Oregon: The Failed White Republic

oregon-failed-white-republic

Interesting read:

“When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. Oregon’s founding is part of the forgotten history of racism in the American west.

But the book kind of misses the forest for the trees in not recognizing the fact that the entire state of Oregon was founded as a kind of racist’s utopia. Race isn’t explored in the otherwise excellent book.

Thousands would travel to Oregon in the 19th and 20th centuries, looking for their own versions of utopia. Some brave and noble people made the journey that would become cartoonishly immortalized for at least three generations now in the computer game Oregon Trail. But unfortunately for people of color, that pixelated utopia and vision of the promise land was explicitly designed to exclude them in real life….”

I’ve known about Oregon’s history of excluding blacks for years now (it is mentioned in the American Racial History Timeline), but the story gets murky after the adoption of the state constitution in 1857. After the 14th Amendment was adopted during Reconstruction, federal law superseded state law.

25 Comments

  1. Yeah, like millions upon millions of Blacks were desperately trying to get into Oregon. They must’ve been devastated, just devastated, that couldn’t go to their preferred destination.

  2. “Race isn’t explored in the otherwise excellent book.” – The world wonders why they might have made that decision.

  3. Now look at Portland: There goes the neighborhood!! Everytime there’s a brawl, stabbing, shooting, looting, robbery, guess who’s responsible?

  4. That’s HW’s point. Ethnonationalism and republicanism cannot coexist for any serious length of time. Eventually one will crowd out the other. For a long time I was trying to figure out if there was some sort of fundamental “duh” answer to why segregation fell apart in Dixie and apartheid in South Africa, other than external pressure. Well the “duh” answer is that in both Dixie and ZA, segregation and apartheid were mated to republican forms of government, and eventually the white people in both places had to make the inevitable choice; they chose incorrectly.

  5. Oregon was an experiment in combining American republican institutions with White Nationalism. It was about the closest thing to a real world White Zion that comes to mind.

    It’s not like blending extreme ethnonationalism with the opposite of republican institutions fared all that well either. Nazi Germany lasted about as long as the sum of both Bush’s Presidential terms. I have a sweatshirt in my closet that I’ve had longer than that.

    When you get down to it, any form of government that uses race as a foundation is going to be met with extreme resistance from those that have a vested interest in keeping racial nationalists from setting up autonomous regions. Every single one of us should at least be putting in a genuine effort to rally around race, even if that is the only point we can find in common. For instance, I don’t really agree with some of the tenets of Southern Nationalists. But that doesn’t mean I work against the idea or oppose the idea to any great degree. Hell, put one in front of me and I’ll vote for him if he’s running against anyone who is non-White, anti-White or works against the idea of White people having autonomous lands where they can exclude non-Whites. As long as the guy or gal is sane and doesn’t go out of their way to attack other Whites, they’ll get my support.

    I would much rather see racialists brush aside social issues and petty differences for now and focus almost entirely on race, but we don’t always get what we want…. so I’ve relegated myself and my positions to that of compromise and strategic indifference when it comes to many issues, except when it comes to race. Push too hard with non-racial issues, however, and it makes it that much more difficult to just rally around race.

  6. I would answer that the ideal State( and I mean State in the European sense of the word, not as in American subdivisions) is one in which the cultural, political, racial, economic, and social aspects merge into one cohesive whole so that, if done correctly, it is impossible to tell where one aspect ends and the other begins. I am talking about a holistic and transcendent nationalism that can weld them all together in an organic whole. In the good ole USA of A the economic aspects rides roughshod over all the other aspects almost to the point of total exclusion.

    Likewise I believe that one cannot save both the United States and the white race upon the North American continent. To attempt to do so is not only wasted energy and an exercise in futility, but is a case where one is living in “Unreality.”

  7. @Thomas Paine, As is Idaho or Montana. I’ll be retiring to one of the two if the Country doesn’t collapse before then.
    I feel like the “South” abandoned me, not vice versa. Same with the Republican party.

    I really don’t want to uproot & leave Mississippi but staying is akin to sitting on the Titanic and hoping it isn’t going to sink. Hindsight being 20/20 I should have moved there after my honorable discharge and raised my children there.

  8. Look before you leap.

    California, too, was whiter than Mississippi for most of its history, but it changed so fast that Mississippi is now a whiter state. The same was true of Washington which has changed in the blink of an eye. In a few years, Alabama will be whiter than Washington. Alabama is already whiter than New York and New Jersey too.

  9. I’d expected Oregon was still white. That’s depressing.

    Thankfully no one wants to live in Appalachia, so it’ll remain white (until people want to move there). And yea, brain drain is a major problem for regions no one wants to live in. The South preserved itself largely with poverty but also a culture of exclusion. We’re friendly to guests but not as friendly to immigrants. I believe the Japanese are the same.

  10. The Swamp Fox,

    If we build something constructive in part of the South, surely others will join up. I don’t get this “flee to Montana” movement. Southerners need to take a stand in the South! Montana is cold.

    We don’t need to preserve the entire South. All we need is a port, basic resources, farmland, water, energy, etc. Cut out the fat, and a small, wealthy polity is possible. Everyone has to work in Iceland, but Icelanders manage a decent living and low wealth gap.

  11. I know Mr. Wallace has rightly criticised Sam Francis reg. secession, but Dr. Francis argued in part that if we did manage to secede we’d simply repeat the same errors. As I recall he said specifically that we’d bring in nonwhite workers and begin the same chain of events.

    An idea I used to like is to declare a region of land sacred. Only those native to the land may legal walk on it. You could allow outsiders in other areas of the polity but not in the sacred land. This would first require… sovereignty.

    Unfortunately, this would seem to border on the religious. So, I suppose we’d have to find a word to replace “sacred” that doesn’t throw up alarm that golden calves are being worshipped. And worship is not the desire of course. I’m not actually proposing a golden calf…

  12. The black population in Oregon increased significantly during WWII when Henry J. Kaiser brought people of all sorts and colors in to help build Liberty Ships. They lived predominantly in Albina and the immediately surrounding area. Jefferson High School was heavily black, and the Democrats produced a lot of talented athletes.

    Earlier a lot of southerners migrated to Oregon to work in the woods and the mills. They settled around Medford, Jacksonville (a KKK stronghold for years), Oakridge and numerous other smallish towns.

  13. It would be interesting to examine Oregon’s vital statistics when it was a whites-only state: crime rates, economic growth, school graduations, quality of life, etc. Then compare all that to contemporary states with large numbers of blacks, or to Oregon today.

    Might also be useful to look at the state’s politics in those days: were they populist, union friendly, etc? Generally, it has been the big companies which want to bring in cheap (non-white) labor, and a prosperous (white) working class which opposed them.

  14. What a shame that it didn’t work out. The Willamette Valley and the Great Sandy Desert are among the most beautiful parts of America. It would have been grand if they had kept this mentality. Oregon’s still pretty white, but that’s not taking into account the SWPL type of whites that now infest the place.

    The 20c was a disaster for white America. It seems some people are aware of that now, but it’s a bit late. The whole of what’s happened in the last 50 years from a cultural standpoint must be erased.

    • It failed for pretty much the same reasons that Jim Crow failed in the South. Oregon remained tied to the Union and all the important decisions are ultimately made in Washington. The states are merely administrative units of the central government.

      Even though Oregon rejected the 14th Amendment, it got black citizenship and civil rights and lots of other stuff besides because it was still part of the Union. That also explains why liberal transplants were able to move there, overwhelm the original settlers, and change the culture to what it is today.

      • Even if Oregon had won its independence, it would have still had to wrestle with the values of liberal republicanism – liberty and equality – being invoked to challenge and corrode its culture.

  15. Yes, one idea I’ve promoted in the last few years is the idea of the American Republic being punctuated. That is, the true Republic ended with secession. What replaced it was the Empire that made possible abominations like the Gilded Age (another Yankee blessing on the world, that still bears bitter fruit to this day), and later the absurd interventions into Europe that made today possible. Abraham Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens, the granddaddies of the nowadays amoral populist and the SJW, the butchers of the Anglo-Saxon race.

    Anyway, the Republic was indeed founded on too tenuous grounds – 1. The inability to reach a true resolution to the issue of slavery which was bound to lead to conflict because of the Enlightenment views of some of the Founders, 2. The unity was really artificial to begin with, owing to the necessity of defeating the Crown, apart from that what did the motley assortment of Protestants (and even some Catholics) really agree on? Federalism was a way of papering over all of this.

    The egalitarianism would have had to have been confronted very early, too. Maybe if Anglo-America had cut itself off from contact with Europe the way that Spanish America did…

  16. The Error of America’s Gobernment was that they never take seriously the devolution or deportation of the African Slave population to their homelands in Africa. And it continues today more than never. Sorry for My english. Good Bye.

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