April 25, 2013
The Death of Racism

In the late 1950s I worked for the Washington Daily News, a long defunct afternoon tabloid. Of the three Washington papers, it was the most widely read among the African-American community which then as now was the majority group in the city. This didn’t stop us from identifying black suspects in police stories as “colored,” until one day a delegation of civil rights leaders protested to the publisher, John O’Rourke. So he split the baby in half, and from then on we tagged Caucasians by race, too: “Police charged John Doe, 53, white, of the 1200 block of DeKalb St. NW, with murder in the deadly assault.”

Which is beside my main point, but I just thought I’d throw it in. My main point involves advertising. One day I was down in the composing room, watching them put together an advertising supplement. I asked an ad salesman why all the clothing models were white when so many of our readers weren’t.

“White sells black,” he explained in simple words, as to a child. “Black don’t sell white.”

Nowadays this sort of racism is dead on Madison Avenue, except when it isn’t. Clinical death will occur only when the middle-aged black man in the Cialis ad heads off to the beach for a little bathtub action with his blonde sweetie.



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at April 25, 2013 01:53 PM
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For most of the late 1950's DC was still majority white; the balance didn't tip until about 1960. And, now, blacks have again lost their majority status in the District. (They probably still compose a plurality.)


Posted by: on April 25, 2013 10:19 PM

My favorite character making fun of white sells to blacks was the parody by Redd Foxx in his "junkman" role with his sidekick Lamont. Seems Fred Sanford needed a dentists and there was no way he was going to be a black dentist working on his mouth, he had to have a white dentist. Perhaps my favorite epidsode of Sanford and Son.

But you must be talking about that black Supreme Court justice heading off to the beach with his white right wing wife heading off to the sun and sand with him. And I'm not referring to Thurgood Marshall.

But there is a prosecution going on against an abortion clinic in Philadelphia against a black doctor. I can't help but feel some sympathy for that clinic, I mean, they did let their cats roam freely through the clinic. Of course any self respecting lefty can't support a prosecution if it involves people who are kind to cats.

Although the news stories seem to have an element of babies being pulled from incubators by the invading Saddam loyalists. Too tall a tale to believe everything I haven't read about it so far. But maybe some of it is true. Hard to tell, my wife disagrees but there are racists to the west of Philadelphia over in the Alabama area that are in some respects worse in their treatment of the "other" than white racists I know from down South.

Southerners were intentionally made to feel ashamed of their behavior and blacks are moving back in droves to head back "home" to go down South, back to where they started out and left because of earlier conditions and I understand why. And its not just that their big fat retirement checks that Northern states are losing because these retirement check contributions to an economy go further down South. There are communities down South where black and whites work together better than anywhere I know of, particularly but not exclusively in the law enforcement communities. (In Harrisburg a recent graduating class for that very mixed city were all white). I was astounded at that when it happened. You won't see that in the South, except maybe in some very small white Southern backwoods redneck low class communities.

But to make a long story short, this whole country still has a long way to go in the area of race relations. Perhaps the "shame them into understanding why it's bad" method needs to be a program that is pushed out on a nationwide basis. It worked quite well in the South. It didn't cure everyone, but down South, if you are a blatant racist against blacks, you are considered low class. Up North, not so much, at least in certain areas.

Posted by: Buick Bread Roll on April 26, 2013 8:05 AM

I hate to argue with the Washington Examiner, which Anonymous links. But I wasn't sure myself while writing the post, and so I checked. The U.S. Census estimates D.C.'s 2011 white population at 42.4%, African American at 50.7%. The comparable figures from the 1960 census were 45.2% and 53.9%. But hey, what do I know?

Posted by: Jerry Doolittle on April 26, 2013 9:16 AM
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