Booker T. Washington Theodore Roosevelt, President Trump, White House discussed on Ridiculous History


Welcome to the show ridiculous historians. Thank you as always for tuning in. If you are listening to this the day it comes out then you like us have hopefully survived. What is called Super Tuesday? A Super Tuesday is where all the nominees for president Get together and and you know pitch their cause to each state. We don't know how it will work out but know it. It's a good way into today's episode. Hi I'm Ben. Hey Ben I'm no super is kind of interesting word turnaround. You've got like superfund sites. You ever heard of those. They're like cleanup nuclear cleanup sites. Well Yeah I always when I used to work for public radio easies to think that they were a superfund sites. You know it's like like a like a bouncy castle or something like that but it turns out it's quite a depressing heavy thing. The word super Used in politics just interesting to me but super Tuesday to me sounds like a vestige of like old you know the old days of stumping politics up on a platform is you as a is. You Ain't my constituency that kind of thing you know. Yeah Yeah it's a as as the guy who with some small measure of regret coined the term super producer. Here out shout out to our super producer. Casey pet group still in the race the race for our hearts winning by a large margin and as it turns out not a toxic. Waste cleanup site or a supercharged political Day of the year yet. The the free super I for Super Tuesday it always. It always felt me growing up like political pundits. Were trying to make it. Sound more fun. Granite is yeah. You know what I must be I. I don't know how it came about but it is a strange title. I'm going to bring back just using super to say something great. That's just super someone from the Mid West would say. But we digress. Today we are posing a question that was posed in a film that actually had similar things residences to today's episode. Guess WHO's coming to dinner starring. Sidney Poitier remember that film I do know what's the question. It was about a A dinner where a an African American gentleman comes. Oh the title was the question. Guess WHO's coming to dinner. That's right okay. I'm back in. Yes okay so it was a film where what's the plays up. African American gentlemen who comes to dinner and it's You know all kinds of hilarity awkwardness and satire ensue. Guess WHO's coming to. Dinner has a lot in common. You're right with today's story today. Story involves One of the most famous presidents in US history President Theodore Roosevelt. Now Daddy as he is known to his friends was was not a status quo type of president. He was known for shaking things up and kind of making his own way in nineteen zero. One he did something that wouldn't seem to controversial Tusk. Today's early not yet. Someone over for dinner you know and of course. He's the president at this time. He's he's pretty busy in general but because he's the president of the United States even the smallest of social decisions carry enormous weight in symbolism for the public. It's not like You or or I casually inviting a new friend or coworker to have some decimal lasagna. Or something this is always going to be interpreted as a statement is true and Deborah Davis in her fantastic book. Guest-of-honour Booker T. Washington Theodore Roosevelt and the White House. Dinner that shocked a nation Referred to this situation as such African Americans were invited to meet in offices. They of course built the White House. They worked for the various presidents but they were never ever invited to sit down at the president's table and when that happened the outrage was just unbelievable and a big reason for that she goes on to say is that in society The idea of dining together really created A sense almost a code word for social equality and folks just weren't ready to accept that fully despite obviously Slavery having been illegal for some time and African Americans for all intents and purposes being able to occupy the same social strata as white people. But it was just not something. That was Embraced even still. Yes and that's let's not bury the lead The guest in question is booker. Tally of Pharaoh. Washington American educator author a leader in his community at the time. There's a there's a double down meaning here. This is something that may have incensed. The racist members of the public in the American south traditionally this time it was understood that if you invited a male to have dinner with you and this person was not related to you already then tacitly inviting this man to woo your daughter. You're like come on in every meal. Epsom Lozad his is my daughter. Isn't she lovely? She's she's nineteen and she's getting up there and I love how all these imaginary circumstances. Everyone's always eating lasagna. It's Lozad I don't know why speedy they serve. They serve lasagna in the White House. Probably some fancy like lobster LASAGNA. Or something like that. I would think I you know what I bet. You have a lot of latitude when you're president because it's true. The menu has changed so much over the year. And now we can't forget that guy conic picture of our current president with all the McDonalds big MACs and stuff stacked up in Baroque fashion and he was very happy about that. I think he was doing the iconic double thumbs up so yes so you can see at least according to Deborah Davis. You can see that as the primary reason or one of the primary reasons people were so offended. It caused them to clutch their pearls. To imagine that a black man would be able to have that level of access to a family especially the presidential family both men both Washington and Roosevelt. Were very much aware of this and again grasp your pearls hear gasps softly. They were going to be women. Present Heavens Let's get into before we get into the outrage which is gonNA COME. It's inevitable Let's talk a little bit about why he would have wanted. Booker. T. Washington at a at a gathering. Like this where you're going to talk policy. It was because he was in a highly influential leader in the African American community. Founded the Tuskegee normal and Industrial Institute born into slavery He saved up and put himself through. School was an educator after the civil war and that's when he founded those institutes I mentioned earlier in eighteen. Eighty one in Alabama Now known as to Ski University so he was along with W E B D Boys Was One of the foremost African American leaders at the time and Roosevelt would've wanted to hear what he had to say would've have wanted to collaborate with him because Roosevelt was like you said he thought outside the box. He wasn't going to let the man tell him what's even though he technically kind of like the man right. Yeah and I. I like the point out how Washington was immensely influential feud or Roosevelt was immensely impulsive legendarily. So and here's how it all went down. So he had this pre existing appointment in. This was a business appointment. There were supposed to compare notes in Roosevelt. Was going to get some advice on Some cabinet picks but then at the very last minute is true. Roosevelt said. Let's make dinner and he was going to send out this invitation to dinner. The story is that he paused for just a second thought. Is this a bad idea because of all the stuff we've got going on here in the US and it's crazy messed up? I'm paraphrasing An instantly he felt deeply ashamed that he even bothered hesitating and so he said all right. I'M GONNA I'M GONNA send this out before I can change my mind and now Booker T. Washington gets the invitation and he has some thoughts. We I mean he had to decide whether or not to accept the invitation. I I would imagine that the Immediate impulse especially for a guy like that who'd come so far new the symbolism of it but I guess he had to decide if it would look like a trail to his community in some way or if it was worth you know making that big statement and kind of weathering the Brouhaha that would follow in the interest of kind of moving social discourse forward and obviously he chose the latter Yup He said this is going to be problematic for me but I have no right to refuse. And he felt like he had to accept it as a representative of his community. Of course they knew the s was gonna hit the F-. I'm going to say that it you can fill in whatever initial `isms you like for that. The shorts were gonNA hit the farm. Yeah Yeah The the scoop was going to hit the France. It's early in the morning today for us. I guess is. It's almost noon. Ben No right but the weather here. It's very jerry Hey guys it's bobby bones. I host the bobby bones show and pretty much always sleepy because I wake up at three o'clock in the morning a couple of hours later I get all my friends together. We get into a room and we do a radio. Show with your allies. We tell our stories. We try to find as much good in the world that we possibly can and we looked through the news of the day that you'll care about also your favorite country. Artists are always stopping by to hang out and share their lives and music too so wake up with a bunch of my friends on ninety eight point seven W M Z Q in Washington DC or wherever the rotates you on the iheartradio APP. So they knew that was going to hit. The Spain was going to hit the France a White House reporter. Put The news of this dinner on the wire service and this is mind you before they actually ever sit down to eat. There is a massive backlash. The stories that were printed about this are disgusting aged like milk as as we want to say. The men both received Separately and as a group death threats there were There was of course the cliche..

Coming up next