Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

in which our lady proves she is capable of studiousness after all

The Big Caper does not excite me at all.

Pat Miller did it with her classes, and Kim told her classes about it. Kim’s students always wanted to it, so we get stuck actually doing it. But i don’t wanna.

If you want to be part of the greatest mob ever, email me back with a short creative/humorous anecdote about any talent/skills you have that would be an asset to the mob, or about your sense of adventure. Anything dramatic.

I don’t like role-playing stuff, and the idea of putting together some sort of handbook does not excite me. I’m up for researching the Mafia, though, and planning “the perfect crime” has appeal. And there will be 10 other people in my group. Doing this on top of all the rest of the work for that class, plus the work for all my other classes is really not appealing, though. But having written this all down, it looks much less worrisome.

AND, the Big Caper plus the end of semester group presentations on Murder American Style together count for 15% of our total grade, so even if i got a 0 on it i could pull off a B+ or better for the term i expect.

Kim: Part 3 of the exam is a potato chip.
Class: [confused murmurs] Do you mean a piece of cake?
Kim: Cake can be very complex.

I have no idea how to relate any of the readings we’ve done so far to the film we watched in Soc of Crime class. It’s only a one-page (double-spaced) thing, though, and it counts as much as an in-class essay (of which she drops the two lowest, and which in total counts for 10% of our grade), so i’m not worried. (And as Joan pointed out, i have until 3:00 on Tuesday to come up with something.)

I have, however, done almost all the reading for all my classes for the rest of the week (excepting Language Acquisition, because as with Linguistics last semester i don’t do any of the reading except when i need assistance with the homework) as well as my weekly Women’s Studies posting.

I have now actually read the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) decision. Wow.
By the Fourteenth Amendment, all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are made citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside; and the States are forbidden from making or enforcing any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or deny to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The object of the amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either. Laws permitting, and even requiring, their separation in places where they are liable to be brought into contact do not necessarily imply the inferiority of either race to the other, and have been generally, if not universally, recognized as within the competency of the state legislatures in the exercise of their police power. The most common instance of this is connected with the establishment of separate schools for white and colored children, which has been held to be a valid exercise of the legislative power even by courts of States where the political rights of the colored race have been longest and most earnestly enforced.

One of the earliest of these cases is that of Roberts v. City of Boston. 5 Cush. 198, in which the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that the general school committee of Boston had power to make provision for the instruction of colored children in separate schools established exclusively for them, and to prohibit their attendance upon the other schools. “The great principle,” said Chief Justice Shaw, p. 206, “advanced by the learned and eloquent advocate for the plaintiff,” (Mr. Charles Sumner,) “is, that by the constitution and laws of Massachusetts, all persons without distinction of age or sex, birth or color, origin or condition, are equal before the law. . . . But, when this great principle comes to be applied to the actual and various conditions of persons in society, it will not warrant the assertion, that men and women are legally clothed with the same civil and political powers, and that children and adults are legally to have the same functions and be subject to the same treatment; but only that the rights of all, as they are settled and regulated by law, are equally entitled to the paternal consideration and protection of the law for their maintenance and security.” It was held that the powers of the committee extended to the establishment of separate schools for children of different ages, sexes, and colors, and that they might also establish special schools for poor and neglected children, who have become too old to attend the primary school, and yet have not acquired the rudiments of learning, to enable them to enter the ordinary schools. ...
It goes on, referring to various previous cases. Just, gah.

Later on it says, “we cannot say that a law which authorizes or even requires the separation of the two races in public conveyance is unreasonable, or more obnoxious to the Fourteenth Amendment than the acts of Congress requiring separate schools for colored children in the District of Columbia, the constitutionality of which does not seem to have been questioned, or the corresponding acts of state legislatures.” Interesting particularly given Brown v. Board of Education (1954[!]) was what destroyed Jim Crow.

There is the interesting point that perhaps one can’t legislate morality. “If the two races are to meet upon terms of social equality, it must be the result of natural affinities, a mutual appreciation of each other’s merits and a voluntary consent of individuals.” [Tangentially, in that affirmative action talk some weeks back, Albert Mosley talked about how people are accused of “legislating morality” but he suggested that instead we should aim to “moralize legislation,” and of course i wondered if that was really just a nicer way of saying the same thing.]

The dissenting opinion, interestingly, begins by pointing out how this race segregation on public conveyances would break up white people and their colored servants, and that would be bad.

At one point he says, “In my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott case.” *g*

Later he says, “This question is not met by the suggestion that social equality cannot exist between the white and black races in this country. That argument, if it can be properly regarded as one, is scarcely worthy of consideration; for social equality no more exists between two races when travelling in a passenger coach or a public highway than when members of the same races sit by each other in a street car or in the jury box, or stand or sit with each other in a political assembly, or when they use in common the streets of a city or town, or when they are in the same room for the purpose of having their names placed on the registry of voters, or when they approach the ballot-box in order to exercise the high privilege of voting.”

There’s also weirdness about the Chinese. “There is a race so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States.” I must have missed that memo in American History class. He goes on to point out that they could sit with the white folks under this statute even though black folks, even say those who fought for the North in the Civil War, would be declared criminals for doing the same.

I have a copy of The Marrow of Tradition on hold at Forbes and will be picking it up on Tuesday. We have a portion of Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman (inspiration for D. W. Griffith’s 1915 Birth of a Nation, which we will be viewing probably in late March) in our reader, but i’m a dork, so i got the full novel from Neilson and will read it in its entirety at some point this week. I also now have The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man from Neilson as well. Round of applause for not actually purchasing any of the books for this class. :)

And now, to bed with me.

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