43 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2020
    1. The editors and the elite Blacks they represented often focused, however, on the conduct of t he “lower classes of our people,” whom they blamed for bringing the race down. Class r acism dotted the pages of the Freedom’s J ournal, with articles pitting l ower-income Blacks against upper-income Blacks, and the former being portrayed as i nferior to the latter.
    2. Free B lacks r emained o verwhelmingly a gainst colonization. T heir resistance to the concept partly accounted for t he identifier “Negro” replacing “African” in common usage in the 1820s. Free Blacks theorized that i f t hey called themselves “ African,” t hey would be giv-ing credence t o the notion that t hey should be sent back to Africa. Their own racist i deas were also behind the shift i n terminology. They considered Africa and its cultural practices to be backward, having accepted r acist n otions o f t he c ontinent. S ome l ight-skinned B lacks preferred “colored,” t o separate t hemselves f rom dark-skinned Negroes or Africans.

      Negro, colored word origins.

    3. Protestant organizations started mass-producing, mass-marketing, and mass-distributing i mages of J esus, who was always depicted as White. Protestants saw all t he aspirations of t he new American identity in the White Jesus—a racist idea that proved to be i n their cultural s elf-interest. As pictures of t his White J esus s tarted to appear, Blacks and Whites s tarted to make con-nections, c onsciously and unconsciously, between the White God the Father, his White son Jesus, and the power and perfection of White people.
    4. Jefferson adamantly came to believe that Black freedom should not be discussed in the White halls of Congress, and that southern-ers should be left alone to solve the problem of s lavery at t heir own pace, in their own way. In his younger years, he had considered grad-ual emancipation and colonization to be the solution. His gradualism turned into procrastination. I n his final years, J efferson said that “ on the subject of emancipation I have ceased to think because [it i s] not to be the work of my day.” Slavery had become too lucrative, t o too many slaveholders, f or emancipation to be Jefferson’s work of t hose days.

      And most of American society has done just this for hundreds of years. We need to decide as a group to fix it once and for all instead of just kicking the can down the road and procrastinating again and again. It just makes things progressively worse instead of progressively better.

    5. On October 29, 1822, Charleston Times editor E dwin Clifford Holland released the first proslavery treatise by a native southerner.
    6. Until 1 822—until Denmark Vesey—northerners h ad p roduced most of the racist books and tracts defending slavery. Writers l ike Charles Jared Ingersoll, J ames Kirke Paulding, and Robert Walsh—all f rom the North—defended slavery from British onslaughts i n the 1810s.
    7. . “ It i s . . . t he con-crete universal, self-determining thought, which constitutes the prin-ciple and character of Europeans,” Hegel once wrote. “ God becomes man, r evealing himself.” I n contrast, African people, he said, were “a nation of children” i n the “first stage” of human development: “ The negro is an example of animal man in all his s avagery and lawlessness.” They could be educated, but t hey would never advance on their own. Hegel’s foundational racist idea justified Europe’s ongoing coloniza-tion of Africa. European colonizers would supposedly bring progress to Africa’s residents, j ust as European enslavers had brought progress to Africans i n the Americas.
    8. In 1816, Finley sat down and wrote the colonization movement’s manifesto, Thoughts on the Colonization of Free Blacks. “ What s hall we do with the free people of color?” he began the pamphlet.
    9. On November 19, 1814, P arisians s trolled i nto t he Vaudeville Theater a cross from the Palais-Royal to view the opening of La Venus Hottentote, ou Haine aux Fran-cais (or the Hatred of French Women). I n the opera’s plot, a young Frenchman does not find his s uitor s ufficiently exotic. When she appears disguised as t he “Hottentot Venus,” he falls i n love. Secure i n his attraction, s he drops t he disguise. The Frenchman drops t he ridiculous attraction to the Hottentot Venus, comes t o his s enses, and the couple marries. The opera revealed Europeans’ i deas about Black women. After all, when Frenchmen are seduced by the Hottentot Venus, t hey are acting like animals. When Frenchmen are attracted to Frenchwomen, t hey are acting rationally. While hypersexual Black women are worthy of s ex-ual a ttraction, a sexual F renchwomen are worthy of l ove and marriage.
    10. Londoners were captivated by Sarah Baartman, or r ather, her enormous buttocks and genitalia.Baartman’s Khoi people of s outhern Africa had been classified as the lowest Africans, t he closest t o animals, f or more than a century. Baartman’s buttocks and genitals were i rregularly large among her f el-low Khoi women, n ot t o mention African women across t he continent, or across the Atlantic on Jefferson’s plantation. And yet Baartman’s enormous buttocks and genitals were presented as r egular and authen-tically African.
    11. “ I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable t han the best man on the f arm,” J efferson once explained to a friend.
    12. abolitionist and sci-entist Henri Gregoire for sending him a copy of An Enquiry Concern-ing the I ntellectual and Moral Faculties, and Literature of Negroes on February 25. Gregoire offered travel “ testimony” of glorious Black nations to refute what “ Jefferson tells us, t hat no nation of t hem was ever civi-lized,” he wrote. “ We do not pretend to place the negroes on a level” with Whites, Gregoire explained in assimilationist f orm, but only to challenge those who say “that t he negroes are i ncapable of becoming partners i n the store-house of human knowledge.”
    13. I n 1808, New York physician John Augustine Smith, a disciple of Charles White, r ebuked Samuel Stanhope Smith as a minister dabbling in sci-ence. “ I hold it my duty to lay before you all t he facts which are rele-vant,” J ohn Augustine Smith announced in his circulated lecture. The principal f act was t hat t he “ anatomical s tructure” of t he European was “superior” t o that of t he other races. As different species, Blacks and Whites had been “placed at t he opposite extremes of t he scale.” The polygenesis l ecture l aunched Smith’s academic career: he became edi-tor of t he Medical and Physiological Journal, t enth president of t he Col-lege of William & Mary, and president of t he New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.

      Another example of a scion in academia using racial ideas to launch his career to prominence.

      This also provides a schism for a break between science and religion which we're still heavily dealing with in American culture.

    14. “ The PENIS of an African is l arger t han that of an European,” White t old his readers. Most anatomical museums i n Europe preserved Black penises, and, he noted, “ I have one i n mine.”

      A pretty grotesque sexualization. I wonder how influential this book is on modern day cultural thoughts?

    15. English physician Charles White, t he well-known author of a trea-tise on midwifery, entered the debate over species i n 1799. Unlike Scotland’s Lord Kames, White circled around religion and employed a new method of proving the existence of separate race species—comparative anatomy. He did not want t he conclusions i n his Account on the Regular Gradation in Man to “be construed so as t o give the small-est countenance to the pernicious practice of enslaving mankind.”
    16. Master/slave sex fundamentally acknowledged the humanity of Black and biracial women, but it simultaneously reduced that human-ity to their sexuality. I n the Christian world, s exuality was believed to be the animal t rait of humans.
    17. .” Jefferson may have privately justified his r elations with Sally Hemings by reminding him-self t hat everyone did it, or t ried to do it. F rom teens ending their ( and their victims’) virginity, t o married men sneaking around, t o single and widowed men having their longtime liaisons—master/slave rape or i ntercourse seemed “natural,” and enslaving one’s children seemed normal i n slaveholding America.

      This also has implications in the history of misogyny in America as well.

    18. Rush inserted a note in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser in September telling Black people they had immunity to yellow fever, a conclusion he had reached based on his belief i n their animal-like physical s uperiority. Quite a few Black nurses s uffered hor-ribly before Rush realized his gross error. I n all, 5,000 people per-ished before the epidemic subsided in November and federal officials returned to the city.

      Interesting to see notes about small outbreaks like this while seeing similar racist ideas and policies hundreds of years later during the COVID-19 outbreaks.

    19. When Black people rose, r acists either violently knocked them down or i gnored them as extraordinary. When Black people were down, r ac-ists called it t heir natural or nurtured place, and denied any role in knocking them down in the first place.
    20. To believe that the negative ways of B lack people were responsible for r acist i deas was t o believe that t here was some truth in notions of Black inferiority. To believe t hat t here was some truth i n n otions o f Black i nferiority was t o hold racist i dea
    21. Periodically, t he convention published and cir-culated advice tracts for free Blacks. Abolitionists urged free Blacks to attend church regularly, a cquire English literacy, l earn math, a dopt trades, avoid vice, l egally marry and maintain marriages, evade law-suits, a void expensive delights, a bstain from noisy and disorderly con-duct, a lways act i n a civil and respectable manner, and develop habits of industry, sobriety, and frugality. I f Black people behaved admirably, abolitionists reasoned, t hey would be undermining justifications for slavery and proving that notions of t heir i nferiority were wrong.9This strategy of what can be termed uplift s uasion was based on the idea that White people could be persuaded away from their rac-ist i deas i f t hey saw Black people improving their behavior, uplifting themselves from their l ow station in American society. The burden of r ace relations was placed squarely on the shoulders of Black Ameri-cans. Positive Black behavior, a bolitionist s trategists held, undermined racist i deas, and negative Black behavior confirmed them.
    22. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1 793, bestowing on slaveholders t he right and legal a ppa-ratus t o recover escaped Africans and criminalize those who harbored them.
    23. Samuel Stanhope Smith joined those preeminent i ntellectuals i n Boston’s American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society in attacking polygenesists, i n reviv-ing climate theory in America. His scholarly defense of s cripture was quickly printed in Philadelphia, i n London, and in Lord Kames’s back-yard, Edinburgh. By the time he sat down in Princeton’s presidential chair i n 1795, he had amassed an international s cholarly reputation.
    24. Notes on the State o f Virginia would become t he most c onsumed American nonfiction book u ntil well i nto t he mid-nineteenth c entury
    25. The ambitious politician, maybe fearful of a lienat-ing potential f riends, maybe torn between Enlightenment antislavery and American proslavery, maybe honestly unsure, did not pick sides between polygenesists and monogenesists, between segregationists and assimilationists, between slavery and freedom. But he did pick the side of r acism
    26. Notes on the State of Virginia was replete with other contradictory ideas about Black people. “ They are at l east as brave, and more adven-turesome” than Whites, b ecause they lacked the forethought to s ee “danger t ill i t be present,” J efferson wrote. Africans f elt l ove more, but they felt pain less, he said, and “their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection.” That i s why they were disposed “to sleep when abstracted from their diversions, and unemployed in labour. An animal whose body is at rest, and who does not reflect, must be disposed to sleep of course.” But on the previous page, J ef-ferson cast Blacks as requiring “less sleep. A black, after hard labour through the day, will be induced by the slightest amusements to sit up till midnight.” I n Jefferson’s vivid imagination, l azy Blacks desiredto sleep more than Whites, but, as physical s avants, t hey required l ess sleep.

      Examples of Jefferson's contradictory racist ideas about African Americans.

    27. With Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson emerged a s the preeminent American authority on Black intellectual i nferiority. This status would persist over t he next fifty years.
    28. With no intention to publish, J efferson unabashedly expressed his views on Black people, and in particular on potentially freed Black people. “ Incorporating the [freed] blacks i nto the state” was out of the question, he declared. “ Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; t en thousand recollections, by the blacks, of t he injuries they have sustained; new provocations; t he real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us i nto parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of t he one or t he other r ace

      Jefferson to French diplomat François Barbé-Marbois in 1781 in Notes on the State of Virginia.

      Little did he know that these convulsions would reverberate for over 240 years.

    1. As African-American businessman Ishmael Trone said last week, the reform has to go beyond policing in order for there to be equality in this country, including banking reform, mortgage reform and business loan reform.
    1. What it starts with is a fundamental centering of white maleness. And the goal is the ascension of white maleness. People of color can aid it, they can mimic it, or they’re in the way, to be overcome. There’s this argument in tech that anyone can prosper in this space. They’ve removed all the boundaries to prosperity. But the truth is, they’ve moved their own personal boundaries, and left all the boundaries to people of color and women in place because they just don’t exist in these origin stories, as anything other than props.
  2. May 2020
  3. Mar 2020
    1. In 2018, according to the Pew Research Center, ninety-seven per cent of all tweets posted by American adults about national politics were posted by ten per cent of tweeters. A disproportionate number of the people in Twitter’s town hall are the sorts of people who were eligible to vote in 1820, before the first, Jackson-era expansion of the electorate: the wealthy, the educated, and the hyperpartisan. Twitter isn’t the future of American democracy; it’s the past.

      Wow! This is a damning statement. It certainly makes me rethink staying on the platform.

  4. Jan 2020
    1. Pearson, the publisher whose Texas textbook raises questions about the quality of Harlem Renaissance literature, said such language “adds more depth and nuance.”

      If they wanted to add more "depth and nuance" wouldn't they actually go into greater depth on the topic by adding pages instead of subtly painting it such a discouraging light?

      But Texas students will read that some critics “dismissed the quality of literature produced.”

  5. Sep 2019
    1. and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.
    2. he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.

      and yet slavery was allowed to flourish after this...

  6. Jul 2018
  7. Oct 2017
    1. and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      While the modern interpretation of this statement is one of racist connotations, the Board of Commissioners were very much being practical. In 1818, the year this report was written, only white males were fortunate enough to receive an education. So, keeping centrality to the white population was a practical decision.

    2. It was the degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places

      This was really unsettling for me read. Proximity to the most white people is the one criteria that made the difference in where the University's location was chosen. If Charlottesville hadn't been most central to the white population of Virginia, UVa would be located in Lexington or in Staunton. Its definitely not a good thing that our school was centered around pleasing only the white race before our grounds were even built. I can't imagine how different our grounds would be and our university if another place had been more convenient for white people. UVa certainly has a racist past and I think most of us, if not all, are aware of that but I still couldn't believe that such a racist criteria is the reason the school exists where it does today and is the way Uva is today.

      • Becca Meaney
  8. Feb 2017
  9. Sep 2016
    1. When respondents do not choose a race, the Census Bureau assigns them one, based on factors like the racial makeup of their neighborhood, inevitably leading to a less accurate count.

      This is incredibly stupid. I think this would lead to many riots and fights because people are being judged and Census is using cultural bias to put people in a box. Not only is this not accurate this is also racist.

    2. Many Latinos argue that the country’s race categories — indeed, the government’s very conception of identity — do not fit them.

      Some Latino people think that the country's race categories are not an accurate depiction of what they identify with. This could be seen as extremely racist.

  10. Jul 2016
  11. Mar 2016