An Uncomfortable Comfort in Modern America


  • Rhett Hardwick

    I believe it is noteworthy that Justice Thomas is from the South. I have very dim memories of the last days of Jim Crow. I am sure that blacks were having their civil rights denied left and right, but I was too young to comprehend,. There were embarrassing moments, I could never understand why black men walked in the gutter if I was on the sidewalk,. This was the late 50’s, early 60’s. There was a modus vivendi that had developed. My family would regularly converse with blacks, enquire about their children and know their names. But, never socialized. Certainly there were “sit ins” and marches, but not usually accompanied by violence as we know it today. My father would refer to Martin Lucifer King. Contrary to the movies, the “n-word” was rarely used, “colored(s)” being much preferred. I continue to note that race riots below the Mason-Dixon seem to be rare. They seem mostly to occur in the Northern cities, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, etc. I do recall that there was a significant race riot in the South prior to WWII, I cannot easily recall precisely where (Kansas City?), or it’s cause. Of course, the 1930’s was a bad time for everyone,. I know several; black families from further South, Cotton Country. They all seem successful and well adjusted, teachers, skilled craftsmen, etc. They have family reunions to pick cotton on their farms. Most of that is done by Mexicans these days,. All is not perfect, Richmond has become a “murder capital” although it is seldom thought of.