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Fri Aug 14, 2015, 07:52 AM

The untold story of Seattle’s racist mayor *AA Group*

Knute Berger - 2015.08.12


Portrait of frontier journalist and Seattle mayor Beriah Brown and his wife Jeanie taken at E. F. Dollarhide’s Seattle studio in the 1870s. Credit: Brown Family Papers Collection, University oF Washington, Neg # 36689

The legacy of the Civil War is in the news. The debate over the Confederate flag in South Carolina brought up reminders that the rebel banner flies along I-5 in Washington in a private park dedicated to Jefferson Davis. A Confederate veteran’s memorial on Capitol Hill has been vandalized and a local group is calling for its removal. One hundred and fifty years after the war’s end, we are learning that our region was not untouched by the conflict or its politics, and that issues of race are still unresolved and infuse our present-day politics.

In that context, meet Beriah Brown, one of Seattle’s most important pioneer citizens. When he came to the young city, he brought the first power press and in 1871 founded Seattle’s first real daily newspaper, the Puget Sound Dispatch, which later merged with a competitor to form an entity that became the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Brown also served as president of the budding territorial University of Washington’s board of regents in the mid 1870s, and was clerk to the U.S. District court here. He was active in politics, too, and in 1878 he was elected to a single term as Seattle’s mayor.

But Beriah Brown was no ordinary frontier newsman. He came to Seattle as a refugee of Civil War and antebellum politics who sought to reinvent himself in fresh country. At one point, Brown fled to the Pacific Northwest from San Francisco to save his neck from an angry lynch mob.

That’s because Brown’s politics were not unlike those of Confederate President Jefferson Davis himself: He believed in white supremacy, defended slavery, wrote harshly about the “malignant” Abraham Lincoln. He was accused of Southern sympathies and suspected of heading a secret society dedicated to extending slavery throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the West Coast...


Much more of this part of a series of Crosscut stories discussing race in the Puget Sound region:

http://crosscut.com/2015/08/the-untold-story-of-seattles-racist-mayor/

Now we see why Marissa talked the way she did. Van Jones has also come out in support of her and of BLM Seattle.

*Please read the SOP in 'About this group' and the pinned threads in the AA Group's index page. This is for the regular members of AA. This is not GD.*

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply The untold story of Seattle’s racist mayor *AA Group* (Original post)
freshwest Aug 2015 OP
retrowire Aug 2015 #1
ismnotwasm Aug 2015 #2
retrowire Aug 2015 #3
gollygee Aug 2015 #4
retrowire Aug 2015 #5
gollygee Aug 2015 #6
retrowire Aug 2015 #9
okasha Aug 2015 #15
Spazito Aug 2015 #7
retrowire Aug 2015 #8
freshwest Aug 2015 #10
Spazito Aug 2015 #12
Starry Messenger Aug 2015 #11
Spazito Aug 2015 #13
George II Aug 2015 #17
Starry Messenger Aug 2015 #21
George II Aug 2015 #22
Starry Messenger Aug 2015 #23
Number23 Aug 2015 #24
George II Aug 2015 #16
retrowire Aug 2015 #19
George II Aug 2015 #25
freshwest Aug 2015 #14
retrowire Aug 2015 #20
F4lconF16 Aug 2015 #18
Cha Aug 2015 #26

Response to freshwest (Original post)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 08:22 AM

1. she talked about today's racism because of a mayor

from the 1800s????

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Response to retrowire (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 09:00 AM

2. Racism has a path

It's interconnected history is sadly fascinating, and very valuable. I took a sociology class one time where the Professer said the modern day racism could be traced back to the English defeat of the Spanish Armada.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 09:02 AM

3. it was a good history lesson, good read.

but I highly doubt that mayor was on Marissa's mind that day.

its good to know history but, some people, like that mayor are best forgotten to the pages of time. never forget what he did! but forget him you know what I mean?

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Response to retrowire (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 09:24 AM

4. I think this is a comment

on how racism is the default setting in the US, built into our structures and systems since they were created. They've never been taken down and dismantled and rebuilt without racism, so racism is still a part of them.

So this particular mayor was most likely not on her mind, but the situation in Seattle (which was on her mind) comes from somewhere.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 09:30 AM

5. well said

I get what you mean, the system was built with racist parts and we're trying to repair that system, rather than building a new one from the ground up.

because of that, there will be traces of the old parts until we truly replace them all, and even then, there will be residual remains.

well said.

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Response to retrowire (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 09:33 AM

6. We try to repair some things

and that helps but I agree it isn't enough. Some stuff we need to repair we call "tradition" and hold onto.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 10:00 AM

9. yeah, especially after recent events.

I've always felt an aversion to the confederate flag but nowadays when I see it flown I just think, "you're blatantly saying you're okay with what that flag infers."

even those who say, it's heritage! I say this, there was another nation that believed they had it all figured out. they subjugated entire races too and their execution was deplorable, ignorant and heinous.

they became pretty powerful so they might have been doing something right but they were defeated and now it is illegal to fly their flag in that home country. it's illegal to do their salute in their home country.

they were called Nazi Germany. they lost the war so they didn't get to fly their flag anymore. they don't get monuments or museums.

so why the HELL do you think it's perfectly fine for the Confederacy to be preserved and honored? sure you had ancestors fight and die in that fight. sure they were many races too. but what they fought for was wrong. and they lost.

I don't see many Germans complaining that there's no Hitler statue in the square to honor what their ancestors fought for. Yet here we have General Lee.

I understand that Nazi Germany and confederate America are not the same. but they're both losing teams, and sorry, the losing team doesn't get to fly their flag. they don't get museums. that's how it should be.

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Response to retrowire (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 12:10 PM

15. How about First Nations "losing teams?"

Do we get to fly our flags, teach our kids the language and religion of our ancestors, have museums?

African Americans and First Nations peoples' histories have a lot in common, and so do our contemporary situations. Part of what we have in common is the suppression of history. This is not acceptable, and First Nations peoples stand in solidarity with our African American brothers and sisters.

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Response to retrowire (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 09:43 AM

7. Seattle's racist history is not that far in the past, not in the past at all...

It wasn't until 2006 Governor Gregoire signed into law Senate Bill 6169, which makes it easier for neighborhoods governed by homeowners associations to rid themselves of racial restrictive covenants.

Racial restrictive covenants, what are they?

"Racial deed restrictions became common after 1926 when the U.S. Supreme Court validated their use. The restrictions were an enforceable contract and an owner who violated them risked forfeiting the property. Many neighborhoods prohibited the sale or rental of property by Asian Americans and Jews as well as Blacks. In 1948, the court changed its mind, declaring that racial restrictions would no longer be enforced, but the decision did nothing to alter the other structures of segregation. It remained perfectly legal for realtors and property owners to discriminate on the basis of race. In 1968, Congress passed the Housing Rights Act, finally outlawing discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity in the sale or rental of housing. Since then it has been illegal to act on the race restrictions that are embedded in so many deeds in Seattle and other King County communities."

http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/covenants.htm

http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/segregated.htm

The Seattle Police came under federal investigation in 2011 for Civil Rights violations along with other violations of the federal law. This is the past remaining in the present.

http://www.justice.gov/crt/investigation-documents


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Response to Spazito (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 09:52 AM

8. oh i believe it

and this is the fight in the ring today.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 10:29 AM

10. And as Marissa said, gentification is driving black residents from the only area they were allowed

to live, for the wealthy. The history of social connections in that article still exist and their descendents are what may be described as the 'rentier class.'

While some of the wealthy got that way by endeavors, it was built on the theft of land from the Duwamish, as people here know, and on the backs of laboring POC. Many working class non-whites did not benefit as may be assumed either, but there is a divide in some areas. But Seattle is changing rapidly.

The current icon for King County is MLK, Jr., but it was named for a slave holder, William R. King. Seattle is in King County.

The Washington State Flag Sucks



'If you’ll notice, it’s poorly designed and has a slave-owner on it', George Washingtom. For many people thinking of George gives them a nice feeling. But not for all.

By Kelton Sears -Aug 26 2014

King was an especially vocal advocate for the Fugitive Slave Act, which set aggressive legal mandates for the return of slaves who managed to escape plantations and find their way to the free states.

One hundred and fifty-five years after naming itself after this guy, King County officially acknowledged that William Rufus DeVane King, despite how cool he may have seemed in 1852, really loved that vile Fugitive Slave Act a lot. Also, he and his family collectively owned, like, 500 goddamn slaves.

King County, it realized, was named after an asshole.

In 2005, a 19-year effort led by City Councilmember Bruce Laing and County Executive Ron Sims culminated in then-Governor Christine Gregoire’s signing of a bill effectively changing the county’s namesake from racist asshole King to civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. When the movement finally succeeded, Sims wrote, “This is a profound and meaningful change that sends a strong and positive message about the values of our government and the people we serve.” Two years later, the county officially changed its logo from a king’s crown to a silhouette of Dr. King.




http://www.seattleweekly.com/home/954425-129/why-washingtons-state-flag-sucks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_R._King

An unbroken chain exists that leads to protests.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 10:41 AM

12. Yes, the protest by Black Lives Matter did not come out of nowhere...

history, both ancient and recent, validates their cries for change, imo.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 10:41 AM

11. I would never have known about Seattle's consent decree if it wasn't for BLM Seattle

bringing it up during their protest. And whoa at that 2006 act that finally addressed racial covenants.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 10:57 AM

13. I was surprised as well, one would have thought when racial restrictive covenants were...

made illegal in 1968 with the passage of the Housing Rights Act there would have been no need for the bill Governor Gregoire signed into law in 2006 but it seems removing the racial restrictive sections in a covenant was a complex legal question that eventually ended up with it being adjudicated by the Washington Supreme Court.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 01:26 PM

17. There is a lot of background and information regarding the DOJ and the Seattle Police..

...Monitor at this site:

http://www.seattlemonitor.com/

And these are the Memorandum of Understanding and the Settlement Agreement between the DOJ and Seattle Police Department.

http://www.seattlemonitor.com/s/spd_mou_7-27-12_copy.pdf

http://www.seattlemonitor.com/s/DOJ_Settlement_Agreement.pdf



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Response to George II (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 06:43 PM

21. I checked out the SeattleMonitor site a little bit today.

Will definitely go and check out the links. Thank you! It's another one of those topics that should have been a topic in the news for weeks, but of course, didn't seem to make the national spotlight.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 06:47 PM

22. I posted the information the night of the Seattle rallies, but many (not meaning you, you may not...

...have seen it back then) essentially dismissed it, not recognizing or not willing to accept the problems blacks have had with the Seattle Police Department for a long time.

Based on the history of the SPD, Seattle most definitely is NOT "one of the most progressive cities in America" (unless, of course, you're well off and white)

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Response to George II (Reply #22)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 06:58 PM

23. I live just down from San Francisco a few cities away.

I totally believe it. Oakland is gentrifying too, they've lost over 25% their Black population in the last few years, and of course, the cops there have been nuts too. The people on the hill get one kind of policing, and the people in the flatlands get another.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 07:15 PM

24. That is WONDERFUL information, Spaz. Thanks so much for posting that.

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Response to retrowire (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 01:19 PM

16. Are you familiar with the racial climate in Seattle in 2015?

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Response to George II (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 02:51 PM

19. No, but I wouldn't mind knowing. n/t

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Response to retrowire (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 07:18 PM

25. I posted some links elsewhere in this thread, the Seattle PD is under DOJ oversight....

...due to serious violence against blacks over the years.

The links have a lot of background on the history of the SPD.

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Response to retrowire (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 11:32 AM

14. Do you have a problem with BLM Seattle? They know how the history affects POC.

History goes back as far as the 1800s and beyond. Please don't try to make this about your candidate.

In your first foray here you were warned to not come and electioneer. The group is to discuss matters that affect black people.

The OP shows quite a bit of the history of the area, in the same language that BLM used.

It's not about Bernie, it's about finding the truths that created the country we live in. If we don't know, we won't find the tools to change things.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 02:51 PM

20. No I don't have a problem with BLM at all! n/t

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Response to freshwest (Original post)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 02:40 PM

18. Kick and rec.

I love Janae. She knows what she's talking about. People here think she's clueless when she's more aware of the world than almost anybody else I've met.

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Response to freshwest (Original post)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 04:29 AM

26. Mahalo for this thread, freshwest.. very Enlightening!

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