Saturday, December 17, 2011

Today -100: December 17, 1911: Of mutinous caps, block-busting, serial killers, and brief and colorless speeches

A French soldier is sentenced to death for throwing a cap at a superior officer.

A couple of days after yet another story about property-owners in Harlem getting themselves in a tizzy because a black person bought a house on a “white block,” a letter to the editor by the president of something called the Cosmopolitan Society of America suggests that those property-owners should stop their “brutal exhibition of race prejudice” and “exert themselves in unison against the undemocratic, unmanly, irrational superstition which fixes the status of a human being by the trivial accident of the color of his skin”. This is the first time I’ve seen such an opinion expressed in the NYT, which also has an editorial today supporting the use of covenants to ban blacks from certain neighborhoods (while adding that, “From their point of view the negroes are hardly to be blamed. They are taking a smart business revenge, and gaining residences removed from the neighborhoods of the shiftless, diseased, and criminal of their kind, because of the white folks’ prejudice against them.”)

It’s been nearly 6 months since I’ve seen a reference to the Atlanta Jack the Ripper. I’d actually forgotten about him, and so has the NYT, because he’s only murdering black women, but the LAT, in a brief story, reports that he’s just made his 15th attack, and 14th murder.

The Chinese revolutionaries are planning to give the vote to women.

The King’s speech was read to the Houses of Parliament before they were prorogued until February. It was “brief and colorless.” Or possibly colourless.

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