Columnists
Has 'Jim Crow' come home to roost in the USA's post-Obama era?
By Henry H. Bucher, Jr., Faculty emeritus in Humanities, Austin College
Aug 10, 2019
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To even ask such a question implies that "Jim Crow" has left home. It has not! 

“Jim Crow” was the name given to local and state laws that legalized racial segregation after the Civil War, which were enforced until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In some states, not only African  Americans, but also Mexicans and Native Americans were targets of segregation. While each generation has demonstrated some progress in racial justice, passing laws does not eliminate the effects of four hundred years of slavery, occupation of Native American lands by Euro American expansion, and conflicts with Mexico.

The election of President Obama in 2008 was a sign of progress in race relations that many celebrated; but it also re-activated conservatives who first “tolerated” President Obama whom they believed would soon strengthen their position by his failure. That he won a second term energized white nationalism and its allies. It opened the door to a candidate like Donald Trump. One TV commentator, in the wake of so many recent words and actions directed against African Americans, Mexicans, women, and others, asked if our president “was getting worse,” or, he opined, are we just beginning to grasp who he has always been? 

The latter is the truth according to many who have known him and his real estate and reality TV world for the last forty years. Let us work for a USA that should not get worse, but could become what our Constitution and most of our citizens want it to be!

Henry H. Bucher, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emeritus of Humanities (1985–2019)
Chaplain Emeritus (1985-2004)