Syracuse is broken. The Salt City has become a bastion of bigotry, hatred, racial strife, and social injustice.
I don't know how to fix it, but I can start by pointing out wrongs where I see them. Perhaps together we can figure out how to make it right.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
What Happened to the Laboratory?: An Introduction
In the mid-1800's, there was no more
important issue facing our nation than that of slavery. Caught smack in the middle of the conflict between those who viewed
African-Americans as property and those who fought for freedom, was
the city of Syracuse, NY.
Though the Civil War wouldn't arise for
another decade, unrest was already fomenting after Congress passed
the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, declaring it a federal crime to
interfere with a slaveowner's right to reclaim his "property."
Syracuse fought back, through the activism of those like Congressman
Gerrit Smith and Reverend Samuel May, even to the point of executing
a prison break to spring an escaped slave from the Syracuse city
jail. Secretary of State Daniel Webster condemned Syracuse as a
"laboratory of abolitionism, libel, and treason."
Sadly, this comes as no surprise to
many residents. Anecdotally, most of us have had brushes with blatant
racism, homophobia, misogyny, and overall social inequality. This
begs the question: what the hell happened?
not pretend to have the answers, but I know a problem when I see one,
and Spoiled Orange is my spotlight. For us to deal appropriately with
a disease, we first must properly diagnose it. That is my intent
here. I will be exploring local incidents of prejudice, interviewing
community leaders, showcasing activist movements, and dragging the
oppressors out of their dark, safe places and into the public light.
Kicking and screaming, if need be.
If you have questions,
stories, suggestions, or links, feel free to submit them. Let's
rebuild the laboratory.