Warren Harding and Jim Crow

Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice, a White man, was one of the first performers to wear blackface makeup.  His skin was darkened with burnt cork. His Jim Crow song-and-dance routine was an astounding success in 1832. 

"Jim Crow" was a stock character in minstrel shows, along with counterparts Jim Dandy and Zip Coon. Rice's subsequent blackface characters were Sambos, Coons, and Dandies.  White audiences were receptive to the portrayals of Blacks as singing, dancing, grinning fools--much like OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and Montel Williams.  They will do anything to please the White man and be accepted within his good graces and are the official "lapdogs" of the 21st Century.

The mammy caricature implied that Black women were only fit to be domestic workers; thus, the stereotype became a rationalization for economic discrimination.  During the Jim Crow period, approximately 1877 to 1966, America's race-based, race-segregated job economy limited most blacks to menial, low paying, low status jobs. 

Racist items are sold openly; they are sold nationally. Even the language used in the advertisements is reminiscent of 1950s sales. For example, some eBay dealers use the word nigger in their auction titles and descriptions, even when the word is not a part of the item's name. One item for sale was described by the dealer as a "black nigger boy eating watermelon figure." The dealer used nigger in the title to attract more potential buyers.

A 1916 magazine advertisement, copyrighted by Morris & Bendien, showed a black child drinking ink. The caption read, "Nigger Milk."

With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in December 1865, slavery was officially abolished in all areas of the United States. Andrew Johnson of Tennessee clearly had no interest in ensuring the freedom of southern Blacks. The new state legislatures passed laws designed to keep Blacks in poverty and in positions of servitude. Under these so-called Black codes, ex-slaves who had no steady employment could be arrested and ordered to pay stiff fines. Prisoners who could not pay the sum were hired out as virtual slaves. In some areas, Black children could be forced to serve as apprentices in local industries. Blacks were also prevented from buying land and were denied fair wages for their work.

A group of Senators took control of the 1920 Republican Convention and turned to Harding.  He won the Presidential election by an unprecedented landslide of 60 percent of the popular vote. By 1923 the postwar depression seemed to be giving way to a new surge of prosperity, and newspapers hailed Harding as a wise statesman carrying out his campaign promise which was "Less government in business and more business in government." 

Behind the facade, not all of Harding's Administration was so impressive. Word began to reach the President that some of his friends were using their official positions for their own enrichment. Alarmed he complained...."My friends.... they’re the ones that keep me walking the floors nights!" 

He supported the conservative policies of the Republican leadership. He favored a high protective tariff (import tax).  Although he voted for U.S. entry into World War I, in April 1917, he opposed high taxes on war profits because he opposed all measures that might harm business interests. For political reasons he supported the Anti-Saloon League's pressure on the Congress of the United States to submit the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) to the states and the Volstead Act, which prohibited the sale of almost all beverages with an alcoholic content of more than 0.5 percent.

In Warren Harding’s era—the early 1900’s -- Blacks in America held stigmas of disgrace both physically and psychologically.  The hooded Ku Klux Klan rode as often as necessary to reestablish White rule.  There is early footage of Warren riding with the Klan aired on the cable History Channel.  Negroes were "loyal darkies” or brutes and beasts lusting for power and White women.  In the 21st Century Whites still stigmatize Blacks in a quantifiable psychological fashion.  Warren crossed over to become White. He suffered from self-hatred and depression. He loathed the "Blackness" within himself—look at the press and the way caricatures of the day were depicted.  Jim Crow was left behind.  

He sought the approval of Whites and succeeded in being elected president of the United States.  He took on the task almost single-handed.  He didn’t have the backing of a rich Texas Bush family like Georgie to pull off a presidential Coup.  He gave up his Black family to live as a White person—HE WAS THE PRESIDENT and had acquired the power that came with the position.   He made a BRAVERY move--maybe it was a lust for power.   He started out strong by fighting the system but ended up dead because of it. Warren was Colored.  Both of his parents were Black.  He looks just like my Uncle Roscoe whose mother was Ada Harding.  

Our family knows, but nobody else will ever know because all the records relating to his life were removed from the chronological archives and listed as CLASSIFIED.  In this photograph, he looks more Black than White--Look at his nose.  The term mulatto was used during slavery to limit people of color to be considered White.  That is why there should be no express joy to become “multiracial” in the 21st Century.  During slavery mulattoes were symbols of rape, concubine and White dominance.  The mulatto did not occupy a position midway between Black and White as thought by Blacks.  Any amount of Black blood classified a person as Black.  Mixed offspring were Black.  The only place lightness of skin seems to matter is within the Black Race.  We define each other by color—She is light—He is bright.  Then light-skinned women were sexual objects and inadmissible sexual desires for White men who saw some of the Caucasian qualities within his rape victim.  He would rather rape light-skinned women than dark-skinned Blacks. 

He supported the repeal of the wartime tax on excess profits and the reduction of income taxes on the wealthy. He signed the high tariff Fordney-McCumber Act of 1922 and proposed measures to relieve an agricultural depression that began in 1920. He also approved the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921, which first established an immigration quota system. Each European nation was assigned an annual number of immigrants equal to 3 percent of the number from that country residing in the United States in 1910. Asians were barred. Harding disapproved of radicalism of any sort and the four justices he appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States were able but very conservative men.

In March 1923 the first scandal of the Harding administration was revealed. The head of the Veterans' Bureau resigned his post and left the country. An investigation found that he and his accomplices had robbed the government of $200 million. The Veterans' Bureau chief was soon brought back to the United States and, in 1925, was sentenced to prison. Other scandals followed the Veterans' Bureau scandal. It was rumored that officials of the Justice Department were taking bribes to protect violators of the Prohibition laws.

In 1923, the most flagrant example of corruption in Harding's administration was about to be revealed. In 1921 Harding had been induced by Secretary of the Navy Denby to sign an order that transferred control of the naval oil reserves stored at Teapot Dome near Casper, Wyoming, and at Elk Hills, California, from the Navy Department to the Department of the Interior. In 1922 Secretary of the Interior Fall leased the Elk Hills reserves and the Teapot Dome fields without competitive bidding. The Senate investigation that began in 1923 revealed that Fall had received more than $400,000 from oil companies for his services.  Although the Senate did not investigate the oil leases until after Harding's death, the president was aware of the trouble within his administration. He spoke to Hoover and others about the sad position of a man who has been betrayed by those he trusted. After the war he joined other Republicans in opposing the Versailles Treaty, which included United States membership in the League of Nations, an association of the world's nations meant to be the first international peacekeeping body. Critics of the treaty argued that it might require the United States to send troops into another European war against the will of Congress or the preside.