Colored people marching

Matt Westerhold
Jan 6, 2014

“They're marching, Charles,” my mother told my father in one of the earliest exchanges between them I can recall.

“Who's marching?” he asked.

“The colored people.”

The venue was downtown Sandusky, a central shopping district in the mid-1960s. The cause was the civil rights movement. The march likely occurred around 1968, perhaps after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

Referring to blacks as colored people was standard language; it wasn't offensive. By the 1970s, however, the words “blacks” or “African Americans” had replaced the term in common usage.

Other words to describe blacks and practices designed to oppress minorities were common in the period, and before then even harsher words and harsher practices were employed.

In the mid-60s it was also pretty standard to hear Polack jokes (making fun of people from Poland), jokes about blacks, women and supposed humor about Jewish people, people with developmental disabilities or physical handicaps. It was all pretty standard fare, but society changed, and by practice, effectively outlawed public displays of bad humor.

There was “white Philco” in Sandusky where white people were employed to build radio tubes and later television tubes, and there was “black Philco,” where blacks worked doing the same thing at the same wage.

The segregated factories represented considerable progress for civil rights, jobs and equal opportunity for blacks. Most people alive today don't even know it was that way, or what it meant or how racism and prejudice challenged the lives of those in the minority in those days.

Change is generational. That seemed obvious on Friday as a reporter Andy tracked down a story about a Norwalk councilman's racist email he forwarded to some city officials and friends. The email, with spelling and grammatical errors, is presented as if written by African-Hispanic school girl telling about winning a spelling bee.

“I gots a 47 percent on the spelin text and 38 points for being black, 10 points for not bringin drugs to class, 10 points for not bringin guns to class, and 15 points for not getting pregnut during the cemester. It be hard to beat a score of 12 percent,” the email reads, in part.

“In hindsight, I can see how it can be interpreted as racist... but that wasn’t my intent when I sent it. I thought it was humorous,” Carleton told the Register.

That's a straight-up answer. He simply did not see how offensive the email is and saw humor in it rather than discerning how it demeans others. In hindsight, it seemed Carleton really wanted to take another look and understand how he could have misinterpreted the email, or found it funny.

It will be interesting to learn how that turns out and whether it will reflect the same view from some some city officials who already weighed in with their thoughts.

“It's unacceptable. It was a poor choice,” first-term mayor Rob Duncan reacted.

“I was shocked,” city law director Stuart O'Hara said. “I didn’t care for the joke, if that’s what it was suppose to be.”

Comments

santown419

I'm glad most people in Huron don't think like this one.

8ballinthesidepocket

Nor with people like you Doggy!!

MattDamon

So you are saying that certain people are lazy and essentially worthless because of the color of their skin? And that they owe whatever limited success they have now, to the ethnic group of which you belong?

Are you familiar with the term "White Privilege"?

deertracker

Those are your words not mine!

gilamonster

nor will it with people like you...using the phrase "lily white" proves your character. (If I made a comment that "hey it starts getting pretty dark over by East 93rd and Reno; I would be a racist.) You think there are no black racists or hate mongers, better get out of your basement.

CAST THE FIRST STONE

Another chance to promote racism. I am going to protest outside the miss black american beauty contest. The only time racism enters my thoughts is when I read them. That is some peoples goal

The Big Dog's back

So what huronguy wrote really must have struck a nerve then.

santown419

You are to coward.

sugar

If stupid people didn't act stupid there would be NO jokes like that to pass on. The girl in the joke is all too common and real. Deny it race baiters, deny it.

santown419

So what's your excuse stupid. You come on here with your racist bs a lot.

deertracker

The joke is not funny and makes no sense. People in general do not speak like that.

OH-IO

The way I see it there's the blacks that marched for civil and human right and there's the whites that don't care for blacks or their situation. It's been proven time and time again in these comments. Why don't whites and blacks physically fight it out? May the best people win in 2014.

Raoul Duke

A Polack, an Eyetalian, a colored guy, and a regular American walk into a bar...

AJ Oliver

Back when the quota for ALL good jobs was 100% white and male, how many whites complained (Answer, very few)? It was not that long ago, and in fact much discrimination in hiring still goes on. That's your white privilege. That being said, all people are responsible for their bahavior, and for doing the best that they can with what they have.

Contango

Re: "It was not that long ago, and in fact much discrimination in hiring still goes on."

True.

The growth of industrial unions and the concept of a minimum wage were white responses to southern blacks heading north looking for work during the Great Migration.

The North may have freed the slaves, but then they largely "dropped the ball" and then set up discriminatory programs and policies.

deertracker

That's your perception pooh. Unions were not created to appease Blacks. The programs you speak of were set up to help those that had been and were being treated unfairly.

Contango

Re: "Unions were not created to appease Blacks."

Thanks for helping to make my point about the original discriminatory nature of unions.

Besides, go ahead and raise the min. wage to $15/hr. for fast food workers. Who do you think will be the racial group most affected by layoffs?

The Big Dog's back

Same old dumb analogy. Factless, hate based.

deertracker

Thanks for making my point about generational oppression!

Contango

Re: "generational oppression!"

Agree. The seniors have been and are currently stealing from the youth through Soc. Security, Medicare, Medicaid and now through Obamanationcare.

All govt. does is spread poverty, while the politicians get rich.

BabyMomma

Sounds like Obamas theories, equal everything for everyone! No matter how much effort you put into bettering your life, we got your food and healthcare covered! Be a lazy sit at home do nothing and get everything! You are a idiot.

fredinperkins

"THEY'RE marching". They are marching, instead of there are people marching? Is that not racist? Coloreds not offensive? Colored restrooms, coloreds to the back of the bus, etc.? Come on Mat, I grew up in the same neighborhood as you.

Contango

Mr. Westerhold writes:

"Reporter Andy tracked down a story about a Norwalk councilman's racist email he forwarded to some city officials and friends."

@ Mr. Westerhold:

Correction. It should read:

A racist email that was forwarded by a Norwalk councilman to some city officials and friends.

Reads less inflammatory eh?

Now, who forwarded the email to Mr. Carleton? And who emailed it to them? Follow the thread, ad infinitum.

You're leaving change on the table. Hunt down the original scofflaw in our midst!

The body politic must be purged, cleansed and purified!

Contango

Huh. I typed in the first couple words of the questionable email on Google and came up with 1,920 results.

In my brief search, the oldest one was from Jul. 29, 2008.

If anything in this regard, Mr. Carleton is 'guilty' of promulgating an OLD hackneyed email.

@ SR:

Did you not originally print the email in full?

How is it that Mr. Ouriel and the SR are not equally culpable in promoting and spreading racism?

The Big Dog's back

Good old southern thinking. If my neighbor lynched somebody, it's OK for me to do it too.

kURTje

"It should read." No - it was right. It is just you & Bob must think alike. That's the problem. hint - since you know so much, start your own paper

Contango

More on the Google search:

Found a facsimile of the "joke" about "the bess speler in class."

The fictional author was a "Kenesha LaTeesha Williams."

It was on "Military.com Community" (July 25, 2009)

Who knew that there were racists in the military?

pptrsha

if you think racism is gone and children are colorblind think again!!! my 4 yr old granddaughter came home and told the story of being mistreated at school by 2 girls in her class. I was horrified that they pulled her hair ,which now she will only wear it straightened no more curls,they tore her clothes, she had to sit alone to eat lunch, no one would sit by her. she sat alone on one side of the lunch table my little tiny beautiful granddaughter didn't know that people are mean because she has always been treated like a princess. she was in that class because she is so smart she was going to go straight to 1st grade skipping kindergarten. her parents are educated, well dressed, and well spoken but it doesn't matter because her skin is darker than the other girls. god bless the little girl in the 2nd grade that stopped the bullys from pushing her off the playground equipment. after several complaints to the teacher that nothing was done about these 2 girls my granddaughter was withdrawn from the school and is happy where she is now. who taught those girls to mistreat children with different skin?

deertracker

Racism is a learned behavior yet some insist things are "all good" now!

donutshopguy

Generational entitlement is a learned behavior.

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