Guelzo delves into the complicated nature of race and politics during this divisive time in American history.
It was not Republican factionalism alone that crippled the Reconstruction regimes. The first fault line was the reluctance of Southern blacks to accept white Republican leadership as unquestioningly as whites had expected. Northern white schoolteachers found that Southern blacks did not want whites to run either their politics or their schools.
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They will betray you. But just as divisive were the fault lines that separated blacks from blacks.
A racial hierarchy that bestowed privilege along a carefully graded spectrum of color had long existed in the black South. The nearer the negro or mulatto approaches to the white, the more he seems to feel his superiority over those of a darker hue. It is the country and government of the American people. These interracial feuds were a key factor in the most singular absence in black Reconstruction in the South: namely, the lack of a single commanding leader who could bind together the disparate threads of African American identity into a single movement.
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Sam Warbuton: Wales aiming for World Cup final. Rugby superfans cycle from London to Tokyo.
Black History Milestones
Rugby players advised to cover tattoos in Japan. Rugby World Cup: Kamaishi's road to recovery. In a media release, SA Rugby confirmed it's examining an alleged incident involving year-old forward Eben Etzebeth and another man outside a Cape Town bar in August. Etzebeth has been accused of using the word "hotnot" -- a derivative of the disparaging word 'hottentot' used by European settlers to refer to indigenous South Africans -- as well as violent conduct.
‘Watchmen’s’ provocative portrait of race in America has its own creator worried
On his Facebook page on August 25, Etzebeth refuted the allegations. Multiple witnesses can corroborate that," he wrote. A SA Rugby spokesman said it "reaffirms its commitment as a good corporate citizen to abide by any requirements placed on it to or its employees by South African authorities. That entailed looking at a skull and determining whether it was once a man or a woman—and which race.
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In matters of virtually religious faith, logic carries no weight. Most Americans, though perhaps few others, will recognize the allusion. Many years ago, a newspaper editor answered a query from a troubled child named Virginia, who was experiencing her first painful doubts that Santa Claus was a real person and who had written to the newspaper to get an authoritative answer.
Anyone who continues to believe in race as a physical attribute of individuals, despite the now commonplace disclaimers of biologists and geneticists, footnote 2 might as well also believe that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy are real, and that the earth stands still while the sun moves. Newspaper and television journalists are entitled to be as silly and irresponsible as they wish, and it usually does no harm, since nobody in his right mind pays attention to them.
The Supreme Court had to decide whether Jewish and Arab Americans could seek relief under civil-rights law for acts of discrimination against them. The Court decided that, because Jews, Arabs and a variety of nationalities were regarded as racial groups in the late nineteenth century, they may therefore be so considered today. In fact, the Supreme Court had little choice, bound as it is by American precedent and history—bound, that is to say, by its participation in those rituals that daily create and re-create race in its characteristic American form.
The Supreme Court acts, no less than Jimmy the Greek, within the assumptions, however absurd, that constitute racial ideology in the United States. Unfortunately, so do historians and other academic specialists, who vitally need to take a distance from these assumptions in order to do their job.