Sunday, March 07, 2010

Us in 1929

When I arrived in North Platte, Neb., during the last gasps of winter in 1983, something struck me about the place -- especially as a native of the Deep South.

There weren't any black people to speak of. I mean, the place was as white as the snow on the ground.

AS IT turns out, there were reasons for that. I'd wager that something close to being chief among those reasons would be what happened Saturday, July 13, 1929. ("Darkies"? A newspaper in Prescott, Ariz., thought it respectable to use the word "darkies" in a headline -- or anywhere else? Really?)

The North Platte incident was especially eerie in light of what happened here in Omaha a decade earlier, on Sept. 28, 1919.

DON'T THINK we're much more civilized these days, and don't think there aren't groups out there ready and willing to play with fire in these "interesting times."

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