Meanwhile, a hundred years ago…

While Barack Obama visits the White House today (“measuring the drapes” as it were), I decided to see if I could find some evidence of the outrage that Booker T. Washington’s dinner with President Roosevelt caused in 1901.

So, I started Googling for some headlines. I didn’t find any, because I only had a few minutes at lunch, but I did find this jaw-dropping article from the Tuskegee News, November 5, 1901, wherein the author leaps to the defense of Washington.

On the face of it, you’re probably saying, “Wow. A southern newspaper defending a black man! That’s amazing for 1901.”

No, no, no. That’s not the jaw-dropping part. Read the article. The defense is actually a litany of racist excuses: “don’t pick on him…he didn’t mean anything ‘evil’ by it…he’s a good, well-behaved Negro…it was just a scheduling thing and dinner was easier to arrange…besides it’s the fault of all those Northern guys…”

It’s reading articles like that which really drives home how far we’ve really come…even if there’s further still to go.

This entry was posted in Wouldya Lookit That!. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Meanwhile, a hundred years ago…

Comments are closed.