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Old 01-09-2020, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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I guess the overall point trying to be made is that there was tremendous prejudice at the time. The African Americans attempting to escape the Southern version ran smack dab into a different type in the cities and got the worst of it. If the thread is solely devoted to the atrocities of 100 years ago, then it's fine. I'm not in any way attempting to apologize for these actions, however to learn how they were able to happen is important. Racism was happening anyway. So what made 1919 so explosive.

Let's look at the backdrop:
1. African Americans were openly segregated and demeaned with various racist acts.
1A. KKK membership was on the rise....the question is why?

Here's the other parts of the puzzle:
2. Massive immigration to the United States still had the country with large pockets of salad bowl (pre-melting pot) existence. The jobs of the north that could be taken by uneducated folk from the south (poor Irish, poor African Americans) but also with millions from war-torn Europe.
2A - To put the power of the owners in check, unions were at the height of their power.
2A1 - Unions were more militant at the time, as were owners. Strikes were bloody affairs. Law and order was a head-cracking affair in all things. However, unions had to do more than scare the owners from their property, they also had to scare off strike-breakers who were willing to work for less.
2A2 - The newest arrivals were almost always used as the source labor for the next group to break the unions of the former group. These were hard back breaking jobs. English wasn't necessary, but once a portion of a company went to one group, they all went that group. Your group had to win. If the Lithuanians had a cutting line at a meat packing plant, your Italian friend isn't getting a job there.
2A3 - To keep control of the unions, and thus the jobs, groups began to reach for more powerful and organized solutions. If you were Irish, you voted Irish from your Irish part of town for your Irish alderman, you were in an Irish union which protected your Irish job, and the leaders helped the Irish community.

The biggest and bloodiest riot took place in Chicago. However, it's important to understand that Chicago wasn't just segregated Black/White. It was segregated by whatever ethnic team you were on, and those neighborhoods were more than just a place to live. It was a border. If I'm a part of Koreatown in Chicago and there's not enough people to keep the neighborhood from becoming a Puerto Rican neighborhood....and there's no other Korean neighborhoods, I'm in real trouble. I don't have a place I can move to. I don't have an alderman to turn to. I have nobody on the police force that cares.

So in this construct, you have a swelling population of African Americans. They need new neighborhoods because there's many coming in. Of course, there is going to be fighting between whoever was there and the new group moving in. However, African Americans on the whole, were more reluctant to join unions....likely because few were available and they'd likely be treated poorly....so the stage is set for not just a new neighborhood, but strikebreakers, new unions, new alderman and a complete rout to the existing powers. Racism intensifies. KKK membership increases and lynching takes place. Mafia influence increases. The government is not looking as it fights a war, and then the war ends.

3. The war ends
3A. Demand changes as factories switch from war time to peace time.
3A1. Inflation picks up as material supply is uneven. The economy falls slightly during the changeover.
3A2. Unskilled worker supply increases significantly as war veterans return home and immigrants flee shattered areas.
3A2A - Old Unions vs Foreign Immigrants vs Southern Migrants all face off for neighborhood, union and job control.
3B. Public Unrest increases (rise of mafias, government seen as corrupt power brokers)
3BA Alternative Power popularized (vigilante lynching was a suspected rapist, mafia used to defend power structure in city, KKK membership rises, union membership rises, anarchist bombs set off across the country)
3C. Socialists and Mafia move to infiltrate union leadership. Socialists call for revolts and profit from discord.
3CA Federal government finally takes action - Ban and Jail 10,000 Communists. Take control of railroad unions etc.

In this backdrop, Chicago was a tinderbox waiting for a spark. That spark came in the form of a swimmer that floated to where he wasn't supposed to go, not by written law, but by the laws that earmarked the city at the time, setting off a fight...a fight the Irish wanted and used their influence to keep the national guard at bay. A fight the African American community was willing to take. A fight that was allowed to rage because racism permeated the day and it was simply easier to divide.

It was awful. It was a time where, in American cities, you needed to be on someone's team. African Americans got the worst of it, but it doesn't make sense unless you can address the background of what was going on. With all respect to the former NAACP leader, it was taught in class. It was the race riots of Chicago....but the riots of other places at the same time were not primarily race based. However, if the only local organizing power at the time taking on African Americans are the socialists, who are attempting to install their union as a strikebreaking replacement for a union they don't control and elect new alderman....these elements come together. It gives a backdrop of how it could be understood as to why unrest on the whole rose so much in 1919, a year many hoped would simply be one of peace after so many years of fighting. It's worthy of study...and quite fascinating....just don't limit the scope too much. It risks still segregating the history when it was a shared history with massive effects going into the roaring 20s. The migrant themes of the 20's for Southerners vs dirt farmers in the 30's, how Japanese incursion in the 40's could happen....it's all connected.

As the USA reached her working person peak in the 60's, the golden age of American industrialism so to speak, there were enough jobs for all. It really allowed the civil rights movement to take place and people were ready to start taking down the walls. To realize that we no longer needed to be divided and could work together and those ripples extended out into the largest globalization trend the world has ever seen. We could all work together.

To me, that was the greatest casualty of the 2008 recession. The re-emergence of teams in the workplace. Globalization now is questioned. The country is again polarizing further into teams. Moderate Democrats, Socialist Democrats, Mainstream Republicans and Nationalist Republicans. It follows the jobs. It follows the job security.

1919 was a high water mark point of this cultural team based living, truly reversing the independence of the new frontier from before. If we don't want to repeat it, it bears in mind to take a broader scope and not let it be used narrowly.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:17 AM
 
1,544 posts, read 707,790 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
I guess the overall point trying to be made is that there was tremendous prejudice at the time. The African Americans attempting to escape the Southern version ran smack dab into a different type in the cities and got the worst of it. If the thread is solely devoted to the atrocities of 100 years ago, then it's fine. I'm not in any way attempting to apologize for these actions, however to learn how they were able to happen is important. Racism was happening anyway. So what made 1919 so explosive.

Let's look at the backdrop:
1. African Americans were openly segregated and demeaned with various racist acts.
1A. KKK membership was on the rise....the question is why?

Here's the other parts of the puzzle:
2. Massive immigration to the United States still had the country with large pockets of salad bowl (pre-melting pot) existence. The jobs of the north that could be taken by uneducated folk from the south (poor Irish, poor African Americans) but also with millions from war-torn Europe.
2A - To put the power of the owners in check, unions were at the height of their power.
2A1 - Unions were more militant at the time, as were owners. Strikes were bloody affairs. Law and order was a head-cracking affair in all things. However, unions had to do more than scare the owners from their property, they also had to scare off strike-breakers who were willing to work for less.
2A2 - The newest arrivals were almost always used as the source labor for the next group to break the unions of the former group. These were hard back breaking jobs. English wasn't necessary, but once a portion of a company went to one group, they all went that group. Your group had to win. If the Lithuanians had a cutting line at a meat packing plant, your Italian friend isn't getting a job there.
2A3 - To keep control of the unions, and thus the jobs, groups began to reach for more powerful and organized solutions. If you were Irish, you voted Irish from your Irish part of town for your Irish alderman, you were in an Irish union which protected your Irish job, and the leaders helped the Irish community.
To start of with, Palmer had issued a report to Congress that skewed their views and caused the government to be keenly interested in "black" activism (some "black" papers drew interest because they spoke of self defense instead of dying).

I wanted put the demeaning part in bold because there was some extremely heavy propaganda against melanated people at that time. Blackface performances depicted "blacks" as simple and immature. R. W. Shufeldt wrote a book in 1907 called The Negro, A Menace to American Civilization where he wrote how "black" men are just prone to raping white women due to having asmall brain and larger reproductive organs....His solution was to have "black" men castrated. In 1914 Charles H. McCord wrote The American Negro as a Dependent, Defective, and Delinquent where he posited that "black" peoples brain weight was between white people and gorilla's. Not to mention the film Birth of a Nation was still selling out. I think it's safe to say that Whites were under heavy programming and loving it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
The biggest and bloodiest riot took place in Chicago. However, it's important to understand that Chicago wasn't just segregated Black/White. It was segregated by whatever ethnic team you were on, and those neighborhoods were more than just a place to live. It was a border. If I'm a part of Koreatown in Chicago and there's not enough people to keep the neighborhood from becoming a Puerto Rican neighborhood....and there's no other Korean neighborhoods, I'm in real trouble. I don't have a place I can move to. I don't have an alderman to turn to. I have nobody on the police force that cares.
Chicago was worse than Elaine, Arkansas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
So in this construct, you have a swelling population of African Americans. They need new neighborhoods because there's many coming in. Of course, there is going to be fighting between whoever was there and the new group moving in. However, African Americans on the whole, were more reluctant to join unions....likely because few were available and they'd likely be treated poorly....so the stage is set for not just a new neighborhood, but strikebreakers, new unions, new alderman and a complete rout to the existing powers. Racism intensifies. KKK membership increases and lynching takes place. Mafia influence increases. The government is not looking as it fights a war, and then the war ends.

3. The war ends
3A. Demand changes as factories switch from war time to peace time.
3A1. Inflation picks up as material supply is uneven. The economy falls slightly during the changeover.
3A2. Unskilled worker supply increases significantly as war veterans return home and immigrants flee shattered areas.
3A2A - Old Unions vs Foreign Immigrants vs Southern Migrants all face off for neighborhood, union and job control.
3B. Public Unrest increases (rise of mafias, government seen as corrupt power brokers)
3BA Alternative Power popularized (vigilante lynching was a suspected rapist, mafia used to defend power structure in city, KKK membership rises, union membership rises, anarchist bombs set off across the country)
3C. Socialists and Mafia move to infiltrate union leadership. Socialists call for revolts and profit from discord.
3CA Federal government finally takes action - Ban and Jail 10,000 Communists. Take control of railroad unions etc.
This is reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
In this backdrop, Chicago was a tinderbox waiting for a spark. That spark came in the form of a swimmer that floated to where he wasn't supposed to go, not by written law, but by the laws that earmarked the city at the time, setting off a fight...a fight the Irish wanted and used their influence to keep the national guard at bay. A fight the African American community was willing to take. A fight that was allowed to rage because racism permeated the day and it was simply easier to divide.

It was awful. It was a time where, in American cities, you needed to be on someone's team. African Americans got the worst of it, but it doesn't make sense unless you can address the background of what was going on. With all respect to the former NAACP leader, it was taught in class. It was the race riots of Chicago....but the riots of other places at the same time were not primarily race based. However, if the only local organizing power at the time taking on African Americans are the socialists, who are attempting to install their union as a strikebreaking replacement for a union they don't control and elect new alderman....these elements come together. It gives a backdrop of how it could be understood as to why unrest on the whole rose so much in 1919, a year many hoped would simply be one of peace after so many years of fighting. It's worthy of study...and quite fascinating....just don't limit the scope too much. It risks still segregating the history when it was a shared history with massive effects going into the roaring 20s. The migrant themes of the 20's for Southerners vs dirt farmers in the 30's, how Japanese incursion in the 40's could happen....it's all connected.
So, outright murder in the Chicago moment? In a lot of these other cities, mobs formed and went looking for "blacks" killing women and children. "Just don't limit the scope too much?" If you aren't "black" then one can look at it in a more broad view than average (even if one is melanated). To prevent historical unawareness, "blacks" should be aware and be personally more connected to it. There are things certain groups can learn from this ordeal by zooming in (of course, zooming in and out is a good skill).

Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
As the USA reached her working person peak in the 60's, the golden age of American industrialism so to speak, there were enough jobs for all. It really allowed the civil rights movement to take place and people were ready to start taking down the walls. To realize that we no longer needed to be divided and could work together and those ripples extended out into the largest globalization trend the world has ever seen. We could all work together.

To me, that was the greatest casualty of the 2008 recession. The re-emergence of teams in the workplace. Globalization now is questioned. The country is again polarizing further into teams. Moderate Democrats, Socialist Democrats, Mainstream Republicans and Nationalist Republicans. It follows the jobs. It follows the job security.

1919 was a high water mark point of this cultural team based living, truly reversing the independence of the new frontier from before. If we don't want to repeat it, it bears in mind to take a broader scope and not let it be used narrowly.
That remains to be seen in the truest sense but yeah we aren't divided to the same degree today as they were back then. Again, the true skill is mentally zooming in and out. Good post overall, and it's good to see other views on Red Summer and what led up to it outside of the elephant in the room (from my vantage point anyway). I probably failed to address some of your points but your post was long but in depth, I'll probably address it later.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
4,319 posts, read 1,949,506 times
Reputation: 7136
I've no intention of upsetting you. Quality research can be had by zooming in, certainly. However, we have to be particularly careful of looking through the lens of a time. Whether or not we identify with the people involved, we must remember they are not us. Yet their story can be of considerable value and relevance. That is where the story becomes more involved and acceptable to a wider audience.

I, like anyone, can go through my family tree and discover atrocities. My grandmother, in her sole on a lark journey went with some of her lady friends on a road trip to Chicago in 1919 to see the World's Fair. That was the year the White Sox sold out to lose the World Series to the mob. 1919 was also the year the first African American produced, directed and starred movie came out. Uptain Sinclair's masterwork spoke on the working conditions of the time in his fictional masterpiece.

The poet Sandburg could often turn like a poet for the city. The working divisions of the city were so poignant that census like information could be taken:

The number of companies that hired black women, for instance: 170 firms, 42 of which were hotels or restaurants; 21 hotels or apartment houses; 19 laundries, 12 garment factories, seven stores, and “eight firms, hiring laborers and janitresses"—placement firms, basically.

https://news.uchicago.edu/story/mapp...919-race-riots
Here's a map of the activity. Note how the activity was really only in the South Side and clustered into certain areas. This doesn't make sense....without further understanding of how things work...and continued to work in the city for the next 50 years.

It was a rich period of upheaval, violent conflict and a changing America. At the end of the day, the conclusion of atrocities being committed remains the same. It was a terrible. However, finding the relevance to today, and viewing it in the historical lens to validate that takes more work, but makes your findings so much more applicable and widely accepted. These are the topics that can shape people. I wish you luck in your journey.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:35 PM
 
1,544 posts, read 707,790 times
Reputation: 1439
^^^You're okay. I'm not upset about anything that you've posted. I made the thread to see differing opinions on the hows and why's in addition to just bringing attention to it. I appreciate your contributions. Different types of people will see various things stand out to them in this regard and I'm cool with that.

Last edited by 80s_kid; 01-10-2020 at 11:45 PM..
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:16 PM
 
10,067 posts, read 10,627,481 times
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It wasn't just blacks who migrated out of the south. The number of whites may have been more than 2 or 3 times that of blacks. In some Midwestern cities there had been a black population often described as "the colored elite" as early as 1870.
Poor southern whites were in no way prepared to assume a lower economic status to this black population. In Kansas City Missouri the homes of upper class blacks were bombed.

The motivation of the Tulsa riot was to destroy the wealth of this class of black people. It wasn't just the southern migrating blacks who were under attack it was also the established blacks in upper and middle class communities.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:16 PM
 
1,544 posts, read 707,790 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
It wasn't just blacks who migrated out of the south. The number of whites may have been more than 2 or 3 times that of blacks. In some Midwestern cities there had been a black population often described as "the colored elite" as early as 1870.
Poor southern whites were in no way prepared to assume a lower economic status to this black population. In Kansas City Missouri the homes of upper class blacks were bombed.

The motivation of the Tulsa riot was to destroy the wealth of this class of black people. It wasn't just the southern migrating blacks who were under attack it was also the established blacks in upper and middle class communities.
Good point.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:12 PM
 
1,544 posts, read 707,790 times
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I have to mention John Hartville because it was nuts what happened to the man in Ellisville, MS in 1919.

Lynching In America: John Hartfield's Story.

Theodore Bilbo was just a pathetic figure no matter what era one is from (in my opinion). I'm glad that I found this newsprint declaring the lynching of Hartfield.

John Hartfield

At this point if, these accounts kind of blend into another and it seems as if I had posted about Hartfield already but Knoxville and Omaha were the ones similar to this.

Another thing that stood out was the festive climate in Ellisville, MS that before, during, and after this murder. It's interesting behavior. The levels of bloodlust the people had in those times is alarming....I mean, a town of 1K swelled to 10K to witness this event. This was like a circus from "hell." People actually bought parts of a corpse as a momento and the sick person who sold them.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:29 PM
 
1,544 posts, read 707,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
It wasn't just blacks who migrated out of the south. The number of whites may have been more than 2 or 3 times that of blacks. In some Midwestern cities there had been a black population often described as "the colored elite" as early as 1870.
Poor southern whites were in no way prepared to assume a lower economic status to this black population. In Kansas City Missouri the homes of upper class blacks were bombed.

The motivation of the Tulsa riot was to destroy the wealth of this class of black people. It wasn't just the southern migrating blacks who were under attack it was also the established blacks in upper and middle class communities.
Some or many people may disagree with the bold and my next statement but it's very true and so called Blacks in this country are still reeling from the destruction of the businesses. In order to a have an actual community, there has to be an adequate economy of said group of people in order to not be reliant on others outside of your designated group. Residinghere2007 mentioned that if we were just left alone, we'd be thriving to this day but targeted attacks and the many dominoes falling as a result does what to a group of people? Not quite like Haiti but having your economic power stripped is a female canine (no disrespect). Being autonomous and economically able is actually the key to having a national community, that is why there's no "black community" in this country and there certainly aren't any "black leaders" like what Malcom X said about other people designating entertainers to be "leaders" of a non existing community.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:05 PM
 
20,644 posts, read 8,270,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
2A - To put the power of the owners in check, unions were at the height of their power.
.
They were also an under the radar way to keep those at the back of the line in "their place".

Unions were often very racist in whom they would allow to join, and hence get a job at an employer.

Collusion existed between employers and unions in that regard.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:54 PM
 
1,544 posts, read 707,790 times
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Originally Posted by BobNJ1960 View Post
They were also an under the radar way to keep those at the back of the line in "their place".

Unions were often very racist in whom they would allow to join, and hence get a job at an employer.

Collusion existed between employers and unions in that regard.
African Americans and the American Labor Movement highlights what you said. I don't remember where I read it but I remember an article stating how the European migrants who came over didn't want to compete with the freed newly freed slaves who had skills and just wanted to make respectable income. Many unions were formed due to this.
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