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Why does Clive say that Shackleford's views were "more peculiar than most" (117)? How does Shackleford consider his own views on race? Do you think that he is aware or unaware of his own racism?

Created: 10/18/21

Replies: 10

Posted Oct. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2754

Why does Clive say that Shackleford's views were "more peculiar than most" (117)? How does Shackleford consider his own views on race? Do you think that he is aware or unaware of his own racism?

What does Clive observe about Mr. Shackleford's views on race? Why does he say that Shackleford's views were "more peculiar than most" (117)? How does Shackleford consider his own views on race? Do you think that he is aware or unaware of his own racism?


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janines

Join Date: 11/21/16

Posts: 46

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

For all of Shackleford's appearance of acceptance, Clive also notes that he "also thought white and black people were utterly alien to one another" as well as pointing out that Shackleford also believed the Aryan race was superior and had created all the advances in current life to them (shades of Hitler!). Shackleford represents the white supremacist who believes says in effect "I accept you black or brown person but only if you meet my requirements and live as I say you should." Shackleford like others who believe in "white makes right" don't question or see any fallacy in their thinking. This lack of insight is distressing.


Posted Oct. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 125

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

I agree with janines. I think Clive sees Shackleford is “more peculiar than most”, because he held views that appear, at least on the surface to be in conflict with each other and he believed in the “ inherent nobility of the Aryan race”. He believed slavery was evil both morally and rationally, he employed Black people in jobs others would not, he worked alongside Blacks as a youth and yet he was a white supremacist. Clive makes it a point to say “Shackleford was not a hateful man”, and yet he believed Black and White people were “utterly alien to one another”. Clive finds all Americans to have “ peculiar” notions about Black people and yet, he finds Shackleford’s insistence of inherent White superiority dumbfounding when examples of ingenuity such as the pyramids of Egypt are put forth. It’s as if there is some type of rot deep within Shackleford. Interestingly, when Clive notes he doesn’t know how to respond to Shackleford - he shifts his gaze to a “ rotten cabbage”.


Posted Oct. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 195

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

I think all the characters in the book were just mirroring the racism of the times in
which the story was set. Maybe some were further along in their self realization than
others were, but all were at some stage of racism.


Posted Oct. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 334

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

Shackleford thought blacks and whites were alien to one another. He was against miscegenation. But he was not a hateful man. He considered slavery a mistake. He employed blacks in many jobs that others would not. He is unaware of his own racism. This was the 1920’s in Nashville where there was so much racism back then it was the norm.


Posted Oct. 25, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

I have to disagree that James had ideas on race that were more different than most for the time. Except for the part about the pyramids, that was extreme. Some people still feel that way about mixing the races today. Sad to say but it is true.
And I’m not so sure that Clive should have been that surprised. The Brits subjugated India and had the same kind of attitudes toward the dark skinned people from there. And again, many still do.


Posted Oct. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jazzming

Join Date: 03/19/21

Posts: 28

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

I think that there were different types of racism. There still is. Him seeing them as alien to him to makes him not so peculiar for the times because that is pretty racist.
He didn’t have active hate towards people of color, but he certainly wasn’t championing them either.


Posted Oct. 27, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 406

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

Shackleford believed that slavery was morally wrong and a mistake. He worked alongside Negros, employed them, and yet deep inside he felt blacks and whites were "utterly alien to each other". He did feel the white race was superior, but if asked why, he could not explain why he had those feelings. He is seen as a "good man" by himself and others, so he would not recognize himself as a racist. Shackleford and Clive both seem to have accepted the times in which they live.


Posted Oct. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 127

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

I agree with janeh - all the characters reflected and accepted their time.


Posted Nov. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 127

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

Shackleford was not typical of his time. Most people were out and out racists at the time, whereas Shackleford saw himself as better than the “racists” because he didn’t believe in slavery. Yet, he was just as bad because he still believed whites were superior to other races. My mother always said that it’s much easier to deal with someone who is out and out with their meanness because you know where you stand than it is to deal with someone who is fooling himself.


Posted Nov. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 109

RE: Why does Clive say that Shackleford&...

Of course Shackleford was a racist and believed whites to be supreme. However, I think he viewed himself as someone who was trending toward "acceptance of blacks". His ego led on that he was more in connection with blacks than others of the time. He seemed somewhat proud of his connections to the Crawford family.


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