[KB] anti-immigration rhetoric

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Nov 28 17:25:02 EST 2016

Clarke Rountree: I wonder how far back this film set civil rights reforms! The country had to wait for Bull Connor to see the true villains (as opposed to BOAN's black predators). (For those who don't know, there is a scene in BOAN where a black rapist threatens a white woman, who saves her purity by leaping from a cliff.)


Using an old distinction between "propaganda" and "agitation": Movies & other art works can be _excellent_ propaganda (pre-Goebel's meaning) -- that is, they can _deepen_ and invigorate those who _already_ accept the work's ideological/theoretical premises, but they make poor _agitation_ -- i.s. reach and change those who have no prior agreement with the work's premises. In this context, BOAN undoubtedly improved the morale of racists & Klansmen, but I doubt it made any new converts to that ideology: it wouldn't have worked as agitation.

Now Wilson _did_, in fact, damage the lives of many African Americans, not by showing that film but by forcing almost _all_ Blacks out of Civil-Service positons, and before his administration many of them had achieved such positons (by getting high scores on Civil-Service tests). And on another note, he also of course dragged the U.S. into one of the most senseless wars in human history. In that connection William Jennings should be remembered not for his buffoonery in the Scopes Trial but from his principled resignation as Secretary of State when he realized that Wilson was intending to go to war (even at a time when he ran for reelection on the slogan, He kept us out of war.)


More information about the KB mailing list