Civil Rights 2012: More segregation, more Klan, more denial

In Better Off Without ’Em, I touch briefly on the 2001 case of Talmadge Branch, the African American politician who was refused service in the “whites only” section of a segregated bar in Florida.

Those who might consider this decade-old story ancient history—or at least an anomaly in the pasteurized “we don’t tolerate racism anymore” South—should check out a story that ran last week on Jezebel documenting the case of a 21-year African American who was physically removed from a North Carolina bar, presumably for drinking while black.

The “isolated incidents” keep on coming.

This week it’s some old photos of a Georgia sheriff posing in a KKK costume, presumably as part of a hilarious send-up of a famous scene from Blazing Saddles.

The shocking part of all this is that anyone remains shocked that this sort of shit remains so pervasive in Dixie.

After all, South Carolina is the state whose current lieutenant-governor, Glenn McConnell, giddily dressed up as a Confederate Army general and posed with two black “slaves.” Massively depressing photo here.

Asked by ABC’s Nightline about the Confederate flag he fought to help keep on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol (also covered in Better Off, along with a dissection of the South Carolina capitol’s bigot-celebrating grounds), McConnell replied with Colbert-esque aplomb, “I don’t see black and white. I don’t see racism.”

Neither, apparently, do plenty of his confederates.

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