Friday, June 26, 2015

Booker T. Washington Having Dinner With Teddy Roosevelt Was Not The Most Damnable Outrage Ever

"Booker Washington and Theodore Roosevelt at Tuskegie Institute" 
What you are looking at here is Booker T. Washington and President Theodore Roosevelt at the Tuskegie Institute.

Recently an idiot murdered nine fine Americans thinking doing so would set off a race war.

Instead the idiot murderer set off American revulsion at remnants of racism and white supremacist hate mongers.

America has come a long ways since the Civil War regarding all Americans of any make or model being being treated as promised by the U.S. Constitution.

White supremacist racism in the South used to be way worse. In 2015 the hatemongers are small in number.

As an example of how far we've come let's go back to the turn of the previous century, about a month after Theodore Roosevelt became president after the assassination of William McKinley, read this blurb from the Wikipedia article about Booker T. Washington...

When Washington's second autobiography, Up From Slavery, was published in 1901, it became a bestseller and had a major effect on the African-American community, its friends and allies. In October 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt invited Washington to dine with him and his family at the White House; he was the first African American to be invited there. Democratic Party politicians of the South, including future Governor of Mississippi James K. Vardaman and Senator Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina indulged in racist personal attacks when they learned of the invitation. Vardaman described the White House as....

"so saturated with the odor of the nigger that the rats have taken refuge in the stable", and declared "I am just as much opposed to Booker T. Washington as a voter as I am to the cocoanut-headed, chocolate-colored typical little coon who blacks my shoes every morning. Neither is fit to perform the supreme function of citizenship."

Tillman said, "The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they will learn their place again."

Multiple newspapers in the South editorialized that Roosevelt having dinner with Booker T. Washington in the White House was the "most damnable outrage ever."

Contrast South Carolina in 2015 with South Carolina in 1901. If a South Carolina senator in 2015 said that which Senator Tillman said I would think he would be ousted from the Senate, arrested, charged with some sort of hate crime, tried, convicted and likely jailed.

We have a ways to go, but America has come a long way from the days when racist idiots were in the majority.