Oh, what’s this?

From today’s Houston Chronicle:

Fifteen incarcerated men who claim they were sent to prison by confessions that were beaten, burned and tortured out of them by convicted Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge and his officers are getting some high-profile help — including from a former Illinois governor….

Burge’s name has become synonymous with police abuse in the nation’s third-largest city, and more than 100 men — most of them African-American and Latino — have alleged Burge and his men tortured them from the 1970s to the 1990s.

What’s this? Institutional racism wasn’t just a phenomenon peculiar to the South? The hell you say! Why, to hear some people tell it, such a thing existed pretty much exclusively in the South until those enlightened Northerners showed up in 1861 and fought it right out of us over the next 130 years or so.

I don’t mean to say that racism doesn’t exist here. To do such a thing would be pretty stupid. But so many people seem to like to pretend it doesn’t exist anywhere north of Kentucky, and anyone who’s been paying attention knows that’s a load of crap. In fact, I remember reading Larry Elder’s The Ten Things You Can’t Say In America, and he discussed this very thing in at least one of the chapters of his book. Elder recalled a conversation with a black man who lived in Chicago after a time in the southern United States, and this man basically said the only difference between the racist Northerners and the racist Southerners was that the racist Northerners were more subtle in their racism; they didn’t post signs in front of their establishments saying “No Blacks Allowed,” but their attitudes toward blacks were overwhelmingly negative just as they were in the South. And it might have been more common in the South, but cross-burnings and lynchings happened up there just like they did down here. And we don’t do ourselves any favors by glossing over that.

(Previous thoughts on Burge may be found here and here.)


2 Responses to “Oh, what’s this?”

  1. AeroDillo Says:

    Can’t say as I ever understood this one. I’ve argued the point with a friend north of the Mason-Dixon before; for a free-thinking individual they’ve certainly bought hook, line, and sinker the popular media notion that the South hasn’t changed a whit since Reconstruction and Jim Crow and that the North is now and has always been a racially harmonious haven.

    This usually overlooking the not-inconsequential presence of the KKK and various neo-fascist groups elsewhere in the U.S. Specifically in those states that didn’t secede in ’61.

    Like Illinois nazis.

    …I hate Illinois nazis.

  2. southtexaspistolero Says:

    …I hate Illinois nazis.

    Larfin’ my arse off here, boss. Love that movie!

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