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Historian Shelby Foote from PBS' The Civil War apparently held racist views of blacks

  • The late historian, who has been in the news after apparently influencing Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly's views on the Civil War, said yes when asked in a 1985 interview whether “many of the worst fears about blacks being integrated into the society have been realized.” The interview, discovered by Rice University Ph.D candidate William R. Black, finds Foote “linking the trope of the black rape with emancipation,” as Ta-Nehisi Coates points out. Foote is quoted as saying about blacks, “You can’t hold people down for two hundred years, and then all of a sudden let them up and not expect them to celebrate being let up. And they celebrated it in some pretty strange ways. Memphis is the rape capital of the United States today. There’s more rape per thousand people in Memphis than any place in the United States. And that’s a celebration. It’s not a sex act; it’s an act of violence, a protest and a celebration. The muggings that occur are mostly done—around here anyhow—by blacks, and that’s a form of celebration.”

    TOPICS: PBS, The Civil War, John Kelly, Ken Burns, Shelby Foote, Trump Presidency