This is our first Local Laundry minisode and we're starting in Atlanta. With heavy and very angry hearts, we discuss the latest act of white-male-supremacist-terrorism and murder in Atlanta last week and why we need to educate ourselves and watch our reactions to the news coming out of this latest incident of AAPI hate crimes. Then Katy teaches us about the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906. We've mentioned it before, and we will keep getting deeper into this framing of "protecting white women virtue" leading to horrific violence and crimes against minorities. This is one truly awful example of that nonsense.
To learn more about AAPI histories, check out these resources:
The 19th Amendment passed in 1920, but, as one of the few things we probably do remember from history class, that definitely wasn’t the end of the fight for voting rights. And although we learned the names of the prominent women of the suffrage movement (leaving out their racism and classism, of course), we didn’t hear much about the actions of white women in the years after suffrage “won.” In this episode, we discuss where white women got involved in the movement against voter suppression, where they didn’t, and why both were problematic. There were some efforts to be more inclusive of Black women in parts of this effort, but the old white woman habits of capitulating to white supremacy were still around. We’re not shocked anymore, but we’re still disgusted. Shout out to legal scholars Ronnie Podolefsky and Sarah Wilkerson-Freeman for their super helpful articles shining a light on white women's fuckery related to the poll tax.
Podolefsky, R. L. (1997). Illusion of suffrage: Female voting rights and the women's poll tax repeal movement after the Nineteenth Amendment. Notre Dame L. Rev., 73, 839.
Wilkerson-Freeman, S. (2002). The second battle for woman suffrage: Alabama white women, the poll tax, and VO Key's master narrative of southern politics. The Journal of Southern History, 68(2), 333-374.
Virginia Durr and Rosa Parks in 1981—three years before Mississippi ratified the 19th Amendment.
The whole world is talking about it, so you better bet we have something to say! We break down the royal racism Dirty Britches style. We discuss how you can't win in a system built on your oppression no matter how well you seem to do, why Kate can and should speak up (even though we know she won't), and how Sharon Osbourne pulled out all of the white lady tropes for her cringe-fest breakdown on The Talk. Plus, is it a brooch or a broach, and why the hell does anyone wear them anyway? There's a whole lot of dirty britches in Britain. Guess the American apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
In our last episode, we discussed Carrie Chapman Catt and her (blatantly racist) leadership in finally passing the 19th amendment. Today, we interview a current and former student at Iowa State University, involved in activism to rename a building on ISU campus named after Catt: the September 29th Movement (also known as 929). The conversation, however, reaches far beyond Iowa and Catt herself. Wesley Harris and Allan Nosworthy gift us their experience and knowledge in community building, collective leadership, lifelong activism, and the politics of history. Wesley is part of the next generation of the movement helping to document its history while Allan was one of the original members whose campus activism included a hunger strike. We were deeply honored to talk to them and inspired by their work. To learn more about the September 29th Movement, check out their Instagram page, recent letters to the editor of the Iowa State Daily about the name change, and original member Meron Wondwosen's recent lecture on this history. #ChangeTheName!
It's Women's History Month and in this minisode we are honoring and learning about the first female Chief of the Cherokee nation, Wilma Mankiller. Shout out to Myisha T. Hill and her awesome group, Check Your Privilege, for putting her on our radar. We highly encourage you to follow @ckyourprivilege on Instagram and sign up for Myisha's amazing courses to advance your anti-racism journey. We get awe-inspired by the incredible journey of Mankiller and her community strengthening and building work and then we contrast it with super-buzzkill and current South Dakota governor Kristi Noem. If Mankiller is our inspiration for good and worthy work, Noem is the cautionary tale of modern day white lady fuckery. So listen up today, and then keep learning and uplifting the stories of Brown, Black, Asian, Indigenous, Pacific Islander, trans, and differently-abled women and femmes throughout this month and always.
Join us as we take a deeper dive into the dirty laundry basket of Jane Swisshelm. Often venerated in Minnesota history as a feminist and abolitionist, Jane was also a down and dirty racist and settler who advocated for "extermination" of her Native neighbors. In this minisode, Katy teaches us about the US-Dakota War of 1862, the largest mass execution in U.S. history, Swisshelm's response and her continued demonization of Native people even as she worked for (white) women's rights and the abolition of slavery. Jane deserves her spot in history—not not as a hero, but rather as a study of human contradiction. Even when good contributions are made, if damage is not acknowledged, let alone redressed, it lurks and it rots. Thanks to Sally Jo Sorensen for reminding us to "effing google" these figures and for Bryan Stevenson for reminding us that we're all more than the worst thing we've ever done. When it comes to white women, however, we need to make sure we're held to account for those things and don't just keep getting swept under the rug.