Miscegenation Seems Here to Stay

Miscegenation Seems Here to Stay

The historical taboo among American whites surrounding white-black relationships can be seen as a historical consequence of the oppression and racial segregation of African-Americans.

In many U.S. states interracial marriage was already illegal when the term miscegenation was invented in 1863. The first laws banning interracial marriage were introduced in the late 17th century in the slave-holding colonies of Virginia (1691) and Maryland (1692). Later these laws also spread to colonies and states where slavery did not exist.

The bans in Virginia and Maryland were established at a time when slavery was not yet fully institutionalized. At the time, most forced laborers on the plantations were indentured servants, and they were mostly white. Some historians have suggested that the at-the-time unprecedented laws banning interracial marriage were originally invented by planters as a divide and rule tactic after the uprising of servants in Bacon’s Rebellion. According to this theory, the ban on interracial marriage was issued to split up the increasingly mixed-race labor force into whites, who were given their freedom, and blacks, who were later treated as slaves rather than as indentured servants.

By forbidding interracial marriage, it became possible to keep these two new groups separated and prevent a new rebellion.

Repealing the Anti-miscegenation Laws

Most states in the Northeast, Northern-Midwest, and Western states with these laws repealed them by 1967 with some, including Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maine, and Ohio, within a generation of the end of the US Civil War.

Repeal Over TimeThe final blow to these laws came with Loving v. Virginia, a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court, that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

The case was brought by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. Their marriage violated the state’s anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as “white” and people classified as “colored”. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision determined that this prohibition was unconstitutional and ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

Ku Klux Klan, [between 1965 and 1980]

Ku Klux Klan, [between 1965 and 1980]

In 2013, it was cited as precedent in U.S. federal court decisions holding restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States unconstitutional, including in the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

There are still plenty of non-governmental organizations opposed to interracial relationships.

Bob Jones University banned interracial dating until 2000 and segregationists (yeah, they still exist), including modern Christian Identity groups, have claimed that several passages in the Bible should be understood as referring to miscegenation with certain verses expressly forbidding it. Most theologians interpret these verses and references as forbidding inter-religious marriage, rather than interracial marriage.

(more…)

Chicago Police Hide Boy for Three Days (1915)

Chicago Police Hide Boy for Three Days (1915)

The Day Book was an experimental, advertising-free daily newspaper published in Chicago from 1911 to 1917. It was owned by E. W. Scripps as part of the Scripps-McRae League of Newspapers (later Scripps-Howard Newspapers).

With the Day Book, Scripps sought to eliminate the often adversarial relationship between his editorial staffs and the advertisers that sustained them. To his disappointment, pressure from the business community had at times forced the Cincinnati Post to temper its firebrand campaigns against bossism and cronyism. The Day Book began publishing on September 28, 1911. Like his other penny presses, the Day Book championed labor rights while delivering a mix of politics and lowbrow, sensational content.

Youth Held in Jail Without Booking Since Last Friday
Judge in Boys’ Court Calls the Case Outrageous
Advises Boy to Sue Police

Police Hide Boy for Three Days

Police Hide Boy for Three Days

Just how rotten a stunt the police can pull on a young fellow, or on anybody was queried in the boys ‘court this morning when Judge Fisher balled some coppers out and turned Walter Allan, 5345 Blackstone Ave., out in the open air after three days in the lock-up.

Allan was grabbed Dec. 3 that’s way last Friday by Officers, McGuire, Higgins, Tapscott, as they were signed on the booking sheet, because he happened to look like one of the boys who were throwing stones in the neighborhood of 1505 B. 63rd St. way last October.

The boy was taken to jail and not booked until this morning. He was held three days, under no booking, but just because he happened to look like one of the stone throwers. This morning he was booked for breaking a window and brought into the boys’ court

And then Judge Fisher took a hand. He celebrated his first day on the boy’s court bench by taking a
good hard, and direct, wallop at the methods of the police.

“If such a case as this comes into this court again while I am here I will send for the officers and the captain of the district -to explain things,” Fisher said.

“The whole affair is an outrage. It’s rank police methods. The idea of holding a boy, or anybody else, in jail for three days without even booking him!”

Fisher then advised the boy to sue the city and the officers and turned him loose.

B. Simon, store owner, who had complained of the stone throwing, absolutely failed to identify Allan as one of the boys.

Source: The Day Book, December 06, 1915

A few weeks later The Day Book provided this update to Judge Fisher’s activity on the bench.

(more…)

Radio: The Homosexual in Our Society (1958)

Radio: The Homosexual in Our Society (1958)

This 1958 recording is the earliest known radio show episode that openly discussed homosexuality. The show is in the form of a panel featuring:

  • The Host/Moderator: Elsa Knight Thompson – The Public Affairs Director of KPFA (Founded in 1949 by Lewis Hill, a pacifist, poet, and journalist, KPFA was the first community supported radio station in the USA.)
  • The Gay: Hal Call – The editor of the Mattachine Society’s newsletter, the Mattachine Review. After graduating Call worked for several news outlets, including the Kansas City Star. In August 1952, while working for the Star, Call was arrested for “lewd conduct” and paid an $800 bribe to have the charges dismissed. Call resigned his job and he and his lover Jack moved to San Francisco. Call died in San Francisco on December 18, 2000, at the age of 83.
  • The Doctor: Dr. Blanche BakerDr. Blanche Baker – A psychologist noted for her then-rarely-shared belief that homosexuality was not an abnormality nor an illness. Few activists were so universally loved within the West Coast homophile movement as San Francisco psychologist Blanche M. Baker. In the 1950s and 1960s, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a mental illness that could be cured or managed by psychotherapy treatments. While many therapists quietly dismissed this in practice, Dr. Blanche Baker put her career on the line by publicly challenging the designation.
  • The Civilian: Lee Galey – The mother of a gay man, Galey recounts her shock at first learning her son is gay and her eventual embrace of her son’s sexuality.

The host focused many of her questions on the idea of a conflict between the society and the individual, as well as whether the root of homosexuality is a product of biology or environment. Elsa Knight Thompson seems more interested in the origins of homosexuality than anyone else on the show.

Elsa Knight Thompson also seems convinced that there may be some kind special artistic talents that go hand in hand with homosexuality. Doctor Baker and Hal Call both confirmed that in their experience “the homosexual is, on the average, more talented” but that may not be a just evaluation because of the very small number of openly gay people they know. But Hal thinks the difference is that gay men may have more of an opportunity to be creative as a young man because he is not tied down in a job with dependents at a young age.

What I find rather heart warming about this whole discussion is the way most of the panel doesn’t really give a crap WHY people are gay. Hall Call also explains his theory about “gay mannerisms.”