I went into the practice of medicine in 1975 with
the thought that The South had been "invaded" by the federal government twice in order to
force on The South what the nation would not force generally on The North. And, I had a guilty
conscience about slavery & segregation. As I recruited a good friend in Chicago to join
our group in South Carolina, I was surprised...as I tried to explain that The South was not
as portrayed in movies & in the news...when he said, "Ervin, you have never seen racism
until you see the racism of the big northern cities." In the last few years, there has been a
double standard clearly apparent about things like the "N" word. It is clear to me that
"fallen human nature" is innately racist or racially PREFERENTIAL & that true racism is something that individuals
& then cultures must overcome or at least be willing to relate rightly about.
When I read the following outstanding (but, to me,
shocking) op ed article by George Will in our 8/11/08 issue of The State newspaper, I realized
just how "singled out" we Southerners had been when no other areas of the country confessed
their dastardly deeds (the below is a deed of an entire community).
A Long Road Out of
By George F.
Sunday, August 10, 2008; The Washington Post,
The Oxford English Dictionary dates the word
"pogrom" from 1905, the year hundreds of Russian Jews were massacred in Odessa. In 1908,
there was a pogrom of sorts in Illinois. It occurred in Springfield 100 years ago this week.
So, consider the phenomenon of progress, which at the moment seems more contingent than it
did just a decade ago.
On the night of Aug. 13, Mabel Hallam, a pretty
young white woman whose husband, Earl, was working the night shift as a streetcar conductor,
retired early. Around 11:30 p.m. she was awakened by a man's weight on her. "Why, Earl," she
said, "what is wrong with you?" The man, who was not Earl and was black, said, "I am drunk."
He raped her and fled. So she said.
"Negro's Heinous Crime" and "Dragged From Her Bed
and Outraged by Negro" were the next day's headlines IN ILLINOIS. As Jim Rasenberger reconstructs events
in his fine book "America 1908," police plucked black men from the streets of Hallam's
neighborhood until she identified one, George Richardson, as her assailant. By 5 p.m. the
jail was surrounded by a mob of at least 4,000 baying for blood. Eighty-nine blacks would be
lynched in America in 1908.
Springfield's sheriff enlisted a leading citizen
-- owner of the city's largest restaurant, and of a fast automobile -- to spirit Richardson
and another black man also accused of rape out of town. This further inflamed the mob, which
destroyed the restaurant -- a white patron was killed by a stray bullet -- piled its
furnishings on the owner's overturned automobile, and burned the pile.
For the next six hours the rioters, fueled by
liquor looted from the restaurant, sacked two black neighborhoods, setting fires and blocking
fire wagons and cutting their hoses. The homes of 40 black families were destroyed, as were
21 black-owned and several Jewish-owned businesses. Thousands of Springfield's blacks fled
into the countryside; some never returned.
After beating an elderly black man and a paralyzed
black man, at 2 a.m. the mob seized a 56-year-old black barber from his home, beat him
unconscious, hanged him from a tree and mutilated his body. Souvenir hunters carved away bits
of the tree, which was entirely gone by the end of the day.
The next night a mob of 500 brought a rope and
proceeded to the home of a prominent and wealthy 84-year-old black man who, standing in front
of his house, inquired, "Good evening, gentlemen. What can I do for you?" He was beaten,
slashed with a razor and hanged from a tree too supple to bear his weight. He was alive when
troops from the state militia reached him. He died that night.
The next day's New York Times headline
"RIOTERS HANG ANOTHER NEGRO
Mobs in Springfield, Ill., Defying 3,000
String Up Old and Innocent
One hundred seventeen rioters were indicted. One
was fined $25 for petty larceny; another, a teenager, was sent to a reformatory. Mrs. Hallam
later admitted that she invented the attack to explain to her husband some bruises inflicted
by her boyfriend.
Now, fast-forward to 10 years ago , when Americans
were intoxicated by fumes from myriad triumphs. The Cold War had been won, the Persian Gulf
War had been a cakewalk, Russia was democratizing, China was locked in the logic of the
Starbucks Postulate (give people a choice of coffees, and a choice of political parties will
soon follow) and everyone was becoming rich with technology stocks. The exhaustion of various
fighting faiths -- fascism, communism, socialism -- meant there was no remaining ideological
rival to the American model for organizing a modern society. Few Americans anticipated
aggression from people who despise modernity.
Today , Russia's government is despotism leavened
by assassination, China will achieve universal emphysema before meaningful universal
suffrage, and Americans, in a slough of despond about economic difficulties that have not yet
even reached a recession, gloomily embrace an inversion of the Whig Theory of History, which
holds, or once did, that progress -- steadily enlarged and ennobled liberty -- is the essence
of the human story.
So, remember Springfield. The siege of the jail,
the rioting, the lynching and mutilating all occurred within walking distance of where, in
2007, Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy. Whatever you think of his
apotheosis, it illustrates history's essential promise, which is not serenity -- that
progress is inevitable -- but possibility, which is enough: Things have not always been as
***********Then comes 2013***********
S. C. congressional Representative J. E. "Jim" Clyburn is the only African-American in American history to hold a leadership post in Congress! He is a Southern Democrat. S. C. was the first state to seceed from the union.
U. S. Senator T. E. "Tim" Scott, on being seated 1/2/2013, briefly became the only African-American senator. He is a Republican. And he is only one of a total of 8 African-American senators in U. S. history (3 of them from the South). He is the first ever from S. C. and the first from the South since 1881.
***give me your comments about this
check out the Highest
(posted 12 August 2008; latest addition 23 March 2013)