A Time of Reconstruction and Jim Crow

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Today Jeff and I, Homeless Dog, are taking the WABAC Time Machine to the Southern United States, starting in the year 1885, during the Reconstruction period after the American Civil War.

“What’s the Restoration period about, Homeless Dog?”

“It was a time when Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson tried to restore the south to normalcy, while enfranchising freed slaves, who were not treated equally.”

“Listen, Jeff, to journalist T McCants Stewart, who was black, talk about the positive changes for black people in the South during Reconstruction.

“I can ride in first-class cars on the railroads and in the streets. I can stop in and drink a glass of soda and be more politely waited upon than in some parts of New England.” 

Fast forward the WABAC machine to the year 1877, when a caste system (not something you wrap around a broken leg) allowed black people in the south to be treated as second class citizens.  Under Jim Crow, certain people were segregated from others.  There were separate laundries, restrooms, even water fountains.

These people were looked down on and pushed aside from the rest of society.

http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm

“That’s a lot like the way homeless people are treated in Bucks County, PA, Homeless Dog.”

“That’s a good observation, Jeff.”

There was another Reconstruction of sorts, that started in the spring of 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. started a series of non-violent protests to stop segregation and Jim Crow.  Of course this was met with much resistance.  In fact, Eugene “Bull” Connor, a Democrat, who was a police chief at that time, was so mad at the peaceful protesters that he sprayed them with fire hoses, hassled them with dogs, and beat them with night sticks.  Chief Connor adamantly supported the movement to deny certain people their rights.  http://www.shmoop.com/civil-rights-desegregation/eugene-bull-connor.html

“This sounds a lot like the way homeless people are treated at the public library in Levittown, PA and in the surrounding community, Homeless Dog.”

“That’s right, Jeff.  In fact, some people gave the head librarian at the Levittown Branch of the Bucks County Free Library the nickname ‘Bull Connor’, because, like Eugene Connor, who was a lackey for the racist establishment back then, the Levittown Librarian carries out the orders of the Bucks County establishment that kowtows to the special interests that are prejudice against the homeless which doesn’t want them in the library with them.”

“That’s not right, Homeless Dog!”

“Indeed, one might say that the policy at the Levittown Library is bringing back the Bull!”