Friday, September 17, 2010

Historical Image of the Day

Sign welcoming visitors to the Civil Rights Trail, marking the march from Selma to Montgomery that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The issues surrounding civil rights tourism are pretty interesting. It's a good thing in many ways. It brings tourist dollars to economically depressed areas. It marks some of our most important events. It's also often controlled by the same white people who opposed civil rights in the first place. It also reinforces very specific tales about racism and the civil rights movement that both blunt the movement's ultimate goals to fight economic and quasi-legal discrimination and make it seem like this is a story of the past. Thus conservatives can construct a Martin Luther King that somehow would support gutting the social safety net and discriminating against immigrants and Muslims.