
These are flavored."

Oh 'flavored" are they?

Right.

Don't think we don't know political correct racist code when we see it, buster.

Ann Althouse said...

That reminds me, did you see that guy Sexual Chocolate on "American Idol" last night? Was it racist to include him?

Meade said...

I didn't see it but wouldn't there have to be a negative connotation for something to be rightly perceived as "racist?"

Just because something may be thought of as racial doesn't mean it's racist, does it... my little blue-eyed creampuff?

Ann Althouse said...

racial/racist

it's hard to make that distinction, but it it worth all the trouble?

Sexual Chocolate was a contestant, a black man, with a nickname tattooed on his back.

Meade said...

But of course it is worth all the trouble to make the distinction because real racism, especially given our nation's history, still needs to be opposed and rejected by good people.

If by including him, the intention of the show was to use his racial characteristics to humiliate him or his race, then yes, that would be racist. Calling himself "sexual chocolate," may be no more than just plain ordinary bad taste. But even if it IS just bad taste, if the show's intent is to present his bad taste as being representative of his entire race then, yes, that would be racist.

scrappinsam said...

The Azaela Trail Maids are a time honored tradition dating back 60 years. These girls are chosen because of their high GPA's and service to the community. It is VERY hard to try out. The try outs alone take months of classes and interviews. My dd knows several Trail Maids and they are all amazing young women that I have been honored to know. The dresses are supposed to represent the many beautiful colors of the azaela flower that is found in adundance in the area. We are known as the Azaela City...hence the name of the Trail Maids. These girls work hard in our city volunteering their time in all areas. They work at schools, churches, city events and events across the country. Becoming a trail maid is an incentive that many young girls in the area set as a goal. These girls strive for excellence in everything they do in school and life. It is not just a group of girls who are in parades. They build houses, helped after Ivan and Katrina and so much more. Mobile is proud that OUR girls represented our state and our city in the Inaugural parade.

southernbell0115 said...

Azalea Trail Maids do NOT have anything to do about racism. They are ambassadors of The City of Mobile. It is a very long and difficult road to become a Maid. It's very rude that people would even consider them racist. There are mixtures of ethnic groups every year. All of the girls I have had the pleasure of meeting are amazing, well-mannered young women. It's sad people would say those things about them.