While poking around in the bowels and hidden bits of the HPOA’s website recently, we happened to notice, in friend Kerry Morrison’s bio, the following intriguing statement: “Prior to coming to Hollywood, she spent 14 years in public policy and senior management roles at the California Association of REALTORS in Los Angeles.” Maybe it was the ALL-CAPS that caught our eye, so weirdly dystypographical and yet so clearly intentional,1 or maybe something else. In any case, we resolved to discover just for whom it was that Kerry had spent 14 years working for prior to the BID and why it seemed so important to her to include this in her biosnippet. Note, by the way, that the California Association of REALTORS® was formerly known as the California Real Estate Association.2
Kerry, as the first and sole director of the HPOA since 1996, has clearly formed and molded that organization in her own image. Thus, we thought, it might be illuminating to understand the professional crucible in which that image was forged. So we sent our faithful correspondent out onto the wild uncharted moors of scholarlandia through the portals of Google scholar, JSTOR, and UCLA. Our minds were well and truly blown by what he discovered, and perhaps yours will be too. There’s far too much material to cover in one post, so we’re going to lay it on you in increments, starting today with some background and a shocking episode from the long hot summer of 1948. Continue reading HPOA Precursor Organization and Former Employer of Kerry Morrison California Real Estate Association Sought to Warp, Pervert, and Destroy U.S. Constitution in 1948 to Prevent “The Threat of Occupancy by Negroes”→
The late Lee Atwater, erstwhile bought-and-souled Robert Johnson of the Republican party, in a rare moment of lucidity, once explained how white politicians enforced and maintained white supremacy in the United States in the last half of the Twentieth Century:
You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger.’1
From 1865 through nineteen-fifty-something, politicians and demagogues, e.g. Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the first incarnation of white businessman’s social group the Ku Klux Klan and Woodrow Wilson, erstwhile president of white supremacist organization Harvard University, could just use the magical incantation of “nigger, nigger, nigger,” and their will would be done.
But, as Lee points out, things started to get more complicated. Instead of saying “nigger,” white supremacists had to talk about states’ rights, and, later taxation. This was the essence of Richard Nixon’s so-called Southern Strategy, which got him elected in 1968 using those precise codewords which his audience heard as “nigger, nigger, nigger,” the same Southern Strategy that a star-struck Lee Atwater is glorifying to the heavens as he breathlessly describes its genius.