Jim Crow’s Grandkids

Jim Crow’s Grandkids

The right wing posits affirmative action as a Communist plot, subtext the privileges Whitey and his/her children get . . . constantly.

The most egregious example of affirmative action goes all the way back to the end of the Civil War. Special Field Order # 15, January 16, 1865, Post-Civil War. Union General Sherman presented a copy of this order to a group of Black pastors in Atlanta, Georgia. It stated that freed slaves would receive forty acres of land. The bit about the mule was added later. The land would be subdivided from the former properties of Southern slave owners, 200,000,000 acres of land, surely a just ruling.

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15 of that year, well before the freed slaves could claim such lands. President Andrew Johnson (he would be impeached in 1868, but not convicted), under pressure from southerners with deep pockets, reversed the order, condemning five million freed Blacks to abject poverty, their only choices to stay with their former masters or move on.

Their possessions were the rags on their backs. Period. This was the birth of ghettos. Ghettos of poverty-stricken people who had been criminally grabbed from their African countries, with no hope, surrounded by hot hate. The captors who had enslaved them now hated them. The captors held untold wealth, the escaped slaves nothing.

The Trump crowd howl over the concept of reparations. Working- and upper-class whites steadfastly refuse to deal with racism. Blacks? should get over it. Only then we will live in harmony. Blacks don’t want us any more than we want them—we “know” this. Our fathers and mothers “knew” this.

Special Order #15 might have brought about healing. One can grow a lot of food on 40 acres, especially if a mule is doing the pulling. What would our country be like today if General Sherman’s order from Abraham Lincoln and cabinet members had become law, if all that Southern wealth had been split up, if 5,000,000 Blacks had passed on their 40 acres—200,000,000 acres—to their ancestors?

Affirmative action: “a set of procedures designed to; eliminate unlawful discrimination among applicants, remedy the results of such prior discrimination, and prevent such discrimination in the future.” Cornel University (a Commie school)

Have white Americans been recipients of affirmative action? White settlers of the West received 270 million acres free (after shoving out the Indigenous peoples). The 1935 Wagner act granted bargaining power to unions, leading to the white middle class. Hoorah! Oh wait, the Wagner Act also permitted unions to exclude Blacks.

How about returning WWII Black soldiers returning home and finding they couldn’t get housing or education as outlined in the newly formed GI bill? How about the real estate company Zillow recently publishing their own research which showed that African American mortgage applicants in 2019 were turned down 84 per cent more than were white applicants?

How about inequities in public education: “Educational outcomes for minority children are much more a function of their unequal access to key educational resources, including skilled teachers and quality curriculum, than they are a function of race.” The Brookings Institution (a Commie institution)

Alton affirmative action meant a segregated town until 1952, a fact left out by nostalgia posts about the good old days.

So when a Supreme Court consisting of mostly liars and conservatives with agendas asks questions of witnesses, indicating that affirmative action is about to be killed, it demonstrates a willingness no less egregious than slavery or the subjection of women.



About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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