Grab a notebook, everyone—you're gonna want to write some stuff down! Mandy took three pages of notes while talking to David Stovall about Critical Race Theory. We talk about what it is, what it isn't and why everyone if freaking the fuck out. If you've heard some of the arguments but don't know exactly how to educate people or respond to detractors, this is the podcast for you. Definitely master class material! Listen to hear how we get from CRT to George Washington's dentures to Dan Quayle's mediocrity to Margaret Thatcher thinking society doesn't exist. Dr. Stovall is faculty at the University of Illinois Chicago's School of Criminology, Law and Justice. He is a national expert in Critical Race Theory, the relationship between housing and education, and the intersection of race, place and school. Shout out to the #TruthBeTold campaign, the recent book Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male Power by Ijeoma Oluo, and Fugitive Pedagogy by Jarvis R. Givens.
You've probably never heard of the Veiled Prophet Ball. Actress Ellie Kemper definitely wishes she hadn't at this point. The gist - it's a twisted southern debutante/racist rich white person party that started in the late 1800s. Kemper was crowned the ball's Veiled Prophet Queen of Love and Beauty in 1999. After photos surfaced recently, Kemper apologized for her involvement. We're not really throwing shade on Kemper so much as we are the ball itself and the white lady involvement from the beginning. What do you get when you put a clown in a KKK outfit? The Veiled Prophet. Stuff of nightmares. Thanks to Scott Beauchamp's article in The Atlantic and Mia Mercado and Claire Lampen's article in The Cut for helping us learn about this bonkers tradition. Of course, we go down rabbit holes into Orientalism and labor strikes, because why not?
TW/CW: Today we are discussing sexual violence, assault and rape during slavery.
Any discussion of slavery would be incomplete without acknowledging the sexual violence that was perpetrated against enslaved people by their owners—men and women alike. As with other aspects of slavery, white women were far from innocent or ignorant regarding sexual intimidation, assault and rape. We shout out the podcast Intersectionality Matters from Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw (who coined the term "intersectionality" and helped found Critical Race Theory) and discuss two articles including Intersectionality & the Role of White Women: An Analysis of Divorce Petitions from Slavery by Rachel Feinstein in the Journal of Historical Sociology.
NOTE: We deeply appreciate the author of the other article that we discuss in this episode reaching out to let us know that her scholarship has come a long way since she wrote this piece. She recommends following the work of Thavolia Glymph, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, Martha Hodes, and Thomas Foster to learn more about this topic. We thank her, and are inspired to (as best we can!) reach out to the scholars whose work we're learning from to ensure they still vouch for it. As a reminder, we are not professional historians—but we are committed to learning from the highest quality work out there to share with all of you.
Also, if you need a break from this painful, traumatic, bleak history, check out the delightful middle-school-diary-reading show Mortified.
We had the honor of talking to Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, historian and author of They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South. Listeners of the podcast already know how much we revere her work and have learned from reading her research. It is even more enlightening to talk with Stephanie and learn about her background and approach to this topic and get her thoughts and advice for what it means for white women today. Petty detectives unite!
Below is the example of the nonsense history in textbooks we mention in this episode ... the Upside Down white-supremacy-apologist version of Stephanie Jones-Rogers' brilliant analysis of white slave-owning women. Read it for your daily dose of rage.
Ahhh, Joe Manchin. Not a white woman, obviously, but we will get back to Krysten Sinema another episode. Just a quick mini-update and Mandy Rant on Joe, still being Mitch McConnell's best friend and doing Mitch's job of obstructing any progress we had hoped of attaining with the senate elections in Georgia. And while trying to appear principled about it, it's all just a scam, because it turns out Joe is also a hypocrite. Because, of course he is.
Today's episode delves into the details of white women's involvement in the markets where enslaved humans were bought and sold, and how very, very much these women knew and participated in this commerce. We also get into the details you never learned about in the Dred Scott Supreme Court case. You might remember that this case determined the Constitution never meant for Black people to be citizens, regardless of their status as enslaved or free (in which case you remember more than Mandy), but you most likely didn't know there was a white woman behind the whole dirty deal: Irene Sanford Emerson Chaffee. Continued shout outs to historian Stephanie Jones-Rogers' wonderful book They Were Her Property. Buy it. Read it. Share it. It's so good.