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  #61  
Old 09 May 2008, 10:01 PM
songs78
 
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Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
I'm aware that Asians have been targeted more in the Pacific Northwest, I just think that the absence of blacks doesn't necessarily mean an absence of discriminatory laws. In general, white Americans have never needed to be near black people to be afraid of them.
There really wasn't any laws discriminating against black people. In the late 1800s the primarily the Irish, German and Chinese were the primary targets of discrimination in the North.

The list you put up are neightborhood covenants and they still exist in some neighborhoods abeit illegal and actually in practice, the neighborhoods are still very segregated but it is quite different than the institutionalized Jim Crow laws of the south.
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  #62  
Old 10 May 2008, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
If someone said that they refused to vote for the Democratic Party because of the policies of Southern Democrats decades ago, I would probably feel the same way, though I might try to help (at least I hope I would) the person change that with rational discourse rather than a dismissive quip.
Interestingly, that is essentially Condoleezza Rice's official explanation for why she is a Republican. It would appear she's not open to rational discourse about the issue, though.
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  #63  
Old 10 May 2008, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
I'm aware that Asians have been targeted more in the Pacific Northwest, I just think that the absence of blacks doesn't necessarily mean an absence of discriminatory laws. In general, white Americans have never needed to be near black people to be afraid of them.
There are actually a lot of discriminatory laws on the books in Seattle... primarily against Asians. IIRC there were still laws in there stating that people of Chinese ancestry could not own land in certain parts of the city up until around 10 years ago (they hadn't been enforced for years but some intrepid reporter uncovered the language and put together a pretty interesting story, the result of which was that those laws were taken down). I'm not saying that black people were never treated unfairly in the city and surrounding areas, but it was more of a "those people sure look funny" kind of vibe than a "OMG THEY ARE COMING TO STEAL OUR JOBS AND RAPE OUR WOMENS" deal. Most of the racist vitriol was saved for Asians.
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  #64  
Old 10 May 2008, 01:18 AM
Natalie Natalie is offline
 
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Originally Posted by songs78 View Post
There really wasn't any laws discriminating against black people. In the late 1800s the primarily the Irish, German and Chinese were the primary targets of discrimination in the North.
That's not true at all. Northern states disenfranchised free blacks before the 13/14/15 Amendments, and also prohibited them from serving on juries or testifying in court against white people. Northern schools were legally segregated until the early twentieth century. And the state of Oregon prohibited free blacks from settling in their state. They decided this was important enough to write into the constitution.

As far as racial segregation is concerned, the only substantive difference between the North and the South is that the North ended Jim Crow sooner.
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  #65  
Old 10 May 2008, 01:20 AM
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Also, the North abolished slavery sooner with the exception of a couple border states.
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  #66  
Old 10 May 2008, 01:24 AM
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Also, the North abolished slavery sooner with the exception of a couple border states.
True. I categorize slavery differently, personally, but I can see why folks would categorize it with racial segregation.

In that vein, a major difference is that Northern states abolished chattel slavery voluntarily, whereas the Confederacy had to be forced to do so.
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  #67  
Old 10 May 2008, 01:46 AM
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I was referring to Jim Crow laws. But it makes more sense now you don't need Jim Crow laws if you outright ban colored people from entering the state.

The Chinese exclusion act lasted from 1882 until 1943 and until 1965 there was no meaningful Asian immigration well after the passage of the 13th,14th and 15th amendments.
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  #68  
Old 10 May 2008, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by songs78 View Post
I was referring to Jim Crow laws. But it makes more sense now you don't need Jim Crow laws if you outright ban colored people from entering the state.
A "Jim Crow law" is just a law enforcing racial segregation. It doesn't have to be racial segregation against just black people (most Jim Crow laws drew the distinction between "white" and "other", and so would affect Native Americans and other people of color) The legally segregated public schools in the North were Jim Crow laws. The term is certainly more strongly associated with the South, but they weren't exclusive to the South.
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  #69  
Old 10 May 2008, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
In that vein, a major difference is that Northern states abolished chattel slavery voluntarily, whereas the Confederacy had to be forced to do so.
"Had to be forced to do so" on the North's timetable, that is.

And the 13th Amendment didn't just force an end to slavery in the former Confederate states. There were still some Union states (such as Delaware) that allowed slavery until the ratification of the 13th Amendment prohibited it.

- snopes
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  #70  
Old 10 May 2008, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave View Post
Interestingly, that is essentially Condoleezza Rice's official explanation for why she is a Republican. It would appear she's not open to rational discourse about the issue, though.
No, you have it wrong. Her dad became a Republican because the Democrats, under Jim Crow, would not allow him to register. Stupid him, eh?

Though her father influenced her, she joined for her own reasons; because she agreed with what she felt the party stood for.
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  #71  
Old 11 May 2008, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
And the 13th Amendment didn't just force an end to slavery in the former Confederate states. There were still some Union states (such as Delaware) that allowed slavery until the ratification of the 13th Amendment prohibited it.
It's also worth mentioning that even the Emancipation Proclamation didn't free slaves in the Union states that had slaves: Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia. (The way the proclamation is worded, it didn't free many slaves at all but slaves in Union territory were explicitly excluded.)
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  #72  
Old 11 May 2008, 03:06 PM
Natalie Natalie is offline
 
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Originally Posted by snopes View Post
"Had to be forced to do so" on the North's timetable, that is.

And the 13th Amendment didn't just force an end to slavery in the former Confederate states. There were still some Union states (such as Delaware) that allowed slavery until the ratification of the 13th Amendment prohibited it.

- snopes
I didn't draw the distinction between Union and Confederate, I drew it between North and South. Several border states that decided to stay in the Union, including Delaware, did still practice slavery, but Delaware at the time of the Civil War would be considered a Southern state, as was Maryland.

As to the North's timetable for ending slavery compared to the South's, I suppose no one will ever know what would have happened if the Civil War wasn't fought. I, however, sincerely doubt that Southern states would have ever voluntarily given up slavery.
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  #73  
Old 11 May 2008, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
. . . As to the North's timetable for ending slavery compared to the South's, I suppose no one will ever know what would have happened if the Civil War wasn't fought. I, however, sincerely doubt that Southern states would have ever voluntarily given up slavery.
The "conventional wisdom" among historians is that, in time, the "peculiar institution" would have faded. There would be slow, steady pressure from the world's civilized nations, the sort of economic pressure that helped end apartheid in South Africa. As well, slavery is not a very good economic system; it's very wasteful of resources. An educated, free laborer, working for his own self-interest, is vastly more productive than a slave.

But you are very certainly right: no one can ever know. The "what if" concept of alternate history is impossible to approach scientifically.

Silas
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  #74  
Old 13 May 2008, 02:12 AM
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What does "voluntarily" mean? Very few slaves at all were given up "voluntarily". A few idealistic slave owners in the north and south (and elsewhere in the Americas and Europe where slavery was practiced -- It certainly wasn't only an American problem) freed their slaves voluntarily but most had to be forced to give up their slaves by those who thought the practice was immoral or otherwise unsustainable (people who, not surprisingly, were not slave owners). It's not as if slave owners in the north were somehow morally superior to those in the south and just decided to do the right thing.
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  #75  
Old 13 May 2008, 06:27 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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What does "voluntarily" mean? Very few slaves at all were given up "voluntarily". A few idealistic slave owners in the north and south (and elsewhere in the Americas and Europe where slavery was practiced -- It certainly wasn't only an American problem) freed their slaves voluntarily but most had to be forced to give up their slaves by those who thought the practice was immoral or otherwise unsustainable (people who, not surprisingly, were not slave owners). It's not as if slave owners in the north were somehow morally superior to those in the south and just decided to do the right thing.
The problem is that we are looking at it through our modern cultural and moral filter. At the time, to most slave owners the idea was probably as ridiculous as if we today would ask farmers to free their cows or their tractor. I'm not saying I agree with that line of thinking, but we must understand it if we are to understand their reasoning.

That said, we must also be aware of the limitations of our own moral filters and don't impose them blindly on others.

There was a case a while ago where it was revealed that a company in some third world country that produced goods for a Swedish company employed child labour. Of course (and rightly so), this produced an uproar, and the company was forced to stop using children as workers.

That's good, right? No, it actually didn't work out that way.

As the children needed their income to keep alive, many of them had no option left but to turn to prostitution. It's a risky occupation at best, but in a third world country with a weak legal system, rampant AIDS, little or no medical care available and the children in a very weak position, it's almost a sentence to death by torture and disease.

We tried to impose our solution without understanding the problem. In this case, one of two other options would probably have worked much better, both of which are probably impossible due to various reasons:

1. Start a program to support, educate and fund the children. However, the company is unlikely to do it, they just want to get away from the "child exploiter" label. The state is unlikely to do it, not because of lack of interest, but because there are heaps of worthy aid projects and we can't do them all.
2. Allow the children to continue to work, but insist on better conditions and company funded education/healthcare. I think the companies involved would find it economically feasable, but I am very sure that it would be a PR suicide, due to the moral filters of our culture.
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  #76  
Old 13 May 2008, 11:21 AM
Natalie Natalie is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
What does "voluntarily" mean? Very few slaves at all were given up "voluntarily". A few idealistic slave owners in the north and south (and elsewhere in the Americas and Europe where slavery was practiced -- It certainly wasn't only an American problem) freed their slaves voluntarily but most had to be forced to give up their slaves by those who thought the practice was immoral or otherwise unsustainable (people who, not surprisingly, were not slave owners). It's not as if slave owners in the north were somehow morally superior to those in the south and just decided to do the right thing.
Sorry, that wasn't terribly clear. I was talking about state governments criminalizing the practice, which happened in the North, rather than slavery becoming criminalized by force of war and Constitutional Amendment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
The problem is that we are looking at it through our modern cultural and moral filter. At the time, to most slave owners the idea was probably as ridiculous as if we today would ask farmers to free their cows or their tractor. I'm not saying I agree with that line of thinking, but we must understand it if we are to understand their reasoning.
That may have been true for many slave owners, but slave owners were never a majority in the US, not even of the white, Southern population. You're right that applying a modern theory or moral value to the past is fallacious, but I think there was much more debate about slavery's morality at the time than many modern people are aware of. I think a better example would be debates about sweatshop labor today - there are many reasonable people who think sweatshop labor is exploitative and immoral, and many other reasonable people who think that, if abuses are guarded against, sweatshop labor is an important economic engine in the Third World.
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