“President Obama has been a cottage industry for racist imagery and racist memorabilia”: Why understanding the history of Jim Crow is still essential

The language and images are hard to take – a black man with enormous lips eating a watermelon. Black women in exaggerated sexual poses. Broken English and racial slurs. They’re all important parts of “Understanding Jim Crow,” a new book subtitled “Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice.” Whether the book inspires tolerance or social justice, it certainly makes the existence of virulent racism hard to deny.

Image: Jim Crow Museum at

The book’s author, professor and activist David Pilgrim, began collecting racist items as a child, and now presents them at the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University in Michigan.

“There was nothing understated about Jim Crow during that long, blistering century between the end of Reconstruction and the seminal legal victories of the American civil rights movement,” Henry Louis Gates Jr. writes in the book’s foreword. “Racist imagery essentializing blacks as inferior beings was as exaggerated as it was ubiquitous. The onslaught was constant.”

We spoke to Pilgrim from his university office; the interview has been slightly edited for clarity.

I probably don’t have to tell you that these images are pretty disturbing. Why is it important that people see them?

I don’t remember who it was that said an image is worth 1,000 words. But what we’ve discovered is that when people come to our facility, and are confronted with the visual evidence of Jim Crow, it changes the discussion.

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Exposing North Carolina’s shell game of electoral apartheid

Image: Daily Kos

This fall, Daily Kos community member Bill Busa exposed North Carolina’s sneaky new voter suppression tool in which county boards of elections in the state closed almost one-third of the state’s early voting polling places in 2014, replacing them with polls at new locations. The result of moving those early voting locations: African American voters found themselves 350,000 miles farther away from their nearest early voting sites than they were in 2012, while white voters’ total distance-to-poll increased by only 21,000 miles.

This blatant attempt to keep black voters from the polls by making it harder for them to vote, Busa and voting rights organizations he’s been working with say, is akin  to “poll taxes and literacy tests did during the South’s Jim Crow era.”

More at Daily Kos

Posted by Libergirl

16 People Injured in Shootings at New Orleans Playground

Sixteen people were injured when two groups opened fire on each other during an impromptu gathering of several hundred people to record a music video at a New Orleans playground Sunday night, police said.

Image: WDSU TV

Ten people were taken to hospitals by ambulance, while six others were later learned to have arrived on their own, police said. The severity of their injuries wasn’t reported.

Chris Goodly, 5th District commander for the New Orleans police, told reporters that at least three of the victims were found inside Bunny Friend Park in the city’s 9th Ward, where more than 200 people had gathered.

More including video NBC News

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Noted Racist Donald Trump Tweets Out Anti-Black Propaganda


Images: Gawker

Perpetual embarrassment Donald Trump can look almost thoughtful next to his rock-solid, occasionally violent base of racist voters. Except, of course, when he doesn’t. Like this afternoon, for instance, when Donald Trump tweeted out a patently false, race-baiting image just one day after his supporters beat the shit out of a Black Lives Matter protestor.

There is an astounding number of things wrong here, so let’s break it down.

The data: It’s false. According to the most recently released set of crime statistics from the FBI (which are from 2014), 82 percent of white homicides are committed by other white people, while black offenders account for just 14 percent of white homicides.

And out of the total number of black homicides, 7 percent are actually committed by white offenders, while 89 percent are committed by other black people.









The Crime Statistics Bureau: It doesn’t exist. Not in San Francisco, where this fake data was supposedly sourced, and not anywhere else in the United States. It sure sounds real, though!

And while there already shouldn’t have been any question of whether Trump condones the actions of his awful fans (he himself said that yesterday’s protestor “should have been roughed up”), if for whatever reason you still weren’t totally convinced of Trump’s desire to capitalize on the racist fury ripping through the conservative base, he has kindly given you your answer.

Ashely Feinberg/Gawker

Posted by The NON-Conformist

This is why they hate us: The real American history neither Ted Cruz nor the New York Times will tell you

The soi-disant Land of the Free and Home of the Brave has a long and iniquitous history of overthrowing democratically elected leftist governments and propping up right-wing dictators in their place.

 U.S. politicians rarely acknowledge this odious past — let alone acknowledge that such policies continue well into the present day.

In the second Democratic presidential debate, however, candidate Bernie Sanders condemned a long-standing government policy his peers rarely admit exists.

“I think we have a disagreement,” Sanders said of fellow presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “And the disagreement is that not only did I vote against the war in Iraq. If you look at history, you will find that regime change — whether it was in the early ’50s in Iran, whether it was toppling Salvador Allende in Chile, or whether it was overthrowing the government of Guatemala way back when — these invasions, these toppling of governments, regime changes have unintended consequences. I would say that on this issue I’m a little bit more conservative than the secretary.”

“I am not a great fan of regime changes,” Sanders added.

Guatemala, 1954


A CIA cable documenting Guatemalan dictator Castillo Armas' plan to overthrow the elected government (Credit: CIA FOIA)



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Ben Carson compares Syrian refugees to dogs

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