"No dogs, No Negroes, No Mexicans"

If you saw this sign in an African American’s house, what would you think? I’m African American and my family room has a kind of historical bent to it, with some pictures and stuff. I was thinking of adding some of the old Jim Crow signs too, but I was wondering if it would be seen badly. I have a ton of different people from different ethic/cultural backgrounds who visit me from time to time and I wouldn’t want to offend them. On the other hand, I would like to show how far the country has come and the signs would do a good job of that I think.

So let me know what you think, thanks.

*This is not in P&R because I don’t see this as a political discussion.

**Hopefully this doesn’t cross a line?? If so, please delete and my sincere apologies.

I’m with you. History should never be forgotten but there are others who may be much more sensitive to these kinds of things. I’d say screw 'em and keep the conversation piece.

If this crosses the line, I’m stealing Tom’s beret and his Rancilio espresso machine.

I’m sick of the high hat! You will wear trucker caps and drink Taster’s Choice until this oppression stops!

I’m jokingly reminded of the Seinfeld episode with the cigar store indian. :)

I’d say your visitors are probably going to react the way you react to it Lorini. If you use that as a conversation piece and explain it to everyone, I think it’s okay. But having a big party might bring in some folks that don’t understand where you’re going with that message and might take offense to it. To describe it more politely, if it’s something you’re going to have to explain in detail for every visitor to “get the point,” then is it really something you want on display?

Assuming it’s a normal size and there’s other historical stuff in the room, I think it communicates what you want it to.

If it’s 12’ wide and the focal point of the room, then no :)

My ex-roommate/best friend came back from one of her black engineering conventions with one of those Jim Crow signs. I don’t remember exactly what it said, but my knee-jerk reaction was to be insulted. Which I think is appropriate, but she placed it above her door and it became a focus of hilarious commentary. I think it was “No Colored People Beyond This Point”, or something like it, now that I think about it.

I wouldn’t place it on a window sill or anything, but I think it can be appropriate as long as the people who you invite over are really comfortable with you and your sense of humor. There is a certain sense of irony when black people start proudly displaying Jim Crow signs within their homes.

It’s approximately 9"x3" and would be placed on a non facing wall or something.

I think in the context of the room as you describe it the sign would be fine. It sounds like you have a fairly culturally diverese group of friends, and it’s unlikely they would see the sign as insulting given that it was your choice to hang it there despite it’s negative historical connotations toward your own ethnic background. It will certainly spark some conversation.

It would make me extremely uncomfortable (I’m Midwest White.) Among those of us who have tried to not be racist our whole lives, we don’t really want to be reminded of our correlation with those who are actively racist. I’d feel judged the whole time I was in the room.


with these sort of things it always offends the people who have the least reason to be offended.

Leave it there, it’s your house and if you find it interesting and entertaining, you shouldn’t have to explain it to anyone.

If it was with other historical memorabilia I think it would be just fine. If its the only thing on your wall with a tone like that I would feel uncomfortable kind of like Houngan expressed. Regardless, I’d probably ask you about it.

I think, to be honest, I might be a little concerned on seeing that sign in a Black person’s house, if I was a stranger (though I would be even more concerned to see it somewhere else). Most Jews don’t keep swastikas in their houses to remind them of Nazis, or if they do, it’s the one on the spine of a particular history book on the subject.

It’s very important to keep the memory of oppression and intolerance and crimes against humanity alive, especially when these things have not yet been wiped out; but I think I’d rather it not be done with a shrine to the enemy in one’s own home.

Anyhow, seeing that sign would suggest the possibility that the owner of the sign would think the issue of such overwhelming importance in their life that I wouldn’t be able to relate to them normally on other issues.

As I say, those concerns would occur to me as a stranger, and it would probably only take me a minute to realize that these concerns were groundless, but I think I would at least feel unsettled at first.

In contrast, a framed poster of Malcolm X, whose views I don’t agree with much, wouldn’t disturb me at all.

This is the analogy that I thought of. It is kind of odd, but if you’re ok with it, I guess its fine.

Get a sign that says, “No Irish.” It brings home the point that, before there were enough black people to go around, white people were forced to divide up and discriminate against each other.

You could put a little plaque and treat it like a museum exhibit.

Black culture seems to be more directed towards reclaiming hateful imagery/words/etc from their past. My armchair analytics would say that by taking control of the past and making it their own, it can no longer be used against them in a hurtful way. As far as I know, Jewish folk have never felt the same way.

I can’t say which is a healthier process.

let’s be fair, white people don’t have the market cornered on discrimination.

If it was just the sign all by itself I could see people feeling uncomfortable, but if it’s in a room with an obvious decorative theme of Black History and Civil Rights then I don’t see the problem. If I look around and see pictures of MLK and Rosa Parks, books about the struggle for black civil rights and other items that obviously invoke the feeling that the person who owns the home is interested in the history of the Civil Rights Movement then the sign becomes a smaller part of a great whole, and not a focal point for discomfort.

Using the analogy of Jewish people displaying a Nazi flag is flawed. The Nazi’s didn’t just oppress Jews, they murdered them by the millions. There was no struggle for Jewish equality and civil rights, no social and political reforms, and none of the progress and acheivement associated with the Civil Rights Movement in America. I’m not saying that African-Americans didn’t suffer through 200 years of slavery and inequality in this country, I’m just saying that I think they’ve earned the right to celebrate their history and how far they’ve come in the struggle to overcome that suffering and inequality. There is nothing at all celebratory about the Holocaust, so the analogy is flawed.

I’m honestly all for it, put it up on the wall. We have a few “No Irish Need Apply” signs in our family and while I know it’s not quite the same thing, I always found them more interesting in being a relic from another time than for being insensitive.

You’re worrying too much. Put it up. If somebody knows you well enough to come into your house, they should be able to understand the context in which you purchased and hung it. If you ran a business out of your living room, or regularly had large formal dinner parties with humorless monocle wearing people, there would be a problem. Otherwise, go nuts.