Archive for the ‘The Color Line’ Category

A Book Review of An Obama-Inspired State of Mind by Donald Jonz

December 16th, 2015

This book presents an imaginary dialogue between two Black intellectuals. In seven chapters, two men argue over issues of interest to African Americans. The topics are a series of dichotomies that the author (an attorney, judge, and law-school professor) selected in order to highlight opposing views within the A-A community. If you seek material to argue A-A issues, this is the book to buy. But if you are an individualist, the book will not interest you.

A Book Review of Finding Octave by Nick Douglas

December 7th, 2013

Finding Octave by Nick Douglas is a courageous and painstaking book that blends genealogy, historical analysis, and personal introspection into an important work. It will be useful to genealogists, fascinating to history buffs and, with any luck, informative to the great majority of Americans, Black and otherwise, who were never taught the history of “race” in the United States,

Mainstream Media uses “White” to Denote Whatever They Want

June 15th, 2013

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” — Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol

New Blog Launched on Armed Citizens and the Justice System

June 5th, 2012

Backintyme announces the launch of a new blog on the topic of Armed Citizens and the Justice System. Please visit it. Feel free to leave comments.

Recipe for Turning a Thug Into a Martyr: First Steal a Bag of Skittles

March 26th, 2012

The 911 calls began flooding in at 7:15 PM on 26 Feb 2012. A man was screaming, “Help! Help!” over and over. The screams were so bone-chilling that only two of the many callers looked outside to see the cause. The rest told the dispatchers that they were too frightened to look.

How Much of the European Contribution to the African-American Genome Comes From Females?

January 10th, 2012

Some African Americans have few European DNA markers and some have many; but overall, about 17 percent of the collective African-American gene pool comes from Europe. What fraction of that 17 percent comes from European females? Can DNA tell? The short answer is “no”.

Sarah Palin and Paul Revere

August 6th, 2011

The mainstream media (MSM) continue to ridicule and villify Sarah Palin for saying that Paul Revere also warned the British. Palin is factually accurate.

The Origins of the U.S. Color Line (Video)

December 15th, 2010

I just added four new animated cartoon lectures to my Youtube channel. They comprise a four-part series on the origin of the U.S. endogamous color line in the late 17-century Chesapeake.

The U.S. Black/White Net-Worth Gap (E8)

July 18th, 2010

This essay presents little-known, recently uncovered facts about the U.S. Black/White net-worth gap: It has been worsening at an accelerating rate for four decades. It is unrelated to income, lack of generational nest egg, overall inequality, depreciating homes, or single families. It is related to higher interest rates (which are caused by loan higher default rates). It may possibly be related to supporting poor relatives or to some aspect of oppositional culture.

A Brief History of Census “Race” (E4)

June 3rd, 2010

The U.S. federal census was founded to apportion congressional representation among the states. In order to achieve additional goals, it switched in 1850 from recording households in summary, to recording individuals in detail. It became self-administered in 1960 to reduce costs. It has always been a political instrument of the administration in power. Today, the census encourages identity politics and so wavers between the goal of capturing “race” as a form of ethnic self-identity, and the equally desired but conflicting goal of capturing “race” as involuntary physical trait.

Slavery and the “Race” Notion (E11)

May 20th, 2010

A question often asked by folks interested in the history of the “race” notion is why Northern Whites fought for a “race” that they considered inferior. The answer is that they did no such thing. A mirror-image question is why Southerners fought to preserve slavery when so many of them were biracial. Again, the two issues are skewed.

The Rate of Black-to-White Passing (C5)

May 10th, 2010

Shows several ways to compute the 0.10-0.14 percent per year rate at which European-looking youngsters born into the African-American community switch their self-identity from “Black,” to “White” or “Hispanic” after high school. Session C5 of a series of molecular anthropology topics discussed in lectures on “The Study of Racialism.”

African-American Ethnicity in the Antebellum North (C13)

May 1st, 2010

The imposition of an endogamous color line eventually led to the synthesis of a unique ethno-cultural community in the Jacksonian Northeast. Session C13 of a series of topics on the history of the U.S. color line discussed in lectures on “The Study of Racialism.”

Slurs and Falsifiability

April 9th, 2010

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Those words were spoken by a lawyer friend, who disputed my reluctant conclusion that claims by congressmen André Carson of Indiana, Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri and John Lewis of Georgia of being verbally assaulted with ethnic slurs in front of the Capitol on March 20, 2010 are factually inaccurate.

African-Americans Also “Shoot Up Schools”

September 7th, 2009

According to President Obama’s (now resigned) “green policy” advisor Van Jones, “Only suburban white kids shoot-up schools.”

The “Race” Notion’s Role in Ethnic Assimilation (E9)

July 11th, 2009

Most of us realize that only so-called White folks have historically enjoyed the full privileges of U.S. citizenship. And most of us know that the definition of “White” has widened over the centuries. But grasping these points does not avoid all historical pitfalls.

Melungeons, Redbones, and other U.S. Maroons (E3)

May 28th, 2009

Describes the many triracial communities that have lived scattered throughout the U.S. southeast since colonial times. Session E3 of a series of contemporary issues topics on “The Study of Racialism.”

The Heredity of “Racial” Traits (C3)

May 26th, 2009

Explains how the features that determine U.S. “racial” classification are inherited. Session C3 of a series of molecular anthropology topics.

Why the Racist Bias in Mainstream Media?

April 28th, 2009

The mainstream media routinely concoct lies about White-on-Black racism. On the other hand, the media condone an epidemic of Black-on-Black teen murders. Profit motive does not explain the bias. Hatred does.

The U.S. Black/White Color Line

August 15th, 2008

The United States is the only nation on earth that has preserved for over three centuries a genetically discontinuous enclave of mostly African ancestry within a larger population of European ancestry. The phenomenon demands study.

The Black/White Test-Score Gap (E2)

September 1st, 2007

Few “racial” issues are as politically charged as the U.S. Black/White test-score gap. Over the past two decades, scientists have amassed a wealth of data about the phenomenon. And yet despite their findings, many American political and academic leaders continue to ignore reality and espouse counterproductive solutions to non-existent problems based on discredited theories. Conservatives claim that the gap is caused by the childhood peer pressure of Black oppositional culture. The evidence contradicts this notion. Liberals claim that it is due to class differences. The evidence contradicts this also. Many on both sides insist that the gap is at least partly genetic. This notion has been the most thoroughly demolished of all. The U.S. Black/White test-score gap is a topic where facts are ignored by powerless and powerful alike, by unlearned and academics alike, and by conservatives and liberals alike. The only people who admit to being baffled by the phenomenon are scientists who have spent years studying it. Here are the known facts about the U.S. Black/White test-score gap for those more interested in reality than in ideology.

Timeline of U.S. B/W “Racial” Determination

July 1st, 2007

U.S. racialism is dichotomous. You are legally either White or Black with no in-between. But real people are culturally and biologically continuous. Millions of Americans have grandparents of both cultures, and millions more have DNA markers from both Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. How has the U.S. legal system resolved the contradiction in order to decide whether a person of dual heritage is White or Black?

Myths Across the Color Line

May 1st, 2007

In this context, “myths” are counterfactual beliefs taught to the young in order to exemplify social standards that they will be expected to follow in adulthood. The U.S. endogamous color line is a rich source of such myths, believed by African Americans and non-Blacks alike. Ten color-line myths follow. Some come in two versions: Black and White.

The Trouble With “Racism”

April 8th, 2007

This essay is about the word itself. Like a once-sharp tool ruined by misuse, it has become too blunted for intellectual discourse.

Why Did Virginia’s Rulers Invent a Color Line?

November 1st, 2005

Why was the endogamous color line invented in the Chesapeake and nowhere else? Why was it invented at the turn of the eighteenth century and not before nor after? This essay presents several theories. It Was a “Divide and Conquer” Tactic suggests that it was a deliberately calculated solution to a unique problem of: too few yeomen, too many European laborers, and too little time. Other Voices presents a collection of alternative theories including: fair-skinned people have an instinctive loathing for those with dark skin tone, people of certain religions or cultures were taught to reject Africans, and it was related to the numbers of European women.

The Color Line Created African-American Ethnicity in the North

August 1st, 2005

This essay traces the emergence of African-American ethnicity and the subsequent evolution of the color line in five topics: Origins of African-American Ethnicity explains how the imposition of a unique endogamous color line eventually led to the synthesis of a unique ethno-cultural community in the Jacksonian Northeast. African-American Ethnic Traits outlines the customs of the Black Yankee ethnic group to show that they gave birth to many of today’s Black traditions. The Integration versus Separatism Pendulum introduces a debate that has occupied Black political leaders since colonial times. The Color Line in the North contrasts the harsh enforcement of the intermarriage barrier in the free states with the more permeable systems of the lower South (as presented in the preceding three essays). The National Color Line’s Rise and Fall concludes this section on the endogamous color line by presenting two graphs. The first shows that which side of the endogamous color line you were on was most hotly contested in U.S. courts between 1840 and 1869. The second shows that the color line grew abruptly stronger during Reconstruction, was at its harshest during Jim Crow, and began to recover only around 1980.

Features of Today’s Endogamous Color Line

July 1st, 2005

In order to grasp just how unusual is America’s endogamous color line, consider it abstractly. Many newcomers to the United States, especially Hispanics, find it astonishing that an endogamous community of apparently African appearance has somehow perpetuated itself (or has been perpetuated) in North America for over three centuries, despite Africans having been a demographic minority. Such a thing happened nowhere else on the planet. America’s color line (and its consequent one-drop rule) is a puzzle. It is self-contradictory and counterfactual, and yet many Americans believe it with intensity. It was invented just four centuries ago and has shifted over the years, and yet many think of it as eternal and unchanging. It is based on the assumption that White Americans have no recent African ancestry, and yet, as explained in the essay Afro-European Genetic Admixture in the United States, DNA studies show without doubt that White Americans, like all other New World populations, are a mix of European, Native American, and, yes, African ancestry. The phenomenon cries out for historical explanation.

Barbadian South Carolina: A Class-Based Color Line

June 1st, 2005

This essay introduces the first of four societies, within what became the United States, whose color-line customs differed from the mainstream—Barbadian South Carolina. It presents three topics. The Rule of Socioeconomic Class explains that antebellum South Carolina lacked a rule of blood fraction but used a rule of socioeconomic class instead. A Permeable, Shifted Color Line shows that it was acceptable for wealthy White adults to have a Black parent, and that some swarthy White South Carolinians might have been seen as Black elsewhere in the United States. An Echo of Barbados suggests that South Carolina’s unique color line had been adapted from the Barbadian color line.

No Color Line in Spanish Florida

February 1st, 2005

This essay introduces one of four societies, within what became the United States, whose color line customs differed from the mainstream—Spanish Florida. It is presented in three topics: Echoes of Spain and Latin America traces the lack of an endogamous color line to Latin American and, ultimately, to Spanish customs. Legal Policy Regarding Afro-Hispanic Colonists shows how the state inadvertently encouraged people to switch “racial” identities by attempting unsuccessfully to impose an endogamous barrier. Society Changed When Americans Arrived narrates the transition from Spanish to Anglo-American laws and customs.

The Invention of the Color Line: 1691

January 1st, 2005

This essay explains, in three topics, when, where, and how America’s endogamous color line was invented. The Years Before the Color Line was Invented describes colonial life before the turn of the eighteenth century. It shows that colonists of African and European ancestries mingled and married within each of the three rigid social classes: forced laborers, shopkeepers/artisans, and planters. The Transition Period narrates events in and around the Chesapeake leading up to the 1691 law, the first in history to outlaw Afro-European intermarriage. The Spread of the New Color Line describes the aftermath as punishments for violating the 1691 law became increasingly harsher, and similar laws were passed in subsequent generations throughout British North America.

Antebellum Louisiana and Alabama: Two Color Lines, Three Endogamous Groups

October 15th, 2004

This essay introduces two out of the four societies, within what became the United States, whose color-line customs differed from the mainstream—Alabama and Louisiana. The other two were South Carolina and Florida. Alabama and Louisiana had two mildly endogamous color lines separating three groups: White, Colored, and Black. Both regions could trace their color line traditions to French colonies in general and to Haiti in particular. They are presented in three topics: English-Speaking Alabama describes an English-speaking three-caste society. French-speaking Louisiana depicts the better known Colored Creole society. An Echo of Haiti summarizes the origins of these cultures.

How the Law Decided if You Were Black or White: The Early 1800s

August 11th, 2004

This essay introduces the three legal rules that emerged in the early 1800s for deciding if you were a member of the Black endogamous group or a member of the White endogamous group: physical appearance, blood fraction, and association. It comprises three topics: Slavery Depended on Matrilineal Descent, Not on the Color Line shows that endogamous group membership neither affected nor was affected by slave status. Slave status was decided by a different rule entirely: the rule of matrilineal descent. The Color Line Became Legally Important Around 1800 explains why it became increasingly necessary for courts to decide whether someone was White or Black. At first, it was only to decide where the burden of proof fell in slavery cases, but state legislatures soon passed dozens of laws requiring distinctions across the color line. Physical Appearance, Blood Fraction, Association presents with examples, the strengths and weaknesses of each of the three rules that were applied in court.