14 Comments

  1. Jim
    10/19/2017
    Reply

    Well done as usual, Steve. Very interesting and informative.

  2. Storm
    10/19/2017
    Reply

    I think it was a well written story and no doubt relevant to today’s social climate. However, I am tired of words & phrases being labeled racist when there is no basis for it. Whether Trump is racist or not, “sons of bitches” is not a racist phrase. My father used it all the time, and skin color was never the focus when it was used. Nor was skin color ever an issue with my father.

    And there is the Ringhold wrestling coach drama because someone used the word THUGS when referring to two teens that physically assaulted a special needs kid. Look up the word in the dictionary, there is no reference to skin color. But there are words like violent & criminal, both which applied to the teens in question. Just because you have rappers using the words “Thug Life,” doesn’t mean everyone else views the word(s) the same way.

    Racism no doubt still exists today, but politicians and the media fan the flame because it is good for business.

    • Ken
      10/20/2017
      Reply

      Storm i will have to agree with you 100%. I couldnt have said i feel more then the words tou wrote , thank you

    • Jim
      10/20/2017
      Reply

      “Racism no doubt still exists today, but politicians and the media fan the flame because it is good for business” Seems to be trivializing a serious national issue. An issue which certainly exists today!!!!!!!!

    • Amateur Linguist
      10/20/2017
      Reply

      There are some words that might be slurs no matter how one uses them, but many other words are slurs in context only. For example, I’m sure your father referred to you and some of your friends growing up as “boys” or a “boy”. He was not being racist then, but if he called a grown African-American man a “boy” the remark would be understood by any average American as racist. Similarly, referred to a raccoon as a “coon”, to a suit of cards as “spades” or to ghosts as “spooks” is not racist in those contexts, but the same words applied to African-Americans are clearly racist expressions. So yes, context matters with the expressions that one uses – including words like “thugs”, “hoodlums”, “SOB’s” and the like. And, it should go without saying, one could make unequivocally racist comments without using a single slur. Read some of Richard Spencer’s or David Duke’s musings on race in America and see if you can find an ethnic slur.

  3. THOMAS L SCHAEFER
    10/19/2017
    Reply

    Photographs freeze moments and scenes in time and place. The greatest problem historians and, frankly, everyone else have with interpreting them, is that few bother to label the pictures to give them a context.
    In the present era of phone photos, etc. we have exponentially MORE pictures than ever before, but because they are rarely printed, we really have little to nothing! The ability to erase, accidentally or other wise, one’s whole seemingly documented life, is startling.
    It has long saddened me, beyond measure, when I go into antique shops or thrift stores, etc. and see the bazillions of once proudly posed “family pictures” with NO LABELS! They can often be bought for 50 cents each (or less). What marvelous stories each and every one of them might have been able to tell?

  4. Peter Kogan
    10/19/2017
    Reply

    In the bottom picture of mounted Klansmen parading in Washington, DC, even more prominent than the distant US Capitol is a building on the right-hand side of the frame with its Romanesque bell tower. That building was the main Washington DC Post Office at the time. Today it is the Trump International Hotel.

  5. Paul Lyons
    10/20/2017
    Reply

    How many of you know that the KKK was an arm of the Democrat party? Today’s KKK, ANTIFA, is no different.

    • Amateur Linguist
      10/20/2017
      Reply

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan

      For those readers who would like some more information about the Ku Klux Klan of the era of those photographs (as well as its predecessor and successor organizations), the Wikipedia article has an excellent summary culled from leading studies of the organization as it existed at the time. By the way, the Wikipedia entry makes clear that the “Second Klan” of the 1920’s and 1930’s was by no means a Democratic Party-affiliated organization – it was officially non-partisan but infiltrated and influenced both parties at the local, state and national level. The Klan’s influence on political parties varied state-by-state, but it was especially strong in both Republican-dominated states or regions (Indiana, Oregon, Orange County, California) and Democratic-dominated ones (Alabama, Georgia). Given the general social makeup of the Second Klan – Protestant, lower-middle class or skilled working-class whites in urban areas of the Midwest, Southwest, South and West Coast – its members in the Pittsburgh of that era would likely have been Republicans. History is a complicated thing, no matter how much some of us would like it make it otherwise.

    • Jeff
      10/22/2017
      Reply

      The Nazi’s were a right wing party too.

  6. lazz
    10/20/2017
    Reply

    Keep these great photo essays coming, Steve. It’s great to educate us and remember our history.

  7. Storm
    10/23/2017
    Reply

    Jim, I am not trivializing anything. I acknowledge that it is an issue but politicians/media make it an issue for incidents where it doesn’t exist. I know people that actually know the Ringhold coach I referenced, and they swear up and down that the man does not have a racist bone in his body. Thug was not used with race in mind, and it is ludicrous to label someone a racist with nothing else to go on.

  8. Storm
    10/23/2017
    Reply

    American Linguist, I do not disagree with you that context matters. But I do believe that politicians/media try to apply racist context where it doesn’t exist.

    President Trump is a buffoon. Might even be a racist. No doubt he offends people with his choice of words. Personally I am not sure if those words are due to being racist or just a byproduct of him being a buffoon.

    In my opinion, the SOB comment was not racist or meant to be. I think he had an ax to grind and it didn’t matter what color the players who kneel are.

  9. Pamela berwick booker
    11/1/2017
    Reply

    I live in o.c.,Ca. At my nieces wedding my aunt from Terre Haute, Indiana attended .My ex husband and father of our four bi-racial adult children also attended the wedding with his white wife as my Aunt put it. My ex is black and we have known each other for 40 years abd met in orange county.i am fr om chicago and my Dad moved us here in1970. I was 13years old.He wanted to get away from the racial existance you have to put up with in the mid west or leave.my aunt told me she would never attend any wedding of my children that she would say she was sick and was horrifiedvthat at the last two weddings “that black man had the nerve to sit in the front row with that white woman.” She said the same thing about the wedding a year ago. “HE SAT IN THE FRONT ROW OFF MARISSA’S WEDDING TOO,WITH THAT WHITE WOMAN.” Well,marissa is his and mine only daughter who got married last year. This year he sat in the second row.She was mistaken but I am sure she still thinks the back of the busvis where he should be. This happened october 29th 2017. This past weekend. As a Californian,we don’t tolerate haters. We are racists against racist. Stay in your own state if you hate .

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