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Vintage Racism: The "We Don't Want Trouble" Defense Makes a Comeback

Want proof that "post-racial America" is a myth? Look no further than a timeworn racist excuse.

Back in the Jim Crow days, there were two basic approaches to racism in the segregated South. You were an aggressor—a lawmaker wedded to segregation, a member of a lynch mob, a scientist trying to prove non-white people were inferior, or your garden variety white person who might use a racial epithet. Or you were a bystander—someone who maintained the status quo by saying, "We don't want any trouble."

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Why Are People Still Having Weddings at Plantations Slaves Built?

Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day in your life. So what if your happiness depends on the historical persecution of black people?


Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. So what if your happiness depends on exploiting the historical persecution of black people? Last year, a white British couple staged an elaborate "colonial Africa"-themed destination ceremony in South Africa, complete with black servants in fez hats and glorious laughter. The couple's been condemned for holding the affair. But stateside, hundreds of marriages are cinched every year on the soil of America's own historical horrors. Welcome to the plantation wedding.

Just yesterday, a PR flack shot me an e-mail detailing the "eight alternative wedding trends" that are hot this summer. Among them: "The Rustic South." "Many couples are going for the nostalgic feel of the old South," she told me, reflecting a "growing hunger in popular culture for all things Southern"—and for authentic backdrops built by the fruits of slave labor. "I've definitely been seeing more plantation weddings," she said when prompted.

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How to Help the South's Tornado Victims

Thousands are reeling today after having their homes torn apart by brutal storms. Here's how to help no matter where you are.


Updated, Friday April 29, 1:23 pm EST: Like most every compassionate world citizen today, our thoughts are with those in the southern United States, which has been ravaged by devastating tornadoes. Here's a roundup of how you can help the thousands of families in need. We'll be updating this throughout the day, so check back for more donation opportunities as they come.

United Way of West Alabama: 2720 Sixth St. No. 100, between Lurleen Wallace Boulevard and Capitol Park, 205-345-6640. The United Way could use donations of nonperishable food items, clothes, tarps, and feminine hygiene products. You can also make cash donations, all of which will stay local, by credit card at www.uwwa.org.

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