Skip to comments.For those old enough to remember...
Posted on 07/06/2012 8:21:02 AM PDT by MNDude
I am curious, how were race relations before LBJ's great society? Would you have walked, relatively safe, down the streets of Harlem back in 1960?
In about 1963, I witnessed the battle of the bicycle rack on Fayetteville street in down town Raleigh.
It was rumored that there were to be incidents down town at the movie theater. We ceased our evening studies grind and went to town.
In front of the theater there was a bicycle rack with ABOUT 5 0R 6 Raleigh good old boys sitting on it. They made a strategic error. They left a space for one more on the end. A black boy, likely a student, seated himself in the space. The white boy moved over and shoved the last white boy off the end. The black boy moved over into the new space, leaving a space on the end. A second black boy moved into the vacant space.
The process was completed until the blacks captured the entire bicycle rack.
Sometime later there was a major protest incident and many arrests. The entire jail was occupied. We would go to town almost every evening to mail letters to far off girlfriends. On this night we heard singing from the upper floors of the courthouse/jail. One song was “We shall OverCome”
The pigeons and starlings that roosted on the jail window ledge were flying all around in confusion, unwilling to fly into the darkness.
It was all strange and different.
The Students at NC State were not allowed their annual March On the Capitol, they were restrained within the blocks through the campus.
The black students however were allowed off their campus and marched on the governors mansion trampling thousands of Hyacinths in bloom.
The memories of those incidents nearly 50 years are are clear
When the black community holds up someone like Thomas Sowell as someone to emulate rather than Jesse Jackson or his ilk, then I will feel hopeful for them.
But I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
You must have grown up in a different part of So Cal than I did.
I think the answer is pretty categorically, “No, you would NOT be safe walking down Lenox Avenue at night in 1967.” Race relations were not great, but they were improving. Remember in 1967 only 25% of black children were born out of wedlock. Today the number is well over 60%. (Notice the NBA never plays on Fathers Day?)
Today, there is no more Jim Crow, but we’ve had five decades of hectoring and whingeing and excuse making. The country has gotten worse in the past five decades, trust me. Some aspects of race relations are better. For instance, just about no one favors de jure segregation. I think racial hypocracy is off the charts these days. That a creature like Al Sharpton would be taken seriously is a disgrace.
MLK was a great man. He was not perfect, he had human faults, but he was had a generous and optimistic spirit. He was like Ghandi, in that he relied on the goodness of America, and Americans, especially white Americans.
I don’t like affirmative action, but it is a road bump compared to Jim Crow and systemic discrimination that preceded it.
I think LBJ was a cynic and vile individual and would have promoted Jim Crow if he thought it could get him more votes.
Lady Bird had all the brains, culture, and beauty in that family.
I agree with what you are saying, generally speaking. However, those things, including the hate, are worse today then back then.
A good article on The Pruitt-Igoe Myth .
In the 50’s one of my white, celtic heritage family’s favorite TV shows was Amos n Andy.
Today the public isn’t allowed to see the reruns on TV. It is frowned upon to even view clips privately.
Race relations took a dramatic tuurn for the worst in the late 50’s when “liberals” stepped in to “correct” things.
Race relations were safe back then but not really good.
Blacks were far more segregated and, well, oppressed in a lot of ways.
They were far more family oriented and peaceful.
It’s horrible now in inner cities and places like Chicago, but I think we’re still in the throes of growing pains as the blacks became equal and the resentment of the past grew.
Today’s society expects everything to happen over night. It will take a couple more generations, I think.
But Obama has made it much worse. We must get rid of him.
I'm a native New Yorker, white, born in '48 and, no, it was not relatively safe back then. I remember reading about white people, usually tourists, getting lost on the subway, straying into Harlem and getting raped, robbed, severely beaten, killed. It happened all the time but it wasn't as bad as it's been in more recent years. Democrats have made it much worse with their race-card politics. But the racial hatreds have always been there.
As I recall intermarriage was not allowed in California by law until about 1948.
Restrictive covenants were not outlawed until about the late 1950's to early 1960's.
The above are historical facts take it or leave it.
The original question was about race relations and how safe the cities were before LBJ. That really was the dividing time line. 1967-1968 saw urban riots all over the US. After that, whites decided the cities were not safe and voted with their feet.
When you think about it, this is a sea change of historic proportions in a very, very short time. I could name several cities in Michigan alone (Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Saginaw, Lansing, Muskegon) that have lost population and jobs and and have become, basically, rat holes since LBJ.
I went to high school in the late ‘60s in Chicago. In that place and time, at least, blacks despised whites.
Excellent point. The result of the liberal Great Society is that it destroyed the black family. Liberals have done more harm to blacks than the KKK.
While signing the bill, didn’t Johnson make some kind of comment to the effect that “this will keep the n*gg*rs on the Democratic plantation forever”. Or am I just imagining he said that, because its happening.
I did social work in the Baltimore slums 1963-1965. It was safe [and extremely friendly people] as you can be except at night - you should go in a group.
The public schools I visited appeared to be still segregated then and the quality of the students` education was very high with high morale as they all wore school uniforms dress code.
But NY City was totally different- If I rode the subway I always had my 250 pound cousin accompany me. We both carried knives.
Oakland in 1965 was safer than today. You could walk unscathed from Berkeley all the way to Jack London Square at midnight and nobody bothered you -
But East Oakland to 98th Ave. was very dangerous coz of drug activity.
I never stated So Cal was perfect, however in Orange County, as flawed as it was, the “facts” you posted before were not the case. A small number of blacks lived in Fullerton and Santa Ana back into the 1930s. It was considered “common knowledge” that blacks had to leave Brea and Orange by sundown, but no sign so stating was ever posted nor any law so passed.
By the late 50s or early 560s Fullerton High elected a black student body president. It wasn’t nirvana, but it was better in the OC than the leftist snobs on the west side of LA want to admit.