links for 2011-08-03

  • "After a week-long trip to the United States, ten members of France’s ANELD, an advocacy group representing elected local officials from ethnic and religious minorities, have returned home with a message: it’s time for France to compile statistics on its ethnically diverse population.

    "ANELD’s vision of breaking down French society into numbers has been quickly dismissed by the president of France’s High Council on Integration (Haut Conseil à l’Integration or HCI), Patrick Gaubert, who issued a statement on July 22 saying, 'For the HCI, there is no need to count French citizens or residents by the community they belong to and/or racial categories to fight against discrimination'."

  • "About two-thirds of the residents of Seneca Village were African-American, while the rest were of European descent, mostly Irish. The community was settled in the 1820s, a few years before slavery was abolished in New York. Despite old news reports that the village was a squatter camp, it was, in fact, made up of working- and middle-class property owners."
  • "Why does the ugly resuscitation of the myth of the happy slave family matter? Because it is part of a broad and deliberate amnesia, like the misleading assertion by Sarah Palin that the founders were antislavery and the skipping of the “three-fifths” clause during a Republican reading of the Constitution on the House floor. The oft-repeated historical fictions about black families only prove how politically useful and resilient they continue to be in a so-called post-racial society. Refusing to be honest about how racial inequality has burdened our shared history and continues to shape our society will not get us to that post-racial vision."
  • "Many in D.C. proper view class, not race, as the District’s biggest divider, but racial segregation is more prevelant in the city than in the region as a whole. And the wealthiest areas in D.C. also have the fewest numbers of African American residents. For example, the black population accounts for only 5 percent of Ward 3, the city’s wealthiest area, where the median income is about $97,000."

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  • Jenny Islander

    The story of Seneca Village, the squatters’ camp, reminds me of the backwards backwoods Appalachians who listened to the radio and bought Buck Rogers spark pistols for their kids like everybody else.  But it suited the purposes of certain groups to see them as cultural fossils who needed to be managed for their own good.  So moms were convinced to get Grandma’s old sunbonnet out of the attic and put it on for the camera, then pose on the porch (Philco out of sight in the house) with the kids who were still in their grubby outdoor play clothes . . . tah-dahh, illiterate, dirty backwoods family.  Probably inbred too.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, yes, James Henry Hammond, who in addition to thinking all slaves were happy little pets, also had an incestuous relationship with his niece.  There’s your family values.

  • PatrickInBeijing

    Thanks for the link to the really interesting article about the African-American community that existed where Central Park is.  More things I never heard about!!!  (the list is long, but with you guys help, i get to plug away!).

    The myths of happy slavery………………. could somebody destroy every copy of  “Gone With the Wind”??  I have never actually seen the movie (can’t get past the opening titles), but it is a favorite of Chinese students who think it is a lovely romantic story, and gee, they can see slavery wasn’t so bad (everyone was just one big happy family!).  I spend time each year trying to deal with this.  This article will help!!!  (I try to get my students to read Frederick Douglass, but with only limited success).  Great links!!

  • PatrickInBeijing

    Thanks for the link to the really interesting article about the African-American community that existed where Central Park is.  More things I never heard about!!!  (the list is long, but with you guys help, i get to plug away!).

    The myths of happy slavery………………. could somebody destroy every copy of  “Gone With the Wind”??  I have never actually seen the movie (can’t get past the opening titles), but it is a favorite of Chinese students who think it is a lovely romantic story, and gee, they can see slavery wasn’t so bad (everyone was just one big happy family!).  I spend time each year trying to deal with this.  This article will help!!!  (I try to get my students to read Frederick Douglass, but with only limited success).  Great links!!