Monday, March 14, 2016

What "James Crow, Esquire" Means

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides excerpts from a blog posts and two articles about the United States' term "James Crow" (also given as "James Crow, Esquire").

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Special thanks to Rev. Al Sharpton who may have coined the term "James Crow, Esquire". And special thanks to commenters in the dailykos diary whose link is given below and for inspiring me to publish this post as a means of compiling comments and information about the term "James Crow, Esquire".

That's It. I've Had It. Stop Calling Black Folk DUMB! By moothnmellow, 2016/03/14 · 10:54
"To the person who has a rec’d list diary up this morning who said that the reason Bernie Sanders won Sunday’s Town Hall meeting was because he no longer has to compete in states with ‘low information’ voters and then proceeded to lock down on this crap by saying that older African Americans don’t have access to the internet because they don’t have computers?....

You folk don’t want to discuss the candidates. Oh no.
You folk want to win at all costs — even if that means tearing down relationships and making sweeping indictments on the intellect of whole groups of people just because they don’t agree with your choices.

And you wonder why Trump is leading the Republicans?
I know this. I’m going to be fine regardless of what happens in this country. If black folk can survive slavery, Jim Crow and James Crow, we will survive a Trump Presidency if he gets in.
Others of you who have not had the privilege of walking in my shoes, I’m not so sure.

And I voted for Bernie Sanders, okay?
Italics were added by me to highlight that sentence.

"rec’d list diary"- recommended reading list (as per the recommendations of a certain amount of that forum's members)
-Selected comments from that dailykos diary -
pollwatcher Mar 14 · 11:06:29 AM
"What's James Crow? I'm an old white guy, but I've never been to keen on dividing people into "cultures" since I don't seem to relate to any "culture". I even googled it but couldn't find much. Would you mind helping me out a bit?"

lordcopper - pollwatcher Mar 14 · 11:08:29 AM
"James Crow is a more polished relative of “Jim Crow”."

smoothnmellow - lordcopper Mar 14 · 11:25:05 AM
"Yup. The 2016 version.

As we see clearly playing out on the GOP side today."

polecat - lordcopper Mar 14 · 11:54:10 AM
The word you’re looking for is “Genteel”.

Wisper - pollwatcher Mar 14 · 12:05:20 PM
"On the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington*, Al Sharpton made the reference
"We come as the children of Dr. King to say that we are going to face Jim Crow's son," Sharpton said. "Because he had a son called James Crow, Jr., Esquire.
“James Crow, Jr, Esquire” is the term used for the subtler forms of oppression like Voter ID laws, Stand Your Ground, the SCOTUS eviscerating the VRA and Affirmative Action.

Here is an article from The Atlantic titled: The Strange Career of James Crow, Esquire" [hyperlink]*

pollwatcher - Wisper Mar 14 · 12:34:31 PM
"Thanks. I figured it was subtle Jim Crow, but was hoping for a more detailed explanation. The article is excellent."
The 50th Anniversary of MLK’s March on Washington was held in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 2013.

An excerpt from that The Atlantic article is found below.

Pancocojams Editor:
While it's true that civil rights activist and television host & commentator the Reverend Al Sharpton referred to James Crow, Esquire at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, he used that referent at least ten years earlier in his remarks at Rosa Park's funeral in 2005:

"Speaking at the funeral of Rosa Parks Wednesday, the Reverend Al Sharpton connected the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s to the struggles that are taking place today. [includes rush transcript]
Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking Nov. 2nd, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan.

AMY GOODMAN: Like many of the speakers at Rosa Parks’s funeral, the Reverend Al Sharpton connected the civil rights struggles to the struggles taking place today.

REV. AL SHARPTON:....I heard somebody say Jim Crow is who she [Rosa Parks] fought, and Jim Crow is still around, but Jim Crow is old. That’s not who I’m mindful of today. The problem is that Jim Crow has sons. The one we’ve got to battle is James Crow, Jr., Esquire. He’s a little more educated. He’s a little slicker. He’s a little more polished. But the results are the same. He doesn’t put you in the back of the bus. He just puts referendums on the ballot to end affirmative action where you can’t go to school. He doesn’t call you a racial name, he just marginalizes your existence. He doesn’t tell you that he’s set against you, he sets up institutional racism, when you have a nation respond looking for weapons in Iraq that are not there, but can’t see a hurricane in Louisiana that is there."...

Here are two other referents to "James Crow" or "James Crow, Esquire" that I found in online articles:
From Sharpton: We must defeat ‘James Crow, Jr., Esquire’
By Aaron Blake August 28, 2013 
"The Rev. Al Sharpton said at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Wednesday that African Americans are still dealing with the legacy of Jim Crow -- in the form of Voter ID laws and over-bearing police.

"We come as the children of Dr. King to say that we are going to face Jim Crow's son," Sharpton said. "Because he had a son called James Crow, Jr., Esquire."

Sharpton noted Voter ID laws being passed in state legislatures that minority groups argue are aimed at suppressing African Americans votes.

"He writes voting suppression laws and puts it in language that looks different, but the results are the same," Sharpton said.

Sharpton also referred to New York City's so-called "stop and frisk" policy, which a judge recently halted after finding it racially discriminatory, and the "stand your ground" laws that were at issue in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case.

"I'm come to tell you, just like our mothers and fathers beat Jim Crow, we will beat James Crow Jr., Esquire," Sharpton said."

From The Strange Career of James Crow, Esquire

After the Supreme Court razed the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Jim Crow came skulking back to the South.

by William Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Feb 4, 2016
"One hundred and fifteen years ago, George H. White took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives—to say goodbye. A black Republican elected in 1896 by North Carolina’s Fusion Party, a coalition of black Republicans and mostly white Populists, he was the very last of the Reconstruction-era African Americans to leave Congress. It would be another 72 years before an African American from the South, with help from the 1965 Voting Rights Act, would circumvent Jim Crow and win a seat in Congress.

The “strange career of Jim Crow,” as chronicled by the historian C. Vann Woodward, supplanted White and the coalition he represented. Popular memory likes to imagine that Jim Crow’s career ended in the 1960s as abruptly as White’s had in 1901. But proceedings in a federal courtroom in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, over the last few weeks make it clear that Jim Crow did not retire: He went to law school and launched a second career. Meet James Crow, Esquire...

America’s Second Reconstruction—what is usually referred to as the “civil-rights movement”—pushed back against Jim Crow half a century later by exposing the moral contradiction of segregation, especially in the context of a global struggle for democracy. After the world witnessed Bull Connor’s dogs and George Wallace’s vitriol, Jim Crow was exposed as a thug and lost his respectability in Washington. Once again, it was a fusion of black and white, Christian and Jew, civil rights and labor coming together that presented the possibility of a new America. But it was also a fear of that possibility that inspired a racist backlash.

This time, Jim Crow got smarter. As in the 1890s, it was essential to exploit racial fear through divide-and-conquer tactics to maintain white supremacy. But the harsh language of states like Alabama didn’t play as well on the nightly news. The Southern strategy, which had given the South to the Republican Party for a generation, depended on a more respectable compromise between the South’s power structure and the rest of the country’s ruling elite. So Jim Crow learned the lexicon of “forced-busing,” “entitlements,” and “law and order.” And all the while, Crow attacked the Voting Rights Act as a violation of “states’ rights.”...

RELATED LINKS "Knock Jim Crow" - The REAL Origin Of The Dance Song "Jump Jim Crow"

** "What John Crow Means In Jamaica

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