Thursday, May 22, 2008

Border Patrol recruiting African-Americans in Nashville

"Here without authority" once applied to "free Negroes" in Nashville

WKRN reported here that the U.S. Border Patrol is recruiting in Nashville this week and is particularly interested in African-Americans, acknowledging that only 1.5% of 16,000 agents are African-American, and of those, only eight are women.

At the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, the comment was rightly made that "because it's a federal agency it should represent the population as far as who they hire."

There is no mention, however, of the irony of Nashville African-Americans telling people to stay out, especially in light of
  • the Nashville sit-ins, in which African-Americans were arrested for going where they were told it was illegal for them to be, with then-Mayor Ben West saying,
    As God is my helper, the law is going to be enforced in Nashville;
  • this comment made in Nashville at the 1871 State Convention of the Colored Citizens of Tennessee:
    But we will gladly hail all voluntary free labor to elevate the laborer, whether from Europe, Asia, Africa or the West Indies, and extend a brother hand to secure him in his liberty the right to his toil and to uphold this government upon equality....;
  • and this 1856 Davidson County resolution ordering magistrates and constables in each civil district to
    serve legal notice on all free Negroes within such district to leave the state, who are here without authority.
Photo by cobalt. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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