Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not all that long ago

Passing through London earlier this week, I visited a friend who had met Paul Robeson during one of the latter's trips to England several decades ago. Robeson told my friend of a reception at the White House, where he had been invited by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. As noted here, "At the height of his popularity, Robeson was a national symbol and a cultural leader in the war against fascism abroad and racism at home."

A certain US Senator approached Robeson and addressed him as "Professor." Robeson, confused, said, "Senator, I am not a professor. Why do you call me that?"

The reply, "Well, normally, I would call you nigger, but I can't use that term in this White House, so I'll just call you Professor."

Note: Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.


Anonymous said...

Two books; Clarence Thomas' biography and a book called "Confederates in the attic" by Tony Horwitz (nephew of a friend of mine) gave me some additional insight into this issue - the first serious, the second somewhat humorous. As a member of no minority group except female, haha; I found these books enlightening.


Anonymous said...

....and then we have this, in 2009:

HAMMOND, La. - A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.(AP on Yahoo, today)

I did not excerpt the entire article, but it gets worse.