If Mormons Think the LDS Church Has Long Opposed Racism, They're Wrong ...

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  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>steve benson Dec. 2013</p>\n<p>Sadly, the Utah Mormon Church, well into the 20th century, has an historical track record of squalid, bigoted and anti-civil rights attitudes, teachings and practices which targeted African-Americans under its supposed \"control.\"</p>\n<p>Excommunicated Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn (who was ostensibly stripped of his LDS membership for publicly exposing, reporting and publishing a history of the Mormon Church\'s pattern of ongoing lies, practices and cover-ups relating to post-Manifesto polygamy) offers a devastating timeline review of the bigoted, discriminatory and anti-civil rights actions and attitudes of the Utah Mormon Church designed to control and restrict the exercise of equal human rights by African-Americans within Utah\'s (and more specifically, Salt Lake City\'s) boundaries.</p>\n<p>\"Utah Mormon Discrimination Against Blacks</p>\n<p>\"Even after federal emancipation of America\'s slaves in the 1860s, LDS church president Brigham Young referred to African-American slavery as a religious necessity. Earlier, as both church president and governor, he had instructed the Utah legislature in 1852 to legalize the slavery of African-Americans. This directly contradicted Joseph Smith\'s proposal in 1844 \'to abolish slavery by the year 1850\' by financially compensating Southern slave-owners through the sale of federal lands in the West. Utah Mormonism\'s reversal of Joseph Smith\'s social policy toward Negroes was mirrored by the refusal of LDS presidents after 1844 to follow the founding prophet\'s example of giving the priesthood to blacks who were not slaves.</p>\n<p>\"For more than a century, Utah restricted African-Americans from patronizing white restaurants and hotels, prohibited them from public swimming pools, and required them to sit in the balconies of theaters. During World War II, African-Americans wearing their nation\'s uniform had to sit in the balcony of Utah theaters, while German prisoners-of-war sat on the main floor with white servicemen and civilians. Utah law also prohibited marriage between a white person and a black (including persons only one-eighth Negro).</p>\n<p>\"Utah\'s racial discrimination did not occur by happenstance nor did it continue into modern times by accident. It was promoted by the highest leaders of the state\'s dominant church. As late as 1941, Counselor J. Reuben Clark used the word [rhymes with \'trigger\'] in his First Presidency office diary. In 1944, the First Presidency authorized local LDS leaders to join \'as individuals a civic organization whose purpose is to restrict and control negro settlement\' in Salt Lake City. A year later, LDS president George Albert Smith wrote: \'Talked to Pres Clark &amp; Nicholas [G. Smith, an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles] about the use of [LDS] meeting houses for meetings to prevent Negroes from becoming neighbors.\' The church president\'s diary did not indicate whether he endorsed or opposed this activity, but his brother Nicholas G. Smith described it as \'race hatred.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1947, when discussing the site of the future Los Angeles temple, First Presidency Counselor J. Reuben Clark asked the LDS church\'s attorney in that area \'to purchase as much of that property as we can in order to control the colored situation.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1947, the First Presidency wrote that \'the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, [is] a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1953, a First Presidency secretary informed a white Mormon that \'The L.D.S. Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood.\' According to presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, this policy of segregating African-American blood from the blood donated by so-called \'white people\' was intended \'to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church.\'</p>\n<p>\"During this era of Utah\'s racial segregation, the First Presidency also repeatedly affirmed that no African-American could stay at the LDS church-owned Hotel Utah (which had maintained this exclusion since its opening in 1911). The LDS president was president of the hotel, and his counselors were its senior vice-presidents. The First Presidency explained this racial exclusion as simply \'the practice of the hotel.\'</p>\n<p>\"When internationally renown singer Marian Anderson returned in March 1948 to participate in a concert at the LDS church\'s Salt Lake Tabernacle, the First Presidency relented. America\'s beloved contralto \'was allowed to stay at the Hotel Utah on condition that she use the freight elevator.\' This world-famous black woman was not allowed to use the main entrance and lobby.</p>\n<p>\"Making specific reference to the desegregation controversy in Little Rock, Arkansas, Counselor Clark in 1957 instructed Belle Smith Spafford \'that she should do what she could to keep the National Council [of Women] from going on record in favor of what in the last analysis would be regarded as negro equality.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1965 and 1967, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson stated in televised meetings on Temple Square in Salt Lake City that \'the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is a Communist program for revolution in America.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1963, Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith told \'Look\' magazine\'s editor: \'\'Darkies\' are wonderful people, and they have their place in our Church.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1967, Apostle Benson also approved the use of one of his talks as the forward to the overtly racist book \'Black Hammer,\' which featured the decapitated (and profusely bleeding) head of an African-American male on its cover.</p>\n<p>\"President Smith\'s counselors soon extended their support of racial segregation to states beyond Utah. In 1947, when discussing the site of the future Los Angeles temple, Counselor Clark asked the LDS church\'s attorney in that area \'to purchase as much of that property as we can in order to control the colored situation.\' A month later, during the meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Salt Lake Temple, \'President Clark called attention to the sentiment among many people in this country to the point that we should break down all racial lines, [and] as a result of which sentiment negro people have acquired an assertiveness that they never before possessed and in some cases have become impudent.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1949, while criticizing the legislative efforts in Arizona to \'guarantee rights of Negroes,\' LDS presidency counselor David O. McKay said, \'The South knows how to handle them and they do not have any trouble, and the colored people are better off down there--[but] in California they are becoming very progressive and insolent in many cases.\' Likewise, in 1950 Counselor Clark wrote: \'Race tolerance: the trend is just terrible.\'</p>\n<p>\"There was no mystery about why Utah law continued to prohibit interracial marriage. In 1947, the First Presidency wrote that \'the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, [is] a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now.\' In other words, the First Presidency condemned interracial marriage as abnormal. In 1950, Counselor Clark added that \'anything that breaks down the color line leads to marriage.\' Five years later, on behalf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote to the First Presidency about African-American members of the LDS church in Utah and referred to the \'danger of intermarriage.\'</p>\n<p>\"In 1953, a First Presidency secretary also informed a white Mormon about the less-obvious extent of Utah\'s racial segregation: \'The L.D.S. Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood.\' According to presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, this policy of segregating African-American blood from the blood donated by so-called \'white people\' was intended \'to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church.\'</p>\n<p>\"During this era of Utah\'s racial segregation, the First Presidency also repeatedly affirmed that no African-American could stay at the LDS church-owned Hotel Utah (which had maintained this exclusion since its opening in 1911). The LDS president was president of the hotel, and his counselors were its senior vice-presidents. The First Presidency explained this racial exclusion as simply \'the practice of the hotel.\'</p>\n<p>\"Internationally renown singer Marian Anderson endured this racial discrimination in Utah. When she gave her first recital at the University of Utah\'s Kingsbury Hall, this African-American was denied entry to any of Salt Lake City\'s hotels and had to stay with one of the concert\'s promoters. When she returned in March 1948 to participate in a concert at the LDS church\'s Salt Lake Tabernacle, the First Presidency relented. America\'s beloved contralto \'was allowed to stay at the Hotel Utah on condition that she use the freight elevator.\' This world-famous black woman was not allowed to use the main entrance and lobby.109 Likewise, invited to speak at the University of Utah, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Ralph Bunche was allowed to stay at the LDS church\'s hotel in 1951 only after this black man agreed to use the freight elevator, \'have his meals in his room and not come to the dining room.\'</p>\n<p>\"Due to their international fame, Anderson and Bunche were exceptions to the Mormon rules of race. As Hotel Utah\'s senior vice-president, J. Reuben Clark explained: \'Since they are not entitled to the Priesthood, the Church discourages social intercourse with the negro race... .\" Therefore, African-Americans were denied equal access to the LDS church\'s hotel in order \"to preserve the purity of the race that is entitled to hold the Priesthood.\'</p>\n<p>\"With such beliefs, the LDS First Presidency did what it could to block national efforts for the civil rights of African-Americans. As previously noted, Counselor McKay in 1949 instructed an Arizona stake president against that state\'s proposed legislation to \'guarantee rights of Negroes.\' Making specific reference to the desegregation controversy in Little Rock, Arkansas, Counselor Clark in 1957 instructed Belle Smith Spafford \'that she should do what she could to keep the National Council [of Women] from going on record in favor of what in the last analysis would be regarded as negro equality.\' At that time, Spafford was a vice-president of the National Council of Women.</p>\n<p>\"As American views began changing toward race relations from the 1940s onward, the Mormons of Utah continued to follow the example of LDS leaders against civil rights for African-Americans. There was widespread use in all-white neighborhoods of Utah\'s Uniform Real Estate Contract, Form 30, which prohibited the purchaser of real estate and his/her heirs from reselling the property \'to any person not of the Caucasian race.\' The Salt Lake City School District prohibited blacks from being teachers and from fulfilling student-teaching requirements of their university training. In addition, 40 percent of Utah\'s employers refused to hire Negroes. Employers who did hire blacks also discriminated against them in job assignment, promotion, and salary. Blacks were prohibited from eating at the lunch counter of Salt Lake\'s City-County Building. All of Utah\'s bowling alleys excluded African-Americans, and LDS hospitals segregated black patients, sometimes requiring them to pay for private rooms. This was also the policy at Utah\'s Catholic hospitals.</p>\n<p>\"In these respects, Utah and the Mormons were representative of the rest of America\'s white society until the 1960s. In 1961, a survey of Salt Lake City by the NAACP showed that 12 percent of cafes, restaurants, and taverns declined to serve blacks, while 80 percent of the city\'s beauty shops and barber shops refused to do so. Likewise, 72 percent of Salt Lake City\'s hotels and 49 percent of its motels refused accommodations to African-Americans that year.</p>\n<p>\"After Counselor Clark\'s death in 1961, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson became the Mormon hierarchy\'s strident voice against the national crusade for African-American civil rights. Benson\'s Negrophobic rhetoric intensified after the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 drastically changed Utah\'s patterns of racial discrimination. In 1965 and 1967, he stated in televised meetings on Temple Square in Salt Lake City that \'the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is a Communist program for revolution in America.\' In 1967, Apostle Benson also approved the use of one of his talks as the forward to the overtly racist book \'Black Hammer,\' which featured the decapitated (and profusely bleeding) head of an African-American male on its cover. Subtitled White Alternatives, this book warned about the \'well-defined plans for the establishment of a Negro Soviet dictatorship in the South.\' In 1968, Apostle Benson also instructed BYU students about \'black Marxists\' and \'the Communists and their Black Power fanatics.\'</p>\n<p>\"At this time, LDS president David O. McKay had a Democrat (Hugh B. Brown) as a counselor, who was mystified that McKay allowed Benson to endorse the speeches and activities of nationally known segregationists. This politically liberal counselor was unaware of the LDS church president\'s private views about \'insolent\' African-Americans who wanted equal rights.</p>\n<p>\"In 1963, Utah ended its restrictions on interracial marriage, and Counselor Brown officially endorsed civil rights for persons of all races that year. However, until that year, every living prophet of the LDS church since Brigham Young either actively opposed the civil rights of African-Americans or passively endorsed the existing civil discriminations against them in Utah.</p>\n<p>\"In that same year, Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith told Look magazine\'s editor: \'\"Darkies\" are wonderful people, and they have their place in our Church.\' At best, this revealed the racial paternalism that governed LDS headquarters. However, this platitude was also a smoke-screen for the worst of what Utah Mormon leaders had done against African-American rights for the previous 116 years. . . .</p>\n<p>\" . . . [P]revious First Presidencies . . . . stated that African-Americans had no legitimate right to unrestricted access to marriage, nor to unrestricted blood transfusions, nor to rent a room in the LDS church\'s hotel, nor to reside in Utah\'s white neighborhoods, nor to live near the Los Angeles Temple, nor to be in a hospital bed next to a white patient. . . .</p>\n<p>\"Even when a General Authority publicly apologized in September 2000 for \'the actions and statements of individuals who have been insensitive to the pain suffered by the victims of racism,\' he claimed that the LDS leadership had an admirable history of race relations. Elder Alexander B. Morrison said: \'How grateful I am that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has from its beginnings stood strongly against racism in any of its malignant manifestations.\' This was a by now familiar smoke-screen for the previous behavior of Mormon prophets, seers, and revelators. LDS headquarters has never apologized for the legalization of Negro slavery by Brigham Young in pioneer Utah, nor for the official LDS encouragement to lynch Negro males, nor for the racial segregation policies of the First Presidency until 1963, nor for Ezra Taft Benson\'s 1967 endorsement of a book which implied that decapitating black males was a \'White Alternative.\' . . .</p>\n<p>\"Counselor Clark told the General Conference of April 1940 that the First Presidency \'is not infallible in our judgment, and we err.\' I believe this applies to the statements and actions of several \'living prophets\' and First Presidencies in restricting the civil rights of African-Americans and other minorities. . . . . Counselor Clark . . . also instructed LDS educators in 1954 that \'even the President of the Church has not always spoken under the direction of the Holy Ghost.\' I believe this applies to the statements and actions of several \'living prophets\' and First Presidencies in restricting the civil rights of African-Americans and other minorities. According to LDS doctrine, the statements and actions of the Church\'s president can be wrong, even sinful, and historically the LDS First Presidency has often been profoundly wrong with regard to the civil rights of American minorities.</p>\n<p>\"In fact, when an end came to the various tyrannies of the majority against racial groups in America, LDS policies changed, as well. What various \'living prophets\' had defined as God\'s doctrine turned out to be a Mormon social policy which reflected the majority\'s world view. . . .</p>\n<p>\"LDS president Gordon B. Hinckley has dismissed Mormonism\'s earlier race-based policies as \'those little tricks of history\' which are irrelevant now. However, his twenty-five years of promoting political campaigns against the possibility of gay rights is one more example of the LDS hierarchy\'s discrimination against minorities who are not its \'kind of people.\'</p>\n<p>\"The Sincerity of Prejudice and Civil Discrimination</p>\n<p>\"LDS leaders have repeatedly opposed civil rights for blacks and gays while denying that such action is \'anti-Negro\' or \'racist,\' \'anti-gay\' or \'homophobic.\' The previous quotes show that First Presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, for one, defended wholesale restrictions against the civil rights of African-Americans. Nevertheless, at the same time, he regarded himself as compassionate toward blacks. . . .</p>\n<p>\"The past and present are filled with actions which most of us condemn, despite the fact that their perpetrators claimed they acted out of their sincere beliefs in a religion, or race, or social class, or country. If we regard slavery as wrong, the sincerity of slave-owners is irrelevant to the issue, even when the slave-owners were our revered national leaders, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. If denial of rights and protections for African-Americans was wrong, the sincerity of the oppressors is irrelevant to the issue, even if we otherwise admire the oppressors as religious leaders. . . . \"</p>\n<p>(D. Michael Quinn, \"Prelude to the National \'Defense of Marriage\' Campaign: Civil Discrimination Against Feared or Despised Minorities,\" research paper given \"Special Award for Outstanding Scholarly Research and Writing,\" Affirmation Conference, Long Beach, September 2001; originally published in \"Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought,\" 33:3, pp. 1-52; for entire article, see: <a href=\"http://www.affirmation.org/against_marriage_equality/prelude.shtml\" title=\"http://www.affirmation.org/against_marriage_equality/prelude.shtml\">http://www.affirmation.org/against_marriage_equality/prelude.shtml</a>)</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Honestly . . .<br />\nI can\'t get too worked up about this.<br />\nThe primary effect that LDS racism would have had on racial minorities would have been to make the church less attractive to them.</p>\n<p>THIS IS A GOOD THING. It means that there have been fewer people of color joining the church. That is -- fewer victims of the cult.</p>\n<p>Unfortunately, the cult-prone person of color might have fallen into the hands of the JWs, who have long been welcoming to racial minorities, and the JWs are, if anything, even more destructive to their members than Mor(m)onism.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>steve benson<br />\nOthers can get worked up about this and, in fact, should . . .<br />\n. . . since it exposes the Mormon Church\'s long-repeated lies about not being racist in its:</p>\n<p>-- history,</p>\n<p>--doctrines,</p>\n<p>--policies,</p>\n<p>--practices,</p>\n<p>--attitudes toward, and</p>\n<p>--treatment of Blacks.</p>\n<p>If the net effect of this knowledge is that fewer people of African descent join the Mormon Church, that is, indeed, a good thing. But for them to make that decision, they need access to reliable information that serves to inform and justify a rational decision to reject membership in the racist Mormon Church.</p>\n<p>That\'s where the teaching of history comes in.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>anybody<br />\nRe: If Mormons Think the LDS Church Has Long Opposed Racism, They\'re Wrong ...<br />\nMinorities come in all shapes and sizes and colours. My mother\'s father was a Spanish protestant who left Spain.</p>\n<p>I think the recent race and the priesthood statement is meant more for the current LDS church membership rather than as a form of black outreach. Just about every institution in the Western world over the last three hundred years has excluded people by race at one time or another and African Americans know this. Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week.</p>\n<p>Mormons might have a significant presence in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain states but they are a minority in most of the USA. Most African Americans live in the South and urban centres of the North and West Coast and these are places where there has never been a large Mormon population.</p>\n<p>Black people who want to join the church will want to do so for the same reasons as other people. African Americans will worry more about the present LDS church and what the modern white members might think about them knowing all the while about past racial attitudes if not the statements per se. Africans who are not so familiar with American society will be more offended by the past I think.</p>\n<hr />\nelbert<br />\nRe: If Mormons Think the LDS Church Has Long Opposed Racism, They\'re Wrong ...<br />\nRe \'anybody\'\'s comments: As recently as \'12, prof Bott at BYU tried to soften the impact of church\'s ban by saying they (the Negro race) don\'t know how lucky they were: not being in the higher steps on the ladder kept them from falling to the deepest place in hell (as if falling was their destiny any way). Saying everybody does it tells a lot about how inspired the leadership is.\n<hr />\noutsider<br />\nWe should be worked up about this<br />\nMore and more historical facts are being uncovered which will increasingly prove that Joseph Smith was a fraud and TSCC is an illusion.\n<p>As such, all the the TBMs can do is to retreat to a postion that their church is \"good,\" and this demonstrates how evil it is.</p>\n<p>If their God cannot be bothered to let his top guys in on the secret about basic human rights, how relevant are any of their teachings? Any time a TBM says anything about being lucky to have God’s continued guidance, this is the perfect counter example.</p>\n<p>“Girls should only have one set of earrings!” How do we really know that it’s from God, if he can’t get the blacks and priesthood right?</p>\n<p>It’s important to pay tithing? How do we really know that it’s from God, if he can’t get the blacks and priesthood right?</p>\n<p>We can play this game forever.</p>\n<hr />\nmontanaexmo<br />\nRe: If Mormons Think the LDS Church Has Long Opposed Racism, They\'re Wrong ...<br />\nThank you Steve for once again providing us with a well supported and well thought out comment on something as important as racism and tscc. Please never stop writing and posting for us. Your insights and research capacity are remarkable and must be driving the powers that be in SLC absolutely nuts.\n<p>I am impressed yet again with the power of the net. Pre-internet days and when I was a young, waivering, tbm it always bugged me that there was no way to dissent in tscc. One of the reasons I left was this lack of ability to express opposing view points and criticize the leadership when ever they would deserve to be criticized for their often inane and insane statements and doctrines. Nor was their anyway to communicate with many other church members to get their take on what was going on at church. Tscc was clearly manipulating the flow of information about the inner workings of the church to keep every one in the dark and paying their tithing. That all changed with the appearance of the net and I marvel still how the net allows us to be in touch with each other; post our thoughts; debate the issues and criticize and castigate the leadership in tscc like never before. Which criticism they often richly deserve. I love what the net has done for the exmo community and the voice we now have.</p>\n<p>All of that said I find the \"Black Priesthood Ban Traced to Brigham Young\" article to be astounding for both the admissions they make and the weak attempt at sweeping away all of the grotesque and long standing history of tscc and racism.</p>\n<p>Almost as important as the meaning of the article that all posters have addressed the last few days is the follow up that ought to be done on an article such as this. An absolute rule of human behavior is that no decision made in an institution the size of tscc is done in a vacuum by just one person. There is always a back story with underlying facts and that back story is often more important than what gets published for public consumption. Some of the follow up questions that need to be addressed by the church hierarchy are as follows: 1) Who authored this article? 2) Why was it not signed? 3) Did Monson authorize this article and if so, is it of the level of a revelation or something else and if he did not authorize it, why not and who actually made the decision? 4) If Monson was not involved in the decision to write and post this article who is actually running tscc? 5) where are the emails, notes, minutes, letters and all other written material exchanged by whoever was in on this decision so they can be examined and studied by the membership? 6) given the long standing, awful, bigoted, racist, prejudicial, vile, evil, unsupportable position of tscc on race and this sudden embrace of racial equality for all, why isn\'t this new position being aggressively distributed to the membership by the reading of the article from the podium in every congregation in the world? If there is some reluctance to do so, why? 7) why was there no apology to the black community and in particular the black members of tscc for the racism expressed by the church \"prophets\" from BY forward for what tscc now admits was institutional racism?</p>\n<p>No doubt disclosure of the back story would demonstrate the conniving, fraudulent, deceptive and manipulative conduct of the church leadership which would have far reaching, negative financial consequences, which they are trying desperately to avoid. As I have in the past on this forum, I challenge the leadership to do the morally right thing and tell us the whole story. Yes you, Tom and Dallin and Mr. \"I\'m no dodo\" for once, man up and do the right thing and tell us the whole truth. Until you do, this sort of tactic is going to do nothing to erase the information manipulation that has been going on since Joe concocted the story about the gold plates.</p>\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1493422923, expire = 1493509323, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:d11c074efeee837519b5e43c0319e417' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

steve benson Dec. 2013

Sadly, the Utah Mormon Church, well into the 20th century, has an historical track record of squalid, bigoted and anti-civil rights attitudes, teachings and practices which targeted African-Americans under its supposed "control."

Excommunicated Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn (who was ostensibly stripped of his LDS membership for publicly exposing, reporting and publishing a history of the Mormon Church's pattern of ongoing lies, practices and cover-ups relating to post-Manifesto polygamy) offers a devastating timeline review of the bigoted, discriminatory and anti-civil rights actions and attitudes of the Utah Mormon Church designed to control and restrict the exercise of equal human rights by African-Americans within Utah's (and more specifically, Salt Lake City's) boundaries.

"Utah Mormon Discrimination Against Blacks

"Even after federal emancipation of America's slaves in the 1860s, LDS church president Brigham Young referred to African-American slavery as a religious necessity. Earlier, as both church president and governor, he had instructed the Utah legislature in 1852 to legalize the slavery of African-Americans. This directly contradicted Joseph Smith's proposal in 1844 'to abolish slavery by the year 1850' by financially compensating Southern slave-owners through the sale of federal lands in the West. Utah Mormonism's reversal of Joseph Smith's social policy toward Negroes was mirrored by the refusal of LDS presidents after 1844 to follow the founding prophet's example of giving the priesthood to blacks who were not slaves.

"For more than a century, Utah restricted African-Americans from patronizing white restaurants and hotels, prohibited them from public swimming pools, and required them to sit in the balconies of theaters. During World War II, African-Americans wearing their nation's uniform had to sit in the balcony of Utah theaters, while German prisoners-of-war sat on the main floor with white servicemen and civilians. Utah law also prohibited marriage between a white person and a black (including persons only one-eighth Negro).

"Utah's racial discrimination did not occur by happenstance nor did it continue into modern times by accident. It was promoted by the highest leaders of the state's dominant church. As late as 1941, Counselor J. Reuben Clark used the word [rhymes with 'trigger'] in his First Presidency office diary. In 1944, the First Presidency authorized local LDS leaders to join 'as individuals a civic organization whose purpose is to restrict and control negro settlement' in Salt Lake City. A year later, LDS president George Albert Smith wrote: 'Talked to Pres Clark & Nicholas [G. Smith, an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles] about the use of [LDS] meeting houses for meetings to prevent Negroes from becoming neighbors.' The church president's diary did not indicate whether he endorsed or opposed this activity, but his brother Nicholas G. Smith described it as 'race hatred.'

"In 1947, when discussing the site of the future Los Angeles temple, First Presidency Counselor J. Reuben Clark asked the LDS church's attorney in that area 'to purchase as much of that property as we can in order to control the colored situation.'

"In 1947, the First Presidency wrote that 'the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, [is] a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now.'

"In 1953, a First Presidency secretary informed a white Mormon that 'The L.D.S. Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood.' According to presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, this policy of segregating African-American blood from the blood donated by so-called 'white people' was intended 'to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church.'

"During this era of Utah's racial segregation, the First Presidency also repeatedly affirmed that no African-American could stay at the LDS church-owned Hotel Utah (which had maintained this exclusion since its opening in 1911). The LDS president was president of the hotel, and his counselors were its senior vice-presidents. The First Presidency explained this racial exclusion as simply 'the practice of the hotel.'

"When internationally renown singer Marian Anderson returned in March 1948 to participate in a concert at the LDS church's Salt Lake Tabernacle, the First Presidency relented. America's beloved contralto 'was allowed to stay at the Hotel Utah on condition that she use the freight elevator.' This world-famous black woman was not allowed to use the main entrance and lobby.

"Making specific reference to the desegregation controversy in Little Rock, Arkansas, Counselor Clark in 1957 instructed Belle Smith Spafford 'that she should do what she could to keep the National Council [of Women] from going on record in favor of what in the last analysis would be regarded as negro equality.'

"In 1965 and 1967, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson stated in televised meetings on Temple Square in Salt Lake City that 'the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is a Communist program for revolution in America.'

"In 1963, Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith told 'Look' magazine's editor: ''Darkies' are wonderful people, and they have their place in our Church.'

"In 1967, Apostle Benson also approved the use of one of his talks as the forward to the overtly racist book 'Black Hammer,' which featured the decapitated (and profusely bleeding) head of an African-American male on its cover.

"President Smith's counselors soon extended their support of racial segregation to states beyond Utah. In 1947, when discussing the site of the future Los Angeles temple, Counselor Clark asked the LDS church's attorney in that area 'to purchase as much of that property as we can in order to control the colored situation.' A month later, during the meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Salt Lake Temple, 'President Clark called attention to the sentiment among many people in this country to the point that we should break down all racial lines, [and] as a result of which sentiment negro people have acquired an assertiveness that they never before possessed and in some cases have become impudent.'

"In 1949, while criticizing the legislative efforts in Arizona to 'guarantee rights of Negroes,' LDS presidency counselor David O. McKay said, 'The South knows how to handle them and they do not have any trouble, and the colored people are better off down there--[but] in California they are becoming very progressive and insolent in many cases.' Likewise, in 1950 Counselor Clark wrote: 'Race tolerance: the trend is just terrible.'

"There was no mystery about why Utah law continued to prohibit interracial marriage. In 1947, the First Presidency wrote that 'the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, [is] a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now.' In other words, the First Presidency condemned interracial marriage as abnormal. In 1950, Counselor Clark added that 'anything that breaks down the color line leads to marriage.' Five years later, on behalf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote to the First Presidency about African-American members of the LDS church in Utah and referred to the 'danger of intermarriage.'

"In 1953, a First Presidency secretary also informed a white Mormon about the less-obvious extent of Utah's racial segregation: 'The L.D.S. Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood.' According to presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, this policy of segregating African-American blood from the blood donated by so-called 'white people' was intended 'to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church.'

"During this era of Utah's racial segregation, the First Presidency also repeatedly affirmed that no African-American could stay at the LDS church-owned Hotel Utah (which had maintained this exclusion since its opening in 1911). The LDS president was president of the hotel, and his counselors were its senior vice-presidents. The First Presidency explained this racial exclusion as simply 'the practice of the hotel.'

"Internationally renown singer Marian Anderson endured this racial discrimination in Utah. When she gave her first recital at the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall, this African-American was denied entry to any of Salt Lake City's hotels and had to stay with one of the concert's promoters. When she returned in March 1948 to participate in a concert at the LDS church's Salt Lake Tabernacle, the First Presidency relented. America's beloved contralto 'was allowed to stay at the Hotel Utah on condition that she use the freight elevator.' This world-famous black woman was not allowed to use the main entrance and lobby.109 Likewise, invited to speak at the University of Utah, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Ralph Bunche was allowed to stay at the LDS church's hotel in 1951 only after this black man agreed to use the freight elevator, 'have his meals in his room and not come to the dining room.'

"Due to their international fame, Anderson and Bunche were exceptions to the Mormon rules of race. As Hotel Utah's senior vice-president, J. Reuben Clark explained: 'Since they are not entitled to the Priesthood, the Church discourages social intercourse with the negro race... ." Therefore, African-Americans were denied equal access to the LDS church's hotel in order "to preserve the purity of the race that is entitled to hold the Priesthood.'

"With such beliefs, the LDS First Presidency did what it could to block national efforts for the civil rights of African-Americans. As previously noted, Counselor McKay in 1949 instructed an Arizona stake president against that state's proposed legislation to 'guarantee rights of Negroes.' Making specific reference to the desegregation controversy in Little Rock, Arkansas, Counselor Clark in 1957 instructed Belle Smith Spafford 'that she should do what she could to keep the National Council [of Women] from going on record in favor of what in the last analysis would be regarded as negro equality.' At that time, Spafford was a vice-president of the National Council of Women.

"As American views began changing toward race relations from the 1940s onward, the Mormons of Utah continued to follow the example of LDS leaders against civil rights for African-Americans. There was widespread use in all-white neighborhoods of Utah's Uniform Real Estate Contract, Form 30, which prohibited the purchaser of real estate and his/her heirs from reselling the property 'to any person not of the Caucasian race.' The Salt Lake City School District prohibited blacks from being teachers and from fulfilling student-teaching requirements of their university training. In addition, 40 percent of Utah's employers refused to hire Negroes. Employers who did hire blacks also discriminated against them in job assignment, promotion, and salary. Blacks were prohibited from eating at the lunch counter of Salt Lake's City-County Building. All of Utah's bowling alleys excluded African-Americans, and LDS hospitals segregated black patients, sometimes requiring them to pay for private rooms. This was also the policy at Utah's Catholic hospitals.

"In these respects, Utah and the Mormons were representative of the rest of America's white society until the 1960s. In 1961, a survey of Salt Lake City by the NAACP showed that 12 percent of cafes, restaurants, and taverns declined to serve blacks, while 80 percent of the city's beauty shops and barber shops refused to do so. Likewise, 72 percent of Salt Lake City's hotels and 49 percent of its motels refused accommodations to African-Americans that year.

"After Counselor Clark's death in 1961, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson became the Mormon hierarchy's strident voice against the national crusade for African-American civil rights. Benson's Negrophobic rhetoric intensified after the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 drastically changed Utah's patterns of racial discrimination. In 1965 and 1967, he stated in televised meetings on Temple Square in Salt Lake City that 'the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is a Communist program for revolution in America.' In 1967, Apostle Benson also approved the use of one of his talks as the forward to the overtly racist book 'Black Hammer,' which featured the decapitated (and profusely bleeding) head of an African-American male on its cover. Subtitled White Alternatives, this book warned about the 'well-defined plans for the establishment of a Negro Soviet dictatorship in the South.' In 1968, Apostle Benson also instructed BYU students about 'black Marxists' and 'the Communists and their Black Power fanatics.'

"At this time, LDS president David O. McKay had a Democrat (Hugh B. Brown) as a counselor, who was mystified that McKay allowed Benson to endorse the speeches and activities of nationally known segregationists. This politically liberal counselor was unaware of the LDS church president's private views about 'insolent' African-Americans who wanted equal rights.

"In 1963, Utah ended its restrictions on interracial marriage, and Counselor Brown officially endorsed civil rights for persons of all races that year. However, until that year, every living prophet of the LDS church since Brigham Young either actively opposed the civil rights of African-Americans or passively endorsed the existing civil discriminations against them in Utah.

"In that same year, Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith told Look magazine's editor: '"Darkies" are wonderful people, and they have their place in our Church.' At best, this revealed the racial paternalism that governed LDS headquarters. However, this platitude was also a smoke-screen for the worst of what Utah Mormon leaders had done against African-American rights for the previous 116 years. . . .

" . . . [P]revious First Presidencies . . . . stated that African-Americans had no legitimate right to unrestricted access to marriage, nor to unrestricted blood transfusions, nor to rent a room in the LDS church's hotel, nor to reside in Utah's white neighborhoods, nor to live near the Los Angeles Temple, nor to be in a hospital bed next to a white patient. . . .

"Even when a General Authority publicly apologized in September 2000 for 'the actions and statements of individuals who have been insensitive to the pain suffered by the victims of racism,' he claimed that the LDS leadership had an admirable history of race relations. Elder Alexander B. Morrison said: 'How grateful I am that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has from its beginnings stood strongly against racism in any of its malignant manifestations.' This was a by now familiar smoke-screen for the previous behavior of Mormon prophets, seers, and revelators. LDS headquarters has never apologized for the legalization of Negro slavery by Brigham Young in pioneer Utah, nor for the official LDS encouragement to lynch Negro males, nor for the racial segregation policies of the First Presidency until 1963, nor for Ezra Taft Benson's 1967 endorsement of a book which implied that decapitating black males was a 'White Alternative.' . . .

"Counselor Clark told the General Conference of April 1940 that the First Presidency 'is not infallible in our judgment, and we err.' I believe this applies to the statements and actions of several 'living prophets' and First Presidencies in restricting the civil rights of African-Americans and other minorities. . . . . Counselor Clark . . . also instructed LDS educators in 1954 that 'even the President of the Church has not always spoken under the direction of the Holy Ghost.' I believe this applies to the statements and actions of several 'living prophets' and First Presidencies in restricting the civil rights of African-Americans and other minorities. According to LDS doctrine, the statements and actions of the Church's president can be wrong, even sinful, and historically the LDS First Presidency has often been profoundly wrong with regard to the civil rights of American minorities.

"In fact, when an end came to the various tyrannies of the majority against racial groups in America, LDS policies changed, as well. What various 'living prophets' had defined as God's doctrine turned out to be a Mormon social policy which reflected the majority's world view. . . .

"LDS president Gordon B. Hinckley has dismissed Mormonism's earlier race-based policies as 'those little tricks of history' which are irrelevant now. However, his twenty-five years of promoting political campaigns against the possibility of gay rights is one more example of the LDS hierarchy's discrimination against minorities who are not its 'kind of people.'

"The Sincerity of Prejudice and Civil Discrimination

"LDS leaders have repeatedly opposed civil rights for blacks and gays while denying that such action is 'anti-Negro' or 'racist,' 'anti-gay' or 'homophobic.' The previous quotes show that First Presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, for one, defended wholesale restrictions against the civil rights of African-Americans. Nevertheless, at the same time, he regarded himself as compassionate toward blacks. . . .

"The past and present are filled with actions which most of us condemn, despite the fact that their perpetrators claimed they acted out of their sincere beliefs in a religion, or race, or social class, or country. If we regard slavery as wrong, the sincerity of slave-owners is irrelevant to the issue, even when the slave-owners were our revered national leaders, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. If denial of rights and protections for African-Americans was wrong, the sincerity of the oppressors is irrelevant to the issue, even if we otherwise admire the oppressors as religious leaders. . . . "

(D. Michael Quinn, "Prelude to the National 'Defense of Marriage' Campaign: Civil Discrimination Against Feared or Despised Minorities," research paper given "Special Award for Outstanding Scholarly Research and Writing," Affirmation Conference, Long Beach, September 2001; originally published in "Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought," 33:3, pp. 1-52; for entire article, see: http://www.affirmation.org/against_marriage_equality/prelude.shtml)


Honestly . . .
I can't get too worked up about this.
The primary effect that LDS racism would have had on racial minorities would have been to make the church less attractive to them.

THIS IS A GOOD THING. It means that there have been fewer people of color joining the church. That is -- fewer victims of the cult.

Unfortunately, the cult-prone person of color might have fallen into the hands of the JWs, who have long been welcoming to racial minorities, and the JWs are, if anything, even more destructive to their members than Mor(m)onism.


steve benson
Others can get worked up about this and, in fact, should . . .
. . . since it exposes the Mormon Church's long-repeated lies about not being racist in its:

-- history,

--doctrines,

--policies,

--practices,

--attitudes toward, and

--treatment of Blacks.

If the net effect of this knowledge is that fewer people of African descent join the Mormon Church, that is, indeed, a good thing. But for them to make that decision, they need access to reliable information that serves to inform and justify a rational decision to reject membership in the racist Mormon Church.

That's where the teaching of history comes in.


anybody
Re: If Mormons Think the LDS Church Has Long Opposed Racism, They're Wrong ...
Minorities come in all shapes and sizes and colours. My mother's father was a Spanish protestant who left Spain.

I think the recent race and the priesthood statement is meant more for the current LDS church membership rather than as a form of black outreach. Just about every institution in the Western world over the last three hundred years has excluded people by race at one time or another and African Americans know this. Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week.

Mormons might have a significant presence in the Southwest and Rocky Mountain states but they are a minority in most of the USA. Most African Americans live in the South and urban centres of the North and West Coast and these are places where there has never been a large Mormon population.

Black people who want to join the church will want to do so for the same reasons as other people. African Americans will worry more about the present LDS church and what the modern white members might think about them knowing all the while about past racial attitudes if not the statements per se. Africans who are not so familiar with American society will be more offended by the past I think.


elbert
Re: If Mormons Think the LDS Church Has Long Opposed Racism, They're Wrong ...
Re 'anybody''s comments: As recently as '12, prof Bott at BYU tried to soften the impact of church's ban by saying they (the Negro race) don't know how lucky they were: not being in the higher steps on the ladder kept them from falling to the deepest place in hell (as if falling was their destiny any way). Saying everybody does it tells a lot about how inspired the leadership is.
outsider
We should be worked up about this
More and more historical facts are being uncovered which will increasingly prove that Joseph Smith was a fraud and TSCC is an illusion.

As such, all the the TBMs can do is to retreat to a postion that their church is "good," and this demonstrates how evil it is.

If their God cannot be bothered to let his top guys in on the secret about basic human rights, how relevant are any of their teachings? Any time a TBM says anything about being lucky to have God’s continued guidance, this is the perfect counter example.

“Girls should only have one set of earrings!” How do we really know that it’s from God, if he can’t get the blacks and priesthood right?

It’s important to pay tithing? How do we really know that it’s from God, if he can’t get the blacks and priesthood right?

We can play this game forever.


montanaexmo
Re: If Mormons Think the LDS Church Has Long Opposed Racism, They're Wrong ...
Thank you Steve for once again providing us with a well supported and well thought out comment on something as important as racism and tscc. Please never stop writing and posting for us. Your insights and research capacity are remarkable and must be driving the powers that be in SLC absolutely nuts.

I am impressed yet again with the power of the net. Pre-internet days and when I was a young, waivering, tbm it always bugged me that there was no way to dissent in tscc. One of the reasons I left was this lack of ability to express opposing view points and criticize the leadership when ever they would deserve to be criticized for their often inane and insane statements and doctrines. Nor was their anyway to communicate with many other church members to get their take on what was going on at church. Tscc was clearly manipulating the flow of information about the inner workings of the church to keep every one in the dark and paying their tithing. That all changed with the appearance of the net and I marvel still how the net allows us to be in touch with each other; post our thoughts; debate the issues and criticize and castigate the leadership in tscc like never before. Which criticism they often richly deserve. I love what the net has done for the exmo community and the voice we now have.

All of that said I find the "Black Priesthood Ban Traced to Brigham Young" article to be astounding for both the admissions they make and the weak attempt at sweeping away all of the grotesque and long standing history of tscc and racism.

Almost as important as the meaning of the article that all posters have addressed the last few days is the follow up that ought to be done on an article such as this. An absolute rule of human behavior is that no decision made in an institution the size of tscc is done in a vacuum by just one person. There is always a back story with underlying facts and that back story is often more important than what gets published for public consumption. Some of the follow up questions that need to be addressed by the church hierarchy are as follows: 1) Who authored this article? 2) Why was it not signed? 3) Did Monson authorize this article and if so, is it of the level of a revelation or something else and if he did not authorize it, why not and who actually made the decision? 4) If Monson was not involved in the decision to write and post this article who is actually running tscc? 5) where are the emails, notes, minutes, letters and all other written material exchanged by whoever was in on this decision so they can be examined and studied by the membership? 6) given the long standing, awful, bigoted, racist, prejudicial, vile, evil, unsupportable position of tscc on race and this sudden embrace of racial equality for all, why isn't this new position being aggressively distributed to the membership by the reading of the article from the podium in every congregation in the world? If there is some reluctance to do so, why? 7) why was there no apology to the black community and in particular the black members of tscc for the racism expressed by the church "prophets" from BY forward for what tscc now admits was institutional racism?

No doubt disclosure of the back story would demonstrate the conniving, fraudulent, deceptive and manipulative conduct of the church leadership which would have far reaching, negative financial consequences, which they are trying desperately to avoid. As I have in the past on this forum, I challenge the leadership to do the morally right thing and tell us the whole story. Yes you, Tom and Dallin and Mr. "I'm no dodo" for once, man up and do the right thing and tell us the whole truth. Until you do, this sort of tactic is going to do nothing to erase the information manipulation that has been going on since Joe concocted the story about the gold plates.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"