How risky was it to openly advocate in favor of desegregation in the Jim Crow South?

Apr 2018
439
India
#51
The state constitutions adopted 1888-1904 prevented most to almost all blacks and some to most poor whites from voting. After that the Republican Party had no chance in statewide elections. The Republicans were still somewhat of a force in the upper south, mostly strong in what had been Unionist areas.
Everyone assumed that the Republicans took a less segregationist approach, but they generally didn't emphasize it, so as not to lose even worse.

There were also Democrats who took less segregationist approaches. For example, some candidates opposed the KKK, but did not call for an end of segregation.
Desegregation, it appears, was a more federal/presidential compulsion in the early days of Cold War given how much the reputation of America was at stake. Within country, at a time like the 60s (counterculture, progressiveness, nonconformity and all) such ridiculuous practices were bound to get challenged in a broader manner regardless of how the Deep, Solid South felt. And no matter how people like Wallace tried to incite the century old 'them' oppressing 'us' sentiment, the central government made it very clear that their states were neither outside the US nor could they escape Supreme Court Verdicts by putting up charades and delaying tactics.

That's why we see four consecutive US presidents go full auto many times in supporting the Civil Rights. And the fact that this happened at a time when there was an imaginary communist under every tree sort of proves that at least the White House took it as a life and death struggle (apart from the Blacks themselves, of course).

On the other hand the Southern Democrats (you'll know better how many of them were genuine morons) had their seats and seats of their pants to secure. These two were the main conflicting ideas that fought and the second one lost. However during this fight, a whole bunch of Southern Whites (maybe a minority but still significant) stood up for the black cause, well maybe passively in most cases.

I mean Richard Loving didn't leave his wife, nor did Gen. Graham his job. Did any Southern serviceman quit the 101st after they were deployed in Little Rock? Or did anyone from Alabama National Guards when it was federalized? (Really asking, don't know) Not many I guess. These are minor things but I consider them significant given the deep rooted racist attitude in the South.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2015
838
Europe
#52
About objections to segregation as expensive nuisance:
Were long distance trains that connected southern and northern destinations required to observe segregation?
Were domestic interstate airlines that served southern airports required to observe segregation?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,982
#53
About objections to segregation as expensive nuisance:
Were long distance trains that connected southern and northern destinations required to observe segregation?
Were domestic interstate airlines that served southern airports required to observe segregation?
I am not sure that anyone argued against segregation as an expensive nuisance.

Passengers in long distance trains and buses did have to rearrange themselves when crossing into states that practiced segregation. I am not sure about planes. There were not a large number of black plane passengers and most of those were middle class.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,982
#54
Civil Rights Martyrs

These were mostly killed in Mississippi or Alabama voter registration efforts etc. They are mostly blacks with some northern whites. Apparently southern whites did not get involved in that sort of thing.

As for Reconstruction violence against Republicans by the KKK etc., probably hundreds of whites were killed, but many more blacks than whites.

It wasn't dangerous to be against segregation, but in some areas it was a fringe position.
 
Feb 2015
3,642
Caribbean
#55
It wasn't dangerous to be against segregation, but in some areas it was a fringe position.
I am still wondering exactly how one measures danger.

So, was it dangerous for blacks in the north during the Jim Crow era to "advocate" against segregation just by being wherever they were (ie white areas)? Weren't blacks lynched in states north of the Mason Dixon? Like Will Brown in Nebraska 1919?
 
Jul 2011
5,982
#56
I am still wondering exactly how one measures danger.

So, was it dangerous for blacks in the north during the Jim Crow era to "advocate" against segregation just by being wherever they were (ie white areas)? Weren't blacks lynched in states north of the Mason Dixon? Like Will Brown in Nebraska 1919?
There were a few lynchings in the north of blacks for rape, murder, or robbery of whites. There were less than 10 incidents in the north excluding border states, versus thousands in the south.

It wasn't at all dangerous for blacks in the north to advocate against segregation. What was dangerous was being active in the civil rights movement in Alabama and Mississippi around 1960.
 
Feb 2015
3,642
Caribbean
#57
There were a few lynchings in the north of blacks for rape, murder, or robbery of whites. There were less than 10 incidents in the north excluding border states, versus thousands in the south.
For advocating desegregation?

I think the canvass is too big, and your palette doesn't have enough paint to make a picture. Not only what is danger, but what are proportions?
You talk about border states. What's a border state?

The states of the old NW territory - like Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, though listed on a map as "free," put up barriers to black entry for long time. When the Klan was "big" ca 1915-1930, it thrived in these areas and waved the USA flag, not the CSA flag, because it was not the south. IOW, does it occur to you that there is a low number of total offenses (assuming your numbers have any merit) because there are proportionally fewer blacks ( hence fewer "uppity") to stake their claim, and no white people complaining ?

Generalizing is such a crap shoot.
 
#58
In talking about Klan activity in the north, I'd like to mention that the KKK was big here in Maine back in the 1920's. We even had a governor whose election was pretty much because of KKK support. There have been photographs local newspapers and on the Maine Memory Network of Klan parades in Kittery and Bath. I should also add that the KKK's target was not Blacks but the Quebecois. Right here, in my little town, there was a pitched battle between Klan supporters and the local French-Canadians. The F-C won and they tore down the fiery cross.
 
Jul 2011
5,982
#59
Yeh, the KKK in the 1920s in the north was more aimed at Catholic and Jewish immigrants. In Maine, probably French Canadians as the other poster indicated, and in the west sometimes Mexicans and Asians.

It may have also partly been a reaction to blacks moving north. However, there weren't anything like the level of lynchings as in the south. There was some segregation in the north, but it was not like the south, and it got worse the deeper south you got.
 
Feb 2015
3,642
Caribbean
#60
Yeh, the KKK in the 1920s in the north was more aimed at Catholic and Jewish immigrants. In Maine, probably French Canadians as the other poster indicated, and in the west sometimes Mexicans and Asians.

It may have also partly been a reaction to blacks moving north. However, there weren't anything like the level of lynchings as in the south. There was some segregation in the north, but it was not like the south, and it got worse the deeper south you got.
The 20th century Klan also grew because it was part of the tempermanence and prohibition movement, and ant-union movement. I know. It's hard to believe. Everything isn't race.

And segregation, I take it you mean statutory not voluntary. Back to Indiana, after the 1850 Constitution banning black immigrants was changed, there would still have been very few black ca 1905 when US Steel decided to invest in Gary Indiana, and now Gary is 84% black. Was it more segregated then or now? To put some numbers to it, then the 87% national white population was 99%+(?) of Gary's population, while today the 13% national black population is 84% of Gary's population. I'd argue it's more disproportional now than then, at least by most rational ways of indexing it. That is, 87 and 99 are a lot closer to each other than 13 and 84.

The case I am making is that one can reach different results depending on how one defines "segregation" and "risky" (danger). And I still think the more dangerous today to walk in certain NYC neighborhoods with a MAGA hat than it was to be black in Gary Indiana in 1905 or even to be black in Alabama. There was always safe zones for everyone and danger zones for everyone.

I saw a news clip a few months back. Some kid was handing out brochures or flyers from a table on a campus. This other kid called him a "racist" and punched him in the face. (I suppose they are young me, but they are kids to me. lol). I think that risk is more connected to you immediate company than your macro-geographic location.

Anyway, I'll leave you alone, now. :).
 
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