Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Republican Racism Example #58: A Republican Senate Candidate Flaked for South Africa's Apartheid Regime

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, used to be a lobbyist for a company doing business with the racist apartheid regime that ruled South Africa in the 1980s.  At that time, Flake warned that the collapse of the white-run polce state would lead to the spread of communism throughout the African continent.

A fierce opponent, during his Congressional career, of abortion and gay marriage, in 2012 Flake nevertheless has positioned himself as an alleged moderate on immigration issues as he seeks the Senate seat being vacated by Jon Kyle.  Flake has supported granting green cards to undocumented workers, expanding the number of immigrants allowed in the country, paths to citizenship for some of the undocumented, and encouraging immigrants who earn Ph.D.s here to stay in the United States.  (See http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/jeff-flake-immigration-moderate-views).


Jeff Flake, a U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona, once lobbied for a mining company doing business with the racist apartheid regime in South Africa and urged the state of Utah to continue doing business with the white supremacist regime. (Photo from http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/06/27/507059/jeff-flake-lobbied-for-apartheid-south-african-government/).

However, in 1987, Flake worked for a uranium company in Namibia, a puppet state set up by the apartheid government.  Such mining companies essentially used the black indigenous population as slave labor.  By the 1980s, the Namibian mines became infamous for cruel physical discipline, pitiful housing, and poverty wages.  Flake urged support for the authoritarian regime of South African President P.W. Botha, (whose government required blacks to live in segregated “bantustans,” denied blacks the right to vote, required blacks to carry passports to travel through the country, and tortured and murdered black political dissidents.) Flake told the Utah state Senate that if apartheid ended, a leftist government might take over that would deny the United States access to the region’s rich minerals.


In the 1980s, Arizona Senate candidate Jeff Flake lobbied for mining companies operating in Namibia, a puppet government under the domination of the South African apartheid regime.  Workers were often beaten and lived in horrid conditions, as shown above.  (Photo from http://www.bookdrum.com/books/my-traitors-heart/9780099749004/bookmarks-176-200.html).

In the late 1980s, there was an international movement to impose economic sanctions on South Africa because of its racist policies.  The state senate in Utah in 1987 was considering a resolution opposing sanctions against iSouth Africa. Flake testified in support of the resolution.  During his Senate testimony that year, he said:

“If the government of South Africa falls, it depends on how it falls if it did fall. If it fell to radical elements from the left, then this could happen, and that is a fear of many people. We would be deprived of a share of an economic source of these vital minerals. As far as the economic sanctions having a … more direct impact on the black community, I overhear we tend to think of every black South African as a radical stone-throwing protestor who will stop at nothing until the government is overthrown. There are moderate elements there. There have been a lot of polls taken both ways. Most of them come out with about, that there are more moderates, considered moderate, than there are radicals. Those are funny terms and most of them aren’t moderate, they just don’t care one way or another or they don’t know about the situation. [Sanctions have] had a dramatic impact on the black population, the biggest impact is that the companies pulling out, the American companies pulling out …”

The word apartheid derived from the Dutch language and essentially means “apartness” or separation.  The Dutch colonized South Africa beginning in the 1600s followed by Great Britain starting in the 19th century.  The descendants of the Dutch colonizers, who called themselves Afrikaners, forced native blacks off their lands, seized control of farmland and reduced the indigenous population to poverty, exploiting them as low-wage labor.  Broken into four regions, two controlled by the British and two by the Afrikaners, South African would not merge into its present form until the early twentieth century. 

Blacks in the early 20th century already enjoyed no political rights and couldn’t move freely through their native land.  Better-paying, more respected jobs were declared off-limits for the indigenous community. State police enforced strict segregation, similar to that in the American South in the same era.  South Africa plunged into violence and chaos when the Afrikaners revolted against British domination in the Anglo-Boer War from 1899 to 1902 (Boer was another term for the Afrikaners.)  The British prevailed, established political dominance of the area, merged the four regions and in 1910, handed control of the Union of South Africa to the white minority.  


Under apartheid, white South Africans were taught to fear native Africans who supposedly were prone to theft, murder and rape.  (Photo from http://beyond-trauma.blogspot.com/2012/03/apartheid-archive.html).

In 1948, the racist Nationalist Party, dedicated to continued white dominance, won elections and in subsequent decades dominated the country.  After 1948, the party passed more than 300 laws requiring separation of whites, blacks, Asians, and mixed race people (called “coloreds”).    Evan though blacks constituted more than 80 percent of the South African population, native Africans held inferior rights to whites, to Asians, and to coloreds and became fourth class citizens.  These apartheid laws, according to the Postcolonial Studies at Emory University website, included:

The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949, and Immorality Act, 1950, [which] constituted the government’s first step in institutionalizing racial differentiation. These acts prohibited sexual intercourse and marriage between Whites and Blacks.  All people over the age of sixteen were required to carry identity cards that grouped the people into various racial categories.
                   
                  The Groups Areas Act, 1950, [which] restricted the entrance of Blacks into the urban, industrial, and agricultural areas, reserving these areas only for the Whites.  Most people who were allowed to be within the reserved areas were workers, housemaids or gardeners, who were given state permission.  Spouses and other family members were also restricted from living with those who were granted permission.  A sign in English and the Dutch-related Afrikans language warns blacks the facilities are for whites only.If Blacks were caught with family members who did not have the permission to be in the area, they were arrested and imprisoned, once spotted by the inspectors.



A sign in English and the Dutch-related Afrikans language warns blacks the facilities are for whites only.  (Photo from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/12/ApartheidSignEnglishAfrikaans.jpg/220px-ApartheidSignEnglishAfrikaans.jpg).  

                  A
                  The Population Registration Act, also in 1950, [which] required that all Africans were classified into three categories according to race.  These were Black, Colored, or White, and the government made these classifications according to a person’s habits, education, appearance, and manner.  Rules were given according to race and had to be followed to prevent dire consequences.
                   
                  The Bantu Authorities Act, 1951, [which] assigned all Africans to their native land.  This stole power away from the Africans, and instead allowed them to vote solely within their homeland.  This allowed the denationalization of Africans possible.  The Bantu Education Act applied apartheid to the educational system.  The education of Whites, Blacks, and Colored was separately administered and financed.
                   
                  The Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents Act, 1952, [which] required all Africans to carry a pass-book, similar to a passport.  The pass-book contained all personal information, such as name, photograph of holder, fingerprints, and also gave a detailed explanation on where a person could be employed, and their performance at work.  If Africans did not obey the rules, they were kicked out from the area, and their crime would be reported in their pass-books.  The penalty for not carrying the book at all times was also severe, ranging from imprisonment and fines, to a torturous death.” (For more, see http://www.english.emory.edu/Bahri/apart.html).

Apartheid laws also required segregated ambulances, hospitals, beaches, cinemas and transportation. Blacks were also not allowed to buy hard liquor.  Spending on white education in South Africa outstripped spending on black education by a 5-1 gap in the apartheid era.  Student-teacher ratios for white schools were one teacher for every 18 students and, at black schools, one teacher for every 48 pupils.  Most blacks never attended school beyond primary grades. 

The South African scholar Tamara Shefer has written about how white schools in South Africa encouraged students to hold blacks in contempt:

“So, to mock a fellow student you repeated his words more slowly, in an affected ‘African’ kind of voice, to make him sound like he didn’t know what he was talking about, as if he were stupid.  That was enough – the mere evocation of a caricatured black voice speaking in English was sufficient to imply someone was unintelligent. Name calling – by using the prefix ‘i’, or using ‘ngi-ngu’ before someone’s name, was enough to associate them with the racist values of blackness (incompetence, stupidity, inability, and so on)……. There were also facial improvisations, flattening one’s nose, spreading one’s lips as wide as possible, making them as thick as possible, sufficed to mimic blackness. By doing this at the same time as mocking a fellow student – sometimes, oddly enough, affectionately (?), one would again set up the association of them as somehow black. In short, a series of racist stereotypes and bodily evocations became part and parcel of the repetitive play of white adolescent boys, vital instruments in the ongoing in-group/out-group identity practices of who was cool and who wasn’t.”  (See http://beyond-trauma.blogspot.com/2012/03/apartheid-archive.html).  

  By 1970, the South African Parliament stripped blacks of their citizenship, assigning them citizenship in 10 artificially created  “homelands.” The South African police and military forcibly relocated blacks from their property to these new areas, also called  “bantustans.”


During apartheid, black families were forcibly resettled in "homelands" created by the white supremacist  government.  In this 1982 photo, children look past the squalor of their resettlement village in KawZuli-Natal.  The resettlement program carried out in the 1970s and 1980s in South Africa represents the largest forced movement of people during peacetime in world history.  (Photo  from http://www.thecultureist.com/2012/05/04/children-of-apartheid/).  

Political resistance brought violent responses from the South African police. During a March 21, 1960 uprising against passbooks in the black township of Sharpeville, police slaughtered 69 people.   Teenaged students started another uprising in 1976 in Sowetto to protest tuition that had been imposed on blacks forced to take classes in the Dutch-related language of Afrikaans  The South African police cold-bloodedly fired into a crowd of young people, killing 600 and injuring 4,000 more.


During the Soweto student uprising in 1976, South African police fired indiscriminately into an unarmed crowd, killing 600 and injuring 4,000.  Here, Mbuyisa Makhubo carries a wounded child, Hector Pieterson, who has been shot.  Pieterson's sister Antoinette Sithole runs beside them. Hector died from his wounds, one of many blacks murdered by the apartheid regime.  (Photo from http://smkhize.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/3-seemingly-popular-south-african-apartheid-tactics-that-are-still-happening-right-now-but-not-in-south-africa/).  

The South African police harassed both black and white opponents of apartheid, subjecting them to lengthy and sometimes violent interrogations.  Authorities arrested black anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko in 1977 and interrogated him for almost 24 hours straight, beating him severely enough that he suffered a major head wound, causing a brain hemorrhage that killed him on September 11, 1977.  Thousands died in the custody of South African police during apartheid.   (See http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html). 


South African police beat to death anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko in 1977.  Such human rights abuses did not move conservative Republicans like William F. Buckley, Pat Buchanan, Jesse Helms, and Ronald Reagan, all of whom supported the violent white racial dictatorship in South Africa to almost the very end.  (Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Steve_Biko.jpg).
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, right-wing Republicans like Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan, North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms (a longtime Southern segregationist) and Ronald Reagan supported South Africa as a bulwark against communism and opposed economic sanctions against the regime.  William F. Buckley's National Review consistently supported the Pretoria  government.  Ironically, American conservatives who usually opposed what they called “big government” saw nothing wrong in enabling a authoritarian state that told its citizens who they could marry, what neighborhoods they could live in, which schools they could attend, which theaters they could go to to see movies, and what jobs they could hold.  Right-wing evangelist Jerry Falwell, who supported Southern segregation earlier in his career, was a reliable friend of the apartheid government in South Africa and ridiculed black Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his fights against the Pretoria government.  (See http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-did-blacks-become-democrats-and_29.html and http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/04/republican-racism-example-52-william-f.html and http://www.nndb.com/people/558/000022492/).  

As ThinkProgress notes,  P.W. Both, the man who headed South Africa’s racial dictatorship in this era, when Jeff Flake was serving as the Namibian uranium company flak ,  supported the Nazis during World War II.   As South prime minister from 1978 to 1984 and president from 1984 to 1989, Botha “oversaw state terrorism, war, and murder, once ordering police to blow up the Johannesburg offices of anti-apartheid groups. Hundreds of thousands of activists — including future President Nelson Mandela — were imprisoned during South Africa’s 40-year apartheid regime. Faced with the kind of U.S. economic pressure opposed by Flake in 1987, Botha’s apartheid regime eventually crumbled as the rand’s value collapsed.  [The rand was the South African currency.}” [For more, see http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/06/27/507059/jeff-flake-lobbied-for-apartheid-south-african-government/).



P.W. Botha ruled South Africa during the 1980s, first as prime minister and then as president.  Prior to World War II, he joined the the Ossewabrandwag, a far-right Afrikaner group that supported the German Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler.  His regime murdered and tortured opponents of apartheid, the South African system of racial segregation.  (Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:P._W._Botha.jpg).

No thanks to men like Flake, apartheid collapsed in the 1990s.  Economic pressures brought on by sanctions forced the last Nationalist Party President F.W. de Klerk to release the leader of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela, imprisoned since the early 1960s, and to negotiate with him and end to the nation’s racial laws and arrange the first multi-racial, democratic elections in 1994.  Mandela triumphed in the presidential race that year, becoming South Africa’s first black leader.

Flake perfectly represents the hypocrisy of “family values” Republicans who call for morality in American life, but confine their definition of morality to opposition to abortion, gay rights, and feminist political reforms but ignore human rights, such as freedom of speech, of association, and to vote and run for office regardless of race.  Flake support immigration reform not because he believes in the dignity and the value of Mexican undocumented workers, but because he knows his financial backers see low-wage Latino workers as economic assets, no less that the Namibian minerals and the exploited black workers who mined them long ago during apartheid.  To Flake and the business interests he fronts, people of color represent only a means to a monetary end.




Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Republican Racism Example #57: Scott Walker Says David Duke Raised "Legitimate Issues"


Just in case you thought Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s ruthless union busting, purge of voting rolls of likely Democrats, slashing of the social safety net, and willingness to serve as the lap dog of the environment- and job-destroying billionaire Koch Brothers wasn’t evil enough, there’s a tape of a televised debate he had with David Duke you should listen to, courtesy of the Daily Kos website.

As the website reports, back in 1992 former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke (who was wrapping up his single term as a Republican in the Louisiana State Legislature) was fighting to get on the GOP presidential primary ballot   The Wisconsin Republican Party tapped Walker as their spokesmen for a debate with Duke on the Milwaukee Public TV program Smith and Company.


In a 1992 debate on Milwaukee Public Television, future Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker said that David Duke raised "legitimate issues."  (Photo from http://occupyforaccountability.org/sites/default/files/u6/Scott_Walker_Gov_Wis_022211.jpg).  

During the chat, Walker went at great lengths to emphasize that while the Wisconsin GOP condemned Duke’s past role as Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from 1974 to 1980 (after which Duke founded the National Association for the Advancement of White People or NAAWP) it did not condemning the “issues” was bringing up.  “The distinction we're making is not one of saying his issues are extreme, they certainly are not,” Walker said. 

Duke had spent his career making clear that he believed that African Americans were intellectually inferior and crime prone, that he didn’t believe the Holocaust happened, and that Jews were undermining America through their control of the media.  The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League has compiled Duke’s public comments, such as in a1985 interview for a doctoral student’s dissertation when he said, “What we really want to do is to be left alone. We don't want Negroes around. We don't need Negroes around. We're not asking ­­ you know, we don't want to have them, you know, for our culture. We simply want our own country and our own society. That's in no way exploitive at all. We want our own society, our own nation...."  That same year, Duke wrote in an editorial called “The Black Plague” that appeared the NAAWP News, [A] black...gets a job with a white-owned company. He is the only black at the firm. He works hard, but he's fighting a losing battle against his genes."

Duke was even more blunt in his racial language in an April 23, 1975 interview with the Wichita, Kansas Sun.  White people don't need a law against rape, but if you fill this room up with your normal black bucks, you would, because niggers are basically primitive animals,” he said to the newspaper.  He also had nasty things to say about Jews. “"It's really the Jew Marxists who see the nigger as their instrument, as their bullets, by which to destroy our society."


Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon David Duke, who once said that "niggers are basically primitive animals."  Scott Walker couldn't come up with a good reason why he wasn't a legitimate candidate for president in a 1992 televised debate and failed to mention that Duke was a Holocaust denier. (Photo from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/50/David_duke_belgium_2008.jpg/220px-David_duke_belgium_2008.jpg).  
Regarding the Holocaust, Duke had already said by 1985 in an Evelyn Rich interview that, “Did you ever notice how many survivors they have? Did you ever notice that? Everybody – every time you turn around, 15,000 survivors meet here, 400 survivors convention there. I mean, did you ever notice? Nazis sure were inefficient, weren't they? Boy, boy, boy! ...You almost have no survivors that ever say they saw a gas chamber or saw the workings of a gas chamber...they'll say these preposterous stories that anybody can check out to be a lie, an absolute lie."
Duke also had made clear in the same interview his belief that Jews had a genocidal intent towards white people.  “"They're trying to exterminate our race. I think, probably in a moral sense, the Jewish people have been a blight. I mean as a whole, not every Jew. And they probably deserve to go into the ashbin of history. But saying that and actually shooting or killing people in masses, are two different things. I'm not advocating extermination. I think the best thing is to resettle them in someplace where they can't exploit others. And I don't think they can live among themselves, I really don't."


David Duke as a Neo-Nazi while attending Louisiana State University and "protecting" the U.S. border against Mexican undocumented workers while  Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. (Photos from http://www.adl.org/learn/ext_us/david_duke/background.asp?LEARN_Cat=Extremism&LEARN_SubCat=Extremism_in_America&xpicked=2&item=david_duke and http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/david-duke). 
All these comments were made before Scott Walker’s debate with Duke.  By the time Duke was trying to enter the Wisconsin GOP presidential primary, his career in the Klan was well-known and the campaign of President George H.W. Bush was battling mightily to avoid the embarrassment of having his name on the ballot.  Political professionals, the Bush apparatchiks would have done opposition research, which they would have shared with Walker.  Yet on Smith and Company, Walker insisted that the political issues Duke was raising were “legitimate.”  Walker briefly mentioned that Duke sold copies of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf in his state legislative office, but never talked about his anti-black, anti-Semitic views.  Referring to Duke’s ideology, Walker instead said:
“We feel you’re hiding behind some legitimate interests for middle class Americans, welfare reform as far as job protection, job security, issues that are important . . . The key is that you’re hiding behind issues that are legitimate issues but do not necessarily make you a legitimate candidate anymore than in the city of Milwaukee if Jeffrey Dahmer were to stand up . . .”

During his legislative race in Louisiana, his unsuccessful race for governor in 1991, and in his presidential race in 1992, Duke claimed he had converted to Christianity and had put his bigoted days as a Klansman and neo-Nazi behind him. However, like mainstream Republicans today, he ran on racially coded issues, more subtly campaigning on school busing and the supposedly poor state of integrated schools, the crime rate and affirmative action.


Scott Walker during his TV appearance with David Duke.  According to Walker, Duke brought up "some legitimate interests for middle class Americans, welfare reform as far as job protection, job security, issues that are important . . ." Walker didn't mention that Duke also argued that blacks are genetically inferior and worse swastika armbands as an LSU student..  (Photo from http://videos.videopress.com/F5CID5Cg/scott-walker-says-david-duke-rep-a-media-creation_std.original.jpg). 

During the debate with Walker, Duke, brought up one hot button GOP issue of today after another, including even including the so-called 'war on Christmas and his opposition to the “open border with Mexico.” A viewer who called the show and described himself as a “life-long Republican” told the host he would be “proud” to have David Duke as a Republican candidate on the Wisconsin ballot. Another said, “I think David Duke is right on  I think the only reason they don’t want him to run is . . . he may damn well win.” David Duke mopped the floor with Walker during the show. Only two callers out of about a dozen said they opposed Duke’s views.  It’s clear that if Duke had never put on a white sheet, but held exactly the same beliefs, he might have been won the Louisiana governor’s race (where he got 39 percent of the total vote and 55 percent of the white vote) and perhaps might even have been a serious contender in the Wisconsin presidential primary.  As this blog has pointed out many times, the ideological and rhetorical distance between the Walkers and the Dukes in this country in the past two decades has shrunk to the vanishing point.  (To see the Duke-Walker debate, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wp3a4vEsJY.  See also http://www.adl.org/special_reports/duke_own_words/print.asp and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/10/954858/-Breaking-Old-Tape-of-Scott-Walker-Talking-About-David-Duke-Shows-He-Has-Always-Been-a-Fruitcake).




Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Republican Racism Example #56: Wearing Klan Robes For Halloween



Cherokee County, Ga. Sheriff Roger Garrison once wore a Klan robe at a Halloween party but he wanted the public to trust his integrity during his re-election bid in 2012. (Photo from http://sheriffrogergarrison.com/platform).  

More than 25 years ago, Cherokee County, Ga. Sheriff Roger Garrison, a Republican, thought it would be funny to wear Klan robes with a friend at a Halloween party.  Today he says that he has never been a member of the Klan and that he was just a kid trying to re-enact a funny scene from the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles. Unfortunately for Garrison, photos of the future sheriff in the Klan gear surfaced this past week and have become an issue in his reelection bid this year.


Cherokee County, Ga. Sheriff Roger Garrison is one of the figures in the Klan robes at a Halloween party 25 years ago,  He now writes off his costume choice as a youthful mistake.  (Photo from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/23/roger-garrison-kkk_n_1621260.html).  

There is a scene in Blazing Saddle, released in 1974, where the villain Hedley Lamar, (played by Harvey Korman) wants to make a Western town unlivable so he can build a railroad through it.  He hires the worst thugs he can find to disrupt the town.  In a hilariously anachronistic moment, the assembled villains include various ragtag miscreants including Nazis, a motorcycle gang, and a couple of Klansmen in full regalia.  To spy on the proceedings, the heroes (Gene Wilder and an African American actor named Cleavon Little) render the Klansmen unconscious and don their robes.  In the context of the movie, the Ku Kluxers are funny.  Not so much in real life 20th century Georgia.

Sheriff for 20 years and a law enforcement officer for more than 30, Garrison came of age after the Civil Rights movement, when the whites-only signs had come down and when African Americans had served as mayor of Atlanta.  Southern white men knew there was nothing funny about wearing Klan sheets, even to a Halloween Party, any more than wearing a Hitler costume to Octoberfest.

As Garrison should have known, Georgia plays an important and tragic part in the history of the Klan terrorist network.  During the Reconstruction Ear (1863-1877) just after the Civil War, the state hosted one of the most active and violent chapters of the KKK.   The Klan made its presence known in the state March 31, 1868 when it assassinated a Republican Party activist, George Ashburn, in Columbus.  (The Democratic Party in that era was the political home of white former slaveowners and the Republicans the party of Lincoln, Emancipation and black voting rights.  The Klan serves as the terrorist wing of the Southern Democratic Party.  For an explanation of this, see my earlier blog post, “How Did African Americans Become Democrats and Republicans The Party of White Supremacy, Part I” at http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-did-african-americans-become.html). 

As elsewhere, Georgia Klansmen burned down black churches, whipped school teachers who dared educate black students and African American women who failed to act towards whites with sufficient deference, and murdered black men who tried to vote, participate in political parties, or run for office. 


Sheriff Garrison thought his Klan costume would be funny.  Here are some decidedly unfunny Mississippi Klansman in a Reconstruction-era cartoon.  Georgia Klansmen worse similar outfits.  (Image from http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/kkk_misissippi.jpg).  

According to the Georgia Freedman’s Bureau, a U.S. Army agency charged with protecting former slaves and pro-Union Southerners, the Georgia Klan recorded 336 murders and assaults with the intent to kill against freedman in the first 11 months of 1868.  The Klan terrorism made freedmen and pro-Republican whites afraid the vote.   In Oglethorpe County, Republican votes dropped from 1,144 in April 1868 to 116 in November of that year. In Columbia County, the Republican votes dropped from 1,222 in April to only 1 GOP vote in November. 


The real Klan murdered black men for voting, for participating in political meetings, for registering other African Americans, and for running for office, as starkly depicted in this 1868 Thomas Nast cartoon for Harper's Weekly(Image from http://elections.harpweek.com/1868/cartoon-1868-large.asp?UniqueID=27&Year=1868) 

On October 21, 1871, the Congress held a hearing on the state’s Klan violence in Atlanta. Maria Carter told the committee about the night that Klansmen came looking for a black man named John Walthall, Carter’s neighbor, who the thugs accused of stealing and sleeping with white women.

Klansmen broke down the Carters’ door, thinking they were at the Walthall residence and then demanded that Maria’s husband Jasper accompany them to the Walthall’s home.  Maria said she could hear Walthall scream as they whipped him. They beat Walthall’s wife on the head with a pistol before they shot John.  Carter said they made Mrs. Walthall put her arms around her bleeding husband and whipped the couple about 300 times.  The Klansmen put a unloaded gun to the head of Maria Carter and pulled the trigger to frighten her.  They whipped Jasper Carter too.  “I was scared nearly to death, and my husband tried to keep it hid from me,” she said. “I asked him if he had been whipped much. He said, ‘No.’ I saw his clothes were bloody, and the next morning they stuck to him, and his shoulder was almost like jelly.” (See http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6225/).

The original Klan faded in Georgia, as elsewhere, by the early 1870s because it achieved its goals of destroying the Southern Republican Party and effectively disenfranchised black voters, restoring hard right Democrats to power.  (For more, see http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-694)  In the years after the disappearance of the first KKK, Georgia (along with Mississippi and Texas) recorded the third highest number of lynchings.  Then Georgia would serve as the birthplace of the second Ku Klux Klan as a result of the Leo Frank tragedy in 1915.

Someone murdered 13-year-old Mary Phagan, whose body was found on the floor of a pencil factory near Atlanta on April 27, 1913.  Phagan had toiled as a low-wage worker at the factory, which was owned by a Northern Jewish family and managed by the owners’ nephew Leo Frank.  The crime happened at a time when anti-Semitism in the South peaked and when white Southerners began to deeply resent what they saw as the economic exploitation and colonization of the region by Northern capitalists.  Authorities arrested Frank for the crime on dubious evidence and during a trial, in which mobs outside the courthouse chanted, “Hang the Jew or we’ll hang you,” the jury found Frank guilty and sentenced him to death. 

Frank lived two more years during a round of appeals.  Georgia Gov. John Slayton, near the end of his term, never convinced of Frank’s guilt, commuted the shopkeeper’s sentence to life imprisonment, an action that caused such violent voter anger that guards had to escort Slayton out of the state before his time in office had officially ended.  Meanwhile, authorities transferred Frank to another prison ostensibly for his safety, but a prisoner slashed his throat there.  Frank survived but was seized by a mob that lynched him August 17, 1915.


The lynching near Atlanta, Ga of Leo Frank,  a Jewish pencil factory superintendent, inspired the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915.  (Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Frank). 

A group that participated in the lynching dubbed itself the “Knights of Mary Phagan” ascended Stone Mountain, which is decorated with a bas relief of leading Confederate generals, and burned a giant cross there on October 16, 1915.  William J. Simmons led a second cross burning on Thanksgiving night that year and announced the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan, a group that for 10 years would achieve major political power across America, even in Northern states like Indiana, and would target not just blacks, but Jews, immigrants, Catholics, and bootleggers.  Like its predecessor, the new Georgia-born Klan, would use intimidation and murder to advance its political objectives including the passage of a Prohibition amendment to the U.S. Constitution and immigration restriction.


William J. Simmons founded what came to be known as the "second" Ku Klux Klan in Georgia in 1915 in the wake of the Leo Frank case.  Unlike the first Klan, the second incarnation would be powerful nationally and would not just persecute African Americans but would add Jews, immigrants, Catholics and bootleggers to its list of enemies.  (Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Simmons).  

No, there’s nothing funny about the Klan in and of itself.  Roger Garrison should have known all of this when he donned his Klan robe for that Halloween party more than 25 years ago.  If not, he’s appallingly ignorant about the history of his state, his region and his country.  He was alive during the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century.  Surely, he had to be aware of how unfunny the Klan was to his African American neighbors. His past insensitivity, however, is not surprising since this year Garrison has decided to plunge into the racially charged issue of immigration in his re-election campaign, pledging to crack down on what he called “illegal aliens.”


Sheriff Roger Garrison is too busy running for reelection as Cherokee County Sheriff to don Klan robes.  He pledges to crack down on "illegal aliens."  (Photo from http://www.wltz.com/story/18870114/sheriff-in-apologizes-for-kkk-halloween-costume ). 

Garrison writes off the Klan costume as an embarrassing but unimportant mistake of youth. "I don't deny it wasn't stupid, looking back now, but there again, I say what 21 or 22 year old in this world hasn't made some stupid mistakes," he said.  Sorry, Mr. Garrison.  A 21-year-old is not a kid.  He’s an adult.  He can drive a 4,000-pound cage of steel at 50 or more miles an hour on the freeway. He can vote.  He can fight in wars.  And he can know the sad, twisted, bloody history of the Ku Klux Klan.  It’s no laughing matter. (For more, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/23/roger-garrison-kkk_n_1621260.html and http://www.wltz.com/story/18870114/sheriff-in-apologizes-for-kkk-halloween-costume and http://sheriffrogergarrison.com/platform).




Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Republican Racism Example #55: "White folks work every day so us po’ folks can get all our benefits"


Give former Ozark Tea Party board member Inge Marler credit for knowing her audience.  Speaking at the Arkansas group’s annual rally June 9, Marler thought she’d relax the crowd with a little joke.  One about black people and welfare.  Launching into her version of black dialect, Marler entertained the crowd with this story:

“A black kid asks his mom, ‘Mama, what’s a democracy?’
‘Well, son, that be when white folks work every day so us po’ folks can get all our benefits.’
‘But mama, don’t the white folk get mad about that?’
‘They sho do, son. They sho do. And that’s called racism.’”


About 500 hundred attended the annual meeting of the Ozark Tea Party this June, pictured above, and they laughed and applauded when board member Inge Marler told a joke about lazy black people living off the hard work of white people through welfare.  (Photo from http://www.baxterbulletin.com/article/20120613/NEWS01/306130021/Tea-Party-founder-Racially-charged-joke-bad-taste).  

Marler said she got her joke from the internet.   In a crowd of decent people, the racist joke would have been greeted with embarrassed silence.  Maybe someone would have stood up and explained why stereotyping black people as poorly educated, lazy rubes out to selfishly rob whites of the fruits of their labor is a pernicious lie.  Someone may have made a statement saying that Marler’s joke did not reflect the values of the people gathered.  That would be how decent people would react.  But this was a Tea Party gathering.

According to the Baxter Bulletin, the audience responded to Marler’s crude caricature of black people this way.

“The ‘joke’ was greeted with applause and laughter. There were no objections to the ‘joke’ from the floor and no one spoke with disapproval or objection to Marler’s comment except those pursued for comment by The Baxter Bulletin.”  (For more, see http://www.baxterbulletin.com/article/20120613/NEWS01/306130021/Tea-Party-founder-Racially-charged-joke-bad-taste). 

It was only after the incident got local coverage from the Bulletin, followed by national attention, that anyone with the Ozark Tea Party spoke out.  The next week, Marler had resigned her position on the group’s board.  The founder of the group, Richard Caster, claimed that he had no idea Marler was going to make her joke when she got up to speak. 


<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Ozark Tea Party founder Richard Caster thinks that too much has been made about a racist joke about blacks and welfare told at a meeting of his organization this summer. (Photo from http://www.baxterbulletin.com/article/20120613/NEWS01/306130021/Tea-Party-founder-Racially-charged-joke-bad-taste).

"I had no idea," Caster, a justice of the peace on the Baxter County Quorum Court who at age 21 is the youngest elected official in Arkansas, told the Huffington Post, "She had given me her whole speech, and it was about her growing up in Yugoslavia and coming to America. I am on stage and then she said something not like what she gave me. I was shocked. I looked at the guy next to me and he said 'oh my gosh'." Caster said he didn’t respond more forcefully because, "She is a gray-haired elderly lady, and I did not want to go up and yank her off stage.  In hindsight, I should have said something."

Caster said the controversy that erupted was much ado about nothing, saying there should instead be much more coverage of alleged rapes at Occupy Wall Street protests (allegations that implicate the protestors, but have been proven to be mostly false or to involve people not in the movement), and the investigation of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Fast and Furious drug gang weapons sting, and ethics charges against U.S. House Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles).  (Both Holder and Waters, incidentally, are African Americans.)

Caster then further demonstrated his sensitivity to the disadvantaged with this comment: "It dawned on me that this little old lady got on stage and said a two-bit, retarded joke that she should not have said and it was all over," Caster remarked. "It's funny how a little old lady can cause a huge stir, and people with real power and nothing happens." (For more, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/inge-marler-arkansas-tea-party-richard-caster_n_1600376.html).

Let’s ignore Caster’ use of the word “retarded.”  Caster failed to note that Marler’s joke is based on a hateful myth.  Most receiving public assistance work, but make too little to make ends meet. African Americans are not the primary recipients of public assistance. Take food stamps, for instance.  Children of all races represent the largest number of recipients – 47 percent.  According to the Department of Agriculture, 41 percent of those receiving food stamps have jobs – they are the “working poor” whose serf-like wages are not adequate to pay grocery bills.   The USDA estimates that only 22 percent of food stamp recipients are African Americans.  The largest group receiving food stamps?  Whites, at 36 percent.  (About 10 percent are Hispanic.  For more on this, see http://www.factcheck.org/2012/01/newts-faulty-food-stamp-claim/)

Caster also misses the point about why people get outraged by incidents like Marler’s ignorant joke.  The controversy is not about the racism of some helpless little old lady, but of the entire Tea Party movement. 

The Tea Party claimed, not entirely without justification, a large amount of credit for the Republican Party capture of the United States House, multiple governorships and numerous state legislatures in 2010.   They are an important movement and their motives, including their racial attitudes, are fair game for public inspection. 

The accusation of Tea Party racism inspired a furious national debate in July 2010 when the NAACP national convention in Kansas City adopted a resolution that called  “on the tea party and all people of good will to repudiate the racist element and activities within the tea party.”  NAACP President Ben Jealous demanded that the Tea Party leadership, "Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take the responsibility for them and their actions.  We will no longer allow you to hide like cowards and hide behind signs that say 'Lynch Our President' or anyone else." 


He's not going to take it anymore: In 2010, NAACP President Ben Jealous demanded that Tea Party leaders "expel the bigots and the racists in your ranks."  (Photo from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0714/Nasty-tea-party-NAACP-racism-feud-Who-s-right). 

Tea Party figures exploded with fury against charges of intolerance. The St. Louis Tea Party responded with a resolution of its own the same month.  In part, the resolution read:

“Whereas, it is a hallmark of America that we settle our disputes civilly and avoid the gutter tactic of attempting to silence opponents by inflammatory name-calling, and
Whereas the very term ‘racist’ has diminished meaning due to its overuse by political partisans including members of the NAACP, and

Whereas, the NAACP had an opportunity to preserve some semblance of legitimacy by standing up for Ken Gladney, the victim of a vicious racist battery conducted by a black avowed communist, even labeling him an ‘Uncle Tom’, but chose instead to use the opportunity to mock the St. Louis Tea Party, and

Whereas, the NAACP has refused to denounce the New Black Panther's call to murder white cops and their babies, and

Whereas, the NAACP does its entire membership a grave disservice by hypocritically engaging in the very conduct it purports to oppose,

Now therefore be it resolved that the St. Louis Tea Party condemns the NAACP for lowering itself to the dishonorable position of a partisan political attack dog organization  . . .”   (For more, see http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0714/Nasty-tea-party-NAACP-racism-feud-Who-s-right/(page)/2 and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/13/naacp-resolution-condemni_n_644302.html

The St. Louis Tea Party did the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy proud, linking the NACCP with communism for its supposed failure to respond to an isolated assault by a marginal black Marxist attacking a conservative African American, and to the microscopic New Black Panther Party that is spotted in the United States less often than UFOs.   Setting aside the diversionary tactics of the  St. Louis Tea Partiers, the accusations of racism have not been fabricated have thin air and the charges are not inspired by pure partisanship.  The actions and the words of the Tea Party itself condemn the movement as bigoted.   Marler’s joke and her audience’s approving reaction are only the lily-white tip of a big, sheet-wearing iceberg.

The Tea Party is certainly not the only highly segregated institution in the United States.  Take the Republican Party, for example.  Or, sadly, most churches.  Or, almost six decades after the Brown v. Board school desegregation case, most public schools, colleges and universities.  But the Tea Party is one of the most Jim Crowed political movements in America. 

About 80 percent of Tea Partiers are non-Hispanic whites, according to a 2010 Gallup study in 2010 (as opposed to 64 percent in the general population).  Only six percent are African American (compared to 12.6 percent in the general population).   More important than the monochromatic nature of the Tea Party, however, are the antebellum beliefs and racial language of the Tea Party rank and file.  

According to the 2010 Gallup study already cited, only 35 percent of white Tea Partiers said they thought blacks were “hardworking”  (in distinction to a still appalling low 55 percent of the general white population that does) and only 45 percent said that African Americans were “intelligent” (compared to 59 percent of the wider white population.)   Such beliefs – that blacks are not as smart as white people and they seek to avoid responsibility – lay at the heart of Marler’s joke.  (For more on Tea Party demographics, see http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0714/Nasty-tea-party-NAACP-racism-feud-Who-s-right .  For more on the NAACP resolution and the angry Tea Party response, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/13/naacp-resolution-condemni_n_644302.html).

As noted in a previous post (“Those White GOP Voters In Alabama and Mississippi at http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/03/republican-racism-example-35-those.html) about 21 percent of the white members of the Tea Party-dominated GOP in Alabama believe that interracial marriage should be illegal and 29 percent – almost one third – in Mississippi think so-called “miscegenation” should be banned.  About 45 percent of the largely Tea Party supporting white Republicans in Alabama incorrectly believe that President Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim, white a majority (52 percent) in Mississippi hold on to this racist myth.


<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> Racist signs such as the one above, calling President Barack Obama a "monkey," have been commonplace at Tea Party rallies, despite the furious denials of movement leaders who that the hundreds of such pictures are faked.  When reality is unpleasant, the Tea Party believes just deny it.  Unpleasant facts will disappear down the Orwellian memory hole. (Photo from http://likeawhisper.wordpress.com/anti-obama-protest-signs/).    

Tea Party signs and t-shirts have abounded with depictions as President Obama as an ape. A one-time leader of the movement, Mark Williams of the Tea Party Express, posted on his blog a “satirical” letter in which “coloreds” complained to President Abraham Lincoln about emancipation because “slavery had been a great gig.”   According to the New York Daily News:

“In the voice of slaves, Williams wrote: ‘Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house.

‘We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!’


He went on to say blacks don't want taxes cut because ‘how will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn?’’  Williams became a leader of the Tea Party Federation, an umbrella group that aimed to coordinate the actions of 65 different Tea Party organizations across the country.  His Tea Party Express group was kicked out of the federation when the Express organization refused to fire Williams.” (See http://republicanracism.blogspot.com/2012/03/republican-racism-example-49-making-fun.html). 


Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams wrote a blog post that described slavery as "a good gig" for the "coloreds."  (Photo from http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-07-18/news/27070288_1_mark-williams-mosque-ground-zero).

In March 2010, Tea Party protestors shouted “nigger” at veteran civil rights campaigner and Georgia Rep John Lewis (and “faggot” and “homo” at gay Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts) as the Democratic delegation entered the U.S. Capitol to vote for President Obama’s health care reforms. Tea Partiers also spat at another black member of Congress. "I heard people saying things today I've not heard since March 15th, 1960, when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus," South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, then the House majority whip, said. "This is incredible, shocking to me." (See http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/20/90772/rep-john-lewis-charges-protesters.html).

Over and over Tea Partiers, and Republicans in general, try to pretend that people like Marler are marginal and exceptional to the conservative movement, that the Tea Party protestors calling Obama a monkey and Rep. Lewis a “nigger” don’t reflect the heart of conservatism.  But as one example after another of conservative Republican racism piles jp, that argument holds less and less water.  The whole point of modern conservatism has become to turn the clock back to the 1950s, to strip African Americans and Latinos of voting rights, and to force Mr. Lewis and others to return to the back of the bus. 



Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).
(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).
(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 
“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).
He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night’: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.