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"It's why we have Trump" (...so we can discriminate at will)

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knothead wrote:
2seaoat wrote:Bob and I would talk for hours on Panama City where he would go with his cousin and enjoy the rollercoaster and amusement park.   I actually went there when they would run power poles fifty feet out in the surf off the beach.  Part of his enjoyment of the pinball machines was based on his youth in Panama City.  There were NO black people on those beaches or PB in the fifties.  I too did not regularly stop at PB until the early 70s, but the changes were going to clash with black kids from mobile enjoying the beach like white kids had for thirty years.  As long as the beaches stay basically lily white they were strong economically.  Some of the complaints about the boardwalk center around the same debate.  Dollars and cents always win.

I agree . . . . blacks were not welcomed on PB because of fears of negative impacts on the bottom lines of businesses . . . . . I was once stuck on a train in East Chicago (Gary) and starving so I walked into a burger joint, chicken joint . . . whatever and we were the only whites there . . . . I felt like one of the Blues Brothers walking into an all black club . . . the hostility was palpable.

When I was a little kid I thought Florida had some "whites only" law or something, because I never saw any black people. We'd go to Pensacola Beach for a couple of weeks in the summer, and then on spring break, and all through the 70's and most of the 80's I only remember seeing one black person the whole time -- it was a guy who was walking around with a white girl at Fort Pickens. I only noticed it because about half the people I saw in Mississippi were black, and we'd get to Pensacola and... nobody, just white folks, so just seeing that one guy was event. The lack of black people was weird to me, even when I was a little kid. I don't know the causes of it or how sinister it was -- if it was actually some racist thing Pensacola enforced, or if black people just didn't choose it as a vacation spot at the time, or what, but, it was strange.

The early 70's were strange all over the South. The racism was creating an atmosphere that hurt everybody. If you treat people badly, you get to fear them. Whites just didn't seem to understand that back in the 70's... but, man, were they paranoid.

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I am 65 and can tell you three examples of Jim Crow as a child which was very confusing.  Young children do not understand men and women's bathrooms.  Our house had one bathroom and everybody used it.   So right when I was getting used to understanding the two bathrooms my grandparents took me to feed the swans with bags of bread crumbs.  I needed to use the bathroom, and there were four bathrooms.  I was baffled.  My grandfather took me to the white only bathroom.  I asked a great many questions, and none of it made any sense to a child.

The second most memorable example was my drinking out of the wrong drinking fountain in a department store in North Birmingham where my aunt yelled at me because this old direct spout with a bowl had a sign which said colored, and there was this new refrigerated drinking fountain which was whites only.  She lifted me up to get a drink and explained the signs.  I was baffled.   When something does not make a bit of sense to a kid.......there is usually a reason.  

The final event was in the mid sixties and again I was in about sixth grade swimming in the North Birmingham pool in the summer of 64 with my three girl cousins and my brother.   Some black kids came into the fenced in pool area and jumped into the pool.  It was not big deal to me because after my father died, my mother had kept us at  a Y summer camp in fifth and sixth grade until school started.   I swam with black kids all of the time.  It was nothing, but all the white people got out of the pool, including my cousin.  Dumb and dumber kept swimming because we had not been taught deJure Jim Crow.  The stares from white parents were piercing.   My aunt and uncle never demanded we get out of the pool, but after about five minutes of uncomfortable silence people started leaving the pool and my uncle said it was time to go.

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