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

BabyMomma

Agreed!!

The Big Dog's back

Sad, but it's getting worse instead of better. Just look at some of the right wing posters on here, many who have children and grandchildren. Do they think their children and grandchildren don't see them?

Contango

"Actually a bunch (of) Stone Age right wingnuts wrote the Old Testament."

- brutus smith, Sept. 10, 2010

Yea, Dog's NEVER been racially, ethnically OR religiously bigoted. lol.

Have a nice day Cupcake.

thinkagain

Godless liberals raising lazy children with no morals is the greatest pox on our society.

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.

donutshopguy

In 1964 President Johnson started the war on poverty.

In 50 years, the federal government has spent over $20 trillion dollars trying to eradicate the problem. That number is federal funds only and does not include SS or Medicaid.

We now have over 100 million people in this country receiving some form of government assistance. It works out to about $10,000 per person each year, man, woman or child.

Money hasn't solved the problem. Does anyone have a better suggestion?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

A restructuring of our education system, the bottleneck of our civil society. What we teach, where, and when could use an overhaul since we are no longer an agrarian nor manufacturing society. Only a few who don't already have the means to bypass that choke point break out of the institution with a meaningful grasp of life that will lead to success (which is something that can never be given). Maybe this is something I can blog about...

Think9

The United States of America is almost dead. The only racial problem is the one that is being created by the racist people . My daughter has a fellow African American student member in M.H.S. that is involved in drugs and other things. He claims that the reason my daughter won’t go out with him, as well as other girls in the school is because she and they are racist. She told him it’s due to the fact that he’s into drugs and the wrong crowd. She won’t go out white guys on drugs, or smokers, or tobacco chewers, or any that he no inking about what a moral gentleman is. But now she’s a racist. Does he get special treatment because of his skin color? I was baptized in an African American church of Christ right there in Sandusky on East Parrish Street. My hero was and still is Reggie Jackson. I like Charley Pride. But now I have this little prejudiced daughter. Well, let me tell you. The media and the government is starting to win. With 70 percent of the bad crimes shown on the news being committed by African Americans like the one where a son, daughter and Dad were killed the other day, and the supposed anger of the African American community and kids being directed at children like my daughter…well, it’s starting to make me in fact, a racist. Because bad is good and good is bad, I’m finding a line of confusion in my mind that makes me say, to heck with it all. Lock the doors and load the gun, and if there’s a man in the yard and he’s an African American, and it’s not Reggie Jackson or Charlie Pride, there’s a 70 percent chance he’s evil, according to what I’m being taught now days. And it’s too bad that I have to be afraid to go visit my sisters and brothers in the church of Christ because either they or their young kin are being brainwashed into believing I am bad because I am white. And the sad thing is, I am feeling the same. Thanks America!

Eph 2 8-10

Matt W.
They did not build radio tubes. They built radios, televisions, and stereo record players. And, yes there were two plants in the 1940's and 1950's. The blacks only plant was on Warren Street.

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