Black People : My Experience at the Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Destee, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Hello Family,

    I am currently visiting in Springfield, IL with my Family. This is home for me, where i grew up and the majority of my Family resides. I've not lived here for more than 20 years, residing in Alabama since i was a young adult.

    This past Saturday we attended a St. Patrick's Day Parade, my Destiny is a Girl Scout and her troop was in it. As i viewed the crowd, i could not help but notice that most of the Black men were with White women. If they weren't with White women, they had children of such unions in tow. I could count on one hand the Black men that i saw with Black women or children.

    Anyway, as we stood on the corner watching the parade start, i noticed a White woman in front of us who had about 6 children with her. Three appeared to be White and three appeared to be racially mixed (Black/White). There were White folk all around and the children were scrambling to get the candy being tossed to them. These 6 children may have been a bit more aggressive in getting the candy, as children will do ... and this old, crippled up White woman, who was sitting in a chair in front of us ... said something to those 6 children, obviously negative ... because the White woman that was with them responded loudly, by saying ... "My kids are just being kids getting the candy too, and they have a right to be out here having fun. You just have a problem with us because my kids are mixed." The old, crippled up White woman responded by saying ... "They aint mixed, they're White and ni**er."

    I couldn't believe what i heard! I said, "Did you say ni**er?!" ... she said yeah, i said it. I was in shock. I couldn't believe what i was hearing. It took a moment for my mind to receive this. It was like my mind, body, and soul ... in slow motion ... absorbed this. As it did, the anger grew. I started talking loud and stuff, simply going on and on about how i could not believe she just called those children ni**ers. The White folk surrounding me, would not even look my way, i know they could hear me. This old, crippled up White woman was sitting in a chair directly in front of me, with her back to me ... and i just kept talking ... i said, how are you gonna say ni**er with your back turned to folk? Do you know i could hit you in the head with this bottle and kill you dead, run, and no one would ever know who did it (i didn't have a bottle). I said that's why you're all crippled up and stuff right now ... can only enjoy a parade sitting down ... low down and dirty. She never turned around to look at me or respond. I was just so flustered. I looked for a police officer, i wanted her arrested or something, but there was none in site. I don't believe any White person, in my life, has ever said "ni**er" where i could hear it.

    The White woman with the 6 children, came over to me, because everyone could hear me talking ... and she asked, "Did she call you a ni**er?" ... i said no, she called your children ni**ers. This White woman went off too, saying, "Oh, i didn't know that." She went over to her, just a couple of steps, and defended her children by saying something ... but at that point it was really all a blur to me ... i was still in shock.

    By this time, my Destiny's Girl Scout troop was passing where i stood, and i wanted to scream her name and follow her along the parade route ... so i did that, leaving that spot.

    This was a bright, beautiful, Saturday afternoon in the heart of downtown, in the capital city of IL ... during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade ... 2004.

    Just wanted to share.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  2. Akilah

    Akilah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What a shame....

    Destee,

    I need to be getting off this computer to get ready for work, but I just wanted to say how awful that situation was. It is always a shock when
    you have the misfortune of hatred practically staring you in the face.
    I'm just glad that WE had you there my Sister to vocally battle and rebuke this evil for all to hear and see (even if they didn't appear to be looking) .
    I hope the rest of the day spent with your family was wonderful and in some part made up for that old battle axe's filthy nonsense.

    Many Blessings,
    Akilah :spinstar:
     
  3. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Destee.....what can I say sister?

    I am originally from Illinois, and I know it is a pretty racist state, particularly outside of Chicago. But even in Chicago there are neighborhoods like Cicero where it isn't unusual for blacks to be attacked. Sister don't assume that just because someone is old that they are sweet, kind, wise, and deserving of respect. For all you know she could have been a Klansman's widow. Her actions certainly reflected her as such, you would have been waiting forever for an apology.....so why bother. Also keep in mind that you were at a St. Pats day parade not an African American parade. This could account for all the inter-racial couples, and the attitudes you encountered. She probably figured this day isn't for you anyway. Although you were there for your daughter...in some ways she might have been right.
     
  4. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Hello Sister Akilah ... yes ... the rest of the day was great! I had a wonderful time at the parade, other than that. Screaming and yelling my Destiny's name, shouting "Girl Scouts Rock," walking all along the way with my Destiny (embarrassing and making her smile with my screaming). She had a great time, we all did. Later that night, i went out with my Brother and 2 of his friends ... oh my gosh ... oh my goodness ... whew ... one of them friends of his ... oh my goodness ... too fine for words! ... such a gentleman, so nice, oh my goodness ... i think i'm in love! ... :wink: ... Yes Sister, the rest of the day was great! Actually, this entire visit has been wonderful, much needed rejuvenation.

    Brother Pan ... as i was standing with friends at the parade, i talked about how my Mother never brought us to this parade. I grew up here, and this was the first time i'd attended it. So yeah, i guess you're right, the parade aint for us.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  5. kente417mojo

    kente417mojo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Some people are just ignorant. She was probably racist and also mad because she was crippled and couldn't run and get some candy like those kids. O well, her bad. Anyone who talks of children in that way deserves to sit there crippled and grumpy. That was cool that you put her in her place, even if she didn't turn around to you. She definately heard you and she is probably still hearing you everytime she has a racist thought. Thanks for sharing Destee.
     
  6. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    st pat's day

    Destee,
    this may sound strange, but in a way I'm glad that the incident happened in your presence. Being that you're originally from ILL and spent part of your youth in Springfield, but never experienced such OVERT rascism means that you were 'illiusioned' about your 'home town'. Now, you are 'dis-illusioned', suffering no illusions. Who was the 'old lady'? Was she a teacher, church matron, businesswoman, political officeholder or other influential person in the community? She doesn't exist in a vacuum. The fact that the whites in the vicinity said and did nothing speaks volumes, as well.
    Having spent time in the 'north' and 'south', I can now agree with those who've said the 'north' is more COVERTLY rascist. As Martin King said, 'Chicago is the most segregated city in america', after he was hit in the head with a brick in Marquette Park at the only march he participated in these parts.
    Springfield, and that whole area, has a long, hidden history of violence against Black People, especially 'uppity nigs' such as yourself, (peoria, centrailia, east st louis, etc), and it is part of your 'historical legacy'. Now that this old woman has brought it to your conscious awareness, you will notice many things in the future that shed light on the past.
     
  7. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Springfield, Illinois

    Springfield, Illinois
    'Springfield at the turn of the century was deeply divided by racial problems. While there were numerous influential blacks in this town, there were also poor sections called the "Bad Lands" and the "Levee District." These black populated areas were looked down upon by many of the whites, and it was here that a great deal of the rioting eventually took place. The riot began when a mob of angry white men gathered outside the jail and demanded 'justice" be served to two of the black prisoners, Joe James, accused of murdering Clergy Ballard in mid-July, and George Richardson, accused of "Outraging" Mabel Hallam. As the crowd grew more agitated, the police smuggled the accused out of town in Harry Loper's automobile to avoid a lynching. Upon discovering the trick, the mob began destroying Loper's place of business. As the crowd grew in size it began to overflow into the black sections of town. Before four thousand state militia could be brought out, several lynchings, lootings, beatings, and accidental deaths due to stray bullets had occurred. After the rioting died down, 107 indictments, including "riot, arson, larceny, and murder," where handed out, resulting in one conviction and one suicide. James was sentenced to death for his crime, while all charges against Richardson were dropped when Hallam admitted that she had not been attacked by a black man at all. While this is a very brief summary of the horrible events that occurred, it will hopefully serve as background information for the newspaper examined.
    The Springfield race riot had enough national impact that it indirectly resulted in the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) the following year. Prompted by the disgust of many local citizens, the establishment of the NAACP was perhaps the one good thing that emerged from the violence. But what happens when a small community today is presented with a biased point of view in the supposedly impartial press? Who are we to say that our views are not being affected by slanted information?-[From Henry B. Chamberlain, "Some Reflections on the Springfield Riot," Chicago Record-Herald, Aug. 30, 1908; James L. Croutthamel, "The Springfield Race Riot of 1908," Journal of Negro History, July 1960; Illinois State Journal, July - Aug. 1908; James Krohe, Summer of Rage; "The Lessons of Springfield," The Public, Sept. 4, 1908; "Race War in Springfield," The Public, Aug. 21, 1908; E. L. Rogers, "A Review of the Springfield Riot: The Alleged Cause and the Effect," The Colored Peoples Magazine, Feb. 1909; "The Riot at Springfield," The Outlook, Aug. 22, 1908; Roberta Senechal, Sociogenesis of a Race Riot, Springfield Illinois in 1908.]'
    http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/ihy970441.html

    http://door.library.uiuc.edu/afx/aaillini.htm Afro-Americana Bibliographic Unit African Americans in Illinois Places Other than Chicago University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    '...After a terrible race riot in Springfield, Illinois, in August 1908, an interracial group, comprised mainly of whites, but with a few prominent African Americans, met in 1909 to form an organization that was soon named the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The organizational goals were the abolition of segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement, and racial violence, particularly lynching. ...'
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart6b.html

    '...James Weldon Johnson, the famous Black writer, labeled 1919 as "The Red Summer." It was red from racial tension; it was red from bloodletting. During the summer of 1919, there were race riots in Chicago, Illinois; Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; Omaha, Nebraska; and two dozen other citizens. W.E.B. DuBois, the Black social scientist and civil rights activist, wrote: "During that year seventy-seven Negroes were lynched, of whom one was a woman and eleven were soldiers; of these, fourteen were publicly burned, eleven of them being burned alive. That year there were race riots large and small in twenty-six American cities including thirty-eight killed in a Chicago riot of August; from twenty-five to fifty in Phillips County, Arkansas; and six killed in Washington."
    The riots of 1919 were not the first or last "mass lynchings" of Blacks, as evidenced by the race riots in Wilmington, North Carolina (1898); Atlanta, Georgia (1906); Springfield, Illinois (1908); East St. Louis, Illinois (1917); Tulsa, Oklahoma (1921); and Detroit, Michigan (1943)...'
    http://www.ferris.edu/news/jimcrow/what.htm
     
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