Is This Racist?

Sitting on Sandra Dee McNair's lawn in Connecticut is a ceramic statue of a black man holding a lantern, dressed in a jockey outfit, that everyone seems to misunderstand black footman lawn ornament meaning

Sandra explains, on Facebook, what her lawn ornament really means:

"I often get asked about my lantern footman sitting in my front yard. I've had black people say you shouldn't have that out that way 'it makes people think you are a racist.' I laugh, or 'it's offensive to white people' again I laugh and then explain what the significance of the lantern footman really is.

I'm really amazed at how a lot of people don't know the real meaning behind these statues, so they vandalize them, b*tch about them being racist, etc. When the image of a black 'footman' with a lantern signified the home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. These are largely a northern thing, and weren't commonly found in the South until after WWII when northerners moved there and brought this custom with them. The clothing of the statue was also coded. A striped jockey's shirt meant that this was a place to swap horses, while a footman in a tailed coat meant overnight lodgings/food, and a blue sailor's waistcoat meant the homeowner could take you to a port and get you on a ship to Canada. I always laugh when I hear black folks talk about how racist these are, because honestly, the cats who had them were likely the LEAST racist. Later, these came back into popularity after WWII, and they were again coded to show the white homeowners supported early civil rights efforts, weren't Klan, etc."

Image for post Is This Racist?
23% No, it's not 23% Of course it's racist - and Budwick, you should go straight to H.E. Double Hockeysticks! 8% No, but it will piss off Trumpsters, so destroy it! 46% Other
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Today, everything is used in the pursuit of declaring there is racism, where it doesn't exist. It gets publicity. Most rational people are sick of the race card and those who pull it.
The cotton plant has recently been declared a sign of racism.
Years ago I was in a course in MD. There was only 12 people in the class. We heard about a great catfish place close by and during a break, I asked everyone if they wanted to try it that night. The only black soldier in the class came back with, "You think that because I'm black, I eat catfish." Now,.... was it racist that I never invited him to go along anywhere after that?
The flip side was a black lieutenant in OBC who came over to a few of us who were working on a guys car. He took a look and said, "Who nigger rigged this?" Talk about shock. His degree was mechanical engineering and he was a car buff. I don't think I ever heard the word used by him again but he was always welcome to come with us, and we were always welcome to go with him.

@JustJimColo Today, everything is used in the pursuit of declaring there is racism, where it doesn't exist. It gets publicity...

Yeah, the race card gets played an awful lot.
I guess Obama's bringing the races together to end racism didn't work out so good.

@Budwick Yeah, the race card gets played an awful lot. I guess Obama's bringing the races together to end racism didn't work...

You can't control and manipulate something that is united. That's one of the things the Democrat party fights to keep from happening.

Of course it is. They certainly werent initially set on the lawn to help esacping slaves. Maybe, maybe, used for that purpose since they were there.

They certainly depict a black stable boy, at the ready, to stand indefinately, with a visitors horse.
How many original white stable boys do you see?
I get, in the day, they may have been deemed acceptable to put on the lawn. It was the norm, after all.
But...they belong in museums now. Just like other relics from unsavory pieces of our nations history.

@Carla Of course it is. They certainly werent initially set on the lawn to help esacping slaves. Maybe, maybe, used for...

Although these statues depicted jockey's, stable boys, groomsman, etc, they weren't racist at all. You will find them in foreign countries as well, in the guise of Chinese groomsman or European groomsman. I have one in my yard with a horses head with a ring for the reigns. Being a groomsman was a job, and not a job that people trusted to just anyone. Horses were often peoples prize possessions.

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@Carla Of course it is. They certainly werent initially set on the lawn to help esacping slaves. Maybe, maybe, used for...

So, if we drag all the statues off people lawns, then slavery will have never happened, right?

@Budwick So, if we drag all the statues off people lawns, then slavery will have never happened, right?

That is riduculous, bud.
Soo...how many nazi emblems, memorials do you think there are in germany? Did removing them erase the holocaust?

Not necessarily, but I wouldn't want to be displaying one. I have no desire to, and can understand why some people might find the black lawn jockeys questionable.
From what I've read, there is little evidence to support the stories concerning their role in the Underground Railroad.

@Piper2 Not necessarily, but I wouldn't want to be displaying one. I have no desire to, and can understand...

I had never heard the connection to the Underground Railroad either. I just took the woman's word for it.

I think they're still in the process of scrubbing history of this information. I found articles 1998 Chicago Tribune saying the same thing. All the left stuff more current says that's a load of crap - or disputed.

@Budwick I had never heard the connection to the Underground Railroad either. I just took the woman's word for it. I think...

There are many stories about the connection, but not much evidence to confirm them, apparently.

@Piper2 There are many stories about the connection, but not much evidence to confirm them, apparently.

Evidence. Like what?

"These statues were used as markers on the Underground Railroad throughout the South into Canada," says historian/author Charles Blockson, curator of the Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia. "Green ribbons were tied to the arms of the statue to indicate safety; red ribbons meant to keep going.

@Budwick Evidence. Like what? "These statues were used as markers on the Underground Railroad throughout the South into...

There are varying opinions on the validity of the "legends". It is not a big deal to me whether they were or, not, I was just curious about the claim when I saw it somewhere awhile back.

I would not personally desire to display one, as I already mentioned. Neither would I assume that the intent of doing so was "racist".

http://www.snopes.com/jocko-lawn-jockey-racist/

Whenever I play Texas Hold'em, I always try to get a flush with the race cards. Yellow is my favorite. I don't think having an ancient statue is racism, supernatural yes, but not racism. What would've Michelangelo done... Oh, probably eaten some pizza. Wait, this question wasn't about TNMT, was it...

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing. :)

I've always thought they were racist.. guess it shows what I know.

No, but I'm sure that plenty of ignorant people will say that it is! But because those people are so easy to offend these days, it's probably a good idea to not display this sort of thing in front of your house these days.

goblue1968s avatar goblue1968 No, it's not 0Reply
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