12/04/2003 Add a comment
A Mississippi friend and I have an ongoing debate about whether the South bears more responsibility for racism than the North. It’s not as easy to answer as you think it is. While the South certainly bears responsibility for slavery and de jure segregation, the North’s industrial development in textile mills was built on the backs of slaves picking cotton, and Boston, among other cities, rioted when forced to integrate their largely segregated schools through busing. In Duluth, three black circus workers were hanged from a light pole on June 15, 1920, as a crowd of 10,000 looked on. A new memorial was just built, but the New York Times reports that in the rush to declare the expiation of racial guilt, students and others are noting new racial tensions, racial epithets, and the rise of Confederate flag images on bumper stickers.