Breaking Brown

January 27, 2014

Jet Magazine Headline: “White Mother Calls Negro Children Embarrassing”

Jet Magazine Headline: “White Mother Calls Negro Children Embarrassing”

by Yvette Carnell

Probably the most insidious aspect of modern racism is its transition from overt to subterranean guerrilla warfare. It is sometimes good to remember that in the war to win over hearts and minds, we haven’t a clue where we are in that battle, since people rarely say what they feel. Except in 1955, one woman said exactly what she meant:

This headline from a 1955 issue of Jet Magazine read, “White Mother Calls Negro Children Embarrassing”:

This is an actual story from the 1955 issue of Jet Magazine.

This is an actual story from the 1955 issue of Jet Magazine.

What does that article mean? Well, for one thing, it means that this idea of a post-racial American is a brand new phenomenon, born of the idea that a black president is payback to Negroes. It’s not. And historically, it’s probably time that African-Americans begin taking the long view, remembering that it wasn’t even a century ago that stories like this were common place.

Over the past few years, I have offered scathing critiques, mostly of Obama, but sometimes of the black community as well. I still agree with most of them, especially where leaders and legislators are concerned, but as I see people ratcheting up blistering smears of black “dead beat dads” and teenaged “twerking” baby mamas, I think it’s important to remember that we’ve only been free in this country for less than a hundred years.

Maybe we should do better, but the question remains, better than what? Fifty years after the March on Washington, African-Americans are largely assimilated into American culture, for better or worse,  and even though systemic racial disparities still exist in this white supremacist structure, we’ve done as good as anyone could have expected, given the historical racial barriers in this country.

But if I’m to guess what ‘doing better’ actually means, I’d first answer in the negative, exploring what ‘doing better’ is not; doing better doesn’t require an excoriation of kids wearing saggy pants.  ‘Doing better’ requires a reassessment of our government’s responsibility in continuing to neutralize racial variance with targeted legislative and executive action.

For example, The Great Recession has been tumultuous for every demographic, but the banks who engineered the housing crisis, from Bank of America to JP Morgan, allegedly targeted African-Americans with sub-prime loans. Some of these banks paid fines, a slap on the wrist here, an apology there, and moved on.

One thing is true: The impact of our government continually allowing blacks to the be the guinea pig du jour for every white boy scam imaginable puts us under heel, back at zero to predictably begin again. Our collective two step toward equality, two steps forward, one step backward, is being orchestrated by hands that aren’t exactly invisible. And it’s certainly not the case that the black community lost the majority of its wealth because girls are twerking and fighting on World Star.

Let me be clear: I’m not promoting twerking or fatherless families, but we have to do a better job of connecting the dots. When you see a black  girl twerking in front of a smartphone, do you see the context? Does she live in the  projects, without any access to capital? What is on the horizon for her? What’s possible? What are her options? Does she have parents who care… a father who cares? And if she doesn’t, why’d dad leave? Did the welfare system show him the door? Did poverty break him down? Or did suffocating poverty force his hand? And is the consequence of that decision that he now languishes in a jail cell for 20 years to life? You can ask those questions. Those are serious questions.

Casting blame on people who are powerless at turning the wheels of government, however,  is a useless exercise. Giving a good verbal thrashing to the twerking girl or the boy with the saggy pants may make you feel superior, but you are whistling in the wind, taking up the mantle of white supremacists everywhere by pathologizing black behavior.

Go to any trailer park in the U.S. and you’ll see much of the same behavior that you see in urban ghettos. In fact, ghettos all around the world have more in common than not. Ghettos are petri dishes for replicating failure, they excel at demonstrating what happens whenever people are left to fight for scraps.

Back to the headline: “White Mother Calls Negro Children Embarrassing.” Now the same article could be written with the headline, “Black Community Calls Negro Children Embarrassing.” That’s not progress. That’s co-opting white supremacy and making it your own.


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42 thoughts on “Jet Magazine Headline: “White Mother Calls Negro Children Embarrassing”

  1. LawrenceKelly says:

    So, let me get this
    straight. Because someone is poor and “powerless”, their wretched
    behavior is supposed to be excused? Things like the verbal thrashing to the
    twerking girl or the boy with the saggy pants doesn’t hurt them in the least.
    If twerking and wearing saggy pants is so harmless, why is the other 99% of the
    world population not doing it? Some females, especially black females and their
    cowardly male mates, are too thin skinned when it come to the behavior of their
    own, yet they condemn Bank of America, Wall Street and other peoples, for their
    wretched behavior: greed, racism, unscrupulousness. A little advice, straighten
    out your own house first, before you try to straighten out someone else’s
    house, starting with your own, girls and boys

  2. CarolParks says:

    LawrenceKelly, what a BS, & Very Ignorant statement! You really need an education, as you are clearly uninformed. It’s a waste talking here, as you are too far gone!

  3. CarolParks says:

    This ” mother”, & I use that term very lightly, is a DISGRACE to all mothers, & women who would give up their own lives for their children. But, I am glad the children are getting away from her evil influence, and demented way of thinking. It doesn’t say where the Father is in any of this. But, I really hope these two beautiful children are adopted by a family that will show them real love, & a good life. This isn’t just racism, this woman is clearly an unfit mother, even to her ” white” children because of the way she acts, & thinks. Race…… We are all the human race, & unfortunately we have a lot of twisted, sick, & yes evil people, of all colors. Your outside appearance is NOT what makes you. Your spirit, & inside is who you are. All children are beautiful, and deserve love, & the best life possible. My heart goes out to these innocent children who have such a horrible, disgusting “mother”. May God put them into a loving home.

  4. Ar1 says:

    LawrenceKelly I didn’t get that from the article, rather it was saying that the way society has been manipulated have assisted in this behavior due to social status and processes. It specifically stated that the author is not supporting the activity.  Being a Black male, one, I am far from being a coward, and being Black in america you cannot have thin skin. Especially when there so many Blacks that are being good parents and productive citizens, but we live in a society where the negative actions of some is imposed on the whole race. But as we know, highlighting the negativity of my race to the masses keep the stereotypes and biases concerning us going. What I find interesting is Black people are told not to judge whites by what their ancestors started and has continued today, but its okay to group all of us together in an negative aspect.

  5. CarolParks says:

    Ar1 LawrenceKelly @Art1, your answer was very articulate. It’s a shame that some people try and put everyone in “the same group”, so to speak. When in fact everyone is an individual, and should be treated as such. There are stereotypes of every culture, religion, etc. I never say race, because to me we are all the human race, all just people. Some good, some bad. And some downright evil. What the whites did for hundreds of years of course today is still having repercussions, and the whites did and do benefit unfairly. Although I am white I can be honest, and know that it was the worst Holocaust in the history of man. And yet racism still exists today in America. It’s an American disgrace. And Mr. Kelly is very uninformed if he doesn’t realize that most of Americans of any color are disgusted with the Banks, Wall Street, and Big Corporations getting away with murder in this country. Of course Congress with their 9% appoval rate is another disgrace. But, Art some people live in a bubble, and are not privy to real fact’s, or if they are ignore them completely. Fake Fox Lies is an excellent example of pure BS, with no fact’s. But, I understand that it is failing mostly because their audience is passing away , and people under the age of 55 don’t .watch it. 🙂

  6. CarolParks says:

    LawrenceKelly BTW, what you stated has nothing to do with this poor excuse for a mother; who thinks more of her white husband then her own flesh and blood children. She is a disgrace, and those children deserve a lot better then her, and that creepy, racist husband. Any woman who thinks more of some man then her own children is not worth anything. She is supposed to love, and protect her children. This article is absolutely sickening.

  7. KieshaPinkyMakins says:

    just sad smdh

  8. corbin56 says:

    Poor thing.   She was just ashamed and concerned about all of the whispering.  She let that get the best of her.

  9. KatiCarson says:

    Wonderful article!

  10. CarolParks says:

    Watchful LOL! Exactly! Great reply!

  11. CarolParks says:

    corbin56 I really think that the poor man that was with this idiot woman, should be the one getting the sympathy. And I can tell Corbin56, you are not being very serious about this story. This is 2014, and no normal person gets upset over a mixed couple, or mixed children. We are all just people of different sizes, shapes, colors, and cultures. But, we are all people, period! Humans, not different species.

  12. corbin56 says:

    CarolParkscorbin56Different strokes for different folks.  In this case, this took place in 1955.  Hence the whispers and embarrassment.

  13. CarolParks says:

    Yes, Corbin56 that is a valid point about it being 1955. But, my point was how could any mother turn on her own flesh & blood children? She had two children so she had to know that she would find people at that time cruel and that it would not be easy to raise them. But, she chooses to have them and to later abandon them to me is inexcusable. This article does not tell the whole story like what happened to the father, where was he? Plus, it does say Washington, and I am thinking that means Washington State, not D.C. She could have traveled and lived in the Bay Area where she may have had an easier time, including her children. My Aunt told me that when she attended Catholic School in San Francisco from 1958 to 1970, one third of the students in her classes were African American. Many other minorities went to school there also. And mind you this was when they were trying to integrate schools in the South, and all the Civil Rights were being fought for. I have seen pictures of her class in first and second grade, and it’s true. I am guessing the public schools at that time in S.F. Were also integrated. I am sure there was still some bigotry but at least it was a more accepting environment. But, never could I disavow my own children and abandon them no matter the time, nor place. It doesn’t say what happened to these children, which is so frustrating about some of these articles on here.

  14. CarolParks says:

    @Corbin56 I have left you a reply, I hope you see it, as it doesn’t seem to have your name at the front.

  15. dcrasta says:

    She wasnt embarrassed when she was laying down taking the D…
    Twice [well, maybe they were twins]. She should be embarrassed by herself ..

  16. ShawnMc1 says:

    CarolParks you got a fake profile, cmon now we need truth on these site not black people pretending to be white lol

  17. corbin56 says:

    ShawnMc1 CarolParks  Hi ShawnMc1,   Your comment landed in my inbox, but that’s okay.  I just wanted to let you know that  appreciate your comment.  This moron is getting on everyone’s nerves.  Just don’r read his/her responses and don’r respond to “her”.  I believe this person is lonely.  (or drunk)

  18. CarolParks says:

    ShawnMc1 CarolParks  ?????? I’m real the last time I looked, but think whatever you want if that makes you happy. But, this is one of the strangest comments I have received yet.

  19. BettyeBryant says:

    CarolParks  You are so sweet to set this thing straight… God bless you.

  20. CarolParks says:

    BettyeBryant CarolParks  Thank-you Bettye, but I am just being honest. Turning on your own flesh and blood children? Makes me sick. But, all this hatred because of someone’s color, religion, or whatever is something that the Devil started so long ago. And, it is so embarrasing for me that it is mostly white people, especially white men. I really do (and hope) believe most white people now are more decent, but it’s this GOP, Tea Bags, Fake Fox news, that gets all the attention in the media, and is so racist. Then you have these crazy white men killing childfren, ( Trayvon, Jordan Davis, etc), and you would think that everyone would say how wrong that is, and yet you have these evil, racists defending this. Just UNBELIEVABLE. These are real Terrorist;s in our country. We all are just human beings on this earth for a short time, and should be helping one another, It actually scares me what is going on in our country right now. But, again thank-you for your very sweet comment! God Bless!

  21. CarolParks says:

    BettyeBryant  Should be “children”.

  22. BettyeBryant says:

    CarolParks BettyeBryant  Thank you so much for the reply. I agree with you 100%, it is just shameful how some of the people act. We should all love one another. they need to realize, we did not make ourselves, God made the way he wanted us to be. No man should judge one because of the color of his skin, but by the contents of his character. I pray you have a wonderful evening. You cant make a person see right, if all he can see is wrong.

  23. CarolParks says:

    BettyeBryant CarolParks

     Agreed! You are such a lovely Lady! I pray you too are enjoying your evening! Take care!

  24. PamKB says:

    CarolParks Ar1LawrenceKelly Carol, did you feel the need to affirm to Ar1 that his response was “articulate” because he is a black man? Just wondering…

  25. CarolParks says:

    PamKB CarolParks Ar1 LawrenceKelly  

    What an ODD QUESTION. I happen to agree with what he said. He could have been any nationality, or a woman, or ANYONE. It was what was stated that I agreed with.

    I happen to believe in the HUMAN RACE, and Different Cultures. I also believe that when mankind started , it was in Africa and we all are related. We are all just humans PERIOD. If you had six skeletons in front of you, with 1/2 being of Black descent, and the other half being White, you couldn’t tell or know which was which. That is because we are the same excluding outward looks. Physically we are the same.

  26. superluminal89 says:

    One wonders what happened to those kids after all these years.

  27. CarolParks says:

    superluminal89  Think of it this way, it’s better that she gave those kids away hopefully to a much better home. Because she was unfit to raise them. And her White husband no doubt would have been terribly abusive, and she would have allowed that.Too terrible to think about.

  28. High Crimes says:

    CarolParks superluminal89Good point CarolParks, she could have done a “Susan Smith” on those children.

  29. CarolParks says:

    High Crimes CarolParks superluminal89  
    You are probably right. She is just completely worthless. She should have put her children first, and told that white man to go to hell.

  30. rediscoverbliss says:

    They were probably more terrorized in foster care. Black kids did not get adopted in the 50s.

  31. smittyboy7 says:

    superluminal89  White folks don’t have a conscience so it never bothered her.

  32. CarolParks says:

    That’s a very ignorant remark. Not all White, Black, or any other culture of people are all the same. People are individuals, & each person should be judged on their own merits. This happened in 1955, I am sure and I know there are still many White racists, but I believe the majority are not.

  33. smittyboy7 says:

    CarolParks  Yeah and that’s how you choose to walk around with your head stuck up your @ss because MOST whites are racist.It MIGHT and that’s A BIG MIGHT ,might not be racist but I believe all whites are racist it’s your nature to be.Everywhere I go it let me know that most whites are racist period not a few.

  34. CarolParks says:

    Got some bad news for you, there is no such thing as different braces, only different cultures. It’s another BS thing that man made up.
    And did you take a poll of all the white people living in America? The majority of whites voted for President Obama in both elections. Bigots don’t vote for a Black President. Because the media mostly shows these POS Whites instead of showing a cross section of opinion, it seems like all whites are a bunch of bigots. Just like the media tries to criminalize any Black victim out there. Most of TV, & the Media is BS.
    Everywhere you go? Well, I live in the Bay Area, & my Aunt who went to school in the 60’s, had 14 Black kids in her class. And the whole school was mixed. But, the rest of the country was fighting for integration in schools at that time, not in San Francisco because there was never segregation here. This area has always been very accepting of everyone, and when people march, as in Trayvon Martins unjust trial, where the murderer got off ,whites marched in protest. I grew up in a very mixed neighborhood, & went to school with a very mixed population of every culture. I can’t believe that the Bay Area is the only place like this.
    The American Anthropological Association says no such biological race exists, cultures exist – this moves to the point about ‘race’ and anything, no race no link to biology and behavior, cultural links to behavior – and so no racists, just people who are not learning the AAA.

  35. JayContreras says:

    CarolParks So your personal experience of course trumps black people’s experience of 500 years, huh? So you are here on THIS particular board why? I’m just curious. Are you the proverbial spook who sat by the virtual door? I just notice increasingly that whatever site I go to that happens to cater to black people–is usually swarming with white trolls or agents. And I’m assuming they are that b/c the internet is massive & for any white person to go out of their way to continually post in a virtual ‘ghetto’ is suspect to me. Historically, that means you are either gathering info, disseminating dis-info or trying to direct ‘traffic or thought’..etc…so I’m going to assume that is the case now. Don’t bother responding b/c I’m not going to believe anything you say anyway. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

  36. CarolParks says:

    Really? Lol! I cannot even imagine being as suspicious of people as you are. And truthfully it is very sad to live like that. What you do not understand, because you yourself have put everyone in their little boxes, is the real world is not like that. Have you any idea how many interracial families & relationships there are in America alone? Millions. And no doubt besides people who have a genuine interest in some of the stories on here, and who are not trolls, many have family members who are Black. Being the mother of a Black son, it is important to me that fairness, & equality will be there for him. I have always believed in that because that is the way I was raised. No doubt much different then you, as I was in a neighborhood of many different cultures, growing up, & never understood ” bigotry”.
    I also believe people under 30, for the most part are wanting a more equal world, and don’t hold the prejudices of their elders. Even people my age and older I believe for the most part want everyone to have the same and equal advantages.
    It’s very different for you no doubt because of your own experiences. But, I am not telling you anything, only expressing my opinions. It’s very hard for me to believe that in your lifetime, you have never met any white person whether male or female that you could trust. Or that would be your friend. It just seems strange to me, maybe I am naive’ or maybe it’s the environment that I grew up with here in the Bay Area.
    But, I understand that I am wasting my time trying to explain my views, as I can see you are blind to the many people who want to work together to make this world a better place for everyone. We cannot change the past, but we can change the future. Peace Out.

  37. High Crimes says:

    Now the Jet article was published in 1955 and this website is re-printing the same story from January 2014. What’s going on?

  38. CarolParks says:

    @High Crimes,
    The headline brings in readers. I can’t understand either why some stories on here are so old.

  39. High Crimes says:

    CarolParks It’s crazy. Enjoy your day, CarolParks.

  40. CarolParks says:

    @High Crimes,
    Thank-You! Enjoy your day also! 😀

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