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On this day: AR Nat. Guard prevents Little Rock Nine from going to school

Unfortunately: On this day in 1957 Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus used the Arkansas National Guard to prevent 9 black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. He left the National Guard in place for 16 days until a federal judge ordered him to withdraw them.

On the Twenty-third, the students were snuck into the school and when the white parents who had been demonstrating outside heard of it there was a near riot. The students were quickly whisked from the school to ensure their safety.

On September 24, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborn Division to escort the black students into Little Rock Central High School and to ensure their safety. Eisenhower also federalized the Arkansas National Guard.

The 101st stayed at Central High until Thanksgiving when its guard duties were handed over to Task Force 153rd Infantry, a specialized unit of the Arkansas National Guard. Task Force 153rd Infantry stayed on guard duty at Central High until the end of the school year.

Arkansas Troops Bar Negro Pupils; Governor Defiant | New York Times’ On This Day


Written by Jeff

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 2:00 pm

“Imus in the Hot Water”

In all of the discussion on Don Imus’ slur against the Rutgers women’s basketball team, I’ve heard a lot about “nappy-headed hos” but not so much about what was also said.  During his conversation with his producer, Bernard McGuirk, McGuirk referred to the ladies as “jigaboos”.

Some might not be familiar with the term, but in my parts, it’s just below “the N word” on the “Oh my god!  Did he just say what I think he said?” scale.   Why is no one freaking out over that?  Before I heard the recording yesterday on Democracy  Now! I didn’t even know that it had been said.  I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds and I read a lot of articles on this but I don’t recall any mentioning “the J word”.  If I hadn’t watched DN! yesterday, I wouldn’t know about it now.

Not being a black person, maybe I just don’t get it, but, if it were me being disparaged, I would be more upset at being called “the J word” than a “nappy-headed ho”.  Maybe the reason that it’s not getting more attention is because it was just a lowly producer and not Imus himself that said it but he agreed with it which is just as bad.

I dunno, but that’s what’s been running through my head since yesterday evening.

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 4:14 am

Posted in Bigots, Race, Words

It feels wrong to “say” it.

I was just reading a piece on NPR and it referred to African Americans as the “black community” and a few days ago, I was reading another article about HIV/AIDS and its effects on the African American community and the article referred to them as “blacks” not only in the headline but also throughout the article.

When it came time to tag the articles for I couldn’t get myself to tag them as “black” or “blacks”. I don’t know why I can’t seem to bring myself to do it, I just don’t think it’s right. Maybe I’m being too politically correct, but I just don’t like referring to an entire group of people by the color of their skin. Maybe it’s one of those things that’s been around for so long that it’s stuck. I don’t know. I can’t quite put my finger on why I don’t like it, but it just feels wrong.

On a somewhat related topic, I know that some people dislike being referred to as African-Americans because, well, they’re not from Africa. I can understand that. My ancestors are European but I’m not a “European American”. Why is it that anyone that’s not caucasian gets a qualifier (Asian American and Latin American come to mind)?

Written by Jeff

Friday, March 9, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Race, Words