Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 50162
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2017/09/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/23    

2008/6/5-10 [Politics/Domestic/Immigration, Politics/Domestic/California] UID:50162 Activity:nil
6/5     It's pretty amazing to read this and think "wow, that was only 42 years
        ago"  http://ourfuture.org/blog-entry/meaning-box-722
        42 years ago there was regular rioting in Chicago because of laws
        saying it was illegal to have neighborhoods where you couldn't buy
        a home unless you were white.  That's pretty mind blowing.
         \_ the phrasing of this is interesting.  It is also subtly wrong.
            \_ How so?
2017/09/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/23    

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ourfuture.org/blog-entry/meaning-box-722
Rick Perlstein June 5th, 2008 - 9:53am ET For at least six months now I've been planning, and putting off, this post. The imminent occasion of the first African American major-party nominee forces my hand. It's time for me to help give a sense of just how far we have come. NIXONLAND I knew the congressional elections of 1966 would form a crucial part of the narrative. They'd never really been examined in-depth before, but by my reckoning they were the crucial hinge that formed the ideological alignment we live in now. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson--and, apparently, liberalism--achieved such a gigantic landslide victory that it appeared to pundits the Republican Party would be forever consigned to the outer darkness if it ever entertained a Goldwater-style conservative law-and-order platform again. Two years later, most of the new liberal congressmen swept in on LBJ's coattails--the congressional class that gave us Medicare and Medicaid, the first serious environmental legislation, National Endowments for the Humanities and Arts, Head Start, the Voting Rights Act, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the end of racist immigration quotas, Legal Aid, and more--was swept out on a tide of popular reaction. That reaction, I hope I demonstrate effectively in NIXONLAND, rested on two pillars: terror at the wave of urban rioting that began in the Watts district of Los Angeles; and terror at the prospect of the 1966 civil rights bill passing, which, by imposing an ironclad federal ban on racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing--known as "open housing"--would be the first legislation to impact the entire nation equally, not just the South. Chicago History Museum), I decided to make Douglas's 1966 loss to Republican Charles Percy a key case study for my hypothesis. Douglas was a popular liberal lion first elected in 1948 and a civil rights champion, whose wife Emily Taft Douglas (a one-term congresswoman herself) had strode proudly across Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 arm in arm with Martin Luther King. He was also, as an economist, one of the architects of many of the New Deal ideas and programs that created the world's first mass middle class. In the summer of 1966, as debate over open housing raged in Congress, King marched not in Alabama but in Chicago, to implore the city to enforce its own open housing ordinance, passed in 1963--which, if Chicago did, would be a first. classic study): You could draw a map of the boundary within which the city's seven hundred thousand Negroes were allowed to live by marking an X wherever a white mob attacked a Negro. Move beyond it, and a family had to face down a mob of one thousand, five thousand, or even (in the Englewood riot of 1949, when the presence of blacks at a union meeting sparked a rumor the house was to be "sold to niggers") ten thousand bloody-minded whites. In the late 1940s, when the postwar housing shortage was at its peak, you could find ten black families living in a basement, sharing a single stove but not a single flush toilet, in "apartments" subdivided by cardboard. One racial bombing or arson happened every three weeks.... In neighborhoods where they were allowed to "buy" houses, they couldn't actually buy them at all: banks would not write them mortgages, so unscrupulous businessmen sold them contracts that gave them no equity or title to the property, from which they could be evicted the first time they were late with a payment. And in 1966, a teenager answering a job ad walked over the border from Chicago into the all-white city of Cicero, and for that sin and no other was beaten to death. That was what Martin Luther King came to fight in Chicago. At the Chicago History Museum, the Douglas collection covers seven hundred "linear feet"--archivsts' metric for how big a collection would be if you stacked the papers one atop another. And somehow, somewhere, I stumbled upon Box 722, which contained all the letters Senator Paul Douglas received about open housing and Martin Luther King's presence in Chicago. I quote many of them in a section of NIXONLAND of which I'm most proud, the one with the most original research and historical insights: the one on how "open housing" opened up the conservative backlash that inaugurated the Republican dominance of the politics of our own generation. I've always wanted to do a post printing, for the historical record, all the letters I put down in my research notes. They comprise an unmatched emotional history on how the white middle class built by the New Deal learned to vote Republican. And an unmatched marker of how far this nation has come, now that this same city has given us our first African American presidential nominee. The first is from March 11, 1965, as the Voting Rights Act was being considered--with nothing in it about open housing. I am white and am praying that you vote against open housing in the consideration of Equal Rights. Just because the negro refuses to live among his own race--that alone should give you the answer. I was forced to sell my home in Chicago ('Lawndale') at a big loss because of the negroes taking over Lawndale--their morals are the lowest (and supported financially by Mayor Daley as you well know)--and the White Race by law. Please don't take away our bit of peace and freedom to choose our neighbors. What did Luther King mean when he faced the nation on TV New Year's day--announcing he will not be satisfied until the wealth of America is more evenly divided? The letters start up again in May of 1966, when open housing was actually introduced. At first, there are a flurry of letters, most from liberal clergymen, supporting passage. From June: Do you or any of your friends live next door to a negro--why should we have them pushed down our throats? As a citzen and a taxpayer I was very upset to hear about 'TITLE IV' of the so-called civil rights Bill S 3296. We designed and built our own home and I would hate too think of being forced to sell my lovely home to anyone just because they had the money. The letters accelerate in July, after a black riot on Chicago's West Side, which brought this response from Mayor Daley--"I think you can't charge it directly to Martin Luther King. But surely some of the people that came in here have been talking for the last year of violence, and showing pictures and instructing people how to conduct violence, there on his staff, and they're responsible.... Someone has to train the youngsters"--and these from one MR Rosen, president of Becker Brothers Carbon in Cicero, and a resident of rural Danville: Last night there was a show of appreciation for all that has been done to help the colored people. Even those that have been moved from the slums into high rise apartments have seen fit to shoot and wound our policemen. Don't you think it's time to have Dr Martin Luther King and other negro leaders start preaching that they should go to work the same as white folks do, if they wish to improve their lot, instead of continuing to promise them more and more in all their talks. How much longer are we doing to be the suckers, giving away tax payer's money and in return see what it has got us. Shooting, looting, and additional cost to community in the way of police protection, hospital expenses, replacement of burned and smashed automobiles, etc. On July 28, 1966, The New York Times reported of deliberations on the civil rights bill, "Fearful of fairly widespread defections in their own ranks, Democratic leaders are counting heavily on Republican help in salvaging the open housing section." On the House floor, conservative Republican William C Cramer of Florida, cried, "This is not going to bring about the solution of the plethora of problems relating to the ghettos. A segregationist Democrat from Alabama warned of "the discord which will be provoked in communities throughout the land if this proposal is adopted.... Another from Florida said, "In the past when legislation produced bad results, the Congress repealed it. Now sociological reasoning seems to say the solution to a statute which produces looting, burning, and rioting is to pass more of the same." And in Chicag...