Truth or Consequences – 2 Racial Covenants

There is a race between the Governors of Texas and Florida to erase the history of the Republican party. Almost half of today’s Republicans are enthusiastic about covering up America’s blemishes.

Any one who has followed my columns knows I find this unAmerican and just the sort of tendency that fits in nicely with treason.

A few days ago and old classmate of mine from highschool discovered racial covenants in the posh hillside neighborhood that was nestled on a hillside a few blocks above my family homne in Mankato, Minnesota. I might have been surprised about this twenty years ago but there has been a lot of news about how widely this practice spread through America starting in the age of Franklin Roosevelt aided and abbeted by the banking industry which red lined black would be home owners into second class neighborhoods. Its no longer news although no doubt Governors DeSantis and Abbott would love to sweep this under the rug as well as lynchings to preserve the notion that Africans were lucky to be given lifetime sentences of slavery that introduced them to Christian American charity.

So I added my thanks to Larry for his note and gave it some context:

“Larry, Thanks for the note. My parents moved our family into a Topeka, Kansas neighborhood just as its elementary school was about to be integrated. When we moved to Mankato five years later I was in a class of 15 white kids and 16 “black” kids. The only black person in the 30,000 strong Katos was the vet Dr. Bourboom (not sure of the spelling) My Mom was an artist and titled one her paintings of Mankato “Lily white tTown.

Anyone wondering why all the race riots of our teen years were in big cities should know that all over the nation these covenants imprisoned black families in just a few square miles of most cities. My Wife’s Iowa family’s neighbors offered to buy their West Des Moines home in 1963 when they were moving to Mankato. They had seen a black realtor check out the house and were afraid “negroes” were about to buy it. They were as unwilling to let black people take up residence next to them as Trump was when he was taken to court in the 1970’s for refusing to sell apartments to black families. Being Trump the Government gave up fighting him in court.”

And this got me thinking more about my parents decision to move into a Topeka neighborhood where the elementary school I would be attending would soon have the black children from a segregated school added to our classrooms.

This is from an old post where I published the speech I gave the last time I made a politial appeal to Democrats at a Democratic connvention:

“In 1958 when I was 7 years-old my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Kinser, sent my class out to the playground for a long, unexpected recess. From the heights of the jungle gym I watched a long line of students holding their chairs stacked with text books walking down the sidewalk from Buchanan Elementary School to my School, Loman Hill Elementary. The file began with first graders, followed by second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders and each group, in turn, was ushered into Loman Hill. These students were black. When the sorting was complete, I went back into my newly integrated classroom.”

As a result of this I decided to contact the Reference department of the Topeka Public library to ask if they could research old newspapers and tell me a little more about what my parents were reading in the Topeka Capitol Journal at the time they moved me to this hotbed of integration post Brown v. Topeka Board of Ed……that’s the next post.

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