Calm down vegans and fruitarians, your favorite snacks are not the topic of this piece…they’re just necessary collateral damage.

The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Defined; a child usually has a similar character or similar qualities to his or her parents. We knew this already, but pay attention to how far it actually falls. In late 2015, the NY Times began circulating an article with some chilling facts about how you are probably living the rest of your life: “Over all, the median distance Americans live from their mother is 18 miles, and only 20 percent live more than a couple hours’ drive from their parents. (Researchers often study the distance from mothers because they are more likely to be caregivers and to live longer than men.)” To analyze the information further, metrics showed that as the family income decreased, family members lived even closer to their mother.

So what does this mean for the sundown towns of the mid-1960s? According to James W. Loewen, author of “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism”, there are over 1,300 alleged sundown towns in the United States. In a general sense, a sundown town is an area where African Americans ‘ought to not be found after dark. And if you look at the history closely, that’s about as nice as you could put it.

Just ask Carol Jenkins, the aspiring young model who visited Martinsville, Indiana in September of 1968 for some fundraising.

“She left in a hearse.”

(Carol Jenkins)

She was followed, harassed, and eventually murdered just because of her skin color, the time of day, and the town she was in. It was almost like Trayvon Martin, but there was no gun, just a screwdriver; and instead of skittles she had encyclopedias. Kenneth Richmond (1 of 2 assailants) even had his 7-year-old daughter in the backseat when he departed his vehicle to teach Carol Jenkins what Martinsville was all about. And at the age of 40, 34 years later, that’s exactly who told the police the entire story…his daughter. Kids these days…
But now it’s 2017, and people are concerned that race relations are only going to get worse; 6 of every 10 adults if you wanted specifics. So what would the residents of the alleged sundown towns in America say of race relations? Most of the 1,300 towns are likely elated to have a white saturation percentage of over 95%. Add in the fact that 80% of people live within shouting distance of mom, factor the median income of said sundown towns (which suggests they are even closer); then just carry forward the racist ideas of one generation to the next.

 

(Kevin Cederstrom/Special to Forum News Service)

Don’t believe me? Look up Craig Cobb. He made some waves in 2013 for buying up land in Leith, North Dakota. In early 2016 he tried this shopping spree yet again; just in Nebraska and Kansas. His goal was to build all white towns in America, except he called the project Pioneer Little Europe. Fortunately for us, it was a total failure. You see, there’s already of plenty of segregation in America, you just don’t hear about it anymore.

For more information on the history of alleged sundown towns in America, check out James W. Loewen’s book here.

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