Tag Archive for Segregation

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How a Classic Movie Fueled US Racism

A scene from "The Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith's 1915, silent movie classic, depicting the "renegade Negro," Gus, played by white actor Walter Long in blackface, in the hands of the Klan. (Photo credit: Museum of Modern Art, Film Stills Archive.)

A century ago, there was a surge in lynching and other white racist violence against blacks across the American South, combined with a burst in Confederate pride, actions and attitudes fueled by the widely proclaimed movie, “The Birth of a Nation,” as William Loren Katz recalls.

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, a powerful example of how dissenters have addressed injustice in America and given meaning to democracy.

From the Archive: Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect – even if only briefly – on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over his message is intense, pitting a bland conventional view against a radical call for profound change,…

MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

A mug shot photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

From the Archive: When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail to focus national attention on the injustice of segregation, he was stung by criticism from Christian clergy who feared upsetting the status quo and urged “moderation,” prompting his historic rejoinder from the Birmingham jail, as Rev. Howard Bess recalls.

US Democracy’s Failure at Racial Justice

Michael Brown, the victim of a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

The unprovoked murder of two New York policemen has prompted understandable outrage, but the larger context remains the U.S. failure to address legacies of slavery and segregation, compounded by recent police violence targeting young black men, as Dustin Axe explains.

Is Arlington County, VA, Racist?

The seal of Arlington County, Virginia, highlighting the colonnade of Robert E. Lee's mansion.

Exclusive: Many Southerners get outraged at the suggestion that racism persists these days, but residues of segregation continue in laws discouraging black voting and in the casual neglect of minority communities, even in places like Arlington, Virginia, writes Robert Parry.

A Half-Century Battle for Voting Rights

Voting rights activists in Mississippi during Freedom Summer in 1964.

A half century ago, in summer 1964, brave Americans challenged the entrenched racism of white-ruled Mississippi and overcame bars against black voting. Now, those gains are under attack from right-wing efforts to restrict voting and reverse the legacy of Freedom Summer, writes Brian J. Trautman.

Shameful History of Jeff Davis Highway

Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Journalist Robert Parry has become embroiled in a local controversy in Arlington, Virginia, over his suggestion that the name of Confederate President Jefferson Davis be removed from roads in the county in recognition of the evils of slavery and segregation, an idea that has riled up some longtime Virginians.

Racism Through Rose-Colored Glasses

President Theodore Roosevelt

Many Americans tend to whitewash their country’s ugly history of racism – all the better to feel good about “exceptionalism” – but even sophisticated writers can ignore this grim reality when praising their favored presidents, as William Loren Katz explains.

Ignoring the GOP’s White Racism

Exclusive: Conservative columnist David Brooks can’t understand why right-wing Republicans are so determined to kill immigration reform, especially since the Senate-approved bill would boost the economy and cut the deficit. But Brooks ignores what might be called the white elephant in the room, Robert Parry reports.

The Marriage of Libertarians and Racists

Exclusive: The modern Republican Party and its chic libertarians have dallied with white supremacists as a political necessity, because blacks and other minorities have rallied to the Democrats due to their better civil rights record. But the Right’s dancing with the racist devil is not new. It’s as old as the Founding, writes Robert Parry.