This Week in White Supremacy (68): The forgotten civil rights protest of Claudette Colvin

Brought to you by the Equal Justice Society

  1. Phillip Atiba Goff on Twitter: “Today (March 2) is the anniversary of one of the bravest civil rights protests in U.S. history. It is also one of the most forgotten. On this date in 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin sat down in the Colored Section of a bus in Montgomery, AL–sparking the Montgomery bus boycott.”
    1. “That’s right. Nine months before Rosa Parks was arrested, a 15-year-old high school student refused to give up her seat to a White woman and her case began the organizing that would turbo-charge the civil rights movement. So, why don’t we all know her name?”
    2. “Turns out that, despite being a plaintiff in the Browder v. Gayle case that desegregated public transportation, Ms. Colvin was seen as an unappealing face for Black progress because, despite being young and idealistic, she also became pregnant, allegedly by a married man.”
    3. “Movement and community folks felt the stigma of a teen pregnancy would be bad for “the cause.” In response, Ms. Colvin’s mother told her “to be quiet about what I did. She told me to let Rosa be the one: White people aren’t going to bother Rosa, they like her.””
    4. “The result is that one of the bravest teenagers this country has ever produced is an historical curiosity rather than a celebrated figure. As Ms. Colvin says, “Young people think Rosa Parks just sat down on a bus and ended segregation, but that wasn’t the case at all.””
    5. “Still, Ms. Colvin wasn’t spared the negative consequences of her protests. Forced to leave Alabama a few years later, she had trouble maintaining employment because she was branded a troublemaker. She paid the costs, but did not receive the credit for her principles.”
    6. “However correct or incorrect the calculus was about her being the face of the boycott at the time, the result is that the country still has a hard time with “imperfect” victims.”
    7. “The legacy of PR decisions in organizing can be seen in the way we talk about injustices like mass incarceration, police misconduct, and housing inequality. We focus on low-level, non-violent drug offenders. Residents who did not commit crimes. Folks who don’t miss payments.”
    8. “But, in reality, it’s the imperfect victims that make up the mass of folks whose dignity deserves better. The world is hard on folks, and not many can lead perfect lives with limited resources. Not many can live perfect lives with limitless resources, for that matter.”
    9. “So today, on the 64th anniversary of Claudette Colvin’s protest, let’s remember her as a trail blazer. A pioneer. An astoundingly courageous civil rights leader. And a living legend. Because, yeah, she’s still with us, living in the Bronx. Right. Now.”
    10. “My hope is that, before she is taken from this earth, this nation will begin to turn the corner, and honor her the way we should have from the time she was 15, and showed more courage than the whole of the nation’s elected leaders–and most of our civil rights leaders, too.”
  2. rolandsmartin on Twitter: “WTH?!? South Carolina Fifth-Graders Told To Pick Cotton, Sing ‘Slave Song’ On School Field Trip”
  3. Walmart Is Eliminating People Greeters. Workers With Disabilities Feel Targeted : NPR
  4. George Takei on Twitter: “Lynne Patton, the black woman Mark Meadows pulled forward during the Cohen hearing, insists that her boss Donald Trump does not see color in hiring. There is a reason for this, actually. Almost everyone Trump has hired is white.”
  5. Immigrant children detained: Infants as young as five months old are being detained by ICE, groups claims – CBS News
  6. Ava DuVernay on Twitter: “Not thugs. Not wilding. Not criminals. Not even the Central Park Five. They are Korey, Antron, Raymond, Yusef, Kevin. They are millions of young people of color who are blamed, judged and accused on sight. May 31. A film in four parts about who they really are. WHEN THEY SEE US.…”
  7. The Root on Twitter: “A white woman called the police after a dog belonging to a black man humped her dog in a way she deemed inappropriate”
  8. Phillip Atiba Goff on Twitter: “Liberal academia at work again…… ” => Daniel Biss on Twitter: “THREAD: A weird story about @UChicago, @HarrisPolicy, and right-wing dark money organizations.” => “This training isn’t an extra-curricular activity or something. It’s a required part of a for-credit course, being taught by a right-wing operative who @UChicago is paying to do this.”
  9. Forrest Stuart on Twitter: “Quick update on the American Dream: Black homeownership “fell to 43 percent in 2017, virtually erasing all of the gains made since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, landmark legislation outlawing housing discrimination.”
  10. Glenn Funk Apologizes for College Frat Photo With Confederate Flag
  11. SafetyPin-Daily on Twitter: “ICE Says 28 Women Potentially Miscarried In Custody Over The Past Two Years |Via Bustle ”
  12. Diane Amato on Twitter: “Oh you mean Esther Jones?… (Betty Boop character stolen from Cotton Club singer Esther Jones)”
  13. Qasim Rashid, Esq. on Twitter: “This is a high school in Belgium where the kids dress as apparently Arabs(?), mocking Muslims & Islam, mocking prayer, & wearing a “bomb belt.” The racism & xenophobia is so ingrained that not one student or teacher sees why this is horribly wrong”
  14. Border aid volunteers sentenced to 15 months of probation, must pay fines – Arizona Republic
  15. Phillip Atiba Goff on Twitter: “Cannot understand inequality without a racial lens. You can try to make it just about class, but you’ll miss this and a million other things. Burn this into the national conversation and never let anyone get away with missing this point.… => Your Woke Aunty on Twitter: ““black families earning more than $200,000 annually were more likely on average to be given a subprime loan than a white family making $30,000 a year”….helping wipe out Black wealth…”
  16. Ava DuVernay on Twitter: “Wild. He shared a prison cell with the white supremacist responsible for the “Mississippi Burning” murders and got him to sign over his life rights. Then, he convinced the neo-Nazi group behind Unite the Right’s fatal rally to sign over ownership. Wild.”
  17. Kristen Clarke on Twitter: “ICYMI, Betsy DeVos is backing a $5B federal tax credit to individual and corporate donors who contribute scholarships to private schools and other programs. This is part of DeVos’ dangerous campaign to weaken public schools, leaving the vast majority of students in the dark.… ”
  18. Mike Pushkin on Twitter: “This poster is in your Capitol on a booth sponsored by @WVGOP “When someone shows you who they are, believe them”… ”
  19. Judy Farah on Twitter: “Breaking: No criminal charges against police officers in Sacramento police shooting of #StephonClark”
  20. Keith Boykin on Twitter: “Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed unarmed black motorist Terence Crutcher while he held his hands above his head, will not face federal charges, DOJ said Friday. Shelby left her job and now works for the Rogers County Sheriff’s office.”
  21. Charles M. Blow on Twitter: “I’m at #MardiGras in #NewOrleans but simply had to weigh in on this #MarkMeadows Stunt at the #CohenHearings (had to trim it for Twitter, sorry)…”
  22. Jerry Ratcliffe on Twitter: “Good thread on the cyclical nature of police reform in the US. Reminiscent of the 20-ish year cycle of NYPD investigations (Knapp, Dowd etc)… => Phillip Atiba Goff on Twitter: “1. Hard to believe, but today marks the 28th anniversary of LAPD officers beating Rodney King. On March 3, 1991, officers used tasers and batons to subdue King after ordering him out of his car. KTLA soon release video shot by civilian George Holliday, sparking national outrage.”
  23. Michael Avenatti on Twitter: “This disgusting picture was taken last night in Newport Beach, CA at a party of high school students from various high schools. This hateful conduct is reprehensible & all involved must be held accountable. And we should all recognize that we must be diligent in ending bigotry.…”
  24. The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront | Australia news | The Guardian
  25. Shaun King on Twitter: “Listen as white students at Spain Park High School in Birmingham, Alabama talk about how much they want to send niggers to concentration camps. One brags that he’s glad Jews were sent there then the white woman says she only wants niggers to go to concentration camps.… ”
  26. Kristen Clarke on Twitter: “White communities disproportionately received more federal buyouts after a major disaster than communities of color. Most buyouts in FEMA’s database happened in neighborhoods that were more than 85% white, even though disasters affect ALL communities.”
  27. Immigrant children detained: 12 babies have been released from ICE custody at a immigration detention center, South Texas Family Residential Center, in Dilley, Texas – CBS News
  28. Racism Thrives at the Law School – The Chicago Maroon
  29. EXCLUSIVE: Trump’s Justice Department is investigating 60% fewer civil rights cases than Obama’s – VICE News
  30. McConnell blocks bill that would make it easier for Americans to vote
  31. Kayla Reed on Twitter: “A white man shot an unarmed Black man right outside STL. His name is Jaylen Walker and he will never walk again.… ”
  32. Ashley Jardina on Twitter: “Newsweek’s new cover story talks about my work on white identity.… ”
  33. Tim Wise on Twitter: “To grasp the self-destructive pathology of whiteness, read Dying of Whiteness by @JonathanMetzl, in which he quotes a white man who is terminally ill, say he’d rather die than get Obamacare bc he didn’t want his tax dollars “paying for Mexicans or welfare queens.” He died.”
  34. New York Times World on Twitter: “The white farmers received a combined 41 years in prison for the killing of a black teenager they had accused of stealing sunflowers”
  35. rolandsmartin on Twitter: “Kiah Morris, the only Black woman serving in VT legislature resigned after intense racial harassment”
  36. DL Hughley on Twitter: “Damn shame. Now adding #PickingUpTrashWhileBlack. #TeamDl Black Man Picking Up Trash In Front Of His Own House Confronted By Cops With Guns Drawn”
  37. Kelly says a full border wall would be a ‘waste of money’ – POLITICO
  38. Judge issues extraordinary dissent in voting rights case – POLITICO
  39. Jemele Hill on Twitter: “That awkward moment when you realize all black women anchors don’t look alike”
  40. Jerry Falwell on Twitter: “Only real racists call other people racist. They’re the only ones who think that way.… ”
  41. Ashton Pittman on Twitter: “In 2009, Judge Ellis sentenced Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-La.) to 13 yrs on corruption charges. It was the longest sentence EVER for a member of Congress. Today, on far more serious charges, Ellis gave Paul Manafort 47 months instead of the recommended 19-24 yrs. (h/t @LamarWhiteJr)…”
  42. Hijra on Twitter: “Paul Manafort got 4 years in prison. Crystal Mason is a black woman who mistakenly cast a ballot in a local election. She got 5 YEARS. Terri Lynn Rote Iowa woman who tried to vote for Donald Trump twice gets two years probation and $750 fine. Watch America justice whiteness.…”
  43. Miranda Yaver on Twitter: “As Manafort is sentenced to just 4 years in prison, a reminder that a black man in Mississippi was sentenced to 8 years in prison for possession of marijuana purchased legally in another state. via @aclu”
  44. CNN Facing Pressure From Black Advocacy Groups Over Diversity | Hollywood Reporter
  45. ACLU asks Virginia Gov. Northam to remove Robert E. Lee statue – CNN
  46. Qasim Rashid, Esq. on Twitter: “2018: 12-year-old country singer Mason Ramsey yodeled in a Wal-Mart—Went viral & signed to a major record deal 2019: 12-year-old rapper Corey Jackson sold his CDs at Cumberland Mall in GA—Violently arrested & charged w/a felony There are two Americas”
  47. Bishop Talbert Swan on Twitter: “Calling a Black POTUS married 25 yrs to 1 wife with 2 children, no mistresses, affairs or scandals, ‘the antichrist’ but a white POTUS married thrice, 5 kids by 3 women, mistresses, affairs & scandals, ‘God‘s anointed,’ proves your religion is only a front for white supremacy.”


  • jess mcintosh on Twitter: “I do not know why @LaurenUnderwood does not get more attention. She’s incredible. She’s fierce and right. She speaks from an incredible personal history. She’s the @maziehirono of the House. Let’s pay more attention to Lauren and Mazie ok thx.”
  • Mark Anthony Neal on Twitter: “Racism In American South Inspired Gary Clark Jr.’s ‘This Land’ via @NPRMusic… ”
  • Jay-Z’s team helps get case dismissed against 6th grader who refused to stand for Pledge of Allegiance: report | TheHill
  • They were raised to be ‘colorblind’ — but now more white parents are learning to talk about race – The Washington Post
  • Documentary to tell story of all-black Army unit that protected Hawaii in WWII
  • The Private Prison Industry Just Suffered A Major Blow. And It Could Just Be the Beginning. – Mother Jones

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