Showing posts with label Race. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Race. Show all posts

October 6, 2019

White Evangelicals Love Trump and They Know Why, Race and Political Power




         




By Anthea Butler

Liberals have a tendency to wring their hands at the strong support President Donald Trump — he of the three wives and multiple affairs, and a tendency to engage in exceedingly un-Christian-like behavior at the slightest provocation — continues to receive from the white evangelical community. White evangelical support for Donald Trump is still at 73 percent, and more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for him in 2016.
But focusing on the disconnect between Trump's personal actions and the moral aspects of their faith misses the issue that keeps their support firm: racism. Modern evangelicals' support for this president cannot be separated from the history of evangelicals' participation in and support for racist structures in America.
Evangelicals, in religious terminology, believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of humanity. They have a long history in America and include a number of different groups, including Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists and nondenominational churches. After the schism among the Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians in the 1850s over slavery, conservative denominations like the Southern Baptists — who defended slavery through their readings of scripture — came into being. And because the primary schisms between northern and southern denominations was over the issues of slavery, in the pre- and post-Civil War years, African American Protestants formed their own denominations. 
Evangelical denominations formed from these splits in the South were usually comprised of people who had made money from slavery or supported it. After the Civil War, many were more likely to have supported the Ku Klux Klan and approved of (or participated in) lynching. The burning cross of the KKK, for instance, was a symbol of white Christian supremacy, designed both to put fear into the hearts of African Americans and to highlight the supposed Christian righteousness of the terrorist act.
During the civil rights movement, many white evangelicals either outright opposed Martin Luther King Jr. or, like Billy Graham, believed that racial harmony would only come about when the nation turned to God. in the 1970s, evangelicalism became synonymous with being "born again" and also against abortion and, with the rise of the Moral Majority in the late 1970s, they began to seek not only moral, but political power.
Ronald Reagan, who also counted evangelicals among his most vociferous supporters, started his presidential campaign on the platform of states’ rights from Philadelphia, Mississippi, where Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman were murdered by several Klansmen with the participation of local law enforcement in 1964, while attempting to register African Americans to vote. Decades later, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the evangelical leader, opposed sanctions on South Africa's apartheid regime and insultedBishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Prize Peace winner, as a "phony." 
After 9/11, many evangelicals vilified Islam and created cottage industries and ministries promoting Islamophobia. And when Barack Obama was elected president, they regrouped, bought guns and became Tea Partiers who promoted fiscal responsibility and indulged in birtherism, promoted by no less than the son of Billy Graham, Franklin.
Still, evangelicals have worked to make a good show of repenting for racism. From the racial reconciliation meetings of the 1990s to today, they have dutifully declared racism a sin, and Southern Baptists have apologized again for their role in American slavery — most recently in 2018 via a document outlining their role
But statements are not enough. Proving how disconnected they are from their statements about atoning for the sin of racism, the 2019 Annual Convention of the Southern Baptists was opened with a gavel owned by John A. Broadus, a slaveholder, white supremacist and the founder of their seminary. In the meantime, the most visible Southern Baptist pastor, Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, recently said of Trump that “he does not judge people by the color of their skin, but whether or not they support him,” calling that "the definition of colorblind." (Jeffress is such a supporter of Trump that he regularly extols him on Fox News, and even wrote a special song for Trump’s Campaign, "Make America Great Again.")
So it's not surprising that white evangelicals supported the Muslim ban, are the least likely to accept refugees into the country (according to the Pew Foundation) and, though a slim majority oppose it, are the denomination most likely to support Trump's child separation policy. White evangelicals certainly are not concerned with white supremacy, because they are often white supremacists.
And Trump appeals to these evangelicals because of his focus on declension, decline, and destruction, which fits into evangelical beliefs about the end times. When Trump used the term “American carnage” in his inaugural address, evangelicals listened; they too, believed America is in decline. Their imagined powerlessness and the need for a strong authoritarian leader to protect them is at the root of their racial and social animus. Their persecution complex is a heady mix of their fear of “socialists,” Muslims, independent women, LGBT people, and immigration. Their feelings of fragility, despite positions of power, make them vote for people like Donald Trump — and morally suspect candidates like Roy Moore. Rhetoric, not morality, drives their voting habits. 
All of this has made a mockery of white evangelical protestations about morality and the family. Moral issues once drove white evangelical votes but, first when Obama was elected and then when the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on same-sex marriage in June of 2015, what remained was their fear. Trump promised justices and a return to a time when they felt less fear, and he delivered, at least on the former. White evangelical fealty to him is firm. Evangelicals in America are not simply a religious group; they are a political group inexorably linked to the Republican Party.
Trump delivered evangelicals from the shame of losing, and they will back him again in 2020 to avoid losing again. So perhaps we should take evangelicals at their word that they will support Trump come hell or high water, rather than twisting ourselves into knots trying to figure out why.

July 24, 2017

140 Years Ago Today, San Francisco was Burnt on Race Riots



 SF 1877



A depiction of a meeting of the Workingmen's Party on the sandlot opposite San Francisco City Hall. The party was formed during a recession and gave expression to the anger felt against Chinese immigrants on ... more

The first curls of smoke rose from the Beale Street Wharf as dusk was falling on the evening of July 24, 1877.
Within minutes, crowds of San Franciscans were gathering on Bryant to watch flames lick the pier, which housed coal, oil and lumber. They soon realized someone had dumped some of the 100 barrels of whale oil to ignite the fire. Quick-thinking citizens pushed the remaining barrels into the bay before they ignited.
What most hadn’t yet realized was the fire was a diversion. The real trouble was happening downtown — and soon, four men would be dead.
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The 1870s were a time of great social and economic unrest in the United States. The country was several years deep into the “Long Depression,” and San Francisco was hit hard. The Bank of California failed. Unemployment was as high as 20 percent. Thousands were being fed daily by churches and charities.
Anti-Chinese sentiment was long-simmering in the city, and troubled economic times only exacerbated race hate. After completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Chinese workers flooded the job market and more came by boat from China.
“The Chinese are unpopular because they do not vote, and because they work for low wages,” the New York Times wrote in 1877. 

The 1877 San Francisco race riots started off, at least ostensibly, as a labor strike. But it didn’t take long before the “labor strike” became an overt anti-Chinese action. At one labor meeting, an organizer had to soothe the crowd, which was furious at Chinese immigrants who they felt undercut white laborers by working for less.

“Mr. D’Arcy threw a damper on the meeting by stating that this was no anti-Coolie meeting, and that they were not there for the purpose of discussing the Chinese question,” the Daily Alta reported. “He put on another blanket by saying that they had met, not for the purpose of encouraging riot and incendiarism, but to give their brother workmen in the [East Coast] their moral support.”

On July 23rd, the anti-Chinese riots started when 8,000 people gathered in the vacant “sand lot” in front of City Hall for another labor gathering. It didn’t take long before it devolved into a racist mob.
"Everything was orderly until an anti-Coolie procession pushed its way into the audience and insisted that the speakers say something about the Chinese,” historian Selig Perlman wrote in The Anti-Chinese Agitation in California. “This was refused and thereupon the crowd which had gathered on the outskirts of the meeting attacked a passing Chinaman and started the cry, 'On to Chinatown.'"
Along the way, the mob destroyed property, burned Chinese laundries and threatened all challengers. The police were next to useless.
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The following morning, it became clear the rioting had only just begun. A local newspaper ran an ad placed by one of the mob organizers. “RALLY! RALLY! Great anti-coolie Mass Meeting at the New City Hall, Market street, at 8 o’clock p.m.,” the advertisement read. 

In preparation for more violence that night, city officials finally began mobilizing.
“It becomes my duty as Mayor of the city and county of San Francisco to appeal to all law-abiding people to assist in preserving the peace,” Mayor A.J. Bryant wrote in an official proclamation.

Law enforcement in 1800s San Francisco was a shockingly slapdash affair. Lacking sufficient officers, police began handing out 24-hour badges to civilians. The “Committee of Public Safety,” a vigilante group that formed in times of crisis, signed up even more men with “approved weapons” to police the streets.

Violence on both sides was expected — and in the case of the police, rather gleefully welcomed.
“Yesterday the police force was supplied with a new and improved pattern of club, which is warranted to be more effective than any other instrument in the business of skull-cracking,” the San Francisco Bulletin boasted. “This beautiful piece of tough wood is double the length and weight of the old club.”

When night fell, cool and foggy, Chinatown shuttered. Theatres closed and businesses took down their signs and put up blinds, making them look like ordinary residences.

Across town, crowds of police were dealing with the diversionary Beale Street Wharf fire. There was little to be done. The entire wharf burned down, turning $500,000 of property and goods into ash.
Near City Hall, the mob was again gathering. At 8 p.m., a “well-dressed man, but evidently under the influence of liquor” started an “incendiary harangue against the Chinese” from a makeshift stage. The mob was stoked into a fury by the rumor that the steamship City of Tokio was coming into port with even more Chinese workers. Hundreds of rioters, most of them teenage boys, started up Howard Street with destruction in mind.

“The band then moved in groups down Howard Street to Second under the lead of a drunken man of gigantic stature, who rend the air with his demoniacal yells,” the Chronicle reported. “... Every Chinese house had evidently been carefully listed beforehand, for on the whole line of march and on either side of the streets there was not left a single one which was not utterly and completely sacked.”
The “hoodlums,” as they were called, ripped up the wooden sidewalks to use as battering rams. They broke into Chinese laundries to steal money and valuables. And they shot anyone who opposed them.
At 11:30 p.m., the mob arrived at a wash-house owned by Si Sow on Divisadero and Greenwich. He had recently purchased the business for $1,200 and eight men were employed there. Several rioters entered the business, spraying the interior with bullets as they did. One found 25-year-old Wong Go. After ransacking the building, the mob set it alight. Hours later, Wong Go’s body was discovered inside. He’d been shot to death and left to burn.

By the morning of the 25th, three more men were dead and $100,000 of Chinese-owned property was destroyed. But thanks to the increased police presence, and the addition of 1,000 weapon-wielding Committee of Public Safety members, the pogrom was over.
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In the press, San Francisco took a beating.
“With characteristic cowardice the San Francisco mob threatened Chinese residents, and has wrecked several Chinese shops and houses,” the New York Times wrote on July 26. “… People who sack Chinese houses and stone Chinamen are not workingmen. San Francisco calls them ‘hoodlums,’ a term which includes everything that is base and mean. The hoodlum is a non-producer, loafer and bully. The hoodlum class think this is a good time to signify their hatred of law and order.” The murders of Chinese workers were some of the “most wicked and shocking crimes that ever disgraced the city,” the Chronicle lamented.

Despite the outpouring of support, the effect was only temporary. The 1877 race riots signaled the amplification of decades-long hatred toward the Bay Area’s Chinese population. Later that year, San Franciscan Denis Kearney formed the Workingmen’s Party of California, a labor organization whose rallying cry was: “The Chinese must go!" In the coming decade, they elected several members to the state legislature; their ballot reminded voters they were casting a vote “Against Chinese.”
The maelstrom of anti-Chinese sentiment culminated in 1882 when President Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, halting Chinese immigration for 10 years and barring Chinese from becoming U.S. citizens.

The act wasn’t fully dismantled until 83 years later, when the Immigration Act of 1965 abolished quotas based on country of origin.

By Katie Dowd, SFGATE



February 26, 2013

Does Your Face Says You Are A Racist? Watch...


Researchers in Delaware claim to have found markers for a biological predisposition to being racist. It's a controversial, if not intriguing claim. Anthony takes a look a look at their report.
DISCOVERY. com

April 1, 2012

Anderson Cooper: Kids on Race } The Hidden Picture

 
In this behind-the-scenes preview, Anderson Cooper describes "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture," the groundbreaking year-long investigative study that will air the week of April 2 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. Race relations is one of the most explosive issues in America and for many, it’s one of the most taboo to talk about, especially with children. For this special report, AC360° contracted a renowned child psychologist to help us understand how race influences a child’s world.
The CNN commissioned pilot study builds on the original Doll Test’s historic research done in the 1940s that examined how African -American children interpret race, discrimination and stigma. Teaming up with child psychologist Dr. Melanie Killen, the report scientifically explored how kids view interracial contact in their daily lives. The children, ages six and thirteen, were shown images that were designed to be ambiguous to children. “What is happening in this picture” was the starting point for interviews conducted with the group of 145 African-American and Caucasian children in six schools across three states. The report explored how children’s interpretations of the images changed when the races of the characters were switched.
This series will tackle controversial issues and answer some difficult questions. Is race a factor in how children view conflicts and choose friends? Do children see race or are they, as many parents believe, socially colorblind? How, when and why do they form their opinions on race? Can those opinions change over time or at a certain age, are kids “hard-wired” about race? And does the racial make-up of their school and environment affect their opinions on race? Anderson along with CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien will share with the viewers the children’s answers and the conclusions our researcher drew from their responses.
Devil Avatar Character With Horns And Fangs Free Vector Clipart IllustrationPink Punk Rocker Avatar Character With Green Spikes Free Vector Clipart IllustrationFind out more about the project from the CNN Press Room and be sure to watch starting Monday, April 2 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

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