My Take on James W. Loewen, Sociologist and Civil Rights Champion

At my late stage of life, I find that the first thing I read every morning is the obituary section of The New York Times.  I took particular notice of the obituary of James W. Loewen in the August 20, 2021 edition of the paper.  Excerpts:

James W. Loewen, a sociologist and civil rights champion who took high school teachers and textbook publishers to task for distorting American history, particularly the struggle of Black people in the South, by oversimplifying their experience and omitting the ugly parts, died on Thursday in Bethesda, Md.  He was 79. . . .

In 1995 he published “Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong,” his study of 12 history textbooks widely used in America.  That book, which accused historians of propagating blind patriotism and sanitized optimism, was acclaimed by critics and won the American Book Award.  Updated editions were issued in 2005, 2008 and 2018 by the New Press, which has called the book its all-time best seller, accounting for the bulk of almost two million Loewen books sold. . . .

“Jim Loewen’s great achievement was his ability to combine meticulous, dogged research with humor and messianic zeal to correct the way history is taught in textbooks—which is to say all too often with large doses of xenophobia, racism, sexism and outright lies,” Ms. Adler of the New Press said in an interview. . . .

His book “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism” (2005) documented the stories of thousands of communities from 1890 to 1968 that systematically, and often forcibly, excluded Black people, Jews and others. The word “sundown” referred to signs at city limits that warned Black people not to “let the sun go down on you” there.

I’m not nearly as big a fan of Loewen’s as the Times’ obituary writer obviously is.  Back in 2009, I wrote a review of a book mentioned in the obit, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism (New York: New Press, 2005).   I’ve decided it is worth resurrecting that review to provide a bit of balance to all the fawning occasioned by Loewen’s death (it wasn’t just the Times).   Here it is.  2009.

*   *   *

A good way to get a handle on what author James W. Loewen is up to in Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism is to see where he ends up and then go back to the beginning of the book and trace how he got there.

A few paragraphs from the end of the book, Loewen declares, “America should not have white neighborhoods or black neighborhoods.”  Note that he doesn’t say that America should not have sundown towns (defined in a bit); he says no white or black neighborhoods.  Also in these last pages, he reveals that he is not satisfied with merely advocating that people do things his way.  If white communities don’t have a requisite percentage of blacks by his standard, he’d have them cut off from funds for sewage facilities, police training, “and a 1001 other programs,” and the whites who live there would lose the tax deduction for their mortgage interest.  James W. Loewen is not kidding around.   Father knows best.

Who’s Loewen?  He is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont, where he taught race relations for twenty years.  He is currently [this is 2009, remember] a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.  His books include Lies My Teacher Told Me, which according to his website is a “gripping retelling of American history as it should be told” that has sold 800,000 copies.  Loewen’s awards include the First Annual Spivak Award of the American Sociological Association for sociological research applied to the field of intergroup relations.  The Gustavus Myers Foundation named Sundown Towns a Distinguished Book of 2005.

At this writing, Loewen is teaching a course entitled “Race Relations through Feature films” at the Catholic University of America.  It appears he is in big demand.  His website lists twelve speeches and workshops he has lined up in the next six weeks.   “Have Jim Loewen Speak at Your Community, School or College,” his site proclaims, and lists as one of the workshop possibilities, “How History Keeps Us Racist—And What To Do About It.”

Let’s go through Sundown Towns and see how Loewen makes his pitch—which is the way to look at this book, because while it is framed as a scholarly sociological and historical inquiry, it is a polemic pure and simple.

What are sundown towns?  The term comes from signs posted in towns that said “Whites Only Within City Limits After Sundown” or something to that effect.  Loewen begins the book with this definition:

Beginning in about 1890 and continuing until 1968, white Americans established thousands of towns across the United States for whites only.  Many towns drove out their black populations, then posted sundown signs.  Other towns passed ordinances barring African Americans after dark or prohibiting them from owning or renting property; still others established such policies by informal means, harassing and even killing those who violated the rule.  Some sundown towns similarly kept out Jews, Chinese, Mexicans, Native Americans, or other groups.

In Sundown Towns, Loewen concerns himself with whites’ exclusion of blacks from their communities.  He asserts that sundown towns were rare in the South but common in the North.  In 1970, he informs us, Illinois had 475 towns and cities that were all-white (by “all-white” Loewen means very few blacks).  Notice his use of the “all-white” descriptor.  This begins the process of blurring the distinction between a sundown town and any all-white community.  This is a pattern in the book: establish a pejorative concept—sundown towns in this case—and then include within it, or associate it with, or equate it with, a wider and wider range of phenomena.

Illinois with its large number of all-white (think sundown, bad) towns and cities isn’t exceptional, writes Loewen: “There is reason to believe that more than half of all towns in Oregon, Indiana, Ohio, the Cumberlands, the Ozarks, and diverse other areas were also all-white on purpose.  Sundown suburbs are found from Darien, Connecticut, to La Jolla, California, and are even more prevalent; indeed, most suburbs began life as sundown towns.”

Note the term “on purpose” in the above quote.  To the equation of the broader “all-white” for “sundown,” it adds “on purpose” to the list of negative practices in the definition of sundown towns that led off the book.  So now simply choosing to congregate in white areas is damned.   You don’t need ordinances or signs; just intentionally (as well as unintentionally) living around people like you is enough to get you on Jim Loewen’s most-wanted poster.

Loewen’s shift in tense from past to present in the quote—from “were” in the first sentence to “are” in the second, check out the shift—serves to impart the impression without his having to make the case that once a sundown town always a sundown town and always bad, regardless of what may have occurred since 1968.

How can Loewen be certain about the genesis and maintenance of the racial residential patterns in so many places?  I got to the end of the book and still couldn’t figure out why I should accept his say-so that sundown towns were/are that ubiquitous.

How did whites establish and maintain all these sundown towns?  The picture Loewen paints with a sopping-wet five-inch brush—nothing subtle or nuanced about Jim—is one of white perpetrators and black victims.  The words he uses to depict whites’ conduct include “racial exclusion,” “terror,” “fraud,” “steering,” “lying,” “stalling,” “gentlemen’s agreements,” and (his scare quotes) “legal means.”

Loewen’s favorite word to describe whites’ actions is “mob”—lawless, violent, beastly, rampaging whites committing heinous acts against innocent and harmless blacks.  I’ll briefly list ten of the “mob stories” Loewen recounts in the book to give a sense of the cumulative affect these depictions are likely to have on readers, in most cases young white people reading it as a required text in a university course taught by someone like, well, James W. Loewen.  Keep in mind I’m leaving out a lot of the gory details.  Think about the perception of their ancestors that young whites are likely to form from these accounts.  Also, see if you can think of any other race or ethnicity depicted as negatively in our schools or in the public discourse generally.  Imagine a group of black university students being assigned to read comparable accounts of their racial kinsmen.

  • A white mob looted the apartment of a black who tried to move into Cicero, Illinois, threw his furniture and belongings out the window and set them on fire while police stood by and watched.
  • A white mob stoned members of the Congress of Racial Equality as they marched in support of open housing.
  • A white mob of twenty or thirty men, armed with guns and clubs, tied black men to trees and whipped them, bound black men and women together and threw them in a four-foot hole, burned several homes, and warned all blacks to leave town that night.
  • A white mob of fifty men drove out all the blacks living in Decator, Indiana.
  • A mob of more than eight hundred whites marched from Spring Valley, Illinois to a settlement of African Americans two miles west of town, dragged the blacks from their homes, clubbed and trampled them and shot them, insulted and slapped the black women, and shot and killed two of them as they begged for mercy.
  • A mob from Cairo and Anna, Illinois hanged accused murderer Will James while women in the mob sang and screamed in delight. The word “mob” was used twelve times in the description of this incident.
  • A white mob rioted and forced Revenna, Kentucky’s blacks out of town.
  • In Duluth, Minnesota, a mob of whites hanged three workers they suspected of raping a white woman. Loewen says whether she was raped by anyone is doubtful.
  • A white mob in Eldorado, Illinois told the Reverend Peter Green of the African American Church to leave town in twenty-four hours under penalty of death.
  • A white mob in Okemah, Oklahoma hanged a black woman and her son from a bridge because they became anxious about a neighboring black town.

Got it?   Now, when I say “white,” what comes to your mind?  What images, what words?  What feelings come up?  What do you feel in the pit of your stomach, throughout your body, when I say “white”?  Like everything in this hefty tome, the mob stories contribute to demonizing, splintering, and domesticating white people and rationalizing, within a nation conceived in liberty,  the dictatorial management of their lives by people like James W. Loewen.

According to Loewen, why did whites create these terrible sundown towns?  Whatever justifications they offered for their conduct—black’s behavior prompted it, anything else—don’t hold water, that’s for sure.  Loewen backhands any and all defenses of sundown towns and, what he really cares about, any community that isn’t multiracial.  He dismisses whites’ attempts to explain a desire to live among their own as “nonsensical,” “tautological,” “erroneous,” “preposterous,” and “excuses.”

Loewen refers in passing to white solidarity in the book, which he defines as “whites sticking together in order to stick it to minorities.”  Nowhere to be found is the term white separatism, the desire of whites to live with others of their race, who share their culture, their ways, their heritage, absent the desire to dominate or exploit other people.  Loewen’s not going to bring up the possibility of thinking that way about racial matters.  He gives a lot of play to white supremacy, which he links to guess who: the Nazis.  White attitudes, Loewen informs us, are “eerily reminiscent of Germans’,” and “it is sobering to realize that many jurisdictions in America had accomplished by 1934–36 what Nazis could only envy.”

What accounts for whites’ exclusion of blacks?   What else?   Racism.  Loewen gives no energy to defining what he means by racism.  Keeping things vague allows him to expand the concept of racism so that eventually he can include even a hint of criticism or disrespect of blacks’ collective behavior.  Don’t let Jim Loewen catch you saying anything bad about blacks.   He’ll call you up to the front of the room and slap your fingers.

What does Loewen hold to be the cause of malevolent white racism?  White ignorance of blacks.  And what accounts for this ignorance?  Whites’ limited experience with blacks, or as Loewen calls it, “whites’ lack of an experience foundation.”  “I have found that white Americans expound about the alleged characteristics of African Americans in inverse proportion to their contact and experiences with them.”  For their own good, whites in America should be denied freedom of association and forced to live among blacks.  Jim Loewen is doing them a favor.

My own research contradicts Loewen’s “lack of experience foundation” explanation for whites’ negative perceptions of blacks.   I wrote a book [which I suspect won’t make it into a New York Times obituary] in which seventeen average white people report their experiences and outlooks regarding race.[1] They told me that it wasn’t their lack of contact with blacks but rather their close contact with them that led to their negative view of blacks and desire to get themselves and their families away from them.

Loewen says he believes in the value of oral history: “We must talk to long-time residents.”  He may have talked to long-time residents, but I saw no indication that he heard them or anybody else who didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear.

There was the “pleasant conversation” he had with a woman “fifty years behind the times.” There was the friend who made the mistake of saying in his presence, “I just don’t understand why blacks would want to live where they aren’t wanted.”  Loewen points out that her question “presumes that African Americans can be expected to assess whether whites want them and should comport themselves accordingly”—which it didn’t, it just asked the factual question, why do blacks want to live where they aren’t wanted?  “When we buy a house,” lectures Loewen, “we do not assess whether our neighbors will like us.  We presume we will be accepted or at least tolerated.”  Wrong again.  The parallel to his friend’s question is white people moving into an all-black area.  Indeed, they would assess whether their neighbors would like them and would not presume they would be accepted or tolerated in the all-black neighborhood.

Here is an excerpt from the oral history of a forty-year-old man I talked to from the northeastern part of the United States of the sort that didn’t make it into Loewen’s book:

People who think of themselves as enlightened and on the moral high ground in matters of race write off people like me as ignorant racists.  Unlike them, so it goes, we pre-judge people.  If only we were exposed to racial and ethnic diversity we would learn to value different kinds of people—etcetera, etcetera, you’ve heard the line.  You’ll notice that most of these people doing the pontificating and finger pointing about racial equality and harmony and the virtues of integration and multi-racialism do it from the far distance of the leafy suburbs or a university campus somewhere.  The fact of the matter is that, unlike practically all of them, I have lived up close with the reality of race in America.  And regardless of what they might like to think, I am not stupid or unenlightened or their moral inferior.  The people who look down their noses at people like me should come live for a year or two or three where my family and millions of other white families live.   Let their children grow up and go to school in this pigsty and be threatened and attacked and robbed and raped.  Then they can talk.[2]

In Sundown Towns, Loewen refers to whites’ “amazing stereotypes” about blacks—and of course he means amazingly off-base.  He doesn’t cite data related to black crime statistics, illegitimacy rates, welfare dependency, and educational and work performance to show how amazingly wrong whites are in their negative perceptions of blacks.  He doesn’t refer to what has happened in America’s cities when blacks displaced whites.  He doesn’t describe the quality of life in sundown towns and what happened when they integrated to the point that they included a critical mass of blacks, say 30%.  As a sociologist or historian, however Loewen defines himself these days, I would have expected him to do this.   He doesn’t bother.  Today’s university academics in the social sciences see no need for this kind of thing.  They see what they do as akin to preaching the gospel.

Loewen negatively stereotypes whites left and right in Sundown Towns.  What particularly stuck in my craw was his characterization of young whites from the suburbs.  “These young people have grown up with a sense of entitlement,” Loewen declares.  “The world is their oyster, and they intend to harvest its pearls.  Families like these can go to Bali and never meet a Balinese family, because they stay at the Sanur Beach Hyatt.”

For many years, I have taught young whites from this background at the same university Loewen did, the University of Vermont.  (I didn’t know Loewen.  I had just one brief long-range exchange with him.  In response to an article in a national publication disparaging my racial views, he emailed me suggesting I read Sundown Towns to help straighten out my thinking.  I replied that I had read it, and that it had actually reinforced my thinking.)  Loewen’s portrayal of the decent, hardworking young people I came to know well is cruel and hurtful.  I presume their parents have no sense of the class resentment university faculty like Loewen—he is far from alone—harbor toward their children, who, at significant financial sacrifice, they turn over to them.  Imagine what it is like to be a nineteen- or twenty-year-old white student from a suburban background—or a graduate student—and be in a classroom with a professor who has thinly veiled animus toward you.

Loewen has a section on the “social pathology of the white ghetto” in which he goes on about how it limits white children’s horizons and provides “fertile recruiting fields for the KKK.”  (Have you come across any KKK members lately?)  He calls white flight “a pestilence.”  Loewen dumps on the multitudes of white people—including those being driven out of southern California by the Hispanic presence, I think of a woman I interviewed for my book—heartlessly discounting the reality of their lives.

Here’s someone else of the sort that Loewen kept us from hearing, a fifty-year-old man from the Philadelphia area who described to me what had happened to his childhood neighborhood.  He was confronting the same situation in the neighborhood he and his wife and daughter had moved into fifteen years previously:

Before it became illegal, local realtors would show houses only to white families.  Although it has been painted as an unfair arrangement, it really reflected the point of view of the town.  The people there wanted to live among their own people.  They wanted to live in a white community.  Now, I see that as the highest form of self-determination: people defining their own community, people deciding what comes into their collective lives, people determining their own standards.  It doesn’t matter if their standards are rational or moral by someone else’s measure.  People have a right to decide whom they are comfortable living next to and not comfortable living next to.  This is fundamental and it not a matter of rationality or morality.   It is simply human.  It is not that they have ill will toward anyone.  It is just that they know the atmosphere that they like.

The neighborhood where I grew up has turned into a wasteland.  Whites still make up a majority of the community—55%—but nevertheless the neighborhood has gone in the same direction of a typical urban black area.  When I was living there, when a tree died an Irish guy named Fred Fagan would plant a new one.  Now those saplings are mighty trees.  When a tree dies these days, no one plants a new one. There is broken glass all over the place, and things like busted up shopping carts lying on their side blocking the alleys.  Many of the old brick houses are covered over with some kind of god-awful siding.  When I was a kid, repairs and restorations were done in the mode of the existing architecture of the town.   Now, from one house to the next, they are all different.  There is no common thread to the look of the houses now.  There used to be hedges and white picket fences that lent a common feel to the area—no more.

My mother still lives there. Recently, a black teenager knocked my mother to the ground, injuring her, and took her purse.  This sort of thing was unheard of in my old neighborhood, but it is commonplace now. The black woman across the street was just arrested for robbing 7-Eleven stores.  When I was growing up, kids could go anywhere in town on their bicycles.  We could go in the woods and explore down by the creek and there would be no danger at all.  Now, there is no way you would allow your child to even take a walk around the neighborhood.  Just this year, a young white woman was abducted by two black men and taken to a place where we used to play ball and raped and murdered.  These heinous crimes are happening regularly there.  My mother’s house, when she dies, would have sold for a pretty penny, but it is worth very little on the market now.

The place I live in now, on the outskirts of Philadelphia, was a clean and safe place when my wife and I moved here fifteen years ago.  But the pattern of my childhood home has been repeated.  Nonwhites have moved in and the neighborhood has deteriorated drastically.  More and more, I find that this isn’t a suitable place for my family.  It doesn’t reflect our heritage and values.[3]

As it turned out, this man was “saved” from this circumstance; he died several months after telling me this.

In Sundown Towns Loewen comes down particularly hard on the town of Edina, a largely white suburb of Minneapolis.  I grew up in Minneapolis.   When I was a kid, Minneapolis was just about all white.   You could walk anyplace at any time in that beautiful city of lakes.  But Minneapolis has gone the demographic route of other urban centers in this country and you can’t walk just anywhere in “Murderapolis,” as it is now called.  A few years ago, my brother moved from Minneapolis—call it escaped—to Edina.  Indeed, Edina is a sundown town, but not in the way Loewen thinks about it.  Edina is a sundown town because it is a town where white people feel safe after sundown.

[1] Robert S. Griffin, One Sheaf, One Vine: Racially Conscious White Americans Talk About Race (1stBooks Library, 2004).

[2] Griffin, One Sheaf, One Vine, 154–55.

[3] Robert S. Griffin, Living White: Writings on Race, 2000–2005 (AuthorHouse, 2006), 65–66, 70.

20 replies
  1. James Clayton
    James Clayton says:

    Well, as usual, Dr. Griffin, I salute you. A new arrival in our “community” was introduced to me behind the man’s back by a neighbor who somehow “learned” that the man was a Chairman of the Sociology Department at a “prestigious” university. I could confirm no such employment including the expected ultra-left liberal rantings of a woman on the University web site that claimed she was chair of the sociology department.

    When I moved to a new town after professional school, I enrolled in two summer session classes at the city college, which was essentially free of tuition and had bought-back, used textbooks available in its bookstore. They were Sociology and Psychology– introductory classes. I’d been around enough to begin to discriminate and recognized immediately the value of understanding human behavior basics, e.g., Pavlov’s drooling dogs. And I knew I didn’t like sociology and therefore sociologists from my late teens.

    Last night, we watched a new-to-us DVD of Walt Disney’s Song of the South. It would be interesting to read a sociologist’s take on it. It was hard to find for a long time. Recalling it paints a rather liberal picture of stupid White people, a mamma’s little man saved by a Black uncle tom, Uncle Remus, and that it pointed out the tremendous responsibilities of mothers who took the job seriously and the importance of fathers being around. I wanted to see it again having seen it in a theater for a dollar when it first came out. I was a little disappointed and bored because I was expecting more given the antipathy for Walt Disney attributed to Jews. Last month, sponge-bathing in the mainstream, I noted one of Eisner’s lieutenants’ extradition and second, separate trial is approaching.,of%20attacking%20five%20women%20from%202004%20to%202013.

    • Chet Nixon
      Chet Nixon says:

      I had heard all the hullabaloo about Song of The South, and decided to seek it out a few years ago before Youtube was Jewtube, and found that I recalled watching it as a tot on “The Wonderful World of Disney” sometime in the mid 80’s. Rewatching it with a critical eye for racist or politically incorrect themes, I was nonplussed to discover that the people who were complaining about this film were nothing but a bunch of whiny, ignorant crybabies. The film was controversial at the time of its release (1946) because it was one of the first children’s films to feature a black actor.

    • James Clayton
      James Clayton says:

      Someone asked me about Michael Eisner. Dr. Griffin is Dr. Pierce’s biographer. And Dr. Pierce here explains what becamse of THE DISNEY COMPANY when captured by the Jews in a nutshell:

      Another asked me about the Weinstein brothers and, again, Dr. Pierce did a good job of encapsulating their heritage here in his review of the first movie a division of THE DISNEY COMPANY produced:

      Dr. Griffin is most-certainly not a hater and I’m he’s becoming a regular here.

  2. "Western sunset"
    "Western sunset" says:

    Western Australians have undergone the same experiences. In the goldfields towns the blacks (aboriginals, still in the ‘stone’ age) were not welcome after dark. Fighting and fornicating, disease ridden and defaecating in the streets, they made life hell for those nearby.
    Broome once had such laws to stop the spread of purulent ophthalmia from the filth of the native leavings. Many white children were left blind by this. In very recent years Broome has become a haven for black drug sellers/growers and an epidemic of murder and rape of tourists and locals has resulted. Of course the booming tourist fleas do not like the publicity as it interferes with the carefully massaged promotion. Police were/are absolutely corrupt and involved with some of the criminality. Despite forced integration in many Perth suburbs life is a continuing barrage of robberies, rapes, assault and murder. Kalgoorlie – Boulder underwent a campaign by the activist cannibals of crapping and urinating in their main shop streets. Massive wealth transfers by imposed land rights legislation has attracted many tribals to the city suburbs, there to become a festering sore for those who built the country. But things are looking up. The brain dead have so lowered their standards that it can be difficult to tell the difference between black and white. At midnight.

  3. Chet Nixon
    Chet Nixon says:

    “Imagine what it is like to be a nineteen- or twenty-year-old white student from a suburban background—or a graduate student—and be in a classroom with a professor who has thinly veiled animus toward you.”

    As a white male and combat veteran from the South, that was almost exclusively my experience with higher education after I left the USMC. I recall speaking on the phone to the cheerful secretary in admissions at a university in Florida whose tone and demeanor drooped in an affected manner when I said “…Marine Corps.” Suddenly, she was not at all helpful or chipper. I had encountered that several times by that point, and there’s no way you could convince me that Blacks had it worse in the 50’s trying to work within these institutions. There is a palpable bigotry in higher education against people like me.

    One will sometimes get the impression that they are the brightest student in the classroom when they’re the only person who engages with the professor (although the professors who are like Loewen hate that it’s always “that white guy”); we make excuses for our peers that they’re simply disengaged, or they’re nervous, or they didn’t read the assigned material, or they’re still hung over from that party they went to last night, even though it’s a Wednesday morning, etc. However, soon you’ll be given a group assignment in which you’ll find that many of these kids are, in fact, amazingly stupid. “Dumb” is an oft-used euphemism for “stupid”, because many stupid people will not speak unless you question them directly, and then they respond monosyllabically (or worse, with pre-programmed talking points).

    I have determined that group assignments are so widely used these days because it gives lazy professors fewer works to grade, because the competent will buoy the detritus, and large percentages of the groups grade would be based on “teamwork” (that is, doing all or most of the work for your assigned “team”). The goal of today’s education system is to ensure that the cream never rises to the top. Colleges and universities in America today do not want the most bright; they want the least White.

    Having grown up as a poor white kid in the South, I have had a number of friends who were black. One guy used to have a lawncare business, and mowed the lawns on either side of the house I bought after my time in the service. I’d be out there, mowing my lawn with my pushmower, and this old, ratty Silverado would park in front of my house, and off its trailer this black guy with a newish zero-turn would mow the lawn of my neighbors on both sides of me, front and back, before I had my lawn finished. After a few encounters where he would give me a friendly jibe about how “That looks hard! You should pay someone to do that!” I pointed out that he should pay someone like me to fix his truck up.

    So, we struck up a deal where I would go to his house and fix his badly-neglected old truck, and he’d mow my lawn for a few months. Since there was no room in my driveway, we’d have to do the repairs at his place. I found his house in a black neighborhood, and guess what? His lawn wasn’t mowed. I had to park on the street, and had to make my way through almost calf-deep grass to get back and forth to his truck, and soon there was a clear footpath in the grass, and grass stains on the bottoms of my jeans. I asked him why someone with a lawncare business didn’t mow his own lawn, to wit he replied “Lawn mowing is something black people do in white neighborhoods, and nobody does in black neighborhoods.”

    He explained (in language I shall not attempt to parrot) his black neighbors would be more likely to target his house for burglary if his lawn was well-maintained. The nicer houses in black areas are owned by “people who have money”, and that makes them the focus of black criminals, so there’s a perverse social pressure to make things look trashy and dilapidated on the exterior as possible. The inside of his house was clean and well-maintained, and he had nicer appliances than I did by contrast.

  4. SS
    SS says:

    Where is the proof there were sundown towns? Where are the family photos with a sign in the background “get out by sundown”? Knowing the USA, I would guess sundown towns are a big story, cooked up by Hollywood screen writer types.”You better not be here after sundown” or a similar line being common for a movie sheriff to tell a new comer – white on white.

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      You are quite right to ask these questions. Indeed, a third question might be why neither Doctor Griffin nor his admirers on this thread voice the identical concerns.

      In a great many of the essays Doctor Griffin has written for this site, he has (1) far too readily conceded the opposition’s major premise (which has usually been an outright lie, a calculated exaggeration, or a transparent bêtise) or (2) responded with poorly framed arguments or (3) focused on aspects of the given topic that were little more than irrelevancies—except, that is, on the occasions he has done all three. The present essay, alas, has three strikes written all over it, although in terms of disappointments, it comes in a distant second to the Chauvin defense article of this past May (q.v.).

    • Chet Nixon
      Chet Nixon says:

      I have no doubt that they existed in some form, but that was probably a decidedly informal form, not some absurd sign that would make the town the target of photographers from Jewish newspapers. Like the many photos of lynchings with crowds of smiling, unmasked Whites that were almost always legitimate executions of criminals who were tried AND convicted, I’d wager that “Sundown Towns” were generally towns which had provisions against non-residents (i.e. Blacks) being in town after 8pm.

      No one had any legitimate reason to be out after dark in an era when streetlights were a novelty of large metropolitan centers, but even towns which had street lights turned them off around 10pm; when no buses or passenger trains were running; when most Americans didn’t own cars, but there was no reflective paint on the paved roads, or even lane markers, and most roads in the US were not paved; when there were no reflective street signs, and perhaps no street signs at all; when no store or reputable business was open; when police officers were not given any formal training, and didn’t have radios in their car, letalone radios on their hips and computers in their pockets; officers had to rely on their gut and their biases, etc.

      People who were seen out after dark in a town they did not live in were certainly up to no good. I’m talking about what America, and much of the world was like like in the 1960’s, not the 1860’s; we take many of these very recent technological developments of our modern world for granted. My grandparents were born into a world where no human being had ever knowingly been given an antibiotic that wasn’t deadlier than the infection; the first safe antibiotic wasn’t discovered until 1939 (in Germany); before that, you could literally get a splinter in your finger, get a severe infection, and DIE.

      Highly-educated idiots like James Loewen assume that the world of their everyday experiences (the ones they choose to remember, anyway) is the world as it has always been everywhere. They assume their personal perspective is one borne of a divine, eternal truth, which stretches forwards and backwards along an infinite timeline, without beginning or end. They are purposefully ignorant, because ignorance gives them a sense of superiority. Trying to elucidate facts to these people is like pouring precious water onto the hot desert sands in the hopes something will grow.

    • Poupon Marx
      Poupon Marx says:

      “Knowing the USA, I would guess sundown towns are a big story, cooked up by Hollywood screen writer types.”You better not be here after sundown” or a similar line being common for a movie sheriff to tell a new comer – white on white.”

      The first question I have it is, “How old are you”? I’m 73 and have lived all over the USA, in the South, originally from Texas, three West Coast States, Colorado, and Jew York. Not only were “Whites Only” common to many towns, even in Baltimore in the 1970s, “Little Italy” was a row house neighborhood of working class Italians that informally blocked all Negroes from entering, including its restaurants. There were a few Buh-lacks who tested this resolve, and got beaten up and dumped elsewhere. This prohibition was further backed up by the local Mafia and their influence in the City Government.

      Just as in Sloth Africa with its Townships, where Blacks were obliged to return to after work (sundown), the same existed commonly throughout America. BTW, the same applied to indigenous Mexicans. In our lily White suburb-an independent city-EuroLatins were invisible.

    • James J O'Meara
      James J O'Meara says:

      Well, the Robert Johnson song “Crossroads”, a blues “classic” and a staple of 60s rock groups like Cream, is about some black drifter “trying to hitch a ride” so as to get out of a sundown town.

      “Mmm, the sun goin’ down, boy, dark gon’ catch me here
      oooo, ooee, eee boy, dark gon’ catch me here.”

      However, trying to verify this before posting here, leads me to think my source was likely Lowen himself, or someone writing about the book, like this guy:

      There’s a link to a website that explains how Loewen advices people on how to “discover” they live in a sundown town:

      As Griffin indicates, the steps to take seem to involve a lot of assumptions. He even notes that the absence of any laws or signs “is just the sort of thing you’d expect” (paraphrase), which is the kind of paranoid thinking we now see with “systematic racism”. Evidence is evidence, and lack of evidence is evidence of guilt.

  5. Jacobite
    Jacobite says:

    Assuming (or going with the odds) that Prof Loewen is Jewish, I had to laugh when he mentioned the question of why Blacks would want to move into a neighborhood where they weren’t welcome. Nobody anywhere would be better suited to answer that question than he. After all, it wasn’t actually Blacks who were originally attacking restrictive covenants in deeds. Oh, just as they started, and ran, the NAACP as cover, they would drag Blacks in as fellow restrictees, but it was the Jews who were battering down the gates to white neighborhoods. Housing, clubs, professional societies, colleges, resorts, etc., the Jews demanded to be let in, and they’d sue your behind in a minute if you balked. Honestly, they didn’t care what any goy thought about anything. Never have; never will. This goes ‘way back. I recall the bloody rioting in Alexandria about 40 A.D. The issue was that Jews were sending their kids to the gymnasium, where only citizens of Alexandria were allowed. Only Greeks were citizens. When the Jews were called on it, violence broke out. The Emperor Caligula sent for the Greeks and the Jews each to send a delegation to Rome to present the case. Caligula was cooled off, and by the time the delegations arrived, Claudius was Emperor. Not at all surprisingly, the Jews sent TWO delegations. Claudius ruled on all the disputes, and in his decision letter, mentioned that the Jews seemed to be the enemies of all mankind. This insight goes back to some of the Greeks, and has never faded since. Even more instructive is the story of the Diaspora Uprising of 115-117 A.D. Gibbon’s description is sufficient. Until they came to power in the USSR in 1917, this was their golden moment.

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      Assuming (or going with the odds) that Prof Loewen is Jewish …

      Your assumption is understandable albeit mistaken. Loewen’s parents were Mennonites, and it was in that splintery Anabaptist sect that Loewen was raised. As is all too often the case with men and women raised in marginal and distinctly nutty sects, when Loewen broke with the community and tenets of his upbringing, he moved further from wholesomeness and sanity rather than closer to those desirables. Indeed, his uncritical and unlimited self-confidence—a characteristic of cranks by and large, for whom the certainty that they always know best is a given—is plastered all over his face, the photo of which calls to mind nothing so much as its remarkable resemblance to the portrait of Brigham Young, a monstrously grim loony of a very different but equally irrational outlook.

      Although I had never seen a photo of Loewen before the publication of this article, I have been familiar with the contents of “Lies My Teacher Told Me” since the late nineties. With the confusion and malice characteristic then and now of the academic and scholastic establishment, the book’s complaint—viz., that American history texts of that day were riddled with errors and misinterpretations—is largely inarguable. Yet the solution Loewen offered, a solution approved and seconded by the “educational” establishment, was both far more erroneous and far more morally and intellectually corrupting than the mistakes complained of. In short, Loewen’s cure was worse than the disease.

      • Poupon Marx
        Poupon Marx says:

        “As is all too often the case with men and women raised in marginal and distinctly nutty sects, when Loewen broke with the community and tenets of his upbringing, he moved further from wholesomeness and sanity rather than closer to those desirables. ”

        How ironic, Pierre, that you characterize The Plain People, who are wholly self sufficient, virtuous, never propagated violence against anyone, and as far as I know did not bugger young boys and look askance when wide spread homosexuality and other perversions were practiced in the cloisters of both male and female adherents. Furthermore, I don’t believe they descended to the gutter level of the common Catheter Church of insistence that the Popey was the other Disciple at the Last Dinner, was infallible in his judgements, was given special access to the Lord as a conduit (You gotta go through me! Pay the toll!).

        Or how’s about the Castrati, Pierre, where unwilling young boys were victimized and pressed by their brainwashed parents to submit their sons to castration before puberty, in order to raise their high register voices to the beaming God, who lived just out of reach behind the stars. And of course the Inquisition, whereby you were mutilated until you “confessed” your sins. Pass me the popcorn.

        I could go on, but even at this point I have to ask just what the dickens is wrong with you and E. Michael Jones? Are you both that mentally disturbed and schismed from Reality? When internal doctrine is rigidly consistent in a separate set of beliefs that are at wide variance with common standards of perception and apprehension, then the question of mental fitness and health becomes an issue.

        Just for laughs, though, it is hard to beat the conduct and comportment of so many Popeys. Beyond openly siring bastard children, worshipping Satan openly, and enjoining the faithful to believe derangement and madness where some channeling to the Divine, I submit the following:


        10 of History’s Most Scandalous Popes
        >Stephen VI Dug Up a Predecessor’s Corpse and Put it on Trial
        >Sergius III Murdered Two Predecessors, and Fathered an Illegitimate Child Who Went on to Become a Pope
        >John XII Turned the Papal Palace Into a Whorehouse, and Died While Having Sex

        Psst. Pierre, could you get me a piece of paper that will serve as a passport to enter them Pearly Gates of Saint Peter? Like they used to do in old days? Or how about a dispensation, honored by God Hisself, to absolve me of my sins? How much moolah?

        .>The Papacy Sold amidst New Depths of Wickedness

        As incredible as it may seem, the papacy then sank to a lower depth of wickedness and remained in this condition for nearly a thousand years. Christian historians airily brush aside the true nature of the popes, saying that they never regarded them as “impeccable” and ignoring the fact that they committed outrages against every standard of human decency.

        Pope John XII (Octavian, c. 937—964, pope 955—964, The Popes, A Concise Biographical History, ibid., pp. 166-7) was another in the succession of impious popes and he opened his inglorious career by invoking pagan gods and goddesses as he flung the dice in gambling sessions. He toasted Satan during a drinking spree and put his notorious mistress/prostitute Marcia in charge of his brothel in the Lateran Palace (Antapodosis, ibid.).

        He “liked to have around him a collection of Scarlet Women”, said the monk-chronicler Benedict of Soracte, and at his trial for the murder of an opponent his clergy swore on oath that he’d had incestuous relations with his sisters and had raped his nuns (Annals of Beneventum in the Monumenta Germaniae, v). He and his mistresses got so drunk at a banquet that they accidentally set fire to the building. It would be difficult to imagine a pontiff who was farther removed from saintliness, yet in an age when the average life of a pope was two years, he held the throne for 10 years.
        (The Criminal History of the Papacy
        Part 1 of 3
        Extracted from Nexus Magazine
        Volume 14, Number 1
        (December 2006 – January 2007)

        I’m just scratching the surface.

  6. bruno
    bruno says:

    I always enjoy reading Prof. Griffin. I thought it was noble of him to write about Dr. Fields. Although I didn’t agree with Fields’ take on Eurocide II. I did agree with about 95% of everything else he reiterated. I even sent him bread. As for Griffin’s article here, the individual he wrote about was simply a lowlife hypocrite. Being in Vermont Loewen probably didn’t have a chance to live in a dark city. It’s too bad. He was simply an opportunist. If he really believed in what he wrote, upon retirement he could’ve moved to Detroit (unless a health dilemma prevented relocation). It’s becuz of b-stards like Loewen than EuroMan now has to run uphill. May he ret in hell.

  7. ChilledBee
    ChilledBee says:

    It sure would be interesting to know what “Urban Paradise” this fool lived in.

    As a small example in California, there is Korea Town – China Town – Little Tehran (Westwood) – Fairfax district- Orthodox Jews. The likes of Lowen never seem to have a problem with any other race living among their own apart from Whites. What if his intense dislike of White people spills over into his grading of papers of his White students?

  8. DM
    DM says:

    I live in one of the South’s allegedly most “notorious” former sundown towns, Cullman, Alabama, the site of the 30,000+ strong Trump rally two weekends ago. I moved here from Birmingham last fall, after the Floyd riots made the city a frightening place to live, even though my neighborhood bordered Mountain Brook, the wealthiest municplality in the state. The local news stations went absolutely BLM. My neighborhood was an oasis, as is every white neighborhood in Birmingham. By definition, an oasis is surrounded by something deadly and large. The riots spilled out of downtown and into the large sprawl suburb of Hoover. One could take refuge in Mountain Brook and not venture into the city; however, I saw numerous Black Lives Matter signs there. Although I don’t know who put those signs out, MB is home to most of Birmingham’s, and Alabama’s, Jews.

    The Jewish Community Center went nuts last year when MB High School students were photographed allegedly giving a Nazi salute. I seem to remember the ADL got involved. Oddly, Jews owned the department stores with segregated lunch counters that were the objects of civil rights activism in the 1960s: Pizitz’s, Loveman’s, Yieldings, Blacks, et al.

    I have found no evidence of the “sundown” billboard that Cullman allegedly had (“N*****, Don’t Let the Sun Set on Your Black Ass”) and I suspect the story is an urban myth. But Cullman was indeed a Klan stronghold. Cullman is a great place to live: mostly white and high-trust, it is a present-day Mayberry. But I fear the people moving here from Birmingham, Atlanta, and Hunstville, as well as parts farther away such as California: plague rats who bring their ruinous political attitudes with them from the ****hole areas they fled.

    Cullman is still 95% white, and is a lovely place to live. But there is a lot of Mexican encroachment here. People are sensible and amazingly racially aware, even though there is a lot of cuckservatism, too. I suspect the gravest challenge Cullman will face is the influence of the Chamber of Commerce and cheap-labor/treason lobby types.

  9. Lucius Vanini
    Lucius Vanini says:

    Wow, that fellow was an IDIOT, nicht wahr?!

    “What accounts for whites’ exclusion of blacks? What else? Racism.” True: BLACK racism. Anyone who’s been in the USA long enough knows that these low-IQ, low-impulse-control primitives are easily the most racially bigoted U.S. demographic, though Jews give them a run for their money, their bigotry merely being expressed in a different way.

    Not that I would be for black INCLUSION if black behavior were otherwise. I believe that friendship and closeness with blacks is a much greater threat to our ancestral ethnic/genetic cluster, both biologically and cognitively, with integration a disaster and amalgamation the worst possible scenario. Enmity with them is far better, and I value anything that creates or increases distance from them. Reasons:–those-most-different-from-us

  10. Criss Q
    Criss Q says:

    Look at how overrepresented blacks are in Europe in crime espite in most countries they receive social security if they don’t work.

    It’s a combination of the in my opinion total primitivity of most from that race combined with them not living in their own culture and having to compete with WHITE people, which they cant really so they steal rape and murder and sell drugs en masse.

    Behind every rape someone is convicted for how many rapes are not even reported? And second generation immigrants are more criminal than first generationin Europe.

    Africans are 8 times more likely to commit rape as a white person or asian for that matter.

    Regardless I think most of these “crimes” was response to rape or the like same with hangings in the south.

    But these social justice tribe persons aren’t into seeing the truth on racial matters which are evident when looking at IQ differences historic acting within ethnical groups as well as crime statistics…

    Blacks will murder for territory and they leach on to whites. I heard half of africans don’t wana live in Africa…

    I think these white people did in most cases what was necessary given the nature of the beast to not have their children daughters or wives murdered or raped or the in my experience absolute lowlives destroying their towns…

    White flight is everywhere these in my experience absolut total barbarian primitive anti white primitive idiots go. Just a fact. Why should white people give up their territory makes NO sense.

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